New ITAG for Shielded Metal Arc Welding

New Industry Recognized Credential Transfer Assurance Guide (ITAG) for Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW).

ITAGs are a statewide transfer initiative that guarantees the award of college-level credit to students earning agreed-upon industry-recognized credentials. The ITAG policy was approved by the Chancellor in February 2021. Students meeting credentialing requirements, regardless of where the learning was achieved, will be eligible to earn credit for specified courses deemed equivalent by faculty and endorsed by Ohio’s public institutions of higher education. To reduce variability in the transfer credit evaluation and application process, a set of college-level learning outcomes will be established for each ITAG. The learning outcomes, which will be aligned with applicable third-party program accreditation, credentialing, and/or other industry standards, will be vetted by faculty and industry as needed.

This memo provides an overview of the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) ITAG, and its endorsement process and addresses expected compliance of postsecondary institutions.


Welding ITAG Endorsement

All ITAG panels comprise postsecondary faculty, industry representatives as needed, and educators from Ohio Technical Centers (OTCs) and/or Secondary Career-Technical Centers. All panel members are listed on the last page of the attached ITAG document.

An endorsement survey was sent to the Chief Academic Officers and Provosts of all 36 Ohio institutions of higher learning in May 2023, asking institutions to review and comment on the statewide learning outcomes for ITWLD001 Basic and Advanced Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and the alignment of the American Welding Society’s (AWS) D1.1 Structural Welding Code 3G Plate Test and 4G Plate Test to those learning outcomes. The learning outcomes cover content which at most institutions is included in a two-course sequence.

Based on the results of the survey, the ITAG panel recommended to ODHE that the Welding ITAG be approved.


Welding ITAG

The Welding ITAG allows individuals who hold both AWS D1.1 1” Plate 3G and AWS D1.1 1” Plate 4G SMAW qualifications or certifications to be awarded 4-6 credit hours toward the equivalent courses at an Ohio public institution of higher education, regardless of where the student received the education to prepare for the test. Any combination of certifications and/or qualifications would make a student eligible for credit for ITWLD001.

More information, please see the Welding ITAG Document.


Compliance Expectations

Institutions offering courses with learning outcomes similar to the learning outcomes of the ITWLD001 Basic and Advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) courses of the Welding ITAG should submit those courses for review in CEMS. Submission templates to assist institutions can be found on the ITAG submission webpage, and compliance expectations can be found on the ITAG compliance webpage.

A faculty panel will be established to review submitted courses for approval. If you would like to nominate a faculty member to serve on the review panel, you may do so here.

For questions about course equivalency and institutional compliance expectations for the Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) ITAG, please contact Ben Parrot, Senior Associate Director of Secondary Career-Technical Alignment Initiative Implementation, at