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Florida’s New High School

Graduation Opportunities

“It’s a Major Opportunity”

Students Entering Ninth Grade in
It’s a Major Opportunity…
(Major Areas of Interest)

Why? Students can:

take charge of their education
pursue in-depth study in an area of their choice
learn more about future professions or lifetime skills
share a common area of interest with a mentor
explore individual interests
What is a major area of interest (MAI)?

Four (4) credits selected by the student in an area of

interest. For example, courses may be in:

a career and technical program

fine and performing arts, or
an academic content area
Where Can I See Examples?
Statewide there are currently over 440
approved MAI from which districts can

The entire list can be viewed at and at
What Major Areas of Interest are
Offered in Our Schools?
Teacher Preparation
Accounting and Finance
Business Technology
Public Service Education
Drama-Theatre Arts
STEM Modified (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
Foreign Language
***This is only a small example of the Majors that are offered in Volusia County Schools***
Major Areas of Interest in Exceptional
Student Education (ESE)

These students will be given the opportunity to

participate in major areas of interest that are
designated for ALL students.
Students working on special diploma standards are
not limited to selecting from the ESE major areas of
interest list.
The decision to enroll a student in an ESE major area
of interest is based on the student’s ability level.
The student, with guidance from the IEP team when
possible, should be actively involved in choosing
his/her major area of interest.
What MAIs are offered in ESE in our Schools

Veterinary Assisting
Carpenter’s Assistant
Child/Daycare Support Assistant
Food Service Assistant
Medical/Health Services Support
Auto Services Assistant

**This is only a small representation of the Majors offered in

Volusia County Schools in our ESE Programs**
Students and Parents
When choosing a MAI, be sure to
consider the students’:
 Academic achievements

Individual interests and talents

Career goals
 Postsecondary goals
How Do Students Identify a Major
Area of Interest?
Discuss their individual interests with
parent(s)/guardian(s), guidance counselors,
and teachers.
Explore their academic and career goals.
 Use CHOICES to explore occupations and career interests (

In February-March 2007, use to view major

areas of interest that are being offered at the high
school (

Identify a MAI and in April 2007, identify course(s) that

are included in the chosen MAI, which are appropriate
for 9th grade and update academic plan.

Online resource: (electronic Personal
Education Planner [ePEP]) or
Career Planner

Students may revise major areas of

interest each year as part of the annual
course registration process and should
update their education plans to reflect
such revisions.
How is the high school
“major area of interest”
from a college “major”?
College Majors VS.
Major Areas of Interest
College Major HS Major Areas of Interest
Results in a degree or May result in a certification
Major area of interest
Major credits are part of credits are part of electives
core requirements
Completion not required to
Completion required to earn a high school diploma
earn a degree
Changes do not require
Changes generally extra time in high school
require extra time in
Does a student have to
complete a major area of
interest to graduate?

No, the student does not have to

complete a major to graduate but does
have to be enrolled in a major area
of interest each year.
Any Exceptions?
The programs list below are considered stand-
alone major areas of interest. Students enrolled
full-time in the following programs are not
required to enroll in an additional MAI:
 International Baccalaureate Curriculum (IB)

Advanced International Certificate of Education
(AICE) Curriculum
 Accelerated 3-year graduation program
What are the graduation options
for earning a standard diploma?
Florida law requires students to successfully
a four-year, minimum of 24-credits standard program,
a three-year,18-credit standard college preparatory
program, or
a three-year,18-credit career preparatory program
(Three-year programs do not include
options for Certificates of Completion
or Special Diplomas)
Standard Diploma
Graduation Requirements
Students are required to:
 Meet minimum course requirements

 Earn passing scores on the FCAT or scores

on a standardized test that are concordant

with the passing scores on the FCAT (ACT or

Achieve a specific grade point average (GPA)
on a 4.0 scale
Standard Diploma
Graduation Requirements
Students are required to obtain a minimum GPA
as follows:
 Four-year, 24-credit standard program - 2.0

 Three-year, 18-credit standard college

preparatory program - 3.5 GPA

Three-year, 18-credit career preparatory
program - 3.0 GPA
Four-year, 24-credit
Standard Program

16 + 4 + 4 = 24

Other Electives
Core Classes


Graduation Requirements for Students
Entering 9th Grade in 2007-2008
16 + 4 + 4 = 24
 16 core curriculum credits
 4 credits in English

 4 credits in mathematics (one credit must be in Algebra

I or higher)
 3 credits in science, two of which must have a
laboratory component
 3 credits in social studies (1 world history, 1 American
history, .5 American government, and .5 economics)
 1 credit in fine arts

