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Your 3 High School Diploma Options - by Christopher Smith

Your 3 High School Diploma Options

A few months back, I found myself at a local diner, perusing the menu over a cup of tepid coffee. The menu did not say I was entitled to hot coffee, which I assume means such a thing is more of a privilege than a right, and I did not raise the issue.

What this diner lacked in coffee selection (as in “not terrible,”), it made up for with over 200 menu items spanning every conceivable ethnic cuisine: Italian breakfast, Ethiopian lunch, Appalachian dinner.

If a dish had been cooked at any single point in any civilization throughout history, it was on the menu.

This vast array of options left me dazed. How could anyone choose from so many options without wondering if they had made a terrible mistake by selecting the BLT sandwich over the BLT omelet, or the BLT cream pie?

In the end, I chose the sandwich, which was adequate insofar as it provided the energy for me to leave at the end of my meal and never return.

Seton’s Diploma Options

Over the past few years, Seton has increased the options and tweaked the requirements for our high school diplomas. This was done in order to better reflect the standards which some colleges were looking for in certain subject areas, such as Math and Science, all while adhering to the high standard Seton has always expected of our students.

Yet after my harrowing experience with that diner menu, I do understand how looking at the high school courses catalog can be intimidating. So I would like to go over the different options, hopefully to allay at least some of the questions and concerns that have come to my attention.

There are three high school diploma options: General, Academic, and Advanced.

Academic Diploma

The Academic diploma is the standard diploma that the great majority of our students seek, and which is in line with the requirements for almost any college or university. It is also most in line with what Seton students were required to complete in the past, though there have been a few changes.

We now require a third year of math, typically Algebra 2, and a third year of Science, as well as a half credit of Geography, and a half credit of Economics. Otherwise, everything else is the same as our past diploma requirements.

Students enrolled in 9th grade before 2014 are not bound by these new requirements.

Advanced Academic Diploma

The Advanced Academic diploma is a new program Seton instituted in 2014 in an attempt to offer an organized path towards taking Seton’s more rigorous courses while rewarding students for that extra work. Many states have Advanced Diplomas, and Seton’s is based on the Virginia version.

With added Math, Science, and Language requirements, this diploma is meant for students who might be trying to get into programs related to those fields, such as engineering, or into upper echelon schools such as Ivy Leagues or Military Academies.

General Diploma

The General Diploma is an option for students that might not necessarily be looking to attend four year university or college immediately out of high school, or might be considering going to local community colleges or vocational schools.

The overall credit requirement is the same as the Academic diploma, 22 credits, but the foreign language requirement is dropped.

Remember that you are not locked into a diploma option. If a student is enrolled for the Advanced Diploma and wants to switch over to either the Academic or General Diploma, that is perfectly acceptable.

Options aren’t always a good thing, but in the case of Seton’s diploma selection, we believe they are. As always, we are here to help you make this decision with your high school students.

About Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

Chris Smith is the Director of Guidance at Seton. He has an M.A. in National Security and Statecraft from the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Christendom College.

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