Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options

  • Wilson County Schools has four diploma options in 2021-2022: 

     

    REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA

    Wilson County Schools’ students must complete 26 credits to graduate with a regular high school diploma.

    Graduation Requirements

    • Mathematics:  4 Credits - Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and a fourth higher-level math course. (Students must be enrolled in a mathematics course each school year.) 
      • Physics may count as a 4th math credit as long as the student has earned Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II credits.
      • Advanced Placement Calculus, Advanced Placement Statistics, Advanced Placement Computer Science, and Advanced Placement Physics may replace the fourth math credit.
      • Statewide Dual Credit Pre-Calculus or Statewide Dual Credit Statistics may replace the fourth math credit.
      • Dual Enrollment Math courses may count for the fourth math course.  
      • *CTE Course Substitutions for a fourth level math course
        •  Principles of Agribusiness 
        •  Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering
    • English:  4 Credits - English I, English II, English III, and English IV
      • Advanced Placement Language and Composition and Advanced Placement Literature may replace English III or English IV.
      • Advanced Placement Seminar combined with Advanced Placement Research may replace English IV.
      • Dual Enrollment English courses may count for English III and/or English IV
    • Science:  3 Credits - Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third lab course
      • Advanced Placement science courses, including Advanced Placement Computer Science, may count as a third lab science.
      • Dual Enrollment science courses may count for a third lab science. 
      • *CTE Course Substitutions for a third lab course
        • SDC: Introduction to Plant Science 
        • Agriscience
        • Engineering Design 1
        • Engineering Design 2
        • Nutrition Science & Diet Therapy
        • Human Anatomy & Physiology
        • Veterinary Science
        • Food Science & Safety 
        • BIOSTEM I-III
        • Advanced Food Science
        • Plant & Soil Science
    • Social Studies: 3 Credits - World History, American History, Economics, and U.S. Government and Civics
      • Advanced Placement Human Geography, Advanced Placement World History, or Advanced Placement European History may replace World History. 
      • Advanced Placement U.S. History may replace American History.
      • Advanced Placement Macroeconomics or Advanced Placement Microeconomics may replace Economics.
      • Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics or Advanced Placement Comparative Government may replace U.S. Government and Civics.  
      • Statewide Dual Credit World History and Statewide Dual Credit American History may replace World History and American History, respectively.
      • Dual Enrollment social studies courses may replace social studies requirements if aligned with required courses.
      • *CTE Course Substitutions for Economics or Government Course requirements
        • Agricultural Business & Finance (Economics)
        • Business Economics (Economics)
        • Entrepreneurship (Economics)
        • Marketing & Management I (Economics)
        • Retail Operations (Economics)
        • American Business Legal Systems (U.S. Government) 
        • *JROTC Course Substitutions:
          • 3 years of JROTC will substitute for U.S. Government course.
    • Lifetime Wellness:  1 Credit
      • *JROTC Course Substitutions: 
        • 2 years of JROTC will substitute for Lifetime Wellness.
    • Physical Education:  .5 Credit
      • This requirement may be waived if a student provides the school counseling office with 40 hours of documented physical activity in one of the following: any TSSAA recognized sport, school-based cheerleading, school-based dance squad, school-based marching band. 
      • *JROTC Course Substitutions:
        • 2 years of JROTC will substitute for .5 credit of Physical Education.
    • Personal Finance:  .5 Credit
    • World Language:  2 Credits (in the same language)
      • This requirement may be waived if the student proves proficiency in a second language through a nationally normed world language proficiency test or if the student is approved for a world language waiver request and earns 2 additional courses in the student's elective focus area.
    • Fine Arts:  1 Credit
      • This requirement may be waived if a student is approved for a Fine Art waiver request and earns an additional elective focus credit.
      • Advanced Placement Art and Music courses may replace 
      • *CTE Course Substitutions for a Fine Arts Credit
        • Landscaping & Turf Science
        • Digital Arts I
        • Web Design Foundations
    • Elective Focus*: 3 credits - Three (3) credits must be earned in one of the programs of study listed below. These credits are in addition to the other required credits for graduation.
    • Additional 4 Cedits

    NOTE: If a student receives a waiver for a graduation requirement, the student does not earn credit for the course. The student must earn additional credits to meet the required 26 credits for graduation.

