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Options for Students Not Passing the CAHSEE

Student options for those who did not pass the California High School Exit Examination.

The following possibilities currently exist for a California student to continue to pursue a high school diploma or equivalent without having passed the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) by the end of their regular senior year:

  1. Provide instruction through the Remedial Supplemental Instruction Program.

    Students in grades seven through twelve, who do not demonstrate sufficient progress towards passing the CAHSEE, are eligible to receive intensive instruction and services designed to pass the CAHSEE. These services may be received during their high school years and during the year following their grade twelve year for those students who have failed to pass one or both parts of the CAHSEE (Education Code [EC] Section 37252[c] and [h]). Students may receive supplemental instruction services for at least one year following completion of grade twelve. Local educational agencies would receive the Remedial program’s hourly rate of funding (about $3.68 per hour).

    In addition, EC Section 37254, provides funds, if appropriated, to be used to provide intensive instruction and services designed to help eligible pupils to pass the CAHSEE.

  2. Enrollment for an additional year(s) in a public comprehensive high school or alternative education program until the CAHSEE is passed and a diploma is awarded, per local Governing Board policy.

    If a student does not have a high school diploma, he or she can at any age approach the kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) district of residency to obtain an education leading to a high school diploma. The K-12 school district of residency has the option to place a student age eighteen or older in an appropriate program. This may include placement at a comprehensive high school if the student has been continuously enrolled in a K-12 school, or at an alternative education program within the school district. Districts may restrict this possibility due to enrollment pressure, facility availability or other factors.

    Students under the age of eighteen years are compelled to attend school pursuant to EC Section 48200, and the district of residency is required to serve the student in an appropriate program.

    A senior year student who is deficient in graduation requirement credits may also be reclassified as a junior to enable the student to attend the school for one or more additional years, thereby providing additional instructional time and attempts to pass the CAHSEE and be awarded a diploma.

  3. Maintain continuous enrollment in a public school independent study program until the CAHSEE is passed and a diploma is awarded, per local Governing Board policy.

    Districts are allowed to provide instruction using the independent study method for students nineteen years and older, who have been continuously enrolled in a K-12 school since their eighteenth birthday. Pursuant to EC sections 46300.1 and 46300.4, apportionment may be claimed for students continuously enrolled and taking appropriate course work relevant to receiving a diploma.

    There is a cap of 10 percent on the number of continuation high school students at a site that can be served through independent study, with an exemption for students who are pregnant or are primary parents (EC Section 51745[b]).

  4. Maintain continuous enrollment in a public charter school until the CAHSEE is passed and a diploma is awarded, through age twenty-two.

    Students must be continuously enrolled to attend public charter schools from age nineteen through twenty-two (EC Section 47612 and California Code or Regulations, Title 5, Section 11960). In addition, students (essentially without age limit) may attend a charter school if it provides instruction exclusively in partnership with any of the following: (1) the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998; (2) federally affiliated Youth Build programs; (3) federal job corps training or instruction provided pursuant to a Memorandum Of Understanding with the federal provider; or (4) the California Conservation Corps or local conservation corps certified by the California Conservation Corps (EC Section 47612.1).

  5. Enroll in a California adult school secondary education program to obtain a diploma by satisfying the district’s graduation requirements and passing the CAHSEE.

    Any adult aged eighteen years or older may attend an adult school in California. Capacity to serve adults is limited by the school district’s state established funding cap. The CAHSEE is required for graduation from all California Adult Schools operated by K-12 school districts.

  6. Obtain a diploma from a community college that awards high school diplomas through their non-credit adult education programs that do not require passage of the CAHSEE.

    Some California Community Colleges run non-credit adult education programs and grant high school diplomas similar to the K-12 school system adult education programs. Students enrolled in Community College non-credit programs are not subject to the CAHSEE requirement. Each college makes a local determination regarding whether or not to offer non-credit programs, and some community colleges currently require passage of the CAHSEE if they have a partnership with a K-12 or high school district.

  7. Obtain a diploma through a county court or community school program.

    County Offices of Education operate County Court and Community Schools for adjudicated youth, wards of the court, and expelled youth (EC sections 1980 –1986). A County Office of Education may decide to continue the enrollment of a student over eighteen years, as long as the student is classified in grades one through twelve. Continuing education may involve a court order and probation department concurrence. Passage of the CAHSEE is required to earn a diploma.

  8. Pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), for students ages sixteen or over, to obtain a diploma equivalent.

    California EC Section 48412 allows students who take and pass the CHSPE to receive from the State Board of Education a certificate of proficiency, which is the legal equivalent of a high school diploma. Information is available on the CHSPE Web page.

  9. Pass the General Educational Development (GED) test, a national program for adults ages eighteen and older, to obtain a diploma equivalent.

    The GED is a national test for individuals over eighteen or who are within 60 days of their eighteenth birthday (regardless of school enrollment status). Individuals can take the GED to demonstrate knowledge equivalent to a high school diploma. Students age seventeen years and out of high school for a minimum of 60 days are also eligible to take the test. The test is offered on a fee basis at testing centers throughout the state. Information is available on the GED Web page.
Questions: High School & Physical Fitness Assessment Office | cahsee@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9449 
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