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Eligibility Requirements for the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma Effective January 2016 Until Replaced

Local educational agencies (LEAs) are responsible for maintaining appropriate records in order to identify graduating seniors who meet the eligibility requirements for the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma (GSSMD) (California Education Code Section 51454). To be eligible for the GSSMD, students must be eligible to receive a high school diploma and have demonstrated the mastery of the curriculum in at least six subject matter areas as follows:

  1. English-language Arts: Students must have earned one of any of the following:

    1. A grade of B+ (or numerical equivalent) or above in a single course completed in grade nine,

      ten, or eleven

    2. An achievement level of “Standard Met” for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative

      Assessment

    3. A scale score of 370 or above on California Standards Tests (CSTs), if available*

  2. Mathematics: Students must have earned one of any of the following:

    1. A grade of B+ (or numeric equivalent) or above in a single course completed in grade nine, ten,

      or eleven

    2. An achievement level of “Standard Met” for the high school Smarter Balanced Summative

      Assessment

    3. A scale score of 370 or above on any of the following CSTs, if available: Geometry; Algebra II;

      Summative High School Mathematics; or Integrated Mathematics 2 or 3*

  3. Science: Students must have earned one of any of the following:

    1. A grade of B+ (or numeric equivalent) or above in a single course completed in grade nine, ten,

      or eleven

    2. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an

      examination produced by a private provider or LEA

    3. A scale score of 370 or above on any of the following CSTs, if available: Biology; Chemistry;

      Physics; Earth Science; or Integrated/Coordinated Science 1, 2, 3, or 4*

  4. U.S. History: Students must have earned one of any of the following:

    1. A grade of B (or numerical equivalent) or above upon completion of the required U.S. history

      course

    2. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of the subject as determined by the LEA for an

      examination produced by a private provider or LEA

5. Other
a. Any additional qualifying grade or score listed above earned for the subjects of ELA,

two subject matter areas: Students may choose from any of the following:

mathematics, science, or U.S. history not already used to meet eligibility

  1. A grade of B (or numerical equivalent) or above upon the completion of high school courses in

    other subjects

  2. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of other subjects, as determined by the LEA, for

    an examination produced by a private provider or LEA

*Did not change from the 2015 GSSMD eligibility criteria