Posted By: Camila Orti
This year's graduating seniors at Lincoln Public Schools have been working a little harder to get their diplomas next spring.
It's thanks to a school board decision back in 2010, prompted by a recommendation from the Department of Education.
"It increased the total number of credits required to graduate from LPS, and it increased in several different areas," LPS Dir. of Curriculum Jadi Miller said.
Before the change, high school students had to complete 230 hours to graduate, now it's 245. Math, science and language arts were boosted with an additional 10 hours required in each.
"We also feel like this is what will really prepare our students for the steps beyond graduation," Miller said.
Lincoln Southwest counselor Joyce Lehn says most students didn't really notice the difference.
"Because we started so early in planning, they knew what they were going to need to do and just kept building upon that," Lehn said.
The changes weren't limited to credit hours. A new personal finance course called Take Charge was offered to juniors for the first time last year, giving them budgeting and college planning tools. Plus, the graduation demonstration assessment in math was eliminated because it was fulfilled through the extra courses.
Counselors say feedback from students has been positive.
"I believe that the majority of them feel that it's actually been a big help to them because again it's made them look at their long-range plans," Lehn said.
Counselors say the additional 15 hours is no big deal to most students. They can earn at least 70 credits each school year.