Graduate/Professional Certificate Coordination - Declaration, Graduation, Assessment, & More
On September 14, 2017, the Graduate School hosted a workshop for Graduate/Professional Certificate Coordinators to help clarify processes on declaring and graduating students as well as to review assessment expectations. This document is a summary of the discussion and also includes relevant links and handouts from the workshop.
This summarizes and gives links to information and handouts given at the Graduate/Professional Certificate Coordinators workshop on September 14, 2017.
It is important that coordinators "declare" students into their certificates as soon as the student has decided to pursue the certificate. Not completing the declaration process means students are invisible to the Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) and other data offices on campus and are not counted in reports. The university has a Policy on Low Award Producing Academic Programs that includes graduate/professional certificates. If a certificate appears to have no students "in the pipeline", it may then be considered low award and subject to low award policy, including the triggering of an automatic program review and potentially automatic discontinuation. APIR's website on Degree and Certificate Trends may also contain useful information for certificate programs.
Certificate coordinators should become familiar with the Managing Student Plans and Sub-plans (Majors, Certificates, and Options) handout from the Registrar's Office. These are instructions, including screenshots of SIS, for how to correctly declare students in a certificate. Coordinators will need to be able to access the Records and Enrollment > Dean/Dept Processing > Major/Certificate Requests section of SIS; if they do not have access, this must be requested through the SIS authorization form. Questions should be directed to any of the Registrar's Office contacts below.
The process to graduate students in a certificate so that the award appears both on the student's transcript and in university reporting data, certificate coordinators must contact the Registrar's Office each term with a list of students completing the certificate and graduating that term. Following the declaration process above does not automatically lead to students being awarded the certificate. It only puts them in a trackable pipeline.
All graduate/professional certificates are required to submit at least one learning outcome and a learning assessment plan to the Provost's Office (by emailing them to Regina Lowery) by November 1, 2017. This should be an effort led by the faculty in each certificate, since faculty are teaching the courses. More information about learning outcomes and assessment plans can be found here. Specifically, the Assessment Plan Template for Certificate Programs and the Overarching Learning Goals examples approved by GFEC on 11/14/14 may be useful. Questions should be directed to Regina Lowery (contact information below).
Updating Contact Information
The Graduate School keeps a program/unit directory that programs are expected to update as there are changes in staffing. The directory includes a Search by Minor/Certificate section that includes all graduate/professional certificate contacts (as well as capstone certificate and doctoral minor contacts). Instructions for how to update the directory can be found here. If you do not have access to edit your certificate's contact page, please contact Emily Reynolds (contact information below).
We also update certificate implementation forms as the information changes. Please take a moment to view your certificate's implementation form here and update it if needed.
The upcoming editing cycle of the new Guide (previously known as the Catalog) will affect all graduate/professional certificates. See more information on the editing timeline here. If you are unsure who the editor is for your certificate, please contact Emily Reynolds (contact information below).
Governance and Policy
Programs interested in creating a new certificate, suspending admissions to a certificate, or discontinuing a certificate can find information and relevant proposal forms on APIR's website. Any questions regarding graduate certificates can be directed to Emily Reynolds or Marty Gustafson (contact information for both is below).
Graduate School (All Questions)
Assistant Dean, Academic Planning and Assessment
Academic Planning Specialist, Academic Planning and Assessment
Office of the Provost (Assessment)
Associate Vice Provost and Director of Assessment
Office of the Registrar (Declaration & Graduation)