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PATHWAYS TO GRADUATION


Guide to Meeting Statewide Requirements for High School Graduation

Act 158 of 2018 and Act 6 of 2017, provide students graduating from Pennsylvania Public High Schools in 2023 or later with the flexibility to meet statewide high school graduation requirements through one of five pathways that detail college, career, and community readiness.

Each pathway has specific requirements for graduation including proficiency on Keystone exams in Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology. Additionally, approved evidence-based assessments and projects allow students to demonstrate proficiency and college/ career readiness toward post-secondary success. Examples include success in dual enrollment courses, SAT/PSAT/ACT test scores, letters verifying full-time employment after graduation, and service-learning projects. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) have access to all available options and can graduate based on Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals.

Service Learning Project

Service Learning helps students build character by allowing them to foster and develop personal values, beliefs, awareness, self esteem, confidence, empathy and social responsibility. Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, students have options to demonstrate postsecondary preparedness through one of four additional pathways that illustrate college, career, and community readiness. Included in those pathways is a Service-Learning Project designed to address an identified community need and meet specified project learning goals.

A written project proposal must be submitted to school officials for pre-approval. Proposals must include a project description, learning goal(s), timelines, the number of service hours, the project’s contribution to the community, and the sponsoring organization. The project must be supervised and assessed by an adult school official who will verify, in writing, successful completion of required components. A final presentation and a minimum of 10 service hours are required for all approved Service-Learning Projects.

Reasons Service-Learning Projects Foster Graduation Success

  1. Strengthen the connections between academic learning and community service opportunities for students to be challenged with learning new skills and critical thinking.
  2. Allows students to prepare to learn new skills and learn how to reflect on their learning.
  3. Has a positive effect on interpersonal skills development.
  4. Promotes collaboration, communication, and interaction with the community.
  5. Promotes a positive effect on reducing stereotypes and facilitating cultural and racial understanding.
  6. Promotes social responsibility and citizenship.
  7. Contributes to career development and can influence career selection.
  8. Contributes to stronger student/faculty relationships through mentorship.
  9. Builds community.

ACT 158 Graduation Pathways

Keystone
Proficiency
Meets proficiency or advanced on the Keystone Exams for Algebra I, Biology, and Literature.
Keystone Composite
Demonstrate proficiency by earning a satisfactory composite score on the Algebra I, Biology, and Literature Keystone Exams of 4452 or higher. Must score at least Proficient one of the three exams and no less than Basic on the remaining two.
CTE

Meet locally established, grade-based requirements for Keystone content in which the student is less than Proficient AND attain one or more of the following:

  • Industry-based competency certification.
  • Likelihood of industry-based competency assessment success.
  • Readiness for continued engagement in CTE Concentrator program of study.
Alternate Assessment

Meet locally established, grade-based requirements for Keystone content in which the student is less than Proficient AND attain one or more of the following:

  • An alternative assessment score or better: ACT (21), ASVAB AFQT (31), PSAT/NMSQT (970), or SAT (1010).
  • Gold Level or better on ACT WorkKeys.
  • 3 or better on AP Exam(s) related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient.
  • 4 or better on IB Exam(s) related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient.
  • Successful completion of concurrent enrollment course(s) related to each Keystone content area in which less than Proficient.
  • Successful completion of a pre-apprenticeship program.
  • Acceptance into accredited, non-profit Institution of Higher Education 4-year program for college-level coursework.
Evidence-Based

Meet locally established, grade-based requirements for Keystone content in which the student is less than Proficient AND attain one or more of the following:

  • Score of 630 or better on any SAT Subject Test.
  • Silver Level or better on ACT WorkKeys.
  • 3 or better on any AP Exam.
  • 3 or better on any IB Exam.
  • Successful completion of any concurrent enrollment or postsecondary course.
  • Industry-recognized credentialization.
  • Acceptance into accredited, non-profit Institution of Higher Education for college-level coursework in an other-than-4year program.

or two or more of the following:

  • Proficient or Advanced on any Keystone Exam.
  • Successful completion of a service-learning project.
  • Letter guaranteeing full-time employment or military enlistment.
  • Completion of an internship, externship, or cooperative education program.
  • Compliance with NCAA Division II academic requirements.
IEP

A student with a disability who is unable to satisfy pathway requirements but who satisfactorily completes a special education program is granted a diploma under Title 22 §4.24.