Personal tools

Graduation 2023

Find out about graduation commencement schedules, graduation requirements, exit exam requirements and alternatives, and credit requirements.

Graduation 2022

2023 Commencement Ceremony

Thousands of students will walk across the stage in May of 2023 to pick up their high school diplomas on their way to the next stretch of life’s journey. Our hope is that we prepared them well. Our wish is that they enjoyed the ride. Our prayer is that they are successful and happy, that they are lifelong learners, that they look back with fond memories of their days in Albuquerque Public Schools. Go on and make us all proud, Class of 2023!

Grad Rates Continue to Improve

The Albuquerque Public Schools' four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2021 was 80.3% (when excluding charter schools). It increased by more than 14 percentage points in seven years. We reached out to successful principals and members of the Class of 2022 to get advice for succeeding in high school and earning a diploma.

Learn more about APS Graduation Rates on the Rise.

Transcript

[ Albuquerque Public Schools Graduation ]

[ For the sixth straight year, the graduation rate for Albuquerque Public Schools has improved, increasing to nearly 76% for the Class of 2021. ]

[ The District's 4-year graduation rate increased 14 percentage points in 7 years, going from 61.7% for the Class of 2015 to 75.7% for the Class of 2021. ]

[ When excluding charter schools, the APS graduation rate increased by more than three percentage points to 80.3% in 2021. ]

[ APS has limited academic control over charter schools and its graduation rate typically is several percentage points higher when they are extracted. ]

[ An 80% graduation rate is unprecedented for APS. ]

[ There's a lot to celebrate and an entire community to thank and cheer on as the work continues. ]

- (Narrator:) In ordinary times, improved graduation rates at 10 of the district's 13 comprehensive high schools and four of its magnet schools would be impressive. As APS Superintendent Scott Elder points out, nothing of late has been normal or ordinary making the 80% graduation rate more meaningful than ever.

- (Scott Elder, Superintendent:) It's really a collaborative. It's exciting to get to a number, but this has been building. We've been increasing our grad rates now for a long time. If you go back and watch over the last five, six years, you see the rates go up, and that's because the efforts of the people at the schools. I think you're absolutely right, the families are buying in and they're saying, "No, I want my kid to graduate." They recognize that it makes a difference in their future life and it's just so important. I'm really pleased to get here and I hope we continue to improve.

- (Ed Bortot, Del Norte Principal:) It's about creating positive relationships and knowing that you're not just a number on this campus. We know you. We know who you are when we bring you in. We care about you. It's about a belief system. It's about telling our kids, number one, "We believe in you. We know you can do this." Above all else we give them the belief system for them to believe in themselves.

- (Narrator:) At Del Norte, where 98% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch, the high school's graduation rate increased by 12% in one year, the biggest jump in the district. Principal Ed Bortot has a long list of initiatives designed to help students graduate, and on his campus, learning is fun.

- (Ed:) We want to continue to make school alive for our students. Another thing would be too is the multiple electives that we have. We have the biggest eSports team, and it's in the master schedule. I bet you, nobody in APS has a skateboarding class. We do.

You can go out there in the afternoons and they make the ramps with the woods. They have ramps out there and they tear it up. We have certain electives like Avid or Yearbook and things like that too as well, but we have Educators Rising for teacher cadets. When you make electives that are appealing to students, students come to school. They like those electives, which trickles down into their course.

- (Narrator:) Dedicated staff, credit recovery courses, injections of federal funds for programs like free summer school, unique electives to engage students and tutors, all factored into the district's 2021 80% graduation rate.

- (Scott:) I would say it's highly gratifying and it just reflects the incredible work the people at the schools are doing, the principals, the teachers, the counselors, the nurses, the EAs, custodians, everybody, to try to create an environment for our kids that's safe and an environment where they can learn and that they want to be there. That's hard, but that's been the focus and that will continue to be the focus.

- (Narrator:) Every campus had and has a plan with the shared goal to see more students graduate and the goal to see more students succeed in futures of their choice. Everyone agrees partnerships are key.

- (Scott:) I think the biggest lesson we learned was the tremendous importance of relationships and the need to have that communication with the child, to understand the child, and for the family to understand what the school's trying to do, and really try to build much stronger bridges between home and school.

- (Narrator:) To hear from other successful APS school principals who hit milestone graduation rates this year please visit the graduation 2022 section of aps.edu.

2023 Graduation Schedule

The comprehensive high school graduations will be held during the week of May 15 through May 20, 2023.


Earning a Diploma

To earn a New Mexico high school diploma, students are expected to complete 25 credits and demonstrate competency in the five areas of reading, math, writing, science, and social studies. All seniors should meet with their school counselor to make sure they are on track to graduate.

Demonstration of Competency for Graduation

By state law, in order to graduate with a New Mexico Public School diploma, students must demonstrate competency in the five areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Download the Demonstration of Competency form for Graduation 2023.

Credit Requirements

Required courses and credits are based on the year a student entered high school as a 9th grader for the first time. Ninth grade starting year determines the student’s Graduation Standard Year (GSY).

Students entering high school as freshmen in 2009 and later must have 25 units to include:

  • English: 4 Units
  • Math: 4 Units. One unit must be Algebra II or higher.
  • Science: 3 Units
  • Social Studies: 3-1/2 Units. Selected from:
    • United States History and Geography: 1 Unit
    • World History and Geography: 1 Unit
    • Government: 1/2 Unit
    • Economics: 1/2 Unit
    • New Mexico History: 1/2 Unit
  • Health: 1/2 Unit
  • Physical Education: 1 Unit
  • Career or Workplace Readiness or Language other than English: 1 Unit. Selected from:
    • Language other than English
    • Business Management and Finance
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Automotive Technologies
    • Culinary Arts
    • Manufacturing and Construction Trades
    • Technology / Media Technologies
    • Computer Science
    • The Arts:
      • Music
      • Visual Arts
      • Drama
      • Yearbook or Newspaper
  • Electives: 8 Units

At least 1 of the required units listed above must be an Honors or Advanced Placement course, a Dual Enrollment, or an online (distance learning) course.

Transcripts

District Imaging and Archive Center (DIAC) provides High School transcripts for alumni students who have attended APS. Find out how to request a high school transcript or education verification.

Graduation Video Archives

To request a graduation video from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2022, please email communityrelations@aps.edu.