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What are the required courses for science?
There are no required courses for meeting the science requirement. Students must earn at least three credits in Science that are aligned with Michigan K-12 Science Standards.
Students may earn this credit in traditional courses, but they may also earn credit through courses that integrate the science standards. For more information, see the Michigan Merit Curriculum: Science Course/Credit Requirements.
Why are course names mentioned in the MMC law?
The MMC legislation describes various routes to earning the required science credits, including naming optional course titles. Districts could use any of the course names listed or develop local courses that embed the required science standards. The Michigan K-12 Science Standards as written are not divided by course name, and the three science credits should only be granted based on proficiency of all adopted standards. Regardless of course name and sequence, students must be proficient in all state board approved science standards to earn the three credits.
What course(s) may serve as a student's 3rd Science credit?
Districts determine the content, structure, and delivery of science courses. The standards themselves represent three science credits. Districts are responsible for ensuring that students have an opportunity to learn the content outlined by the Michigan Science Standards since these will be tested on the 11th grade Michigan Merit Exam. More information can be found in the Science Credit Guidelines document.
Can a student take a CTE class for the 3rd Science credit?
Any course or program, including CTE, which integrates Science content may count as the 3rd science credit. If the 3rd Science credit is exchanged for a formal CTE program or curriculum, then science content does not need to be integrated. However, districts are responsible for ensuring that students have an opportunity to learn the content as outlined in the Michigan Science Standards since these will be tested on the 11th grade Michigan Merit Exam.
Can a student take a computer science class for the 3rd Science credit?
Any course or program, including a computer science course, which integrates science content may count as the 3rd Science credit. There is no department-approved computer science program or curriculum that can be exchanged for a 3rd science credit.
Do districts have to provide the courses specified in the legislation?
No. 380.1278(b) (7) states, "The board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy that operates a high school … may provide this curriculum by providing the credits specified in this Section and Section 1278a, by using alternative instructional delivery methods such as alternative course work, humanities course sequences, CTE, industrial technology courses, or vocational education, or by a combination of these. School districts and public school academies that operate CTE programs are encouraged to integrate the credit requirements of this Section and Section 1278a into those programs."
Can Earth Science still be offered for high school credit in 8th grade?
Any high school credit offered in middle school must be based on the high school standards. Middle school students must have an opportunity to learn the 6th-8th grade science standards in order to be prepared for high school science, so care should be taken to ensure that any middle school earth science class contains both the middle school and high school content. More information can be found in the Science Credit Guidelines on the Academic Standards page. [See also Earning Credit and Career/Technical Education]
Can the three science credits be modified by a Personal Curriculum?
What the Michigan Merit Curriculum Law Says About Science:
Sec. 1278b (1)(b)
At least three credits in science that are aligned with subject area content expectations developed by the Department and approved by the State Board under this Section, including completion of at least Biology and either Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, or Agricultural Science, or successfully completing a program or curriculum that provides the same content as the Chemistry or Physics benchmarks, as determined by the Department. A student may fulfill the requirement for the 3rd Science credit by completing a department-approved Computer Science program or curriculum or formal Career and Technical Education (CTE) program or curriculum. The legislature strongly encourages pupils to complete a 4th credit in science, such as Forensics, Astronomy, Earth Science, Agricultural Science, Environmental Science, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, or Microbiology.