Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
New standards for education were introduced in high schools across Ontario, beginning September 1999. Part of the change was that students would complete high school in four years instead of five.
In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, a student entering grade 9 must complete a minimum of 30 credits, including:
- 18 compulsory credits
- 12 optional credits
- 40 hours of community involvement activities
- A passing mark on the provincial secondary school literacy test.
The combination of compulsory and optional courses is designed to provide all students with the essential knowledge and skills they will need to function effectively in any area of activity, as well as opportunities to acquire specialized knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their chosen post-secondary education.
Students are granted credits in recognition of the successful completion of courses. The Ministry of Education defines a credit as the successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled. The Principal grants credits for courses that have been developed or approved by the Ministry of Education.
◆ Compulsory Credits (total of 18)
Students must earn the following compulsory credits in order to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma:
- 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
- 1 credit in French as a Second Language
- 3 credits in Mathematics (at least 1 credit in grade 11 or grade 12)
- 2 credits in Science
- 1 credit in Canadian History
- 1 credit in Canadian Geography
- 1 credit in The Arts
- 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
- 0.5 credit in Civics
- 0.5 credit in Career Studies plus:
- 1 additional credit in English, or French as a second language**, or a Native language, or a Classical or an International Language, or Social Sciences and the Humanities, or Canadian and World Studies, or Guidance and Career Education, or Co-operative Education*
- 1 additional credit in French as a second language**, or Science (grade 11 or grade 12), or Technological Education (grades 9-12), or Computer Studies (10-12), or Co- operative Education*
- 1 additional credit in French as a second language**, or Health and Physical Education, or The Arts, or Business Studies, or Co-operative Education*
* A maximum of two Co-operative Education credits may be used towards the compulsory credit requirement.
** A maximum of two of the three additional compulsory credit requirements for groups 1, 2, and 3 may be met with credits in French as a second language, one of which may be earned for group 1 and the second for either group 2 or 3.