Students enrolled in North Carolina high schools shall have the opportunity to earn Endorsements to their High School Diploma that identify a particular area of focused study, beginning with the graduating class of 2014-2015. The earning of endorsements shall be based on the following criteria:
A. Students shall meet all requirements set forth in State Board Policy GCS-N-004 “State Graduation Requirements” related to earning a high school diploma.
B. Students may earn a Career Endorsement, a College Endorsement, a College/UNC Endorsement, a North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement, and/or a Global Languages Endorsement.
C. The requirements for earning these endorsements are defined below:
1) Career Endorsement:
a) Except as limited by N.C.G.S. §115C-81(b), the student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the student’s post-secondary plans. Acceptable fourth math courses for the Career Endorsement include any math course that may be used to meet NC high school graduation requirements, including applied math courses found in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) domain.
b) The student shall complete a CTE concentration in one of the approved CTE Cluster areas https://www.dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/classroom-resources/career-and-technical-education/curriculum
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
- Architecture and Construction
- Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
- Business, Management and Administration
- Education and Training
- Government and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Marketing, Sales and Service
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
c) The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.
d) The student shall earn at least one industry-recognized credential. Earned credentials can include Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) at the Silver level or above from WorkKeys assessments OR another appropriate industry credential/certification.
2) College Endorsement:
a) The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III or Integrated Math I, II, III; and a fourth mathematics course aligned with the students post-secondary plans. The fourth math course must meet University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements or be acceptable for earning placement in a credit-bearing college math class under the North Carolina Community College System’s Multiple Measures Placement policy.
b) The student shall earn an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.6.
3) College/UNC Endorsement:
a) The student shall complete the Future-Ready Core mathematics sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math I, II, III or Integrated Math I, II, III and a fourth mathematics course that meets University of North Carolina system Minimum Admission Requirements that include a mathematics course with either Algebra II, Math III or Integrated Mathematics III as a pre-requisite;
b) The student shall complete three units of science including at least one physical science with a lab, one life science and one additional science course.
c) The student shall complete U. S. History or equivalent coursework;
d) The student shall complete two units of a world language (other than English);
e) Students shall earn a weighted grade point average of at least 2.5.
4) North Carolina Academic Scholars Endorsement:
NCDPI has recently learned that there has been confusion around the NC Academic Scholar calculation. This is due to the existence of conflicting documentation that was on the NC-SIS website. We have removed the older document and advise users to follow the guidance in the latest resource:
a) Requirements for Academic Scholars program are set forth in State Board Policy GCS-L-003.
5) Global Languages Endorsement:
a) The student shall earn a combined unweighted 2.5 GPA for the four English Language Arts courses required for graduation.
b) The student shall establish proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, using one of the options outlined below and in accordance with the guidelines developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
i. Pass an external exam approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction establishing “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale.
ii. Complete a four-course sequence of study in the same world language, earning an overall GPA of 2.5 or above in those courses.
iii. Establish “Intermediate Low” proficiency or higher per the ACTFL proficiency scale using the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery policy described in GCS-M-001.
c) Limited English Proficiency students shall complete all the requirements of sections 5a and 5b above and reach “Developing” proficiency per the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) proficiency scale in all four domains on the most recent state identified English language proficiency test.
D. Students may earn more than one Endorsement.
E. Students are not required to earn an Endorsement in order to receive a diploma.