High School
Graduation
Requirements
Michigan’s
Guide for Parents
August 2010
5th Edition
“When we hold our kids to higher standards, they
will do great things. … If Michigan is to compete
in a global economy, we must have the best
educated workforce in the nation to attract jobs
and investment to our state. This new challenging
curriculum will help ensure that every student in
Michigan is prepared for college or technical
training when they finish high school.”
State of Michigan Governor
Jennifer M. Granholm
April 2006
“Michigan has long been regarded as a national leader
in education and we want to remain as the state that
others in the nation and the world look to as the model
for educational excellence and innovation. I firmly
believe that the adoption and implementation of these
recommendations … will set Michigan on the road to
reclaim its prominence as a world leader in education.”
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Michael P. Flanagan
April 2006
“This change is absolutely necessary. With
the evolving economy and global pressures
on what education and skills students will
need for the jobs of today and tomorrow,
we needed to act now.”
State Board of Education President
Kathleen N. Straus
April 2006
Parent Guide Distribution
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Sent by Macomb Intermediate School
District to each district in October
Distributed by each district to students
and parents
Disseminated through plan determined
by individual districts
Important Notice:
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Information is subject to change
For the most current information, go
to www.misd.net
Under Quick Links, click on High
School Graduation Requirements
Parent Guide’s Format
What you need to know about…
Michigan’s High School Graduation
Requirements
 Introduction
 Key Concepts
 Michigan Merit Curriculum – High
School Graduation Requirements Chart
 Requirements by Department
Parent Guide’s Format
(continued)
Additional information is provided on:
 Career and Technical Education (CTE)
 Educational Development Plan (EDP)
 Personal Curriculum (PC)
 How Credit is Granted
 Key Terms (Glossary – terms are
defined that appear in bold type
throughout the guide)
Michigan Merit
Curriculum
The graduation requirements are called
the Michigan Merit Curriculum.
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Proposed to the State Board of Education in
November 2005
Adopted by the State Board of Education in
December 2005
Enacted as law by the State Legislature in
March 2006
Signed by the Governor in April 2006
Impact of State Law
The State of Michigan has now set the
number of credits in each subject
area, and, in many cases, specified the
specific courses that must be taken in
English, mathematics, science, social
studies, health/physical education, the
arts (visual, performing, and applied),
and world languages. An online
learning experience is also required.
Ten Key Concepts
Requirements apply to ALL students
 Local Boards of Education may add to,
but cannot reduce, the requirements
 Limited modifications allowed, but no
“opt out” provision
 Requirements can be met in any
school day schedule set by district
 Room is left in student’s high school
schedule for electives
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Ten Key Concepts
(continued)
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Accelerated, honors, AP and IB classes
count toward meeting requirements
Students struggling with or failing required
classes can get help to succeed
A Personal Curriculum is a consideration
after all other options have been attempted
All public school teachers were “highly
qualified” as of June 2006
Students will be prepared for new
requirements based on comprehensive plan
for K-12 curriculum
Michigan Merit
Curriculum
Michigan Department of Education
High School Graduation
Requirements Chart
 Subject Area Credit Requirements
 Personal Curriculum (PC)
Modifications
 Notes added by MISD
English Language Arts
4 credits
●
Aligned to state content expectations
developed by the Michigan Department
of Education and approved by the State
Board of Education
English Language Arts
(continued)
●
English 9, 10, 11 and 12 courses should
include opportunities for students to
meet the 91 expectations included in the
14 standards and four strands toward the
grade-designated disposition.
English Language Arts
Personal Curriculum
(Modifications)
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No modification for general education
students (two exceptions)
Modification allowed for students with
an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Modification allowed for transfer
students who have completed two years
of high school out-of-state or at a nonpublic school
English Language Arts
High School Content
Expectations (HSCE)
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www.michigan.gov/mde
Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
Scroll down to Curriculum and click on
English Language Arts
Click on English Grade 9, English Grade
10, English Grade 11 and English Grade
12 under Course/Credit Requirements
Mathematics
4 credits
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Algebra 1
Geometry
Algebra 2
OR 3 credits – Integrated Sequence with
same course content
1 additional math or math-related credit
1 credit must be in final year
Mathematics Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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1 credit of Algebra II may be modified to ½
credit of Algebra II, Statistics or Functions
and Data Analysis
Modification allowed after completion of 9th
grade
Modification allowed for students with an IEP
Modification allowed for transfer students
who have completed two years of high
school out-of-state or at a non-public school
Mathematics Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
All Students:
 Complete at least 3.5 math or mathrelated credits
 Complete a math or math-related credit
in the final year
Mathematics High School
Content Expectations
(HSCE)
www.michigan.gov/mde
 Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
 Scroll down to Curriculum and click on

