Certificate Program

Certificate: University System of Georgia institutions offer a variety of certificate programs. Many of these certificates are not associated with degrees, but are a prescribed program of study at the post secondary educational level. (Academic Affairs Handbook 2.3.8)

Proposal Format

Proposals should include the information below, as well as any items required by the originating department or college.

  • Department / College / Institution
  • Contact name and email/phone
  • Date of submission
  • Implementation term
  • Certificate program title
  • CIP code
  • Certificate acronym (i.e., CERO: undergraduate certificate of less than 30 hours; CER1: undergraduate certificate greater than 30 hours; CERG: post-bachelor’s/graduate certificate; CERM: post-master’s certificate; CERP: post-first professional certificate).
  • Program description and objectives
  • Complete program curriculum (i.e., catalog copy)
  • Number of credit hours of core curriculum courses (if applicable) and total credit hours for certificate completion.
  • Evidence that the program was designed to meet local market needs; or, for online programs, that the program was designed to meet regional or national market needs. Include projected enrollments.
  • Role played in the development of the proposed program by external advisory groups or prospective employers of program graduates.
  • Anticipated impact on other programs within the offering department, the college, or the university.
  • Additional resource requirements, if any, and budget implications (e.g., personnel costs, library acquisitions, computing/equipment costs, facilities and other operating costs, graduate student support). Intended method of funding additional costs if any.
  • Administration of the program.
  • Process for admitting students to the program.
  • Advisement process and resources for students in the program.
  • Measures that will be taken to assess the effectiveness of the program.
  • Offices, departments, committees, and individuals consulted during the development of the proposal.
  • Approval path for program proposal, noting all formal department- or college-level votes.

Approval Process

The approval process for proposals consists of the steps below.

  1. Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  2. Proposals require the approval of the dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  3. The dean should send approved proposals to the Vice Provost and to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. The vice provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the vice provost may ask others to review the proposal as well. For example, if the program involves collaboration with an international partner institution, the Associate Provost for International Affairs will also be asked to review the proposal.
  4. If the proposal is found to be in good order, the Vice Provost will notify the chair of CAP that it is ready for committee consideration. If problems are found with the proposal, the Vice Provost will contact the college dean to resolve the issues before initiating University Senate deliberations.
  5. Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
  6. The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
  7. If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACS standards, the university may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.
  8. The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.
  9. If the provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the university’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.
  10. Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after return acknowledgment of the university-level approval from the USG. (A copy of the official University System acknowledgement will be forwarded to the originating college(s) upon receipt by the Vice Provost.)

Program Policies & Resources

See also:

USG Certificate Guidelines

Gainful Employment Guidelines: Information about initial and ongoing requirements for certificate programs, particularly those in disciplines without existing university degree programs.