Starting with our Class of 2021 and every graduating class after that, we have updated graduation requirements. These requirements are less about grades earned for time spent in a classroom, and more about students demonstrating they are truly prepared for the world after high school.
DPS requires all students to graduate having a plan for after high school that is meaningful to them. Students work with their counselors to develop, update and complete their personalized Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs), a process which started as early as the sixth grade.
Through this personalized career and academic planning process, students are empowered to learn about themselves and evaluate their path to career and college including setting and marking progress towards goals, exploration career and college options, planning towards high school graduation, and financial aid opportunities.
The 2021 graduation requirements mirror what is expected for our students to be successful in college, career training or the workplace.
In Colorado, 53% of students in two-year colleges and 20% of students in four-year colleges have to take remedial courses, which are designed to catch up struggling students by helping them build core skills before they are able to take college-level courses. Not only does this mean a longer timeline toward degree completion, intensifying the potential for dropout, but it also means students incur additional tuition fees and debt. These factors contribute to only about half of Colorado students who enter public colleges actually earning their degrees.
At DPS, we want to ensure our students can reach their full potential and don’t need to take remedial classes after they graduate. That’s why we have set higher standards for graduation and are connecting our students with resources to ensure they are prepared for success in career and college. We believe high school is a foundational touchstone to the future, and postsecondary success is a top priority as our third goal under the Denver Plan 2020. More education is associated with both higher rates of employment and earning potential.