Seniors on the verge of not graduating


Photo by: Serena Sotelo

While many students fly banners of their future college looming in the distance, some are faced with another year at Cam High.

Cam High seniors who do not qualify to graduate next week have the option to earn more credits over the summer so they may earn their diploma and be eligible to graduate in August.

In the state of California, 19.6% of high school seniors did not graduate during the 2012-2013 school year. Meanwhile, Cam High has an average of 10-20 students who do not pass each year, or about 1.6-3.2% of the senior class.

In order to graduate, students must successfully complete a series of required credits, including 40 for English, 30 for Mathematics, 20 for Physical Education, 20 for Science, five for Health Education, 35 for Social Science, 10 for a Foreign Language or Visual Arts & Performing Arts, and 70 for Elective Coursework.

“[The options are] legit, including the curriculum and material, making it a valid diploma,” said Ms. Christine Bruggman, Cam High counselor.

If students do not meet all the credit requirements by the end of their senior school year, they have other options to complete through alternatives such as a summer program called Opportunities for Learning (OFL), taking part in the Senior Success Option (SSO), and later transferring to Adult Education, or attending a community college. However, these outside-school options have currently and previously sparked controversy regarding whether or not high school diplomas are being ‘watered down.’

“They offer a great summer program here [at Cam High], it’s just hard to get into,” said Jaydan Dowler, senior. “On the count of credits, I got more from Opportunities for Learning, because I only got one session here. With Opportunities for Learning, you can get four classes back over one summer.”

The Student Success Team (SST) is a student and parent meeting with a teacher while the administration gives ideas to help students decide how to make up lost credits. The SSO is designed so students can take up to four classes for up to twenty credits so that they can receive their diploma in August. Adult Education is a program located near the district office where students can take classes to gain lost credits.

“Frontier was another school that helped me get back to where I am now,” Dowler said. “You go there when you’re really behind on credits. It’s a semester thing. I had to go there first semester.”