|Figure 12. Average number of Carnegie units earned by public high school graduates, by subject area: 1990 and 2000|
|NOTE: The Carnegie unit is a standard of measurement that represents one credit for the completion of a 1-year course.|
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2002, based on High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study (HS&B); National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, 'Second Follow-up'; and High School Transcript Study, various years.
The average number of total courses completed by public high school graduates increased from 23.5 Carnegie units in 1990 to 26.1 Carnegie units in 2000. The average number of courses completed in core academic areas (English, history/social sciences, mathematics, science, and foreign languages) also increased since 1990. High school graduates in 2000 earned an average 3.6 Carnegie units in mathematics and an average 3.2 Carnegie units in science, compared with 3.2 and 2.8 Carnegie units, respectively, in 1990. During this same period, the average number of Carnegie units earned by high school graduates in English, history/social sciences, and foreign languages also increased.