Parent and Educator Guide
This guide was developed to help educators, students, and parents understand when it may be appropriate to use a personal curriculum (PC) option to modify the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements. State statute allows personal curriculum modification in order to:
- Go beyond the academic credit requirements by adding more math, science, English language arts, or world languages credits; or completing a department-approved formal career and technical education program.
- Modify the State Content Standards for Mathematics.
- Modify, when necessary, the credit requirements of a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
- Modify credit requirements for a student who transfers from out of state or from a nonpublic school and is unable to meet the MMC requirements.
The MMC defines consistent learning standards that are intended to remain constant from district to district. Districts choose instructional approaches and design learning environments so that all students, including alternative and at-risk students, can meet the requirements of the MMC. The research is clear—struggling learners do better when given the opportunity to learn in a challenging curriculum. PC modifications must align Michigan state standards as practicable and must not create barriers that limit a student’s opportunity to be engaged in a challenging curriculum.
The legislative intent of the PC is to individualize the rigor and relevance of the educational experience. In this context, “practicable” is an inclusive term meaning as much of the subject area content expectations as possible during high school instruction. Students with an IEP operate under this same context. The PC is an option any student or family can explore as a way to modify certain graduation requirements and earn a diploma. The purpose of secondary education is to prepare students for life after high school. Any modification to a student’s graduation requirements needs to be consistent with this purpose. The high school diploma is documentation that the student has met the expectations and possesses the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary success. Students who are not pursuing a diploma or students who are unable to meet modified MMC requirements do not need a PC.
Purpose of the Personal Curriculum
The PC is a process to modify specific credit requirements and/or content expectations based on the individual learning needs of a student. It is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the MMC requirements and students who need to individualize learning requirements to meet the MMC requirements.