Earning Your High School Diploma - Michigan

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Even before it became a state, Michigan has been a leader in public education. In the early 1800's, judicial districts created new schools and charged taxes to support them. Two decades later, division of the districts by the Territorial Council was enacted. The state was also given the right to supervise the schools. This article goes over the requirements for successful attainment of a high school diploma.
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Michigan is committed to improving its students' educational goals in order to keep up with the demands of today's workforce and college requirements. A new set of increased school graduation requirements was enacted in December 2005. These requirements add a new dimension to the state's minimum graduation requirements and give students the opportunity to learn more from their courses.

The new graduation requirements will take effect in 2006, and is intended to help better prepare students for the challenges that await them after high school. The Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic was also created to oversea the state's higher academic standards for success in post-secondary education and to double the number of college graduates.

The new educational plan is being called the Michigan Merit Curriculum. In order for a student to graduate, the following requirements must be met:

  • Four credits of English language arts
  • Four credits of mathematics (One credit each of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and an additional math class in the senior year)
  • Four credits of science (One credit each of Biology, Physics or Chemistry and one additional year of science)
  • Three credits of social science (a semester of civics and a semester of economics and one credit each of world and U.S. history, which includes geography)
  • Two credits of world languages
  • One credit of health/physical education
  • One credit of visual and performing arts

In addition to the new curriculum, students must also successfully complete the Michigan Merit Exam or the MI-ACCESS for those with severe disabilities. All students must complete at least one of the online credit or non-credit course or learning experience prior to graduation.

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