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Academics & Counseling » Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements: Class of 2021 and Beyond

What are the new Colorado Graduation Guidelines?

In 2007, the Colorado legislature created law that directed the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to set new high school graduation guidelines. In 2013, the CDE established those graduation guidelines and began changing the definition of what Colorado students must do to earn a high school diploma. In September 2015, the Colorado graduation competency measures for English and Math were approved by the Colorado State Board of Education.  In its most essential form, the law requires local districts to adopt graduation expectations that meet or exceed these state guidelines.
State law also required all Colorado school districts to adopt revised Colorado Academic Standards – high expectations for what students should know and be able to do at every grade level in every course. State law now links academic standards and competencies to high school graduation. The goal is to ensure that each of our students will succeed after high school regardless of the path they choose.


Beginning with the Class of 2021, Colorado graduates must:

  • Successfully complete the graduation course requirements for their high school; and

  • Successfully complete the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) process; and

  • Demonstrate competency in English and Math

How will the school district prepare students for the new graduation requirements?

Academic and career pathways are currently in place.
Our high school currently has in place and will continue to offer rigorous graduation course requirements provided through multiple pathways. These course requirements prepare students to be college and career ready. Course pathways are designed to cater to students’ areas of interests and passions. A few examples of current academic and career pathways include:

  •  General Education

  • Career and Technical Education 

  • College Preparatory 

  • Honors Diploma (Honors Courses/Advanced Placement Courses)

  • Concurrent Enrollment Courses


Students currently complete the ICAP process.

Legislation requires every Colorado graduate to have completed the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) process. The ICAP is a personalized career and academic planning process designed to help ensure academic success for each and every student. Quality Indicators in the ICAP process include self-awareness, career awareness, postsecondary aspirations, environmental expectations, academic planning, employability skills and personal financial literacy. CCHS is committed to helping students and families engage in the Individual Career and Academic Planning process for every student as part of their graduation requirements. 

Graduates must meet a new requirement around “demonstration of competency."

In September 2015, the Colorado State Board of Education approved a "Menu of Options" listing ways students will be able to demonstrate competency in English and Math. Colorado Graduation Guidelines legislation requires local boards of education to adopt options from this menu through which their students must demonstrate competency. It’s important to know that the vast majority of high school graduates already demonstrate competency on many of these measures. Beginning with the Class of 2021, state law requires students to demonstrate competency on at least one of the adopted measures in both English and Math in order to graduate.

Below is the Colorado State Board of Education approved menu of competency measures under consideration by the Clear Creek School District Board of Education. It is important to understand that the state's Menu of Options will change and evolve over time, and that the CCSD Board of Education may not adopt the State's Menu of Options in its entirety.

Colorado State Board of Education Approved Menu of Options:

-Students must demonstrate competency in at least one measure in English, and;

-Students must demonstrate competency in at least one measure in Math in order to graduate.

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