Certificate Policy

1.00 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the criteria and protocol for the establishment and approval of credit and non-credit certificates awarded by California State University, Monterey Bay.

This policy is deemed to be consistent with the University's commitment to the principles, goals, and ideals described in the CSUMB Founding Vision Statement and its core values, and to adhere to Chancellor's Office Executive Order 806.

2.00 Definitions [1]

Certificate - declares that a student has satisfactorily completed the curriculum of a certificate program.

Certificate Program - provides a set of learning experiences concentrated in a specific set of educational goals.  Certificate programs may be created inclusively or exclusively for undergraduate students, graduate students, non-matriculated students, or community members.  Additionally, "Certificate programs may grant Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or they may included non-credit offerings." [2]

2.10 Types of Certificates

The following are the types of certificates that may be offered at CSUMB:

  1. Academic Credit Certificates:
    a.  University Certificate (15 units or above)
    b.  Professional Specialization Certificate (below 15 units)

  2. Non-Academic Credit Certificates:
    a.  Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities / Competency Based Certificate
    b.  Participation Certificate

3.00 Credit Bearing Certificates

An academic credit certificate is earned by students who have completed a prescribed set of course work at the graduate or undergraduate level. Academic credit certificates are divided into two types: a high unit (15 units or above) University Certificate and a low unit (below 15 units) Professional Specialization Certificate. The certificate program offering a University Certificate must have a specific objective different from an existing major or minor offered at CSUMB. The certificate program offering a Professional Specialization Certificate will not cover the amount of content equivalent to a major, minor, or possibly a university certificate. Rather, its purpose should be to prepare the student to perform specified tasks, or gain particular competence in one area of the broader field of study.

3.10 Review and Approval of Proposals for Academic Credit Certificates

The academic unit requesting approval of the academic credit certificate shall prepare a proposal consistent with the guidelines for development and review of minors and degree program concentrations.

The academic credit certificate program shall not be offered or advertised until the Academic Senate and Provost approve the program.

3.20 Quality Assurance of Academic Credit Certificates

The quality and currency of academic credit certificate programs shall be reviewed on a regular basis as part of scheduled academic program review. 

4.00 Non-Academic Credit Certificates

A non-academic credit certificate is earned by participants and documents training, skills, competency, or participation in some area of a field of study. Examples of such certificates include but may not be limited to: completion of workshops, coursework for which degree credits are not offered, or summer programs.

There are two types of non-academic credit certificates: a KSA/competency-based certificate and a participation certificate. A KSA/competency-based certificate is earned by participants and documents training, acquired skills, or competency in some area of a field of study. A participation certificate is earned by participating in an educational experience sponsored by a university body; this type of certificate is not to be a measure of competency.

4.10 Review and Approval of Proposals for Non-Academic Credit Certificates

Organizational units wishing to offer non-academic credit certificates shall create written guidelines for them and gain prior approval from their dean or supervisor. 

4.20 Quality Assurance of Non-Academic Credit Certificates

Non-academic credit certificate programs that are categorized as KSA/competency-based shall be reviewed every three to five years by the Dean or supervisor to ensure their currency and effectiveness in meeting designated outcomes, as well as the financial viability of the certificate program.  Non-academic credit certificate programs that are categorized as participation certificates do not require regular review.

5.00 Continuous Renewal

This policy shall be reviewed ten years from its effective date to determine its effectiveness and appropriateness. This policy may be reviewed before that time as necessary.

s/ President Vanya Quiñones

Effective Date: August 23, 2023

Certification of Process

Reviewed by: Educational Policy and Planning Committee, Senate Curriculum Committee Council, Academic Senate, Policy Facilitation Team, Student Affairs Leadership Team, Administration & Finance, Associated Students, Human Resources, and Academic Leadership Team.

[1] https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/10867122/latest/

[2] Ibid