Chapter Excellence Program

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CEO Teacher's Guide

Download the teacher’s guide here.



The Chapter Excellence Program (CEP) is the single best way to build a successful SkillsUSA chapter! To learn more, check out the information below.

CEP Application


What is CEP?

CEP recognizes achievement as it relates to the integration of the SkillsUSA Framework in chapter program of work activities. As a chapter’s yearly action plan, the program of work is at the heart of student learning and employability development. By using the Framework as a guide, chapters have a blueprint for creating relevant activities that encourage participation and foster an understanding of student learning attained during each activity. The Framework’s focus on intentional learning turns the program of work into more than just a planning tool. Using the Framework, the program of work becomes the vital conduit that links students to the application of personal, workplace and technical skills demanded by industry. The SkillsUSA trifecta for student success!

Within the personal, workplace and technical skills areas, there are specific Essential Elements tied to each. The Essential Elements are high-demand employability skills as defined by industry, and the benchmark for measuring student success during an activity. If students learn the Essential Element of responsibility during a personal component activity, the Framework requires that a chapter be specific regarding the how and why students learned responsibility. This conscientious approach gives added meaning to the valuable experience gained by students in the planning, organization and implementation of activities. Most importantly, this approach actualizes SkillsUSA’s mission to “empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens” on the chapter level.

Every chapter is encouraged to participate in 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 more prepared students. The more a chapter applies the Framework, the greater the chance for CEP honors.   

Why get involved in the CEP?

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 Framework skills
  • Fosters personal and workplace skill development
  • Equips with valuable leadership skills and experiences
  • 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 Framework skills
  • Empowers member’s 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
  • Increases positive exposure of SkillsUSA chapter
  • Strengthens the presence and support of SkillsUSA on campus and in community
  • Summarizes and documents chapter progress for the year
  • Brings state and national recognition to your program

For Chapter/Campus/Community:

  • Benefits the community by addressing community needs through Framework skills
  • Provides trained workforce allowing for sustainability of the community with Framework skills
  • Highlights Framework skill development for college and career readiness
  • 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

What Must Our Chapter Do to Earn Level 1 Quality Chapter Award?

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 framework components
    • Personal Skills
    • Workplace Skills
    • Technical Skills
  • Complete the Level 1 Quality Chapter application

What Must Our Chapter Do to Earn Level 2 Chapter of Distinction?

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

  • Conduct chapter officer training
  • Conduct a chapter recruitment activity (i.e. membership drive, middle school presentation)
  • Engage members in committees to conduct chapter activities
  • Prepare to participate in State Leadership and Skills Conference
  • Complete at least seven of the 14 Chapter of Distinction indicators
    • 75% of eligible students are SkillsUSA members
    • Hold executive committee meetings with local chapter officers
    • Conduct an activity to engage business and industry partners
    • Students attend Fall Leadership Conference
    • Chapter members attend one activity above the chapter level excluding, Fall Leadership Conference
    • Present a report of chapter activities and accomplishments to the school board
    • Hold SkillsUSA local technical area Championships
    • Hold SkillsUSA local leadership/occupational area Championships
    • Celebrate SkillsUSA Week through chapter activities
    • Publish one of more articles in local media
    • Provide a social media or web presence for your local chapter
    • Have 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
  • 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

What Must Our Chapter Do to Earn Level 3 Models of Excellence?

National Models of Excellence

The National Models of Excellence award is the highest honor a chapter can receive.

To earn Level 3 Models of Excellence, a chapter must:

  • Complete Level 1, Quality Award
  • Complete 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.  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
  • Level 3 Models of Excellence will be announced by April 15 so schools can prepare to attend the national conference. Eight schools will be awarded in each component of the framework (Personal, Workplace and Technical) for a total of 24 Level 3 Models of Excellence
  • Chapters will have members 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 in each component will be announced as the Model of Excellence

What do CEP award recipients receive?

Quality Chapter Award (Level 1)

  • Each chapter fulfilling the Quality Chapter Award (Level 1) will receive a certificate
  • Recognized at the state level

Chapter of Distinction Award (Level 2)

  • Each chapter will receive the Quality Chapter Award plus an opportunity to compete for gold, silver and bronze status
  • Silver and bronze winners will receive a certificate
  • Gold winners will receive:
    • A display banner
    • Advisor lapel pin
  • Invitation to attend the Chapter of Distinction mega prize reception at NLSC
  • Recognized at the state level

Models of Excellence Award (Level 3)

  • Each chapter will receive the Quality Chapter Award certificate, Gold Chapter of Distinction recognition items plus:
  • Large award banner
  • Award plaque
  • Invited to the Models of Excellence awards banquet during NLSC
  • Recognized during the NLSC Awards Ceremony
  • Recognition in promotional materials and best practices guide highlighting Models of Excellence award winners
  • $2,000 chapter grant

*Based on secured sponsorship

Sample Application

Use this sample application as a guide to completing your application.

Download the sample application.

Blank Application

The blank application is available as a word document so that students can work on their project goals, action plan and evaluation prior to completing the online application. Spell check and ensure grammar is correct in the word document first, then copy and paste the contents into the online application.

Download a blank application.

Completing Online Level 1 Quality Chapter Application (PPT)

Completing Online Level 2 Chapter of Distinction Application (PPT)

Chapter of Distinction Rubric

2017 Best Practice Guide

Mini Lesson Plans

Level 1 Webinar


Level 2 Webinar

CEP Teacher's Guide

Sample Program of Work for CEP Level 1

Sample Budget for CEP Level 1