Maryland Statewide Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process Guide July 2017  

  • You are not logged in. Please Login

Student Participation on District / Statewide Assessments and Graduation Information


Each principal shall inform all students and their parents or guardians annually at a minimum of the following:

  • Maryland's graduation requirements;
  • The student's progress on fulfilling the credit, Maryland High School Assessment, service, and applicable IEP requirements for graduation;
  • The results of each Maryland High School Assessment taken by the student;
  • A plan for appropriate assistance, if applicable; and
  • The Department's schedule for Maryland High School Assessments (HSA), and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) [COMAR 13A.03.02.12C].

Maryland High School Diploma

Students pursuing a Maryland High School Diploma shall complete the requirements for graduation, including enrollment, credits, services, additional local requirements, if applicable, and assessments. [COMAR 13A.03.02.09B]

Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion

This certificate shall be awarded only to students with disabilities who cannot meet the requirements for a diploma but who meet the following standards:

  • The student is enrolled in an education program for at least 4 years beyond grade 8 or its age equivalent, and is determined by an IEP team, with the agreement of the parents of the student with disabilities, to have developed appropriate skills for the individual to enter the world of work, act responsibly as a citizen, and enjoy a fulfilling life, including but not limited to:
  • Gainful employment;
  • Post-secondary education and training;
  • Supported Employment; and
  • Other services integrated in the community; or
  • The student has been enrolled in an education program for 4 years beyond grade 8 or its age equivalent and will have reached age 21 by the end of the student's current school year. [COMAR 13A.03.02.09D]

The final decision to award a student with disabilities a Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion will not be made until after the beginning of the student's last year in high school.

NOTE: A student with significant cognitive disability may not meet high school graduation requirements, if a student: Participates in an Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards (AA-AAAS); and Continues to receive instruction based on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards through high school [COMAR 13A.03.02.09D(3) –(4)].

Upon completion of a secondary school program, the student with a disability will receive an “Exit Document”the Maryland Summary of Performance to accompany the Maryland High School Diploma or the Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion that describes the student's skills. [COMAR 13A.03.02.09D(5)].


The student shall satisfactorily complete 4 years of approved study beyond the eighth grade unless the student has satisfied the requirements for:

  • Early admission to college; or
  • An approved vocational, technical, or postsecondary program as specified in COMAR 13A.03.02.10. [COMAR 13A.03.02.03]

Service Learning

Students shall complete one of the following:

  • 75 hours of student service that includes preparation, action, and reflection components and that, at the discretion of the local school system, may begin during the middle grades; or
  • A locally designed program in student service that has been approved by the State Superintendent of Schools. [COMAR 13A.03.02.06]


To be awarded a diploma, a student shall be enrolled in a Maryland public school system and shall have earned a minimum of 21 credits that include the following specified core credits:

  • English—four credits of organized instruction in listening and speaking, reading and literature, and written composition and use of language;
  • Fine arts—one credit in visual arts, music, theater, or dance, or a combination of these;
  • Mathematics—three credits, including one with instruction in algebra/data analysis and one with instruction in geometry;
  • Physical education—one-half credit;
  • Health education—one-half credit;
  • Science—three credits of which one shall be in biology and two from the earth, life, or physical sciences, or all of the above, in which laboratory experiences are an integral component;
  • Social studies—three credits including one credit in United States history, one credit in world history, and one credit in local, State, and national government;
  • Technology education—one credit that includes the application of knowledge, tools, and skills to solve practical problems and extend human capabilities; and
  • Earn 5 credits from one of the following options:
  • Option 1- Credits 2 Foreign Language Credits and 3 Elective Credits
  • Option 2- Credits 2 American Sign Language Credits and 3 Elective Credits
  • Option 3- Credits 2 Advanced Technology Education Credits and 3 Elective Credits
  • Option 4-Credits 4 State Approved Career and Technology Program Credits and 1 Elective Credit

[COMAR 13A.03.02.03B]


In addition to earning credits during the regular school day and year, credits may be earned, at the discretion of the local school system, through the following means:

  • Summer School
  • Evening School
  • Correspondence and Online Courses
  • Tutoring
  • Work Study Programs, Job Entry Training Programs, or Experience Outside the School
  • College Courses
  • Independent Study/Internship
  • Credit through Examination
  • A student who receives credit for algebra/data analysis, biology, English, or government through the options listed above shall take the requisite Maryland High School Assessment during its next regular administration.

COMAR 13A.03.02.04]

High School Graduation Assessments

  • High School Graduation Requirements
  • College and Career Ready College Completion Act of 2013

Transition Courses – 2016-2017 School Year

The MSDE develops and implements transition courses for 12th grade students who have not achieved college and career readiness by the end of 11th grade.

It is important to note that according to COMAR 13A.03.02, students must take the assessment at least twice before submitting the Bridge Academic Validation Plan.