The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes two high school diplomas - the TOPS Tech Diploma and the TOPS University Diploma. Both diplomas meet statewide graduation requirements, but they differ in that one focuses on college preparation while the other focuses on entering the workforce.
During the first two years of high school, all students will take core academic classes that focus on building the knowledge and skills they gained in previous grades. Following the student’s tenth grade year, s/he will choose a high school pathway that results in either a TOPS Tech Diploma or a TOPS University Diploma. Students may also choose to work towards achieving both diplomas. Decisions are made with counseling and guidance, based on the student’s interests, capabilities, and ambitions.
What is a TOPS University Diploma?
The TOPS University Diploma ensures students receive college preparatory curriculum and required courses to enroll in a traditional four-year university, while also making sure they have every chance possible to receive TOPS scholarship awards, including TOPS Opportunity, TOPS Performance, TOPS Honors and TOPS Tech. The majority of students enrolled in Jefferson Parish Schools graduate with a TOPS University diploma.
What is a TOPS Tech Diploma?
The TOPS Tech Diploma ensures students receive business credentials and training while also making sure they have every chance possible to receive a TOPS Tech scholarship award. In Jefferson Parish, nearly half of our students enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. Students who graduate with a TOPS Tech diploma will exit high school prepared to enter the workforce or continue their education through a community or technical college.
Community Service Diploma Endorsement
School systems may award a Community Service Endorsement to students completing a minimum of 80 hours of service anytime between ninth and twelfth grade.
State Seal of Biliteracy
School systems may award a State Seal of Biliteracy to students by proving literacy in English and another language.
For more information on diploma endorsements, students should contact their high school guidance counselor.