Mathematics
 Click on Algebra I, Algebra II and
Geometry under Course/Credit
Requirements
Science
3 credits
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Biology
Chemistry or Physics
1 additional science credit
Science Personal Curriculum
(Modifications)
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No modification for general education
students (two exceptions)
Modification allowed for students with
an IEP
Modification allowed for transfer
students who have completed two
years of high school out-of-state or at a
non-public school
Science High School Content
Expectations (HSCE)
www.michigan.gov/mde
 Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
 Scroll down to Curriculum and click
on Science
 Click on Biology, Chemistry and
Physics above What’s New

Social Studies
3 credits
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U.S. History and Geography
World History and Geography
.5 Civics
.5 Economics
Social Studies Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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2 credits must be earned before PC
No modification of Civics
Modified only if students take an additional credit
beyond the required credits in English Language Arts,
Mathematics, Science or World Languages
Modification allowed for students with an IEP
Modification allowed for transfer students who have
completed two years of high school out-of-state or at
a non-public school
Social Studies High School
Content Expectations
(HSCE)
www.michigan.gov/mde
 Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
 Scroll down to Curriculum and click on

Social Studies
 Click on Social Studies High School
Content Expectations under
Course/Credit Requirements
Health and Physical
Education
1 credit
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Credit guidelines developed by the
Michigan Department of Education
.5 Health
.5 Physical Education
Health and Physical
Education Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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Modification allowed if students take an
additional credit beyond the required credits
in English Language Arts, Mathematics,
Science or World Languages
Modification allowed for students with an IEP
Modification allowed for transfer students who
have completed two years of high school outof-state or at a non-public school
Health and Physical
Education Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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Consideration: A previous law remains in effect
requiring students who are physically fit and capable
to take a physical education course.
(MCL 380.1502, Sec. 1502 (1) Health and physical
education for pupils of both sexes shall be established
and provided in all public schools of this state.
Subject to subsection (2), each pupil attending
public school in this state who is physically fit
and capable of doing so shall take the course in
physical education.)
Health and Physical
Education High School
Credit Guidelines
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www.michigan.gov/mde
Click on the High School Graduation Requirements
picture on the top row
Scroll down to Curriculum and click on Health –
Physical Education
Click on Approved Revised Michigan Merit High School
Credit Guidelines for Physical Education, Companion
Documents and Power Points and Merit Curriculum
Credit Guidelines for Health Education approved by
the Michigan State Board of Education February 13,
2007 under What’s New
Visual, Performing, and
Applied Arts
1 credit
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Credit guidelines developed by the
Michigan Department of Education
1 credit in any one category of arts
Visual, Performing, and
Applied Arts Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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Modification allowed if student takes an
additional credit beyond the required credits
in English Language Arts, Mathematics,
Science or World Languages
Modification allowed for students with an IEP
Modification allowed for transfer students
who have completed two years of high
school out-of-state or at a non-public school
Visual, Performing, and
Applied Arts High School
Credit Guidelines
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www.michigan.gov/mde
Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
Scroll down to Curriculum and click on
Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts
Click on High School Visual, Performing and
Applied Arts Content Guidelines under
Resources
World Languages
2 credits
Begins with Class of 2016
● Credits earned in grades 9 – 12
OR
● An equivalent learning experience in grades K – 12
● Credit guidelines have been developed by the
Michigan Department of Education
World Languages Personal
Curriculum (Modifications)
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No modification for general education
students (two exceptions)
Modification allowed for students with an
IEP
Modification allowed for transfer
students who have completed two years
of high school out-of-state or at a nonpublic school
World Languages High
School Credit Guidelines
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www.michigan.gov/mde
Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
Scroll down to Curriculum and click on
World Languages
Click on World Languages
Credit/Experience Guidelines above
What’s New
Online Learning
Experience
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Online course OR
Online Learning experience OR
Experience is incorporated into one or
more required credits
Guidelines developed by the Michigan
Department of Education
Online Learning Experience
Personal Curriculum
(Modifications)
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No modification for general education
students (two exceptions)
Modification allowed for students with an
IEP
Modification allowed for transfer
students who have completed two years
of high school out-of-state or at a nonpublic school
Online Learning
●Defined as “a structured
learning activity that utilizes
technology with
intranet/internet-based tools
and resources as the delivery
method for instruction,
research, assessment and
communication.”
Online Learning Experience
High School Credit
Guidelines
www.michigan.gov/mde
 Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
 Scroll down to Curriculum and click
on Online Experience
 Click on Online Learning Guidelines
under Resources

