Industry-Recognized Credentials

COVID-19 Industry-Recognized Credential Guide

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’ ability 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.

Schools are invited to share information and updates from credential vendors, provide feedback, ask questions, and express concerns by contacting the Ohio Department of Education at A new version will be posted as updates are provided and will be highlighted within the document.

Industry Credential Vendor Flexibility Information and Guidance Posted November 20, 2020

Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s strategic plan for education, emphasizes that in high school, each child should see the relevance of his or her learning, be exposed to practical, real-world work settings and begin defining his or her future. The plan calls for Ohio high schools to inspire students to identify their paths to future success through career-focused learning.

What’s in it for students?

The process of earning an industry-recognized credential allows students to experience education through work, about work and for work. Students learn more deeply by practicing and applying their knowledge through work and employment experiences – learning through work. They learn about workplace expectations in terms of professional skills needed for employment, as well as learning about career pathways and what the labor market for particular occupations looks like – learning about work. They also learn job-specific skills they will need to perform day-to-day tasks – learning for work.

Earning an industry-recognized credential and a WorkKeys score of 14 is one of multiple options to earn a high school diploma. When students earn industry-recognized credentials, schools and districts get credit on Ohio Report Cards for their success in preparing students for careers. 

What’s in it for schools?

Connecting students to opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials puts them on a pathway to success after high school. Preparing students for their best possible future is the greatest goal of schools, and credentials can help achieve this.

Schools also receive credit in the Prepared for Success measure on the report card for students who earn 12 points of approved industry-recognized credentials or groups of credentials from the Department's list. Schools further benefit and contribute to Ohio’s shared goal by setting their students up for a transition beyond high school and into the workforce. Industry-recognized credentials are an innovative approach to truly recognize and account for a student’s hard work in becoming career-ready and prepared for their best possible future, in accordance with Strategy 5 in Each Child, Our Future.

Reimbursement for Schools

FY20 Reimbursements

Based on credentials earned by students who left school in 2020, reimbursements will be completed in early summer 2021. Reimbursements for the Fiscal Year 2020 will be made based on credentials earned by any student. These reimbursements will be paid to schools who report that they have paid for the credentials earned. If the allocated amount ($4,000,000) is exceeded, reimbursements will be prorated.

FY21 Reimbursements - Coming December 2020
Based on credentials earned by students who left school in 2021, reimbursements will be completed in early summer 2022. Reimbursements will be made based on credentials earned by any student and will be paid to schools who indicate that they have paid for the credentials earned. If the allocated amount ($4,000,000) is exceeded, reimbursements will be prorated.

What’s in it for businesses and communities?

Finding, hiring and retaining high-quality employees is a monumental task. Industry-recognized credentials help employers validate the knowledge and skills of potential employees and saves valuable time in assessing the competency of job applicants. Industry partners play an integral role in how the list is formed and validated to ensure that students are earning credentials that Ohio's industries value.

faq.png Industry-Recognized Credentials FAQs Start_SO.png Start a Senior Only Credential Program
Find_School.png Find schools districts that offer a credential program Start_CTE_Program.png Start a career-tech credential program leading to an industry-recognized credential
Integrate.png Integrate a credential program into an existing high school curriculum ListofCred.png List of approved industry-recognized credentials
Add_Cred.png Process for adding new industry-recognized credentials Workkeys.png Workforce Readiness Score and WorkKeys

Last Modified: 11/20/2020 9:40:53 AM