Diploma dilemma: Indiana Department of Education Proposes New Diploma for 2029

Diploma dilemma: Indiana Department of Education Proposes New Diploma for 2029

In Indiana, the future of education is changing. On March 27, the Indiana Department of Education proposed a reconstruction of the current diplomas for high schools across the state. With the two new diplomas in question, the Indiana GPS Diploma and the Indiana GPS Diploma Plus, grades 9-10 will narrow in on essential skills while grades 11-12 will have additional flexibility specific to a pathway of their choice.

The graduation from the standard diploma currently employed in Munster compared to the IDOE’s proposal stirs concern for the classes in effect. In their 11-12 grade levels, the GPS diplomas encourage students to enroll in additional courses aligned to a graduation pathway.

“Ultimately, they’re trying to transform what an upper level high school experience looks like,” Mr. Robert Snyder, assistant principal, said. “They want students to have a type of practical internship or work-based learning experience.”

The intensification between the Indiana GPS and Indiana GPS Plus diploma is what underlines the greatest concern for Mr. Snyder. As part of the postsecondary-ready competencies, similar to the graduation requirements as part of the standard graduation pathway, the newly proposed option requires students to complete the Indiana College Core or achieve an average of 3.5 and scores 3 or higher on at least five exams, and exemplifies competency mastery by leading a club or foundation, among other qualifiers.

“We might see more kids using the flexibility of the GPS diploma that’s more comparable to a Core 40,” Mr. Snyder said. “All Of those requirements for box three of the GPS Plus are high bars for kids to achieve.”


studying the effects

50% of the class of 2023 graduated with an Academic Honors diploma
Now, the graduating percentage in the top diploma, the GPS diploma plus, is estimated to drop to 20-30%
source: Mr. Robert Snyder, assistant principal


With the proposal being an overhaul of multiple credits, certain departments such as world languages, art, and social studies are liable to major downsizing.

“I think it is worrisome for teachers who have been here and have dedicated their life to the profession,” Ms. Szafasz, social studies teacher, said.

As social studies teacher Mrs. Kathleen LaPorte’s growing concern for the curriculum’s demand for history credits is redundant in effect to the diploma, her anxiety stretches beyond her position as a teacher to as a mother. The implementation of the diploma, if passed, is scheduled to begin with the class of 2029: the current seventh grade class of students.

“The seventh graders are the ones that will be the guinea pigs,” she said. “I’ve already discussed with my son about taking PCC his eighth grade year because of the crazy build-up once he’ll get over here. No parent wants their 15-year-old to hold up a job and play a sport by requirement for the curriculum.”

The fears are not just in terms of high school, though. Uncertainty towards the proposed diploma reaches into colleges, more specifically, college search competition.

“The other concern is how will this look to colleges like IU or Purdue, where a lot of our kids go,” Mrs. Szafasz said. “How will this new diploma stack up against out-of-state diplomas—are our kids held to the same standard?”

important changes

  • less math needed
  • less science needed
  • less social studies needed, with a new civic literacy course
  • newer course requirements for computer science and personal fiance
  • need career specific classes or an internship


THE CURRENT REQUIREMENTS Right now, students need to fulfill these requirements to graduate with a standard core 40 diploma. (John Kullerstrand)
THE PROPOSED REQUIREMENTS The state of Indiana has proposed major changes to all high school diplomas, altering the amount of core classes needed. (John Kullerstrand)
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Emily Dywan
Emily Dywan, Page Editor
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm a junior at MHS and this is my second year as a writer in Crier. I love to read, write and draw. A fun fact about me is that I have a yellow car.
Emma Starkey
Emma Starkey, Page Editor
Hi, I'm Emma Starkey, and I'm a junior. This is my first year in Crier, however I had an article published in the April issue of 2023. I'm also involved with Creative Writing Club, and Munster Theater Company (where I'm a sound technician). In my free time, I enjoy playing JRPGs on my Xbox, or further developing my various creative writing projects.
John Kullerstrand
John Kullerstrand, Photographer
My name is John Kullerstrand, sophomore and photojournalist at MHS. My friends have a running joke, where they go work for the CIA, and I continue as a journalist, and we see who can end who's career first.

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