Path to Graduation Info

Parents, educators, and students told us they would like to see changes to the graduation program. We are moving forward with a focus on providing students with an education that is flexible and innovative. It will give them opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in today’s world.

In 2015, the Ministry of Education announced that changes would occur. Consultations about curriculum and assessment were held in 2011/12, and highlighted a need for changes to the existing graduation program. Province-wide graduation program consultations occurred in the fall of 2012. The Ministry, in consultation with stakeholders, has been working on modernizing curriculum, assessment and the graduation program since that time.

To allow schools to adjust to the new curriculum and new provincial exams, only modest changes to the graduation credit requirements will be made for now. Further changes to the graduation program are currently being discussed with education partners and post-secondary institutions. 

Changes to Assessment

Assessment and curriculum are interconnected. Provincial exams are being redesigned to align with new curriculum content. 

Provincial exams for Science 10, Social Studies 11, Language Arts 10 and Math 10 will no longer be used. Classroom assessments will be used instead. 

Currently, this school year and next, there are no changes to the Language Arts 12 provincial exams and equivalents. Exams will run as scheduled, aligned with the current curriculum – not the new curriculum.

A new provincial math skills (numeracy) exam will be introduced in the 2017/18 school year. A new provincial literacy exam will be introduced in the 2018/2019 school year.

Exams will continue to be rigorous and based on learning standards evaluating student achievement, Core Competencies, essential learning and literacy and math skills. However, more flexibility will be introduced into the assessment process wherever possible.

What This Means for Students

Changes in curriculum, assessments and graduation requirements are being phased-in over the next few years.

The number of credits required to graduate remains the same.

New curriculum and provincial exams are the key differences between the previous (2004) Graduation Program and the new Graduation Program in 2018.

There is overlap between the previous graduation program and the new one. There will also be a transition period to account for current students who are progressing under a number of different scenarios. The amount of overlap will depend on how many current courses and exams a student has completed and written before June 2017.

Some students on the 2004 grad years program may not have to write certain provincial exams. Courses from the 2004 program will fully count towards the 2018 program.

Provincial Exam Transition Year

For students entering Grades 10-12 in the 2016/2017 school year:
  • Grade 10 students will:
    • Follow most of the current Graduation Program requirements
    • Take a Math 10, a Language Arts 10 and Science 10, with classroom assessments instead of provincial exams
    • Meet Social Studies graduation requirements with classroom assessments
    • Write a provincial math skills exam and a provincial literacy exam before graduation
  • Grade 11 students will:
    • Have completed a Math 10, a Language Arts 10 and Science 10 or equivalent and written the associated provincial exams
    • Meet Social Studies graduation requirements with classroom assessments instead of a provincial exam
    • Write a Language Arts 12 exam before graduation
    • Not write the new provincial math skills exam
  • Grade 12 students will:
    • Finish all the current Graduation Program requirements
    • Have completed a Math 10, a Language Arts 10, Science 10 and Social Studies 11 (or equivalent) and have written associated provincial exams
    • Take Language Arts 12 (or equivalent) and write the associated provincial exam
    • Not write the new provincial literacy or provincial math skills exams
    • Students who have completed courses associated with discontinued exams by June 30, 2016 will have until June 2017 to write or re-write exams
    • Français langue première 10, Français langue première 12 and Français langue seconde immersion 12 provincial exam changes will be the same as their equivalents above

Graduation Requirements for 2018/2019

To graduate, students will require 80 credits total, with a minimum of 16 at the grade 12 level, and 28 elective course credits. 52 credits are required from the following:
  • Two Career Education courses (total 8 credits) (replaces Planning 10 and Graduation Transitions)
  • Physical Health and Education 10 (4 credits)
  • Science 10 (4 credits), and a Science 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • Social Studies 10 (4 credits), and a Social Studies 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Math 10 (4 credits), and a Math 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Language Arts 10, 11 & 12 (12 credits)
  • An Arts Education 10, 11, or 12 and/or an Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 10, 11, or 12 (4 credits)
The content and learning outcomes for Grad Transitions and Planning 10 have been distributed into new required Career Education courses and other required curriculum.

Provincial Exams and Assessment

The new Grade 10-12 curriculum is available in draft for use and feedback in the 2016/2017 and the 2017/2018 school years. Current Grade 10 and 11 provincial exams do not align with the new curriculum that teachers may be using. However, current Grade 10/11 provincial exams will continue to be available until June 2017 for students who have completed associated course work by June 30, 2016. 
Students do not take the new exams if they took the "old" course (or completed the courses before the 2016/17 school year).
The expectation is that students complete EITHER a Math 10 provincial exam OR the new numeracy exam, and EITHER a Language Arts 12 provincial exam OR the literacy exam, based on when they took the courses.
Science 10, Social Studies 11, and Language Arts 10 (and their equivalent) provincial exams will not be replaced with another form of provincial assessment. These courses will now be assessed in the classroom, as happens for other courses. The Ministry is working to provide support materials for curriculum and classroom assessment.
Other specifics:
  • Math 10 exams will be replaced with a new numeracy exam
  • The Language Arts 12 group of exams (EN 12, EFP 12, COM 12) will not be replaced until after the new curriculum is implemented in 2018/19 and the new provincial Literacy exam is implemented. The Language Arts 12 group of provincial exams will remain in place as is, and will continue to be 40% of the final course mark for LA12. This is also the case for French Immersion and Programme francophone
  • The new numeracy exam will be implemented 2017/2018 school year.
  • The new literacy exam will be implemented in 2018/19 school year, along with the new 10-12 curriculum. 

Other Graduation Matters

These changes will not impact students’ chances of getting into post-secondary institutions, as these institutions are very involved in the conversations around these changes. We are moving slowly with changes to the graduation program, and will continue to work very closely with post-secondary and other education partners to assess, adjust and fine-tune over the coming years.
Students will not have to re-submit course selection (at the school level) for next year, as the new 10-12 curriculum will be implemented in the 2018/2019 school year. Students are encouraged to discuss further with their school counsellor.
Students on the 2004 grad years program can have new curriculum courses count towards their graduation. Core courses will fulfill primary requirements, and options and electives will fulfill elective requirements.

Other Graduation Programs

Students will still have multiple pathways to successfully completing their K-12 education:
  • Dogwood Diploma
  • Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires en Colombie-Britannique
Adult Dogwood requirements will remain the same as what they are today, but new courses will count towards the requirements beginning in July 2018. Adult learners who have not yet graduated can earn credits towards either Adult Dogwood or a Dogwood Diploma.  
Adult students have not been required to write provincial assessments, and this will not change.
Bilingual Dogwood requirements will reflect the related changes to the graduation program.