CERTIFICATES OF COMPLETION
"Certificate of Completion" means a form of recognition awarded by a community college for meeting minimum occupational course, curriculum or proficiency requirements. Certificates of completion must be state-approved, have a defined job entry point, represent collegiate-level work, be credit bearing, and meet Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) standards and criteria. OAR 589-006-0050 (12)
The term “certificate" may not be used for recognition/attendance awards and/or to imply equivalence to a Certificate of Completion. See the "Non-Credit Training Certificates" section below and the Non-Credit Training Certificates page in this Handbook for more information regarding that credential.
Certificates range from 12-108 credits, and in clock hours from 180 -1,350. Certificates of Completion are identified in OAR 589-006-0100 (6) as:
- Less than one year,
- One year,
- Greater than one year, and
- Two years.
The taxonomy of Certificates of Completion includes:
- Related to an AAS degree
- Related to a larger Certificates of Completion program or an independent award
- Related to an existing AAS degree
- Related an existing Certificate of Completion
- Independent new program
The HECC requirements for Certificates of Completion are set forth in OAR 589-006-0100 (8).
Certificates of completion must:
Include at least 12 credits; and
Be no more than 108 credits; and
Have a recognizable core of general education or related instruction courses for programs one-year or more in length; and
Have an established standard of academic achievement; and
Demonstrate occupational content leading to employment; and
Meet or exceed the local community college board of education program approval standards; and
Meet or exceed the Higher Education Coordinating Commission program approval standards and criteria.
Award Listing Resource
Related, Career Pathway, & Independent Certificates
Related Certificates of Completion (CCR, CC0R, CC1R, and CC2R)
Definition OAR 589-006-0050 (12) "Certificate of Completion" means a form of recognition awarded by a community college for meeting minimum occupational course, curriculum or proficiency requirements. Certificates of completion must be state-approved, have a defined job entry point, represent collegiate-level work, be credit bearing, and meet Commission standards and criteria.
Certificates of Completion are defined as “related” when approved as part of an AAS degree or as part of a larger Certificate of Completion program. The AAS degree or larger Certificate of Completion program is considered the “base.” Therefore, any curriculum changes or amendments requested through the State Program Approval process must reflect concomitant changes in both the base program and the related Certificate of Completion.
- Completed Notice of Application (NOA)
- Composed of courses wholly contained in the base degree.
- Elective Courses. Career/technical course electives are approved to be used. General education electives are not allowed.
- Identified by the same CIP code (6 digits) as the base degree.
- Prepares student for the same occupational field.
Career Pathway Certificates of Completion (CPCC)
Definition OAR 589-006-0050 (9) "Career Pathways Certificate of Completion" means a form of certificate awarded by a community college for meeting specific technical skill proficiency requirements that meet an employment need. Career Pathways Certificates pertain to a grouping of 12 to 44 credits thatare wholly contained in an approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree/option or an Independent Certificate of Completion (with a minimum size of 45 credits), have a defined job entry point, represent collegiate-level work, and meet
Commission standards and criteria
- Acknowledges and provides specific technical skill proficiencies and competencies tied to a specific occupation or job (in demand in local or state economies) to help a student qualify for a job or enhance employment opportunities
- Provides a credential for a segment of a program
- Provides the flexibility to achieve specific competencies within an aligned career path or program of study
- Meets financial aid requirements (12 credits) only as part of an approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree, AAS Degree Option or Certificate of Completion (45+credits). For more information, Appendix H - Career Pathway Certificates of Completion Financial Aid
- Completed Notice of Application (NOA)
- Composed of courses wholly contained in the degree or certificate of completion (45+ credits).
- Electives. Career/Technical course electives are approved to be used. General education electives are not allowed.
- Employer Advisory Committee See Glossary for more information.
- Career Pathway Roadmap
Independent Certificates of Completion (CC, CC0, CC1, CC2)
Definition of OAR 589-006-0050 (12) "Certificate of Completion" means a form of recognition awarded by a community college for meeting minimum occupational course, curriculum or proficiency requirements. Certificates of completion must be state-approved, have a defined job entry point, represent collegiate-level work, and meet Commission standards and criteria. These certificates stand alone.
Non-Credit Training Certificates (NCTC)
Definition OAR 589-006-0050 (36) “Non-credit Training Certificate” means a form of recognition awarded by a community college made up of a single stand-alone course or a series of courses that do not offer college credit for completion. An assessment of measurable outcomes or mastery of learning or knowledge is required."
- The NCTC does not require the college to submit the Notice of Application (NOA)
Business & Industry (B & I) Certificate of Completion Programs, 12-108 Credits
- “Business & Industry” programs that are at least 12 and do not exceed 108 credits or equivalent contact/clock hours.
- B & I programs are closed enrollment* programs developed at the request of, and for the employees of, an employer. Typically, a new program.
Employment Skills Training Certificate (EST), 12-44 Credits
The Employment Skills Training (EST) Certificate of Completion program is intended to serve as a beginning point for students in preparation for a job or to get a better job and open the door to further education to expand their employment opportunities.
The current provisional two-year State Board of Education approval of the statewide EST program establishes the requirements and design parameters and identifies the process to be used by community colleges to utilize a combination of approved courses and develop individual student EST programs to prepare for entry into a specific occupation.
A community college is required to submit an individual application and receive State Board of Education approval to offer the EST certificate of completion program.
All components of an individual EST program must be developed by and under the direct control of the college.
An EST program will not be utilized to circumvent local college and state program approval processes.
A college may advertise that it offers the Employment Skills Training (EST) certificate of completion that allows the development of personalized occupational preparation programs for individual students. It may provide examples of the types of training possible, to include only those programs for which the college has State Board of Education approval to offer.
Personalized EST programs are to be developed based upon the assessed needs of individual students, are not to be prepackaged programs, and may not pose any adverse impact or detrimental duplication issues for any existing programs.
Occupational Skills Training (OST) Certificates
See the Occupational Skills Training (OST) page under "Other Educational Programs, Models, and Strategies" section in this Handbook.
Programs of study for which applied or specialized associate degrees are granted, or programs of an academic year or more in length for which certificates are granted, must contain a recognizable body of instruction in program-related areas of 1) communication, 2) computation, and 3) human relations. Additional topics which should be covered as appropriate include safety, industrial safety, and environmental awareness. Instruction in the related instructional areas may be either embedded within the program curriculum or taught in blocks of specialized instruction. Each approach, however, must have clearly identified content that is pertinent to the general program of study. See the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) website at http://www.nwccu.org/
for more information on regional accreditation expectations.
The title of the Certificate of Completion program may be identified on a student’s transcript and credential and it may be different from the AAS degree or related Certificate of Completion title; e.g. Metallurgy AAS and Non Destructive Materials Testing Certificate of Completion.
The following degrees and certificates are approved by CCWD Education Staff and do not go to the HECC meeting for approval.
The following degrees and certificates are approved by CCWD Education Staff and then must go to the HECC meeting for final approval.
Student Financial Aid
Generally, a minimum of 12 credits in a program is required for students to qualify for financial aid. However, certificate of completion programs that are 44 credits or less may not be eligible for federal financial aid, depending on local college policy and practice.
"Recognition award" means an award given to a student by a community college for completion of a state-approved course or courses or for attendance and participation in workshops or seminars. Recognition awards may not be called "certificates of completion" or "certificates" and may not be included on the official student transcript. OAR 589-006-0050 (43)
Examples of these kinds of courses are:
- Financial Planning for the Family
- Internet Access for Beginners