Career Development & Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS)

The Career Development & Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS credential) is intended to show a student’s readiness for entry-level employment. The credential is available to students who are taking the New York State Alternative Assessment (NYSAA). The CDOS credential can be achieved with a Regents or local diploma, however can also be a stand alone credential. Schools must show students were provided

appropriate opportunity to earn a diploma while working on the credential.

How do you earn a CDOS credential?

There are two different options for students to achieve the CDOS credential.


•        Students must complete a Career plan annually

•        Minimum of 2 units (216 hrs.) of Career and Techical Education (CTE)

•        Minimum of 54 hours of Work-Based learning

•        Complete an employability profile

•        Attainment of a nationally recognized work readiness credential

•        SkillsUSA Workforce Ready Employability Assessment

•        National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC)

•        ACT National Career Readiness Certificate

•        CASAS Workforce Skills and Certification System

Questions and Facts about the CDOS Credential

  • Can the CDOS Commencement Credential be used to apply to college, trade schools, or the military? NO. The CDOS Commencement Credential is NOT a diploma and cannot be used to apply to college, the military, or trade schools.


Diploma: awarded by an educational establishment (High School) to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.

Credential: a qualification, achievement, personal quality, or aspect of a person’s background, typically when used to indicate that they are suitable for something.

Career Plan: documentation of the following:

  • the student’s self-identified career interests;
  • career-related strengths and needs;
  • career goals; and
  • CTE coursework and work-based learning experiences that the student plans to engage in to achieve those

Career & Technical Education (CTE): is a term applied to schools, institutions and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation.

Work-Based Learning: Gaining of knowledge and skills through carrying out – and reflecting on – tasks in a vocational context, at a workplace. Provide opportunities to achieve employment-related competencies in the workplace. Work-based learning is often undertaken in conjunction with classroom or related learning and may take the form of work placements, work experience, workplace mentoring, instruction in general workplace competencies and broad instruction in all aspects of industry.

Employability Profile: Documentation of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses with employment-related skills based on their performance at the work site.

Nationally recognized work readiness credential (WRC): The WRC is a certification of an individual’s readiness for entry-level work as defined by employers. It is the first assessment for entry-level workers to provide a universal, transferable, national standard for work readiness.

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