New pathways provide different routes to graduation

Evan Gerike, Managing Editor

The state of Indiana is introducing a new curriculum for students that includes different paths to graduation.

The graduation pathways, which will take full effect starting with the class of 2023, can be adopted by high schools for any current student.

For students currently in high school, these different pathways are an alternative to current graduation requirements, including ISTEP+.

“The state of Indiana wants to make sure the students have work based learning skills,” said guidance counselor Sarah Wilkins. “[The pathways] give them a bunch of different ways to earn their diploma without having to pass the ISTEP.”

The pathway is broken down into three parts. The state sheet labels them as High School Diploma, Learn and Demonstrate Employability Skills and Postsecondary-Ready Competences.

The first stage is simply earning a diploma, whether that is a Core 40 diploma, an Academic Honors Diploma or a Technical Honors Diploma.

According to the Indiana State Board of Education, the second stage is about learning employability skills standards through locally developed programs.

“The three various ways to do that is to have participated in a class that does project based learning,” Wilkins said. “Our Project Lead the Way classes are huge project based learning classes. One way is service based learning, which starting with the class of 2019, everybody has to do 40 hours of community service, so that’s going to take care of that box.”

Students can also check off that stage with work based learning experiences. Jobs and vocationals can fall under this category.

The final stage, which is the most important stage for most students looking to reach the graduation requirements, carries the most options. This stage includes passing the SAT, ACT or the ASVAB with certain scores. Students can also fulfill this option with an Honors diploma.

“One of the ways to fulfill box three is to get your honors diploma,” Wilkins said. “However, we don’t know that you’re going to get that until the final semester of your senior year, so what we don’t want to do is wait until the last minute and say ‘Oh by the way, we didn’t have you take the ASVAB because you were going to get your Academic Honors diploma’ and then it not happen.”

Another option for students is to get a C or better in six vocational credits.

“We do have a lot of students who have done that part and been able to check that off,” Wilkins said.

The final option for the third stage is to earn a C or better in three AP or Dual Credit classes. These classes must be either English, Math, Science or Social Studies.

These new options can provide a much more functional and clear path to graduation for current students.