Clarification of Core Curriculum Issues

Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Bulletin
June 13, 2000
As Indicated
DISTRIBUTION: Louisiana High School Principals and Counselors, City and Parish School Board Presidents, School Board Superintendents, Board of Regents, Department of Education, Louisiana Legislators, and Commission Members
TOPIC: Clarification of Core Curriculum Issues


To assure that your Scholarship and Grant Policy and Procedure Manual remains current, please record this document on your TOPS Bulletin index and retain it with your manual.

This bulletin will provide guidance in response to recent queries with regard to the TOPS core curriculum requirements.

Core Curriculum Equivalent Courses

Courses designated in the Louisiana Administrative Code 28:IV, §703A.5.a.ii. as equivalent to core curriculum courses may be used to satisfy the Fine Arts Survey or Computer Science requirements as an elective "from among the other subjects listed in this core curriculum".

Science Core Course Requirement

Completion of one unit of Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physical Science, Biology II, Chemistry II, Physics, Physics II, or Physics for Technology requires that an entire unit in one course be completed. Completing ½ unit in two sciences does not satisfy this requirement.

Civics and Free Enterprise Course Requirement

Completion of one unit combined of Civics and Free Enterprise requires that the Free Enterprise component be called "Free Enterprise". "Business Economics" is not considered to be equivalent to Free Enterprise.

Foreign Language Course Requirement

The requirement to complete two units in a single foreign language designates foreign language as a component of the core curriculum. Therefore, an additional unit of the same or a different foreign language beyond the required two units may be used to satisfy the Fine Arts Survey or Computer Science requirement.

Core Curriculum Waivers for Disabled and Exceptional Students

TOPS rules, §2115, provide procedures for disabled and exceptional students. With the appropriate documentation, disabled and exceptional students continue to be eligible for waiver of a core curriculum course. For example, a documented hearing disability could be of a nature that a student could not succeed in a foreign language course. Such a student would not be required to enroll in and fail the foreign language course, but could be given a waiver from taking that course. Additionally, such a student who attempted the foreign language course could have the grade achieved for that course excluded in the determination of the student’s grade point average for purposes of qualifying for a TOPS award.

The full compilation of the TOPS rules with all changes incorporated to date may be viewed on our website at


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