ADA’s Three Diploma Types

Not every parent has the same vision for their children.   Not every student has the same God-given capabilities, needs, and interests.  Each family is unique, and each student in that family is unique.   For these reasons, we offer three0 levels in our curriculum:  Standard, Advanced, and Honors.   We believe all three provide a solid, classical, and Catholic education, but at increasing levels of difficulty and thoroughness.   You can read more about these various diplomas below.

Minimum requirements for graduation for any diploma

Each diploma has its own specific requirements.  Please note:  it is entirely possible for a student to achieve different levels of credit for different disciplines.  For example, Joseph might achieve Honors level literature (he loves to read), but Standard level of credits for mathematics.  This is perfectly acceptable to us; we simply make it very clear on the student’s diploma what level of credits he obtained for each discipline.  See an example ADA diploma.

All of our diploma types require the student to satisfy two Catholic religion proficiency requirements:

  • Four credits of religion: Every high school student must complete at least four full credits of religion.  This generally means that the student will take at least one religion course during each of the four high school years, although you could arrange it differently (e.g. double up in some years).
  • Catechism proficiency test: A basic catechism proficiency test must be satisfactorily completed before graduation.   This test would optimally be taken during freshman or sophomore year, to allow time for remedial work if necessary.  If this test is not passed with at least a B- grade (see our grading scale), that student must satisfactorily complete our Catechism for High School, Level 1 course (a one-credit course which would satisfy one of the four required religion credits).  If however, a passing grade is obtained on the first attempt on the catechism proficiency test, this Level 1 catechism course can be skipped, and more advanced religion courses can be taken.

About each ADA diploma

Again, please keep in mind that although not all the Advanced and Honors courses are yet available, some are.  Thus, the Standard diploma could easily include any of those more advanced courses.


For more aspiring students
25 credits
  • Coming soon!
  • Sufficient for all but the most demanding college admissions, or special situations.
  • Exposure to some ancient classics
  • Exposure to some literary classics


For students who want the very best we offer
27 credits
  • Coming soon!
  • Our most demanding diploma
  • Rich in ancient classics
  • Rich in literary classics

“My student intends education beyond high school.  Which diploma is best?”

This depends upon what type of further schooling the student intends, as explained below.

Four-year college / university (bachelor’s degree)

Almost all four-year colleges will require something similar to these high school credits:

  • Four credits of English
  • Three credits of mathematics (specifically algebra I, geometry, and algebra II)
  • Two credits of a foreign language, unless you can show fluency
  • Three credits of science, including at least one laboratory science course
  • Some social sciences or history

These are only minimum requirements.  Be sure to check ahead with the schools of interest.  If the student’s intended major is in science or engineering, for example, the school may also expect calculus or pre-calculus and one or more additional laboratory science courses.  

Our Standard Diploma meets these requirements, with the exception of the foreign language; one additional year of Latin would be required.  You can easily add this in any of the four years for your student.

Two-year college / Community College (associate degree / certificate)

Students choose these schools for a variety of reasons:

  • They are an easier and cheaper route to a four-year degree.   Often students go to community colleges for their first two years, taking the “general education” credits.   These credits can then be transferred to a (usually more expensive per-credit) four year school for the student’s junior and senior year.
  • Or, they do not transfer to a four-year college, and instead get a degree in such areas as Web design, licensed practicing nurse, customer service, dental hygienist, etc.

Such schools still require some theory-based and general education classes.  Requirements for entrance into two-year colleges are less stringent than those of four-year colleges and universities. Most two-year colleges have an ‘open door’ policy, meaning anyone who meets a few simple entrance requirements will be admitted.  Requirements for entrance into two-year colleges generally include educational background information, relevant testing scores and an admission application and supporting paperwork.  Although standardized tests may be required for some, the scores obtained do not affect the admission decision.  Be sure to check ahead with the schools of interest.

Any ADA diploma will suffice for such a school.

Trade School (certificate / license)

Trade schools are a good choice for the student who, after high school, wants no further general or theory-based education.  Rather, such students generally want every hour and dollar spent on further schooling to go directly toward learning his intended art or skill, such as welding, electrical wiring, etc.   Often the schooling is not in the classroom, but instead hands-on training.

These schools are generally the least demanding for admissions, and generally speaking, all that is required for admission is a high school diploma or equivalent.  For some, even this is not required.  Be sure to check ahead with the schools of interest.

Thus, any ADA diploma will suffice for such a school.