Certificates


Granting Authority

The Department of Higher Education has among its responsibilities oversight of academic programs at the public institutions of higher education. Academic program approval authority of the Department of Higher Education (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 15A) states that the DHE is responsible for authorizing all programs and degrees in the public system.

The procedures apply to all Massachusetts public institutions of higher education (community colleges, state colleges, and the university). For the purposes of the procedures, an academic program is defined as undergraduate certificate of 30 semester credit hours or more or a major or degree at the undergraduate or graduate levels, including a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study.


Department of Higher Education (DHE) Requirements

DHE Certificate Application and Approval Process

New Certificate Programs
A public college or university expecting to offer (a) new certificate programs under 30 credits, or (b) new minors, concentrations, track or options within existing programs is to notify the Commissioner of Higher Education in writing at least 60 days prior to announcing such program changes. These changes do not require action by the DHE.

Information and forms are available at www.mass.edu.

 

Changes to Existing Academic Programs

Program Name Changes
Changes in the name of an existing program require approval by the Senior Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs & Policy, as the Commissioner’s designee, upon limited staff review. In submitting a name change request form, the institution should include curriculum information and reason for the request. In submitting a name change request that would result in remaning an existing concentration (or minor) to a degree, also include for the preceding three years, program enrollment data by concentration, graduation data, alumni outcome data (job placement or enrollment in further study), copy of the accreditation review report received within the preceding three years, and most recent accreditation status letter. The program accreditation must be from an accrediting body that is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.
 

Suspended or Discontinued Programs

An institution is to notify the Commissioner of Higher Education in writing if it suspends or discontinues and academic program. When a program is suspended or discontinued, it will be removed from DHE’s inventory active, authorized programs.

A program suspended or discontinued may be reactivated only with approval of DHE. An institution is to notify the Commissioner of Higher Education in writing if it suspends or discontinues, or reactivates a suspended or discontinued, minor, concentration, track, or option within an existing program. www.mass.edu (See Academic Program Review.)

Local Requirements

The general education requirements for certificate programs are:

a. Certificates of 1 to 15 credits
Basic Skills Assessment may be required. Students will be advised to take developmental education courses (or such courses may be mandated by a program), as deemed appropriate, in order to provide basic skills in reading, studying, writing and verbal usage, and computation.

b. Certificates of 16 to 29 credits
Students whose assessment results indicate an insufficient level of proficiency will be required to complete MAT 025 Pre-Algebra and ENL 050 Foundations in Writing. Credits earned in these courses will be in addition to the credits prescribed by the program. They are not entrance requirements but, rather, students must exhibit competency in these basic skills prior to receiving the certificate.

c. Certificates of 30 or more credits
These are Department of Higher Education-approved programs of at least one academic year’s duration (approximately 30 credit hours or more). The certificates shall carry the signature of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the President of the College.

Satisfactory completion of b. (above). Programs will meet any additional Department of Higher Education requirements as they are established.

(Approved by College Meeting April 27, 2015)

Locally Approved Certificates

A list of approved programs can be found at www.capecod.edu/web/academics/programs.

Local Certificate Approval Process

Curriculum and Program Committee policies, procedures and forms can be found at www.capecod.edu/web/faculty/resources.