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Co-Creating Graduation Plans with Credit Mapping

Students and teachers map out learning and graduation goals and create a plan to achieve them


Credit mapping at Bronx Arena involves a teacher or Advocate Counselor and student working together, at the beginning of each semester, to build out a concrete plan to accomplish their long-term goal of achieving 44 credits and passing five Regents exams by graduation (set forth by NYC Department of Education). The goal is for the conversation to be student-led in order to give them ownership of the plan, as well as investment in their short-term and long-term goals. With counsel from an educator, students are able to identify the credits they have accomplished, what credits they still have left, and a step-by-step plan or map to graduation. For instance, a student may want to achieve 20 credits by the end of the year and will have to determine how many credits they should aim for in one month, one semester, and beyond.

The important piece of this strategy is not the Credit Map itself, which can always be adjusted, but rather the process that students go through to connect daily actions with short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Students build a Credit Map to identify their path to graduation, set annual goals for what they want to complete each year to get there, and revisit their goals monthly. During monthly goal-setting, students make adjustments, reflect on their learning, and see how their daily actions help them meet those goals. The entire process helps students practice how to take smaller steps to build self-efficacy and figure out ways to accomplish bigger goals through smaller, actionable ones.

Student Does

  • Identifies which credits they have already achieved and which credits they still have left.
  • Designs a map focused on a long-term goal.
  • Breaks down the long-term goal into months and credits to be achieved along the way.

Teacher Does

  • Supports each student in meeting their goals.
  • Gives feedback on pacing, focus credits, and areas that need to be addressed first.
  • Allows each student a safe place to discuss and map out their goals in an actionable way.

Technology Does

  • Tracks credits achieved and credits students still need to complete to reach their goals.

Strategy Resources

Bronx Arena Credit Map Example

Teachers work with students to create individualized credit maps, backwards planning all required credits until... Learn More

Class Example: Credit Mapping at Bronx Arena

A student and teacher discuss the student's credit and class sequence based on the student's... Learn More