• The Missouri Option Program permits full-time, public school enrolled students who are at least 17 years of age and at risk of dropping out or not graduating with their cohort group the opportunity to earn a standard high school diploma.

    Graduation through the Missouri Option Program is not dependent on credit attainment. Students enrolled in the Missouri Option Program are exempted from the requirement to earn a specific number of credits for graduation purposes. The Missouri Option Program is competency-based and approved by the State Board of Education. The program utilizes a high school equivalency exam as content mastery for graduation purposes. The exam sanctioned by the state for the Missouri Option program is the HiSET® test. Missouri Option students successfully passing the exam and completing all other program requirements are eligible to receive a high school diploma.

    Program Expectations:
    Each candidate is enrolled as a full-time student in the district
    Candidates are 17 years of age or older.
    Participation is voluntary.
    Selection criteria are not ethnic, racial, or gender biased.
    Candidates are at least one year behind their cohort group in the credits needed to graduate, OR for other significant reasons identified in the local plan, are unable to complete their diploma with their cohort group (class). Cohort is defined as the year that a student enrolled in Kindergarten.
    Candidates and a parent/guardian will sign a participation/consent agreement.
    Instructional content is appropriate for eleventh grade or higher and aligns with the Missouri High School Equivalency Exam sub-tests: Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing, and Mathematics. Students are able to demonstrate the ability to read independently in English at the eleventh grade level sufficiently to successfully complete instruction and testing.

    Missouri Options Students
    Are engaged in a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of academic instruction per week, which may include computer-assisted instruction.
    Must pass a half-unit course in Personal Finance and Health Education.
    Must pass a course in Civics or Government and pass a test(s) on the provisions and principles of the United States and Missouri Constitutions.
    Participate in all required End of Course (EOCs) assessments - Algebra I (or Algebra II if Algebra was taken prior to high school), English II, Biology and American Government.
    Are enrolled in Missouri Connections: https://mocis.intocareers.org/materials/portal/home.html , participate in postsecondary and occupational exploration activities, and complete a Career Portfolio.
    are enrolled in other school-supervised instructional activities (Career Education courses, elective classes, volunteer experiences, work experience, etc.), that lead to the student’s classification by the school district as a full-time student.
    have access to all educational programs and services available in the school district.
    With disabilities show evidence of a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, which indicates that participation in the Missouri Option Program is appropriate for the student. The IEP or Section 504 Plan documents any special education services and related aids and services necessary for successful completion of the program, including the testing component.
    For information on the eligibility to participate in high school activities, please contact the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) at email@mshsaa.org or by calling 573-875-4880.

    Program Completion
    Upon passing the Missouri High School Equivalency Exam and fulfilling all Missouri Option and district program requirements, fifth- through seventh-year seniors receive a high school diploma and graduate.
    The Missouri Option Program does not circumvent compulsory attendance regulations or facilitate an early exit.
    Fourth-year seniors who are in the program for other significant reasons and successfully pass the Missouri High School Equivalency Exam before the end of the school year are engaged in a school supervised course of study or employment/volunteer work equivalent to full-time student status (30 hours a week) until the end of the school year or when released according to district policy.
    Graduates of the Missouri Option Program are eligible to participate in a high school graduation ceremony with their peers.