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 8 through 12 develop a Student Success Plan, updated yearly, with their parents or guardians and the student’s 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 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.

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, DelawareGoestoCollege.org.

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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

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

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.C. §§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. 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’s Admin. Code 505 defines Dual Credit Course as a course taken either at a high school, postsecondary institution or online which awards both high school and postsecondary credit. In Dual Enrollment Courses, students are dually enrolled in — and earn credit at — both their high school and a postsecondary institution.

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 College High Schools 

Delaware’s Early College High School at Delaware State University allows high school students to earn up to 60 college credits 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. During their 11th and 12th grade years, students take a minimum of one or two college-level courses each semester at Delaware State University.   

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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 grade-point average 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 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
  • 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 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

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. Student performance on the ACT or SAT determine placement into English composition courses.   

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:

  • Completed credit-bearing courses in English, reading and/or math
  • Earned a 490 or above on SAT Math and 475 higher on SAT Verbal
  • 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 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 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 $3,942.

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