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GSSMD Eligibility

Current eligibility requirements for the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma.

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

Local educational agencies (LEAs) are responsible for maintaining appropriate records in order to identify graduating students 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 CSTs, if available
  1. 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
  1. 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

  2. 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
  1. Other two subject matter areas: Students may choose from any of the following:
    1. Any additional qualifying grade or score listed above earned for the subjects of ELA, mathematics, science, or U.S. history not already used to meet eligibility
    2. A grade of B (or numerical equivalent) or above upon the completion of high school courses in other subjects
    3. A qualifying score that demonstrates mastery of other subjects, as determined by the LEA, for an examination produced by a private provider or LEA
Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, January 25, 2016
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  • Golden State Seal Merit Diploma
    To be eligible for the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma, students must be receiving a high school diploma from their district and have earned designated results on six qualifying examinations.
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