Earning Your High School Diploma - South Dakota

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With its high rate (87.5% vs. 82.8% for the nation according to Encarta) of over 25-year-olds with a high school diploma, South Dakota's educational system is highly regarded. In order to get your high school diploma, it's important to know the state's high school graduation requirements. Read this article to stay ahead and be successful in high school.
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According to the Governor of South Dakota, the future of the state's students is too important to be left to chance. Students need the academic tools that will allow them to succeed in a world competition for jobs that will be increasingly challenging. South Dakota is justifiably proud of its quality education system. Working together, the state will make the education system even better. Most importantly, the state will provide young people with opportunities for success.

South Dakota Requirements for High School Graduation

The following are the new South Dakota high school graduation requirements adopted by State Board of Education on January 2005 and effective in the fall of 2006.

  • Four units of English/Reading and Communication Art
    • 1.5 Writing
    • 1.5 Literature including 0.5 American Literature
    • 0.5 Speech
  • Three units of Social Studies
    • 1 US History
    • 0.5 US Government
    • 0.5 Geography
    • 0.5 World History
  • Three units of Math (including Algebra I)
  • Two units of Science (minimum of 2 units of lab science)
  • One unit of Fine Arts
  • One half unit of Physical Education or Health
  • One half unit of Personal Finance or Economics
  • Six units of approved Electives

Total number of required credits is 22.

Admission to South Dakota's Public Universities

Besides completion of the Standard or Advanced graduation requirements, the following are a few other guidelines to follow for students wanting to apply for college in the state:

  • Computer Science (half a year or demonstrated ability)
  • ACT Composite Score of 18 or higher, OR
  • Rank in the top 60% of graduating class, OR
  • 2.6 or higher GPA

These requirements should encourage students to prepare for their college studies while they are still in high school and are what the ACT defines as Core Coursework or college preparatory courses (with the exception of fine arts and computer science requirements). Sixty-five percent of South Dakota high school students taking the ACT this year met or exceeded core course requirements as compared to sixty-one percent nationwide.

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