Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Page last updated: February 24, 2017
Successful completion of 30 credits is required in order to earn a graduation diploma.
A credit is granted to a student who has successfully completed a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled. The Diploma is issued by the Ontario Ministry of Education and states that a student has completed, successfully, the minimum requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
Substitutions for a Compulsory Course
The decision to make a substitution for a student should be made only if the student's educational interests are best served by such substitution. The principal will determine whether or not a substitution should be made.
Compulsory Credits (total of 18)
Group 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 cooperative education*****
Group 2 - Additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies or cooperative education*****
Group 3 - Additional credit in science, computer studies or technological education or cooperative education
*A maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD) may be counted towards the 4 compulsory credits in English, but the fourth must be a credit earned for a Grade 12 compulsory English course.
**In schools which offer Delaware or Ojibwe, native students may choose to take Delaware or Ojibwe in addition to French, or as an alternative to French.
***Social science courses are family studies, world religions, society: challenge and change, and philosophy.
****Canadian and world studies courses are geography, history, law, politics and economics. *****A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits.
Optional Credits (total of 12)
The remaining 12 credits may be selected from any subject area. Selection of these credits is based on interests, and future educational and career plans. Additional Requirements include:
Community Involvement Activities
Every student must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement
All students must complete, successfully, the Grade 10 OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test) or the Grade 12 OSSLC (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course), if unsuccessful with the OSSLT. Students will normally take the literacy test in the Grade 10 year (2nd year of secondary school). The literacy course provides an opportunity for students who are unsuccessful on the literacy test to meet the literacy diploma requirements. Students may not enroll in the literacy course until they have written the test at least once and been unsuccessful. If students are absent for the test in Grade 10 and Grade 11 they must attempt to pass the test in their Grade 12 year. Both the test and course are based on the Ontario Curriculum expectations for language and communication, particularly reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9.
The Adjudication Process:
Students otherwise eligible to graduate in the present calendar year who have not successfully completed the literacy requirement may be eligible for the Graduation Literacy Requirement: Adjudication Process. A student's eligibility will be reviewed by school administration.
Ontario Secondary School Certificate
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted, on request, to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:
Compulsory credits (total of 7)
Optional credits (total of 7)
7 credits selected by the student from available courses
The Certificate of Accomplishment
Students who leave school without fulfilling the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. This certificate may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school.
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