Kentucky Readiness Policies


College and Career Readiness Standards and Definition

In response to legislation passed in 2009, the Kentucky Department of Education created a plan for college/career readiness including more rigorous standards and assessment benchmarks. The Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-PREP) assesses students from elementary to high school. A series of diagnostic assessments, using the ACT suite of assessments, are required for public school students ─ high school readiness in grade 8, college readiness in grade 10 and college admissions and placement in grade 11. In addition, ACT End-of-Course examinations are required in Biology, Algebra II, English II, and U.S. history. Students not meeting the standards are required to enroll in an intervention program in the senior year or between the junior and senior year. Students meeting college- and career- readiness standards in high school are deemed ready and do not have to undergo placement testing upon entering postsecondary education, and cannot be remediated.



High School Graduation Requirements

Course and Diploma Requirements for Current Seniors

Students must complete at least 22 units to earn a regular high school diploma. 



Required Courses




English I

English II

English III  

English IV

Students not meeting the college readiness benchmarks for English must take a transitional course.



Algebra I


Algebra II

An integrated, applied, interdisciplinary, occupational, or technical course that prepares a student for career paths based on their individual learning plan may be substituted on an individual student basis, if the course meets the content standards in the Kentucky core academic standards.



First science

Second science

Third science

Lab-based scientific investigation experiences must be incorporated.

Social Studies


First  social studies    

Second social studies

Third social studies

Not specified




Not specified

Physical Education 



Not specified

History and Appreciation of Visual and Performing Arts



Not specified

Academic and Career Interest Standards-Based Learning Experiences



7 Credits — four of which must be standards-based learning experiences in an academic or career interest based on the student’s individual learning plan. Students must also demonstrate performance-based competency in technology.

Total Credits



Assessment Requirements

High school students take ACT Quality Core end-of-course tests in English II, Algebra II, Biology I, and U.S. History. Students in grade 11 take both the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-Prep) exam and the ACT. Twelfth grade students who do not meet ACT benchmarks must take the Kentucky Online Testing (KYOTE) in designated subjects. Students enrolled in CTE courses may take the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment (KOSSA) after completing two credits as well as the ACT WorkKeys upon enrolling in a third CTE credit in an approved career pathway.