Criteria for Recording Low-Unit Certificates on Student Transcripts

Spring
2016
Resolution Number: 
09.03
Contact: 
Assigned to : 
Category: 
Curriculum
Status: 
Assigned

Whereas, Title 5 §55070 states that certificate programs of 18 or more semester units or 27 quarter units require Chancellor’s Office approval and must be designated “certificates of achievement” and also allows colleges the option of seeking Chancellor’s Office approval and certificate of achievement designation for certificate programs of 12 or more semester units or 18 quarter units but less than 18 semester units or 27 quarter units with Chancellor’s Office approval required in order for the certificates to be listed on student transcripts;

Whereas, Title 5 contains no provision for Chancellor’s Office approval of certificates of less than 12 semester units or 18 quarter units (often referred to as low-unit certificates), and therefore certificates of less than 12 semester units or 18 quarter units cannot be recorded on student transcripts even though they may be of value to students and may meet the needs of the community and industry partners;

Whereas, In January 2016 the Chancellor’s Office provided the following voluntarily reported data on the award of low-unit certificates to the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum:

  • During the period 2010-2015, a total of 77,836 certificates of less than 18 units and not approved by the Chancellor’s Office were awarded to students without being recorded on their transcripts
  • Of these 77,836 certificates awarded to students but not listed on their transcripts, 56,787 were certificates between 6 and 18 semester units and 21,049 were certificates of less than 6 semester units; and

Whereas, The recommendations of the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy include a recommendation to “(e)xpand the definition of student success to better address workforce training outcomes for both ‘completers’ (students who attain certificates, including low-unit certificates, defined as fewer than 12 units; degrees; transfer-readiness; 
or enrollment in four-year institutions) and ‘skills builders’ (workers who are maintaining and adding to skill sets required for ongoing employment and career advancement),” a recommendation that clearly recognizes the value of certificates of less than 12 semester units or 18 quarter units to industry partners and to the students who earn them;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Chancellor’s Office and other system partners to identify criteria and any regulatory changes needed to allow colleges to record the completion of all certificates on student transcripts; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates and curriculum committees to review their certificates of 12 semester units or 18 quarter units or more but less than 18 semester units or 27 quarter units that have not been submitted to the Chancellor’s Office and evaluate the efficacy and potential benefit to students of submitting such certificates to the Chancellor’s Office for approval and allowing such certificates to be recorded on student transcripts.

MSC