• Concentration: A DPS Graduation Requirement

    The Future-Ready Core Graduation Requirements that go into effect for entering freshmen in 2009-2010 allow students the option to concentrate in an area of particular interest while they are in high school. As part of this core, the State Board of Education strongly recommends that local school counselors assist students in developing a four credit concentration focused on student interests and post-secondary goals. A concentration will provide an opportunity for students to participate in rigorous, in-depth and linked study.


    In approving the new standards, the State Board of Education stressed its desire that local education agencies be given the flexibility to create curricula pathways that are innovative and rigorous. Students should be encouraged to take advantage of college level courses while in high school, including community college concurrent enrollment, Learn and Earn Online, Huskins courses, and university dual enrollment offerings.


    How can the electives requirement of the Future-Ready Core be fulfilled?

    Under the Future-Ready Core Graduation Requirements, students must earn six elective credits. Two of these credits are to be from any combination of Career and Technical Education (CTE), Arts Education, and Second Languages. Students may take ANY combination of elective courses, as long as at least two of them fall under one or more of the identified categories. A student could take one Arts Education course and one CTE course; one Arts Education course and one Second Language course; one CTE course and one Second Language course; two Arts Education courses; two Second Language courses; or two CTE courses to meet this requirement. Keep in mind that the UNC System requires two units of credit in Second Language for admittance into any of the NC colleges and universities in the system.


    The other four credits may be from any content area(s). The student may choose to use these credits to complete a four-credit concentration. Students can also earn more than six electives, depending upon local requirements.


    Why is it important to have a concentration for graduation?

    Having a concentration allows students to design a customized program that integrates their long-term career interests and post-secondary goals. This option can help them focus on possible careers and give them a jump start into post-secondary education or further training. Data show that students who take a focused course of study do better in high school, are more likely to graduate from college and are better prepared for their careers.


    In what areas are concentrations available?

    Concentrations can be customized to reflect students’ special interests including any of  the 16 Career and Technical Education Career Clusters; or the four Arts Education disciplines (dance, music, theatre arts, visuals arts); JROTC, Second Languages or any other subject area (such as Science Education).


    What courses are required for a concentration?

    Students must earn four credits in their area of interest to qualify for a concentration.  Concentrations should be content-based and should be focused on student interests and  post-secondary goals. Student concentrations should be approved by the local principal or  his or her designee. Courses taken to fulfill any specific course requirement for  graduation may not be counted toward the four-credit concentration; however, they may  be taken to enrich the concentration. Changes are planned to allow NC WISE to track and  record student concentrations.


    Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

    For more detailed answers, please contact the Counselors and Career Development Coordinator at Hillside High School.