Welcome to Wales College

Requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

To earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, a student must:

Earn 30 credits (18 compulsory and 12 optional credits);
Complete 40 hours of community involvement activities;
Complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)successfully.

The Wales College  secondary school program is based on a credit system developed by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Students must earn a total of 30 credits (one for every 110-hour course successfully completed) to obtain a high school diploma. Eighteen of the credits are compulsory. The remaining 12 credits are optional, earned in courses that the student may select from the full range of courses offered by the school.

Students who successfully complete such a course will receive one credit towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). A credit towards the OSSD is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course with the achievement of a final mark of 50% or higher.”

Students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities and must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement.

Regular attendance and consistent completion of homework, tests, and other assigned course work is essential for a high level of achievement.

Compulsory Credits (total of 18)

4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
1 credit in French as a second language
3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
2 credits in science
1 credit in Canadian history
1 credit in Canadian geography
1 credit in the arts
1 credit in health and physical education
1/2 credit in civics and 1/2 credit in career studies


1 additional credit in English, or a third language, or a social science and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies
1 additional credit in health and physical education, or business studies, or the arts (music, art, drama, or dance)
1 additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12) or technological education (Grades 9–12)

Optional Credits (total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students have to earn 12 optional credits in courses of their choice, selected from the full list of courses available in the school. Optional credits allow students to build an educational program that suits their individual interests and meets university, college, apprenticeship, or work requirements.

Student Assistance with Course Choice

Students will be given information and counseling about the scope of study, required prerequisite courses (if applicable), and other relevant information for each of these courses so they will be able to make appropriate choices.

Community Involvement Activities

All students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities before graduating from high school. Students will be able to choose their own community involvement activities, within guidelines that will be provided by the school. Students will be responsible for fulfilling this requirement on their own time, and for keeping a record of their activities on a form supplied by the school.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

Students typically take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test in Grade 10. A successful result is entered on the student’s transcript. Students, who have been eligible to write the OSSLT and have been unsuccessful, are eligible to fulfill the requirement through the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).
The OSSLC is a comprehensive, full credit course, which is equivalent to the components of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. The goal is to provide them with the necessary skills to meet the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The OSSLC course is designed to help students who have not had the full benefit of the new curriculum that includes a strong focus on reading and writing in the early years. Students must pass the literacy course to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
The literacy test is an additional requirement to the 30 credits needed for a high school diploma. The OSSLC may count as an optional course towards the 12 required for graduation.

Prior Learning Review

International students, or students from outside of Ontario, will have their documents reviewed to see if they qualify for advanced standing of the required number of credits towards an OSSD.

University Application

Selection of an appropriate university and program is a difficult task for many students. Our staff members assist students with this to help them choose the most appropriate programs and universities to meet their needs.

Students must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma in order to apply to a university program. Wales College staff members work with our students to ensure that they are taking the appropriate courses to enable them to apply to the universities and university programs of their choice.

Wales College is registered with and works with the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) so that students can enroll, to their preferred Ontario Universities on-line, through the OUAC website. Under this system, students can apply to universities and continually track the status of their application to the universities to which they applied, using their computer.

Wales College invites representatives from universities to speak to our students directly about the programs offered at the various universities.

For those students wishing to apply to universities outside of Ontario, Wales College staff members will assist them with the application process, as required. We provide official Student Transcripts to students and are willing to complete any supplementary forms which these institutions of higher learning, may require.