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Exiting Credentials

CDOS Commencement Credential (Standalone)

All New York State students may exit high school with the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential if they’re unable to meet the diploma requirements.  At no point should a decision be made that a student stops working toward a high school diploma in order to concentrate only on earning this credential.  There are two options for earning the CDOS Commencement Credential.  Option 1 and Option 2 are available to all students.

Option 1 for Earning the CDOS Commencement Credential

The student must meet each of the following requirements:

  1. Development of a Career Plan
    • Including documentation of student’s:
      • Self-identified career interests
      • Career-related strengths and needs
      • Career goals
      • Career and technical (CTE) coursework and work-based learning experiences the student intends to engage in to achieve their career goals
    • * Model Career Plan (model only - format of career plan is locally decided)
    • A copy of the student's Career Plan in effect during the school year in which the student exits high school must be maintained in the student's permanent record.
  2. Demonstrated achievement of the commencement level CDOS learning standards in the areas of:
    • Career exploration and development (Standard 1)
    • Integrated learning (Standard 2)
    • Universal foundation skills (Standard 3a)
  3. Successful completion of at least 216 hours of CTE coursework that includes a minimum of 54 hours of Work Based Learning
  4. At least one employability profile, completed within one year prior to student's exit from high school, documenting student’s:
    • Employability skills and experiences
    • Attainment of each of the commencement level CDOS learning standards
    • As appropriate, attainment of:
      • Technical knowledge and work-related skills
      • Work experiences
      • Performance on industry-based assessments
      • Other work-related and academic achievements
      • Employability Profile Model Form (model only - format of employability profile is locally decided)
        • PLEASE NOTE:  This sample employability profile does not meet the requirements for NYSED-approved CTE programs since it does not have a space for technical skills.  For assistance on developing an employability profile for NYSED-approved CTE programs, please contact the CTE team at
    • A copy of the student's work skills employability profile(s) shall be maintained in the student's permanent record.

Option 2 for Earning the CDOS Commencement Credential

The student must meet the requirements for one of the NYSED-Approved Pathway Assessments in Career Development and Occupational Studies.

CDOS Commencement Credential Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

NYS CDOS Commencement Credential Frequently Asked Questions, updated June 2023

Model Forms

Skills & Achievement Commencement Credential

Students in New York State who are assessed using the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) may exit high school with the Skills & Achievement Commencement Credential. Additional information can be referenced on the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities webpage.

Per Education Law Section 3204, the board of education or the board of trustees of each school district must establish policy and adopt procedures to allow any student who has been awarded an exiting credential, but has not otherwise qualified for a Regents or local high school diploma, to participate in the graduation ceremony of the student's high school graduating class (i.e., the twelfth-grade class with which such student entered into ninth grade) and all related activities. School districts must also provide annual written notice to all students and their parents or guardians about the graduation policy and procedures adopted by the school district.