Graduation Program

BC Graduation Program

Pathway to Graduation Information:

Graduation Transitions

Graduation Transitions is a requirement for all students registered in Grades 10, 11, or 12 as of September, 2007 and beyond. Graduation Transitions may begin in Grades 10, 11, or 12 and upon successful completion of the minimum requirements for the prescribed learning outcomes for each component, will be awarded four (4) credits towards graduation upon completion. For more details please see

There are 3 components to the Grad Transitions requirement:

1. Personal Health
2. Community Connections
3. Transition Planning

Students may satisfy these requirements in a number of ways, ranging from course work, independent self-directed learning opportunities outside the classroom, to a form of portfolio assessment. Students must consult with their school and/or district to determine what opportunities are available.

Graduation Program Exams

The provincial examinations have been reduced in number to the following requirement:

  • English 12
  • or Communications 12

The student must write the Grade 12 Language Arts (English or Communications) Exam attached to the course taken by the student. This exam is worth 40% of the student’s final mark.

Registration for Graduation Program Exams
Students can register for the Graduation Program Exams by contacting their DESK at least 8 weeks  prior to the exam session. Students will have to follow the same Registration Procedures for all Grade 12 Provincial Exams (including the Language Arts 12 Exam).

Each student writing a Graduation Program Exam is required to produce photo Id and their Personal Education Number (PEN) at the time of the exam.
All students must remember that it is your responsibility to complete each DESK Course prior to writing the scheduled Graduation Program Exam.
The Provincial Exam website is

Earning Credits

Challenge and External Credits
In both graduation programs students may earn credits toward graduation in a variety of ways. In addition to earning credits by successfully completing courses delivered by a BC public or independent school, students will be awarded credits by using the policies that follow. For specific information, check with your local DE school and also the Ministry of Education website:

Equivalency (Documented Prior Learning)
Secondary schools may award credit to students who have successfully completed an equivalent Grade 10, 11 or 12 course from an educational jurisdiction or institution outside the BC school system. To be deemed equivalent, there should be a match of approximately 80% or more of the learning outcomes to either a Ministry-developed or board authorized course. In order to receive credits through Equivalency, students must provide the appropriate documentation as proof of successful completion of the course.

Challenge (Undocumented Demonstrated Prior Learning)
Secondary schools may award credit to students who can demonstrate prior learning. Students are entitled to undertake a Challenge process to assess their prior learning for any Ministry-authorized graduation program course offered by any school board in the Province that school year, as well as any Board Authorized (BAA) course taught in the enrolling district that school year, provided the student has not already completed the course through previous enrollment. Students should be able to demonstrate their readiness to Challenge a course based on factors such as a recommendation from a previous teacher, or from evidence that relevant learning has been acquired outside the regular classroom setting. Examples of assessment strategies that could be used in a Challenge process include such things as hands-on demonstrations, oral performances, interviews, written examinations, or presentations of a collection of work.

External Credentials (Ministry-approved Documented Prior Learning)

Students can earn credit towards graduation through certain
external credentials approved by the Ministry. In order to earn credit for an approved credential, students must provide the appropriate documentation proving successful completion of the external assessment, course, or program.
The Ministry has reviewed programs including:
• Royal Conservatory (or • Guides & Scouts equivalent) of Music, • Tourism, Lifesaving, First Dance, Theatre, Speech Aid, Pony Club • External Languages • Computer Certification • External Sport (Athlete, • Driver’s Education Coach, Official) • Pilot’s License • Cadets • Boating • 4-H
For a complete listing please see the Ministry website for the Handbook of Procedures:

Credit from Post-secondary Courses

Students can earn credit towards graduation by earning credit for courses at specific post-secondary institutions. Students are entitled to earn “dual credit” if they earn credit that leads to a post-secondary credential from a post-secondary institution which is a member of the British Columbia Transfer System.

Independent Directed Study (IDS)

Students are able to initiate their own area of learning and to receive credit towards graduation. The policy also allows schools to recognize prior learning in a Ministry-developed or board-authorized course that a student may not have completed. This policy is not a student entitlement but an enabling policy intended to encourage schools to allow students to pursue further studies of interest. The learning outcomes of all Grade 10, 11, and 12 Ministry and board-authorized courses are eligible to be used in an IDS. A student may study one or more learning outcomes in depth, or study more broadly a wide variety of learning outcomes from a single course. IDS credits may only be used to satisfy elective requirements.