Indiana Education Officials Propose New High School Diplomas

Indiana Education Officials Propose New High School Diplomas | Future Education Magazine


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Indiana education officials have unveiled a transformative proposal this week that could reshape high school diploma requirements across the state, offering students more flexibility and preparation for life after graduation.

Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education, announced the proposal, which introduces two new diploma options: the “Indiana GPS diploma” and the “Indiana GPS Diploma Plus.” These diplomas aim to cater to the diverse pathways students may choose after high school, whether it be college enrollment, skills training, or immediate entry into the workforce.

The Indiana GPS diploma offers flexibility compared to the traditional Core 40 diploma, while the Indiana GPS Diploma Plus emphasizes work-based learning requirements, aligning with Indiana’s graduation pathways and the Indiana Graduate Prepared to Succeed (Indiana GPS) initiative.

Jenner emphasized the importance of exposing students to potential career paths early on and connecting them with industry leaders to ignite their passion and purpose.

Indiana Education Reforms: Flexible Diplomas, Redesigned Curriculum

Under the proposed changes, students opting for the Indiana GPS Diploma would need to complete additional points through various courses and experiences, supplementing their individual graduation plans developed in middle school. Meanwhile, students pursuing the Indiana GPS Diploma Plus would have to fulfill coursework requirements aligned with their chosen credentials and participate in high-quality work-based learning experiences.

The reforms also include a redesign of learning responsibilities for 9th and 10th-grade students, focusing on essential knowledge and skills through foundational courses. This shift aims to provide more flexibility for students in their academic pursuits during 11th and 12th grades, regardless of their chosen diploma track.

These proposed changes mark the first significant overhaul of Indiana’s high school diploma structure since the 1980s, reflecting a modernized approach to education that considers students’ individual paths and goals.

Proposed Graduation Changes Await Approval

Stakeholders identified five key characteristics essential for graduates, including academic mastery, career readiness, communication skills, work ethic, and literacy in civic, financial, and digital domains.

If approved, the proposal will take effect in 2029, replacing Indiana’s current graduation requirements. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) assures that the federally mandated alternate diploma program for students with cognitive disabilities will remain unaffected.

Dr. Jenner announced two public comment periods over the next four months to gather feedback on the proposal. Final approval will be provided by the governor and attorney general, with citizens also encouraged to share their input through IDOE’s online platform.

The proposed changes represent a significant step towards modernizing Indiana education system, providing students with the tools and opportunities needed to succeed in an evolving landscape beyond high school.

Also Read: Indiana Contemplates State-wide Cell Phone Restrictions in Schools: District Policies Explored

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