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High School Diploma Endorsements

Students may earn the following endorsements as additional recognitions to their high school diploma:

Career Endorsement, College Endorsement, College/UNC Endorsement, North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement, and Global Languages Endorsement.

Students may earn more than one endorsement.

The requirements for earning these endorsements are defined below:

Career Endorsement

A. Except as limited by N.C.G.S. §115C-81(b), the student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the student’s post-secondary plans. Acceptable fourth math courses for the Career Endorsement include any math course that may be used to meet NC high school graduation requirements, including applied math courses found in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) domain.

B. The student shall complete a CTE concentration in one of the approved CTE Cluster areas (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/cte/curriculum/):

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
  • Business, Management and Administration
  • Education and Training
  • Finance
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing, Sales and Service
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

C. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.

D. The student shall earn at least one industry-recognized credential. Earned credentials can include Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) at the Silver level or above from WorkKeys assessments OR another appropriate industry credential/certification.

College Endorsement

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; or Integrated Math I, II, III; and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the students post-secondary plans. The fourth math course must meet University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements or be acceptable for earning placement in a credit-bearing college math class under the North Carolina Community College System’s Multiple Measures Placement policy.

B. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.

College/UNC Endorsement

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Math III, Algebra II, or Integrated Mathematics III as a pre-requisite.

B. The student shall complete three units of science including at least one physical science, one biological science and one laboratory science course that must include either physics or chemistry.

C. The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English).

D. The student shall earn a weighted grade point average of at least 2.5.

North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement

A. The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Math I, II, III; Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Math III, Algebra II, or Integrated Mathematics III as a pre-requisite.

B. The student shall complete three units of science including an Earth/Environmental science course, Biology, and at least one physical science course that must include either physics or chemistry.

C. For students entering 9th grade in 2010-11 or 2011-12, the student shall complete three units of Social Studies including US History, World History and Civics and Economics. For students entering 9th grade in 2012-13 or later the student shall complete four units of social studies including World History; American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics; and American History I and American History II.

D. The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English).

E. The student shall complete four elective credits constituting a concentration recommended from one of the following: Career and Technical Education (CTE), JROTC, Arts Education, Second Languages, any other subject area.

F. The student shall have taken three higher level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as Advanced Placement; International Baccalaureate; Dual or college equivalent courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; Online courses; Honors level courses OR two higher level courses during junior and/or senior years which carry quality points such as Advanced Placement; International Baccalaureate; Dual or college equivalent courses; Advanced CTE and CTE credentialing courses; Online courses; Honors level courses and a Graduation Project.

G. The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 3.50.

Global Languages Endorsement

A. The student shall earn a combined 2.5 GPA for the four English Language Arts courses required for graduation.

B. The student shall establish proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, using one of the options outlined below and in accordance with the guidelines developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

  • Pass an external exam approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction establishing “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale.
  • Complete a four-course sequence of study in the same world language, earning an overall GPA of 2.5 or above in those courses.
  • Establish “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the ACTFL proficiency scale using the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery policy described in GCS-M-001.

C. Limited English Proficiency students shall complete all the requirements of sections A and B above and reach “Developing” proficiency per the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) proficiency scale in all four domains on the most recent state identified English language proficiency test.

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