Keeping options open with honors diplomas

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Keeping options open with honors diplomas

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Feature Photo by: Elizabeth Serrano– Students take time during their off periods to try and finish on assignments. Most have overwhelming amount of homework due to more advanced courses.

By: Elizabeth Serrano and Nealani Elliston, Review Staff

Some say the stress of getting into weighted classes and keeping a good GPA for a high-class rank can be difficult. However, there could potentially be an alternative to just having a high-class rank. Instead of competing for that better GPA and/or class rank, students can focus on getting a honors diploma when they graduate.

Although it is not official, a proposal has been made and admissions are looking into it. The reason why this diploma has been proposed is many students take as many weighted classes as possible and overlook taking classes related to their interests or passions because the majority are unweighted and don’t allow higher GPA thus class rank would be lower.

Senior Jordan Higgs said, “I do believe that Honor Diplomas are a good idea but freshmen aren’t even aware of what honors classes are or how they can benefit from them.”

The Honors Diploma still has its requirements on different aspects: weighted credits, GPA, grade average, academic honesty, and Apogee Project.

At the end of high school, students should have 14 credits of weighted classes. A guideline would be three credits for each freshman and sophomore year and four credits for each junior and senior year. This way, students can use the remaining credits needed to participate in classes that aren’t weighted but would enjoy taking them.

“Honors diplomas is a great way to do something you enjoy,” said senior Kailynn Perkins. There are many classes that aren’t weighted that many could take if it’s in their interests. (Nealani Elliston)

“I think [Honors Diplomas] should have been implemented long ago,” said senior Sara Elouadi. “This is definitely a good idea and will help students focus more on taking both fun classes they enjoy and classes educationally beneficial.”

Since in college standard, C is passing, it would be the same standard for the diploma. Also, a minimum of 4.0 weighted GPA is required which just would be an average grade of a B. No low signal grades would have a huge impact. Students need a clean record of academic honesty as well.

The Honors Apogee Project would be a learning-based project that would need to be completed by the fall semester of senior year. The project would need to be submitted and presented to the Honors Committee. These projects would also be presented to an outside audience and eventually to a school-sponsored event: a log of work and time done, agreement with a mentor, reflection, and documentation of two reviews.

“It encourages students’ interests,” said Sophomore Logan Stott. “It encourages them to take pride in what they find interesting instead of trying to take classes that are worth the most in GPA.”

There are still many considerations and presentation of the proposal to other schools and APS that are undergoing at the moment.