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Graduation Guidelines

Regional Conversations - PWR Symposiums 2018-2019                                                                                                                                                            

Join your peers from neighboring schools and districts for a Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Symposium to talk about implementing PWR initiatives. 

  • November 1, 2018 - Northeast BOCES
  • November 6, 2018 - Glenwood Springs 
  • November 30, 2018 - San Luis Valley
  • January 30, 2019 - Lamar
  • February 27, 2019 - Centennial BOCES, Greeley
  • March 1, 2019 - Durango
  • More dates coming soon

Consider hosting a PWR Symposium for your colleagues and those in neighboring districts. Topics could include: 

  • Developing implementation strategies for capstone, industry certificates, ICAP, work-based learning, or other menu options from Graduation Guidelines
  • Initiating conversations with the community
  • Collaborating with businesses

View the PWR Symposium Flyer

For information about scheduling a regional conversation, please contact Robin Russel, 303.866.2908,


Colorado Graduation Guidelines are a road map to help students and their families plan for success after high school.  In order to graduate from high school, students choose from a menu of options – adopted at the local school board level - to demonstrate Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) in English and math.  The guidelines go into effect for the Class of 2021.


Menu of Options

Each local school board has the authority to establish local high school graduation requirements that meet or exceed the Colorado Graduation Guidelines. View expanded descriptions and implementation strategies.

Menu of Options



Classic ACCUPLACER 62 on Reading Comprehension or 
70 on Sentence Skills
61 on Elementary Algebra
Next Generation ACCUPLACER
241 on Reading or       
236 on Writing 
255 on Arithmetic (AR) or 
230 on Quantitative Reasoning, 
       Algebra, and Statistics  (QAS)


18 on ACT English

19 on ACT Math

ACT WorkKeys - National Career Readiness Certificate Bronze or higher Bronze or higher

Advanced Placement (AP)






Concurrent Enrollment Passing grade per district and higher education policy Passing grade per district and higher education policy

District Capstone



Industry Certificate



International Baccalaureate (IB)



SAT: Scores update for new SAT (2016)



Collaboratively-developed, standards-based performance assessment State-wide scoring criteria State-wide scoring criteria


Why Graduation Guidelines 

The guidelines have two purposes, the first is to articulate Colorado’s shared beliefs about the value and meaning of a high school diploma. The second is to outline the minimum components, expectations, and responsibilities of local districts and the state to support students in attaining their high school diploma.

Life beyond high school is different from what it used to be. Most jobs in Colorado now and in the future require training or education beyond high school. Students who graduate and work in Colorado will need in-demand skills that meet business, industry, and higher education standards.

What does this mean for me now? 

  • Align Graduation Guidelines with your local graduation requirements
  • Develop implementation strategies for the Class of 2021
  • Include programs that are already in place:concurrent enrollment, capstone projects, or career pathways.

Where can I find help? What is getting in the way?

What's on the horizon?

  • Districts report the measure(s) by which each student from the class of 2021 has graduated, according to the menu of options.
    • Find a sample report form and provide feedback to the data team- Coming Soon! 
    • Submit sample end-of-year data for the classes of 2019 and 2020

When did it all start? 

Fact Sheets

Next Steps

These graduation guidelines have been a catalyst for excellent conversations – about competencies, postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR) and local control.

The Colorado Department of Education continues to meet with interested constituents to solicit feedback on the development of graduation guidelines and has engaged the expertise of more than 500 contributors. If you or your group is interested in being part of the conversation, we would like to hear from you.

Contact:Robin Russel, 303-866-2908,


Currently, Colorado's only statewide requirement for high school graduation is the satisfactory completion of a civics/government course that encompasses information on both the United States and State of Colorado (C.R.S. 22-1-104)

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