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 in grades eight through 12 develop a Student Success Plan with their parents or guardians and 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 on Delaware’s college information website, DelawareGoestoCollege.org

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Delaware
High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

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

Subject

Credits

Required Courses

Substitutions

English

4

Four English courses

An English II course must be completed.

Math

4

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II or Integrated Math III

Another advanced math course

No less than the equivalent of the traditional requirements of Geometry, Algebra I and Algebra II courses.

One math credit must be earned in the senior year.

Laboratory Science

3

Biology and two other courses

Not specified

Social Studies

3

U.S. History and two other social studies courses

Not specified

World Language

2

Two courses in the same language

Demonstrating Novice-high or higher proficiency level on a nationally recognized assessment of language proficiency, except English

Physical Education

1

 

Not specified

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

   

Assessment Requirements

Delaware System of Student Assessments (DeSSA) requires students to participate in the following assessments:

Grades

DeSSA Assessment

10

DeSSA/DCAS Science, PSAT 10

11 

DeSSA Social Studies, SAT

12 

ACT WorkKeys

8 to 12

DCAS

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

Delaware also offers optional assessments: Smarter Interim Assessment for all grades 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

Career and Technical Education

The Delaware Department of Education offers career and technical education courses aligned with the National Career Clusters Framework. Career Pathways are defined as three credits of planned and sequential courses, and pathway completion is a graduation requirement for high school students. 

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

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, dual enrollment and dual credit must be included in the Student Success Plan (SSP) as required in DE Admin. Code 505.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The state of Delaware does not provide requirements for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Rather, requirements are set by the respective program authorizers. Credits awarded are at the discretion of each postsecondary institution.

Early High School Graduation

Delaware is currently in the process of developing its first Early College High School (ECHS) at Delaware State University in alignment with the EDWorks Fast Track concept.

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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 a fourth year of math or science for the fourth unit of social studies. For the required curriculum, at least two 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 business or STEM major.
Delaware State University
  • English: Writing, Literature and Oral Communication
  • Math: Algebra I and II, Geometry or the equivalent
  • Social Studies: Applicants must complete two units in history. World history is required.
  • Science: Applicants must complete one or more of the following: biology, chemistry, physics.
  • Foreign Language: University recommends that applicants take units in same language.
  • Electives: 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 ability to benefit from postsecondary institution.

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Delaware
Postsecondary Placement Policies

Four-Year Institutions

Delaware requires that 100 percent 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. Even so, the University of Delaware and Delaware State University require that all first-time freshmen take the ALEKS assessment to determine their math course placement.

High school students who pass the state’s transitional courses with a 77 or higher are exempt from remedial/developmental work at the postsecondary level.

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.

Students entering the following colleges or majors must receive a score of 75 or better (associated with *Placement Level C) on the ALEKS exam to qualify for placement in Math 241 ─ Analytic Geometry and Calculus A:

  • College of Engineering: all majors
  • Environmental studies, Life and Health Sciences, Physical and Applied Sciences
  • College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment: All BS programs
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics & Astronomy, Actuarial Science, Biochemistry, Pharmacy interest
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Statistics
  • College of Education and Human Development: Elementary Education – Middle School Math 

Students entering the following colleges or majors must receive a score of 70 or better (associated with *Placement Level B, C) on the ALEKS exam to qualify for placement in Math 221 ─ Calculus A or Math 241:

  • All Lerner College majors except for BA in Economics and Economics Education, Sports Management, and BS in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management
  • College of Agricultural and Natural Resources: Animal Science, Environmental and Resource Economics, Food and Agribusiness Marketing and Management, Food Science, Natural Resource Management, Pre-Vet
  • College of Health Sciences: Nutritional Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Science

Students entering the following colleges or majors must receive a score of 60 or better (associated with *Placement Level P, S, B, C) on the ALEKS exam to qualify for placement in Math 115 ─ Precalculus or Math 221 or Math 241:

