Ohio Expands Options for Students to Skip College, Earn Industry-Recognized Credentials

Jul 18, 2017 | News, Newsletter |

There’s a growing recognition that too much emphasis is put on four-year colleges as the main career path for high school students. With many companies struggling to find skilled workers, the message about the benefits of industry certification needs to be spread, some say.

Thanks to the input of companies and industries across the state, Ohio’s high school students now have 49 more industry-recognized credentials within their reach.

The Ohio Department of Education added these credentials to guide career-based program development within high schools. The hope is that these tools will aid students in understanding that they have more options than just going to a four-year university according to Columbus Business First.

The graduation requirements for the classes of 2018 and beyond include earning a minimum number of credit hours in a state approved curriculum and one of three options to show readiness for next steps in college and careers.  Traditionally, minimum scores on state tests were the only pathway for graduation. The state test scores remain as one of the three options to meet high school graduation requirements.  However, now, students can also graduate by demonstrating workforce readiness.

  • Students must earn 12 points through a State Board of Education-approved, industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field and achieve a workforce readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment. The state of Ohio will pay one time for those who take the WorkKeys assessment.
  • Students can also graduate by earning “remediation-free” scores in English language arts and mathematics on a nationally recognized college admission exam. The state of Ohio will pay one time for all 11th grade students in the classes of 2018 and beyond to take either the ACT or SAT free of charge. The student’s district selection applies to all schools in the district for one school year. Test selection may change from one school year to the next.

For more information about the Ohio Department of Education’s Workforce Readiness Score as the pathway to high school graduation, click HERE.  For the full article, available to Columbus Business First subscribers, click HERE.  With the creation of a free Business First account, subscribers have access to a limited number of articles per month.

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