National Industry Certified Programs of Excellence (ICPE)

formerly known as Nationally Accredited Programs

Identifying the Best LPS Programs in America


America needs the best Law and Public Safety (LPS) programs to serve our communities. Our students deserve it. Our agencies depend upon it. The LAPSEN Program of Excellence process is designed to make the best better. Applicant programs will demonstrate competencies across several standards in the course of a year. LAPSEN specialists assist applicant programs throughout the year with training, guides and mentorship.

National Programs of Excellence receive a special plaque to place outside the main door to their classroom, a Program of Excellence banner, as well as other recognition.

Does your program have what it takes? Learn more about the process – click here.

Sign up to be updated on announcements for the Program of Excellence (such as deadlines, applications, etc.) – click here.

California Applications Open

California Department of Education supports eight programs each year to apply for ICPE.

Informational meeting was held. You can review it – click here – and use passcode: 6#5ulSj3

Apply here – Deadline for applications is May 31st!

Welcome Our Newest Programs!

Valley Community School Los Banos

Deborah Mason leads an amazing program at an alterative school in California. Students who lack credits or have other issues are assigned to the school. Somehow Ms. Mason does her magic and transforms lives.

Visit their ICPE Application to learn more – Click Here

Fontana High School Fire Technology

Chief George Rojas has built an state of the art fire technology program in Fontana, California. It also has an EMT course! It is possibly one of best LPS programs in the nation!

Learn more about our first fire program on their ICPE site – Click Here

Fontana High School Law Enforcement

Jeannifer Heredia and Ralston Compton have an outstanding program that meets on Saturdays – YES Saturdays – and it has max enrollment. Not only it is unique in schedule, it also has amazing industry support!

Visit their ICPE Application to learn more – Click Here

Ware County High School Law & Justice

Kelly Thrift has a fantastic program in southeastern Georgia! She works closely with Waycross Police to connect students to industry through their cadet program. 

Visit their ICPE Application to learn more – Click Here


Here is more about how we evaluate our programs. More detail is available by clicking on the “tabs.”. 

Standard – Instruction must be systematic and reflect the program goals. Marketing and recruitment are critical to program strength and viability. Policies for managing resources and budgets are crucial to good stewardship

  • List district CTAE mission as well as district mission
    • How is your program supporting both mission statements?
  • List the goals and objectives for your program
    • 1 year, 3 year and long term
  • If the teacher is on State Extended Day through the Georgia Department of Education, provide a copy of the Annual Plan/Program of Work that is submitted through
  • If the teacher is on Local Extended Day, submit the annual plan that is required by the local school system.
  • The current student/instructor ratio appropriate for teaching occupational skills
    • Class schedule
    • Number of students enrolled in each class
    • Number of students with an IEP, 504 and/or ESL
    • Number of instructors (include resource teachers)
  • The program is promoted within the school, school system, and to prospective students.
    • Describe the process your training program uses in the selection of new students.
    • Describe your in-school promotional activities such as exhibits, bulletin boards, posters, brochures, school announcements, school websites, etc.
    • Describe your marketing plan to reach outside of your school
      • Contact is made with middle school students about the LPS program at the high school.
      • Brochures, recruitment activities, career fairs, visits to feeder schools
      • Website – is it current, maintained and updated?
    • Describe how you work with administration and counseling to ensure your program is marketed properly
  • State the written policy for the allocation and control of training expenditures.
  • Describe the budgeting procedure for your program
  • Copy of your program’s approved local budget
  • What system is in place for making decisions about consumables, course content, software, equipment, and/or instructional support materials.

Standard – The instructional staff must maintain technical competency, meet the requirements to be an approved instructor and meet all state and local requirements for accreditation.

  • Instructional Competency/Accreditation
    • Does the instructor meet all state certifying requirements?
  • The high school LPS teacher is an active member of ACTE, LAPSEN and SkillsUSA
    • List documentation
  • List all current industry certifications and instructor certifications
  • Documentation of participation in professional development for the past three years
    • documented in CTAERN or provide proof of training attended.
  • Copy of your personal/professional plan for continuing education
  • List conferences you plan to attend in the next calendar year

Standard – Equipment used in the training program must be of the type and quality found to provide training to meet the program goals and performance objectives. The facilities must be appropriate for the variety of learning activities which occur in the LPS classrooms.

