It is during middle school that students begin to make choices that affect graduation, and it is important to know the requirements. Virginia students can earn a Standard Diploma, or an Advanced Studies Diploma. Students must earn a combination of standard and verified units of credit to receive one of these diplomas.
The requirements for a student to earn a diploma and graduate from a Virginia high school shall be those in effect when that student enters the ninth grade for the first time. Students shall be awarded a diploma upon graduation from a Virginia high school.
When students below the ninth grade successfully complete courses offered for credit in grades 9 through 12, credit shall be counted toward meeting the standard units required for graduation provided those courses are equivalent in content and academic rigor as those courses offered at the secondary level. To earn a verified unit of credit for these courses, students must meet the requirements as stated below in the definition for a verified unit of credit.
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education Course
The following courses will meet the fine arts graduation requirement: all art courses, all music courses, and all drama courses. All Career and Technical courses will meet the graduation requirement. The course taken to satisfy the Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education course requirement may also serve as one of the two credits required to satisfy the sequential electives requirement.
A Career Concentration is a coherent sequence of courses completed by a student in a specific career area.
Early College Scholars
To qualify for the Early College Scholars program, a student must:
- Have a “B” average or better;
- Be pursuing an Advanced Studies Diploma; and
- Take and complete college–level course work (i.e., Advanced Placement, or dual enrollment) that will earn at least 15 transferable college credits
Verified Unit of Credit
A verified unit of credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education. Students who are enrolled in a career and technical program area and pass a certification exam and/or licensure may earn a student-selected verified credit. A student-selected test for verified credit may come from any end-of-course SOL test that is not already satisfying a required verified credit. Local verified credits will be awarded in accordance with Henry County School Board Policy.
Standard Unit of Credit
A standard unit of credit is awarded for a course in which the student successfully completes the objectives of the course.
Sequential electives are defined as two years of study in a focused sequence of elective courses.