1 credit in physical education to include the
integration of health
4 Credits in a
Major Area of Interest
Four (4) courses designated toward a MAI, that are
selected by the student in one of the following

 Career and technical program

 Fine and performing arts, or

 An academic content area

And 4 Credits in
Elective Courses
These credits may be combined to allow for:
 a second major area of interest,
 a minor area of interest,

elective courses,

intensive reading or mathematics intervention
Three-year, 18-credit
Standard Diploma Graduation Options

Designed for students who:

Intend to accelerate their high school
completion date
Have clear future goals
 College prep: community college or university
 Career prep: vocational, technical, or other career
preparation program or community college
Have maturity to demonstrate a successful
transition to a postsecondary education setting
Are ready to accelerate their education
Three-year, 18-credit
Standard Diploma Graduation Options
Selection Process
Student and student’s parent(s) must meet with
designated school personnel to receive an
explanation of the requirements, advantages, and
Student must receive the written consent of the
student’s parent
Selection of a a three-year program must occur prior
to the end of ninth grade
Student may change to a 4-year graduation program
at anytime during their high school career, pursuant
to district policy
If no selection is made, the student is considered to
have chosen the four-year, 24-credit option
With Careful Planning All Three
Graduation Programs Will:

Permit completion of an associate degree through dual


Meet Bright Futures requirements

Meet minimum State University System (SUS) of

Florida admission requirements

Prepare students for successful entry into community

college without the need for remediation

Prepare students for successful entry into the workforce

State University System (SUS)
High School Course Requirements
(Be sure to double-check to see if courses are SUS approved)
English 4 Credits
Mathematics 3 Credits
(Algebra I and higher)
Natural Science 3 Credits
Social Science 3 Credits
Foreign Language 2 Credits
(sequential courses in the same language)
SUS Approved Electives3 Credits
Total 18 Credits
Academic Planning:

It is very important for students to work with their

guidance counselors, career specialists and teachers in
order to identify and select courses in “major and/or minor
areas of interest” to ensure that university admission and
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship program requirements
are met, based on the student’s desired postsecondary
education goals.
Examples of Smart
Course Selection

University-bound students might want to look for MAI

that includes credits in foreign language since all
universities in Florida require a minimum of two foreign
language credits for admission
Future business owners might want to enroll in a
business-related or entrepreneurship-related major area
of interest to get them started
Future fitness professionals or artists might want to
enroll in a major area of interest in the arts or health and
fitness to get a real life glimpse at these career areas.
Tools for Career
Exploration & High
School Course Planning
Florida CHOICES

 &ePEP

Career Connection Online Resources

Career Connection Planner (4 year plan)

Florida’s Career Information
Delivery System

Assess Plan and Develop

Interests  Career Portfolio

Values 

Skills  Job Interview Skills
 Careers
 College Majors
 Postsecondary
 Scholarships
Middle School Career Exploration

Create a portfolio in CHOICES Planner

Complete the Interest Profiler
CHOICES will connect interest results to
3. Explore occupations to determine the ones in
which the student is most interested
4. Identify the career clusters that include these
What is
 Florida’s central web resource for student advising

Helps students plan and track educational progress

(high school & college)

Planning (electronic Personal Education Planner [ePEP])

Tracking (High School Academic Evaluations)
What is an ePEP?

electronic Personal Education Plan used for all students

Interactive high school planner that lets students map out
coursework, based on their goals after high school (college,
career/technical training, going directly into the workforce, etc.).

In April, the revised ePEP will allow students to select a

major area of interest at their high school and to plan
towards the new high school graduation requirements.
ePEPs created prior to April will be automatically converted
to the new system.
High School Academic Evaluations
Students can track their progress
numerous ways using their unique
password to:
 See their grades, grade point average and Bright Futures grade
point average

 Compare their transcripts to requirements for graduation, Bright

Futures eligibility and state university admissions
It’s A Major Opportunity…
(Major Areas of Interest)

For students to:

be empowered to take charge of their education and
pursue in-depth study in an area they find engaging
learn more in areas that they might be considering as
future professions or lifetime skills
earn additional credit toward college or technical
school, or beginning certification in an occupation
be mentored, sharing a common area of interest with a
pursue special interests to increase their overall
academic performance
Resources for Parents and
High School Major Areas of Interest Listings:
High School Graduation Requirements:

Bright Futures Scholarship Program:

Florida CHOICES:

Career Connection: