Criteria and Guidelines for the Establishment of Non-credit Certificate and Diploma Programs

Dean’s Office, Lifelong Learning, Simon Fraser University
Tel: 778.782.5138

  1. All non-credit certificates and diplomas offered by SFU need the approval of the Senate Committee on Continuing Studies. A non-credit certificate or diploma program should be initiated only if the subject matter is such that the University appears to be the most appropriate body to offer the instruction.
  2. A program must have a clearly defined educational objective and rationale. The rationale should include a statement of required University resources, such as Library resources, an assessment of community needs and a survey of other similar programs at SFU and elsewhere.
  3. A program must be under the direct and ongoing supervision of an academic unit of the University or an Academic Program Steering Committee.
  4. The unit or Academic Program Steering Committee will be responsible for ensuring the academic rigor of the curriculum and the quality of instruction. The majority of the members of a steering committee should be appointed from the academic units most closely associated with the program.
  5. Programs will consist of non-credit courses that may vary in length and format from standard university credit courses but that will include a minimum of 120 instructional hours in total (including face-to-face and/or on-line lectures, labs, seminars, and tutorials) for certificates. Noncredit diploma programs must have a minimum of 350 instructional hours.
  6. Programs being proposed as suitable for certificate or diploma granting status are to be submitted to the Senate Committee on Continuing Studies for consideration and approval. Program proposals must include: educational objectives and rationale (see #2); and a description of course/s (learning objectives, content, duration, evaluation). Programs must require that students maintain satisfactory performance in each course to remain eligible for a non-credit certificate or diploma.
  7. The Senate Committee on Continuing Studies will also be responsible for approving changes to programs and for approving discontinuance of programs.

Approved by Senate, December 2, 2013