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Credential Type (Diploma Type)

Credential Type (Diploma Type): WISEdata

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Credential Type refers to the kind of completion certificate the student attained after completing high school. Districts/schools submitting student data through WISEdata must select one, and only one, high school completion credential type for each student who completed high school. Credential/Diploma type is expected only for students who complete high school.

Value Description
R Regular diploma
O Other diploma
HSE High school equivalency credential, other than GED



USES: This data element is required for Choice and public schools.These credential types will be used to determine completion and graduation rates for Wisconsin School Performance Report, ESSA Report Card, and AYP Purposes. The exit date associated with the credential determines the school year during which the credential is earned. If the exit date is before the beginning of the school term for school year X+1, then high school completion credential is counted as earned in school year X. This is because some students may earn their credential during summer school. 


FAQs, Details, and Points to Note

  1. Diploma Type Descriptions/Notes:
    • Regular High School Diploma: 1. Any high school diploma granted by a school board that meets the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), 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) (a), (d), or (g), 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))
      • Credential Type R should be used for successful GED Option #2 completers because these students are granted regular high school diplomas meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Wis. Stats.
      • Questions about GED/HSED credentials should be directed to the contact information found on the DPI GED/HSED Resources webpage
    • High School Equivalency Diploma: 1. Any high school equivalency credential issued by the State Superintendent under §115.29 (4)(a), Stats. 2. Includes an HSED1 issued to any student who was not granted a diploma by a school board under §118.33(1)(a), (d), or (g), Stats.
    • Other High School Completion Credentials: 1. Any high school completion credential issued by a school board that is not a diploma meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Stats. 2. Includes any high school completion credential issued to any student who was neither granted a diploma by a school board under §118.33(1)(a), (d), or (g), Stats., nor issued a high school equivalency credential by the State Superintendent under §115.29 (4)(a), Stats. Examples include certificate of completion and certificate of attendance.
  2. FAPE: Special education students are entitled to FAPE until they are granted a diploma by a school board under s. 118.33 (1)(a), (d), or (g) Wis. Stats. or until they reach the maximum age of eligibility.
  3. HSED: Completion of HSED programs includes GED testing as a last step, so students are not expected to exit high school with a GED certificate only.
  4. AYP: Pursuant to ESSA, AYP is based on the percentage of students who were granted a regular diploma. Only students who received regular diplomas are counted in the numerator of the graduation rate formula.

  5. High School Completion Rates: Two types of high school completion rates are calculated: adjusted cohort rates and legacy rates.

    1. Adjusted Cohort Rates: Title I regulations (see Section 200.19) require states to report four-year adjusted cohort rates, disaggregated by student group, at the school, district, and State levels. Wisconsin also reports extended-year adjusted cohort rates.

    2. Legacy Rates: Legacy rates are available, disaggregated by student group, at the school, district, and State levels for the 1996-97 through 2011-12 school years. Changes occurred in the legacy rate formula in 2003-04 with the implementation of ISES and availability of new data for these rates.

  6. Foreign Exchange Students: Foreign exchange students who do not hold a J-1 visa are expected to work toward a regular Wisconsin diploma. However, DPI cannot report J-1 visa holders as graduates.

  7. Eighth Grade Students: If your school holds an eighth grade graduation, even one that grants "diplomas", this does NOT mean the student received an official credential. Do not enter a credential value for eighth grade students. The Credential Type field is reserved only for students graduating high school with an HSC Exit Type and receiving a diploma.


Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Guidance


Wisconsin High School Graduation Standards

High School Equivalency Diplomas

Compulsory School Attendance in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Children at Risk of Not Graduating from High School

Federal Laws, Regulations, and Guidance Re: Graduation

See also:

Improving High School Graduation
About the Data - High School Completion

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