New statewide high school graduation requirements to impact class of 2023

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana students graduating high school in 2023 may need to meet new requirements before they can turn their tassels. 

A subcommittee of the Indiana State Board of Education, called the Graduation Pathways Panel, approved new recommendations for graduation. The recommendation will become effective for all students beginning of 2019-20.

Some of the major recommendations aim to help high school students identify career interests, build a strong foundation of academic, technical and employability skills that lead to opportunities for postsecondary education, training and employment. 

Students in the graduating class of 2023 will need to meet the following Graduation Pathway Requirements:

  • Earn academic credit to obtain a high school diploma
  • Learn and demonstrate employability skills through a project-based learning experience, service-based learning experience, or a work-based learning experience
  • Complete post-secondary competencies by doing one of the following: earning an honors diploma, finishing apprenticeship or career-technical courses or meeting college-ready standards for ACT, SAT, ASVAB tests.

Dr. Byron Ernest, who chaired the panel, said “no longer will students just have to pass a graduation qualifying exam” as the new plan focuses on applying learned skills.

“I am very excited for the future of students in Indiana,” said Ernest. “Through 10 meetings, we have convened and worked with collaborators to create opportunities for Hoosier students to choose a pathway they believe will help prepare them for post-secondary success.”

For current high school students, those graduating in 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022, ISTEP 10/End-of-Course Assessments will continue to be used as the graduation qualifying examination. 

During these years, the Graduation Pathways Panel recommends schools begin allowing students to opt-in to new standards in lieu of graduation qualifying examinations.

“The graduation requirements in terms of diploma do not change with the action we’re taking. What has changed are the pathways beyond the diploma…so now students have more pathways, more options to be prepared for post-secondary endeavors – whether that’s work, going to a 4-year institution or a 2-year institution,” said Ernest.

The panel also would like to see the inclusion of career awareness and exploration programs at the middle school level.

“For parents, work with the school by helping your student figure out what they really want to go into,” said Ernest. “We’ve tried to make these plans flexible enough for schools to where they have the options as students make different choices – and that’s part of that exploration process."

Learn more about the new requirements here.

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