  • The LPS lab and/or classroom are equipped with updated and functional equipment per GA DOE requirements as reflected on the inventory
  • A locally or teacher developed long range equipment replacement plan is available.
  • Consumable materials and supplies are sufficient and appropriate for teaching the curriculum
  • Industry certification funds were spent according to the guidelines.
  • Adequate storage area is available to support activities outlined in the program goals.
    • The storage area is used for the intended purposes.
    • A locked storage area is available.
    • Storage areas are clean and organized
  • Layout/Floor Plan/Space
    • The classroom is clean, orderly and reflective of an efficient environment for learning.
    • The layout of the LPS classroom is suitable for large/small group, team and individual high school student work.
    • The square footage of the classroom meets or exceeds state recommendations.
    • Each teacher is assigned a conveniently located, furnished, and equipped area (office) for planning, confidential record keeping, private consultation, and administration.
    • In programs with multiple teachers, more space is available to properly accommodate teaching, learning and class preparation.
  • Appropriate, up-to-date multi-media equipment and hardware such as flip charts, LCD projectors, “Smart Boards,” speakers, interactive projectors, digital cameras, video cameras, DVD players and writers, tablets and other emerging instructional technologies are readily available to the classroom.
  • High school students use classroom computers, tablets and other available media to complete program objectives.
  • Personal safety equipment policy for laboratory (i.e. safety glasses, fire extinguishers, PPE )
    • Forensic labs follow district standards for lab safety
  • Accident report form
  • Students and staff are aware of emergency procedures
  • Chemicals/combustibles are located and stored properly
  • Telephone access is reasonably available to the instructor
  • Classroom and laboratory are clean and organized
  • Classroom and laboratory meet all state and federal safety requirements (OSHA, NIOSH, etc.)
  • Policy for student check-out of equipment
  • Tools and equipment mirror what is used in industry appropriate to skills being taught

Standard – Courses should be aligned with state and national standards. Instruction utilizes best practice pedagogy. Lessons prepare students to be excellent entry level employees and capable of success in industry aligned credentials.

  • Instructor Showcase – for each course taught in the LPS Program:
    • A minimum of three teacher created lesson plans including developmentally appropriate practices and experiences supported by at least three examples of assessed student work relating to the three lesson plans. Lesson plans should detail instruction and match GPS standards.
    • For programs with multiple instructors, both instructors must submit showcase materials, but not necessarily three from each course per instructor.
  • Provide a syllabus for each course
    • Class rules, class policy, grading policy
    • State your written policy for re-testing upon failure of written or performance tests.
  • The program is using the GADOE curriculum and a scope and sequence is provided for each course
  • Courses are designed so that students can complete all the requirements for a career pathway in LPS within 3 years.
  • Individual, differentiated materials/activities/projects are used to accommodate needs of high school students. (ex. Alternate materials, modified instructional strategies, modified plans, etc.)
  • Evidence indicates the instructor is aware of different learning styles and utilizes them in the instruction. The high school teacher provides instruction using different modalities including lecturing, demonstration, simulation etc.
  • The instructor utilizes a variety of curriculum materials and activities to encourage the acceptance of diversity as it relates gender, age, language, ability, race, religion, family structure, background, or culture. No evidence of bias was found in materials, displays, lesson plans etc
  • Academic Integration
  • The instructor provides learning experiences, group work and projects that require higher order academic skills beyond acquiring knowledge and understanding, such as application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Include a lesson plan with assessed student work for each of the domains: application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation
  • Are multi-media and/or web-based materials used in the training process to meet individual learning styles?
  • Do performance and knowledge-based tests contain, in writing, the following:
    • Objectives of the test
    • Step-by-step instructions
    • Realistic time limit for completion
    • Indication of quality/exactness standard
    • Rating or grading scale
  • Updated assorted specialized workbooks, manuals, textbooks and/or resource books (hardcopy or digital) are available to support the program goals.

Plan to improve literacy

Standards – A comprehensive process to prepare students for career transition is in place. Students are given co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that support career goals. Students are supported and recognized by staff.

  • Describe your career awareness and employability plan across the three years of coursework
  • List student demographics, graduation rates
  • Is there a procedure in place to track the graduates of the program?
  • Students have mastered proficiencies in the pathway.
    • Provide the number of students taking and passing the End of Pathway Assessment for the past three years:
  • Number of pathway completers for the past three years including this school year:
  • Students are affiliated with SkillsUSA at the state and national level.
    • Robust membership – may be waived with explanation
    • Students participate in State Conference
    • Student leadership participates in at least one out of school leadership event or activity that is not state conference
  • SkillsUSA chapter applies for Chapter of Excellence Program
    • Past and current year applications should be provided
  • Students are made aware of Learning for Life Explorer Posts, Peer Court, Teen Court, and similar opportunities offered in the community and such entities are allowed to present to students or otherwise market such offerings where appropriate.
  • Opportunities are provided for students to participate in work based learning experiences in high school. # for last few years
  • LPS teacher and WBL Coordinator communicate concerning training plans and mentor
  • Students have individual career plans and portfolios
  • Describe how students are encouraged to take licensing or certification tests that are industry recognized
  • Describe your recognition system for outstanding student performance.
  • Explanation of career counseling opportunities
  • Documentation of industry guest speakers regarding career opportunities
  • Description of field trips taken to expose students to career opportunities

Standard – Program works with industry and community to maximize student engagement and employment. Industry has a clear voice in program direction.

  • Does the Advisory Committee meet two or more times per year, and are the agendas and minutes on file?
  • Is there a listing of the Advisory Committee members available?
  • Example of correspondence to the committee
  • The program is promoted within the community.
  • Advisory committee is representative of the school population and composed of the membership recommended in the state WBL manual
  • The advisory committee is actively involved with SkillsUSA eg. preparing for competition, judging competition, working with community service projects, fundraising etc.
  • Attach documentation indicating that your program’s goals and objectives are reviewed at least annually by your advisory committee and school administrators.
  • Is public relations information about your program distributed on a continuous basis?
    • Press releases, newspaper articles, etc.
    • Community service projects
  • What is your plan to maintain and/or improve industry participation in your program?


