High School Graduation Assessment

New Mexico High School Graduation Requirements - What You Need to Know

Raising the Bar logoIn today's global economy, high school students must be prepared to compete with the world's best for jobs and college admission. The standard is college and career-readiness -- the ability for students upon graduation to be successful in college coursework, in the workforce, or in the military.

Over the past few years, the requirements for demonstrating competency in order to earn a high school diploma have been evolving.  However, students must meet criteria in two basic areas in order to earn a diploma:

  • Students must meet earn the required number of credits for graduation by achieving passing grades in core courses and electives.  In general, these include
    • Four credits (a four full years) of coursework in all four core subject areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies
    • One credit in Physical Education
    • One-half credit in Health Education
    • One-half credit in Fine Arts
    • One-half credit in Technology
    • One credit in one of the following:  World Languages, Workplace Readiness, or Career Cluster courses
    • Six and one-half elective credits
    • In total, RRPS comprehensive high schools (Cleveland High and Rio Rancho High) require 26 credits for graduation; the Rio Rancho Cyber Academy requires 25 credits, and Independence High School 24.5 credits
  • Students must also demonstrate competency in the four core subject areas and in writing as required by the State of New Mexico.  Up until recently, this required earning at least a minimum score on state-mandated achievement tests, with options for meeting an "alternative demonstration of competency" only if the student repeatedly failed to achieve the minimum score during testing. 

The state Public Education Department (PED) is now in the process of standardizing the requirements among school districts and expanding the options.  The graduation requirements are cohort-specific.  We encourage you to visit the Graduation Requirements page on the NM PED website to review the options currently available for your student's cohort.  Please keep in mind that PED could potentially make some changes to the options.  However, the options cannot be more difficult to achieve than the options currently listed.

We encourage students to visit with their school counselor, who will advise them on exactly what requirements apply to them and help to keep them on track for graduation.