Career & Technical Education

SkillsUSA Assessments and the CTE
Program Approval Process


CTE Directors
Persons Responsible for CTE Programs


March 30, 2010


Eric Suhr, Bureau Chief, CTE Programs,
Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support


SkillsUSA Assessments

This memo is intended to clarify the use of assessments developed by SkillsUSA as part of the CTE program approval, re-approval process technical assessment component.

SkillsUSA has developed and continues to develop online written assessments tied to their national student competitive events program. You can find the complete list of assessments at http://www.workforcereadysystem.org/ . Inquiries from the field indicate an interest in using these assessments as part of a technical assessment component of CTE approved programs. Agencies looking to adopt or change to these assessments must thoroughly research the appropriate assessment to make sure that it complements the content and instruction currently being delivered in the program. Each assessment has undergone psychometric evaluation for validity and reliability with extensive input from industry advisory groups. Some industry recognized technical credentialing groups have endorsed certain related assessments as well (e.g., CompTIA, AWS, ASE-AYES). SkillsUSA does not recommend that their assessments replace industry-recognized technical assessments.

If agencies wish to use these assessments as part of their approved or re-approved program the following needs to be considered or adhered to:

  • As our current policy requires, an industry-recognized technical assessment leading to a credential (written and performance) must still be identified for each approved or re-approved program and made available to students that would prefer to take it instead of the related Skill Connect Assessment.
  • Skill Connect Assessments are to be used only for the written portion of the technical assessment component of approved programs.
  • The SkillsUSA championship technical standards competitive event performance portion (recommended duration should not exceed 2-3 hours for approved program use) may be used with the related Skill Connect Assessment but is not required.
  • Agencies, programs or students are not required to be affiliated with SkillsUSA to use these assessments.
  • Agencies with approved programs that are contemplating changing to these assessments must notify the SED in writing identifying each assessment by name and agree to provide data on students taking each type of assessment (industry-recognized and Skills).
  • Recipients of Perkins funds may use the funds to purchase these assessments.

Additional information on the SkillsUSA championship technical standards can be found at: http://www.skillsusa.org/compete/contests.shtml

Note that discussion around technical assessments is ongoing. Specifics on the use of technical assessments in programs of study may change nationally and in New York State which may require altering this policy in the future.

Questions related to this memo should be directed to Nicole Hadsell at Nicole.Hadsell@nysed.gov or (518) 486-1547.

Last Updated: February 4, 2020