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Certificate Programs of Study

Certificate Programs of Study

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Rev Sep 30, 2013 (replaces Guidelines for PBC policy and Guidelines for GC/PMCs)
The Louisiana Board of Regents provides authority to McNeese State University to offer undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Post-Baccalaureate Certificates (PBCs) are considered undergraduate certificate programs; Graduate Certificates (GCs) and Post-Master's Certificates (PMCs) are considered graduate certificate programs.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates (PBCs)

PBCs are academic offerings that are earned after a student has already completed a recognized baccalaureate degree. Commonly used as a path for alternate teacher certification, graduate school admission is usually not required for this undergraduate certificate. The number of required courses varies, but the typical range is 12-18 credits.


Curriculum

PBC programs focus on an academic topic or competency; meet a clearly defined educational, professional, or State need; and/or provide a competency in an emerging area of study.

 
PBC curricula should be comprised of undergraduate coursework; however, graduate-level alternatives may be identified in the curriculum. However, a PBC may not prescribe graduate coursework exclusively or accept substitutions where only graduate coursework is applied to the certificate.
 
To seek approval to offer a PBC, a department must complete the appropriate application available from the University Curriculum Committee (UCC). The application with any supporting documentation must be submitted to the UCC through the appropriate department and college and be approved by both the UCC and Academic Advisory Council.
 
Once established, any significant change in the core focus or curriculum must be submitted and approved by the UCC and the Academic Advisory Council.

The PBC must have University of Louisiana System and Board of Regents approval prior to being offered. Board approval processes take at least 90 days and frequently take longer than 90 days.

Admission
Students pursuing a PBC are classified as non-degree-seeking graduate students and are subject to all relevant admission requirements.
 
The department in which the certificate curriculum resides may set reasonable admission requirements above those of the University with the approval of the University Curriculum Committee and the Academic Advisory Council.
                                                   
An international student will not be issued an I-20 for admission to PBC programs.

Completion
PBC students must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative average of 2.5 on courses within the program.
 
In order for a student to complete a PBC successfully, the student must complete all required courses and achieve a minimum, cumulative 2.5 grade point average on all certificate program coursework.

Curricular Review
PBC curriculum, enrollment, and completers shall be reviewed as determined by the Director of Institutional Effectiveness.
 
Assessment evidence of student learning outcome attainment should be submitted annually as a stand-alone master plan/progress report or explicitly included in a related program master plan.

Governance
Each PBC program is governed by the department. For each program, departments must identify a program coordinator who serves as, at least, the point of contact for prospective students and campus offices.

Recognition
Students completing a PBC shall receive an appropriate certificate and notation on the permanent transcript with the major code description. Students receiving a PBC do not participate in commencement and are not listed in the commencement program.

Graduate Certificates (GCs) and Post-Master's Certificates (PMCs)
Graduate Certificates (GCs) GCs provide specialized coursework in a focused course of study and are designed to supplement previous academic work. The Graduate Certificate is a graduate level academic offering that is earned after a student has already completed a recognized baccalaureate degree. The number of required courses varies, but the typical range is 12-18 credits. All GC curricula must require at least 12 graduate credit hours.

Post-Master's Certificates (PMCs) PMCs are academic offerings that are earned after a student has completed a recognized master's degree. A PMC usually is related to additional licensure or certification. The number of required courses varies, but the typical minimum number is 12 credit hours.

Curriculum
GC and PMC programs focus on mastery of an academic topic or competency; meet a clearly defined educational, professional, or State need; and/or provide a competency in an emerging area of study.
 
GC and PMC curricula must be comprised of graduate coursework exclusively.
 
To seek approval to offer a GC or PMC, a department must complete the appropriate application herein. The application with any supporting documentation must be submitted to the Graduate Council through the Dore' School of Graduate Studies and Extended Education (School).
 
Once established, any significant change in the core focus or curriculum must be submitted to and approved by the Graduate Council, the executive director of the School, and the Academic Advisory Council. The GC and PMC must have University of Louisiana System and Board of Regents approval prior to being offered. Board approval processes take at least 90 days and frequently take longer than 90 days.

Admission
The minimum requirements for admission to a GC program are the same as those in effect for graduate, non-degree student status. To be admitted to a PMC program, a student must have earned a recognized master's degree from an accredited institution and satisfy the requirements for admission as a graduate, non-degree student.
 
The department in which the certificate curriculum resides may set reasonable admission requirements above those of the School with the approval of the Graduate Council and the executive director of the School.
 
A graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program may be enrolled concurrently in a GC program. A graduate student who has already earned a master's degree and is pursuing an additional graduate degree may be enrolled concurrently in a PMC program if he/she satisfies the master's degree requirement for that PMC program.
 
Admission into or completion of a GC or PMC program shall not imply or guarantee admission into any graduate degree program.
 
Admission into a GC or PMC will follow the University's graduate application and enrollment procedures.
 
An international student will not be issued an I‐20 for admission to GC or PMC programs.

Completion
GC or PMC students must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative average of 3.0 on all courses within the program.
 
In order for a student to complete a GC or PMC successfully, the student must earn a minimum, cumulative 3.0 average; no marks below C; and not more than three credits of "C" work applied toward the certificate.

Curricular Review
GC or PMC curriculum, enrollment, and completers shall be reviewed (as are graduate degrees) by the Graduate Council on a five‐year rotation as determined by the Director of Institutional Effectiveness.
                     
Assessment evidence of student learning outcome attainment should be submitted annually as a stand-alone master plan/progress report or explicitly included in a related program master plan.

Governance
Each GC and PMC program is governed collaboratively by the department and the School just as with graduate degree programs. For each program, departments must identify a program coordinator who serves as, at least, the point of contact for prospective students and campus offices.

Recognition
Students completing a GC or PMC shall receive an appropriate certificate and notation on the permanent transcript with the major code description. Students receiving a GC or PMC do not participate in commencement and are not listed in the commencement program.

Note: This policy replaces the (1) Guidelines for Post Baccalaureate Certificates and the (2) Guidelines for Graduate Certificates and Post-Master's Certificates.
Policy in Chart Form (PDF)