Course Catalog Glossary of Terms

What is AP? CIHS? Tacoma Flex? Learn more about programs and graduation requirements below. Have questions? Reach out to your school's counseling team.

Advanced Placement (AP)

The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program enables academically-prepared students to pursue college level studies while still in high school. Students who are successful on AP exams may meet certain college entrance requirements and/or earn college credit if they score well on these exams. The AP Exam is the final step each student takes after a year of hard work in an AP class.

Career & Technical Education (CTE) 

In addition to being a graduation requirement, TPS high school students taking career and technical education (CTE) classes can earn dual high school and community/technical college credits. Students must complete the class, earn a ‘C’ or higher.

College in the High School (CIHS)

College in the High School (CIHS) is a dual-credit program that allows students to earn high school credit and college credit simultaneously while staying in high school. CIHS courses are taught by Tacoma high school instructors who are certified by the college that is awarding the credit.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from high school in Washington state, at a minimum students must earn required credits, and complete both a Graduation Pathway and a High School Beyond Plan. Learn more & view requirements.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation with four programs to help students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The aim of all IB programs in Tacoma is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. The IB program is available at Foss High School and offers corresponding exams for students.

NCAA Academic Standards for College Athletes

In Division I and Division II, the NCAA sets academic initial-eligibility standards that take into account GPA, standardized test scores, core courses taken in high school and the grades earned in those core courses. Division III schools hold student-athletes to the same overall standards for the institution in which they’re enrolling.

Tacoma Flex Online Courses

Tacoma Public Schools high school students can increase the flexibility in their schedule by taking some classes online through Tacoma Flex. The rest of their classes would be taken in person at their high school. Learn more and register for Tacoma Flex.