    Many colleges and universities have admissions requirements for world language and fine arts credits. Therefore, students should research admissions requirements for college and universities of interest before selecting to waive their world language or fine arts courses for elective offerings.

    Other Graduation Requirements

    1. College Entrance Exam: All students must take either the ACT or SAT. The ACT is provided for free in the student's junior and senior year.
    2. U.S. Civics Assessment: All students must take and pass take a U.S. Civics assessment.
    3. Civics Project-Based Assessment: All students must complete a civics-based project.

    Elective Focus Guidelines

    An Elective Focus is a focused program of study. Three (3) credits must be earned in one of the programs of study listed below. These 3 credits are in addition to the required credits for graduation.

    The Elective Focus areas are:

    • Math / Science
      • This includes any Math or Science class above and beyond the seven (7) required Math and Science courses for graduation. A student must earn a minimum of 10 (ten) credits in Math / Science to have a Math / Science Elective Focus.
    • Humanities and Fine Arts
      • This includes any Social Studies, English, World Language, music, band, chorus, theatre, art, or dance class above and beyond the one (1) Fine Arts credit required for graduation, the (4) required English courses for graduation, the (4) required Social Studies courses for graduation and the (2) required World Language courses for graduation.
    • JROTC
      • Successful completion of 3 credits of JROTC will fulfill the Lifetime Wellness, Physical Education, Personal Finance, and U.S. Government requirements along with the elective focus requirement. A minimum of 3 JROTC credits are required to receive an elective focus in JROTC.
    • Career Technical Education (CTE)

                This includes three courses in the same CTE Focus Area.

    • Advanced Manufacturing 
    • Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources
    • Architecture & Construction
    • Arts, Audiovisual Technology, and Communications
    • Business Management & Administration, Finance, Marketing
    • Education & Training
    • Health Science
    • Hospitality & Tourism
    • Human Services
    • Information Technology
    • Law, Public Safety, Corrections, & Security
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)
    • Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics

     

    • Advanced Placement

               In order to achieve an Elective Focus in Advanced Placement, students must take at least three Advanced Placement courses and complete the three Advanced Placement Tests for those courses.

    • Dual Enrollment

              In order to achieve an Elective Focus in Dual Enrollment, students must earn credit in at least 3 Dual Enrollment courses.

    OCCUPATIONAL DIPLOMA

    An occupational diploma may be awarded to students with disabilities at the end of their fourth (4th) year of high school who have

    1. not met the requirements for a regular high school diploma;
    2. received special education services or supports and made satisfactory progress on an IEP;
    3. have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct;
    4. have completed the occupational diploma Skills, Knowledge, and Experience Mastery Assessment (SKEMA) created by the Tennessee Department of Education; and
    5. have completed two (2) years of paid or non-paid work experience.

    The determination that an occupational diploma is the goal for a student with a disability will be made at the conclusion of the student’s tenth (10th) grade year or two (2) academic years prior to the expected graduation date. Students who obtain the occupational diploma may continue to work toward a regular high school diploma through the end of the school year in which they turn twenty-two (22) years old.

    ALTERNATE ACADEMIC DIPLOMA

    Beginning with students entering the ninth (9th) grade in 2018, an alternate academic diploma may be awarded to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities at the end of their fourth (4th) year of high school2 who have

    1. participated in the high school alternate assessments;
    2. earned the prescribed twenty-two (22) credit minimum;
    3. received special education services or supports and made satisfactory progress on an IEP;
    4. have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct; and
    5. have completed a transition assessment(s) that measures, at a minimum, postsecondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community involvement.

    The required credits may be earned either through the state- approved standards or through alternate academic diploma course requirements defined by the Department of Education. A student who earns an alternate academic diploma shall continue to be eligible for special education services under IDEA until the student receives a regular high school diploma or through the school year in which the student turns twenty-two (22).

    SPECIAL EDUCATION DIPLOMA

    A special education diploma shall be awarded at the end of the fourth (4th) year of high school to students with disabilities who have:

    1. Received special education services or supports and made satisfactory progress on an individualized education program (IEP);
    2. Not met the requirements for a regular high school diploma; and
    3. Have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct.

    Students who obtain the special education diploma may continue to work toward a regular high school diploma through the end of the school year in which they turn twenty-two (22) years old.