High school diploma changes approved


The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved proposed changes to Indiana’s high school diploma requirements on Thursday.

“The new diploma requirements are more academically challenging and set clearer expectations for college and career readiness,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana commissioner for higher education. “Our goal is for all students to be successful in the next phase of their lives after graduation—whether that’s college, the workforce or post-secondary training.”

The approval clears the way for further consideration by the State Board of Education this fall and the Indiana General Assembly in the 2016 legislative session.

The changes are a culmination of more than a year of discussion and work comprised of K-12, business and higher education stakeholders as well as input gathered from the public. Lubbers and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz co-chair the Core 40 Subcommittee that examines Indiana’s current diplomas and proposes updated high school diploma requirements.

The highlights of the proposed diploma changes are as follows:

Three Diploma Options

  • College & Career Ready Diploma (Replaces the Core 40 Diploma)
  • Workforce Ready Diploma (Replaces the General Diploma)
  • College & Career Ready Diploma w/ Honors (Replaces the Academic and Technical Honors Diplomas)

Increased Academic Rigor

  • Increased credit requirements for the College & Career Ready Diploma (44 compared to 40 in the current Core 40 Diploma)
  • Four years of math for each proposed new diploma. Currently, only Honors Diplomas require four years of math.

Focused Career Exploration

  • All proposed diplomas require students to complete a College and Career Readiness Sequence with a graduation capstone experience. This could be early college credits, career and technical education courses, internships, or other experiences designed to help students familiarize themselves with the world of work before graduation.
  • Personal Financial Literacy course required for all proposed diplomas.

After being finalized and approved, Indiana’s new diplomas will go into effect beginning with students entering high school in 2018.

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