A focused and successful high school path is the road to future success in higher education, workforce training, and career. Revised state requirements and HISD’s own rigorous standards — along with a broad choice of career pathways — help students work with parents and educators to map their coursework to align with their aptitudes and interests. Planning a path — identifying a direction and setting goals — helps make education relevant to a student’s future.
Recommended Graduation Plans
Students will enter the new 26-credit Distinguished Level of Achievement Plan with an endorsement. This plan includes Algebra II, which will make them eligible for automatic admission into state universities if they graduate in the top 10 percent of their class.
Endorsements help create a personalized learning plan in line with a student’s career interests and goals. Students may also earn more than one endorsement if they have additional class time and courses are available. The endorsements will be noted on the student’s transcript and diploma.
All entering first-year students, in grade nine, will be required to develop a personal graduation plan that leads to an endorsement. This plan is a working document that will be developed to meet individual student needs and to establish academic goals.
Entering ninth-graders are now required to pass five End-of-Course (EOC) exams to graduate.
REQUIRED END-OF-COURSE (EOC) EXAMS Algebra I English I English II Biology U.S. History
The English I and II exams combine reading and writing into one five-hour test.
For next year’s entering ninth-graders:
Students will enter under the new 26-credit Foundation High School Program with an endorsement – and take Algebra II at the appropriate time – which will allow them to earn a Distinguished Level of Achievement and become eligible for automatic admission into state universities if they graduate in the top 10% of their class.
With the help of teachers, counselors, and parents, students will decide on one or more endorsement plans:
These endorsements will help create a personalized learning plan in line with a student’s career interests and goals. Families will be given a school-by-school breakdown of student options well in advance, to assist them in selecting a high school endorsement and career pathway that meets the student’s career interests and post-secondary goals.
Students may earn up to FIVE performance acknowledgements, which will be displayed on diplomas and transcripts:
Dual credit courses PSAT/SAT/ACT and or ACT-Plan exams Bilingualism and bi-literacy Business and industry certifications and/or licenses AP and IB exams
An endorsement is an area of specialized study. Endorsements consist of a related series of courses that are grouped together by interest or skill set. They provide students with in-depth knowledge of a subject area. There are five endorsement areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM), Business & Industry, Public Services, Multidisciplinary, and Arts & Humanities.
DLA is an advanced level of academic achievement earned by going beyond the Foundation High School Program. It requires a total of 26 course credits, including Algebra II, a fourth science credit and an endorsement. Every student in HISD begins high school on a DLA graduation plan, which allows students:
- To compete for top percentage of graduating class for automatic admissions eligibility at any Texas public university
- To be first in line for a TEXAS Grant to help pay for university tuition and fees
- To be a competitive applicant at the most selective colleges and universities.
Your role as a parent is to meet with the school counselor to review the personal graduation plan, endorsement options, and Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA) with your child. Parents have a virtual option to be able to access their child’s PGP through HISD Connect. A parent’s signature is required for acknowledgment of their child’s Personal Graduation Plan.
The personal graduation plan is a working document used by counselors/administrators to assist students in completing graduation requirements to plan for life after high school. It is a tool used to document grades, assessments, and other requirements in law.