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Diploma Requirements

In January of 2007, the State Board of Education voted to adopt new high school graduation requirements.

These new requirements are designed to better prepare each student for success in college, work, and citizenship. To earn a diploma, students will need to successfully complete the credit requirements, demonstrate proficiency in essential skills, and meet the personalized learning requirements. And students will have the option to earn credit for proficiency. The changes to the diploma will be phased in over the coming years.

What has changed?

  • Credit Requirements (24 total)
    • English: 4 credits
    • Math: 3 credits (at the Algebra 1 level and higher)
    • Science: 3 credits (scientific inquiry, 2 with lab experiences)
    • Social Science: 3 credits
    • Health: 1 credit
    • PE: 1 credit
    • Second Language/Art/Career & Technical Education: 3 credits
    • Electives: 6 credits
  • Number of credits: The minimum number of credits needed to graduate was raised from 22 credits to 24 credits.
  • English: The number of English credits was raised from 3 credits to 4.
  • Math: The number of math credits required was raised from 2 credits to 3. Starting in 2014, these 3 credits must be at the Algebra I content level and above.
  • Science: The number of science credits was raised from 2 credits to 3, and 2 of these credits must have lab experiences.
  • Second Language / Art / Career & Technical Education: The number of credits required in this area (any combination of the subjects) was raised from 1 credit to 3.
  • Electives: The number of required electives was reduced from 9 credits to 6.

    Please note: These refer to state-wide requirements and serve as a minimum for graduation. Local districts may have additional graduation requirements. For the most complete list of requirements your child will need to take to graduate, please contact your local high school.
  • Credit for Proficiency: All students will have the option to earn credit for demonstrating proficiency. This means that a student is given credit for successful demonstration of knowledge and skills that meets or exceeds defined levels of performance. Students may demonstrate proficiency through classroom work or documentation of learning experiences outside of school, or through a combination of these means.

For the first time, the state will require that all students must demonstrate that they are proficient in certain “essential skills” – skills that are deemed critical for future success – before they are awarded the diploma. Beginning in 2012, students must demonstrate proficiency in the Essential Skills of reading to receive a high school diploma. Students will be required to demonstrate the writing essential skill in 2013 and "apply math" in 2014. The Essential Skills are process skills which enable students to learn content and apply their knowledge across disciplines. These are not new or additional skills; they are embedded in existing content standards, already being taught in Oregon schools.

Students will have multiple options and opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in the Essential Skills by meeting state standards through:
  • The Oregon Statewide Assessments;
  • Samples of student work scored by trained teachers; or,
  • Additional standardized assessments (such as the SAT and ACT).

Checked Box Read and comprehend a variety of texts Checked Box Apply mathematics in a variety of settings
Checked Box Write clearly and accurately Checked Box Use technology to learn, live, and work
Checked Box Listen actively and speak clearly and coherently Checked Box Demonstrate civic and community engagement
Checked Box Think critically and analytically Checked Box Demonstrate global literacy
Checked Box Demonstrate personal management, and teamwork skills

The following requirements personalize the diploma for each student and help students plan for their post-high school education and career goals.

1. Education Plan and Profile: Students develop a plan and profile to guide their learning and document progress toward their personal, career, and post-high school goals.

2. Extended Application: Students apply and extend their knowledge in new and complex situations related to the student’s personal career interests and post-high school goals through critical thinking, problem solving, or inquiry in real world contexts.

3. Career-Related Learning Experiences: Students participate in experiences that connect classroom learning with real life experiences in the workplace, community, and/or school relevant to their education plan.

The changes to the diploma will be phased in over the coming years to allow students, families, schools, and teachers to adequately prepare to meet these new requirements. The chart below shows when each change will come into effect and what you can expect for your child.

Please note: these are state set minimum requirements. Your school district may have additional requirements. Check with your local district to confirm the requirements for graduation.

Subject Graduating Class of 2010 Graduating Class of 2012
Math* 3 3
Science 2 3
English 4 4
Arts/Second Language/Career & Technical Ed 1 3**
Social Sciences 3 3
Physical Education 1 1
Health 1 1
Electives 9 6
Total Credits 24 24
* Starting with the graduating class of 2014, all 3 credits of math must be at the Algebra I level and above.
** In any combination.

As Oregon students work to be successful in their next steps (e.g. postsecondary education and training, workforce entry, career school, apprenticeship, military) the Department of Education is committed to ensuring a variety of options are available to meet all students’ needs.

  • Andrea Morgan Email    (503) 947-5772
    Instruction, Standards, Assessment, and Accountability - 1 - Ed. Specialist, Social Sciences Curriculum and Advanced Placement Incentive Prog

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