Undergraduate Curriculum
Academic Policy Committee

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Certificate Programs

Certificate Programs

A certificate granting program at Wright State University is a non-degree program of study designed to serve a variety of purposes: to provide the student a formal opportunity to complement a major field of study or to enhance professional performance or to acquire credentials.

Certificate programs are designed by academic departments or program units. The programs should include at least twenty hours of course work at the 200 to 400 level and no more than twenty-three hours.*  In some certificate programs, on-the-job training may be substituted for some formal course work.

A formal proposal for a new certificate program must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate college or school curriculum committee, the college or school faculty if required by that unit, the University Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, and the Faculty Senate.

After completing program requirements, the certificate candidate must pass a comprehensive evaluation by a faculty committee of at least three members selected by the academic department. The evaluation may be a written or oral examination or a portfolio review.

The awarding of a certificate will be noted on the permanent record at the time that all requirements are completed. A campus communication form should be used by the awarding unit to notify the Registrar's Office of the completion of a certificate program.

* This limitation is consistent with the Ohio Board of Regents requirement that graduate certificate programs of twenty-four hours or more be approved by the Regents. Although no such regulations exist for undergraduate certificate programs, this limitation puts an effective cap on undergraduate certificate programs.

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Certificate Program Proposals

The requirements for certificate programs may vary considerably across departments or program units. In order to ensure consistency from program to program, those preparing and approving proposals for a new program should observe the following format and guidelines:

I. Title of Program and college or school and department responsible for administering the program.

II. Objectives. Proposals should provide a clear statement of the objectives of the program.

III.. Description.  Proposals should include an undergraduate catalog description.

IV. Admission Requirements. Proposals should clearly indicate requirements for admission to the program, including, for example, prior admission to a major, credit hours completed, GPA, prerequisites, and  letter grade performance in specific classes.

V. Program Requirements. Proposals should clearly specify the program of study, including course requirements and course electives. For each course, include the course designation, number, title, credit hours and catalog description. Generally, with the exception of practice, courses should not be graded P/U. Proposals should identify and explain other requirements such as comprehensive examinations or oral presentations and include the total credit hours required for the certificate.

When new courses or the modifications of existing courses are being proposed in conjunction with the program, the appropriate course inventory (Course Inventory Request Form) and course modification (Course Modification Request Form) requests and supporting documentation must accompany the proposal.

Certificate programs should include at least twenty hours of course work at the 200 to 400 level and no more than twenty-three hours.

VI. Program Quality. Proposals should justify the level of difficulty of required courses in terms of program objectives and explain the balance between lower and upper division courses.

VII. Student Performance. Proposals should indicate any requirements for maintaining the quality of student performance, including, for example, overall GPA or student performance in specific classes required for continuance in the program and for successful completion of the program.

VIII. Curriculum Coordination. Before proposals are sent forward for approval, they should be reviewed by all departments and program units that may be affected by the proposed program because of similar courses or course content, because of shared student clientele, or because the program of study, including course prerequisites, requirements, or electives carries scheduling or faculty and other resource implications.. Providing supporting letters or signed forms from potentially affected departments will facilitate the review.

IX. Resource Coordination.  Proposals should assess needs pertaining to computer and library resources. In addressing the impact of those needs, the Director of Computing & Telecommunications Services and the University Librarian should be consulted, respectively. The results of this review should be included in the program proposal.

X. Program Staffing. Before program proposals are sent forward to the University Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, a systematic review of program needs related to faculty, staff, and costs should be conducted by the appropriate College or School.  Faculty responsible for teaching in the program should be listed along with their academic rank and full-time or part-time status. Additional faculty, staff, and other resources required as part of the program proposal should be listed. The results of this review should be included in the program proposal.

Distance Education Programs

If the proposed program is to be offered through distance delivery methods as defined in the following procedures and guidelines, then it is required that additional documentation be submitted and requirements be adhered to as specified in:

An original and nineteen copies of the proposal, Course Inventory and Course Modification Requests, and supporting letters or forms from potentially affected departments or program units should be submitted through the dean's office of the department's college or school to the Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee. At the same time, the dean's office should provide copies to all other deans of colleges and schools to be made available for additional review by curriculum committees, departments, and faculty and to the Office of the Provost, and other university offices as deemed necessary by the Office of the Provost and the Council of Deans.

A flowchart of the curriculum and academic policy review process for certificate programs is contained in the following (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader):


Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, April 19, 2001
Faculty Senate, May 7, 2001
General Faculty, May 8, 2001
Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, January 18, 2005
Faculty Senate, March 7, 2005

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Guidelines, Processes, and Procedures