When a program becomes recognized, it receives a “stamp of excellence” which represents the apex of program quality. Only those programs that have successfully undergone rigorous reviews by leaders from business and industry are recognized with this distinction. Certification is for 5 years. After 5 years certified programs go through a follow up review that is less rigorous, but very thorough to make sure programs are still of the highest quality. 


  • Classrooms and labs which are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology
  • CTAE and academic performance standards that are aligned to national standards
  • In-depth, project-based instruction in all curriculum areas
  • Appropriate and varied Career Related Education (CRE) instruction
  • Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) which offer co-curricular competitive events on the local, state and national level and provide leadership development skills for personal and professional growth
  • Business, industry and community involvement in all aspects of the program


  • Program improvement through grants (available in some states) and administrative prioritization
  • The student is ensured participation in a program that has been carefully interfaced with current industry standards thus helping to increase their qualifications toward successful employment.
  • The curriculum and the delivery method for that curriculum taught to students are improved and updated enabling the student to receive high quality instruction.
  • The school is viewed as having exceptional programs. Through the industry certification process, schools are better able to align curriculum with recognized standards to aid with providing better career opportunities for students.
  • Communities understand that schools which pursue this distinction are committed to improving student preparation and ensuring that their workforce meets the demands of the 21st century.
  • It represents that they have had meaningful involvement in public education and have contributed to the development of a highly-skilled, future workforce for our states.

State Adaptability 

  • The National Program of Excellence process can be modified to meet state objectives. Interested states should reach out to
    • For example, the Georgia evaluation is called “Industry Certification” to meet state CTE semantics. 
  • Evaluation items can be added and metrics adjusted to meet state policies. 

Certification Support Team

Sandra Martin

Georgia LPS Program Specialist 

Tom Washburn

Master Teacher & LAPSEN Executive Director

Bob DiPietro 

National Fire Science Pathway Specialist

Timothy Hart

National Law Enforcement Pathway Specialist

Marybeth Henry

National Emergency Pathway Specialist

Jeff Branyon 

National Forensics Specialist

National Programs of Excellence – Hall of Fame


Instructors: Mandy Pugh and Dawnya Hill

Principal Jennifer Martin

Apalachee High School

Barrow County Schools

Winder, Georgia


Instructors: Celia Lopez and Robert Jenkins

Principal Armen Torigian

Bullard High School

Fresno United Schools

Fresno, California

Application Site


Instructors: Joshua Espinola

Principal Barry Watts

Caruthers High School

Caruthers USD

Caruthers, California

Application Site


Instructors: Jesse Rodriguez

Principal Dave Holtermann

Central High School

Central USD

Fresno, California

Application Site 


Instructors: Brian Gibbs

Principal Ryan Eisle

Clovis East High School

Clovis USD

Clovis, California

Application Site


Instructor: Ken Higgins

Principal Matt Mederios

The Dalton Academy 

Dalton City Schools

Dalton, Georgia


Instructor: Alex Gutierrez

Principal Elizabeth Lopez

Firebaugh High School

Firebaugh-Las Deltas USD

Firebaugh, California 

Application Site


Instructor: George Rojas

Principal Ofelia Hinjosa

Fontana High School Fire Tech

Fontana United School District

Fontanta, California 

Application Site


Instructor: Jeannifer Heredia &
Ralston Compton

Principal Ofelia Hinjosa

Fontana High School Law Enforcement

Fontana United School District

Fontanta, California 

Application Site


Instructor: Kris Martinez

CEO Carla Foley

Gilmer College & Career Academy

Gilmer County School System

Application Site


Instructor: Lee Ness

Principal Matthew Toews

Kerman High School 

Kerman ISD

Application Site


Instructor: Ronnie Rich

Principal Dr. Karen Hancock

Lee County High School

Lee County School System

Leesburg, Georgia


Instructor: Shad Canestrino, Virgil Moore, & Leo Ramires

Principal Julie Jansen

Lincoln Technical Academy

Lodi USD

Lodi, California 

Application Site


Instructor: Travis Head

Principal Mr. JR Jones

Ringgold High School

Catoosa County School System

Ringold, Georgia 

Application Site


Instructor: David Munoz

Principal Dario Rodriguez

Roosevelt High School

Fresno Unified School District

Fresno, California 

Application Site


Instructor: Deborah Mason

Principal John Chavez

Valley Community School Los Banos

Merced County Office of Education

Los Banos, California 

Application Site


Instructor: Kelly Thrift

CTE Director Lynn Barber

Ware County High School

Ware County Board of Education

Waycross, Georgia 

Application Site


Instructor: David Maynez & Darrik Graef

Principal Ivan Nunez

Washington Union High School

Washington Union School District

Fresno, California 

Application Site