BCSD high students qualify for national certificates

84.9 percent of BCSD students qualify for national certificates
Posted on 10/09/2017
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Monday, October 9, 2017

84.9 percent of high school students qualify
for national certificates via WorkKeys exams

BEAUFORT – District high school students outperformed their peers from across South Carolina on a key statewide exam during the 2016-17 school year, according to data released today by the South Carolina Department of Education.

South Carolina requires all 11th-graders to take WorkKeys exams each spring, and students who post qualifying scores earn “portable” certificates at the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum levels that can be used to qualify for good-paying jobs anywhere in the nation.  Increasing numbers of businesses require job applicants to have WorkKeys certificates.  

Among Beaufort County 11th-graders, 84.9 percent scored high enough to earn a certificate (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum), compared to 84.0 percent of 11th-graders statewide.  That marked a decrease from last year, when 87.6 percent of district 11th-graders scored high enough to earn a certificate compared to 86.8 percent statewide. 

Looking at students earning Silver certificates and above, 63.3 percent of Beaufort County 11th-graders qualified in 2016-17 compared to 60.8 percent statewide.  A score of Silver or better was adopted by the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee last month as one measure of a career-ready student in high school.

Superintendent Jeff Moss said that many businesses across the nation now use WorkKeys certificates as prescreening tools for job applicants. 

“It’s a skills and knowledge measurement system that’s consistent nationwide,” he said, “so businesses can rely on it no matter where they’re located.  And it works for our high school students, too, because it lets them know what they need to concentrate on if they hope to land good-paying jobs.”

Many employers recognize, recommend or require WorkKeys certificates as part of their hiring criteria.  In South Carolina alone, more than 300 employers recognize the certificate. 

Moss said that a variety of work-based experiences are available for Beaufort County students, and the district is working with local business and industry partners to expand and enhance those opportunities.

WorkKeys exams comprise three 45-minute tests:  Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information.  More than 50,000 11th-graders took the test statewide, including 1,334 from the Beaufort County School District.