Early Graduation

Early Graduation Options

Although graduating early is not recommended for everyone, we are aware that some students may choose to pursue early graduation pathways in order to complete high school in less than four years. There are two routes that students can take to graduate early from Prince George’s County Public Schools. The first is to delay receiving a diploma in order to complete a year of postsecondary work. The second is to be waived from the fourth year high school work.

It is important to be aware that in most cases, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Gaudette advise students to consider the benefits of staying in high school for four years. This is because:

  • Many students choose to graduate early in order to go to college, but students sometimes forget that they can also enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses or Dual-Enrollment programs while in high school. 
  • Dual enrollment classes taken while a student is still in high school are typically paid for by the district, which saves families money in the long-run.
  • Dual enrollment and AP credits allow students to enter postsecondary programs as freshmen (rather than transfer students) after their fourth year of high school, while still being at an advantage because they have been able to earn college credits. This can decrease the amount of time and money a student will spend at a four-year school, in some cases.
  • Students receive a great deal of social, emotional, and academic support throughout their time at CMIT, and our school’s curriculum in all of these areas is set up to support full development over a four-year span. Graduating early could cause students to miss out on some of this additional support from the CMIT team.

If a student feels they would benefit from graduating early from CMIT Academy North, they should let their professional school counselor know as soon as possible. This is an important decision, and it is important to plan early for this step and explore every option. There are also several required steps that involve school counselors. 

See descriptions of both Early Graduation options below, and please be aware, all Early Graduation requests must be filed with the help of your school counselor NO LATER than Feb. 1 of a student’s 10th grade year. This means students should contact their school counselor early in their 10th grade year if they would like to apply for the process. 

 

Early College/PostSecondary Enrollment Procedures for PGCPS

Early College Admissions Program 

If a student wishes to attend a college program early, the following is required in order to receive their diploma:

  • The student MUST have a 2.5 GPA and be accepted for early admission to an accredited college before high school graduation;
  • All Maryland High School Testing and Student Service Learning requirements have been met;
  • A written request by the student and parent/guardian is made to and approved by the local superintendent of schools certifying the early admission acceptance;
  • The student’s program for the first year of college is approved by the local superintendent of schools if this program is included toward the issuance of a diploma; and
  • At the conclusion of the full year of study, a written request for a Maryland High School Diploma is submitted to the superintendent together with a transcript or letter from the college to the high school principal indicating that the student has successfully completed a year of college work.E
Early Admission to Approved Vocational, Technical, or Other Post-Secondary Program

A student may receive a MAryland High School Diploma through acceptance in an early admission program of an approved vocational, technical, or postsecondary program if:

  • The student is accepted for early admission by an approved vocational, technical, or postsecondary school program before high school graduation;
  • All Maryland High School Testing and Student Service Learning requirements have been met;
  • A written request by the student and parent/guardian is made to and approved by the local superintendent of schools certifying the early admission acceptance;
  • The student’s program for the first year of the postsecondary program is approved by the local superintendent of schools if this program is included toward the issuance of a diploma; and
  • At the conclusion of the full year of study, a written request for a Maryland High School Diploma is submitted to the superintendent together with a transcript or letter from the postsecondary school to the high school principal indicating that the student has successfully completed a year of postsecondary school work. 

 

Timeline and Procedures for Applying to Graduate Early (Post-Secondary Enrollment or Early College)

In order to apply for Early Admissions, a student must complete the following steps:

  1. During the sophomore year of high school:
    • The Professional School Counselor (Ms. Gaudette or Ms. Ryan) must meet with the student and parent/guardian to discuss the requirements for graduation and postsecondary plans.
    • A plan must be developed for meeting ALL graduation requirements, including courses, testing, and service learning.
    • The waiver application must be submitted to the Professional School Counselor by the end of the third quarter. 
    • Upon pre-approval by the principal, the student must take and pass their 3rd English course, during the summer prior to their third year of high school, unless the student will complete the 4th English credit at the approved post-secondary option. 
  2. During the third year of high school:
    • The professional School Counselor and the student must complete a graduation agreement
    • Prior to the third quarter of the third year in high school, the pre-approval packet, including an up-to-date-transcript, progress report, and postsecondary letter of acceptance must be forwarded to the Supervisor of School Counseling.
    • The Chief Executive Officer will approve the student’s program for the first year of the post-secondary study if this program is included toward the issuance of a diploma. 

Upon completion of the one year of Postsecondary Education, a written request for a Maryland High School Diploma is submitted to the high school principal and forwarded to the Supervisor of School Counseling together with a transcript or letter form the postsecondary school indicating that the student has successfully completed a year of postsecondary school work. 

 

Waiver of 4th Year Requirement:

An alternative plan for graduating early may include a waiver of the fourth year enrollment requirement for students who have earned a cumulative 2.5 grade point average at minimum if all credits, assessments, and student service learning requirements are met and if the Chief Executive Officer or designee determines that the waiver is in the best interest of the student. 

To apply for a waiver the following steps must be taken: 

  1. During the sophomore year of high school: 
    • The Professional School Counselor must meet with the student and parent/guardian to discuss the requirements for graduation and post secondary plans. 
    • A plan must be developed for meeting all graduation requirements including courses, testing, and service learning. 
    • The waiver application must be submitted to the Professional School Counselor prior to the end of the 3rd quarter. 
    • Upon pre-approval by the principal, the student must take and pass their 3rd English course, during the summer prior to the 3rd year of high school. 
  2. During the 3rd year of high school: 
    • The Professional School Counselor and student must complete a graduation agreement. 
    • Prior to the 3rd quarter of the 3rd year in high school, the pre-approval packet including an up to date transcript and progress report must be forwarded to the Supervisor of School Counseling. The Superintendent of Schools will send a final approval letter prior to graduation.

 

More Information

This information summarizes points from AP6150, which reviews Educational Requirements and Options in Secondary Schools. Please review AP6150 here for more information.

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