Oregon Department of Education


What is changing?
In order to ensure that all students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of today’s workplace, the state has raised the bar on graduation requirements. Today, students need to know and be able to do more than ever before so that they can have the skills to pursue their hopes and dreams. Click here to learn more about why and how these changes were made.

Students will now be required to take higher levels of math, English, and science and will need to show proficiency in a set of essential skills in order to receive a diploma.

Click here to learn more about credit requirements, the essential skills, and a student’s education plan and profile.

Please note: The state sets minimum graduation requirements which all school districts must meet. Many districts have additional requirements above and beyond those set by the state. Check with your local high school to learn what credits your student will need for graduation.

How will these new requirements be assessed? Will this just mean more tests?
The additional credit requirements will be assessed as always (end of the year tests, papers and projects - depending on the class). Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in each of the essential skills through any of the following:
  • the Oregon Statewide Assessments,
  • samples of student work scored by trained teachers, or
  • by receiving a certain score on additional standardized assessments such as the SAT or ACT.

How will this affect my child?
These changes will be phased in over the coming years. The requirements that will apply to your child depends on his or her year of graduation. Click on the link below that corresponds to your child’s year of graduation for a list of the applicable graduation requirements. Remember, your district may have additional requirements above and beyond those listed below.

My child graduates in:

2010 PDF | 2011 PDF | 2012 PDF | 2013 PDF | 2014 or later PDF

Why is this important for my child?
Whether your child plans on going to college, a trade school, entering the military, or going directly into the workforce, a higher skill level will be the key to competing in today’s economy. About two-thirds of all new jobs require some sort of training or education beyond high school. Today’s employers want employees with strong problem solving, communications, and team work skills.

States around the nation have seen the need for higher standards and have been asking their students to rise to the challenge and achieve at higher levels. To learn more about the research behind this work and what is going on around the country, visit Achieve.org External Link.

What if my child is struggling to reach these new requirements?
We know that some students will need additional help and supports to reach these new requirements. Not everyone has the same strengths or interests, and we all have subjects in which we struggle. However, schools are committed to making sure students have the help they need. Resources such as peer tutoring, after school and summer school, online courses and tutoring, additional time and additional teacher support can all make a difference in helping students reach their goals. Check with your school about the resources that are available to help your child reach this higher level of achievement.

What if my child is on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?
Every effort will be made to help your student receive a regular high school diploma. If you and your school’s IEP team decides that this will not be possible for your child, and if he or she meets the definitions of eligibility defined in rule, you may opt for a modified diploma. A modified diploma does not have all of the benefits of a regular diploma and you and your IEP team should discuss what this diploma option might mean for your student. Click here PDF to read the Administrative Rule on modified diplomas. Click here PowerPoint to view a PowerPoint on the modified diploma.

How can I help my child meet these new requirements?
The more support students receive at home, the better they tend to do at school. Parents are key partners in student success.
  • Talk to your child – Change can be intimidating. Make sure that your child understands that you and the school will be there to make sure he or she has the support needed to meet these new requirements. Make sure that your child understands the connections between more challenging coursework in high school and the ability to pursue a wide variety of careers and post-high school options.
  • Help your child to feel like a success – Remember to praise your student’s work and to make him or her feel good about successes at school. A lot of academic success has to do with attitude. Help your child feel like a learner and see higher education or some sort of post-high school training as a possibility.
  • Look ahead – spend time with your child exploring a wide variety of careers and interests. Help show the connection between an interest in marine biology and a middle school math class. Work or college can seem a long way off for many students, but the more they can see the value in the skills they gain in school, the better.
  • Communicate with your school - Check with your child’s school about how the changes to the diploma requirements will be implemented in your area. Make sure you understand the new requirements and the steps your child will need to take to be prepared to graduate on time. The school is a resource for you – make sure to use it.
  • Stay involved – Graduation from high school is a journey that starts when your child is still young. Whether your child is in elementary school, middle school, or high school, there are things you can do to support them in this journey. Make sure your child is doing and understanding his or her homework and schoolwork. If your child is struggling, talk to the teacher about the support systems available.
  • Research Options – Even if you don’t think that college is an option for your student, look into it. Ask your child’s school counselor about their higher education options including scholarships, Pell grants, loans, financial aid, and work study. College can be a reality for your child. Work with your high school counselors to learn how.
  • Ask – When you or your child doesn’t understand something about these changes, ask teachers or administrators at your local school district.
  • My Child's Future External Link
    The goal of this site is to help you learn about career and educational planning and the positive roles you can play in supporting your children. Since no two families are alike in beliefs, backgrounds, or culture, you will not find a "one size fits all" process to follow. Rather, this site will provide you with important suggestions and reminders to support you through your child's unique career development.

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  • Andrea Morgan Email    (503) 947-5772
    Data, Operations and Grant Management - Ed. Specialist, Social Sciences Curriculum and Advanced Placement Incentive Prog