Academic Requirements

TSA Graduation Requirements

If you are beginning to think about a travel experience while you are in high school at TSA, it is important to look at the graduation requirements, think about what you might miss during your time away, and how you might make it up. The following information is a guideline, but is not meant to replace discussions with your advisor and Florence Tolbert, Student Travel Coordinator. Please make sure to set up a time to talk with Florence and your advisor in advance of making travel plans. If you are planning on being away for a semester or more, you should be having these discussions a year in advance.


Credit Requirements

4 English credits (1)
3 History credits (including American History) (2)
3 Math credits
3 Science credits (including 2 lab sciences) (3)
2 Foreign Language credits (4)

1.25 Art credits (including .75 credits of visual art)
1.5 Physical Education credits
6.25 Elective credits, PATH credits, or additional years of courses
160 hours of Community Service
Junior and Senior Exhibition (5)

*Please Note: Most competitive colleges require at least three (3) credits in the same foreign language, and four (4) credits in each of the following classes: History, English, Science and Math.

1. Four years of English are required for graduation.

2. American History is required for graduation and only offered at TSA biennially.

3. Chemistry is an important course for many colleges, particularly competitive ones. Also, it is an important course if a student intends to pursue a science degree.

4. Languages: Missing one semester of French or Spanish makes placement upon return difficult, unless the student’s travel study is in that language.

5. Junior or senior exhibition are graduation requirements as well. Students attending other programs will need to arrange an alternative plan for completing their exhibition. Juniors who miss the Junior Exhibition Elective will be enrolled in the Exhibition Elective for their Senior Year.


College Planning

TSA’s College and Career Advising program provides an in-depth and sequential preparation for the college application process and helping students make decisions for post-secondary plans. Students who travel for a semester or more during their junior or senior year will miss a significant portion of this preparation. Students and parents should talk with Director of College Advising, Kimberly Barnhart, about college planning before they commit to travel plans.

If students travel during spring of their junior year or fall of their senior year, they may miss the following college planning opportunities:

1. PATH Class: Students who do not have PATH during the spring of junior year or fall of senior year miss extensive, systematic preparation for the college search and application process.

2. College visits: We recommend that students do most of their college visits in the spring of their junior year, but these can be done earlier as well. There is limited time during senior year and leaving all college planning to the senior year adds significant pressure.

3. SAT or ACT tests. Students generally take standardized tests during the spring of junior year and/or the fall of senior year. These tests are offered only on specific dates, so review the schedule carefully. Also take any needed SAT Subject Tests into consideration. These are often required for more competitive colleges.


Ways to Earn Missed Credits

There are many options for college course work or accredited independent study programs through distance learning. Before a student registers for a class, they must confirm eligibility of their course toward satisfying graduation requirements with Florence Tolbert, Student Travel Coordinator.

1. College Coursework: Under certain circumstances and with adequate planning, this may be a free option.

a. Vermont State Colleges such as Community College of Vermont (CCV), Vermont Tech, or others.

b. University of Vermont online courses through the Continuing Education department. (Current high school students need permission from Continuing Education prior to enrolling in Continuing Education courses. Call 800-639-3210 to speak with an advisor.)

2. Accredited independent study programs through distance learning (online or correspondence).  Examples include:

Virtual Learning Academy (Free to NH residents)
Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative
University of Missouri Independent Studies
Keystone High School
Brigham Young University Independent Study program.
Phillips Exeter Summer School:

3. TSA Independent Study: There are limited spaces available for students to work with TSA teachers as mentors to make up missed courses. Students need to plan ahead with potential mentors.