Council Designations


The following three Council Designations have been adopted by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education and will be made available to students who meet the defined criteria for each, beginning with the graduating class of 2021:

  • The Commissioner’s Seal Council Designation certifies that a student is proficient in standards aligned to high school expectations in English Language Arts and Mathematics, as confirmed by external evidence.
  • The Seal of Biliteracy Council Designation certifies that a student has demonstrated skill in the use of the English language and one or more other world languages.
  • The Pathway Endorsement Council Designation certifies that a student has accomplished deep learning in a chosen area of interest and is prepared for employment or further education in a career path. Pathway Endorsements may be earned in six discipline areas:
    • The Arts Pathway Endorsement
    • Business and Industry Pathway Endorsement
    • Humanities and World Languages Pathway Endorsement
    • Public Service Pathway Endorsement
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Pathway Endorsement
    • Teaching Pathway Endorsement

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Students should use the description of the Commissioner’s Seal, the Seal of Biliteracy (Gold and Silver), and the six Pathway Endorsements to inform their design of an emblem that highlights what one of the eight Council Designations is meant to honor. The emblem should include symbols or characters that represent the experiences students may have had in order to earn the designation.
  • Students of all ages can work individually or in groups to submit one design per Council Designation. Submissions may be made for each Council Designation. Please note: the Seal of Biliteracy has two levels (Gold and Silver) which need to be differentiated, and therefore an entry for that would submit two designs even though it is considered a single designation.
  • Each of the nine emblems should include the name of the Council Designation it represents (e.g., Arts Pathway Endorsement) and an image that conveys the focus of each designation.
  • Design submissions should not include any additional text beyond the name of the Council Designation.
  • Each emblem must be able to fit within a 4x4 box (1200x1200 pixels, resolution of 100 pixels/inch).
  • Please include no more than three colors, as well as a duplicate version in grayscale (the emblem will be printed in color and also in black and white).
  • All submitted designs must be original content. Any borrowed materials must give acknowledgement to the source.

Submission Process

  • The deadline for design submission is December 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Please name the file using this convention: your first initial and last name and the name of the emblem type (e.g., Jane Smith designed the Gold and Silver levels for the Biliteracy Seal, and also is submitting a seal for the STEM Pathway, so she would name her files: JSmith-BiliteracyGold.jpg, JSmith-BiliteracySilver.jpg, JSmith-STEM.jpg).
  • You must have a Google account to upload (color and grayscale versions) a picture of your drawing or a graphic design file as a .jpg, .png, .ai, or .psd to this Google Drive folderGraphic design files must have transparent backgrounds.
  • After uploading, please email web support with your name, school, email, and file name(s) when you submit your design.
  • September 7, 2018: Field memo announcement of Design Contest (along with Website Design Contest)
  • October 15, 2018: Design submissions begin
  • December 21, 2018 (Extended from November 30, 2018): All submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m.
  • Winter 2018-19: Review of designs
  • March 2019: Decisions revealed