The Washington state Board of Education announced final rules Friday on new high school graduation requirements decided at a meeting in Spokane last week.
For students entering ninth grade after July 1, 2015, the state board increased the number of required credits from 20 to 24, with the additional credits in specific subject areas.
The changes have been in the works since 2010.
Changes include the addition of one science laboratory credit, one art credit and either two world language or two Personalized Pathway Requirement credits, according to the board’s final rules.
The state board defines Personalized Pathway Requirements as “related courses that lead to a specific post-high school career.”
Students planning to attend a traditional university after high school, on the other hand, would be advised to complete both world language credits, the document said.
Neither Personalized Pathway credits or world language credits were previously required.
Aside from the addition of credits, the state board is requiring school districts to develop a plan involving students, parents and school staff to help guide each student through high school and on to post-secondary education.
During the two-day meeting, the board also decided to allow waivers to be available to schools and students with special circumstances.