Career Tech Honors Diploma

New Honors Diploma Requirements

High school students can gain state recognition for exceeding Ohio’s graduation requirements through an Academic Honors Diploma. High-level coursework, college and career readiness tests and real-world experiences challenge students.

Students must meet all but one of the following criteria. Each of these criteria go beyond the standard requirements for a diploma for the classes of 2023 and beyond. Students must meet general graduation requirements and complete the requirements outlined below to qualify for honors diplomas. Students may replace one requirement of either 4, 5 or 6 with a “Student Strength Demonstration.” The previous requirements to earn an honors diploma are also available for students in the classes of 2023-2025.

Career Tech Honors Diploma

Requirements State Minimum
1 Math Fourth math must be > Algebra 2 
2 Career-Tech Coursework Four units of Career-Tech Courses
3 Career-Tech Proficiency Earned a cumulative score of proficient or higher on the technical assessments aligned to their program
4 World Languages Two units of one world language
5 GPA 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
6 ACT/SAT/Workkeys ACT: Score of 27 or higher, SAT: Score of 1280 or higher

Workkeys: Earn a score of six or higher on all three sections of the WorkKeys assessment.
7 Industry-Recognized Seal or Technology Seal Meet requirements to earn the Industry Recognized Credential Seal or Technology Seal
8 Experiential Learning Field Experience, OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal, Portfolio or Work-Based Learning

Student Strength Demonstration Replacement

Students can use the Student Strength Demonstration to replace one of either the ACT/SAT, GPA or World Language requirement for any Honors Diploma. The Student Strength Demonstration options are listed below. The same options exist for each diploma* but, where relevant, should reflect coursework or experiences relevant to the theme of the Diploma. For example, a student earning the Career-Tech Honors Diploma and using the pre-apprenticeship option to replace another requirement for the diploma should have a pre-apprenticeship relevant to their career-tech pathway.

Options:

Additional Information

To be eligible, students must complete units, or credits, in specific subjects (see above chart). They can use Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Credit Plus and Credit Flexibility coursework to meet the unit requirements of an honors diploma. A single course can meet multiple criteria if it fits under multiple subject areas.

Students also can design their own independent study courses. This requires that someone with proper licensure in the subject area teach or co-teach the courses used for an honors diploma.

Chartered Nonpublic Schools: 

Students attending Chartered Nonpublic schools that offer either the IOWA, Terra Nova or ACT/SAT as their assessments may not be required to earn diploma seals as a part of their graduation requirements. These schools can still use the seal options as a part of earning their Honors Diploma. Students should review the requirements for each specific state-defined seal and can meet any requirements that are available to them. They do not need to be awarded the seal as a part of earning the honors diploma, they would only need to meet the requirements of the seal.  

Math:

Students must take algebra I, geometry, algebra II (or equivalent), and one other higher level course OR a four-course sequence that contains equivalent or higher content. Common examples of a higher content course could include but is not limited to Pre-Calculus, Calculus, an AP Math Course, or CCP. Other examples include credit in Trigonometry, any combination of one or more of the High School Math Pathways courses, or Advanced Computer Science.

Career-Tech Courses:

Students must complete four units of Career-Technical education courses. Program must lead to an industry-recognized credential, apprenticeship, or be part of an articulated career pathway which can lead to post-secondary credit.

WebXams:

Student must achieve a cumulative score of proficient or higher on the technical assessments aligned to their program. Technical assessments may include: WebXam test, industry recognized credentials in lieu of WebXam test, and College Credit Plus Career Technical Education course grades.

World Language:

Only credits from courses that are sequential, and proficiency based (e.g., Spanish levels I, II, III or German I and II and French I and II) fulfill the honors diploma requirement. Sequential classical (e.g., Latin, Ancient Greek) and visual (e.g., American Sign Language) languages DO fulfill the honors diploma requirement. No units from language courses coded as “Foreign Language Exploratory” can count toward the honors diploma requirement. No units from culture-based courses can count toward the honors diploma requirements. College Credit Plus courses must continue - not repeat - the learning sequence already completed. High school levels I and II need to be followed by a second level College Credit Plus course minimally to continue the proficiency growth sequence.

GPA:

GPAs must be calculated on an unweighted 4.0 scale.

ACT, SAT, or WorkKeys score requirements:

Students must have scores of 27 or higher on the ACT or 1280 or higher on the SAT or their equivalents on previous or future versions of the tests. The ACT writing and SAT essay sections are not included. Students can use a superscore on the ACT or SAT to meet the requirement scores.

Students using WorkKeys to satisfy this assessment requirement must earn a score of six or higher on all three sections of the WorkKeys assessment.

Industry-Recognized Credential Seal:

To earn the Industry-Recognized Credential Seal, students must earn an Ohio Department of Education approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials aligned to a career that is considered in-demand in Ohio.

Technology Seal:

Students will earn the Technology Seal by demonstrating knowledge and skills on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and tests, through College Credit Plus coursework or by completing a qualifying technology course.

Experiential Learning Options:

Students can meet the experiential learning option by meeting one of the following: field experience, portfolio, OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal or work-based learning.

