ODE recognizes OHSAA officiating license as an Industry Credential

Published 11:56 am Tuesday, December 19, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio  The Ohio Department of Education has announced that it will now recognize a sports officiating license issued by the Ohio High School Athletic Association as an Industry Recognized Credential, which can be counted as credit toward high school graduation requirements within the health career field.

The announcement reflects the value and significance of the OHSAA’s sports officiating program, providing high school students with a unique opportunity to enhance their education and career prospects. High school students who successfully earn their officiating license through the OHSAA can now count it as four of the 12 required points for certification.

Earning an industry-recognized credential and a WorkKeys score of 14 is one of multiple options to earn a high school diploma. When students earn industry-recognized credentials, schools and districts get credit on Ohio Report Cards for their success in preparing students for careers. Details about Industry Recognized Credentials is posted on the Ohio Department of Education website at: https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-Graduation-Requirements/Contacts-and-Resources/Industry-Recognized-Credentials

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“From an Ohio Department of Education perspective, we collectively take pride in supporting efforts that will provide Ohio students an opportunity to earn an industry recognized credential to meet the state’s graduation requirements,” said Scott Hunt, Executive Director of the Ohio Department of Education and an ex-officio member of the OHSAA Board of Directors.

This achievement is the result of a collaborative partnership between the OHSAA, the Ohio Department of Education, and RefReps, a leading sports officiating education technology company based in Indiana. The partnership has already brought state-of-the-art sports officiating curriculum to nearly 60 schools across Ohio, shaping the future of aspiring sports officials statewide.

“The Ohio High School Athletic Association is excited to continue the collaboration between the Ohio Department of Education, RefReps and the OHSAA to provide educational opportunities to students in Ohio,” said Doug Ute, OHSAA Executive Director. “We are proud to be a leader in the nation for establishing standards that lead to industry recognized graduation credentialing in our schools. Gaining workforce experience and classroom credit is a win-win for all involved.”

Kyle Armstrong, RefReps Founder and CEO, said that while many states utilize RefReps online coursework and curriculum, Ohio is the first state that can apply them to graduation credit, allowing for the OHSAA officiating license to be approved as an industry-recognized credential, thanks to the collaboration of the ODE, OHSAA and RefReps.

“At present, RefReps classes are being taught in high schools and colleges/universities across 39 different states. Ohio is the first state we have worked with to achieve this type of milestone for their students, schools and communities,” Armstrong said. “I am very proud of our team’s contributions to this accomplishment, and I cannot thank the OHSAA and ODE enough for their support and commitment to this initiative.”