Industry Certifications Benchmark


Tacoma Public Schools values multiple pathways to success in post-secondary education and in to the workforce, and is committed to ensuring that each student is job ready with attainment of at least one “stackable” industry recognized certification. These “employer recognized certifications” validate student achievement in preparation for entering the workforce as life-long learners with job specific skills leading to advanced certifications. Employers recognize certifications specific to a career pathway that may be indicative of an employee’s interests and potential to learn and grow with their organization.

Tacoma Public Schools organizes Career and Technical Education classes under the umbrella of the five career field model: Arts and Communications, Business and Marketing, Health and Human Services, Engineering and Technology, Sciences and Natural Resources. Classes are further defined as exploratory or preparatory by design; with preparatory classes including examinations available for students to earn specialized industry recognized certifications, and are aligned to post-secondary courses of study for attainment of advanced certifications.

Tacoma Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education General Advisory Committee is composed of leaders from business, industry, regional post-secondary organizations, administrators, and teachers. This CTE General Advisory Committee monitors student attainment of industry recognized certifications in review of regional business needs and forecasts. These reviews lead to programmatic changes and alignment of high school courses of study with post-secondary partners to ensure the relevance and rigor of CTE classes in Tacoma Public Schools.

Benefits for students attaining “stackable” industry recognized certifications

  • Prepare for entry-level employment with job specific skills
  • Readiness to enter career field of self interest
  • Enter a course of study aligned with post-secondary partners for advanced certifications

Industry recognized certifications are offered in the following career fields:

  • Arts and Communications – Adobe
  • Business and Marketing – Microsoft Office Specialist
  • Health and Human Services – Safe Serve, Pierce County Food Handler’s Permit, First Aid/CPR
  • Engineering and Technology – Forklift Operator, AutoCAD Specialist
  • Science and Natural Resources – Camp Counselor, Master Gardener​


Time of Year Benchmark is Viewed

What’s Displayed by Benchmark

Between start of new school year, and before end of 1st semester

Only displays previous school years’ annual data

After end of 1st semester, but before end of 2nd semester

Default view displays only 1st semester data for all years (allows a common mid-year timeframe for comparison)

After end of 2nd semester, but before start of new school year

Default view displays annual data for all years.

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Legacy reports

Our current reports show data from the 2018 school year and beyond using improved reporting tools. Legacy reports show older data using older tools.

 Open View Benchmark

Understanding the data

This displays the percentage of 12th graders who have earned industry certifications during middle and high school. The data can be viewed by district, school, and race.

Because a school year includes two calendar years, such as 2014-2015, the school year on the benchmark chart is identified by the second calendar year. For example, the 2014-2015 school year is identified as 2015 on the chart.​​

The data may be further filtered on gender, English Language Learner status, free and reduced lunch status, special education status, and race. 

​Annual Results

For 12th graders​

  • 2016: 26.7%
  • 2015: 3.2%
  • 2014: 1.0%
  • 2013: 1.4%


Number of students who earned certification in one or more areas divided by the total number of high school students enrolled.

*Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, improvements have been made in the accuracy of enrollment calculations. Prior year calculations may be off less than 0.5%.

Data Retrieval Schedule

2016-2017 School Year:

1st Semester data will be displayed beginning Feb 3, 2017.

Annual data will be displayed beginning July 7, 2017.

  The schools document the certifications students earn in the student information system. The data is loaded into the data warehouse daily.

Input From

Data warehouse​​​