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Course-Level and Statewide Competencies

Beginning in 2013, The New Hampshire Department of Education invited educators to participate in the process of creating statewide college and career ready competencies. From those many educators who expressed an interest, educators representing the K-16 education spectrum were chosen for this work based on education level served, geographical representation, central office representation, and classroom educator representation. In addition to these educators, representatives from the content-specific New Hampshire Teachers Associations and other content-specific stakeholder organizations were also invited to serve on these design committees. The New Hampshire Department of Education coordinated the project with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment and The Center for Collaborative Education.

These competencies are approved by the State Board of Education for statewide use. As of May, 2014, they include the New Hampshire Board of Education approved Common Core State Standards-Aligned Competencies in Mathematics and English Language Arts and the New Hampshire K-12 Model Science Competencies. In August, 2014, The State Board of Education also approved the Work-Study Practices competencies.

New Hampshire Common Core State Standards-Aligned Competencies- State Board Approved:

English Language Arts & Literacy Competencies Acrobat Reader

Mathematics Competencies Acrobat Reader

New Hampshire K-12 Model Science Competencies - State Board Approved

Science Competencies Acrobat Reader

New Hampshire Work-Study Practices Competencies & Implementation Guide - State Board Approved

Work-Study Practices Competencies and Guidelines Acrobat Reader


Validating the Strength of Competencies

In order to assure that competencies in NH have the opportunity to reach the highest level of quality and comparability across schools, a validation tool based on research-based practices in the field of curriculum and assessment was developed. The Department convened a committee of educators, department heads, and administrators from around the state under the leadership and facilitation of an experienced educator and administrator from Concord Area Center for Educational Support to write the rubric. The competency validation rubric was field tested for validity and reliability against local competency statements  with the participation of over two hundred teachers statewide. The rubric was shown to have a high degree of reliability with comments and suggestions to promote greater reliability incorporated into the final version of the rubric.

The competency validation rubric is an analytic rubric for the elements of Relevance to Content Area, Enduring Concepts, Cognitive Demand, and Relative to Assessment. The four elements of the rubric are further supported with detailed descriptors in a four point rubric with levels one and two representing the weaker end of the continuum and levels three and four representing the strongest end of the continuum. Competencies are best reviewed with this tool in a collaborative setting. Using a four point rubric for each of the elements, teachers can determine if a competency is weak or strong in each of the elements. We understand and acknowledge that course competencies are independent yet work together in defining course outcomes.  The overall set of course competencies should be judged as ‘strong’ using the Competency Validation Rubric while understanding that each individual competency contributes to the expectations of student learning defined by the course.  It is suggested that each competency statement meet the criteria as a strong statement in the elements of competency design.

A glossary of terms used in the Competency Validation Rubric was developed for ease of use and shared understanding and common interpretations of the descriptors used in the rubric.  The terms and descriptors were based on national research-based documentation. This glossary is attached to both the Competency Validation Rubric and to the Competency Validation Rubric Technical Assisstance Advisory.  



Previous work on local Competencies is offered here below for informational purposes. This information will be updated shortly.


Arts competency sets have been developed for Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts and are available on the Arts content page, along with assessment information.

Cross Cutting Competencies from the 1997-2003 Competency-Based Assessment System. These competencies were developed, tested and implemented by groups of NH high schools working collaboratively. They were based on the original SCANS skills and worded to be observable and assessable.

Course Level Competencies Templates from the Concord Area Center for Educational Support (CACES) - 2007

Sample Draft Courses (please contact CACES for updated information, training on writing and using competencies, and to join the school collaborative network Microsoft Word Symbol)

High School-to-College Competencies: The Center for Education Policy Research, headed by David Conley from Oregon, had been working on high school standards that develop skills and content knowledge that students need to succeed in college. These competency standards in English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social sciences, Second languages and the Arts include Knowledge and Skills Foundations and Content Standards. The foundations section describes the skills, behaviors and attitudes expected of high school to college students. The standards section lists the content knowledge that helps maximize the probability of success in entry-level university courses.

World Language teachers (25 teachers from 12 high schools around the state) convened over 3 days in August 2007 to create and refine first drafts of course-level competencies for French, German, Latin (Greek) and Spanish. Follow-up meetings took place in February 2008 to review the draft competencies and work on assessment rubrics. The final model competencies for French, Latin, German and Spanish are now available below. For more information contact Jan Hennessey at Dover High School (

Acrobat Reader Symbol Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Microsoft Word Symbol Microsoft Word format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711