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Michigan’s High School Graduation Requirements. Guide for Parents August 2010 5 th Edition. “When we hold our kids to higher standards, they will do great things. … If Michigan is to compete in a global economy, we must have the best

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Michigan’s High School Graduation Requirements

Guide for Parents

August 2010

5th Edition


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“When we hold our kids to higher standards, they will do great things. … If Michigan is to compete

in a global economy, we must have the best

educated workforce in the nation to attract jobs

and investment to our state. This new challenging curriculum will help ensure that every student in Michigan is prepared for college or technical training when they finish high school.”

State of Michigan Governor

Jennifer M. Granholm

April 2006


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“Michigan has long been regarded as a national leader in education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Michael P. Flanagan

April 2006


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education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”This change is absolutely necessary. With

the evolving economy and global pressures

on what education and skills students will

need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,

we needed to act now.”

State Board of Education President

Kathleen N. Straus

April 2006


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Parent Guide Distribution education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • Sent by Macomb Intermediate School District to each district in October

  • Distributed by each district to students and parents

  • Disseminated through plan determined by individual districts


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Important Notice: education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • Information is subject to change

  • For the most current information, go to www.misd.net

  • Under Quick Links, click on High School Graduation Requirements


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Parent Guide’s Format education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

What you need to know about…

Michigan’s High School Graduation Requirements

  • Introduction

  • Key Concepts

  • Michigan Merit Curriculum – High School Graduation Requirements Chart

  • Requirements by Department


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Parent Guide’s Format (continued) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

Additional information is provided on:

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE)

  • Educational Development Plan (EDP)

  • Personal Curriculum (PC)

  • How Credit is Granted

  • Key Terms (Glossary – terms are defined that appear in bold type throughout the guide)


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Michigan Merit Curriculum education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

The graduation requirements are called the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

  • Proposed to the State Board of Education in November 2005

  • Adopted by the State Board of Education in December 2005

  • Enacted as law by the State Legislature in March 2006

  • Signed by the Governor in April 2006


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Impact of State Law education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

The State of Michigan has now set the number of credits in each subject area, and, in many cases, specified the specific courses that must be taken in English, mathematics, science, social studies, health/physical education, the arts (visual, performing, and applied), and world languages. An online learning experience is also required.


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Ten Key Concepts education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • Requirements apply to ALL students

  • Local Boards of Education may add to, but cannot reduce, the requirements

  • Limited modifications allowed, but no “opt out” provision

  • Requirements can be met in any school day schedule set by district

  • Room is left in student’s high school schedule for electives


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Ten Key Concepts education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”(continued)

  • Accelerated, honors, AP and IB classes count toward meeting requirements

  • Students struggling with or failing required classes can get help to succeed

  • A Personal Curriculum is a consideration after all other options have been attempted

  • All public school teachers were “highly qualified” as of June 2006

  • Students will be prepared for new requirements based on comprehensive plan for K-12 curriculum


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Michigan Merit Curriculum education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

Michigan Department of Education High School Graduation Requirements Chart

  • Subject Area Credit Requirements

  • Personal Curriculum (PC) Modifications

  • Notes added by MISD


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English Language Arts education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

4 credits

  • Aligned to state content expectations developed by the Michigan Department of Education and approved by the State Board of Education


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English Language Arts education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”(continued)

  • English 9, 10, 11 and 12 courses should include opportunities for students to meet the 91 expectations included in the 14 standards and four strands toward the grade-designated disposition.


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English Language Arts Personal Curriculum (Modifications) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • No modification for general education students (two exceptions)

  • Modification allowed for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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English Language Arts education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”High School Content Expectations (HSCE)

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculum and click on English Language Arts

  • Click on English Grade 9, English Grade 10, English Grade 11 and English Grade 12 under Course/Credit Requirements


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Mathematics education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

4 credits

  • Algebra 1

  • Geometry

  • Algebra 2

  • OR 3 credits – Integrated Sequence with same course content

  • 1 additional math or math-related credit

  • 1 credit must be in final year


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Mathematics Personal Curriculum (Modifications) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • 1 credit of Algebra II may be modified to ½ credit of Algebra II, Statistics or Functions and Data Analysis

  • Modification allowed after completion of 9th grade

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Mathematics Personal Curriculum (Modifications) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

All Students:

  • Complete at least 3.5 math or math-related credits

  • Complete a math or math-related credit in the final year


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Mathematics High School Content Expectations (HSCE) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculumand click on Mathematics

  • Click on Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry under Course/CreditRequirements


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Science education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

3 credits

  • Biology

  • Chemistry or Physics

  • 1 additional science credit


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Science Personal Curriculum (Modifications) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • No modification for general education students (two exceptions)

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Science High School Content Expectations (HSCE) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculum and click on Science

  • Click on Biology, Chemistry and Physics above What’s New


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Social Studies education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

3 credits

  • U.S. History and Geography

  • World History and Geography

  • .5 Civics

  • .5 Economics


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Social Studies Personal Curriculum (Modifications) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • 2 credits must be earned before PC

  • No modification of Civics

  • Modified only if students take an additional credit beyond the required credits in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or World Languages

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Social Studies High School Content Expectations (HSCE) education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculumand click on Social Studies

  • Click on Social Studies High School Content Expectations under Course/Credit Requirements


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Health and Physical Education education and we want to remain as the state that others in the nation and the world look to as the model for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly believe that the adoption and implementation of these recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”

1 credit

  • Credit guidelines developed by the Michigan Department of Education

  • .5 Health

  • .5 Physical Education


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Health and Physical Education Personal Curriculum (Modifications)

  • Modification allowed if students take an additional credit beyond the required credits in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or World Languages

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Health and Physical Education Personal Curriculum (Modifications)

  • Consideration: A previous law remains in effect requiring students who are physically fit and capable to take a physical education course.

