Program of Studies Overview

Logo-300pxOne of the most important decisions students make is the selection of courses for their academic program. Students need to consider which courses will best meet their abilities, needs and future plans beyond high school. These pages contain a wealth of information to support students in this process. Course descriptions are provided to familiarize students with the program offered at ECA along with information to enable them to wisely plan individualized program of studies that incorporate speci?c requirements necessary for graduation.

Students should use these pages to develop their four year academic plan. Before selecting a course, students should ?nd out as much information about it as possible – its objectives, requirements, prerequisites and credit value. Students should consider the following questions when choosing their courses:

  • What courses are required in each grade?
  • Are the courses I have chosen appropriate for my ability and interests?
  • Will the courses I have chosen meet the prerequisites for college admissions?
  • Have I taken advantage of the breadth of course offerings to explore future career paths?

Courses will be offered based on student interest and enrollment. If a course is cancelled due to low enrollment, students and parents will be noti?ed and an alternate course may be chosen.

Credit Requirements for Graduation Students in grades nine and ten must enroll in eight courses each semester. Students in grades eleven and twelve must enroll in seven classes each semester.

Graduation Requirements

Below is a table of minimum high school graduation requirements.  However, as a school focused on matriculating all of our students to tertiary study, please be aware that college and university requirements generally exceed high school graduation minimums.  Please speak with the Counselor regarding university-specific demands.

In order to graduate, a student must complete a minimum of 26 credits in grades 9 through 12. In addition, a student must:

  • Be enrolled at least in eight courses in grades 9 and 10, at least seven courses in grade 11, and at least six courses in grade 12.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Spanish at the Spanish II level.
  • Complete a credit in Venezuelan Social Studies (for students intending to enroll in  Venezuelan universities only).
  • Participate actively in community service in grades 9 – 12; approximate hourly equivalents are:
    • Grade 9 = 30 hours
    • Grade 10 = 30 hours
    • Grade 11 = 45 hours
    • Grade 12 = 45 hours
  • Meet subject-area minimum credit requirements:
    • English: 4.0
    • Foreign Language: 3.0
    • Mathematics 3.0
    • Science 3.0
    • Social Science 3.0
    • Fine Arts 1.0
    • Physical Education/Health 2.0
    • Electives 4.0

One credit is given for the successful completion of a one-year course. One-half credit is given for the successful completion of a semester course. Credit will be given only for courses taken while students are enrolled in the ninth through twelfth grade levels.

College/University Entrance Requirements

As mentioned above, colleges and universities consider a number of factors during the admissions process. The most important factor considered is the choice of courses and grades earned in these courses. Although each college establishes its own entrance requirements, the recommended minimums are as follows:

  • English: 4 credits
  • Modern Language: 2 -3 credits of the same language
  • Social Studies 4 credits
  • Science: 4 credits
  • Mathematics: 4 credits


All of the curricular programs we offer at the senior high school level (grades 11 and 12) at ECA are based on the IB Diploma Program.  ECA believes that the IB Mission and the IB Learner Profile are closely aligned to the Mission, Vision and Core Values of the school and that IB courses effectively allow students to realize and demonstrate these qualities.  ECA also believes in offering the flexibility to meet the needs of various students and, therefore, offers several options.

ECA High School Diploma

All students at ECA pursue an ECA High School Diploma.  This curricular option will expose students to the most rigorous courses, providing outstanding preparation for college and university.  In general, the coursework (curriculum and assessment) of an ECA High School Diploma class is identical to an IB Standard Level subject with the primary difference being that all assessments in an ECA High School Diploma class are marked internally while IB classes can expect substantial external marking.  On successful completion of all ECA graduation requirements, students will receive an ECA High School Diploma accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA), the Council of International Schools (CIS) and recognized by universities worldwide.

The IB Diploma

Students may, in addition to the ECA High School Diploma, elect to undertake the full IB Diploma as a prerequisite for matriculation to certain universities and/or to undertake the most challenging course of study.  Students do not need to have always done outstanding work to consider beginning the IB Diploma, but they must be willing to work hard and organize their time effectively.

Students who are considering the program should speak to their teachers, the Counselor, the Principal  and the IB Coordinator if they have any questions about the appropriateness of the program for them.  Those who choose not to undertake the IB Diploma are encouraged to consider IB Course Work in subjects for which they are qualified.

IB Course Work

Students may, alternatively, elect to study a number of individual IB subjects at the Higher or Standard level as IB Course Work candidates rather than the IB Diploma candidates.  IB Course Work requires both the full coursework and examinations in these subjects.  Further, a student may complete requirements as an IB Course Work candidate in Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS.  Good IB Course Work scores may be used for advanced placement in many US universities.