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Students can earn a NYS Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. This credential recognizes each student’s preparation and skills for post-school employment based on the CDOS Standards. Further information on the CDOS Credential is available on the NYSED website.

There are two options available for students with disabilities to earn this credential.


  • The student must have developed a Career Plan that includes documentation of the student’s self-identified career interests; career-related strengths and needs; career goals; and career and technical coursework and work-based learning experiences that the student plans to engage in to achieve those goals.
  • The student must have demonstrated achievement of the commencement level CDOS learning standards in the areas of career exploration and development; integrated learning; and universal foundation skills.
  • The student must have successfully completed at least 216 hours of CTE coursework and work-based learning experiences (of which at least 54 hours must be in work-based learning experiences).
  • The student must have at least one completed employability profile that documents the student’s employability skills and experiences; attainment of each of the commencement level CDOS learning standards; and, as appropriate, attainment of technical knowledge and work-related skills, work experiences, performance on industry-based assessments, and other work-related and academic achievements.


Option 2 is taking and passing a nationally-recognized work readiness assessment approved by the Commissioner for this purpose. The currently approved assessments are:

  • ACT Work Keys, ACT NCRC
  • SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Career-Ready Assessment
  • National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) / NWRC Assessments
  • Workforce Skills Certification System
  • Precision Exams 21st Century Success Skills
  • NOCTI 21st Century Skills for Workplace Success
  • NOCTI Employability Skills

In 2016, the Board of Regents extended to all students a policy option to use the CDOS credential to take advantage of the pathway option and substitute one Regents exam, as long as all other diploma requirements are met.