By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

Jasper High School Guidance Counselor Sean Jochum is excited for the new graduation requirements for Indiana students.

The requirements, dubbed Graduation Pathways by the Indiana Department of Education, still require students to earn a high school diploma through coursework, but they eliminate passing the 10th grade ISTEP test as a graduation requirement and replace it with demonstrated employability skills and post-secondary readiness. Students have a multitude of options for how to meet the two new requirements.

“It allows kids to focus on a career pathway,” Jochum said. “That’s the best thing we’ve seen for our kids in a long time.”

This year’s eighth-graders — the class of 2023— will be the first class to graduate fully under the Graduation Pathways requirements.

The IDOE has an entire webpage dedicated to Graduation Pathways, which can be found at www.doe.in.gov/graduation-pathways. According to that page, options for the post-secondary readiness requirement include: earning an Academic Honors diploma; earning high scores on the SAT, ACT or military ASVAB exams; graduating with an industry-recognized certification or apprenticeship; earning a C average in at least three advanced-placement or dual-credit classes; or passing at least six credits in a career and technical education concentration, such as business, health care or welding.