Skip to main content
101 Pine Spur, Sparwood, BC, V0B 2G0| 250.425.6666| Fax: 250.425.6661 Utility Links
School District 5
Home of the Spartans
Sparwood Secondary School

BCs Graduation Program.pdf

Path to Graduation from Ministry of Education, British Columbia:​​
Parents, educators, and students told us they would like to see changes to the graduation program. We are moving forward with a focus on providing students with an education that is flexible and innovative. It will give them opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in today’s world.
In 2015, the Ministry of Education announced that changes would occur. Consultations about curriculum and assessment were held in 2011/12, and highlighted a need for changes to the existing graduation program. Province-wide graduation program consultations occurred in the fall of 2012. The Ministry, in consultation with stakeholders, has been working on modernizing curriculum, assessment and the graduation program since that time.
To allow schools to adjust to the new curriculum and new provincial exams, only modest changes to the graduation credit requirements will be made for now. Further changes to the graduation program are currently being discussed with education partners and post-secondary institutions. 
The changes to the provincial exam program are effective July 1, 2016, which is the legislated start to the school year.

What This Means for Students

Students entering Grade 10 in the 2017/18 school year will be the first group where the new requirements apply entirely. Changes in curriculum, assessments and graduation requirements are being phased-in over the next few years.
The number of credits required to graduate remains the same.
New curriculum and provincial exams are the key differences between the previous (2004) Graduation Program and the new 2017 Graduation Program. 
Curriculum being implemented with the 2017 Graduation Program has been redesigned. The new curriculum will help teachers create learning environments that are both engaging and personalized for students.
At the heart of B.C.’s redesigned curriculum are core competencies, essential learning and literacy and math skills foundations. Along with this, the current secondary school provincial exams are being discontinued, to be replaced with two new exams, which focus on literacy and math skills.
There is overlap between the previous graduation program and the new one. There will also be a transition period to account for current students who are progressing under a number of different scenarios. The amount of overlap will depend on how many current courses and exams a student has completed and written before June 2017.
Some students on the 2004 grad years program may not have to write certain provincial exams. Courses from the 2004 program will fully count towards the 2017 program.

Provincial Exam Transition Year

For students entering Grades 10-12 in the 2016/2017 school year:
  • Grade 10 students will:
    • Follow most of the current Graduation Program requirements
    • Take a Math 10, a Language Arts 10 and Science 10, with classroom assessments instead of provincial exams
    • Meet Social Studies graduation requirements with classroom assessments
    • Write a provincial math skills exam and a provincial literacy exam before graduation
  • Grade 11 students will:
    • Have completed a Math 10, a Language Arts 10 and Science 10 or equivalent and written the provincial exams
    • Meet Social Studies graduation requirements with classroom assessments instead of a provincial exam
    • Write a provincial literacy exam before graduation
    • Not write the new provincial math skills exam
  • Grade 12 students will:
    • Finish all the current Graduation Program requirements
    • Have completed a Math 10, a Language Arts 10, Science 10 and Social Studies 11 (or equivalent) and have written provincial exams
    • Take Language Arts 12 (or equivalent) and write the associated provincial exam
    • Not write the new provincial literacy or provincial math skills exams
    • Students who have completed courses associated with discontinued exams by June 30, 2016 will have until June 2017 to write or re-write exams
    • Students taking summer school during July and August 2016 will not be required to write provincial exams in Math 10, Language Arts 10, Science 10 and Social Studies 11 (or equivalent)
    • Français langue première 10, Français langue première 12 and Français langue seconde immersion 12 provincial exam changes will be the same as their equivalents above

For further detail on the new graduation requirements, contact Service BC: In Victoria: (250) 387-6121, In Vancouver: (604) 660-2421, Elsewhere in B.C.: 1 (800) 663-7867.

