Diplomas for Graduation

A variety of honors and distinctions may be awarded to graduating students meeting state or locally specified criteria. All diplomas must include 28 credits and 40 hours community service requirement. Determination of “Graduating with Honors” and “Graduating with Distinction” is made at the end of the students’ seventh semester. “

STATE HONORS

Students who score at or above all the subject area readiness benchmarks on the ACT or equivalent score on the SAT will graduate with state honors.

DISTRICT DISTINCTION

Students shall be recognized as graduating with district distinction if they have met the graduation requirements, have obtained an overall grade point average of at least a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and have earned an industry certification in his or her career interest category or a regionally-recognized industry certification.

TENNESSEE TRI-STAR SCHOLAR

A student who earns a composite score of nineteen (19) or higher on the ACT, or an equivalent score on the SAT, and earns a capstone industry certification as promoted by the Department of Education, shall be recognized as a Tennessee Tri-Star Scholar upon graduation from high school. The public high school shall recognize the student's achievement at the graduation ceremony by placing an appropriate designation on the student's diploma, or other credential, or by providing a ribbon or cord to be worn with graduation regalia. The student shall be noted as a Tennessee Tri-Star Scholar in the school's graduation program.

STATE DISTINCTION

Students will be recognized as graduating with “state distinction” by attaining a B or better average and completing one (1) of the following:

  • Earn a national and/or state recognized industry certification;
  • Participate in at least one (1) of the Governor’s Schools;
  • Participate in one (1) of the state’s ALL State musical organizations;
  • Earn statewide recognition or award at a skill- or knowledge-based state tournament, convention, or competition hosted by a statewide student organization, and/or qualify for national recognition by a national student organization;
  • Be selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist;
  • Attain a score of thirty-one (31) or higher composite score on the ACT or SAT equivalent;
  • Attain a score of three (3) or higher on at least two advanced placement exams;
  • Successfully complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme; or
  • Earn twelve (12) or more semester hours of postsecondary credit.

SEAL OF BILITERACY

LEAs shall recognize students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one (1) or more languages in addition to English with a Seal of Biliteracy. Students receiving this recognition shall meet the following criteria:

  • Complete all English language arts (ELA) requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher in those classes;
  • (Demonstrate English proficiency through one (1) of the following:
    • Score at the on-track or mastered level on each ELA end-of-course assessment taken;
    • Score three (3) or higher on an Advanced Placement English Language or English Literature exam; B1 or higher on a Cambridge International English exam; or four (4) or higher on an International Baccalaureate English exam;
    • Score 22 or higher on the ACT Reading subtest or 480 or higher on the SAT evidence-based reading and writing subtest; or
    • Score 4.5 or higher on the WIDA Access, if the student is an English learner; and
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a world language through one (1) of the following:
    • Score Intermediate-Mid or higher in all three (3) communication modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) on a world language proficiency assessment recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL);
    • Score three (3) or higher on an Advanced Placement world language exam; B1 or higher on a Cambridge International world language exam; or four (4) or higher on an International Baccalaureate world language exam;
    • Score at the Intermediate level or higher on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI: ASL);
    • Pass a foreign government's approved non-English language exam, or score at a level comparable to Intermediate-mid or higher on the ACTFL proficiency scale on another country’s secondary level standardized exam in the country’s non-English native language; or
    • Score at a level comparable to Intermediate-Mid or higher on the ACTFL proficiency scale on an LEA developed alternate model. Alternate models may only be used if the identified world language does not have an associated nationally recognized assessment and must address communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities.

Each school shall document and track students’ progress toward the Seal of Biliteracy. Each local board shall affix an appropriate insignia to the diploma of the qualifying student indicating that the student has been awarded a Tennessee Seal of Biliteracy.

COMMUNITY SERVICE DISTINCTION

Students who voluntarily complete at least ten (10) hours of community service each semester the student is in attendance at a public high school shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.

CAREER READINESS DISTINCTION

Students graduating with a gold or platinum medal on National Career Readiness Certificate (WorkKeys) shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.

 WORK ETHIC DIPLOMA

Students graduating with a district-developed work ethic distinction shall be recognized at their graduation ceremony.

 AP CAPSTONE DIPLOMA

Earn scores of 3 or higher in both of the AP Capstone courses and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma from the College Board.

 AP CAPSTONE CERTIFICATE

Earn scores of 3 or higher in both of the AP Capstone courses but not on the four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, signifying successful performance in those courses.

*All documentation must be submitted by the student to the counselor to be considered for Graduation.