Alternative Pathway for Diploma

Students who entered high school  on or after July 1, 2004 and before July 1, 2014. (Graduating Classes of 2004- 2017) are required to pass the OGT to graduate. Under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §3313.615, students can graduate by passing four of the five OGT if they meet all of the criteria outlined below.

Decisions on eligibility will be made on the local level. All materials related to those decisions will stay with the students' permanent records. Even though students have multiple opportunities to take the OGT, school counselors may want to begin examining student records during the course of the students' senior year to see which students may qualify under this provision.

Included here are forms and guidelines which school counselors and administrators may find useful when determining student eligibility under the alternative pathway to graduation. Use of these forms is not mandatory. Please note the final document entitled The Case for Martin includes a fictitious student with examples of the forms filled out.

Located below are Criteria for Alternative Pathway to Graduation, the GPA Calculation Chart and EMIS reporting information. The district’s EMIS coordinator should be aware that there is an additional reporting category for the OGT alternative (see Chapter 2 of EMIS manual).

Criteria for Alternative Pathway to Graduation

  1. On the one [OGT]...for which the person failed to attain the designated score, the person missed that score by 10 points or less;

    Note: This means a scaled score of at least 390 on the failed OGT.

  2. Has a 97 percent school attendance rate in each of the last four school years, excluding any excused absences;
    Note: Excused absences are defined by local school district policy.

  3. Has not been expelled from any of the last four school years;
    Note: The statute does not address other student disciplinary outcomes, such as suspension.

  4. Has a grade point average of at least 2.5 out of 4.0, or its equivalent as designated in rules adopted by the state board of education in the subject area of the [failed OGT];
    Note: The conversion chart found below must be used.

  5. Has completed the [state] high school curriculum the subject area [of the failed test];
    Note: This applies to a student’s eligibility to be considered for an alternative pathway only. To receive a diploma, the student must also satisfy school district graduation requirements.

  6. Has taken advantage of any intervention programs provided by the school district or school in the subject area [of the failed OGT]...and has a 97 percent attendance rate, excluding any excused absences, in any of those programs that are provided at times beyond the normal school day, school week, or school year or has received comparable intervention services from a source other than the school district or school;
    Note: Students are only subject to this criteria if they were offered intervention. If so, the attendance requirement refers to their rate of participation.

  7. Holds a letter recommending graduation from each of the person's high school teachers in the subject area [of the failed OGT]...and from the person's high school principal.
    Note: If the student’s teacher from a specific course is no longer available, a person with sufficient knowledge to make an informed recommendation may substitute.

The following scale has been adopted by the State Board of Education for use in calculating a students’ grade point average for the alternative pathway to graduation. It does not need to be used for any other purpose.

GPA Calculation Chart

Letter Grade Number Grade
A+, A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

Foreign Exchange Student Considerations

Can a foreign exchange student qualify for a diploma under the “alternative pathway” if they have been excused from passing the social studies OGT?

No. Ohio law exempts certain students from having to pass the social studies part of the OGT as a requirement for earning a diploma. These students must not be citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and they must indicate their intention not to reside in the United States after completing high school. This provision of law applies almost exclusively to foreign exchange students [ORC §3313.61(H)].

Foreign exchange students who fit these requirements and opt-out of the social studies part of the OGT do not qualify for consideration under the alternative pathway for earning a diploma. That is because the alternative pathway criteria apply to students that have taken all five parts of the OGT. The provision may apply, however, if a foreign exchange student passes the social studies part of the OGT, but fails one of the other subject area tests and meets all of the statutory provisions of the alternate pathway for earning a diploma [ORC 3313.615(C)].

OGT Graduation Alternative Element

Record Field Number GK420
Definition Identifies that passage on one graduation test was met using the alternative criteria

Valid Options

  • 0 Not Used
  • 1 Used for one test not yet passed

Reporting Instructions

ORC §3313.615 indicates students may meet the passing standard for one graduation test provided they have met all identified alternative requirements. This alternative can only be used for one of the five Ohio Graduation Tests. Report with a "0" if the student does not use this alternative to meet the graduation test requirements.

Last Modified: 4/19/2024 11:35:13 AM