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Course Requirements vs. Credits. What does that mean to LHS?. Credit System Towards Graduation:. Carnegie Unit, Credit Hour, Student Hour are synonymous. Based on collegiate attainment and high schools adopted the same practices.

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Course requirements vs credits

Course Requirements vs.Credits

What does that mean to LHS?

Credit system towards graduation
Credit System Towards Graduation:

  • Carnegie Unit, Credit Hour, Student Hour are synonymous.

  • Based on collegiate attainment and high schools adopted the same practices.

  • Colleges vary their course units based on the number of hours the course meets per week(3 units, 4 units, 5 units)

  • On a certain date, everyone with a D- to an A+ receives full credit.

High school credit system towards graduation
High School Credit System Towards Graduation:

  • In high schools, the mathematical formula for how credit is attained has changed numerous times over the last 100 years.

  • In high schools, the tradition has evolved that each course is five credits because the class meets five days a week.

  • Five credits are issued at the conclusion of the semester if the learner has earned a D- or better.

Mathematical formulas for credit hours carnegie units
Mathematical Formulas for Credit Hours / Carnegie Units:

  • WASC 50 years ago = 170 min. x 24 weeks

  • WASC now = 240 min x 36 weeks

  • LHS / LUSD = 300 min x 36 weeks

  • Trimesters, block schedules, 6 period, and 7 period days all change the formulas but still equate 5 credit hours / Carnegie units.

Requirements for entrance to post secondary education
Requirements for Entrance to Post-Secondary Education:

  • Courses completed are evaluated, not the number of credits.

  • A-G requirements focus on courses, not the credits.

  • Vocational certifications require certain CTE courses, not credits.

  • All post-secondary institutions want assurances that the course knowledge was learned, and learned at a high level.

Course requirement system for graduation
Course Requirement System for Graduation

  • All learners meet the same expectations on specific academic standards.

  • Learners progress individually by demonstrating, in a number of ways and at a self-defined pace, that they have reached high levels of academic performance (rigor); which matches our Learning Vision.

  • Increased rigor is based on proficiency requirements that must be met to complete the course to receive credit.

Time vs performance
Time vs. Performance





Proficiency or better

Content knowledge

Credits earned based on knowledge

Courses / knowledge required (level 3 or higher for credit); not hours

Learning determines placement

  • Seat time

  • Tasks

  • Credits based on time

  • A+ and D- = same credit

  • Age determines placement

Reflections and next steps
Reflections and Next Steps:

  • What is more rigorous: Moving 1000 kids to D- or a 1000 learners to proficiency?

  • How do we want to spend our time?

  • If colleges care about course completion and we care about learning to proficiency, then we may need to adjust Board policies regarding graduation requirements.

Traditional carnegie unit
Traditional Carnegie Unit

  • The Carnegie Unit and the Student Hour (also called a Credit Hour) are strictly time-based references for measuring educational attainment used by American universities and colleges; the Carnegie Unit assesses secondary school attainment, and the Student Hour, derived from the Carnegie Unit, assesses collegiate attainment.

Traditional credit hour
Traditional Credit Hour

  • With the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a Credit / Student Hour is 14.4 hours, because a Carnegie Unit is defined now as 240 minutes per week for 36 weeks.

  • School Boards and administrators determine the number of credit hours necessary for successful completion of high school.

  • In a credit hour system, a D- counts the same as an A for credit. All that matters is the credit and hours in a seat.

  • Additionally, learners do not need to attend all required hours to attain course completion credit.