Submitting and Publicly Reporting Data about High School Completion Credentials


2003-04 and Beyond

School districts submitting student data through the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES) in the fall of each school year must select one and only one high school completion credential type for each student who completed high school. These high school credential completion types will be submitted through the ISES for the first time in the fall of 2004. The following information is designed to assist in the description of the choices available.

Credential Type Code Description
REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA 1 R 1. Any high school diploma granted by a school board that meets the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Stats.
2. Includes students receiving other types of high school completion credentials if they are also granted a high school diploma by a school board meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Stats.
HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA (HSED) E 1. Any high school equivalency credential issued by the State Superintendent under §115.29 (4)(a), Stats.,
2. Includes an HSED1 issued to any student who was not granted a diploma by a school board under §118.33(1)(a), (d), or (g), Stats..
(Certificate of Attendance, Certificate of Completion, etc.)
C 1. Any high school completion credential issued by a school board that is not a diploma meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Stats.
2. Includes any high school completion credential issued to any student who was neither granted a diploma by a school board under §118.33(1)(a), (d), or (g), Stats., nor issued a high school equivalency credential by the State Superintendent under §115.29 (4)(a), Stats.

USES: These credential types will be used to determine completion and graduation rates for Wisconsin School Performance Report, ESEA Report Card, and AYP Purposes. The exit date associated with the credential determines the school year school year during which the credential is earned. If the exit date is before the beginning of the school term for school year X+1, then high school completion credential is counted as earned in school year X. This is because some students may earn their credential during summer school.


  1. The term "regular high school diploma" means the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Educational Development (GED) credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award. (Federal Regulations - 34 C.F.R. §200.19(b)(1)(iv)),


  2. Special education students are entitled to FAPE until they are granted a diploma by a school board under s. 118.33 (1)(a), (d), or (g) Wis. Stats. or until they reach the maximum age of eligibility.


  3. Completion of HSED programs includes GED testing as a last step so students are not expected to exit high school with a GED certificate only. [More]


  4. Credential Type R should be used for successful GED Option #2 completers because these students are granted regular high school diplomas meeting the requirements of §118.33 (1) (a), (d), or (g), Wis. Stats.


  5. Pursuant to NCLB, AYP is based on the percent of students who were granted a regular diploma. Only students who received regular diplomas are counted in the numerator of the graduation rate formula.



  1. 2003-04 and beyond. Legacy high school graduation/completion rates are reported according to a formula used since 2003-04. For more information, see:

    Legacy Graduation/Completion Rate - Report Mockup

    Terms and Definitions - Legacy Rates

  2. 2009-10 and beyond. Wisconsin began reporting adjusted cohort graduation/completion rates beginning with 2009-10 4-year rates. Beginning with 2011-12 rates, Wisconsin plans to report both 4-year and 6-year adjusted cohort rates. See also:

    Adjusted Cohort Graduation/Completion Rate - Report Mockup

    Terms and Definitions - Adjusted Cohort Rates


(a) Grant declarations of equivalency of high school graduation to persons, if in the state superintendent's judgment they have presented satisfactory evidence of high school courses completed in high schools recognized by the proper authorities as accredited, results of examinations given by or at the request of the state superintendent, successful completion of correspondence study courses given by acceptable correspondence study schools, a general educational development certificate of high school equivalency issued by an agency of the U.S. government, course credits received in schools meeting the approval of the state superintendent or other standards established by the state superintendent.

(c) 2. Upon the child's request and with the written approval of the child's parent or guardian, any child who is 17 years of age or over may be excused by the school board from regular school attendance if the child and his or her parent or guardian agree, in writing, that the child will participate in a program or curriculum modification under par. (d) leading to the child's high school graduation or leading to a high school equivalency diploma under §115.29(4).

(a) Except as provided in par. (d), a school board may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless the pupil has earned:1. In the high school grades, at least 4 credits of English including writing composition, 3 credits of social studies including state and local government, 2 credits of mathematics, 2 credits of science and 1.5 credits of physical education.2. In grades 7 to 12, at least 0.5 credit of health education.(am) The state superintendent shall encourage school boards to require an additional 8.5 credits selected from any combination of vocational education, foreign languages, fine arts and other courses.
(b) A school board may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless, during the high school grades, the pupil has been enrolled in a class or has participated in an activity approved by the school board during each class period of each school day, or the pupil has been enrolled in an alternative education program, as defined in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 1. Nothing in this paragraph prohibits a school board from establishing a program that allows a pupil enrolled in the high school grades who has demonstrated a high level of maturity and personal responsibility to leave the school premises for up to one class period each day if the pupil does not have a class scheduled during that class period.
(c) A school board may require a pupil to participate in community service activities in order to receive a high school diploma.
(d) A school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil who has not satisfied the requirements under par. (a) if all of the following apply:1. The pupil was enrolled in an alternative education program, as defined in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 1.2. The school board determines that the pupil has demonstrated a level of proficiency in the subjects listed in par. (a) equivalent to that which he or she would have attained if he or she had satisfied the requirements under par. (a).

See also:
Chapter PI 5 - High School Equivalency Diplomas and Certificates of General Educational Development
Chapter PI 18 - High School Graduation Standards
Understanding High School Completion Data
Title I Regulations (See § 200.19)
High School Graduation Rate, Non-Regulatory Guidance

Submit questions, comments and suggestions about the WSLS or ISES to the 24x7 DPI Online Helpdesk Application or call 800-507-5744