Delaware Readiness Policies

Overview

Delaware
High School and Postsecondary Alignment

SREB’s Challenge to Lead 2020 goals call for states to align middle grades and high school policies with college-readiness standards, to recognize multiple paths to graduation and to provide students with diverse postsecondary options and resources. The following tabs summarize how Delaware aligns its policies to promote smooth transitions for students through high school and beyond.  

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Delaware
College and Career Readiness Definitions

Each Delaware student will graduate ready for college and career. Students will be prepared to successfully plan and pursue an education and career path aligned to their personal goals, with the ability to adapt and innovate as demands change. Students will graduate with strong academic knowledge, the behaviors and skills with which to apply their knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively. Each student will exhibit the behaviors of an independent learner, and have respect for a diverse society and a commitment to responsible citizenship.

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Delaware
College and Career Planning in K-12

All Delaware public school students develop a Student Success Plan in eighth grade and update it yearly throughout high school with their parents or guardians and their advisor. Each district and charter school must establish an advisement process for developing and reviewing the SSPs with students, their advisors and parents. The purpose of the SSP is to monitor the student’s academic progress to ensure 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.

State regulations require districts and charter schools to develop and implement postsecondary advisement plans. The plans describe the college and career planning activities and resources that will help students achieve their postsecondary goals.

Information and resource guides for students and parents concerning the Student Success Plan and college and career planning are available on Delaware’s college information website.

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Delaware
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Students Entering the Ninth Grade in 2015 and Beyond

Students must complete at least 24 units to earn a high school diploma.

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Four credits in English language arts

AP, IB, or dual enrollment English courses or Advanced Composition 

Math

4

All students must earn credits equivalent to Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II

AP, IB, or dual enrollment math courses

Students must complete an Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics III course.

 Science

3

Biology 

two additional science courses

AP, IB, or dual enrollment science courses

Social Studies

3

U.S. History

two additional social studies courses

AP, IB or dual enrollment social studies courses

World Language

2

Two courses in the same language

Students may either earn a minimum of two World language credits in the same language or demonstrate Novice-high or higher proficiency on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency other than English.

Physical Education

1

   

Health Education

1/2

   

Career Pathway

3

 

Credits pre-planned and sequential courses designed to develop knowledge and skills in a specific career or academic area.

Electives

3 1/2

   

Total Credits

24

All 8th through 12th grade students shall have a Student Success Plan.

AP means Advanced Placement courses; IB means International Baccalaureate courses; CTE means Career and Technical course.

Assessment Requirements

Delaware System of Student Assessments requires students following a traditional graduation school to participate in the following assessments:

Grades

DeSSA Assessment

10

DeSSA Science (or upon completion of a high school biology course), PSAT 10

11 

DeSSA Social Studies (or upon completion of U.S. History), SAT School Day

12 

ACT WorkKeys

Delaware also offers optional assessments: Smarter Interim Assessment for grades 9 and 10 as well as the PSAT for grade 9 and the PSAT/NMSQT for grade 11.

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Delaware
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

Students may earn high school credit through supervised work experiences that meet their educational objective or special career interests. Students may also earn credit through voluntary community service as defined in 14 Del § 8901A and § 8902A.

Career and Technical Education

The Delaware Department of Education offers career and technical education courses aligned with the National Career Clusters Framework. State regulation defines career pathways as three credits of planned and sequential courses. Students must complete the career pathway to graduate from high school. Those who complete a full CTE Program of Study earn an industry recognized credential, certificate, or license which holds valuable in their post-secondary or professional pursuits.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

State regulation allows high school students to take dual credit courses at a high school, postsecondary institution or online. 

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 clearly stipulate that no district can deny access to dual enrollment because of a student’s or family’s inability to pay tuition. Students who complete any course in the Delaware higher education credit matrix should receive both high school and college credit. For students to participate, school counselors must indicate the dual credit courses taken on the Student Success Plan.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

State regulation does not reference requirements for the awarding of college credit for passing scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate assessments.

Early College High Schools 

The Early College High School at Delaware State University allows high school students to earn up to 60 college credits for free while in high school. Students are expected to attend for four years, during which time they complete their studies in one of three pathways, each heavily focusing on STEM subjects.

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Delaware
Postsecondary Admission Requirements

Four-Year Institutions

Admission to Delaware’s two public universities is based on grades, class rank, test scores and recommendations from appropriate high school officials. Applicants to the University of Delaware and Delaware State University must complete a required high school curriculum. Delaware State University requires a GPA of 2.0 or better in core academic subjects.

