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The PWR of Graduation Guidelines:
Graduation Guidelines are designed to help students and their families plan for success after high school.
Students choose from a Menu of Options - embedded in each school district’s graduation requirements - to demonstrate their readiness for career, college and the military, based on at least one measure in Reading, Writing, and Communicating, and one measure in Mathematics.
Graduation Guidelines give students the chance to experience all kinds of learning - in and out of the classroom - and to achieve education and workplace credentials.
Graduation Guidelines begin with the implementation of: Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP), Essential Skills, and Colorado Academic Standards for all content areas.
Menu of Options
Print a Copy of the Menu of Options
PWR Symposium near you
resources, and practices
Reporting Graduation Guidelines
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 demonstrating their readiness for the next step after high school.
By experiencing all kinds of learning, and by attaining credentials in high school, students have a better chance of building and articulating in-demand skills that meet business, industry, and higher education standards. 90% of the top jobs in Colorado require education beyond high school. (Talent Pipeline Report 2021)
Source: Attainment Network: attainmentnetwork.org
What does this mean for me now?
- Align Graduation Guidelines with your local graduation requirements. See examples of local school board graduation policies.
- Refine implementation strategies for all high school classes. See Promising Practices
- ICAP is the foundation for Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR); review the PWR Playbook and PWR Tools, Resources and Practices.
- Districts must report the measure(s) by which each student from the Anticipated Year of Graduation (AYG) 2021 and beyond has graduated, according to the Menu of Options. See Graduation Guidelines Reporting.
Where can I find help?
What is getting in the way?
- Learn from other districts about their plans and practices
- Find out about the Top Jobs in Colorado
- Explore the College Admission website from the CO Dep't of Higher Education
- Join a conversation with the ad hoc Graduation Guidelines Committee. Email Robin Russel
- Attend or host a Regional PWR Symposium
What's on the horizon?
Full implementation of the Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options went into effect for students graduating in the 21-22 school year and beyond: For questions about this year's collection, visit the Student Interchange webpage and contact Reagan Ward.
- Implementation Practices: Districts have been learning from each other about how to implement Graduation Guidelines. Join your peers and neighbors in regional conversations; consider hosting or attending a PWR Symposium.
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 implementation 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.
Find it Now
- Legislation (PDF)
- Graduation Guidelines Engagement Toolkit (PDF) 2014
- Menu of Options (Print a Copy of the Fact Sheet)
- Students with Exceptions: English learners, gifted students and students with disabilities
- Promising Practices: Board policies, district plans, rubrics and implementation strategies for capstone and industry certificates.
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