Decide On A Graduation Pathway

Louisiana has two main graduation pathways for all students, including those with disabilities.

Each pathway has its own set of requirements. Your IEP Team can help you and your child decide which is best.

TOPS University Pathway

  • The traditional high school pathway

  • Prepares students to go on to a 4-year college

Jump Start Career (or TOPS Tech) Pathway

  • Prepares students for a technical or community college AND trains them for a specific career

  • Students will get a diploma and one or more "Credentials" for a certain type of job

Then you must work with your IEP team and map out a class schedule that will meet the requirements of that pathway.

Click on the buttons below to learn more about each:

This option is for students who plan to go to college. It is the traditional high school pathway.

Graduation Requirements are the courses a student needs to take (and pass) in order to graduate.

They are listed in terms of Carnegie Units.  One Carnegie Unit means that there has been 120 hours of class time in a certain course.  This is usually the same as a full year course, but not always.

End of Course (EOC) Assessments are tests students take after each course to be sure they understand the course content.  They must get a certain score to be able to count the course and earn the Carnegie Unit.

Graduation Requirements for a TOPS University Diploma:

Chart showing the graduation requirements for a TOPS University DiplomaImage of a clipboard
Must have an EOC Assessment Score of Fair or higher in these courses:
- Algera 1 or Geometry
- English II or English III
- Biology or U.S. History

 

If your child chooses this pathway, their high school transcript will show each course, the Carnegie Units earned, and the grades. Colleges will be looking at these things when they make their decisions to accept a student for admission.

Click on the link at the bottom of the page to download a more detailed list of required courses. (It will open in a new window or appear in the bottom corner of your screen.)

Source: LA DOE

This option is for students who want to train for a job during high school.

It will give them a jump start on getting the career and technical experience they'll need.  It also prepares them for going on to a technical or community college.

What do you get when you graduate?Image with the subject 'What do you get when you graduate' above the text 'High School Diploma and one or more credentials for a specific type of job. Also called an Industry Based Credential (IBC)'

What classes do you take?

Image with the subject 'What classes do you take? Above the text 'College prep (math, english, etc.) Career Education (Basic Job Skills), Training for specific jobs (Like plumber, cook or EMT)'

Click here for a quick 2-minute video about Jump Start! (It will open in a new window.)

Graduation Requirements are the courses a student needs to take (and pass) in order to graduate.

They are listed in terms of Carnegie Units. One Carnegie Unit means that there has been 120 hours of class time in a certain course. This is usually the same as a full year course.

End of Course (EOC) Assessments are tests students take after each course to be sure they understand the course content. They must get a certain score to be able to count the course and earn the Carnegie Unit.


Jump Start Pathway Graduation Requirements:

Chart showing graduation requirements for Jump Start Pathway Programimage of a clipboard
Must have an EOC Assessment Score of Fair or higher in these courses:
- Algera 1 or Geometry
- English II or English III
- Biology or U.S. History

 

 

To learn more about Jump Start, click on these resources:

They'll open in a new tab or window, or appear in the bottom corner of your screen.

 

Sources: Jump Start Video Network (JSVN) Cowen Institute, SchoolTube, Inc., LA DOE

 

Image of an exclamation markSame Diploma, Different Transcript! 
Both pathways lead to the same high school diploma, but your child's transcript will be different if they take the Jumpstart or TOPS University pathway. For example, a Jumpstart transcript will not have the admissions requirements that a 4-year university will be looking for.

The transcript is a detailed list of the courses your child has taken, and the grades they got in each.

If your child has a significant disability and is not taking traditional academic classes:

  • There is an Alternate Assessment pathway for children with significant intellectual disabilities. It's also called LEAP Connect.
  • See the sections in the menu on the left about what to do in this case.

Source: LDOE

 

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