Avon’s Three Diploma Types and Their Requirements

Oliver Brobeck | Reporter

How well do you know Avon’s three diploma types? Test your knowledge with this three-question quiz, and read about the different diploma types after. 

1. How many credits of electives do you need for a basic Core 40 diploma?

A. 6

B. 9

C. 12

D. 14


2. What is the minimum GPA required to get an Academic/Technical Honors diploma?

A. 1.9

B. 2.3

C. 2.6

D. 2.7


3. What grade must you earn in a class that counts towards Academic/Technical Honors diplomas?


A. D

B. D+

C. C-

D. C




How well did you score? If you didn’t get all three correct, keep reading to make sure that you’re in the loop about Avon’s diploma types and requirements.

The Core 40 diploma is the most basic general diploma type offered in the state of Indiana, designed to prepare students for numerous college programs and careers. On top of the Core 40 diploma, Indiana also offers two additional, upper level diplomas, the Core 40 with Academic Honors and the Core 40 with Technical Honors.

Guidance counselor Michelle Wilson says that over 80% of AHS students pursue and prepare for an Academic Honors diploma. 

“Academic Honors is going to be the most rigorous [diploma type] that we offer here, but that doesn’t mean that a basic Core 40 diploma is not college bound. It certainly is, and you can still challenge yourself on a Core 40, but there’s a lot of things that come out of Academic Honors, like the foreign language [requirement,] that can open doors for IU or Purdue, for example,” Wilson said. “The nice thing about Academic Honors is that you get the cheapest college credits you’ll ever get if you are able to take and pass an AP exam, or do Vincennes University courses.”

Contrary to the name of the diploma, students are not required to take higher-level, honors classes in order to earn Academic Honors.

“You don’t have to be in honors classes to get Academic Honors. And I think that kids get scared when they hear Academic Honors, ‘Do I have to take all honors classes?’ No… [The counselors] will put you in the right levels,” Wilson said.

A Technical Honors diploma is slightly different from an Academic Honors, with the requirement that students earn six credits in college and career preparation courses in state-approved college and career pathways, and either earn a pathway designated industry-based certification/credential or pathway dual credits from the approved dual-credit list, resulting in six college credits.

“It certainly is more career-focused,” Wilson said. “It’s really for those students who potentially want to go into the workforce right out [of high school.] With Technical Honors, it’s going to be very practical, very application-based stuff.”

Taking Area 31 or Project Lead The Way classes is the most common way that students earn a Technical Honors diploma.

Wilson said that colleges likely won’t be looking at what diploma you earned, but rather what classes are on your transcript. 

“[Colleges] want to see a strong transcript. They want to see classes that you’re taking and doing well in. But, they also want to see that you’re taking challenging classes and that you have a strong GPA. Also, for IU and Purdue, you do have to take Pre-Calculus… and have at least two years of a foreign language. They are not just looking at the name of the diploma. To me, and to them, a diploma name does not determine how well you’re going to do [in college,]” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of other factors other than school that contribute to how successful you’re going to be.”

Wilson says that the best resource that students can use is Naviance.

“I would highly recommend looking at Naviance and getting on there early. You don’t have to necessarily have a concrete idea of what you’re going to do, but rather, making sure that you leave enough doors open for yourself so that you can pursue it when you do make that decision,” Wilson said.

Senior Emmagrace Brock is going for both an Academic Honors and a Technical Honors diploma.

“I found the Project Lead The Way classes very interesting. I figured they’d lead me to a great pathway for college and careers, as I plan on continuing medical studies after high school,” Brock said.

Brock was originally going for just an Academic Honors diploma, but the Technical Honors diploma fell into place when she took the Project Lead The Way classes.

In order to earn an Academic or Technical Honors diploma, students must earn a C- or higher in all classes that count towards the diploma.

“If you get a D+ or lower, you can retake and replace a class. So, just because you get a D+ in a class, it doesn’t mean that you’ve wrecked your Academic or Technical Donors diploma,” Wilson said.

Taking three years of one foreign language or two years of two different foreign languages is a requirement to achieve the Academic Honors diploma. If a student doesn’t want to meet those requirements, Wilson advises students to not let that be a barrier.

“Make sure that you’re still challenging yourself. Don’t let your diploma track decide what classes you take,” Wilson said. “You do want to make sure that you’re taking classes that are relevant to you.”

Senior Ava Davis said that she is more geared to exceed in art-based classes, like reading or drawing, so she is simply going for the general Core 40 diploma.

“Core 40 gives me a little bit more freedom in my schedule to fit in the art classes I want to take. Because I’m wanting to go to art school for college, I don’t feel like it’s that necessary to strive for an Academic Honors diploma,” Davis said.



Core 40

  • 8 credits of English/Language Arts – including a balance of literature, composition, and speech
  • 6 credits of Mathematics – must take a math or quantitative reasoning class all 4 years of high school. Required to take Algebra I and II and Geometry or take integrated math I, II, & III
  • 6 credits of Science – Required to take Biology I, Chemistry I, or Physics I or Integrated Chemistry-Physics, and two credits of any Core 40 science course
  • 6 credits of Social Studies – Required to take US History , US Government, Economics, and World History/Civilization or Geography/History of the World
  • 5 credits of Directed Electives – World languages, fine arts, career and technical education
  • 2 credits of Physical Education
  • 1 credit of Health
  • 1 credit of Preparation for College and Careers
  • 12 credits of Electives
  • 47 total credits


Core 40 with Academic Honors

  • Complete all requirements for Core 40 AND
  • 2 credits of additional Core 40 courses
  • 6-8 credits of World Language – (6 in one language or 4 credits each in 2 languages)
  • 2 credits of Core 40 fine arts
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in courses that count towards the diploma
  • GPA of B (2.7) or better
  • Complete ONE of the following:
    • Earn 4 credits in 2 or more AP and take respective AP exams
    • Earn 6 Vincennes University credits
  • Do both of these
    • 1: Minimum of 3 credits through Vincennes University
    • 2: Two AP credits with exams taken
  • Earn a composite score of 1250 or higher on SAT w/ minimum score of 560 on math and 590 on writing
  • Earn a ACT composite score of 26 or higher and do the written section
  • Minimum of 47 credits


Core 40 with Technical Honors

  • Complete all requirements for Core 40 AND
  • Earn 6 credits in college and career preparation courses in state-approved college and career pathways
  • Complete ONE of the following:
    • Pathway designated industry-based certification or credential
    • Pathway dual credits from approved dual credit list resulting in 6 college credits
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in courses that count towards the diploma
  • GPA of B (2.7) or better
  • Complete ONE of the following:
    • Earn the following scores on WorkKeys
      • Level 6 on reading for information
      • Level 6 on applied math
      • Level 5 on location information
    • Earn minimum Accuplacer scores of
      • 80 on writing
      • 90 on reading
      • 75 on math
    • Earn minimum Compass scores
      • 66 on algebra
      • 70 on writing
      • 80 on reading
  • Minimum of 47 credits



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