California Community Colleges Curriculum

Certificates

Certificates

Certificates of Achievement

For students completing credit courses in prescribed pathways, a certificate of achievement may be awarded for Chancellor’s Office approved programs of study of 18 or more units.  “Low unit” certificates may also be offered by a college and awarded as certificates of achievement when the program of study consists of 12-18 units and is approved by the Chancellor’s Office.  Certificates of achievement may be awarded for completion of CSU – Breadth General Education or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).

Typically, certificates of achievement are developed in the career technical education (CTE) areas.  Some certificates also lead to associate degrees in the same field.  Colleges may not award a certificate of achievement for basic skills or English as Second Language (ESL) coursework.

Certificates of Completion

For students completing noncredit courses in a prescribed pathway, approved by the Chancellor’s Office, leading to improved employability or job opportunities, a certificate of completion may be awarded.  A noncredit certificate of completion means a document confirming that a student has completed a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses that prepares him or her to progress in a career path or to take degree-applicable credit courses.   The certificate of completion must include the name of the certificate and the date awarded, be identified by a Taxonomy of Programs (T.O.P.) Code number and program discipline, identify the goal of the program, and list the courses completed by the student.

Certificates of Competency

For students completing noncredit courses in a prescribed pathway, approved by the Chancellor’s Office, that prepares students to take credit coursework, including basic skills and ESL, a certificate of competency may be awarded.   A noncredit certificate of competency means a document confirming that a student enrolled in a noncredit educational program of noncredit courses has demonstrated achievement in a set of competencies that prepares him or her to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or nondegree-applicable credit courses.  The certificate of competency must include the name of the certificate and the date awarded, by identified by a Taxonomy of Programs (T.O.P.) Code number and program discipline, and list the relevant competencies achieved by the student.

Noncredit Certificates Not approved by Chancellor’s Office

A district may offer a noncredit program which does not qualify for enhanced funding in the following noncredit categories:

  • Citizenship for Immigrants
  • Health & Safety
  • Substantial Disabilities
  • Parenting
  • Home Economics
  • Older Adults

A noncredit certificate educational program that does not need Chancellor’s Office approval  may not be designated or referred to as a certificate of completion, certificate of competency or certificate of achievement.

Credit Certificates Not Approved by the Chancellor’s Office

A district may offer a credit program which does not qualify as a program for which Chancellor’s Office approval is needed and where a transcripted certificate may not be awarded.  A credit certificate educational program that does not need Chancellor’s Office approval  may not be designated or referred to as a certificate of completion, certificate of competency or certificate of achievement.