Certifications with Value and Meaning
For students, certification is an opportunity to showcase agricultural knowledge. This achievement can measure learning progression along the pathway of study, encourage post-secondary matriculation, prepare students for work-based learning opportunities, and showcase career-readiness.
For schools, certification indicates alignment between the school’s agricultural education curriculum and expectations among post-secondary education and local employers. Programs aligning with this certification demonstrate both rigor and relevance in technical and academic content.
For industry, certification represents a direct working relationship between secondary education and employers; recognizing the need for skill set evolution. It can be used as an effective tool to identify, recruit, hire, and evaluate employee competency in relation to content specialization.
Certifications are currently offered for the following instructional pathways:
Aligned with California Agriculture Education Standards
Certification assessments were developed in alignment with:
The Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards for Agriculture and Natural Resources that were developed and adopted by the California Department of Education.
Post-Secondary Curriculum identified by Community College and California State University Faculty
Career-readiness indicators identified by Industry Leaders and Technical Skill Advisors
Developed by Industry-Sector Experts
Pathway Focus Groups (comprised of Industry Leaders, High School Teachers, Community College Instructors, and University Faculty) utilized survey results from industry representatives to prioritize the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that students must posses in order to successfully demonstrate career-readiness to local employers. Industry professionals also provided valuable feedback regarding the frequency and criticality of the KSAs identified in the model curriculum standards. Equipped with this valuable insight and perspective, the Pathway Focus Groups were able to develop assessment blueprints that were directly aligned with real-world employability skills.
A team of discipline experts (comprised of High School Teachers, Community College Instructors, and University Faculty) used the assessment blueprints to develop multiple test forms that were field-tested, piloted, and approved by a third-party psychometric consultant. As a result, our online assessments are valid, defensible, and psychometrically sound tests.
Tier 1 - Online Certification Assessment
Any student enrolled in an Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience, Floriculture, or Ornamental Horticulture pathway is eligible to take the Tier 1 online certification assessment.
Please note the following:
Due to minor variances in curriculum and course sequencing within each local high school program, instructors are encouraged to review the assessment blueprints for each pathway to better determine which courses their students will need to complete at the local level in order to become proficient with all of the standards addressed in the individual assessments.
Tier 2 - Advanced Online Certification Assessment and Performance-based Assessment
In order to be eligible for the Tier 2 performance based assessment, students should be enrolled in an advanced level pathway course and must have previously passed the Tier 1 certification assessment for the same pathway.
Online Certification Assessment
This certification recognizes student proficiency in introductory technical content and knowledge.
The assessment leading to this certification measures foundational knowledge required to work in industry, particularly identification skills and real-world applications. Students holding this certification have achieved proficiency based on standards set forth by the California Central Region Agricultural Education Career Pathways Consortium.
This certification recognizes student proficiency in advanced technical content and performance tasks.
The assessment leading to this certification measures advanced knowledge and performance abilities required to work in industry, through successful task completion. Students holding this certification have achieved proficiency based on standards set forth by the California Central Region Agricultural Education Career Pathways Consortium.