New Graduation Requirements

New Graduation Requirements Beginning with the Class of 2028
New Graduation Requirements
Posted on 11/15/2023
New graduation requirements, to begin with the class of 2028, were approved at the November 14 Board of Education meeting. The changes are designed to enhance students' postsecondary success; help them reach their full potential and thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Graduation Credit Changes

  1. Why are there changes to the Salina Public Schools (SPS) graduation credit requirements?

    The changes better align high school courses students choose with their future goals. The changes

    • reflect our commitment to preparing students for a rapidly evolving world, and
    • are statewide, as required by the Kansas State Department of Education.


  2. When do the changes take effect?

    The changes take effect with the Class of 2028.

  3. What are the changes and which class will they affect?

    The overall credit requirement will not change, it remains 24 credits. The changes include:

    • A computer credit requirement changes to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) elective credit requirement.
    • Students will be required to pass financial literacy, not just take the course.
    • 6.5 electives are still required, but the change is that 4.5 of the 6.5 electives must align with the student's individual plan of study.
    • Students will be required to meet two or more postsecondary assets from academic, career or real-world categories.

  4. Has the overall number of elective credits required changed?

    No, the overall number of elective credits remains 6.5. However, a new requirement specifies that 4.5 of these 6.5 electives must align with the student's Individual Plan of Study (IPS), allowing for a more personalized and relevant educational experience.

  5. What is the difference between a computer credit and a STEM elective credit?

    Previously, a computer credit was required. Now, we have expanded the scope to include any STEM elective, offering students a broader range of options. STEM elective credit can consist of the following:

    • Any computer science course: for example, Computer Applications 1 and 2
    • Any advanced math course not being used to meet a math credit requirement
    • Any advanced science course not being used to meet a science credit requirement
    • Any CTE course that is in the technical or application level of a career pathway:
        See Appendix A: STEM Qualifying Electives

  6. How has the financial literacy requirement changed?

    SPS students are currently required to enroll in Financial Literacy. Moving forward with the Class of 2028, SPS students would now be required to enroll and pass the course. Financial literacy is crucial for navigating the complexities of adult life.

  7. What does it mean that 4.5 electives must align with a student’s IPS?

    The student must take 4.5 course electives that are listed under the student’s identified career cluster or pathway as noted in Xello/IPS. The SPS Enrollment Guide (pages 30-35) has a description of each of the career clusters and career pathways.

  8. What is an IPS (Individual Plan of Study)?

    An individual plan of study is a tailored educational roadmap that aligns with a student's career goals and interests. It ensures that the elective courses chosen contribute meaningfully to their academic and professional journey.

    All students, beginning in middle school, are required to develop an (IPS) based on their career interests. An IPS is both the product a student develops and a process the school implements to guide students in developing future plans.

    A student’s IPS is developed cooperatively by the student, school staff members, and parents/guardians.

    There are four minimum components of a student’s IPS:

    • A graduated series of strength finders and career interest inventories to help students identify preference toward career clusters.
    • 8th through 12th grade course-builder function with course selections based on career interests.
    • A general postsecondary plan (workforce, military, certification program, two or four year college).
    • A portable electronic portfolio available before, during and following high school. Our district uses a platform called Xello for an electronic portfolio.

    An IPS is important to help the student, parents/guardians, and staff plan for the student’s future and ensure that 4.5 credits of the 6.5 required electives are aligned with the student’s postsecondary goals noted in the IPS.

  9. How can students determine if their electives align with their individual plan of study?

    Students are encouraged to work closely with counselors and parents/guardians. They will provide guidance on creating a personalized plan of study and ensuring that elective choices align with the student's long-term goals.

  10. What are "postsecondary assets," and why are they now a requirement?

    Postsecondary assets are achievements or experiences in academic, career, or real-world contexts that prepare students for success beyond high school. This requirement reflects our commitment to fostering well-rounded individuals who are prepared for diverse post-graduation pathways.

  11. What are examples of postsecondary assets in the academic, career, and real-world categories?

    • Academic assets might include advanced coursework or proficiency in a foreign language.
    • Career assets could be internships or industry certifications.
    • Real-world assets might involve community service or entrepreneurial experiences.

      After KSDE specifically defines postsecondary assets, more information will be released. When it becomes available, we will share with students, parents/guardians and staff.

  12. What can I do as a parent/guardian to help ensure my student earns their postsecondary assets?

    Parents and guardians can:

    • Get in contact with your student’s counselor by calling the school.
        CHS:  785-309-3500, SHS: 785-309-3700, SVIA: 309-4369
    • Attend parent-teacher conferences and ask about your student’s IPS.
    • Ask your student to show you their Xello account. This contains vital information about your students, career interests, four year course plan, and postsecondary plans. The student can add parents/guardians to their Xello account by sharing their Xello account, using a parent/guardian email address.
    • Ensure your student is updating his/her Xello account: in middle school, this occurs in Career & Life Class and Social Studies class; in high school, this occurs during Advisory period, or ELO. This will help   keep track of what the student did for athletics, activities, awards, volunteering, etc. (Students have access to their Xello account for 10 years after they graduate, provided that a personal Gmail account is added to Xello.)

  13. Will my student have to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) even if he or she does not plan on using it?

    No. Students and parents/guardians will still have the option to learn about FAFSA but SPS is not requiring students to apply for financial aid.

    Every October, both high schools host a parent/guardian information night regarding FAFSA. In the future, students will also learn about this during their future Financial Literacy course as a part of our revised curriculum. Parents/guardians are also able to reach out to a student counselor for support:

    CHS:  785-309-3500, SHS: 785-309-3700, SVIA: 309-4369

  14. If my student attends SVIA, will they still be expected to following the updated SPS graduation requirements?

    Yes. The updated graduation requirements will be applied to all students in SPS.

  15. How will the school support students in meeting these new requirements?

    The school will provide comprehensive guidance through counseling services, informational sessions, and collaboration with teachers and advisors. We are dedicated to helping each student successfully navigate these requirements and achieve their academic and career aspirations.

  16. Are there resources available for parents to better understand these changes?

    Absolutely! We will be organizing informational sessions and providing written materials to keep parents informed about the changes, their implications, and how they can support their children in meeting the new graduation requirements.