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Pathways to Graduation in Wisconsin

Graphic of pathways to graduation or High School Completion

red arrowRegular Graduation Requirements §118.33 (1)(a) Stats.

Regular High School Diploma

  1. Any high school diploma granted by a school board that meets the requirements of §118.33 (1)Stats.
  2. Includes students receiving other types of high school completion credentials if they are also granted a high school diploma by a school board meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1)Stats.
    • The term “regular high school diploma” means the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Educational Development (GED) credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award. (Federal Regulations - 34 C.F.R. §200.19(b)(1)(iv))


orange squareAlternative pathways to a regular diploma
For students enrolled in an alternative education program under – §118.33(1)(d) Stats.
A school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil who has not satisfied the credit requirements if the student is enrolled in an alternative education program and demonstrates a level of proficiency in the subjects credit areas required under §118.33(1)(a) Stats.

  • Competency Based
  • Project Based
  • GED Option #2
  • Conversion of HSED to a regular diploma

For more information see Alternative Education.


Yellow triangleAccommodations for Special Education Students PI 18.04 Wis. Admin. Code
Education programs for high school graduation may be provided to accommodate pupils with exceptional educational interests, needs, or requirements.

Policy and Procedures Review Checklists: These checklists are tools to help school districts determine if they have policies in place in each area for students with disabilities. By completing the checklists and documenting the source and location of related documents, the district is in a position to address any areas not covered that may be negatively impacting their students with disabilities.


Green circleAlternatives to Graduation - Other High School Completion Credentials – 

Students may also exit high school with 

  • Certificates of attendance
  • Certificates of completion
  • High School Equivalency Diploma (issued by the State Superintendent)

These students are considered completers because they have not earned a diploma issued by the school district under §118.33 (1)Stats.

Only public high school students age 17 and older may access the HSED through their local school district or the Challenge Academy.

Adults (age 18.5 or older) may contact their testing center directly.

For more information see Wisconsin's GED-HSED.


Calculating Wisconsin's High School Graduation Rates



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