Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations
Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma.
Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include:
- Alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements
- Modifications to the requirements for locally awarded verified credits
- Additional tests approved by the Board of Education for earning verified credits
- Adjusted cut scores on tests for earning verified credits
- Allowance of work-based learning experiences through career and technical education (CTE) courses
Virginia's Special Permission Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit
Based on feedback received from the United States Department of Education’s Peer Review Process on State Assessments, the Virginia Department of Education received notification that the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program, known as the VSEP, would no longer be permissible for use in Virginia’s federal accountability system. Due to this new interpretation, the Virginia Board of Education adopted revisions to the Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities at its meeting on September 20, 2018.
Locally Awarded Verified Credit Policy
According to the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools (SOA), school divisions are able to locally award verified credits, in general. School divisions were notified that effective May 9, 2018, all students are eligible to be considered for locally awarded verified credits in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science in accordance with the Board of Education's regulations and guidance. To be eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits in English, mathematics, science, or history/social science under this guidance, a student must:
- Pass the high school course,
- Score within a 375-399 scale score range on any administration of the Standards of Learning (SOL) test after taking the test at least twice, and
- Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process administered at the local level.
For more information, refer to Superintendent’s Memo #130-18.
Verified Credit Accommodation for a Standard Diploma Policy
At the Board of Education’s September 20, 2018, meeting, the Board approved an accommodation that permits school divisions to award locally awarded verified credits toward a Standard Diploma, which proposed revisions to the Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. This new accommodation permits school divisions to make an exception to their locally awarded verified credit policy and procedures for certain students with disabilities that score below a 375 scale score after taking the test, at least once. Refer to the Virginia Board of Education September 20, 2018 Agenda Item A.
Special Permission Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit
The Special Permission Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit was added to provide those students with disabilities who previously might have used the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) with a pathway to earn the necessary locally awarded verified credits to obtain a standard diploma.
Eligibility Criteria Request
- Frequently Asked Questions-This is a Word document.
- Instructions for Eligibility Criteria Request -This is a Word document
- Eligibility Criteria Request Form for Special Permission Credit Accommodation for Locally Awarded Verified Credit-This is an excel spreadsheet.
- Eligibility Criteria Request Submission
Resources to assist special education directors, division directors of testing, school counselors, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams are available:
Guidance on the Use of Credit Accommodations
- Guidelines for Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities-This is a Word document.
- Sample Transition Individualized Education Program (IEP) Form (Word)
- Sample Eligibility Form (Word)
- VMAST Participation Criteria Form-This is a Word document.
- Credit Accommodations at a Glance (Word)
- Personal Living and Finances (3120) course materials, used as a credit accommodation, are available through the CTE Resource Center. This course may be used in lieu of Economics and Personal Finance (6120) for eligible students.
Comparison of Credit Requirements
While credit accommodations provide alternate pathways and flexibility, students receiving accommodations must earn the 22 standard credits and six verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. In contrast, only 20 standard credits and 0 verified credits are required for the Modified Standard Diploma.
|Comparison of Credit Requirements:
Standard Diploma vs. Modified Standard Diploma
|Subject or Course||Standard
|History & Social Sciences||3||1||2||0|
|Health & Physical Education||2||0||2||0|
|Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education||2||0||1||0|
|Economics and Personal Finance||1||0||0||0|
|Board-approved career or industry credential||Required||Not Required|
|Virtual course||Required||Not Required|
Credit accommodations are not available for the Advanced Studies Diploma.