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136,213 high school students

State Profile
As states work to raise their academic standards, several national high school reform initiatives are assisting them in their efforts to strengthen their high schools so that they provide students with a 21st century education and skills.

Through the profile provided here, the National High School Center offers (a) a snapshot of the state’s graduation requirements and college entrance requirements (see table below) and (b) summaries of national reform initiatives active in the state (see list below table).

High School and College Alignment in the State
The following table shows the state’s alignment between high school graduation requirements and minimum state college entrance requirements, providing a quick source for determining whether there is a gap between what students must know to graduate and what they are expected to have mastered in order to enter college.

High School Graduation Requirements* College Admission Requirements

English Units

English 9, 10, 11, 12


Mathematics Units




Algebra I or Algebra A & B; Geometry or Investigating Geometry or Geometry A & B; Algebra II; 1 unit from the following options (Transitions to College Math, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Trigonometry, Statistics, Computer Math, Algebra III or Advanced Placement Math)
In addition, all students must take a mathematics course in grade 11 or grade 12 and complete Algebra II

From Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus

Social Studies Units




Civic or Civics/American Government, World History, American History

Science Units




with lab from Physical Science, Biology, Applied Biology/Chemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Principles of Technology I & II, OR PIC Physics

2 of Biology, Chemistry or Physics laboratory science

Foreign Language Units



Art Units



Additional Units

Oral Communication - .5
P.E. - .5
Health and Safety - .5

Career Focus - 6

Electives - 2

Total Units




Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment Program



AR Department of Education

University of Arkansas

* All units in the career focus requirement are established by the local school district. Local school districts may require additional units for graduation beyond the 16 common core units and six career focus units.

National High School Improvement Initiatives at Work in the State
As states work to ready high school students for postsecondary success, many are partnering with national organizations to undertake high school improvement efforts. The following list includes national improvement initiatives at work in the state. National initiatives are defined as significant programs, projects, technical assistance, or key information clearinghouses dedicated to high school improvement. For information about and related to research on these initiatives, please click on the name of the initiative to link to a synthesis:

Arkansas State High School Improvement Initiatives
For information on high school improvement initiatives launched at the state level visit the
Arkansas Department of Education.

Arkansas ARRA Information
For information on Arkansas's ARRA efforts as it relates to education, please visit the state Web page.