• Connecting Credentials – Glossary of Credentialing Terminology (6/2016): Awarded upon the successful completion of a brief course of study, usually one year or less but at times longer, primarily in institutions of higher education, university extension programs or non-degree granting post-secondary institutions like area career and technical education schools. Certificates are sometimes issued for participation or completion, other times for attainment of competencies. Certificates are used at many levels of knowledge and skills, ranging from foundational skills to learning at the post-graduate level.
  • Credential Engine’s Counting U.S. Postsecondary & Secondary Credentials (2/2021): Type of award conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution indicating the satisfactory completion of a non-degree program of study. Typically, the course requirements for earning a certificate are less than those for earning a degree. Most certificates require no more than one year of full-time academic effort. A certificate may be for-credit (academic certificate) or non-credit (continuing education certificate). This credential category only counts Title IV-eligible academic certificates at Title IV institutions. Students enrolled in continuing education programs or academic certificates with less than 300 clock hours at Title IV institutions are not eligible to receive federal financial aid to apply towards their program tuition. These shorter programs are not included in this count but are included in the Non-Title IV Certificates count.
  • Non-degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN): Educational certificate is a credential awarded by an educational institution based on completion of all requirements for a program of study, including coursework and test or other performance evaluations. Certificates are typically awarded for life (like a degree). Certificates of attendance or participation in a short-term training (e.g., 1 day) are not in the definitional scope for educational certificates.
  • Understanding Certifications – Workcred, CSW,  GWIPP (2020): Awarded by an education institution or other organization based on completion of all requirements for a program of study, including coursework and tests. They are not time limited and do not need to be renewed.
  • SUNY: Issued by an institution in recognition of the completion of a curriculum that usually represents a smaller domain of knowledge than established degrees. Credit bearing certificates must be approved by SUNY and registered with the State Education Department. These certificates typically contain fewer credits than a degree program. All credits must be applicable toward a degree program at the issuing institution. Noncredit certificates need no external approval and must be identified as such.


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