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..................Tennessee Diploma Project ..............................................................................................................

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The Tennessee Diploma Project is led by the Tennessee Alignment Committee, a panel of state and local government officials, and business, postsecondary and K-12 leaders from across the state. The American Diploma Project network gives our state a blueprint for making our standards more rigorous and our graduation requirements more in line with demands of college and work.

The Tennessee Department of Education passed new graduation standards on January 25, 2008 which became effective at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. Tennessee High School Graduation Requirements Effective beginning with the ninth grade class entering high school during the 2009-2010 school year are listed below. See graduations Requirements chart below.

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The Results are in!
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Tennessee "TELL" Survey Results


"...more than 57,000 educators across the state completed the TELL Tennessee(Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning) Survey. Overall, 85 percent of Tennessee's educators agree that their school is a good place
to work and learn."


Read the Tennessee Diploma Project Milestones



Tennessee Graduation Requirements:

Prior to 2013
Basic High School Requirements

Requirements for Students Beginning High School in Graduation 2013

Total Credits Required: 20

Total Credits Required: 22

Math: 3 Credits - Including either Geometry or Algebra II

Math: 4 Credits  - Including Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth higher level math course

Science: 3 Credits - Including one physical science course and Biology

Science: 3 Credits - Including Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and a third lab course

English: 4 Credits

English: 4 Credits

Social Studies: 3 Credits

Social Studies: 3 Credits

Wellness: 1 Credit

Physical Education And Wellness: 1.5 Credits


Personal Finance: 0.5 Credits


Foreign Language: 2 Credits

Fine Arts: 1 Credit - May be waived for students not going to a University to expand and enhance the elective focus

Elective: 6 Credits

Elective Focus: 3 Credits

  • Math and Science
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Humanities
  • Advanced Placement (AP) or
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)


Other changes:

  • End-of-course exams will be given in English I, II, and III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, U.S. History, Biology I, Chemistry and Physics. The end-of-course exams will count as 25% of the student’s final grade and will replace Gateway exams.
  • The student will not be required to pass any one examination, but instead the students will need to achieve a passing score for the course average in accordance with the State Board of Education’s uniform grading policy.
  • Students will develop one focused program of study preparing them for postsecondary study. While all students may not enter postsecondary training immediately following high school, they must be prepared for lifelong learning. The focused plan of study will be developed with the student, parent/guardian(s), and faculty advisor or guidance counselor.
  • During the eighth grade year, the EXPLORE test will be given to students to assess ACT readiness benchmarks.
  • During the tenth grade year, the PLAN test will be given to students to assess ACT readiness benchmarks.
  • All students will take the ACT during the eleventh grade year.
  • The local Board of Education may require a capstone project such as, but not limited to, a senior project, virtual enterprise, internship, externship, work-based learning, service learning, or community service project. Preparing for the Workforce The Tennessee Diploma Project asked CEO’s from across the state to gather information regarding observations and expectations of high school graduates’ skills and knowledge. The CEOs stated that graduates needed:
    • Stronger math and science skills, but especially need to have mastered basic math
    • Stronger communication skills, including both verbal skills and written skills
    • To be able to work in teams to solve real work problems
    • To be able to think, apply, and use what they know
    • To have a strong work ethic; be at work regularly and be on time



What Parents Can Do:

    • Reinforce the importance of getting to school on time and not cutting class.
    • Talk with your child’s teachers about how you can help your child succeed.
    • Make academics the top priority for your child.
    • Expect the best from your child and seek help if your child is struggling in a class.




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