Credit Overview

Normally, 0.5 credit is earned for each class that meets one period per day for one semester. Yearlong courses normally earn 1.0 credit each, unless stated otherwise in the High School Program of Studies (available from the school counseling office).

In addition to the basic requirements, each student needs to apply his or her own requirements to be prepared for advancement in employment or for success in post-secondary study. Most students exceed the minimum requirements during their high school career. All students are required to elect seven (7) courses during their high school careers that are appropriate to their chosen pathways in the Portage Career Pathways Model.

In order to earn a diploma from Portage Northern High School and to participate in graduation-related exercises, a student must, as a minimum, attend full time for four years and satisfactorily complete in grades 9-12 the following requirements:

Current 9th Grade Students

  • 26 credits total
  • 18 of the 26 credits must be earned in the following areas:
    • English Language Arts – 4 credits
    • Mathematics Core – 3 credits
      • Algebra I (1 credit)
      • Geometry (1 credit)
      • Algebra II (1 credit)
    • Mathematics Related Course Senior Year – 1 credit
    • Science – 3 credits
      • Chemistry I or Honors Chemistry I (.5 credit)
      • Physics I or Honors Physics I (.5 credit)
      • Biology I or Honors Biology I (1 credit)
      • Earth Science I or Honors Earth Science I (.5 credit)
      • Advanced Chemistry or Physics Option (.5 credit)
    • Social Studies – 3 credits
      • Modern American History or Honors (1 credit)
      • World History Elective (1 credit)
      • U.S. Government/Economics (1 credit)
    • Physical Education – 1.5 credits
    • Fine or Applied Arts – 1 credit (9th or 10th grade)
    • Health – .5 credit
    • Online and/or Tech Integration Experience – 1 credit (Embedded in other courses or in a stand alone course)

Current 10th – 12th Grade Students

  • 26 credits total
  • 13 of the 26 credits must be earned in the following areas:
    • English Language Arts – 4 credits
    • Mathematics – 2 credits
    • Science – 2 credits
    • Social Studies – 3 credits
      • Modern American History (1 credit)
      • Contemporary Global Studies (1 credit)
      • Government (0.5 credit)
      • Economics (0.5 credit)
    • Physical Education – 1.5 credits
    • Health – 0.5 credit

University Preparation

The state universities of Michigan have agreed that to be eligible for regular admission to a four-year baccalaureate degree program, a high school student must complete the following course requirements:

4 credits required
3 credits required, including intermediate algebra; 4 credits strongly recommended
Biological/Physical Sciences
2 credits required; 3 credits strongly recommended, including 1 credit of biological science and 1 credit of physical science. At least 1 credit of a laboratory course is also strongly recommended.
History and Social Sciences
3 credits required; 1 credit of American history and 1 credit of world history are strongly recommended.

It is encouraged for prospective students to complete courses in:

Foreign Language
3 credits strongly recommended
Fine and Performing Arts
2 credits strongly recommended
Computer Literacy
1 credit of hands-on experience in computers is strongly recommended.

Students whose learning needs are not met by the regular curriculum may take advantage of specialized programs available through a consortium of Kalamazoo County schools. Those programs include:

  • ATYP
  • KAMSC (Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center)
  • EFA (Education for the Arts)
  • EFE (Education for Employment)

Detailed information on these programs is available in the school counseling office.

Career Pathways

A Career Pathway is a broad grouping of careers that share similar characteristics and whose employment requirements call for many common interests, strengths, and competencies. The Portage Public Schools has adopted six Career Pathways as defined by the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Career Development:

  • Arts and Communication
  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Technology
  • Engineering/Manufacturing and Industrial Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services
  • Natural Resources and Agriscience

In addition to the six state-defined Career Pathways, the district offers two Portage-specific pathways for high school students:

Additional information about Career Pathways is available from the high school counseling office.