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Our Mission

Skill Certificate Program initiatives provide statewide competency-based student assessments. Student skill attainment is measured by core standards and competencies needed to be successful in the workforce.

The core standards and competencies help improve programs, curriculum and instruction through the use of incentive-based, competency-based student assessment.

The Skill Certificate Program provides students with opportunities to receive instruction aligned with standards and objectives set by the state of Utah and by industry. Students receive “skill certificates” verifying technical skill achievement.

Skill Certificate Program Flyer

Assessment

By first establishing a core set of skills identified by the state Career and Technical Education (CTE) program specialists and teachers, with the support of business and industry, each of the assessments in the Skill
Certificate Program is designed to measure how individual students, programs, schools, and districts are performing based on a set of standards used consistently throughout the state.

Incentives

  • Districts receive an incentive based on the performance of their students on the assessments in the various program areas.
  • 7.5 percent of Career and Technical Education funding is distributed through the Skill Certificate Program.

CTE Pathways

The Skill Certificate Program supports the CTE Pathways initiative.

  • CTE Skill Certificate assessments are available in each of the eight CTE Areas of Study: Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Science, Information Technology, Marketing, Skilled and Technical Sciences, and Technology and Engineering

Test Development

  • Questions are aligned to the course standards and objectives.
  • Demonstrated student performance is a component of the test.
  • Components of tests include an objective section and performance graded at an 80 percent level.
  • Tests are developed by the Utah State Office of Education CTE program area specialists and their development teams.
  • Over 140 tests have been developed and are available online.
  • Twenty-five state and/or national certifications are also recognized.

Participation

  • All 41 public school districts and some charter schools voluntarily participate.
  • All 136 public high schools participate.
  • All 9 Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) centers have the opportunity for attending high school students to participate.

Accountability

CTE provides Skill Certificates in courses and programs in grades 9-12. These tests verify skill attainment and, where available, industry exams are offered. This accountability system assures that all courses and programs in the state are consistently teaching to the standards established by experts in that occupational area. The Skill Certificate Program is used to report technical skill attainment for the accountability system mandated in the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998.

Tests Offered in All CTE Areas of Study

Agricultural Education
Business and Marketing Education
Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Health Science Education
Information Technology Education
Skilled and Technical Sciences Education
Technology and Engineering

Number of Tests Administered

Students who successfully complete a specific skill certificate test, demonstrating 80 percent proficiency on ALL performance objectives and 80 percent on the written test, a reissued a CTE Skill Certificate.

Year

 

Tests Administered

2013-2014

 

242,240

2012-2013

 

229,053

2011-2012

 

224,088

2010-2011

 

223,026

In 2013-2014, 242,240 tests were administered to high school students, with 105,151 students awarded a CTE Skill Certificate, indicating a high level of performance. Student performance must be demonstrated in class as part of the Skill Certificate process.

Our vision is to give every student the opportunity to perform to the best of his or her ability by encouraging him or her to participate in a variety of skill tests that will aid in jump-starting careers through