Proposed Changes to the Indiana Diploma Information Session 5/16/24

The Greensburg Decatur County Chamber of Commerce hosted an informational session about the proposed future changes with diplomas. This was held on May 16, 2024. 

Dr. Katie Jenner, Secretary of Education, Dr. Katie Jenner leads the Indiana Department of Education and chairs the State Board of Education. 

Dr. Jenner stated that she has been to 13 counties in the past week and a half having this conversation of what the proposed diploma requirements look like.

The focus of these changes that are being reviewed is to make high school the most valuable four years possible for students. 

Dr. Jenner said that Indiana ranks #1 nationwide in terms of students completing at least one college course in high school. 64% of Indiana high school students earn college credit. These students graduate with an average of 13.5 college credits. 

For the first time, Indiana’s diplomas will be aligned to the characteristics stakeholders consistently agree are essential for graduates. The new diploma will consider competencies and not just courses and credits. 

The five things the new Indiana GPS (Diploma) will look at are:

Academic Mastery

Career & Postsecondary Readiness: Credentials & Experience

Communication & Collaboration

Work Ethic

Civic, Financial & Digital Literacy 

The changes that will be presented are due by the end of 2024. The two options will be the Indiana GPS Diploma and the Indiana GPS Diploma Plus. These Diploma types would go into effect for the 2029 graduation year.

Dr. Jenner said that as a state we are seeing chronic high levels of absenteeism and we need to make high school worthwhile for these students. Speaking with some of the students that have missed school they are going to go into a career and don’t see what they are learning reflective of what they need for a job. 

Dr. Jenner said that as a state we are seeing fewer high school students going into the National Guard. 

Dr. Jenner opened the floor to questions. A school Guidance Counselor asked. “I see the value in these changes. However, in a Guidance Counselor role this can be seen as just another thing that needs to be completed. The concern that I have is that we continue to add to Guidance Counselor’s plates and they are High School Guidance Counselors, College Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, and Mental Health Professionals. Dr. Jenner responded that they are working with the Indiana Counselor’s Association and are trying to think through the data component to these proposed changes. The Guidance Counselor also said that her concern is with transportation for students who are going to need to do on-site job training and shadowing. Dr. Jenner said that they are exploring this issue as well. 

Rex Mckinney, Decatur County Memorial Hospital CEO, said that the hospital continues to be very committed to educating and supporting high school students to explore post-high school careers. Rex said that the hospital aims to hire local talent. This current school year they have had 250 students exploring careers at the hospital and that number has been consistent for the past three to four years. Rex spoke of his experience as a past School Board Member and said that this is a very important part of the hospital’s commitment to educating & supporting the community. 

The link below is to the presentation that was supplied by Dr. Jenner.

For more information from the State of Indiana. Click on the following link.

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