    (MCL 380.1502, Sec. 1502 (1) Health and physical education for pupils of both sexes shall be established and provided in all public schools of this state. Subject to subsection (2), each pupil attending public school in this state who is physically fit and capable of doing so shall take the course in physical education.)


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Health and Physical Education High School Credit Guidelines (Modifications)

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculumand click on Health – Physical Education

  • Click on Approved Revised Michigan Merit High School Credit Guidelines for Physical Education, Companion Documents and Power Points and Merit Curriculum Credit Guidelines for Health Education approved by the Michigan State Board of Education February 13,2007 under What’s New


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Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts (Modifications)

1 credit

  • Credit guidelines developed by the Michigan Department of Education

  • 1 credit in any one category of arts


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Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts Personal Curriculum (Modifications)

  • Modification allowed if student takes an additional credit beyond the required credits in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science or World Languages

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts High School Credit Guidelines

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculum and click on Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts

  • Click on High School Visual, Performing and Applied Arts Content Guidelines under Resources


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World Languages Guidelines

2 credits

Begins with Class of 2016

● Credits earned in grades 9 – 12

OR

● An equivalent learning experience in grades K – 12

● Credit guidelines have been developed by the Michigan Department of Education


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World Languages Personal Curriculum (Modifications) Guidelines

  • No modification for general education students (two exceptions)

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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World Languages High School Credit Guidelines Guidelines

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculum and click on World Languages

  • Click on World Languages Credit/Experience Guidelines above What’s New


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Online Learning Experience Guidelines

  • Online course OR

  • Online Learning experience OR

  • Experience is incorporated into one or more required credits

  • Guidelines developed by the Michigan Department of Education


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Online Learning Experience Personal Curriculum (Modifications)

  • No modification for general education students (two exceptions)

  • Modification allowed for students with an IEP

  • Modification allowed for transfer students who have completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Online Learning (Modifications)

●Defined as “a structured learning activity that utilizes technology with intranet/internet-based tools and resources as the delivery method for instruction, research, assessment and communication.”


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Online Learning Experience High School Credit Guidelines (Modifications)

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Scroll down to Curriculumand click on Online Experience

  • Click on Online Learning Guidelines under Resources


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Career and Technical Education (Modifications)

● Some CTE courses may be taught in a manner that will allow credit to be granted for both CTE and the specified content area.

● Eligible students may be able to participate in a co-op, internship or externship experience.


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Career and Technical Education (continued) (Modifications)

● CTE courses are electives and are generally taken in a specific sequence.

● Graduation requirements taken in the 8th grade will allow more opportunity for CTE classes/electives during the high school experience.


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Career and Technical Education High School Credit Guidelines (Modifications)

  • www.michigan.gov/mde

  • Click on the High School Graduation Requirements picture on the top row

  • Click on CTE - Guidelines on Awarding Academic Credit in Career and Technical Education, Humanities and Other Delivery Models under Curriculum


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Educational Development Plan (EDP) (Modifications)

● Includes discussions about Career Pathways

● Documents an ongoing process in which the student identifies both career goals and a plan of action on how to achieve them

● Initiated in seventh grade and on file before student enters high school

● Periodically revised throughout high school to reflect the student’s career interests and options


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How Credit is Granted (Modifications)

● A student is considered to have completed a credit if the student successfully completes the HSCE or guidelines developed by the MDE.

● A student will be given graduation credit for a requirement that is successfully completed prior to high school, as long as it is of the same level of content and rigor associated with the corresponding high school required course.

● If a student fails a required course for graduation, no credit is granted and the class must be made up.


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Important Notes to Consider: (Modifications)

  • Class of 2011 (8th graders in 2006-07) will need 16 credits

  • Class of 2016 (3rd graders in 2006-07) will need a total of 18 credits – the 16 listed in the areas above plus 2 credits of World Languages


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Important Notes to Consider: (continued) (Modifications)

  • Special Education Students: The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) shall identify the appropriate course or courses of study and identify the supports, accommodations, and modifications necessary to allow the student to progress in the curricular requirements, or in a Personal Curriculum (PC), and meet the requirements for a high school diploma.


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Important Notes to Consider: (continued) (Modifications)

  • Special Education Students: (continued)

    A personal curriculum must incorporate as much of the high school content expectations as is practicable for the pupil and is consistent with the pupil’s educational development plan (EDP) and IEP.


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Important Notes to Consider: (continued) (Modifications)

  • Personal Curriculum (PC): The personal curriculum will be considered only after all other options have been attempted, and must meet stringent requirements for determining educational goals and evaluating student progress.


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Important Notes to Consider: (continued) (Modifications)

Personal Curriculum (PC): (continued)

The use of a PC modification is allowed by state statute

for only four reasons:

  • A student wishes to modify the mathematics requirement

  • A student wishes to go beyond the academic credit requirements by adding more math, science, ELA or world languages credits

  • A student with a disability needs to modify the credit requirements based on his or her disability

  • A transfer student who has completed two years of high school out-of-state or at a non-public school


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Up-to-date Information (Modifications)

  • As new information becomes available, it will be posted on the MISD Web site.

  • Go to www.misd.net

  • Look under Quick Links

  • Click on High School Graduation Requirements


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Questions? (Modifications)

  • Contact your school district’s curriculum administrator or assistant superintendent of instruction

  • Contact your building principal

  • Call the MISD at 586.228.3471


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