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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: December 21, 2015


Sen. Ron Sharp
Sen. Ron Sharp

Legislation to create new diplomas to recognize all students

Retired school teacher, Sen. Ron Sharp, filed legislation Friday that will recognize the hard work of all high school graduates rather than just those who plan on attending college. Currently, Oklahoma high school seniors can only get two degrees – one for students who are college bound (meets the state’s College Preparatory/Work Ready Curriculum Standards) and one for those who are not attending college (meets Core Curriculum Standards). The Shawnee Republican believes more diplomas should be offered to recognize all students who excel in the classroom.

“Every student who works hard in school should get recognized for their academic excellence rather they’re planning on attending college or Career Tech or going straight into the workforce,” said Sharp. “This Diploma Recognition Act would help promote the Workforce Oklahoma initiative at the high school level and allow employers, Career Techs and universities to quickly determine students’ academic knowledge and work ethic.”

Senate Bill 929 would create the 2016 Workforce Oklahoma Academic High School Diploma Recognition Act. Beginning with the 2018-2019 high school graduating class, students who have met the state curriculum requirements and who have demonstrated mastery of the state academic content standards would be eligible for the following graduation recognitions on their standard diploma

1.) “Recognition of Highest Academic Distinction”- cumulative high school G.P.A. of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all coursework performed, including one of the following:
a.) a combination of at least six Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses and/or concurrent enrollment college courses; or
b.) at least six science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses as part of a STEM career major approved by the State Board of Career and Technology Education;

2.) "Recognition of academic honors" - cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all coursework performed, including one of the following:
a.) a combination of at least four A.P. courses and/or concurrent enrollment college courses; or
b.) at least four STEM courses as part of a STEM career major approved by the State Board of Career and Technology Education;

3.) "Recognition of academic merit" - cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all coursework performed, including one of the following:
a.) a combination of at least four A.P. courses and/or concurrent enrollment college courses; or
b.) completion of at least one career major approved by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and attainment of at least one industry-recognized certification affiliated with the career major. The career major and industry-recognized certifications would align with the key
industries identified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce or other approved career pathway.

4.) "High school general academic recognition" - cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all coursework performed, including the successful completion of at least one career major approved by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and aligned with the key industries
identified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce or other approved career pathway; and

5.) "High school academic competency recognition" – cumulative G.P.A. of 1.0 to 1.99 on a 4.0 scale for all coursework performed, including the successful completion of at least one career major approved by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and aligned with the key industries
identified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce or other approved career pathway.

“We need more students taking science, technology, engineering and math courses because these are the areas that Oklahoma companies are in desperate need of and by having special diplomas recognizing those students who studied in these areas, businesses will be able to find these knowledgeable and qualified employees quicker,” said Sharp.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Sharp: 405-521-5539

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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