Frequently Asked Questions

The CED Certificate Program is currently under review. Join our mailing list to stay up to date about the next program offerings. 

Am I right for the Certificate program?

If this program makes you excited about the change you want to make in your community, if you are looking to build your tools and skills, if you want to build networks, then yes, you are the right person for this program. 

Typical Applicants

SFU Community Economic Development takes a very personal approach to recruitment and review of applications to the program. Our program attracts students from across a large swath of roles in community and economic development including:

  • First Nations’ government officials and community members;
  • Staff or volunteers in economic development organizations such as Community Futures or regional economic development entities;
  • Chambers of Commerce or Business Improvement Associations;
  • Employees in the corporate sector where there is interest in community participation and corporate social responsibility
  • Staff or volunteers in non-profit sector organizations with a CED focus such as credit union foundations, anti-poverty organizations, environmental organizations, and housing societies;
  • Government employees who have economic development in their portfolio, such as regional officers at the Ministry of Rural Development, etc.;
  • Social entrepreneurs & staff of social enterprises;
  • Elected and administrative officials from the local, provincial, and federal levels. Recent alumni have included a diverse array of officials from the Chief Administrator of the Village of Telkwa to the Member of Parliament for Courtenay—Alberni.

What do we ask in the application?

Our goal is to ensure this program is the best fit for your needs: we don't turn away anyone who has a good understanding of what they want to achieve, however, it helps us help you to hear about who you are. 

1. Your educational background. (We encourage applicants with diverse educational backgrounds; this includes lived experience.)
2. Your computer software familiarity. (Yes, most have it these days, but as we're fully online, we want to be able to help where needed.)
3. Your CV. And if that answers questions 4, 5 and 6, then just say "see CV". You can email your CV to us at
4. Your role in the community or your work.
5. Any challenges in your community you are trying to address.
6. Any experience you've had working in your community to effect change.
7. Your learning goals.
8. Anything else you'd like us to know.

NOTE: The first time you apply to a program, you’ll be asked to create a student account by completing a simple profile and setting a password. You’ll need to log in to this account to complete any future transactions, including review your courses, schedule and grades online. We recommend you use your personal email account for this purpose.

How much does the Certificate program cost?

Tuition is $4,995, plus a non-refundable $75 application fee. Tax forms for tuition are issued in February of the year following enrollment. 

Bringing your team? Talk to us about group discounts at

Note that Foundations (our five-course introduction to CED) costs $1,750. 

When do I have to pay?

Your place in the program is not secured until you have paid your tuition in full.

Is there any financial assistance available?

Many of our students have found some help with the tuition from a variety of sources. These include employer contributions, band sponsorship, special educational funds, and approaching funding institutions directly.

Additionally, you may be eligible for one or more of the following:

Feel free to contact us if you would like some help brainstorming ways to find some financial help.

How much time will I spend on the Certificate program?

The Certificate Program for Community Economic Development is a part-time program built to give you maximum learning and hands-on experience, while still giving you the ability to balance your other life obligations.

Currently the program is composed of online courses that you can complete primarily on your own time. Each month you usually have two courses. For each course there is about six hours of video content you can watch on your own, one live "lunch and learn", and then associated discussion topics and a quiz. There are no required readings, though there are some optional readings if you are interested. If you keep a steady pace, you might spend five hours per week on the program; assignments have a set deadline to help you keep pace. 

Throughout the program, you will work on a community project or your choosing (we'll help you along the way). This will add time to your schedule, but how much is mostly dependent on you. It could be as little as two or three hours per week if you are strategic  with your work.  

When does the Certificate program start?

We're currently planning our next steps and will post them here when they're confirmed. 

Can I just take one or two courses?

At present, we aren't teaching any courses. Please sign up for our mailing list to recieve information when we start again. 

How do I earn the Certificate?

To earn the Certificate in Community Economic Development you must:

  • maintain a B+ average - earn a minimum of a C+ in each of the courses
  • attend 100% of online, live courses

(Certificate Programs are governed by the Senate and require a minimum of 120 instructional hours.)

We expect all students will be able to complete the certificate program within the 8-months of the program duration. 

Can I transfer the SFU Community Economic Development courses to another university if I want to continue my studies in economic development?

Yes! At the moment, the only post secondary institution who officially accepts our courses as transferable is Cape Breton University. Click here for more information about this arrangement. However, if you are thinking of continuing in another institution, we recommend you talk to them directly about your plans.

Do I gain credit for EDAC or Cando or CCUA? (Spoiler alert: YES!)

Yes! See their pages for the specifics. 

How are the courses graded?

Each course has its own grading formula. The grading formula is included in the syllabus. Some of the courses are graded based solely on your participation. Read each course syllabus and know the grading scheme before the course begins.

What is the grading scale?

Excellent performance:

  • A+ 95 – 100%
  • A 90 – 94%  

Good performance:

  • A- 85 – 89% 
  • B+ 80 – 84% 
  • B 75 – 79% 

Satisfactory performance:

  • B- 70 – 74% 
  • C+ 65 – 69% 

Marginal/Unsatisfactory performance:

  • C 60 - 64% C- 55 – 59% 
  • D 50 – 54%

Fail or did not complete course requirements:

  • F < 50% 
  • W Withdraw: student officially withdrew from class