EPSB.ca » Our Division » Board Policies & Administrative Regulations » G - Curriculum and Instruction » GKA.AR Senior High School Course Challenge

Senior High School Course Challenge

  • Code: GKA.AR
    Topic: Senior High School Course Challenge
    Issue Date: 29/01/2020
    Effective Date: 29/01/2020
    Review Year: 2016


  1. Course Challenge is a provision mandated by Alberta Education that allows senior high school students to challenge the outcomes for a course by participating in a process of formal assessment of prior learning, rather than taking the course.

    Course Challenge is not recognition by:
      1. Retroactive Credits
      2. Waived Prerequisites
      3. Out-of-Province (including International Assessments)
      4. Courses completed at Junior High 
  1. Any senior high student in Alberta who believes that he or she possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes for a senior high school course as specified in the program of studies and is ready to demonstrate that achievement through a formal, summative assessment process may initiate a request for course challenge to his or her high school principal (or designate). For diploma examination courses, the challenge only applies to the school-awarded mark component. 
  1. The student who initiates the course challenge process shall take responsibility for providing evidence of readiness to challenge a course; e.g., a portfolio, other collection, documentation of work and/or experience, a recommendation from a junior high school teacher. 
  1. A student may not initiate a course challenge in the same subject for a course in a lower-level sequence if the student has already completed a course in a higher-level sequence.

    Senior high students in Bilingual and Immersion Programs, or in the year(s) following exiting from those programs prior to completion, must challenge the highest level Language and Culture course sequence. 
  1. The following courses are ineligible from the course challenge process:
      1. All Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses
      2. Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses completed in junior high for high school credit
      3. Special Projects
      4. Work Experience
      5. Locally developed courses from other divisions not approved for use within Edmonton Public Schools
      6. International Baccalaureate (IB) Language courses, and
      7. The same course in the same term. 
  1. A determination of eligibility to challenge a course shall be based on what is in the best educational interest of the student. 
  1. The initiation of the course challenge shall occur within the first three weeks of enrolling in a school or a semester and is subject to approval by the Principal. 
  1. Course challenges shall be administered by the senior high school principal according to Division policy only after the student is enrolled in the senior high school.
      1. A student's readiness for course challenge shall be determined through consultation that includes the senior high school principal, student, parent(s) (where applicable) and the teacher of the course. The consultation shall include discussion of the student's chance of successfully meeting the acceptable standard for the course.
      2. The senior high school principal shall make the final decision about the student's readiness for the course challenge. The Principal shall base this decision on the consultation with the student, parent(s) and the teacher of the course.
      3. The senior high school principal shall assign the administration and evaluation of assessment for a course challenge to an Alberta certificated teacher who has expertise and experience in the subject content and pedagogy in the specific high school course being challenged.
      4. The senior high school principal shall ensure that assessment for course challenges includes strategies that will assess the breadth and scope of the learning outcomes for the course, as outlined in the program of studies, in a timely and practical manner. 
  1. A student who successfully completes a course challenge of a school-awarded mark component of a diploma examination course must write the diploma examination to be eligible for a final course mark and credit in that course. 
  1. A student who challenges the course, either successfully or unsuccessfully, may subsequently choose to take the course. A student may attempt a particular course challenge only once. If the student is unsuccessful in the challenge or wishes to raise his or her mark, the student may take the course. 
  1. The senior high school principal shall report a student's achievement in a course challenge according to the requirements in the Guide to Education.
      1. A student who successfully demonstrates through the course challenge process that he or she possesses the outcomes for the course to at least the acceptable standard, shall be awarded a final course mark and credits for the course challenged, except in diploma examination courses, which require the school-awarded mark to be blended with the diploma examination mark before a final course mark or credit is possible.
      2. Upon a student's successful completion of a course challenge, waived prerequisite credits and a "P" for pass for courses lower in the course sequence shall be reported by the principal. A course challenge is to be reported to Research, Data and Knowledge (RDK) upon completion. 
  1. In cases where the Division does not offer a provincial course, the student may request an alternate setting for the challenge to their school principal. Principals shall contact the Superintendent of Schools for out-of-Division challenges prior to initiating the course challenge. A student who undertakes such a challenge with another school Division will assume all additional expenses that might be incurred. 
  1. Course challenges directed to Edmonton Public Schools from other divisions shall be referred to the Superintendent of Schools. 
  1. A school must not charge funded Division high school students or their families a fee for administering course challenges. Fee paying students (e.g., International students, students over 20 years old) shall pay an administrative fee to the school for facilitating the course challenge process including submission of the course challenge grade.


GA.BP Student Programs of Study
GK.BP Student Assessment, Achievement and Growth
GKB.AR Standards for Evaluation
Alberta Education - Guide to Education