Graduation Requirements - HB5

  • Overview

    The State Board of Education specifies high school graduation plans for Texas students. The law, commonly referred to as HB 5, applies to students entering high school beginning in 2014-2015.

    Students earn a Foundation of credits plus declare an Endorsement, similar to a collegiate major or career pathway. Every student entering the 9th grade will enter ROHS on the Foundation with an Endorsement plan for a total of 26 credits.

     22 credits Foundation Graduation program + 4 credits Endorsement = 26 credits Red Oak Diploma

    In the spring semester of 8th grade, students will select their endorsement and freshman year courses as well as a four-year graduation plan. A student may change or add an endorsement at any time. However, any changes must still result in 26 credits for graduation. Each endorsement offers a variety of courses to pursue a student’s specific interests, and students may take classes in other endorsements if their schedule allows.

  • Aim Higher

    Students interested in aiming higher may select college dual-credit courses, Advanced Placement courses, technical training and industry certifications in certain fields, or pursue the Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA) designation.

    Students may also earn Performance Acknowledgements for earning outstanding performance in certain areas including:

    • Advanced Placement
    • College Dual Credit
    • Associate Degree
    • PSAT, SAT, ACT
    • Bilingualism or Biliteracy
    • Industry Certification or License

    Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA) is achieved by taking Algebra II as one of the four math credits, four science credits, plus all requirements for Foundation and an endorsement. DLA must be earned to be admitted to most Texas public universities under the Top 10 percent automatic admission law. DLA will be noted on a graduate’s transcript.

    Next Steps

    Review the options and course guide with your child and discuss what interests them academically. You can also meet with your child’s counselor to discuss their graduation plan options.

    Distinguished Level of Achievement

    To graduate with DLA, students must successfully complete the Foundation High School Program curriculum requirements and the requirements for at least one endorsement, including four credits in science and four credits in math to include Algebra II. Only DLA graduates are eligible for top 10% automatic admission to most Texas public colleges/universities; TEXAS grant eligibility.

    Performance Acknowledgements

    A student will earn a performance acknowledgement on their transcript for outstanding performance on any of the following:

    • Earning an associates degree
    • 12+ hours of college academic courses with 3.0 GPA or higher
    • Bilingualism or bi-literacy
    • College Board AP Exam score of 3 or above
    • PSAT (National Merit), SAT (410 EBR, 520 Math) or ACT (28)
    • Earning a nationally or internationally recognized industry certification.


    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.

    STEM Endorsement
    (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics);
    Multidisciplinary Studies Endorsement Public Services Endorsement * Arts and Humanities Endorsement Business and Industry Endorsement *
    Requires Algebra 2, Chemistry, and Physics
    • Engineering / PLTW
    • Cyber Security
    • Math Focus - 2 Math Courses Beyond Algebra 2
    • Science Focus (5 Approved Science Courses)
    • Computer Science Focus
    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • History
    • 4 AP/Dual-Credit Courses

    Students select courses from the curriculum of each endorsement pathway and earn credits in a variety of advanced courses from multiple concentrations.

    • NJROTC
    • Health Science
    • Cosmetology
    • Law / Public Safety / Corrections
    • Education & Training
    • World Languages
    • History / Social Studies
    • English / Literature
    • Fine Arts
      • Art
      • Band
      • Choir
      • Dance
      • Theatre
    • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
    • Architecture & Construction
    • Av Tech & Communication
    • Auto Tech
    • Business, Marketing & Finance
    • Information Technology
    • Manufacturing & Robotics
    • ELA Focus: Debate/ Journalism

    Foundation Graduation Program with Endorsements*

    • 4 credits English: ELA 1, 2, 3, Advanced English
    • 4 credits Math: Algebra 1, Geometry, Advanced Math
    • 4 credits Science: Biology, plus Physics, IPC or Chemistry, 2 Advanced Sciences
    • 3 credits Social Studies: U.S. History, Government / Economics, World History or Geography
    • 2 credits Foreign Language
    • 1 credit Physical Education
    • 1 credit Fine Arts
    • ½ credit Communications
    • 1 credit Principles course
    • 5½ credits of other electives 

    * Please see your counselor for specifics.

  • ROHS CTE Certifications

    Several Programs of Study include an opportunity for industry certifications to be earned in designated courses.

    • Adobe Certified Associate – Photoshop
    • Adobe Certified Associate – Illustrator
    • Adobe Certified Associate – Premiere Professional
    • Adobe Certified Associate – InDesign
    • ASE Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair
    • ASE – Brakes
    • ASE – Engine Repair
    • ASE – Electronic / Electrical Systems
    • ASE – Suspension and Steering
    • Certified Veterinary Assistant
    • Cosmetology, Operator License
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) – Access
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – Excel
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – Excel Expert
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – One Note

    • Microsoft Office Specialist - Outlook
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – PowerPoint
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – Word
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – Word Expert
    • Microsoft Office Specialist – Master
    • Patient Care Technician (PCT)
    • Phlebotomy Technician
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Foundation Graduation Program?

    The Foundation Graduation Program is a core set of classes in the areas of math, English, science, social studies, foreign language, fine arts, physical education and electives that all students must complete as a foundation to graduate from high school.

    What is an Endorsement?

    All incoming 9th grade students must choose an Endorsement plan to complete the required 26 credits for graduation. There are five Endorsements: STEM, Business & Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, and Multidisciplinary Studies.

    What is the Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA)?

    A student can earn the Distinguished Level of Achievement by completing the Foundation Program, earning at least one Endorsement and completing Algebra II. Algebra II must be one of the four math credits, and a fourth advanced science must also be earned.

    What are the higher education implications?

    Distinguished Level (DLA) graduates are eligible for top 10% automatic admission to most Texas public colleges and universities and may be eligible for financial assistance through TEXAS grant. Foundation plus Endorsement graduates are eligible for admission but not guaranteed.

    What about End-of-Course (EOC) Exams?

    Students must pass five end-of-course exams required for graduation: Algebra I, Biology, English Language Arts (ELA) I & II, and U.S. History.