Awards for Exemplary Performance

The Virginia Board of Education recognizes exemplary academic performance by providing diploma seals.

Criteria for awarding diploma seals are described below.

Diploma Seals Standard Diploma Advanced Studies Diploma
Virginia Board of Education Seal Student completes program with an average of “A”. Student completes program with an average of “A”.
Governor's Seal Not Applicable Students who complete the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma with an average grade of "B" or better, and successfully complete college-level coursework that will earn the student at least 9 (nine) transferable college credits in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge, or dual enrollment courses.
Diploma Seals Standard Diploma / Advanced Studies Diploma

Career and Technical Education Seal

  1. Awarded to students who:
    • earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma and complete a prescribed sequence of courses in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that they choose and maintain a “B” or better average in those courses
    • OR passes an examination or an occupational competency assessment in a career and technical education concentration or specialization that confers certification or occupational competency credential from a recognized industry, trade or professional association
    • OR acquires a professional license in that career and technical education field from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Board of Education shall approve all professional licenses and examinations used to satisfy these requirements.

Excellence in Civics Education

  1. The student must earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma.
  2. The student completes both Virginia and United States History (or AP U.S. History) and Virginia and United States Government (or AP U.S. Government and Politics) with a grade of B or higher.
  3. The student completes 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities. Activities that would count include:
    1. volunteering for a charitable or religious organization that provides services to the poor, sick, or less fortunate
    2. participating in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or similar youth organizations
    3. participating in JROTC
    4. participating in political campaigns or government internships, or Boys State, Girls State, or Model General Assembly
  4. participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities that have a civics focus.
  5. The student must have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies.

Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met this community service requirement

Seal of Biliteracy

The Board of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy, is awarded to students who earn a Board of Education approved diploma AND

  1. Pass all required End-of-Course Assessments in English reading and writing at the proficient or higher level
  2. Demonstrate proficiency at the intermediate-mid level or higher in one or more languages other than English as demonstrated through an assessment from a list approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. American Sign Language qualifies as a language other than English.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Seal

Students who earn either a Standard of an Advanced Studies Diploma and satisfy all Math and Science requirements for the Advanced Studies diploma with a “B” average or better in all course work, AND

  1. Successfully complete a 50 hour or more work-based learning opportunity in a  STEM area, and
  2. Satisfy all requirements for a Career and Technical Education concentration. A concentration is a coherent sequence of two or more state-approved courses as identified in the course listing within the CTE Administrative Planning Guide and
  3. Pass one of the following:
    1. A Board of Education CTE STEM-H credential examination, or
    2. An examination approved by the Board that confers a college-level credit in STEM

Excellence in Science and the Environment Seal

Students for the first time in the 2018-19 year and thereafter, and meet each of the following criteria: 

  1. Earn either a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma
  2. Complete at least three different first-level board-approved laboratory science courses and at least one rigorous advanced-level or postsecondary-level laboratory science course, each with a grade of “B” or higher
  3. Complete laboratory or field-science research and present that research in a formal, juried setting
  4. Complete at least 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities that involve the application of science such as environmental monitoring, protection, management, or restoration.