Career and Technical
Education
● Some CTE courses may be taught
in a manner that will allow credit
to be granted for both CTE and the
specified content area.
● Eligible students may be able to
participate in a co-op, internship or
externship experience.
Career and Technical
Education (continued)
● CTE courses are electives and
are generally taken in a
specific sequence.
● Graduation requirements
taken in the 8th grade will
allow more opportunity for CTE
classes/electives during the
high school experience.
Career and Technical
Education High School
Credit Guidelines
www.michigan.gov/mde
 Click on the High School Graduation
Requirements picture on the top row
 Click on CTE - Guidelines on Awarding

Academic Credit in Career and
Technical Education, Humanities and
Other Delivery Models under
Curriculum
Educational Development
Plan (EDP)
● Includes discussions about Career Pathways
● Documents an ongoing process in which the
student identifies both career goals and a plan of
action on how to achieve them
● Initiated in seventh grade and on file before
student enters high school
● Periodically revised throughout high school to
reflect the student’s career interests and options
How Credit is Granted
● A student is considered to have completed a credit
if the student successfully completes the HSCE or
guidelines developed by the MDE.
● A student will be given graduation credit for a
requirement that is successfully completed prior to
high school, as long as it is of the same level of
content and rigor associated with the
corresponding high school required course.
● If a student fails a required course for graduation,
no credit is granted and the class must be made
up.
Important Notes to
Consider:
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Class of 2011 (8th graders in 2006-07)
will need 16 credits
Class of 2016 (3rd graders in 2006-07)
will need a total of 18 credits – the 16
listed in the areas above plus 2 credits
of World Languages
Important Notes to
Consider: (continued)
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Special Education Students: The
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) shall
identify the appropriate course or courses of
study and identify the supports,
accommodations, and modifications
necessary to allow the student to progress
in the curricular requirements, or in a
Personal Curriculum (PC), and meet the
requirements for a high school diploma.
Important Notes to
Consider: (continued)
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Special Education Students:
(continued)
A personal curriculum must
incorporate as much of the high school
content expectations as is practicable
for the pupil and is consistent with the
pupil’s educational development plan
(EDP) and IEP.
Important Notes to
Consider: (continued)

Personal Curriculum (PC): The
personal curriculum will be considered
only after all other options have been
attempted, and must meet stringent
requirements for determining
educational goals and evaluating
student progress.
Important Notes to
Consider: (continued)
Personal Curriculum (PC): (continued)
The use of a PC modification is allowed by state statute
for only four reasons:
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A student wishes to modify the mathematics requirement
A student wishes to go beyond the academic credit
requirements by adding more math, science, ELA or world
languages credits
A student with a disability needs to modify the credit
requirements based on his or her disability
A transfer student who has completed two years of high
school out-of-state or at a non-public school
Up-to-date Information
As new information becomes
available, it will be posted on the
MISD Web site.
 Go to www.misd.net
 Look under Quick Links
 Click on High School Graduation
Requirements
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Questions?
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Contact your school district’s
curriculum administrator or assistant
superintendent of instruction
Contact your building principal
Call the MISD at 586.228.3471
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Michigan’s New High School Graduation Requirements