1. Twelve SREB states have adopted state-level definitions for
college and career readiness. Louisiana’s board of regents has
defined college and career readiness; in South Carolina this
definition is set by the department of education. Kentucky, Texas
and West Virginia have developed separate definitions for college
readiness and career readiness.
2. Many SREB states offer students multiple diploma paths to high
school graduation — with varying course requirements. While most
states have a standard diploma path, Louisiana, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, and Virginia offer two diploma paths, each focused on
either college or career technical areas. In many of the states
with single diploma tracks, students are provided with
concentration or endorsement options that allow to them to choose
required or elective courses with a college academic or career
3. Depending on the state, students must complete from 21 to 24
units to earn a standard high school diploma. All SREB states
require students to complete four English courses.
4. The majority of SREB states require four math courses to earn
a standard high school diploma. Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas and
Virginia require a minimum of three.
5. Math course requirements vary by state. However, every state
requires students to complete an Algebra I course or equivalent.
Recently, several states have eliminated their requirement for
students to earn a credit in geometry. It is becoming
increasingly common for states to also allow students to
substitute a computer science course as one of their math
6. Most SREB states require students to take three science
courses (Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana require four) to earn a
standard diploma, and that at least one of the science courses be
lab-based or that lab-based experiences are incorporated into the
7. Most SREB states use end-of-course tests to measure student
academic progress across a variety of courses and subjects. Many
of these states require that the exams count as some percentage
of the final grade for the course.
8. Most SREB states link eligibility for graduation to passing
certain courses and exams. Virginia, for example, requires that
students pursuing a Standard Diploma must pass six end-of-course
exams; students pursuing the Advanced Diploma must pass nine.
9. Every state now incorporates college and career measures into
its accountability system. State measures include, for example,
the use of assessment results in various subjects, participation
in accelerated learning opportunities, and industry
10. Five SREB states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
North Carolina) require that all high school juniors take the ACT
as a measure of college and career readiness, while Delaware and
West Virginia require all juniors to take the SAT. Several states
11. While every state requires middle school and high school
students to participate in academic and career planning
activities, not every state designates specific activities or
timelines. Many states, however, have additional requirements for
12. Every SREB state offers accelerated learning opportunities
that allow high school students to earn college or career
technical credits through a variety of programs such as dual
enrollment, Advanced Placement, Early College and
13. All SREB states have developed postsecondary to high school
feedback reports, through which the state notifies districts and
schools about their graduates’ postsecondary enrollment
14. While some SREB states have linked high school graduation
requirements to college admission requirements, other states
allow institutions to set admission requirements independently.
15. Most SREB states require that 11th grade assessments be used
for postsecondary placement. Nine of these states exempt students
who pass the assessments from postsecondary institutional
16. Most SREB states provide some combination of need-based and
merit aid. All SREB states besides Georgia offer need-based
scholarship programs to increase educational access for students
from low- and middle-income families.
17. Eight SREB states use state lottery funding to support
merit-based aid programs. Two use lottery funds to support
need-based aid programs.
18. Nearly all SREB states have established minimum high school
grade point averages between 2.5 and 3.0 to be eligible for state
need- and merit-based financial aid. Thirteen SREB states also
tie continuing eligibility for state financial aid to specific
credit hour requirements, either by semester, academic year or a
specified evaluation period.
19. Eleven SREB states require students to complete a specific
number of credit hours per semester or year to retain financial
aid. One SREB state stipulates that students must complete 75
percent of credits attempted.