NYC High School Credentials (Non-diploma options)

  • NYC High School Credentials are not equivalent to high school diplomas
  • As stand alone credentials, they cannot be used to apply to college, the military, and vocational training programs that require a TASC or a high school diploma.
  • Students who obtain a stand alone credential before age 21 have the right to stay in school until the end of the school year in which they turn 21.

Career Development & Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential

  • Prepares students for entry-level work.
  • The CDOS may be awarded as:
    • a sole exiting credential,
    • an endorsement to a diploma, or
    • used to fulfill the +1 option for a diploma
  • Since June 2016, the CDOS commencement credential is available to all students.

Source: infohub.nyced.org

The student must meet each of the following requirements:
  • Development of a Career Plan including student’s career interests, strengths, needs, and goals, coursework, and workbased learning plan
  • Demonstrated achievement of the CDOS learning standards
  • Successful completion of at least 216 hours of CTE coursework, including at least 54 hours work-based learning experiences
  • At least one employability profile documenting student’s:
    • Employability skills and experiences, and
    • Attainment of the CDOS learning standards

The student must pass a department approved work readiness assessment.

Examples include:

For the full list, visit: NYSED.gov


Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential

DESCRIPTION The student must meet each of the following requirements:

This credential recognizes students’ skills and achievements in:

  • academic,
  • career development, and
  • other foundations needed for post-school living, learning, and working

This credential replaced the IEP diploma, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.

Source: Graduation Requirements

  • Students with disabilities who participate in the NYS alternate assessments (NYSAA)
  • Attend school for at least 12 years, excluding kindergarten, or until the school year in which a student turns 21 years old

Students will receive a summary of their:

  • Achievement of the CDOS learning standards
  • Level of academic achievement and independence as measured by NYSAA, skills, strengths, interests; and
  • Other achievements and accomplishments

NYS Alternate Assessments (NYSAA) Determination

The IEP team determines the eligibility of students with disabilities to participate in standard or alternate assessments. Students who are eligible for alternate assessments generally have limited cognitive abilities combined with behavioral and/or physical limitations.

  • The determination can be found on the student’s IEP under the “Participate in State and District-wide Assessments” section

Source: http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/exiting-credentials

Additional Resources:
NYCDOE Graduation Requirements
NYCDOE Graduation Requirements Worksheet


  • For updated NYSED Information on Regents Exams and Graduation Requirements: http://www.nysed.gov/coronavirus/guidance-p-12-schools
    • For guidance on June 2020 and August 2020 Regents Exams: Search “Regents Examination and Graduation Requirements: Questions Related to COVID-19 Closure”
  • For updated Guidance on the TASC Exam

Learning and School, Navigating NYC schools and applications, Transition and college
Download PDF