Graduation Requirements

Quality Schools International (QSI) offers a secondary program that leads to a Secondary School (high school) Diploma. Most graduates of QSI schools attend a college or university upon completion of their studies. Previous graduates of the Quality Schools International educational system have been very successful in obtaining admission to colleges or universities of their choice. QSI International School of Astana also offers the  Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma Program (see Parent-Student Handbook for more information).


Academic Diploma

This diploma is a college or university preparatory course of study. Students who satisfactorily complete this program should expect admission into an American college or university, or universities in other countries.

A total of 240 Credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.

Minimum Requirements by Department

English (80 credits)

  • 20 - Literature (Literature I & II)
  • 20 - Writing (I & II) or demonstrated competency
  • 10 - American Literature
  • 10 - British Literature
  • 10 - Research Project
  • 10 - Technology

Mathematics (30 credits)

  • 10 - Algebra
  • 10 - Geometry
  • 10 - Mathematics elective

Science (30 credits)

  • 10 - Biology
  • 10 - Physical Science
  • 10 - Science elective

Cultural Studies (40 credits)

  • 10 - World Geography
  • 10 - Modern World History
  • 10 - US-History
  • 5 - World Governments
  • 5 - Economics

Personal Health (25 credits)

  • 10 - Fitness
  • 5 - Health
  • 10 - Physical Education elective

Languages Other than English (20 credits)

  • 20 in one language or demonstrated competencies in a second language

Creative and Applied Arts (10 credits required)

  • These can be a collection of credits from secondary courses such as: Art I & II, Music, Photography, Drama, etc.

Academic Diploma with Honors

This is the most advanced diploma offered by Quality Schools International. Requirements are the same as The Academic Diploma but with the condition that the credits include at least two Advanced Placement (AP) courses (ten credits each) or at least two International Baccalaureate (higher level) courses.

A total of 240 credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.


General Diploma

This is available to students experiencing time restraints or other challenges that make it impractical to pursue an academic diploma. It is only available to students who are in their fourth year of secondary studies or who will turn 18 years old no later than 30 October following their graduation. This diploma is designed for students requiring a sound general secondary education.

A total of 220 credits (including electives) is required for this diploma.

Minimum Requirements by Department

English (50 credits)

  • 20 - Literature (Literature I & II)
  • 20 - Writing (I & II) or demonstrated competency
  • 10 - Technology

Mathematics (20 credits)

  • 10 - Algebra
  • 10 - Mathematics elective

Science (20 credits)

  • 10 - Biology OR Microbiology / Environmental Science
  • 10 - Physical Science OR Discovery Science

Cultural Studies (30 credits)

  • 10 - World Geography
  • 10 - Modern World History
  • 10 - Cultural Studies electives

Personal Health (25 credits)

  • 10 - Fitness
  • 5 - Health
  • 10 - Physical Education elective

Languages Other than English (20 credits)

  • 20 in one language or demonstrated competencies in a second language.

Creative and Applied Arts (10 credits required)

  • Ten units of credit will be required in the area of Creative and Applied Arts. These ten units can be a collection of credits from secondary courses such as: Art I & II, Music, Photography, Drama, etc.

Substitutions

Substitutions for required courses are possible within certain limits. Courses which can be used this way are listed in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program Policy/

 

Waivers

Languages Other than English (LOE) Requirement 

To qualify for a QSI secondary graduation diploma, each student is required to attain mastery of at least twenty unit outcomes (in the same language) in the Languages Other than English program. Mastery of two years of the student’s native language other than English, at the secondary level, can also meet this requirement. The Languages Other than English (LOE) requirement may be waived if a student can meet one of the following criteria:

  • The student is able to provide documentation of competency equal to year II (secondary level) of the student’s native language other than English.
  • The student was placed in Intensive English classes during any part of their secondary enrollment in a QSI school.

Waiver of the requirement will mean the student has not earned the 20 Language credits towards graduation and will need to take other elective courses to insure the necessary total credits requirement for QSI school graduation. Native language waiver documentation needs to be placed in the student’s permanent records.

 

 

The Advanced Placement Program

Advanced Placement (AP) courses challenge Secondary II, III, and IV students to think with the sophistication of university students. Depending on the enrollment, interest, and student capability, the school will offer an Advanced Placement course or courses. These courses provide rigorous preparation for the AP exams credentialed by the Educational Testing Service in the United States. Many colleges and universities in the USA give university credit for test scores of 3 and better (on a scale of 1 to 5).

The Academic Diploma requires 240 credits. The Academic Diploma with Honor requires 240 credits, but must include 20 AP credits. In view of the similarity of some QSI secondary courses with some AP courses, it may be recommended to substitute certain AP courses for the usual Academic Diploma courses, as this may help a student complete the graduation requirements and include an AP course without duplication. In most cases, AP courses are engaged in addition to the 240 credits. Examples of acceptable substitutes are shown below:

QSI Academic Diploma Course / Acceptable substitute, AP Course

  • British Literature / AP English (Literature & Composition)
  • American Literature / AP English (Language & Composition)
  • World Government / AP Government & Politics
  • Economics / AP Economics
  • USA History / AP USA History

There are other AP courses that schools might offer in addition to the above which do not substitute directly for an existing QSI graduate course, such as:

  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP World History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP French Language
  • AP Spanish Language
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory

AP course offerings will be based on an individual school's enrollment and staffing.

The awarding of the 10 credits for each AP course is done by the school as for any other course. It is not necessary for a student to take the College Board exam but they usually do. College Board scores are not published until well after the student has graduated and therefore have no impact on the QSI diploma. However, QSI hopes that there is a high correlation between the evaluations that QSI awards the student and the College Board AP scores.

It is possible for a student to sit for an AP exam without taking the designated QSI AP course. This must be done with the approval of the QSI School's administration. A student who has been approved by the school administration to sit for an AP exam, without taking the QSI AP designated course, cannot receive credit for the AP course or credit towards the QSI Academic with honors diploma. It is difficult to allow a Secondary IV student, who only sits for AP exam, to receive any credit or recognition due to the fact that the scores are not released until late June or early July.