Coursework Outside of the District Including Community College Courses

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    Some important changes were made to Board Policy that enable students to earn credits for courses taken outside the District during the 2020-2021 School Year. Students and Families are strongly encouraged to make all decisions regarding course taking outside of SMUHSD in close consultation with their school counselor. 


    • During the 2020- 2021 School Year exclusively, with pre-approval, students MAY take courses at accredited institutions** outside of SMUHSD and have them count towards graduation credit. 
      • This includes San Mateo Community College District courses and other courses that are considered comparable to SMUHSD graduation requirements. 
      • Students must obtain pre-approval for this option by September 1st (Fall Semester) and January 15th (Spring Semester). 
      • Once the course is completed, the student must request an official transcript from the online program or institution to be sent to the SMUHSD high school they attend. 


    • Community College courses that are UC/CSU transferable may receive a GPA (grade point average) increase from Fall Semester 2020 ONWARD.
      • Community College Courses that are UC/CSU transferable will be calculated on 5.0 Grade Point Scale.
      • Students may receive this increase in their grade point average (GPA) provided there is not a comparable course offered by the District that does not receive a GPA bump (e.g. Precalculus). Most entry level community college courses, which may be transferable, will not receive the grade point increase as they are considered comparable to high school courses on the 4.0 scale.
      • Students must obtain pre-approval for these courses using each site’s pre-approval coursework form. 
      • This policy takes effect August 2020 and is not retroactive.


    • Under normal circumstances, students may earn up to 40 graduation credits of coursework required for graduation outside of the District and have these credits placed on the SMUHSD transcript for one of the following reasons: 
      • For the makeup of a D or F grade in a course required for graduation or college entrance and there is an equivalent course offered at a non-district secondary or postsecondary institution.
      • For acceleration as part of a detailed course progression plan. (ie. a student takes Geometry over the summer to move on to Algebra 2).
      • As a community college course taken on the high school campus (this includes world language and elective courses).
      • As an enrichment course at a postsecondary institution for high school elective credit.
      • Enrichment courses taken at a non-district secondary school will not be placed on the SMUHSD transcript.
      • As a world language to satisfy graduation or CSU/ UC minimum entrance requirements, the language class is not offered at the high school. (For example, American Sign Language).


    **Credits earned at independent learning institutions that are accredited, but do not maintain their own a-g list (a-g courses are entrance requirements for UCs/CSUs), are allowed on our transcript for graduation requirements. However, they will not be added to the SMUHSD a-g course list. Students will need to list this type of institution on their UC/CSU applications as “Other High School Attended,” and then list the course title. SMUHSD will only accept online courses from UC approved online publishers