INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The State Board of Education approved policy guidance Wednesday for new graduation guidelines mandating that Indiana high school students do more to graduate and are ready for college, the workplace or enlisting in the military.
The policy guidance , approved on a 10-0 vote, will help the Indiana Department of Education and schools across the state implement the Graduation Pathways guidelines, which the panel approved in December .
The guidance document includes information on how to complete Indiana’s new diploma requirements and how to make the most of internships and other experiential learning opportunities.
Beginning in 2023, the diploma requirements mean students will have to complete additional coursework, demonstrate employability skills through service or work projects, or show they’re ready for college by receiving high scores on exams that include the SAT and ACT.
Board member Dr. David Freitas said in a statement that he’s pleased that many school districts are working to quickly implement the new guidelines, which he said will get “students thinking about what’s best for their careers after high school.”
Indiana’s Graduation Pathways guidelines are designed to ensure that Indiana students graduate from high school with a broad awareness of career interests and options; a strong foundation of academic and technical skills; and demonstrable employability skills.
Among their goals are to make sure students are ready to enter the workforce, earn a college degree or industry-recognized credential, or enlist in the military.
The added rigor has stoked fears that the graduation rate will plummet and local schools will be overworked administering the requirements. But others see it as necessary to ensure students are prepared to head off to college or enter the workplace.
Another board member, Dr. Maryanne McMahon, said the guidance for the new policies was developed over six months in collaboration with the board, the state education department and educators and business leaders from around the state.