What You Should Know About Section 121

  • On June 21, 2017, Pennsylvania School Code, Section 121 was signed into Pennsylvania law. Section 121  allows students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to demonstrate proficiency and readiness for high school graduation in an alternative way by removing the legal requirement CTE students to pass the Keystone Exam to graduate high school.

    CTE students will still have to pass their coursework in Math, English and Science and take the associated Keystone exam.  However, the legislation provides options for CTE students who do not score at a proficient level or above on the Keystone exams. 


    The new options include:

    • Allowing CTE students to use the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) approved industry certifications earned during their enrollment to meet the Keystone graduation requirements. 

    • Allowing CTE students who complete the NOCTI end-of-program assessment examination, with a score of competent or advanced, to use those scores to meet the Keystone graduation requirements.  


    These options are now in effect for students currently enrolled in a CTE program of study.

    We wanted to make you aware of how these legislative changes will have a positive impact for students enrolled in CTE. 


    Feel free to contact the CTE office at 412-529-8690 if you have additional questions.