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Graduation Guidelines - Industry Certificate
The information for industry certifications was created by the Graduation Guidelines Industry Certificate Work Group.
View the Implementation Guidebook created by the Work Group.
An industry certification is a credential recognized by business and industry at the local, state or national level. It could be an assessment, an examination or a license that is administered and recognized by an industry third-party or governing board. Industry certificates measure competency in an occupation, and they validate the knowledge base and skills that show mastery in a particular industry. Districts determine which certifications to authorize for students.
Each school district in Colorado determines which Industry Certificates/Certifications will be accepted for a student’s demonstration of learning according to the Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options. Also, each district can decide whether the certificate meets Graduation Guidelines competencies in English, math, or both.
View the Implementation Guidebook created by the Industry Certificates Work Group.
Why This Option
For Districts: Certifications provide additional options for students because districts can tailor graduation requirements to meet the unique needs of students and the local community. This opportunity promotes increased student engagement.
For Employers/Industry: Industry certifications demonstrate evidence of competencies, thus supporting hiring practices and filling employers' specific demand for knowledge, skills and abilities.
For Colorado/Local Community: Industry certifications connect skill sets of the workforce to workforce demand. This intentional connection addresses the skills gap while increasing an individual’s earning potential.
Districts have the authority to decide which industry certificates to add the Menu of Options for their Graduation Requirements. The credential must be industry-recognized. The district also has the authority to decide whether the certificate meets Graduation Guidelines competencies in English or math, or both.
Districts can also consider authorizing industry certifications from the Career Development Incentive Program which “provides financial incentives for school districts and charter schools that encourage high school students, grades 9-12, to complete qualified industry credential programs, internships, residencies, construction pre-apprenticeship or construction apprenticeship programs or qualified Advanced Placement (AP) courses.”
Participating districts or charter schools could receive up to $1,000 for each student who successfully completes one of the qualified programs and will be distributed in tiered order. Please visit the
Resources and Promising Practices
Schools and districts have shared their promising practices for Industry Certificates. Consider adopting or adapting them for your students.
District Policies and Criteria
- School District 27J - List of approved Industry Certificates
- Pueblo District 70 - Criteria embedded in Graduation Policy, IKF-2
Videos for parents, school counselors, and students.
27J School District
Canon City Schools
Canon City and Fremont School Districts
Jefferson County Schools
The goal of the Jeffco Schools implementation process is “to create a set of criteria and process for approving industry certificate to be used as a demonstration of readiness for graduation.”
- Implementation Process and Lessons Learned
- Customized Pathways (Strategic Plan)
Littleton Public Schools
Students in Littleton are eligible to take classes at Arapahoe Community College. They receive concurrent enrollment credit, and, if available, prepare for industry certifications and/or state licensing exams.
Northeast Colorado Career Development Partnership (NE BOCES)
Peyton School District – Woods Manufacturing
For examples of board policies, district plans, rubrics and examples of implementation strategies, visit the Graduation Guidelines main page and PWR Practices, Tools, and Resources.
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