COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
February 6, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The 2014 General Assembly passed House Bill 1054 (Loupassi), which amended and re-enacted § 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia to allow the use of computer science credits for high school diploma course and credit requirements. The Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) was directed to develop guidelines defining how computer science coursework could satisfy graduation requirements. At its meeting on January 22, 2015, the VBOE approved Guidelines for the Use of Computer Science Courses to Satisfy Graduation Requirements.
The guidelines allow Advanced Placement Computer Science A to satisfy mathematics, laboratory science, or career and technical education graduation requirements as a standard credit under certain specified conditions and regardless of the diploma type. These guidelines are effective for the students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2015-2016 and beyond.
It is important to note that colleges and universities have varying ways of applying computer science course credits during their admission processes. Many colleges and universities do not accept computer science as a mathematics or laboratory science course on student transcripts. In all cases, teachers and school counselors must carefully advise students and parents to ensure that their high school credit-bearing course selections and graduation planning career pathways are consistent with admission standards and program requirements for postsecondary education and training.
If you need additional information or have questions about the guidelines, please contact Eric M. Rhoades, director, Office of Science and Health Education, by e-mail at Eric.Rhoades@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 786-2481; or Joseph Wharff, school counseling career connections specialist, by e-mail at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at (804) 225-3370; or Michael Bolling, director, Office of Mathematics and Governor’s Schools, by e-mail at Michael.Bolling@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 786-6418.