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Home » Student Success » Graduation » Graduation Requirements » Graduation Pathways

Graduation Pathways

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OSPI is creating easy-to-use resources that school counselors can share with students, families, and other staff. OSPIs Graduation Pathways one-pager handout shows the essentials of what a student needs to accomplish to "meet" that graduation pathway. Spanish version of OSPI Graduation Pathways one-pager is now also available.

Classes of 2020 - 2022

Students in these classes will need to meet one of the following graduation pathways that are aligned to their High School and Beyond Plan. 

Graduation Pathways

Smarter Balanced Assessment

Students meeting this graduation pathway need to earn at least the following scores on the high school English Language Arts (ELA) and math Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) of:

  • Score on ELA - 2548
  • Score on math - 2595

ACT / SAT / AP / IB Exams

Students may use scores on college admissions (ACT, ACT with Writing, SAT, SAT with Essay) and specified Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests to show they possess the knowledge and skills expected of high school graduates. 

Dual Credit Courses

A student who completes a dual credit course in English language arts or mathematics in which the student can earn college credit may use passage of the class as a graduation pathway.

Transition Courses

Passage of the Bridge to College course in English language arts or math may be used as a graduation pathway. 

School districts and State-Tribal Education Compacts (STECs) with current Articulation Agreement(s) for an indicated English language arts or math course. By passing the course indicated in the agreement (resulting in 100 level or higher college-level course placement), the course may be used as a graduation pathway.

Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) Assessment

The WA-AIM Assessment is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Students participating in the WA-AIM may meet the graduation pathway requirement. The graduation scores identified by the State Board of Education (in August 2015) for the WA-AIM are:

  • Score on ELA - 104 
  • Score on math - 103

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Test

For a student who takes the ASVAB while in high school and earns at least the minimum score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) portion of the test (as posted on the State Board of Education (SBE) website), the ASVAB may be used to meet the graduation pathway.

Students may also attain an AFQT score through the Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT). PiCAT scores must be validated at a Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS). For more information on the PiCAT steps, please visit the SBE website.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Course Sequence

For a student who earns a minimum of two high school CTE credits in the same program area, it may be used to meet the graduation pathway. Of the two high school CTE credits, at least one of the courses must either include a dual credit course, or lead to an industry recognized credential, or is a Core Plus program.

A Local CTE Graduation Pathways designed by districts/STECs that includes at least 2 high school CTE credits from differing program areas if the local school board approves the sequence, school board designee, or local advisory committee, and receive final approval by OSPI. 

Class of 2019 & Earlier

Most Washington state public high school students will fulfill the assessment portion of their graduation requirements by passing state accountability tests. If students do not pass the test, they are eligible to meet both content areas through an Assessment Graduation Alternative. For this reason, the legislature has authorized OSPI to develop state-approved alternatives for students to fulfill the requirements of a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) or Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) under WAC 392-501. A CAA or CIA tells families, schools, businesses, and colleges that a student has mastered a minimum set of skills required for graduation. Earning a CAA or CIA is required by RCW 28A.655.061 for the class of 2019 and earlier. 

The Graduation Alternatives provide the class of 2019 and earlier students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills using methods other than state accountability tests. 

In a small number of cases, students might also meet the criteria to apply for waivers in place of fulfilling state assessment requirements.