A small number of dedicated students pursue the comprehensive diploma

Peter Phelan, Contributing Writer

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With graduation in a few weeks, a small percentage of students at the high school are working to obtain a comprehensive diploma.

The Comprehensive Diploma is a diploma that students can earn by meeting requirements separate from the standard diplomas. These requirements include 300 hours of community service, and a varying number of extra electives, and optional courses outside of the core curriculum.

Students hoping to satisfy these requirements must complete 150 hours of community service in 2 locations and submit a plan with goals and timetables in advance.

For a Local Diploma, 2.5 additional electives are needed. For a Regents Diploma, 4.5 additional electives are needed, and for an Advanced Regents Diploma, 6.5 additional electives are needed.

While the requirements for the Comprehensive Diploma greatly exceed regular diploma expectations, completing the requirements can help during college applications, as completing it shows commitment.

“Every year, since 8th grade, the school counselors do a scheduling presentation through English and social studies classes,” said Mr. Williams, the guidance department chair, in an email. During this presentation, diploma types and requirements for each type are discussed.

Despite being notified of the diploma, an overwhelming majority of students do not satisfy these requirements. In 2017, only 39 out of 594 graduating students qualified for the diploma. In 2018, it was 54 students out of 551, and this year it will be 43 students out of 605.

Some students feel that the diploma is not worth pursuing, as the requirements are difficult and time-consuming.

“I feel like I have other things I could be doing instead of it that would also look good on a college application,” said freshman Zachary Cohen.

Another freshman, Emma Malabanan, echoed this sentiment in saying “I decided not to pursue the Comprehensive Diploma because I feel that the Advanced Regents Diploma will show colleges more about my academic success while I can still add the community service hours that I have completed to show my activeness in the community.”

“I want the best diploma the high school has to offer,” said freshman Dominic DeLaurentiis. DeLaurentiis also said that the diploma will give him an advantage on his college applications.

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