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High School Courses / Credits – FAQ

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Does American Sign Language count as a foreign language?

Yes.  MDHSA accepts ASL as a foreign language for the Diploma Program (including the Academic Honors diploma).  However, if the student is college bound, please check with the colleges of interest to determine if ASL meets their incoming freshman requirements.  (Not all colleges accept ASL as a foreign language.)

Does Consumer Math count for a college preparatory course?

If the textbook being used includes topics such as compounding interest and other advanced topics, then the course would be considered college preparatory.

Can a student who has transferred from public school to homeschool receive homeschool credits for courses / lessons taken during the public school years, but outside of the public school?

No.  The PDE has stated that a student may not receive homeschooling credit for work done while attending public school.  A student may not be dual enrolled in homeschooling and a public school.  (A student may be enrolled in homeschooling and take one or two courses in a public school, but may not do the opposite.)

The general requirements list 4 credits of English.  Do those credits need to be taken consecutively, or can 2 credits be taken in one year?

A student may study two credits of English in one year, but it is important to be sure that the two units are distinct, and any overlap is adequately documented with additional hours.  “Double dipping” is not permitted when earning course credits.

Example courses could include:  British Literature AND American Literature or Composition AND Literature.  If choosing to earn 2 credits in one year, documentation should show that, if the courses overlapped, the hours spent studying the material were sufficient for two credits.  Additionally, ten pages of composition per high school year are still required, even if the student did not take “English” for a year.

Can my student use different methods for earning credits in the same year?

Yes.  You may use different criteria for different subjects.  Some, like math, lend themselves more readily to a textbook approach.  Others, such as literature, may lend themselves more readily to logged entries.

If mixing criteria for a SINGLE subject, it is imperative to ensure that there is no “double dipping.”  An acceptable way to meet the credit requirements while using various criteria could be, for example, to earn part of that subject as textbook (1/3 credit); then, complete the remaining portion of that credit (2/3) as logged entries if the student is working on the subject as an independent study.

Do all students need two years of a foreign language to earn an MDHSA diploma?

No.  Only those students applying for an Academic Honors diploma must have 2 (or more!) credits in foreign language.  The second year of a foreign language must build on the work accomplished in the first year by a continued study of the same language.

If a student is college bound, contact the college of interest for foreign language requirement for incoming freshmen.

Do I include all courses when calculating the GPA?

Colleges prefer that the GPA is to be unweighted.  Traditionally, all courses are included.

However, the decision to use all courses or just the academic courses is ultimately up to the parent.  If only academic courses are used to calculate the GPA, it should be noted in the “Additional Information” section of the Transcript.  (“Only academic courses were used in calculating the GPA.”)


MDHSA does not discriminate against families on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.

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