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Types of High School Diplomas

By: Kris Koonar

Gone are the days of the single room schoolhouse, when kids graduated at seventh grade and then worked in the fields to support their family. Nowadays, there are many high school diplomas that are available, each of which are unique. Moreover, every state in America has its own set of criteria for acquiring a high school degree or diploma. Similarly, there are many countries all over the world that have different requirements.

In the US, when students reach high school, it is essential for them to consult a guidance counselor to decide on a career path that they have the aptitude for and would want to follow. Smaller school districts may just have a single basic type of a diploma. Nevertheless, these days many schools offer three to four types of high school diplomas, which can be earned, according to the career path the students choose to take.

Diplomas that are more or less the same in terms of curriculum, subjects, etc., may be called by different names in different states. For example, some high schools offer general diplomas, while other schools could call the same diploma by other names such as local diploma, standard diploma, or academic diploma.

These types of diplomas give students flexibility in selecting their courses. However, this could restrict their choices when it comes to post-secondary options. Unless students select courses very carefully, general diplomas probably may not meet even the most minimal requirements of a majority of the more selective colleges.

However, all colleges do not necessarily use diplomas as a decisive factor when considering the admission of students. There are many private colleges that accept general diplomas and even technical diplomas. Some private colleges may set their own standards, since they do not have to follow state mandates.

The only thing that is common in these diplomas is that every state sets certain requirements that the students are expected to follow for graduating, irrespective of the path they set. For example, students are expected to earn credits in Math, English, Science and History. Thereafter, the curriculum varies. The rest of the high school courses are formulated on the basis of elective courses. These courses are often the ones that guide students through to the kind of degree that they want. Here are some of the common types of high school diplomas:

Technical/Vocational- Students should complete a mixture of various academic courses, and technical or vocational courses.

General- Student must achieve a specific number of credits and maintain a minimum GPA.

College Prep- Students should finish a state-mandated curriculum, plus maintain a certain GPA.

Honors College Prep- Students must complete a state-mandated curriculum, which is complemented by additional rigorous coursework. They are expected to maintain a certain GPA, and achieve a high academic level.

International Baccalaureate- Students are expected to finish a two-year international curriculum, which meet the standards that have been set by The International Baccalaureate Organization. Qualified students that have finished a highly academic pre-baccalaureate curriculum usually complete this difficult curriculum in the final two years of high school.

It is a very good idea to earn a high school diploma in order to have a promising future. However, how you earn it is a very important factor. It depends largely on the goals and plans one makes towards earning it. There are numerous factors that influence the career potential or the college admittance of an individual. Earning a high school diploma, which reflects high grades throughout school, is a good way to begin.

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About The Author, Kris Koonar


Get your High School Diploma from a DETC accredited high school. Citizens' High School has been in business since 1981. Choosing a High School Diploma Program is something that should be done by the whole family. We have provided a free resource center that you can visit at http://www.citizenschool.com/ged.htm.

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