Graduation Requirements

Preparing students for success beyond high school graduation is one of the most important roles of Rapid City Area Schools.  We know…

  • By 2020, more than 60% of all South Dakota jobs will require education & training beyond high school, such as college, technical school, an apprenticeship, or military service.
  • Nearly a third of high school graduates enrolling in one of South Dakota’s six public universities require remedial classes in reading, math or both, which are designed to catch up struggling students. This means a longer timeline toward degree completion, intensifying the potential for dropout and debt accumulation.
  • Jobs that require training beyond high school are growing three times as fast as jobs that require only a high school diploma.

Graduation Requirements: Graduating Class of 2024 and Beyond

Advanced Endorsement Options Math & Science Course of Study

Therefore, the RCAS strategic plan identified College, Career, and Life (CCL) Ready as one of its five goal areas. College, Career, and Life Readiness is defined as a progression of knowledge, skills, and attributes leading to credentials, certificates, and/or college. In RCAS, the word college is used to describe any educational training opportunity beyond high school.

One of our priorities has been to align graduation expectations with higher education and workforce development needs in order to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to explore career options in high school. In addition to the Base Diploma, students may earn Advanced Endorsements that align with their college, career, and life ready plan.


By increasing and supporting high standards districtwide, our students will be challenged, engaged, and empowered to thrive in their future, creating meaningful opportunities that will benefit their future communities and careers.

CCL Readiness Graduation Requirements Webpage


It is the students’ responsibility to know if all requirements for graduation, advanced endorsements, college entrance, athletic eligibility, and scholarships are being met. Students must enroll in a minimum of six courses per semester in grades 9-11 and four courses in grade 12 to meet high school graduation requirements and college and career readiness goals. Counselors, teachers, and administrators are available to help students in their course selection decisions. Please refer to the annual RCAS course listing book and colleges/universities websites for updated information.



Students will be required to complete 22 credits across an assortment of content areas to prepare for college, career, and life beyond high school.

The coursework required includes the following:

  • 4 credit of English
  • 3 credits of Mathematics
  • 3 credits of Science
  • 3 credits of Social Studies
  • 1 credit of Physical Education/Health
  • 1 credit of Fine Arts
  • .5 credit Computer Applications
  • .5 credit Economics or Personal Finance
  • 3.5 Academies (.5 Freshman Seminar, 2.5 Academy credits, 1 GRADtime credit)
  • 2.5 credits of electives


RCAS ACADEMIES:  Every RCAS high school student will take a one-semester Freshman Seminar course. This course will provide students’ important skills for high school, future workplace success, and introduce them to the RCAS Academies.


GRADtime:  Is an opportunity for students, teachers, and school counselors to interact on a scheduled basis during all 4 years of high school for college, career, and life (CCL) planning and support. Through academics, social-emotional resources, and CCL curriculum, students will be able to outline action steps for fulfilling the RCAS Profile of a Graduate and will have the tools necessary for their future college and career aspirations. • .25 credit each year during grades 9-12 totaling 1 credit