DOWNEY – Guided by the vision to graduate all students with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character; the Downey Unified Board of Education voted in October to adjust future graduation requirements.
This gradual change will focus on ensuring that all students, regardless of which they choose, are ready to enter both college or pursue a career field of their choice upon receiving their high school diploma.
This change, titled “15 For All,” will raise the current graduation standards for students beginning with the graduating class of 2022 (current eighth-grade students), better aligning these requirements with the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) requirements for admission.
This gradual shift will take place over a four-year period and will conclude with having current fourth-grade students fully in line to complete all UC and CSU requirements by the time they graduate in 2026.
“By setting higher expectations for our students, they will rise to the occasion and meet these new standards,” expressed Board of Education President Martha Sodetani. “We want every single one of our students graduating with the ability to be ready for any college or career they choose, and by making this change they will be.”
Coined “15 For All,” this term refers to the 15 “a-g” high school courses required for entrance into both the UC and CSU systems. These 15 core courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better for students to be eligible for admission into a CSU, while the UC system requires a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in the a-g courses to be eligible.
Please see the “15 For All” graph at the bottom of this page for the breakdown of these courses and the years required for each.
Currently, Downey Unified’s graduation requirements consist of common California high school standards that are not fully aligned with the UC and CSU systems. Downey Unified’s Board of Education voted to specifically align with the current UC and CSU standards to provide students with the increased rigor so, upon graduation, students have attained these requirements making them automatic eligible to apply to a UC or CSU if they choose.
“Given the level of complexity it takes to manage a career,” said Downey Unified’s Superintendent, Dr. John Garcia, “it is important to make sure that all our students, whether they go to college or directly into the workforce, are challenged with a rigorous course of study to be even more competitive in a global economy.”
“This transition will not be done without the support of our administration and staff,” stated Roger Brossmer, assistant superintendent of Secondary Education for Downey Unified. “We will be expanding our credit recovery and tutoring programs as well as our summer school offerings for additional student support during this shift.”
“15 For All” workshops will be available in the coming months to educate middle and high school students and parents on what this transition “looks like” for each grade level.
These workshops will also be used as a forum for conversation as Downey Unified administration is interested in hearing the wants and needs of students and parents during this transitional period. Dates to follow.
See the image titled “Downey Unified Charts New Path For Graduation” for a visual of this gradual transition detailing the breakdown of change for the graduating classes of 2024 (current sixth-grade students) and 2026 (current fourth-grade students).