Certificates - Declaring, Tracking in DARS, and Completion*
Information on declaring, tracking, and completing certificate programs.
Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) has created a new Certificate KB Topic Library on its new APIR KnowledgeBase site. The content formerly housed on this KB has transitioned to the updated document(s). Please refer to this library for documents that provide an overview of certificate guidelines and policy, answers to frequently asked questions, and details on certificate declaring, tracking, and completion.
This new APIR KB site is replacing the former Courses and Academic Programs (aka, Vesta) site in a staged transition. (Note: The Lumen KB remains separate and active and is available from the Quick Link in the left navigation of the APIR KB site.) This new APIR KB will include documents related to academic program planning (degrees/majors, named options, certificates), courses, program review, and academic policy.
There are several types of certificates: undergraduate, graduate and professional, Capstone, and non-credit certificates. Following is information on the processes to declare students into certificate programs, as well as how progress is tracked and how the certificates are awarded. A few notes: This process varies for University Special students in undergraduate certificate programs. Refer to the note below for details. Similarly, students enrolled in noncredit certificates are not tracked through these processes. Refer to the note below for details. Declaring All declarations must be submitted through the Student Information System (SIS) declaration page. It is very important that certificate coordinators declare and/or cancel students in the certificate program online and in a timely manner. If a student’s pursuit of a certificate is not declared in SIS prior to the DARS completion check being run, his/her certificate status will not be included, and the certificate will not be posted to his/her record. Please note that the Office of the Registrar will not accept paper copies of certificate declaration forms. The process to declare or cancel certificates for students is completed within SIS. It allows authorized faculty, staff, and/or advisors to complete the information online. It is important to note that students do not have access to this process.
The SIS Training Quick Guide for Major or Certificate Requests provides an overview of certificate declaring or canceling, adding or removing options, or changing a declaration date. Users should use the SIS Authorization Form to request access to the SIS certificates page, completing the form as follows:
Fill out the top section with your contact information On the lower portion of the form under “Additional Roles,” Indicate A for Add Additional Roles with the following code: UPG_SR_MAJ_DECL Also on the lower portion of the form, indicate all programs for which you are requesting authorization (e.g., CERT, GCRT, SCERT) Obtain signatures of approval Scan and send completed form to email@example.com and keep original for your records Tracking All certificate programs must have requirements defined discretely enough so that they can be encoded using the university's Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS). All certificates must be encoded in DARS so that students can audit/track their progress toward the certificate program completion. The Office of the Registrar, with certificate program faculty/staff, develop a DARS audit that accurately reflects all certificate requirements for students, advisors, and the certificate program to track student progress. It is important that certificate coordinators confirm that the certificate DARS reports accurately reflect the requirements listed in the Certificate Guidelines (e.g., total credits, minimum GPA, residency requirement, etc.). In addition, if an exception is appropriate, coordinators should submit the exception request prior to the 12th week of the graduation term. Completion Upon completion of a term, the Office of the Registrar will run a query for students who earned a degree for that term and have at least one certificate on their record, and/or who are enrolled in a Capstone certificate program, as determined by official declaration in SIS. The Registrar's Office will run batch DARS reports to confirm the completion of the certificates. If the DARS report confirms completion (the “C”) of the certificate, the DARS will be saved as the Document of Record (DOR) and the certificate completion will be posted to the student record and will display on the student’s transcript. If the DARS report does not show that all requirements are complete, the certificate will be inactivated on the student’s record and no further action will be taken. No notification regarding incomplete certificates will be made to students or staff. Please note that the Office of the Registrar will not accept certificate completion lists from departments. Note on University Special Students in Undergraduate Certificate Programs: Certificate programs must manually track University Special students enrolled in undergraduate certificate programs as DARS is not available for University Special students at the undergraduate level. (Note: University Special students enrolled in Capstone certificates are tracked through to certificate completion per the processes described above.) The certificate program is responsible for manually tracking University Special students and reporting completion to the Registrar's Office. Upon certificate completion, certificate coordinators must email firstname.lastname@example.org the Certificate Completion Spreadsheet containing the names, Campus IDs, completion term, and Student Information System (SIS) certificate code for University Special students who have completed the undergraduate certificate program. Note on Students in Noncredit Certificates: This type of certificate is based on not-for-credit activity which is not tracked nor posted to the UW-Madison student transcript. Refer to the Not-for-Credit Certificate Guidelines for more information.