Delaware – High School to College & Careers

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High School Graduation Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a high school diploma. All future senior classes will also have new core course requirements (see below).

Subject

Diploma Units

English Language Arts

4

Mathematics

4

Science

3

Social Studies

3

World Language

2

Physical Education

1

Health

.5

Career Paths

3

Electives

3.5

TOTAL

24

Entering Ninth-Grade Class of 2011

  • Math: Students must take geometry, Algebra I and Algebra II.
  • World language: Students must complete two units in the same foreign language.

Entering Ninth-Grade Classes Fall 2012 and Later  

  • English: Students must take English II.
  • Math: Students must take geometry, Algebra I, and Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics III.
  • Science: Students are required to take biology.
  • Social studies: Students must take U.S. history.
  • World language: Students are required to complete two units in the same foreign language.

Assessment Requirements

During the 2014-15 school year, the Delaware Department of Education will administer Smarter ELA/Literacy and Mathematics assessments, a Common Core State Standards aligned test, to current high school juniors. Sophomores are required to take the DCAS Science assessment, and high school students are required to take the U.S. history end of course assessment at the completion of the U.S. history course.

High school sophomores were required to take the PSAT in fall 2014. High school juniors were required to take the SAT in spring 2015. 

College and Career Readiness

The Department of Education with the consent of the Delaware State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in August 2010. The state implemented the standards for the first time during the 2012-13 school year. The State Department of Education has partnered with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to deliver Common Core-aligned tests.

Since 2010, the state has required districts to administer the SAT during the school day.

The Delaware State Department of Education holds districts and schools accountable through the Delaware School Profiles.” High school indicators include the following:

  • High school graduation rates
  • SAT scores, by section and overall
  • Percentage of students meeting state standards in ninth and 10th grade
  • Students’ Advanced Placement participation and success

College and Career Planning

All Delaware public school students in grades eight through 12 develop a Student Success Plan (SSP) with their parents or guardians, the student’s advisor. The purpose of the SSP is to monitor the student’s academic progress to ensure an on-time graduation, educate students about their college and career options, and offer support if a student is failing or in danger of failing courses required for high school graduation.

Information and resource guides for students and parents concerning the Student Success Plan and college and career planning are available at DelawareGoestoCollege.org.

Accelerated Learning Options

Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

Delaware Department of Education rules require local school districts to develop articulation agreements with public and nonpublic state institutions to offer dual enrollment programs. The articulation agreements must include eligibility requirements, how and where students may take courses, and the funding sources used to offer dual enrollment. The rules stipulate that no district can deny access to dual enrollment because of a student or family’s inability to pay tuition.

Career and Technical Education

The Delaware Department of Education has approved three-, four-, six- and nine-credit paths for students enrolled in career and technical education programs of study.

Postsecondary Admissions and Placement

University Admissions Requirements

Admission to Delaware’s two public universities is based on grades, class rank, test scores and recommendations from appropriate high school officials.

Subjects

University of Delaware

Delaware State University

English

4

4

Mathematics

3

3

Science

3

3

Social Studies

4

3

Foreign Language

2

2

Electives

2

4

TOTAL

18

19

Course Requirements

University of Delaware

  • Science: Applicants may substitute a fourth year of science for one unit of the social studies requirement.

Delaware State University

  • Math: Algebra I, Algebra II and geometry
  • Science: Three of four sciences are lab-based. Must include one or more of the following: biology, chemistry, physics
  • Social Studies: Two history units and one full unit among the following: civics, American government, economics, geography or psychology.

University Placement

The University of Delaware uses the ALEKS test to place students into college-level math courses. Test results produce one of six placement ratings. Students can enroll in college-level courses if they reach 45 percent proficiency on the assessment. 

At Delaware State University, students may be provisionally admitted if they do not meet regular admission requirements. Based on their high school records and admission test scores (SAT or ACT), they may be required to attend a pre-college, weeklong summer program, limit their course load and maintain contact with an education support program.

Delaware Technical Community College

Admissions

Students must have a high school diploma or GED or they must be 18 years old and pass institutional tests that demonstrate their ability to benefit from instruction.

Placement

Student who meet minimum admission test scores requirements (SAT math of 500 or above, SAT verbal of 475 or above), or who have a bachelor’s degree when they are admitted, are exempt from taking standardized placement tests in reading, writing and math. All other students are required to take the tests to determine the level of instruction at which they begin college course work.

Feedback Reports

In September 2014, the Delaware Department of Education released the first annual college to high school feedback reports that include data on student enrollment and remediation rates in Delaware public and private colleges. In addition, the reports also include data on average first-year credit accumulation and GPA.

State Financial Aid

Delaware’s awards the majority of financial aid through the Scholarship Incentive Program. The scholarship provides need-based aid up to $700 annually for students with a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. Students receive up to $1,500 in merit-based supplements based on GPA. The grant awards are not renewable, meaning that students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on an annual basis.   

The Delaware Higher Education Office administers six professional incentive programs for students who pledge to enter teaching, nursing, optometry, speech pathology, or librarianship. In addition, there are several merit based scholarships administered through the Higher Education Office. Delaware is a participant in the Academic Common Market and pays for a limited number of students to enroll in veterinary programs through a partnership with SREB.

Students attending Delaware Technical Community College or enrolled in the Associate in Arts program through University of Delaware are eligible for the SEED scholarship, which covers tuition for up to two years. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and complete their FAFSA. Delaware State University students are eligible for the INSPIRE scholarship if they maintain a 2.75 GPA and complete a FAFSA. This provides for up to three years of tuition. Both scholarships are funded through the state.

Special Thanks

We would like to thank the staff at the following agencies for their assistance in carefully reviewing and confirming the accuracy of the policies and programs described in this document:

Delaware Department of Education, Higher Education Office

Sources

Delaware Department of Education
Delaware State Code
Delaware State University
Delaware Technical Community College State of Delaware Regulations University of Delaware Delaware Goes to College