  • College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment: All BA programs
  • College of Agricultural and Natural Resources: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Insect Ecology and Conservation, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Landscape Architecture
  • College of Health Sciences: Athletic Training, Medical Lab & Diagnostics​ interest
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Neuroscience

Students entering the following colleges or majors must receive a score of 45 or better (associated with *Placement Level M, P, S, B, C) on the ALEKS exam to qualify for placement in Math 114 ─ College Mathematics and Statistics or Math 115 or Math 221 or Math 241:

  • College of Arts and Sciences: All Arts and Humanities majors
  • College of Education and Human Development: All majors (except for Middle School Mathematics)
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Landscape Horticulture and Design, Plant Science
  • College of Health Sciences: Health Behavior Science, Applied Nutrition (including students interested in the Dietetics major)
  • Lerner College: Economics BA, Economics Education, Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, Sports Management, BS

Once you know the required math course for your major, use the following chart to determine the placement level. In all cases, an advisor will explain which course is best:

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

In 2017, the University of Delaware launched a four-year pilot program providing Delaware students with the choice to submit their SAT or ACT test scores for admission to the University.

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. 

Minimum ALEKS Score Courses you are permitted to take
Less than 30 No equivalent course. You cannot register for any math courses. To place in a math course, you must review the content in the Prep and Learning Module. Then retake the placement test and earn a score of 30 or higher to place in a math course.
30-44 MTSC 075 – Introduction to Algebra. This is a pre-college-level course. It provides you with a solid foundation in algebra and the problem-solving skills needed to move comfortably and confidently into college-level courses. Credits earned from this course do not count towards graduation. You are strongly encouraged to review the content in the Prep and Learning Module. Then retake the placement test and earn a score of 45 or higher to place into a college-level math course.
45-52 MTSC 110 – College Algebra A – This course is equivalent to the first half of MTSC 121 – College Algebra. You must take MTSC 110 and MTSC 111 – College Algebra B to earn credit equivalent to MTSC 121.
45-59 MTSC 121 – College Algebra
45-100 MTSC 107 – Math and Data Analysis
45-100 MTSC 105/201 – Mathematics for Teachers I
60-75 MTSC 122 – Trigonometry; or
MTSC 125 – Finite Mathematics
60-100 MTSC 241 – Elementary Statistics
76-100 MTSC 251 – Calculus I; 
MTSC 261 – Calculus for Life Sciences; or
MTSC 225 – Calculus for Business and Social Sciences

Students are placed in college English composition courses based on their SAT/ACT scores:

  • Under SAT 400 / ACT 15 or below ─ Writing Skills
  • SAT 400-574 / ACT16-19 ─ Regular Composition
  • SAT 575+ / ACT 20+ ─ Honors Composition

Students who score at 15 or lower on the ACT reading must take the Nelson Denny reading test.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

All Delaware Technical Community College students are required to take the ACCUPLACER to determine placement unless they meet one of the following three exemptions.

  1. Completed credit-bearing courses in English, reading and/or math.
  2. Earned a 500 or above on SAT Math and 475 higher on SAT Verbal.
  3. Hold a bachelor’s degree when they are admitted.
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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 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, students may re-apply for financial aid if they complete the FAFSA and maintain a college GPA of 2.5. Students receive up to $1,500 in merit-based supplements if they maintain GPAs above 2.75. The maximum 2017-18 award is $2,200.

Students attending Delaware Technical Community College or enrolled in the Associate in Arts program through University of Delaware are eligible for the 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 2.5 GPA and complete the FAFSA. Once enrolled, students must maintain a college GPA of 2.5 and maintain full-time enrollment status – completing no fewer than 12 credit hours by the end of each semester.

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 and complete 12 credit hours during both the fall and spring semesters. The maximum annual award is $3,000.

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

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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 average first-year credit accumulation and GPAs accompanied by recommendations for future goals and strategies.