SANDY — Nearly two-thirds of the Canyons School District class of 2012 has earned an advanced or honors diploma, an achievement indicating they have completed a more rigorous class schedule to prepare for the demands of college and careers.

In the class of 2012, 2,210 students were projected to graduate from Canyons' four high schools (Alta, Brighton, Jordan, Hillcrest); 62 percent (1,381 students) earned an advanced or honors diploma (up from 60 percent last year); of the students who earned a differentiated diploma, 49 percent earned the more challenging honors diploma (up from 45 percent last year).

This marks the second year the Canyons Board of Education has offered advanced and honors diplomas. Last year, Canyons became the first school district in Utah to award differentiated diplomas.

Approved by the Canyons Board of Education in February 2010, advanced and honors diplomas require students to complete two years of foreign language and take more rigorous coursework in science, math and English. Students earning the honors diploma also have achieved Career and College Readiness Benchmark Scores on the ACT college entrance test.