Questions and Answers

Here are some frequently asked questions about the change in the graduation requirements effective with the Class of 2016.

Question Answer
What are the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) “A-G” requirements? The “A-G” requirements are the minimum academic course requirements high school students must satisfy to be eligible to apply for freshman admission to UC/CSU. They consist of 15 year-long courses in seven subject areas, which students are required to pass with a grade of C or better.
Do all San Diego Unified students have to meet the UC/CSU “A-G” requirements in order to graduate from high school? Not at this time. Students in the graduating Classes of 2015 are not required to complete the full sequence of UC/CSU “A-G” courses in order to earn a high school diploma. Starting with the Class of 2016 and beyond, students will be required to take the full sequence of UC “A-G” subject area courses.
Do students need to receive a letter grade for their UC/CSU “A-G” coursework? Yes. In order to meet the “A-G” requirement, a course must receive a letter grade. Courses may not be taken Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit. Grades of Incomplete are also not recognized.
To meet UC/CSU “A-G” requirements, students must earn a grade of “C” or better in the courses they take. Since the new graduation requirements will include the UC/CSU “A-G” subject area courses, will students have to earn a grade of “C,” or will the district continue to use “D” as the passing grade for coursework? The Board of Education decided that if a student receives a “D” grade in an “A-G”-required course, s/he is eligible to graduate from high school; however, in most cases the student will not be eligible to attend a UC/CSU school.
Will the level of rigor of UC/CSU “A-G” courses remain once all students are required to pass the “A-G” course sequence in order to graduate from high school? In order for a high school course to meet a UC/CSU “A-G” requirement, it must be reviewed by UC and receive “A-G” certification. Certification involves an extensive review by UC experts to make sure the course meets the expected rigor. These experts review the course syllabus, required textbooks, supplemental instructional materials, number and types of assignments given, assessments used, anticipated goals and outcomes, and designated grade levels.
What results have other districts seen after implementing the "A-G" requirements? San Jose Unified has implemented the “A-G” requirements for several years, and its data show that more students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and earned qualifying scores of three, four or five, indicating that instructional standards remained high. San Francisco Unified School District began implementing similar changes in 2009-10.