Chapter Excellence Program

The Best Way to Build a Strong Chapter

Every chapter is encouraged to participate in the CEP, and there are three award levels to recognize program involvement. The first two levels are acknowledged by a chapter’s state association, and the third level is recognized nationally. Each level is designed to give chapters a benchmark for success and future improvement, leading to stronger chapters and better-prepared students. The more a chapter applies the Framework, the greater the chance for CEP honors, so go for the gold and gain the recognition your chapter deserves through CEP participation!

CEP Recognition Levels

Level 1: Quality Chapter

This first level honors chapters for achieving essential standards of excellence.

Level 2: Chapter of Distinction

This second level recognizes chapters that go beyond baseline requirements, and Chapter of Distinction award winners may earn bronze, silver or gold level of this award.

Level 3: Models of Excellence

Chapters in each state receiving a gold “Chapter of Distinction” award are eligible for national selection as a Models of Excellence chapter. These chapters define excellence. Best practices will be gleaned from the award winners and shared with the field to serve as models for other chapters to emulate in strengthening their local programs. Eight chapters will be chosen to represent each component of the SkillsUSA Framework (Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills), and one winner representing each component will be chosen at SkillsUSA’s National Leadership & Skills Conference.

Click the image to download the CEP Advisor’s Guide

CEP Application

Want to participate in the CEP? Fill out the application on our membership site. Once logged in, click the “Membership” button and select “Chapter Excellence Program.”

CEP Coaching

Need some help with the CEP? Schedule a free one-on-one coaching session with our CEP and Program of Work coach Kellie Engelbrecht!


Implementing the CEP can result in benefits for members, teachers/chapter advisors and for the chapter, campus and community.

For members:

  • Creates opportunities to apply SkillsUSA Framework skills
  • Improves chapter organization and efficiency
  • Develops teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Instills a sense of purpose and belonging
  • Promotes friendly competition in pursuit of excellence
  • Recognizes achievement
  • Provides experiences in completing an application

For teachers/chapter advisors:

  • Provides experiences to develop SkillsUSA Framework skills
  • Empowers members’ leadership skill development
  • Reduces workload when members plan and lead chapter activities
  • Educates school administration and community members about SkillsUSA and chapter accomplishments
  • Increases member engagement
  • Summarizes and documents chapter progress for the year
  • Brings state and national recognition to your program

For chapter/campus/community:

  • Addresses community needs through SkillsUSA Framework skills
  • Serves as baseline for chapter improvement in future years
  • Connects members to employers
  • Garners support of campus administration/faculty for SkillsUSA Chapter
  • Gains support of community for SkillsUSA Chapter
  • Illustrates relevance in accomplishing campus goals
  • Brings state and national recognition to your campus and community

To earn Level 1 Quality Chapter Award, a chapter must:

  • Pay membership dues
  • Have all section advisors pay professional dues to SkillsUSA
  • Elect chapter officers
  • Conduct well-planned, regularly scheduled chapter meetings
  • Complete a projected chapter budget (list of planned income and expenses for the year)
  • Complete a Program of Work (list of planned chapter activities for the year)
  • Conduct at least one activity within each of the three SkillsUSA Framework components: Personal Skills, Workplace Skills and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics
  • Complete the Level 1 Quality Chapter application

To earn Level 2 Chapter of Distinction, a chapter must:

