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Graduation Requirements for CTE

Act 6 of 2017

Act 39 of 2018, which became law on June 22, 2018, further delays the implementation of statewide graduation requirements until the 2020-21 school year.

On June 21, 2017, Governor Wolf signed Act 6 of 2017 ("Act 6") into law. Act 6, which amended section 121 of the Pennsylvania School Code, 24 P.S. § 1-121, sets forth alternative pathways to graduation for students who are career and technical education (CTE) concentrators. This guidance has not changed beyond the delay in implementation of statewide graduation requirements.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) continues to work with the General Assembly to develop additional changes to the commonwealth's current statewide graduation requirements. Pursuant to Act 1 of 2016, PDE provided a report of findings and recommendations to the General Assembly, which included four suggested pathways to graduation; the provisions of Act 6 reflected one of those four recommended pathways. PDE concluded that current graduation requirements too narrowly define postsecondary success. In order to more accurately recognize the varied pathways to postsecondary success, PDE recommended alterations that reflect those pathways by offering options for students to demonstrate readiness. PDE continues to advocate for additional changes that will benefit all commonwealth students.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions



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When do the provisions of Act 6 go into effect?

Does Act 6 excuse CTE concentrators from taking the Keystone Exams?

Does successful completion of the graduation pathways set forth in Act 6 satisfy statewide graduation requirements, regardless of proficiency on all three Keystone Exams or corresponding Project Based Assessments (PBA)?

Who is a CTE concentrator?

Often, it cannot be determined that a student is a CTE concentrator until late in high school. Given that context, do the supplemental instruction, retesting, and project-based assessment requirements found in Chapter 4 apply to students in CTE programs who may be on track to be a CTE concentrator but have not yet been identified as such?

Who establishes grade-based requirements for academic content areas related to each Keystone Exam on which a CTE concentrator was not proficient?

What qualifies as an "industry-based competency certification"?

What qualifies as an "approved industry-based competency assessment"?

How are "demonstrates a high likelihood of success on an approved industry-based competency assessment" and "readiness for continued meaningful engagement" defined?

What is PDE's role in determining whether LEAs appropriately implement Act 6?

Does Act 6 affect PIMS reporting related to graduation data?