2013 ACT 138: Allowing Credit Earned in Grade 7 or 8 to Count as High School Credit If Certain Conditions Are Met
Under Act 138, if three conditions are met, a school board may count a credit that a pupil earns in grade 7 or 8 toward the 15 state graduation credit requirements or the 8.5 additional credits that the state superintendent encourages school boards to require from any combination of vocational education, foreign languages, fine arts, and other courses.
First, the pupil’s performance on a state examination or similar examination approved by the school board must demonstrate that the pupil is academically prepared for coursework that is offered in the high school grades.
Second, the credit must be earned in a course that is taught by a teacher who is licensed to teach the subject in the high school grades. This means the teacher’s content area license must include the grade or developmental level for high school like early adolescence to adolescence, early childhood to adolescence, or grades 6-12 or 7-12. Prior to the implementation of PI 34, there were licenses in a specific content area issued where the teacher could teach through grade 9 (e.g., grades 1-9, 5-9, 6-9, or 7-9). If a teacher holds one of these licenses, he or she can teach 9th grade level courses (e.g., Algebra I, Math 9, Integrated I) for high school credit to pupils in grades 7 and 8 in their specific content area. Please note: a teacher who only holds a regular/elementary education license in grades 1-8 or at the middle childhood to early adolescence level does not hold the appropriate license to teach high school curriculum to students in grades 7-8 and no longer has the ability to add a specific license in grades 1-9. These teachers would need to return to an approved program to seek a content license at the early adolescence to adolescence level.
Third, the credit must be earned in a course that is taught using a curriculum and assessments that are equivalent to the curriculum and assessments used to teach the subject in the high school grades. This act first applies to a course completed by a pupil in grade 7 or 8 during the 2014-15 school year.
*The Department of Public Instruction recommends that high school courses taken in 7th or 8th grade should be so noted on the transcript along with the grade received; however, the grade/s received should not be factored into the high school grade point average. The reasoning behind that recommendation is that students might shy away from taking a more challenging course because of future implications on their overall grade point average.