Certificate Programs

Certificate programs of one to seven quarters in length are designed to prepare graduates for employment in a wide variety of careers or to upgrade the skills of incumbent workers.

Requirements include satisfactory completion of an approved program of study with a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Tests and a minimum proficiency may be required for certain programs. Waiting lists and application fees may be required of others. Education and work experience may be accepted to satisfy part of the requirements if specifically related to the individual program of study. Credits earned in certificate programs are generally applicable toward the A.A.S. degree.

Note: Courses must be numbered 100 or above to count toward certificate programs.

Short-term Certificates

Short-term certificates have fewer than 20 credits. They usually cover an entry-level or specific skill set needed for that industry. Students can complete a short-term certificate and enter/re-enter the workplace with improved skills. They may also continue on a pathway to a higher certificate or degree, and some or all of the credits from the short-term certificate may apply to the next-level certificate or degree. Some programs are composed of short-term certificates
that are specifically designed to build, or “stack,” sequential skills and credits.

Stackable Certificates

Among these short-term certificates are some that are considered “stackable” certificates. Stackable certificates are short-term certificates of fewer than 20 credits each, which are specifically designed to build, or “stack” sequential skills and credits. On completion of each certificate, students can return to the workplace with added skills or they can continue building additional skills at the next level in the stackable series of certificates. Taken together, stackable certificates lead to a sequence of increasing skills, potential job advancement, and/or cumulative credits toward a higher certificate or degree.

For example, in Wood Technology, students can take 18-credit certificates independently in Carpentry, Finishing, and/or Framing Fundamentals. These skills can lead to jobs, or students can accumulate the skills, which can lead to more job skills, further certificates, or an A.A.S.-T degree. In Welding, there are six levels of skill. Each new skill level can increase job potential for students who need to stop studies to work. On returning to school, students resume work at the next certificate level, accumulating skills which can lead to further certificates and/or an A.A.S. degree.

Related Instruction for Certificates and Degrees


Each career and technical certificate or degree of 45 credits or more includes related instruction, the nontechnical portion of study providing instruction in the areas of communication, computation, and human relations.


The purpose of related instruction is to provide educational depth and breadth through development of essential skills in reading and writing, research and information literacy, in-person and media-based communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, understanding individuals and cultures, and quantitative or symbolic reasoning. These transferable skills support students as they continue in higher education, move forward in careers, and continue the process of lifelong learning.