• Pathways to High School Graduation in Pennsylvania

  • The importance of graduating from high school

    Steel Center for Career and Technical Education believes strongly in the value of a high school diploma. Graduating from high school is a significant milestone in life, and a key to the future success of all students. The attainment of a student's future career goals begins with this important step.  Since our programs operate as an extension of the high school curriculum provided by each of our member school districts, students do not "graduate" from Steel Center, they "complete" the program of study they enroll in.  By simply attending Steel Center, students can become a Career and Technical Education (CTE) "concentrator" and with hard work and the attainment of specific criteria established by the state of Pennsylvania, students will ideally earn the "completer" status. 

    We want all of our students and families to pay close attention to the graduation requirements of their school district. These requirements are established by the School Board of each school district and are typically communicated in great detail in the high school student handbook and on school district websites.  The graduation requirements of each school district can include criteria specific to each school district as well as those established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The information we are providing on this page is general information that outlines the state's graduation requirements.  It is important to note that while the state's requirements used to mandate that ALL students pass the three Pennsylvania Keystone Exams in order to earn a high school diploma, laws were passed that now provide multiple pathways to meet state graduation requirements.  One of those pathways is specific to Career and Technical Education (CTE) concentrators. The information below explains in detail the state graduation requirements, including how Steel Center students can meet these requirements.  Again, this information does not include your local school district graduation requirements, which must be met in addition to the state requirements.    


    Students graduating in 2023 and beyond, five options exist to meet the statewide graduation requirement:

    In accordance with Pennsylvania’s Act 136 of 2020, beginning with the graduating class of 2023, students must meet statewide graduation requirements in one of five ways. Below is the Steel Center CTE Option 5 Pathway. Listed on the left hand side of the page are links to options 1-4.

    Option 5 - CTE Pathway:  For Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrators, successful completion of locally established grade-based requirements for academic content areas associated with each Keystone Exam on which the student did not achieve proficiency and attainment of an industry-based competency certification related to the CTE Concentrator's program of study or demonstration of a high likelihood of success on an approved industry-based competency assessment or readiness for continued meaningful engagement in the CTE Concentrator's program of study.  For further explanation of the CTE Pathway, please CLICK HERE to review Act 6 guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    • What is a CTE Concentrator? A CTE Concentrator is a student who has completed (passed) a minimum of two CTE *courses in a single career pathway throughout their high school career is considered a concentrator. 
    • CLICK HERE for a list of Steel Center's Industry-based Competency Certifications related to the CTE Concentrators program of study.