The West Virginia State Department of Education has established an Alternative Means to Earn High School Credit that is commonly known as the Option Pathway. This program is designed for students who have fallen behind their cohort (peers) and can not meet graduation requirements "on time" in the regular program. A student must score at the eighth grade level or higher on the TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education) in reading and mathematics to qualify for and to enter the Option Pathway Program.
- Option 1 has two major components: 1) students are required to complete a CTE pathway, that is they must pass four classes in any concentration offered at the Mercer County Technical Education Center or four JROTC classes or four business classes at their home school, AND 2) they must pass the TASC, a battery of five tests including: reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, with a minimum score of 500 on each test.
- Option 2 is for seniors who have credit deficiencies in one core area. The student must pass the TABE to gain entry into the program but then they would only take the TASC for the one core area.
Students will take TASC preparation classes at MCTEC and CTE classes at MCTEC with the exception of JROTC and business. With these two options students who successfully complete requirements graduate with their peers. They can not graduate early nor can they graduate after their ninth grade peer group graduates. This program requires work and dedication but it is not easy. It is simply an alternative to what may be considered the "traditional" route to a high school diploma.
Principals and counselors at the four high schools can answer questions, or calls may be directed to Dr. Stephen Akers at MCTEC -- (304) 425-9551.