Indiana is currently using the new Graduation Pathways (GP) to track student readiness for graduation, instead of relying on the typical ISTEP or standardized testing results of the past. This transition offers a versatile graduation plan that is adaptable for students with a variety of goals following graduation. GP tracks them throughout high school and equips them for life beyond – whether that is by continuing their education or by entering the workforce. But the big question is – is Graduation Pathways beneficial for Indiana students?
Improving Student Success
The ultimate goal of the Graduation Pathways program is to give Indiana students a new perspective on what is available in today’s competitive job market, and to give them the essential skills needed to be successful there. This is achieved by emphasizing academic achievement, intellectual interests, community involvement, and lifelong learning for all students throughout high school. Plus, it allows local schools to offer specific courses and experiences that address needs in their particular area. For a general overview of what Graduation Pathways looks like, check out this infographic from the Indiana DOE.
Competence and Confidence
Graduation Pathways is designed to better equip current and future Indiana high school graduates for advanced career and educational opportunities. GP does this by ensuring that all Indiana students graduate from high school ready to:
- Enroll in a college or university;
- Enlist in a branch of the military; or
- Earn a livable wage in the local community where they live.
Students are better equipped to meet and exceed these post-graduation expectations because GP redirects the primary educational focus from mastering tests to mastering skills. Plus, students have much more flexibility in choosing classes, schedule, and environment that most benefit their capabilities and interests.
3 Required Domains of Graduation Pathways
Graduation Pathways requires that every graduating student must complete one option in each of the three domains: Diploma Requirements, Employability Skills, and Post-Secondary Competencies. The options available within those three domains are:
- Domain 1 – Credit Requirements (Earn one):
- Core 40 Diploma – minimum 40 credits
- Academic Honors Diploma – minimum 47 credits
- Technical Honors Diploma – minimum 47 credits
- General Diploma – Requires completing a formal opt-out process
- Domain 2 – Employability Skills (Produce one):
- Completion of a Service-Based learning experience
- Completion of a Project-Based learning experience
- Completion of a Work-Based learning experience
- Domain 3 – Post-Secondary Competencies (Fulfill one):
- Earn a Honors Diploma (academic or technical)
- Meet College-Ready Test Score Requirements (SAT, ACT, ASVAB)
- Obtain Approved Certification, Apprenticeship, or Credential(s)
- Receive a C or Higher in College-Ready Courses (Choose Two (2) Concentrator courses or Three (3) AP/IB/DC/CI/CLEP Courses)
- Complete a Locally-Created Pathway Approved by Indiana DOE
Benefits of 2023 Graduation Pathways Changes
- Customized Graduation Plans – The shift from a one-size-fits-all checklist to a more individualized approach allows each student to choose options that best reflect their goals after graduation.
- Local Flexibility – Schools and districts gain the ability to create specific courses, experiences, and pathways that are specific to the priorities and needs of the local community.
- Career Oriented – Students acquire necessary skills for success in the current job market and economy cultivating academic achievement, intellectual interests, and lifelong learning.
The recent transition in Indiana schools from ISTEP to Graduation Pathways offers more flexible and individualized options for traditional and nontraditional students. Graduation Pathways allows students to choose a path that is tailored more to their unique interests, abilities, and goals upon graduation. Students must complete one option in each of the 3 Domains, culminating with a high school diploma and a more thoughtful plan for post-graduation
SFS Can Help!
As administrators and guidance counselors learn to track student data and progress in a way that considers employability skills, customized pathways, and modified grading scales, Standard for Success is here to help. We can ensure your school or district experiences a successful transition by taking away the guesswork and frustration associated with learning a new process. Schedule a free demo today to walk through our robust and user-friendly platform.