Beginning with the class of 2020—this year’s freshmen—the number of credits needed to graduate from a VPS high school has increased to 24. The new requirements, set by the Washington State Board of Education, were designed to enhance students’ preparedness for life after high school, whether that includes four-year or community colleges, trade schools, military service, the workforce or any other aspirations.

The 24 credits include:

  • 17 core credits in English, math, science, social studies, arts, health and fitness and career and technical education
  • Four elective credits from courses that students choose based on their interests
  • Three more core credits (one in art and two in world languages) or, alternately, students can choose up to three personalized pathway credits, which reflect students’ individual post–high school goals. The personalized pathway credits allow flexibility for students to choose courses that meet graduation requirements and prepare them for their career and educational goals.


Currently, Vancouver Public Schools requires 22.5 credits to graduate. This requirement will continue for the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

To help students achieve 24 credits, VPS is providing support and options including:

  • Middle school course offerings that meet graduation requirements
  • Career and technical education classes that satisfy dual graduation requirements
  • Zero period and seventh-period support
  • Academic, social and emotional support through programs such as Freshman Academy
  • Advocates and mentors
  • Guidance from counselors and career specialists
  • Training that will help teachers foster their students’ success in core subjects

In rare circumstances, a waiver of up to two credits  could be available for students who attempt but do not reach 24 credits.

Questions about the changing requirements? Please contact a school counselor or career specialist for more information.