The senior high school program is organized into courses of study for each subject area. Each senior high school course is worth a specific number of credits. A credit represents course-specific knowledge, skills and attitudes, and is equal to 25 hours of instruction. Higher numbers of credits indicate that more content is covered and more time is spent on that course. Most courses have a 1-credit, 3-credit or 5-credit value.
Each course has a number, which usually designates the grade level as well as the level of difficulty. Some subjects have course
sequences available at different levels of difficulty. Students generally take the prerequisite in a course sequence; e.g., Social
Studies 10-1, 20-1, 30-1. They may also transfer between course sequences; e.g., Social Studies 10-4, 10-2, 20-2, 30-2. Students
earn credits in a course if they earn a final course mark of 50% or higher. Diploma examinations are required in certain 30-level
Many senior high schools offer courses in the semester system.
Generally, courses in semester one start in September and finish in January. Semester two starts in February and finishes in June. In
this system, a school might schedule a 5-credit course daily and a 3-credit course every other day for one semester. Check with
individual senior high schools to find out how different courses are scheduled.
The senior high school program includes required and optional courses. Following are some points to consider when planning a
senior high school program.
- Some courses are designed for different purposes and are available in two or more levels of difficulty.
- It is usually necessary to complete courses in a sequence, so students should determine which courses they wish to graduate with, then work back through the prerequisites.
- Students should make sure that they select optional courses that contribute to their career plans; e.g., post-secondary requirements, employment, and/or further study.
In Grade 10 to Grade 12, students study required courses/programs. They also select from a range of optional courses/
programs in keeping with career plans and personal interests.
Our Catholic high school offers Religious Studies 15–25–35 within all programs. The credits earned from Religious Studies courses may be applied toward an Alberta High School Diploma or a Certificate of Achievement.