In 2013, the State Board of Education released new high school graduation plans for Texas students. The law, commonly referred to as HB 5, resulted in sweeping changes to the graduation plans for students entering high school beginning in 2014-2015.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE FORMER GRADUATION PLANS?
Previously, students in Texas graduated under one of three graduation plans: Distinguished, Recommended or Minimum. Those graduation plans are no longer offered to students entering the 9th grade beginning in 2014-2015.
Under the new plan, students earn a Foundation of credits and declare an Endorsement. Think of Endorsements as Majors in high school. By state law, every student entering the 9th grade in 2014 and beyond, will enter ROHS on the Foundation + Endorsement Plan.
WHAT IS AN ENDORSEMENT?
Endorsements are similar to majors in high school. Each Endorsement contains pathways that determine what type of classes the student will take throughout their high school career. Each offers a variety of courses designed to allow students to pursue specific interests. Each endorsement can be rigorous and flexible to meet student needs. There is ample room in each Endorsement for electives and participation in extracurricular activities.
Arts & Humanities Endorsement Earned by taking a sequence of courses in areas such as: Fine Arts, English, History, Literature, World Languages
Business & Industry Endorsement Earned by taking a sequence of courses in areas such as: Information Technology, Communications, Accounting, Marketing, Graphic Design, Automotive Technology, Agriculture Science
Public Services Endorsement Earned by taking a sequence of courses in areas such as: Health Sciences, Teaching, Law Enforcement, NJROTC, Human Services
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Earned by taking a sequence of courses in areas such as: Technology, Engineering, Advanced Math, Advanced Science, Robotics
Multidisciplinary Studies Earned by taking a sequence of courses in areas such as: Math, Science, Social Studies and History or AP/Dual Credit
WHAT DO COLLEGES EXPECT FROM HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES?
Requirements vary from school-to-school and state-to-state. In general, many colleges will require for a student to take Algebra II for admission. Taking Algebra II as one of their four Math credits in high school and satisfying an endorsement qualifies a graduate for a Distinguished Level of Achievement. Texas Colleges and Universities have stated that in order to qualify for automatic-admission, a student must earn a Distinguished Level of Achievement and be in the top 10% of their graduating class.
Students in all Endorsement areas also have the chance to earn Performance Acknowledgments. These indicate that a student has outstanding performance in areas that include:
- Advanced Placement - Dual Credit - PSAT, SAT or ACT - Bilingualism or Biliteracy - Industry Certification