Monday, September 15, 2014

Expanding options for earning high school credits

To earn a Kentucky high school diploma, students must earn at least 22 credits (or more if a district expands the requirements.   Increasingly, students have options about how those credits are earned.  The Kentucky EdGuide on High Schools offers this summary:
Increasingly, students have choices about how they will earn those needed credits: For example:
■ Most high schools still define a credit by the time spent in class: passing a course that takes 120 hours of class-time counts as one “Carnegie Unit” and earns one credit. However, some high schools are now implementing performance-based credits, in which students earn credits based on mastery of the content and skills defined in the course standards, not just seat time or time in the classroom.
■ Some credits that count for high school can also count for college. State law requires that every district offer at least four such courses. Those may be Advanced Placement courses with a year-end test to show college-level understanding. They may also be courses taken at nearby colleges or given at the high school by teachers who meet college-level requirements.
■ Digital learning is another option. Students can take courses taught solely by on-line teachers or hybrid courses that combine on-line work with face-to-face teaching. The Kentucky Virtual Campus for K-12 Students ( allows students to register for courses offered by Kentucky Educational Television, JCPSeSchool, or the Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning (BAVEL).
■ Technical centers offer high school courses for their district or a multi-district area (see the Technical Schools EdGuide for more information).
■ The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky offers a residential program where students spend their junior and senior years at Western Kentucky University taking college classes in math, science, and other subjects, with more information at
■ The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is scheduled to open in August 2015, with more information at
The High School EdGuide also includes charts of 2012 and 2013 K-PREP results and answers to these other questions about how schools work across the state:
  • How is high school likely to differ from middle school?
  • Are students required to finish high school?
  • Can students graduate from high school early?
  • How are Kentucky high schools funded?
 --Posted by Susan Perkins Weston

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!