All About Diploma Plus and Competency Learning


The Diploma Plus model transforms students’ learning experiences through our Four Essentials for Success.


Diploma Plus believes in personalized learning as a systematic strategy to creating equitable education conditions, access, and outcomes that enable under-served youth to complete high school college- and career-ready. Through our on site trainings and virtual technologies, Diploma Plus provides educators and youth service providers with resources and strategies that equip them to develop competency-based and standards-aligned curriculum, instruction and assessments that are focused on increasing students’ knowledge, skills and understandings.


Developed to support competency-based and personalized learning programs, Diploma Plus’ connected learning environment and learning management system, DPNET, delivers open online course content, tools, and resources; expands youth development; and creates the conditions for anywhere/anytime learning, enabling students, teachers, and families to foster knowledge, skills and dispositions for lifelong learning and productive contributions to today’s changing world.

The Diploma Plus model combines high expectations for every student, a rigorous competency-based and standards-aligned approach, a small personalized learning environment, opportunities to make real-world connections, pathways to becoming successful adults, utilizes effective student-centered instructional practices, makes strategic use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, provides tools and systems to create sustainable alternative high schools, and effectively uses data to improve instruction. The Diploma Plus model successfully transforms students’ learning experiences through the implementation of our Four Essentials for Success: Performance-based Systems, Supportive School Culture, Future Focus, and Effective Supports.

Performance-Based System

Our schools provide curriculum, instruction and assessments focused on knowledge, skills and understandings that are competency-based and standards-aligned.  Students advance at their own pace, and are promoted or graduated according to their abilities in core competencies rather than seat time, age, or credits.

Supportive School Culture

Our schools promote equity to create and sustain a school climate that explores, respects, and responds to school norms that nurture diversity built on positive relationships among students, staff, parents/families and community.

Future Focus

Our model involves a multi-year sequence of career and college exploration and civic engagement activities that focus on students’ futures through awareness, exposure, and preparation opportunities.

Effective Supports

We work with a regional and national network of schools to support program implementation at all levels by providing a multitude of support services, including virtual tools, professional development, and advocacy.