Delaware Universities: Required and Recommended High School Curricula

Subject

University of Delaware

Delaware State University

 

Required

Recommended

Required

Recommended

English

4

4

4

4

Math

3

4

3

4

Science

3

4

3

3

History/ Social Studies

4

4

3

4

Foreign Language

2

4

2

2

Electives

2

2

4

4

Total

18

20-22

19

21

Course Requirements

University of Delaware
  • Science: Applicants may substitute the fourth year of math or science for the fourth unit of social science. For the required curriculum, at least two of three science units must include a lab component.
  • Social Studies: Applicants must complete two units in history. World history is required.
  • Foreign Language: Applicants must take the two required units in the same language.
  • Other: Applicants must take specific courses if they plan to enter a STEM major.
Delaware State University

Students must complete the following 19 minimum core units with a “C” or better:

  • English: Writing, Literature and Oral Communication
  • Math: Algebra I and II, Geometry or the equivalent (a fourth is recommended)
  • History: One World History and one other history
  • Social Studies: Civics, American Government, Economics, Geography or Psychology (two units recommended)
  • Science: Courses must have a laboratory component. Students must complete one or more of the following: biology, chemistry, physics.
  • Foreign Language: University recommends that applicants take units in the same language.
  • Elective: Allowable units include core subjects, art, theatre, music, and/or computer science.

Delaware State University also requires a minimum SAT score of 800 or 17 ACT composite score.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Delaware Technical Community College students must have a high school diploma or GED credential, or they must be 18 years old and pass institutional tests that demonstrate their ability to benefit from instruction.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or an equivalency credential if they want to apply for financial aid and/or admission to selective programs of study. Students not seeking state and federal financial assistance can take the SAT or ACCUPLACER to demonstrate the ability to benefit from postsecondary instruction.

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Delaware
Postsecondary Placement Policies

Four-Year Institutions

Delaware requires that 100% of high school students take the SAT before graduation. Accordingly, students who meet the SAT cut score set by the state’s public colleges and universities are exempt from remedial or developmental courses upon enrollment.

The University of Delaware and Delaware State University require that all first-time freshmen take the ALEKS assessment to determine their math course placement. A score of 45 or higher on the ALEKS assessment allows students to enroll in credit-bearing math courses.

High school students who pass the state’s transitional courses with a 77 or higher are exempt from remedial and developmental courses.

University of Delaware

At the University of Delaware, placement determinations vary by college and intended major. Students cannot register for specific math courses unless they meet the appropriate placement thresholds. Once you know the required math course for your major, use the following chart to determine the placement level.

Course

Title

*Placement Level Required for Enrollment

Math 010

Intermediate Algebra (Remedial, non-credit)

G, M, P, S, B, C

Math 113

Contemporary Mathematics

G, M, P, S, B, C

Math 114

College Mathematics and Statistics

M, P, S, B, C

Math 115

Precalculus

P, S, B, C

Math 117

Precalculus for Scientists and Engineers 

S, B, C

Math 221

Calculus I

B, C

Math 241

Analytic Geometry and Calculus A

C

Delaware State University

All formally admitted freshmen and transfer students must complete the online ALEKS placement test for math two weeks prior to orientation and score at 45 or higher to enroll in college-level math courses. Student performance on the ACT or SAT determines placement into English composition courses.   

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

All Delaware Technical Community College students are required to meet one of the following college readiness requirements:

  • Earn a 3.0 (83%) or higher high school GPA (junior or senior transcript)
  • Meet SAT benchmark scores
  • Earn benchmark scores on the ACCUPLACER test
  • Enroll in an International Baccalaureate or the Academic Challenge program
  • Earn 75 or higher in a Foundations of College English course or 77 or higher in a College Math course
  • Earn an A or B grade in AP English or math course
  • Earn an A or B grade in Pre-Calculus or Calculus
  • Have earned previous college credit or a degree
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Delaware
State Financial Aid for Undergraduates

The Scholarship Incentive Program provides financial aid to residents with demonstrated financial need. First-time applicants must possess a minimum high school unweighted grade-point average of 2.5, enroll full-time at an in-state, nonprofit postsecondary institution, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In certain cases, students may enroll out-of-state if degree programs are not offered at the state’s three public institutions.

First-time freshmen receive $1,000 awards. Each year, for up to five years, students may re-apply for financial aid if they complete the FAFSA and maintain a college GPA of 2.5.

Students attending Delaware Technical Community College or enrolled in the Associate in Arts program through the University of Delaware are eligible for the Student Excellence Equals Degree or SEED scholarship. The grant is a last-dollar scholarship that covers tuition costs after deducting financial aid from all sources. First-time applicants must graduate from a Delaware high school with a cumulative average of 80 or higher on a 100-point scale, a 2.5 GPA or a letter grade of C+ and must complete the FAFSA. Once enrolled, students must maintain a college GPA of 2.5 and maintain full-time enrollment status — completing no fewer than 24 credit hours in each academic year.

The state also funds a scholarship for eligible Delaware State University students called the INSPIRE Scholarship. First-time applicants must graduate from a Delaware high school with a 2.75 GPA and complete the FAFSA. Once enrolled, students must maintain a college GPA of 2.75, complete 12 credit hours during both the fall and spring semesters, and document 10 hours of community service every semester. The current maximum annual award is $3,000.

The Delaware Higher Education Office administers professional incentive programs for undergraduate students who pledge to enter the teaching or nursing fields.

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Delaware
Postsecondary Feedback to High Schools

The Delaware Department of Education releases annual College Success Reports that include data on student enrollment and remediation rates in Delaware public and private colleges. In addition, the state report includes data on student performance on college entrance exams, grade-level enrollment and participation, accompanied by recommendations for future goals and strategies. Data is broken down by race, ethnicity and income.