Graduation Requirements for Homeschoolers in NC
As Home Educators in North Carolina, we have a lot of freedom to choose what subjects we will teach and how we will teach them. Technically, as the administrator of your home education program, you chose what you will require of your students in order to graduate from your program.
The public school guidelines can be a useful tool that helps us to be certain our homeschoolers are prepared to meet the requirements of colleges and so that our students’ education will be appropriate for their future occupational needs. Some students will want to obtain an apprenticeship or go directly into an occupation so you may want to tailor your program to their specific needs.
Students entering 9th Grade in 2012-2013 or later who know they want to go directly into an occupation can follow the NC Future Ready Occupational Path which requires 4 credits in English, 3 in Math, 2 in Science, 2 in Social Studies, no foreign language requirements, 6 electives, 4 Occupational Training credits and 1 credit of Physical Education for a total of 22 credits for students to graduate. (Plus any requirements of the local school board, or in our case, parent’s school requirements)
Parent of students on a path to college may want to consider using the guidelines to ensure that their student has obtained the credits they will need in order to be accepted into whatever colleges they are interested in attending in the future. If you already have an idea of what schools interest them, you can go to the colleges’ website to see what they require.
If you just want to be generally sure they will be prepared, then again, the NC State guidelines can be helpful. You can still choose materials and activities that complement your student’s learning style and you can at least be assured they will be able to enroll in a state school, or a community college. Most private colleges have similar requirements, so it is a good idea to use these credit requirements as a guideline.
Students graduating from public high school in NC this year* (NC State Colleges require the following credits) will need to have 4 credits each in both English and Math. Mathematics should include the subjects of Algebra I & II, Geometry and their choice of another advanced Math (beyond Al. II) such as Trigonometry, “Statistics and Probability” or an “Integrated Math” course such as “Advanced Functions and Modeling” (not Calculus alone).
Science and Social Studies; 3 credits each (one Science should be with lab-work to meet the minimum UNC college requirements) . Social Studies units must include; Civics and Economics, US History and World History.
World Languages are not required for high school graduation, but are a requirement of admission to the UNC system- 2 credits in a language other than English, and many other colleges want to see a foreign language on your transcripts as well. These are considered in the 6 elective credits students need.
1 credit in Health and Physical Education and a total of 6 Elective credits are required for graduation from NC public schools. Electives include 2 elective credits of any combination from either:Career and Technical Education (CTE), Arts Education, or World Languages (2 years of the same foreign language studies satisfy the credits in this elective category). 4 elective credits are strongly recommended from the following: Career and Technical Education (CTE), JROTC, Arts Education (e.g. dance, music, theater arts, visual arts) or any other subject area such as Social Studies, Science, Mathematics or English. The total required credits add up to 21 credit hours plus any local school district requirements.
*Students who are juniors this year (if they entered 9th grade in 2012-2013 school year, then they entered after full common core standards were implemented in the NC public schools, so standards are slightly different from those graduating this year or in previous years) are required to have all of the above, and one additional social studies course in American History or Government for a total of 22 credits.
I have taught three high schoolers at home- one graduated in 2013 and is attending at the University of NC School of the Arts, one graduates this year and my other high schooler is in 10th grade this year. I followed the above as a guideline for how my school would offer credits, except that I required all the core courses each year and did not consider an additional core course as an elective like the Common Core Standards do for the college path students in some years.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the common core standards, but I am simply recommending that you use them as a tool to help you determine what courses you will teach and so that you can see what colleges will be looking for when your high school student begins the application process.
I hope you have found this rather long post informative, but if you find you still have questions, feel free to comment here or email me by clicking my profile on the home page!
I would love your questions, other suggestions or comments~