Demonstrated Competency - Policy


Evaluated and approved under the standards for accreditation of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools or the accreditation standards of the board. (Available from the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) accreditation specialist.

Accelerated Learner
A student is able to complete a course in less than the usual time.

Core Curriculum content standard
A broad statement of what students enrolled in public schools are expected to know and be able to do at specific grade levels or following completion of identified courses.

Demonstrated competence
Subject mastery; a student demonstrates all essential knowledge, skills and dispositions of a specific course, as determined by school district standards and review. School district review shall be based upon a valid assessment.

Early Graduate
A student who has completed all required courses or demonstrated mastery of required skills and competencies, and with the approval of the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and an authorized local school official, can graduate at any time.

High School
Grades 9 – 12

Highly mobile
A student who frequently changes schools.

Home schooled
A student who attends a home school, is exempt from school attendance and attends no more than two regularly scheduled classes in a public school per semester.

Non- accredited
A public/private school lacking approval by the State Board of Education or that has not been recognized by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.

Student education occupation plan.

Verified Credit
Course with established validity.


Authority and Purpose

This policy is authorized by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Board Rule R277-705-3C. School district or school policies shall provide various methods for students to earn credit from non-accredited sources, course work or education providers. Methods, as designated by the school district or school may include:

  1. Satisfaction of coursework by demonstrated competency, as evaluated at the school district or school level.  A school district or school has the final decision-making authority for the awarding of credit and grades from non-accredited sources consistent with state law, due process and this rule.

The purpose of this rule is to facilitate the development of competency tests in all subjects areas needed for graduation and to establish standardization across the state in tests, and testing practices.


Assessments for most courses may be divided and administered in sections:

  • Multiple Choice 
  • Constructed Response 
  • Essay and Performance (for some courses)

Students must pass the first assessment section in order to proceed through the remainder of the assessment. If a student fails the first assessment section, he/she will be advised to take the course for credit.

A. The assessments will be available to all high school students.

B. Students can take assessments at any time in their high school career.

C. The assessments will provide students an opportunity to earn required and/or elective credit.

D. The assessments may be used for students to accelerate their education.

E. The use of the assessments, as a means of earning credit toward graduation, may be discussed during the SEOP process.

F. The student is responsible for acquiring and retaining the content knowledge and skills required for passing any assessment.

G. The following assessments are available:

  • Biology
  • Computer Technology
  • Earth Systems
  • Financial Literacy
  • Fitness for Life
  • Geography for Life
  • Health
  • Language Arts (Grades 9-11)
  • Participation and Skills Techniques
  • Secondary Math I, II and III
  • US Government and Citizenship
  • World Civilizations, World Languages (Spanish, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic)

H. The content area assessments will reflect a semester of subject content for all semester courses and will be worth .50 credit toward meeting graduation requirements. Content area assessments for full year courses will reflect 1 credit toward meeting graduation requirements. (World Language credit will be issued in increments of 1 credit to 2 credits.)

I. Administration of assessments will be coordinated at the district level.

J. Credit for passing assessments will be awarded at the district level and applied to the student’s transcript at the home school location.

K. There is no fee to administer the demonstrated competency tests.

L. A written request for taking an assessment must be submitted by the student to his/her
local school counselor.

M. Assessments may be taken only once per school year.

N. No citizenship credit will be given for passing an assessment.