Field Experience:

To fulfill the field experience criterion, a student must complete a learning experience that is pertinent to his or her honors diploma area of focus. Experiential learning is focused on the application of academic and technical skills within a student’s program of study. Experiential learning includes lab-based activities, co-ops, simulated workplace, mentorships, internships, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships. Lab-based experiential learning should simulate real-work worksites and expectations. Students should receive regular supervision and follow-up that is documented. Click here for more detailed guidance on field experience .

Portfolio:

Work that is contained in a portfolio documents the student’s extensive knowledge and technical, critical-thinking and creative skills (representative of the student’s honors diploma area of focus) that the student has learned. Students must get their portfolios reviewed and validated by external experts. Click here for more detailed guidance on the portfolio criterion .

Ohiomeansjobs Readiness Seal:

To earn the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal, motivated high school students must demonstrate specific professional skills required for success in the workplace. Students must work with at least three experienced and trusted mentors who validate the demonstration of these skills in school, work or the community.

Work-Based Learning:

Work-based learning experiences are conducted at a work site during or after school. They are designed to provide authentic learning experiences to students that link academic, technical and professional skills. Business and education partners work together to evaluate and supervise the experience, which must be documented with learning agreements.


Honors Diploma Requirements Classes 2023-2025

Any student in the class of 2023, and including students in the class of 2024 and 2025, may use the new honors diploma options, but may also use the previous requirements below to earn an honors diploma. 

Students must meet all but one of the following criteria, unless it is a minimum graduation requirement. Students must meet general graduation requirements to qualify for honors diplomas.

Career-Tech Honors Diploma

Requirements State Minimum
Math 4 units
Science 4 units, including 2 units of advanced science
Social Studies 4 units
World Languages 2 units of one world language
Electives 4 units of career-technical courses
GPA 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
ACT/SAT/WorkKeys ACT: 27 or higher/SAT: 1280 or higher/WorkKeys: 6 or higher on Reading for Information and 6 or higher on Applied Mathematics
Field Experience Complete a field experience and document the experience in a portfolio specific to the student’s area of focus.
Portfolio Develop a comprehensive portfolio of work based on the student’s field experience or a topic that is related to the student’s area of focus.
Additional Assessments Earn an industry-recognized credential or achieve proficiency benchmark for appropriate Ohio Career-Technical Competency Assessment or equivalent.

Guidance

To be eligible, students must complete units, or credits, in specific subjects (see above chart). They can use Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Credit Plus and Credit Flexibility coursework to meet the unit requirements of an honors diploma. A single course can meet multiple criteria if it fits under multiple subject areas.

Students also can design their own independent study courses. This requires that someone with proper licensure in the subject area teach or co-teach the courses used for an honors diploma.

Math – Students must take algebra I, geometry, algebra II (or equivalent), and one other higher level course OR a four-course sequence that contains equivalent or higher content.

Science – Advanced science refers to courses that are inquiry based with laboratory experiences. They must align with the grades 11/12 standards (or above) or with an Advanced Placement science course or entry-level college course (clearly preparing students for college freshman-level science classes, such as anatomy, botany or astronomy).

Social Studies – Students may get credit for both an American history course and/or the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate American history course (same for government and world history). If a district counts financial literacy as a social studies course, students can use it as an elective to meet the requirement. If the district counts financial literacy as a family consumer science or business education elective, it does not count.

World Language – Only credits from courses that are sequential and proficiency based (e.g., Spanish levels I, II, III or German I and II and French I and II) fulfill the honors diploma requirement. Sequential classical (e.g., Latin, Ancient Greek) and visual (e.g., American Sign Language) languages do fulfill the honors diploma requirement. No units from language courses coded as “Foreign Language Exploratory” can count toward the honors diploma requirement. No units from culture-based courses can count toward the honors diploma requirements.

Electives – Students must complete four units of career-technical education courses. Contact your school for more information on available career-technical education electives.

GPA – GPAs must be calculated on an unweighted 4.0 scale.

ACT/SAT/WorkKeys score requirements – Students must have scores of 27 or higher on the ACT or 1280 or higher on the SAT or their equivalents on previous or future versions of the tests. The ACT writing and SAT essay sections are not included. Students can use a superscore on the ACT or SAT to meet the requirement scores.

Students using WorkKeys to satisfy this assessment requirement must earn a score of 6 or higher on both the Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information sections of WorkKeys.

Field Experience - To fulfill the field experience criterion, a student must complete a learning experience that is pertinent to his or her honors diploma area of focus. Experiential learning is focused on the application of academic and technical skills within a student’s program of study. Experiential learning includes lab-based activities, co-ops, simulated workplace, mentorships, internships, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships. Lab-based experiential learning should simulate real-work worksites and expectations. Students should receive regular supervision and follow-up that is documented. Click here for more detailed guidance on field experience.

Portfolio - Work that is contained in a portfolio documents the student’s extensive knowledge and technical, critical-thinking and creative skills (representative of the student’s honors diploma area of focus) that the student has learned. Students must get their portfolios reviewed and validated by external experts. Click here for more detailed guidance on the portfolio criterion.

Additional Assessments – Students must earn an approved industry-recognized credential or achieve a proficiency benchmark for the appropriate Ohio Career-Technical Competency Assessment or equivalent. More information on industry-recognized credentials is located on the Department’s website.

Last Modified: 3/21/2024 1:44:30 PM