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North Carolina

  1. Certification Requirements
  2. Course Requirements
  3. K-12 Enrollment
  4. K-12 Indicators
  5. Science Standards
  6. Testing and Assessment
  7. Textbook Adoptions
  8. State Contact Person

1. Certification Requirements

A. Grades 9-12

  1. Total number of 9-12 teachers with main assignment in science: 2,432
  2. Total number of science teachers in grades 9-12 with an Earth science assignment: 1,382
  3. Percentage of 9-12 science teachers with an Earth science certification: 73%
  4. Specific licensure requirements for secondary teachers: Competencies for each specialty area in approved program.

B. Grades 6-8

  1. Total number of teachers in grades 7-8 with a main assignment in science: 1,378
  2. Total number of grades 7-8 science teachers in all assignments: 2,942
  3. Percentage of middle grade science teachers certified in science: 56%
  4. Specific licensure requirements for middle school teachers: Competencies for each specialty area in approved program.

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2. Course Requirements

A. Grades 9-12

  1. Number of science credits required for high school graduation: 3.
  2. Required science courses: Biology
  3. Is an Earth science course included in the recommended high school science curriculum? Yes. North Carolina has standards for a course called Earth/Environmental Science which is strongly Earth Systems Science based.
  4. Is Earth science part of another course required for high school graduation? No.
  5. If Earth science is taken, does it count towards graduation requirements?  Yes.
  6. Is an Environmental science course included in the recommended high school science curriculum? Yes.
  7. Is Environmental science part of another course required for high school graduation? No.
  8.  If Environmental science is taken, does it count towards graduation requirements?   Yes. 

B. Grades 6-8

  1. Is Earth Science part of the middle school science curriculum (grades 6-8)?  Yes.
  2. Is it taught as a full year curriculum or an integrated curriculum?  Integrated. 
  3. At what grade level(s) is Earth science taught? Local decision; however, generally 9th.

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3. K-12 Enrollment

A. Percent of Grade 9-12 students enrolled in selected courses


Earth science/ Environ-
mental science









B. Enrollment trends in Grade 9-12 Earth science

Because Earth/Environmental Science became a graduation requirement for students who entered 9th grade in 2000-2001 enrollment figures show an increase in student enrollment in this new course along with other related courses which may be used to meet the requirement. Our statistics do not show the grade level of the students enrolled in high school courses.

C. Students in grades 7-8 enrolled in selected science courses

North Carolina Middle Grades Students receive an integrated science curriculum in each year 6-8. Some students are also able to enroll in elective science courses focusing on a particular science area or topic.

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4. K-12 Indicators

Average Freshman Graduation Rate
College Enrollment Rate
AP Participation Rate

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5. Science Standards

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6. Testing and Assessment

A. State Science Tests


Grade Levels Tested:

Earth Science Component on the Test?

North Carolina End-of-course Tests

5, 8


North Carolina End of Course Tests in Science

9-12 (Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Physics)


B. State High School Exit Exam

Beginning with students who enter 9th grade for the first time in 2007-2007 the high school exit standards require students to perform at Achievement Level 3 (with one standard error of measurement) or above on 5 End-of-Course (EOC) assessments: Algebra I, Biology, English I, Civics and Economics, and U.S. History. Students are also required to successfully complete a graduation project.

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7. Textbook Adoptions

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8. State Contact Person

Benita Tipton

Science Consultant

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
6352 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27601-2825

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