Certificate Program Proposals - Assessment of Quality


Undergraduate Certificate - A certificate is awarded in recognition of completion of a well-defined program of coursework that falls within existing units at Grand Valley for a specified purpose that could not simply be achieved by obtaining a transcript.

Graduate Certificate - A credential awarded by the University for completion of a defined and focused collection of courses that meet a clear and appropriate educational objective at the graduate-level.


• Focused collection of courses, that when completed provides student with a coherent record of accomplishment in a discipline or set of disciplines

• Are available to both degree-seeking ad non-degree seeking students • Number of credits may vary according to the needs of the certificate; graduate certificates require a minimum of 9 graduate level credits

• Course(s) taken at another university may be transferred and applied to a certificate program at GVSU, based on evaluation of that course by the GVSU certificate-sponsoring department/college (maximum 1/3 of total certificate credits can be transferred for graduate certificates)

Elements of certificate proposals to consider:

• Is there a defined focus in the certificate description?

• Has author identified a target population whom the certificate may benefit?

• If new courses are proposed for the certificate and/or additional faculty and facility resources needed, has the author provided justification for the extra financial expenditure? i. e. is there a likely return on investment presented?

• Are there letters of support from relevant Deans?

• Are the courses identified consistent with the purpose and objectives of the certificate?

• Do the courses in the proposed certificate meet the quality guidelines? e. g.

       o Description

       o Objectives related to the description

       o Objectives measurable

       o Sample content in line with objectives

       o Evaluation strategies consistent with objectives

       o Professional standards or accreditation standards, if applicable

Page last modified February 9, 2022