Graduation Requirements for 2017/2018

To graduate, students will require 80 credits total, with a minimum of 16 at the grade 12 level, and 28 elective course credits. 52 credits are required from the following:
  • Two Career Education courses (total 8 credits) (replaces Planning 10 and Graduation Transitions)
  • Physical Health and Education 10 (4 credits)
  • Science 10 (4), and a Science 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • Social Studies 10 (4 credits), and a Social Studies 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Math 10 (4), and a Math 11 or 12 (4 credits)
  • A Language Arts 10, 11 & 12 (12 credits)
  • An Arts Education 10, 11, or 12 and/or an Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 10, 11, or 12 (4 credits)
The content and learning outcomes for Grad Transitions and Planning 10 have been distributed into new required Career Education credits and other required curriculum.

Provincial Exams and Assessment

The new Grade 10-12 curriculum is available for use in the 2016/2017 school year but is not yet mandatory. Current Grade 10 and 11 provincial exams do not align with the new curriculum that teachers may be using. However, current Grade 10/11 provincial exams will continue to be available until June 2017 for students who have completed associated course work by June 30, 2016. 
Students do not take the new exams if they took the "old" course (or completed the courses before the 2016/17 school year).
The expectation is that students complete EITHER a Math 10 provincial exam OR the new math skills exam, and EITHER a Language Arts 12 provincial exam OR the New Language Arts-Literacy 12 exam, based on when they took the courses.
Students taking summer school courses in Math 10, Language Arts 10, Science 10, Social Studies 11 (or their equivalents) in the summer of 2016 will not have to write provincial exams for those subjects. Students taking any of the Language Arts 12 courses in summer 2016 WILL have to write the associated provincial exams.
Science 10, Social Studies 11, and Language Arts 10 (and their equivalent) provincial exams will not be replaced with another form of provincial assessment. These courses will now be assessed in the classroom, as happens for other courses. The Ministry is working to provide support materials for curriculum and classroom assessment.
Other specifics:
  • Math 10 exams will be replaced with a new math skills exam
  • The Language Arts 12 group of exams (EN 12, EFP 12, COM 12) will be replaced with a single Language Arts-Literacy exam tied to the new required Language Arts course
  • This is also the case for French Immersion and Programme Francophone
  • The new math skills and literacy exams will be available for the 2017/2018 school year
There are many different scenarios for students in terms of course completion and assessments. Here are a few other examples:
  • Students who took a Math 10 course before June 30, 2016 must write the associated provincial exam before June 2017
  • Students who took a Language Arts 12 course before June 30, 2017 must write the associated provincial exam before June 30, 2018
  • Students will have one year to write and/or rewrite the provincial exams after completing the course work

Students with a personal scenario different than any already addressed, or with questions or concerns, should contact their school, or contact Service BC at the following telephone numbers: In Victoria: (250) 387-6121, In Vancouver: (604) 660-2421, elsewhere in BC: 1 (800) 663-7867.

Other Graduation Matters

These changes will not impact students’ chances of getting into post-secondary institutions, as these institutions have been very involved in the conversations around these changes. We are moving slowly with changes to the graduation program, and will continue to work very closely with post-secondary and other education partners to assess, adjust and fine-tune over the coming years.
Students will not have to re-submit course selection (at the school level) for next year, as the draft curriculum is not being fully implemented until the 2017/2018 school year. Students are encouraged to discuss further with their school counsellor.
Students on the 2004 grad years program can have new curriculum courses count towards their graduation. Core courses will fulfill primary requirements, and options and electives will fulfill elective requirements.

Other Graduation Programs

Students will still have multiple pathways to successfully completing their K-12 education:
  • Dogwood Diploma
  • Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires en Colombie-Britannique
  • Evergreen Certificate, where appropriate and based on an IEP
Adult Dogwood requirements will remain the same as what they are today, but new courses will count towards the requirements beginning in July 2017. Adult learners who have not yet graduated can earn credits towards either Adult Dogwood or a Dogwood Diploma.  
Adult students have not been required to write provincial assessments, and this will not change.
Bilingual Dogwood requirements will reflect the related changes to the graduation program.