EOC, credits needed to graduate
By Claudia Juarez
At the beginning of the Spring Semester, seniors can see the finish line to graduation closer than ever. At the end of the last nine weeks, administrators were working to prepare students for another chapter in their lives as seniors are coming to terms with their upcoming milestone.
“The (past) nine weeks were very overwhelming because of all of the applications,” fellow senior Samantha Juarez said. “But it is also a bittersweet kind of moment.”
Not only do seniors have to worry about scholarships, FAFSA, coursework and exams, but they also have to make sure they are on track to graduate. That means they have to pass all EOCs (End of Course exams) and complete all credits mandated by the state.
Head Counselor Sonia Ugarte has been advising students for 16 years and knows what it takes to walk across the stage.
“Students must complete all of their 26 credits and pass their EOCs, if they intend on graduating,” Ugarte said.
Texas has an 88 percent graduation rate, exceeding the national 81.4 percent graduation rate.
The graduation requirements for SISD are to pass all EOCs and obtain 26 credits, even though Texas only requires 22 credits.
“The district adds more credits so that students can try harder,” Ugarte said. “It is understandable why they would exceed the state’s expectations.”
Students must test over five subjects: Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II and U.S. History.
“There are exceptions,” Ugarte said. “If students were not able to take any EOC, the student can still graduate if they complete the project that is based on the subject’s curriculum.”
The EOCs generally take place during the spring, when most first-timers take it. However, there are also test dates in December and July for those who failed the initial exam or did not take it as lowerclassmen.
“Are the projects difficult? Well, it depends on the student and their work ethic,” Ugarte said. “Most students do not find it that troublesome, but it varies.”
Credits and passing EOC scores are the basic necessities for graduation. However, if a student plans on attaining a postsecondary education, they will need other elements such as FAFSA applications, scholarship applications, housing applications and SAT along with ACT scores to graduate.
“The students can come to the Go Center year-round for help with their college applications, essays, the application process, and to find out which universities are better suited for them based on their SAT and ACT score,” Alejandra Santillanes, the college advisor, said. “In the Go Center, the students can complete their college applications, receive my help with essays, and they can search for scholarships. Computers are also available to them as well as pamphlets that will introduce them to universities that might interest them.”
Ultimately, the requirements for graduation are not as elaborate as it seems, but if one slacks off in any of the fundamentals, it could cost them their diploma and their future.
“The applications aren’t that hard to do, but you can’t procrastinate,” Juarez said. “To keep myself organized, I keep my notes in my binder, use my time wisely, and I set my own deadlines before the actual deadlines to keep myself intact and prepared.”