Kolbe Academy offers an Eighth Grade diploma and three different high school diploma types: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Standard. To earn a diploma from Kolbe Academy, students can use any combination of courses from our homeschool, our online academy, or other sources such as community college, homeschool co-ops, or alternate homeschool curriculum or curriculum providers. A student who would like to earn a diploma should make sure to fully enroll in the homeschool or online academy program and choose classes that will fulfill the requirements of the desired diploma type. If a student is transferring into Kolbe Academy in 10th-12th grade, please be sure to obtain a transfer student evaluation prior to choosing classes.
The high school diploma types exist for the sake of helping families decide what sort of course of study they want to follow with their high school students. The diploma types are not the equivalent of receiving Summa Cum Laude or Magna cum Laude ranking in school. However, they do reflect various levels of rigor in the courses of study pursued, to a degree. Each has a different aim and focus, and thus, different graduation requirements. Kolbe offers different options so that families can use and tailor the program to meet whatever goals they have. Each diploma has a specific course of study required, and has a minimum number of courses required in each area for graduation. Students are always welcome, and often encouraged, to exceed these minimum requirements.
The Summa Cum Laude diploma is for the student who wishes to pursue the most challenging course of study. It requires that the student use Kolbe's exact curriculum for all four years and requires four years each of math, science, literature, English, theology, history and foreign language. Additionally, of the core subjects of literature, English, theology and history, one honors course must be taken as a freshman, two as a sophomore, three as a junior and all four must be taken for honors as a senior. The Summa Cum Laude exceeds the requirements for college entrance and thoroughly prepares students for the rigours of a 4-year college or university. Approximately 5-10% of Kolbe's High School Students choose to pursue the Summa Cum Laude diploma. Only courses with a grade of C- or higher can meet Summa Cum Laude diploma requirements.
The Magna Cum Laude is our college preparatory diploma, and is designed to exceed the admission requirements of most state universities. It provides an academically rigorous course of study while allowing for more flexibility than the Summa Cum Laude diploma. Students are required to take five combined classes in English and literature, four in theology and three in math, science, history and foreign languages, including requirements for specific subject areas within each discipline. Students and parents are able to substitute other high school level courses in place of the courses that are offered by Kolbe, so long as they are grade-level appropriate. The Magna Cum Laude is the perfect diploma for the student who is preparing for college and may not want the full workload of the Summa, or wishes to have additional time to focus their studies rather than requiring the full breadth of studies that is required by the Summa. Only courses with a grade of C- or higher can meet Magna Cum Laude diploma requirements.
The Standard Diploma exceeds the State of California's high school graduation requirements, and is designed for the student who needs to make significant changes to the course of study, or who may not be planning on attending a four-year college immediately after high school. It offers the most flexibility of our diplomas while still offering the opportunity for an academically rigorous education, albeit in a more customizable fashion. Students may choose to follow any, all, or none of Kolbe's core curriculum so long as the minimum subject requirements are met. It is important to note that the minimum graduation requirements for the Standard Diploma may not meet the admission requirements of many four year colleges. Any passing grade (D- or higher) will earn credit towards Standard diploma requirements.
Kolbe Academy also issues diplomas for our eighth grade graduates. In order to receive a diploma for graduation from 8th grade, a student must:
1) be fully enrolled with Kolbe Academy for all of the 8th grade year.
2) be taking at minimum 5 academic courses including Religion, English, and Math
3) have on file with Kolbe Academy the 6th and 7th grade student records either from another school or your own homeschool