Education Fundamentals

Description of Assessment & Certification

The Education Fundamentals assessment and certification are:
  • driven by industry standards;
  • based on relevant content standards and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of competencies related to the fundamentals of education and training;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education, community-based education programs, and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement, and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration.

Uses of the Assessment and Certification

The assessment and certification are used to:
  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional and/or paraprofessional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized certification.

Assessment and Certification Resources

Alignment Matrices
21st Century Student Outcomes Career Ready Practices (CCTC) Employability Skills Framework

* Bulletin includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)

Education Fundamentals Resource Directory 

  • Click here for the Alignment to the 21st Century Student Outcomes


It is anticipated that the Education Fundamentals assessment and certification will facilitate employment in early career ladder positions and promote continuing education at the post-secondary level preparing for careers associated with education and training in:
  • public and private school programs,
  • elementary, middle, and secondary schools,
  • after-school programs;
  • higher education, non-profit, and corporate settings.


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Education Professionals & Leaders

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed early childhood practitioners and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that programs are effectively preparing individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high quality child care in an optimal environment and for pre-professional careers requiring those skills, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • David Cordts, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Reston, VA
  • Wanda Fox, TeachSharp LLC, West Lafayette, IN
  • Carol Riley, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Reston, VA
  • Marcia J. Ritter, Educational Consultant, Lee's Summit, MO
  • Jody Shelton, American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA), Overland Park, KS
  • Faye Snodgress, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Education, Indianapolis, IN
  • Pat Stanley, U.S. Department of Education (Retired), The Villages, FL
  • Jan Struebing, National Career Academy Coalition, Springdale, AR
  • Marcella Wine-Snyder, Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA), Rock Hill, SC
  • Ginny Ellington, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  • Bonnie James, Notre Dame College, South Euclid, OH
  • Susan Roark, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA
  • Tamara Lane, Siloam Springs High Schoo, Siloam Springs, AR
  • Debbie Nelson, Alameda High School, Lakewood, CO

Further Information

For further information please contact AAFCS at or 703-636-7641

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