Graduating classes post-2017 require more high school credits

Kenadi Browne, Staff Writer

As of last year, the graduating classes of 2017, 2018, and beyond must earn 1.5 more credits than the graduating classes of 2015 and 2016 in order to graduate. One additional credit is required for science, and social studies requires 0.5 credits more.

The requirements were changed because Liberty’s ratio of required credits versus possible credits earned was less than Issaquah and Skyline’s ratio, and the change made the ratios very similar.

“Personally, [the credit change] doesn’t really affect me because I’ll be getting more than enough credits,” sophomore Dhamanpreet Kaur said. “But I think it’s a good thing that they’re raising the standards.”

Because students will end up taking more courses, opportunities such as Guided Study, senior waivers, and T.A. positions will decrease. Even though Liberty’s current and recent past graduating classes have not needed the extra credits, senior waivers have significantly decreased over the past few years.

“I know that [increasing credit requirements] creates more workload on the student, but I also think that it shows more to colleges,” assistant principal Sean Martin said.

Liberty’s block schedule allows for more elective courses than Issaquah and Skyline’s six period schedules do. Since students at Liberty have the possibility to earn more credits, the extra requirements aren’t a problem for the majority of students.

“I think it’s actually an advantage. If students are really into a bunch of different things, they have a chance to show how well rounded they are,” Martin said.

Liberty has added a new science class, Forensics, and Civics, a new social studies class for seniors. Next year, the administration plans to add several more social studies courses. These classes create more diverse options for future seniors who need those credits.

“We took it as a chance to expand the opportunities that we have,” Martin said. “We tried to look at it like, ‘how can we use this change to offer classes that students could take and enjoy?’”