Diploma Requirements

Course Pathways

Types of Courses in Grades 9 & 10:

Academic Courses
Academic courses emphasize essential concepts in a subject and the theory related to these concepts. These courses are required preparation for university/college and college level courses in the senior grades.

Applied Courses
Applied courses focus on developing knowledge and skills by emphasizing practical, concrete application of the concepts being taught. These courses lead to workplace and college level courses in senior grades.

Open Courses
Open courses are suitable for all students, regardless of their post secondary destination. They are offered in non-compulsory subjects and contain course expectations suitable for all students at a given grade level.

Locally Developed Courses
Locally developed courses are designed to accommodate students who experience difficulty with the provincial curriculum. Placement is determined through the I.P.R.C. process or at the recommendation of teachers and counsellors. These courses are available in English, Math and Science in Grade 9 and English, Math and History in Grade 10.

Crossover Courses
Students wishing to move from Grade 9 Applied to Grade 10 Academic or Grade 9 Academic to Grade 10 Applied are permitted to complete crossover course material. It is provided through the Independent Learning Centre website at www.ilc.org. No credits are offered for students completing crossover material.

Types of Courses in Grade 11 & 12:

University Preparation Courses
University preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for university programs.

University/College Preparation Courses
University/college preparation courses include content that is relevant for both university and college programs. These courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for specific university and college programs.

College Preparation Courses
College preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for college programs.

Workplace Preparation Courses
Workplace preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for direct entry into the workplace or for admission to apprenticeship programs and other training programs offered in the community.

Open Courses
In Grades 11 & 12, Open courses allow students at a given grade to broaden their knowledge and skills in a particular subject that is related primarily to their interests and which may or may not be related to their post secondary goals.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirements

18 compulsory credits - click here for a printable pdf.

Students must earn the following compulsory credits to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma:

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)*
  • 3 credits in Mathematics (1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in Science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography
  • 1 credit in the Arts
  • 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
  • 1 credit in French as a second language
  • .5 credit in career studies
  • .5 credit in civics

Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

Group 1:

  • English or French as a second language**
  • a Native language
  • a classical or international language
  • Social Sciences and the Humanities
  • Canadian and World Studies
  • Guidance and Career Education
  • Cooperative Education***

Group 2:

  • Health and Physical education
  • The Arts
  • Business Studies
  • French as a second language**
  • Cooperative Education***

Group 3:

  • Science (Grade 11 or 12)
  • Technological Education
  • French as a second language**
  • Computer Studies
  • Cooperative Education***

40 Hours of Community Involvement

Students must complete a minimum of 40hours of community involvement as a requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  These 40 hours may be completed at any time during the student's high school years and may take place in a variety of settings, including not-for-profit organizations, business, public sector institutions, and informal settings.  Students, in collaboration with their parents, will decide how they will complete the community involvement requirement. Students may complete any number of eligible activities as outlined in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board Community Involvement pamphlet.

Activities must be completed outside of normal instructional school hours, may not be a part of a credit program and students may not receive pay for their community involvement activities.  Students will maintain a record of their community involvement activities on their Community Involvement Completion form. the purpose of community involvement is to encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play to contribute to their communities.  Examples of community involvement activities include: activities within the school such as Student Council committee work, helping an elderly neighbour, volunteering at a local hospital, helping a community event and tutoring an elementary school student.

The Literacy Test

The successful completion of the Grade 10 Literacy Test is required for graduation.  The test will be administered in the spring of the student's grade 10 school year.  This test will measure how well students are meeting the reading and writing expectations across all subjects in the provincial curriculum up to the end of Grade 9.  Students who are not successful will be provided with remedial assistance and given the opportunity to rewrite the test.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) Grade 12

This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy test (OSSLT).  Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative and graphic texts and will produce a variety of writing forms, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces and news reports.  Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing.

The credit earned for successful completion of this course may be used to meet either the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement, the Group 1 additional compulsory credit requirement, or may be used as an elective credit.  Prerequisite: Students who have been eligible to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test at least twice, and have attempted and been unsuccessful at least one, are eligible to take this course.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma Course Information

The Ontario Student Transcript
The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) provides a comprehensive record of a student’s overall achievement in high school. The credits which a student has earned towards fulfilment of the requirements for the graduation diploma are recorded on the OST.

The Ontario School Record
The Ontario School Record (OSR) is the official record for a student. This file contains achievement records, credits earned and diploma requirements completed. These records are protected by the Education Act and Freedom of Information legislation. OSR records are kept in the Guidance Office.

Policies on Substitutions for Compulsory Courses
Up to 3 compulsory courses may be substituted at the discretion of the principal in order to meet the needs of individual students. The total number of credits required for a diploma remains at 30.

PLAR - Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition
Students may earn credits for knowledge and skills acquired outside school through a challenge or equivalency assessment.  A maximum of four credits may be obtained in this way, with no more than 2 in one subject area.  To challenge a credit, students must successfully complete formal tests and a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate to the particular course, including written assignments and observation of student performance and laboratory work (if applicable). Students who are eligible for equivalency credits are those who transfer to Ontario Secondary Schools from non-inspected private schools or schools outside Ontario

Alternative Ways of Earning Credits for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma
While the majority of students will earn credits in the school, some may consider alternative ways. These include correspondence through the Independent Learning Centre, independent study,  continuing education and summer school.  See a guidance counsellor or administrator to find out about the availability and accessibility of these courses in our school area.

Credit Recovery
This program provides students with the opportunity to recover compulsory Grade 9 and 10 credits they have previously failed to achieve as they develop the learning skills needed for academic success. Students are referred by their Subject Teacher and the In-School Resource Team for admission into the program.

eLearning - A Great Way to Learn!
The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is committed to providing access to appropriate programs for all students. One of the board’s innovative ways to deliver courses to students is through eLearning.  Course offerings are determined based on what schools are unable to offer in-house so vary from year-to-year. Students enjoy the flexibility that eLearning offers, and will learn transferable skills such as time management, organization, and work habits, as well as various technology skills.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) currently offers a variety of online courses taught by qualified teachers who provide innovative, relevant and engaging eLearning experiences.  All e-Learning courses meet the same curriculum requirements of face-to-face classes, as set out by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
In addition, the HPEDSB is a member of the Ontario eLearning consortium (OeLC).  This organization is made up of a number of Ontario School Boards who have agreed to open up their e-Learning courses to students from all member school boards.  This provides even more opportunities for HPEDSB students to access courses that best meet their needs and their interests.

Spaces are limited, and students need to have the approval of their Principal and Guidance Counsellor. Students should check with their Guidance Counsellor to find out what courses are available and how to register. More information is also available by visiting our website at: