EQUIVALENCY CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES
I. Experiential Education Opportunities
The district may grant credit, including high school graduation credit, for school planned or approved learning experiences which may be conducted away from the facilities owned, operated, or supervised by the district or conducted primarily by individuals not employed by the district. To grant credit for such experiences, a proposal for approval of credit must be submitted to the district’s designated team.
The proposal shall include the following elements:
- Name of program or planned learning experience;
- Length of time for which approval is desired;
- Objectives of the program or planned learning experience;
- Which one or more of the state learning goals and related essential academic learning requirements are part of the program or planned learning experience;
- Description of how credits shall be determined (completion of a district-defined course or satisfactory demonstration of proficiency/mastery in the related state learning standards in accord with WAC 180-51-050(1)) and WAC 180-51-051;
- Content outline of the program and/or major learning activities and instructional materials to be used;
- Description of how student performance will be assessed;
- Qualifications of instructional personnel;
- Plans for evaluation of program; and
- How and by whom the student will be supervised.
Approved experiences may include, but are not limited to, the following: School planned or approved learning experiences such as travel study, work study, private lessons, and education programs sponsored by governmental agencies.
II. Career and Technical Education Courses Provided by the District
Any career and technical education course that is considered a statewide equivalency course offered by the district or accessed at a skill center will be offered for academic credit.
The district may also adopt local course equivalencies for career and technical education courses that are not on the list of courses approved by the superintendent of public instruction under RCW 28A.700.070.
Each high school will adopt core academic course equivalencies for high school career and technical courses, provided that the career and technical course has been reviewed and approved for equivalency credit by a district team appointed by the superintendent or a designee.
The district team will include a school administrator, the career and technical administrator, an instructor from the core academic subject area, an instructor from the appropriate career and technical course, a school counselor, and a representative from the curriculum department.
Career and technical courses approved for equivalency will be:
- Aligned with the state’s essential academic learning requirements and grade level expectations; and
- Aligned with current industry standards, as evidenced in the curriculum frameworks. The local career and technical advisory committee certify that courses meet industry standards.
- Recorded on the student’s transcripts as the academic course the equivalence credit fulfills.
Students may obtain up to two (2) mastery-based credits for passing a district-created assessment that is aligned to state learning standards and course equivalency requirements adopted by the office of the superintendent of public instruction (OSPI). Students do not need to have attempted and failed a course before being eligible for these options. With prior approval from the school principal, the following assessment options may be available to demonstrate course mastery:
- State or locally created written or oral test;
- Student-designed portfolio of work;
- Student presentation or oral defense of their learning in the course;
- Hands-on demonstration of knowledge and skills;
- A combination of assessment approaches, as defined by the district; or other locally developed methods.
Successful completion of next higher-level course: Credit may be awarded for a course when the student successfully completes the next higher-level course in a sequence that includes a natural progression of the state learning standards from the previous course. State or locally determined learning standards will be used as the guide when making decisions regarding what courses should qualify.
Mastery-based credit is available if the student achieves a C or higher grade in the next-higher level course.
The district will approve the proctored site(s) where the assessment is offered, which could include individual schools, district buildings, community colleges, universities, education service districts, or other community settings. A student may take the assessment two times. The district will award credit based on the highest assessment score.
The student may be responsible for the cost of taking a mastery/competency examination. The district will offer financial assistance to students who demonstrate need, such as qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
The district will collect official test results for each student who takes a mastery/competency examination. The district will provide a letter to the student with a copy of the test results and an indication of how many credits the student will be awarded. Credits awarded will be recorded on the student’s transcript with a grade of “Pass.”
To ensure cultural responsiveness and equity in awarding mastery-based credit, the district will collect and annually review disaggregated data to see which subgroups of students are receiving mastery-based credit. If disproportionality is found, the district will take appropriate actions to ensure equitable access to these crediting opportunities.
Courses taken before attending high school
The district will award high school credit for computer science courses taken before attending high school if approved by the district and either of following occurs:
- The course was taken with high school students, if the academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes, and the student has successfully passed by completing the same course requirements and examinations as the high school students enrolled in the class; or
- The academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes and the course would qualify for high school credit because the course is similar or equivalent to a course offered at a high school in the district determined by the board.
Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the circumstances above shall not be required to take an additional competency examination or perform any other additional assignment to receive credit.
IV. Computer Science Courses
The board will approve Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses as equivalent to high school mathematics or science, and may be used by a student to meet math or science graduation requirements. The superintendent or designee will adopt procedures to denote on the student's transcript that AP computer science qualifies as a math-based quantitative course for students who complete it in their senior year.
The district may award academic credit for computer science to students based on student completion of a mastery/competency examination that is aligned with the state learning standards for computer science or mathematics and course equivalency requirements adopted by the office of the superintendent of public instruction (OSPI).
To receive mastery/competency-based credits for computer science, a student must take a mastery/competency examination that OSPI has found aligns with the state learning standards for computer science or mathematics and that aligns with course equivalency requirements adopted by OSPI. The number of credits awarded will be based on the student’s performance on the mastery/competency examination.
Laws of 2019, ch. 180, § 2 High school computer science courses—Availability—Competency testing
RCW 28A.230.010 Course content requirements—Access to career and technical course equivalencies—Duties of school boards of directors—Waivers
RCW 28A.230.097 Career and technical high school course equivalencies.
RCW 28A.230.120 High School Diplomas – Issuance- Option to receive final transcripts –Notice
WAC 180-51 High school graduation requirements
WAC 392-410 Courses of study and equivalencies
2019 - July Policy Issue
2018 - May Policy Issue
2013 - September Issue
Policy News, August 2006 Legislature Codifies Course Equivalency for Career and Technical Courses
Initially Adopted: November 5, 2007
Amended: December 14, 2009
Amended: November 14, 2022