  • Conduct chapter officer training
  • Conduct a chapter recruitment activity (e.g., membership drive, middle school presentation)
  • Engage members in committees to conduct chapter activities
  • Prepare to participate in their State Leadership and Skills Conference
  • Complete at least seven of the Chapter of Distinction indicators
    • Demonstrate that at least 75% of eligible students are SkillsUSA members
    • Hold executive committee meetings with local chapter officers
    • Conduct an activity to engage business and industry partners
    • Attend their state’s Fall Leadership Conference and one other activity above the chapter level
    • Present a report of chapter activities and accomplishments to the school board
    • Hold local SkillsUSA technical competitions
    • Hold local SkillsUSA leadership/occupational competitons
    • Celebrate SkillsUSA Week through chapter activities
    • Publish one or more articles in local media
    • Provide a social media or web presence for your local chapter
    • Run a candidate for state office
    • Conduct chapter awards program or banquet on the local level, in which all members may attend
    • Participate in the Career Essentials: Experiences program
    • Participate in SkillsUSA National Signing Day
  • Complete and record three chapter activities
  • The CEP rubric offers specific information to help support a fair distribution of points.
    • Bronze Chapter of Distinction: 100 – 164 points
    • Silver Chapter of Distinction: 165- 239 points
    • Gold Chapter of Distinction: 240 – 300 points

The Level 3 National Models of Excellence award is the highest honor a chapter can receive. To earn it, a chapter must:

  • Complete requirements for Level 1, Quality Chapter
  • Complete requirements for Level 2, Chapter of Distinction
  • Receive a Gold Chapter of Distinction award
  • Be submitted by the state director for consideration as a national Models of Excellence chapter. The number of submissions per state must not exceed 10 percent of all chapters in the state. For example, if a state has 250 chapters, 25 Gold Chapter of Distinction winners would be eligible.
  • For those chapters that are forwarded by the state director to the national office, a panel of judges will evaluate the Level 2 Chapter of Distinction activities based on the criteria of goals, plan of action, results, evaluation and Framework
  • Eight schools will be awarded in each component of the SkillsUSA Framework (Personal, Workplace and Technical) for a total of 24 Level 3 Models of Excellence chapters. These chapters will be announced by April 15 so schools can prepare to attend the national conference.
  • Chapter members will participate in business and industry partner interviews.
  • At the conclusion of the Level 3 Models of Excellence presentations and interviews during the national conference, a single chapter from each Framework component will be announced as the Model of Excellence for that specific component (Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills).

Chapters receiving the Level 1 “Quality Chapter” award receive:

  • A certificate
  • Recognition at the state level

Chapters receiving the Level 2 “Chapter of Distinction” receive the Quality Chapter Award certificate plus an opportunity to compete for gold, silver and bronze status as a Chapter of Distinction.

  • Silver and bronze winners will receive a certificate.
  • Gold winners will receive:
    • A display banner
    • Advisor lapel pin
    • Recognition at the state level

Chapters achieving the Level 3 “Models of Excellence” award will each receive the Quality Chapter Award certificate, Gold Chapter of Distinction recognition items plus:

  • Large award banner
  • Award plaque
  • Recognition during the NLSC Awards Ceremony
  • Recognition in promotional materials and best practices guides highlighting Models of Excellence award winners

Note: Receipt of some of the items listed above is based on secured sponsorship.

2023 CEP Chapters

Download the full list of 2023 CEP participating chapters, alphabetized by state. Congratulations to all of our chapters of excellence!

CEP Resources

CEP Advisor’s Guide
CEP Application Template (Use this template to plan for the submission of your application with your chapter officers and members.)
Sample Chapter Program Management Tool (Use this sample chapter activity to plan your Program of Work and ensure that the SkillsUSA Framework is embedded within each activity.)
Chapter Program Management Tool Template (A blank version of the sample above to help students work on their project goals, action plans and evaluations prior to completing the online application)
Chapter of Distinction Rubric (Use this rubric to optimize your CEP application.)
Sample Chapter Budget

Ask each student member to complete this Essential Element self evaluation to help them identify strengths and weaknesses within the SkillsUSA Framework. This helps your chapter to create and plan your Program of Work with intentionality. When completing the assessment, include your chapter ID number, which you can find on our Registration site. (You’ll need to be logged in.) Assessments results will be emailed to the participant and advisor email address associated with the chapter. Advisors are able to receive an aggregated report of all chapter members for use in planning their chapter’s Program of Work and Framework skill-building lessons. To receive your chapter’s report, contact SkillsUSA’s Customer Care team.