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Chapter Excellence Program: Building a Successful SkillsUSA Chapter



Throughout life, we are challenged and encouraged to do our best, be our best selves, and work hard. Pushing ourselves and our teams to create change, learn more, and develop skills to help us succeed at the next thing in life. Personal fulfillment and growth that comes along with completing a challenge, winning or losing a competition, and figuring out an answer to an unsolved issue - this a huge part of what SkillsUSA Ohio tries to accomplish within our chapters in Ohio, and across the nation.


The Chapter Excellence program is the single best way to build a successful SkillsUSA chapter. All chapters are encouraged to participate each year, but only 24 chapters nationwide will earn the “Models of Excellence” award and will serve as models for other chapters to aspire to when strengthening their local programs. You may wonder, where do we begin? Continue reading to understand the foundation of the program, the benefits, the awards, and the opportunity that comes along with participating in the Chapter Excellence Program.


Part One: The Framework




The SkillsUSA framework is divided into three equally essential elements:

1. Personal Skills

2. Technical Skills—grounded in academics

3. Workplace Skills


Each element is designed to work fluidly with the other and serves as a blueprint for career readiness. Revolving around industry demands, the framework builds on skill development and implementation, preparing each student for their journey into the workforce. Each local chapter will identify which elements they want to focus on, strengthen, and master for the Chapter Excellence Program, while also integrating the other elements to create a successful project.


Part Two: The Project


Chapter members then identify a project that can either take place in the classroom or their local community. Once the project is chosen, the chapter leader facilitates the work and project, and the team establishes SMART goals:




This project will be continually worked on throughout the year, with feedback and reflection, causing their goals to evolve as they get closer to completing their work. Keeping the elements of the SkillsUSA framework in mind, these projects serve as priceless training and skill-building opportunities as the chapter works together for a common goal.


Part Three: Recognition and Rewards



In our Ohio Chapter, there are 3 reward levels. The first two are recognized by the state, and the third is recognized by the state AND the final level eligible for national recognition.


Level One – Overview

Honors chapters for achieving essential standards of excellence as a “Quality Chapter” through the following:


  • Chapter paid membership dues

  • Section/program advisors paid professional dues

  • Elected chapter officers

  • Chapter conducted well-planned, regularly scheduled chapter meetings

  • Chapter completed a projected budget

  • Chapter completed a program of work

  • Chapter completed one activity in each of the three framework components.


Level One – Award

The Quality Chapter Award recognizes chapters and sections that use the program of work in developing skills outlined in the SkillsUSA framework. All chapters must complete level one, verifying those members completed at least one activity from each framework area. Recognition takes place at the State Leadership and Skills Conference.


Level Two – Overview

Recognizes chapters that go beyond baseline requirements with bronze, silver, and gold “Chapters of Distinction” awards. All chapters that receive the level two award will be invited to and be recognized at the SkillsUSA national conference. Up to 10% of all chapters in each state that receive the gold award will be eligible for selection as a “Model of Excellence” chapter. Level two awards are decided upon the following:


  • Conducted chapter officer training

  • Conducted a chapter recruitment activity

  • Members are engaged in a committee structure to implement chapter activities

  • Plan to participate in Ohio State Leadership and Skills Conference

  • 75 percent of eligible students are SkillsUSA members

  • Held executive committee meetings with local chapter officers

  • Conducted an activity to engage business and industry partners

  • Students attended a Fall Leadership Conference

  • Chapter members attended one activity above the chapter level excluding Fall Leadership Conference

  • A report of chapter activities/accomplishments is presented to the school board

  • Held local technical area SkillsUSA Championships

  • Held local leadership/occupational area SkillsUSA Championships

  • Celebrated SkillsUSA Week through chapter activities

  • One or more articles were published in local news media

  • Local chapter has a social media or web presence

  • Has a candidate for state office

  • A local chapter awards program or banquet is conducted in which all members may attend

  • Completed activity summary page for each of the three framework components


Level Two – Award

The Chapter of Distinction Award recognizes chapters and sections that have achieved levels one and two. Activities will be evaluated on goals, plan of action, results, evaluation, and framework. Chapter of Distinction will be eligible for gold, silver, or bronze awards.

  • Silver and bronze winners will receive a certificate

  • Gold winners will receive:

  1. a display banner

  2. an advisor lapel pin

  3. an opportunity for selection as a Level Three “Models of Excellence award”

  4. an opportunity to attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference

  5. an opportunity to attend the Chapter of Distinction reception at National Leadership and Skills Conference

  6. an opportunity for special seating at a National Leadership and Skills Conference session

  • Gold Chapter of Distinction submissions for the National “Models of Excellence” award must not exceed 10 percent of all chapters in the state and must be rounded down to the nearest tenth. For example, if a state has 250 chapters, only the top 20 Gold Chapter of Distinction winners are eligible for selection.


Level Three – Overview

These chapters define excellence. Best practices will be structured from the award winners and will be shared with the field to serve as models for other chapters to emulate in strengthening their local programs. The Chapter Excellence Program is focused on the learning and skills developed by students because of chapter involvement, versus honoring chapters simply by the number of activities they employ throughout the year. The award application is written and presented in a manner that supports evidence of these findings.


Level Three – Award

Honors the absolute best chapters through “Models of Excellence” awards.


Get Involved


The Chapter Excellence Program is designed to spotlight all the amazing work our students and chapters are already doing every day. Through innovative ideas, design, planning, and execution of the projects, students will be recognized and awarded for gaining more skills and preparing even more for their futures. To learn even more about the Chapter Excellence Program, download the Chapter Excellence Template and fill out an application today to enter your chapter. Take the next steps to become a Model of Excellence for SkillsUSA students across the nation.

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