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Preparing for Post-Secondary Education

Preparing for Post-Secondary Education

Planning for college is an exciting time for students. But for many it can prove to be a daunting task. The resources in this section are intended to help parents and students understand the steps that they should be taking in high school to prepare them for post-secondary education.

Graduation Requirements

students wearing graduation caps and gownsIn order to prepare its students for colleges and careers, the Elk Grove Unified School District has some of the most rigorous graduation requirements in California. The Board of Education believes that students will be better prepared for colleges and careers if they are challenged in high school. The district has increased its graduation requirements several times in the past 15 years, and students have always risen to the challenge.
Whenever the district considers updating its requirements, they are first reviewed by two committees — one comprised of teachers and administrators, and one of parents and business leaders. These committees examine what employers and colleges expect of graduates to ensure that the district’s requirements prepare students with skills they need to be successful in their post secondary education and careers. The committees forward their recommendations to the Board, which makes the final decision.
To graduate, an Elk Grove Unified School District student must earn a minimum of 220 credits in grade 9-12. A minimum of 25 credits must be earned during the semester (18 weeks) preceding graduation in order for students to participate in the graduation ceremony.
EGUSD Graduation Requirements
  • 4 years of English
  • 4 years of math (including Math I) and 2 years of science, or 3 years of math (including Math I) and 3 years of science (math must be taken senior year)
  • 3.5 years of social science
  • 2 years of physical education
  • 2 years of world language or 1 year of world language and 1 year of fine arts
  • 1 semester of health
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in current technology or pass a course
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in public speaking or pass a course
  • Additional Electives
As the state standards have recommended that students take algebra and geometry earlier than before, many students are now able to fulfill these graduation requirements in middle school.
Academy Graduation Requirements
Students can earn an academy-specific graduation cord by completing the following requirements:
  • A minimum of three years enrollment in the academy
  • All associated academy academic courses (e.g., some combination of 3 courses/year in the areas of ELA, math,
    science and/or social science depending on the academy)
  • A sequence of three Career Technical Education courses, one each year starting in the sophomore year, that pertain to the academy’s focus
  • A project-based assignment associated with the academy’s CTE focus and supported by work in each of the
    academic courses
Also, depending on the academy, other requirements may include earning an industry-recognized certificate or completing a work-based learning experience, such as job shadowing or an internship.

College Entrance Requirements

ABC in A through G Graphic
High school students who receive A, B, or C grades in A-G courses get a boost towards college and careers.
The A-G course pathway is designed around the minimum course requirements students must have to enter a University of California or California State University school. While the A-G courses are only required by UC and CSU, many other colleges and universities require similar classes for admission. In addition, the A-G classes are a strong foundation on which students can build careers.
“The A-G requirements are submitted by the CSU Chancellors office and the Regents of the University of California and are, generally, the most rigorous for the development and preparation of skills needed by a student to gain entrance into honors, AP courses and admission into the four year colleges and universities,” said Ralph Robles, district head counselor.  In order for a student to earn an A, B, or C in an A-G course they must develop discipline, academic skills, note-taking, organizational and writing skills that increase a student’s motivation towards career awareness.”
A-G requires a minimum 15-unit pattern of courses for admission as a first-time freshman to the UC and CSU systems. A grade of C or higher is required for the course to count as an admission requirement to a UC or CSU school.
“In today’s competitive market for college acceptance, students looking for ways to best improve their college competitiveness should access their school’s A-G course list to view and select academic electives above and beyond the minimums,” said Sandi Allen, a college and career counselor at Franklin High School.
While the A-G courses fulfill many of our district’s graduation requirements, there are some classes that students will have to complete in addition to A-G courses in order to receive a diploma.
Please refer to the High School Course Catalog and College/Career Planning Guide for more information on graduation requirements.
A through G Chart

Year-by-Year Planning Guides/Timelines

The following guides provide parents and students year-by-year planning tips for college preparation.

Calculating Your GPA

A = 4.0      B = 3.0      C = 2.0      D = 1.0      F = 0
AP classes may add 1 point (i.e., A = 5.0,   B = 4.0, etc.)
A student’s high school grades are one of the key factors in college admissions. Students are advised to keep track of their GPA. To calculate your semester’s GPA, see the points above.  You may notice that a 4.0 is an A average.
  • Place your grade and points on the lines provided
  • Add all points for your classes and place in the total
  • Now divide the total number of classes taken ( 6, 7 or 8 ) by the total points you have earned.
  • See the following example and fill in your grades and points.
GPA Calculation Chart Graphic