Industry-Recognized Credential Vendor Flexibility

On March 9, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio due to the coronavirus health crisis. On April 20, 2020, he ordered the extension of Ohio's school-building closure through the end of the academic year. The ordered school-building closure and other measures taken in response to the coronavirus health crisis affect students’ abilities to complete industry-recognized credentials.

Due to the ordered school-building closure, secondary schools' industry-recognized credential programs have implemented remote learning. However, many industry-recognized credential preparation programs require hands-on lab instruction that cannot be duplicated through remote learning in a manner that mirrors in-person instruction. Additionally, in some cases job placement, lab or experiential learning hours are a requirement for earning an industry-recognized credential.

The Industry Credential Vendor Flexibility information guide was created to provide support to the education community and ensure the availability of current information from credentialing bodies, state licensing agencies and credential vendors for students seeking credentials during these unprecedented times. This resource includes information on flexibility of deadlines, timelines, proctoring of exams and other requirements for each industry-recognized credential on the Department’s approved list. Teachers can use this information to instruct and guide students who were in the process of earning industry-recognized credentials at the time of the ordered school-building closure.

 

STRUCTURE AND USE OF INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED CREDENTIAL VENDOR FLEXIBILITY INFORMATION DOCUMENT

The Industry Credential Vendor Flexibility information guide is formatted as an Excel spreadsheet. When viewing the spreadsheet columns from left to right, one will see:

  • Education Management Information System (EMIS) assessment codes;
  • Names of industry-recognized credentials;
  • Point values;
  • Vendor or state licensing agency name;
  • General vendor or state licensing agency information website link;
  • Vendor or state licensing agency webpage link dedicated to COVID-19, if available; and
  • Notes.

Under the Notes column, teachers will find specific information with additional website links, where applicable, listing any flexibility the vendor is providing due to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis to assist students in earning the industry-recognized credential. Flexibility may include options such as alternate avenues to proctor assessments, reduced-cost or free curriculum, availability of additional online courses or extension of deadlines.

 

CHALLENGES TO MEETING INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED CREDENTIAL REQUIRMENTS

Industry-recognized credentialing bodies and vendors are making every effort to provide accommodations for testing, extend deadlines and develop new online resources that teachers can incorporate into remote instruction. Depending on the specific industry-recognized credential, the vendor may not be able to provide flexibility. In some cases, a directive has been issued by the State of Ohio to temporarily suspend the requirements set forth by the law. It is important for teachers to review the Industry Credential Vendor Flexibility information guide to identify any flexibility provided by the credential vendors and state licensing agencies.

Hands-on training and experiential hours are a requirement of many industry-recognized credentials. Credentialing bodies and vendors understand that non-essential businesses have closed and businesses that remain open may have eliminated student positions, thereby limiting students’ opportunities to complete required job placement hours. When possible, the industry-recognized credential vendor has extended deadlines, reduced the number of required hours or offered to work with individual students affected by these circumstances.

Some industry-recognized credentials include WebXam scores as a requirement to earn the credential. The WebXam is temporarily unavailable. As such, the Department has provided those vendors with an alternative to calculate WebXam scores as outlined in this document. Vendors can use this information to make temporary changes to credential requirements.

 

UPDATES

A new version of the Industry Credential Vendor Flexibility information guide will be posted as vendors provide updated information. Changes will be highlighted in yellow and the dates of changes will be noted on the document.

Updates made 5/21/20 to reflect rescission of Stay at Home Order.

Last Modified: 5/21/2020 11:57:44 AM