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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; Rev June 8, 2015
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)

Definitions

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates (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 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 must be comprised of undergraduate coursework exclusively. If appropriate, a department may substitute previously completed graduate coursework for undergraduate PBC requirements.
 
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 undergraduate students, are subject to all relevant undergraduate admission requirements, and are assessed undergraduate tuition and fee rates.
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.

Completion
PBC students are governed by undergraduate academic standing policies (i.e. good standing, probation, and suspension) and must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on courses within the program; however, the department in which the certificate curriculum resides may set higher grade point average requirements. For example, PBC students pursuing initial teacher certification must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on courses within the program.

Transfer Credit
At least 33% of the course credit required to complete a PBC must be earned at McNeese. No less than 12 hours of course credit required to complete a PBC in a teacher education discipline must be earned at McNeese.

Curricular Review
PBC curriculum, enrollment, and completers shall be reviewed as determined by the Director of Institutional Research and 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 collaboratively by the academic departments and colleges just as with undergraduate 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, and is responsible for creating and updating the program Master Plan.

Recognition
Students completing a PBC shall receive an appropriate diploma 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)

Definitions
Graduate Certificates (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) 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.
Once established, any significant change in the core focus or curriculum must be submitted to and approved by the Graduate Council, the dean of the Graduate 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
Students pursuing a GC or PMC are classified as graduate students, are subject to all relevant graduate admission requirements for non-degree student status, and are assessed graduate tuition and fee rates. 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 Graduate School with the approval of the Graduate Council and the dean of the Graduate 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. Students pursuing a GC or PMC, who choose to change to a program that requires a GRE, GMAT or other score, must meet the GRE or other score requirement before the program transfer will be approved by the Graduate School.
 
Admission into a GC or PMC will follow the University’s graduate application and enrollment procedures as well as graduate academic regulations.

Transfer Credit
At least 33% of the course credit required to complete a GC or PMC must be earned at McNeese.  No less than 12 hours of course credit required to complete a GC or PMC in a teacher education discipline must be earned at McNeese.

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 Research and 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 Doré School of Graduate Studies 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, and is responsible for creating and updating the program Master Plan.

Recognition
Students completing a GC or PMC shall receive an appropriate diploma 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.

Communication
This policy is distributed via Academic Advisory Council, Senior Staff, and the University Policy page.