skip to main content
California graduation requirements

California graduation requirements

  • Section 51225.3 of CA Education Code to add Ethnic Studies to the CA Graduation requirements and gave an implementation timeline for Local Educational Agencies to offer a course that fulfills this requirement, as well as ways that a CA pupil may satisfy the requirement.
    • This bill adds the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies, meeting specified requirements, to the graduation requirements commencing with pupils graduating in the 2029–30 school year, including for pupils enrolled in a charter school. 
    • Commencing with the 2025–26 school year, a local educational agency, including a charter school, with pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, shall offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies.
    • The specified requirements are that it must be a least one semester, that Ethnic Studies must be the primary content, and that students must accrue credit for coursework in the subject that the course is offered.
  • Section 51226.7 of the CA Education Code related to the Instructional Quality Commission developing, and the state board adopting, a model curriculum in ethnic studies to ensure quality courses of study in ethnic studies. 
What is the timeline? 
    • Per the bill, all schools must offer an ethnic studies course commencing with the 2025–26 school year
    • The following year it becomes a graduation requirement for the class of 2030, which is students entering grade 9 in 2026-2027 (current grade 7 students).
What content will the course have?  The State Board of Education adopted a Model Curriculum. SDUHSD is using the SBE-recommended model curriculum as a guide for professional learning and the development of an initial course offering. 
Is Ethnic Studies a requirement to apply to college in California? Currently, the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) have not made Ethnic Studies a requirement for admission. We will continue to monitor college decisions related to this subject area. Any course that SDUHSD develops will be submitted to the UC for approval as fulfilling a-g subject requirements.
SDUHSD implementation of graduation requirement

SDUHSD implementation of graduation requirement

Planned District Timeline 
                         SDUHSD_EthnicStudies_Timeline                 Click to view to Larger Graphic SDUHSD Ethnic Studies Timeline
What is the SDUHSD plan for implementation? SDUHSD continues to work with local educational partners, including the San Diego County Office of Education, colleges, teachers, and counselors on initial professional learning and instructional exploration. The district is in the planning process of an initial course. No course or materials have been developed at this point. This work is ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops. 
  • To begin Instructional Exploration, in Fall 2023, aligned with the SDCOE Guidance for Local Instructional Materials Adoption (p. 7), SDUHSD convened a committee of educators who:
       - have knowledge of the content areas under consideration, 
       - were a majority of teachers with substantial experience in the classroom and teachers relatively new to the profession
       - have knowledge or experience with effective and promising instructional practices
       - have expertise with student groups such as EL students and students with disabilities; and
       - have knowledge or experience collecting or analyzing data
  • The committee reviewed information and materials including laws, model curriculum, and potential course models for alignment with the State guidance and standards. The following models were initially considered:  
       - Model A Embed in an existing course
       - Model B Embed in multiple courses
       - Model C Standalone half-term Ethnic Studies course
       - Model D Menu of courses
       - Model E Standalone year-long Ethnic Studies course
  • In reviewing the potential models and planning, staff took into consideration student-focused, logistical, and fiscal aspects of implementation.
  • Based on this overall review and information gathered as well as the timeline, Model A was the option chosen for an initial course design, as English 9 with Ethnic Studies and English 9 Honors with Ethnic Studies. 
  • This is the initial design in order to implement a course by Fall 2025. In the future, other models may be explored based on student needs to satisfy graduation requirements.
  • On May 16, 2024, an update was provided to the Board of Trustees and the public. Please click here to view the presentation. As noted in the slides, this work is ongoing and more information will be provided, including in August after summer work.