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Resources and Reports

CWUP 5-50-010 Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are courses of study that normally require less than one-quarter of the credits required during a degree program at a similar level. They are usually highly specialized career programs and are occasionally geared for admission to licensing or career entrance tests.

Certificate programs are prescribed courses of study designed (a) to provide a specialty within an academic program or (b) to build competency in an applied field of study. Because many students and employers place high value on such programs that do not necessarily constitute or require a four-year academic program, Central Washington University has developed three types of professional certificate programs.

(1) Categories. Three categories of programs are described and the characteristics listed that determine the placement of a program into one of the three categories. The primary characteristics that determine the classification of the certificate program are (a) the primary target audience and (b) the type of courses offered within certificate requirements. The category to which a certificate program belongs determines the unit of primary responsibility for the program and the review process required for implementation and/or revision. It also determines the type of credit that can be awarded and determines the unit charged with the responsibility of maintaining ongoing records.

(A) Type A. College Sponsored Certificate Programs: Programs that admit only matriculating students and offer a set of courses approved through the CWU academic governance procedures are classified as “College Sponsored Certificate Programs.” These programs are developed, taught, and offered by academic departments housed in colleges at CWU.

Primary Target Audience: Matriculating students.

Courses: A prescribed set of regular credit-bearing courses that have been developed, reviewed, and approved through CWU's curriculum development process.

Review Process: Certificate programs in this category are required to go through the standard curriculum review process in the college and faculty senate. Programs designed for international clientele will also be reviewed by the office of international studies and programs.

Administrative Sponsor: A college within CWU is responsible for all functions associated with scheduling courses, hiring faculty, delivering instruction, and confirming completion of the certificate program. CWU's registrar office will enroll students, issue certificates on the recommendation of the college, and maintain records as part of the matriculating students' academic record. (Note: Individual classes in the certificate program may be offered as needed through the office of continuing education, in which case the enrollment process is handled there.)

Instructors: Full-time or adjunct faculty hired through the academic departments and colleges (or continuing education with appropriate department, college approval).

Fees: Regular tuition and fees associated with credit (or continuing education) courses.

(B) Type B. Collaborative Certificate Programs: Programs that admit both matriculating students and non-matriculating students and offer a set of courses that includes regular course offerings appearing in the CWU catalog and administered by CWU Colleges are classified as "Collaborative Certificate Programs." These programs are developed, taught, and offered by academic departments housed in colleges in cooperation with the office of continuing education.

Primary Target Audience: Matriculating and non-matriculating students may pursue collaborative certificate programs.

Courses: A prescribed set of credit-bearing courses and/or instructional experiences designed to build competency in an applied field of study. Certificate requirements may include (a) regular courses that have been developed, reviewed, and approved through CWU's curriculum development process; and/or (b) special courses or instructional experiences designed specifically in support of the certificate program through continuing education in consultation with the appropriate college dean and academic department.

Review Process: Certificate programs in this category are required to go through the standard curriculum review process in the college and faculty senate. Programs designed for international clientele will also be reviewed by the office of international studies and programs.

Administrative Sponsor: Academic departments, consulting with college deans and faculty as appropriate, are responsible for developing curriculum, choosing appropriate faculty, and ensuring academic and instructional integrity. The office of continuing education assists as needed in these functions and in addition is responsible for marketing, registration, confirming completion of the certificate program, issuing certificates, and maintaining ongoing records.

Instructors: For regular courses, full-time or adjunct faculty hired through the academic departments and colleges are preferred as instructors. However, if full-time or adjunct faculty are unavailable, additional adjunct faculty may be hired by continuing education with approval from the appropriate department and college dean. For courses developed through continuing education, adjunct faculty hired by continuing education in consultation with the appropriate department and college dean may be employed.

Fees: Fees are determined on a course-by-course basis. Courses offered through regular CWU course offerings carry regular tuition and fees associated with credit courses. Courses offered through the office of continuing education carry fees associated with credit courses offered through continuing education.

Revenue Sharing: Revenue generated by courses in collaborative certificate programs offered through continuing education will be shared with the cosponsoring departments following the prevailing revenue-sharing formula.

(C) Type C. Continuing Education Certificate Programs: Programs that target primarily non-matriculating students and offer a set of instructional experiences developed independent of CWU's colleges but with input as appropriate from faculty are classified as "continuing education certificate programs." These programs are developed, delivered, and administered by the office of continuing education in consultation with faculty, academic departments, and/or college dean, as appropriate.

Primary Target Audience: Non-matriculating students; however, matriculating students are not precluded from participating.

Courses: A prescribed set of noncredit courses designed to build competency in an applied field of study.

Review Process: Certificate programs in this category are not required to go through the standard curriculum review process in the college or faculty senate. Instead the office of continuing education will seek input from colleges or departments as appropriate and the program will be available for review and comment for a two-week period in the provost's office. Programs designed for international clientele will also be reviewed by the office of international studies and programs.

Administrative Sponsor: The office of continuing education is responsible for all phases of design and delivery.

Instructors: Adjunct faculty or regular faculty hired by the office of continuing education.

Fees: To be determined by length of program, direct costs, and market demand.

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