Non-Credit FAQs


Do I have to apply to the certificate program to take a class?

No. Anyone who has fulfilled the prerequisites for a given class may take that class individually, without officially applying to a certificate program.

How long does it take to complete a certificate program?

Certificate programs vary in length, but most can be completed within six months to a year. However, as you are free to take classes when they are compatible with your schedule, the pursuit could extend beyond one year.

What is the difference between a certificate program and a professional advancement series?

CCE certificate programs and professional development programs offer specialized training in specific career areas. A certificate program consists of a series of classes developed with input from industry professionals and reviewed and approved by deans from relevant campus departments. Classes included in a professional advancement series are developed by industry professionals and provide practical knowledge to improve job skills, provide updates on workforce trends or prepare for graduate programs.

What are non-credit courses?

There are many Continuing Education classes that are classified as “non-credit.” Often offered as seminars and workshops, these courses are geared specifically to the special interests of the community. No academic credits or CEUs are awarded.

What are Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement of non-credit, post-secondary-level study. It has been established by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). You may earn CEUs for study in selected non-credit programs and courses. CEUs are designed for use where employers, re-licensure agencies and other authorities require a specified number of hours of study on a regular basis for career advancement purposes. You can earn one CEU for every 10 contact hours of participation or portion thereof, e.g., eight continuing education hours equals 0.8 CEUs. Grading for CEU courses is on a credit/no-credit basis.

What is a certificate program?

A certificate program is a cluster of courses that provides knowledge and training in a specific field, enabling you to learn practical, up-to-the-moment skills and information for job improvement or career advancement. Making a commitment to expand your knowledge and skills by means of a certificate program can make the difference between promotion and stagnation in your professional development. Each certificate program has been reviewed and authorized by the faculty and administration of Sacramento State to assure that the program you select meets the high standards of quality education expected from the CSU system. At the College of Continuing Education, it is not necessary to pay for all courses in a certificate program in the application stage. Courses can be paid for as you go along or all at one time; the choice is yours.

Will I receive an actual certificate?

Yes, a Certificate of Participation is awarded for CEU-based certificate programs. A Certificate of Academic Achievement is awarded for academic credit certificate programs. Prior to completing the last course in your certificate program, you will need to submit a Certificate of Participation Form. Complete this form and return it to the College of Continuing Education. After CCE has verified completion of all required courses, a certificate with your name and date of completion will be sent to you along with an official transcript. An official notification letter of program completion will be sent to an identified employer, supervisor, personnel manager or association, if requested. CCE hosts an annual awards ceremony to honor our certificate recipients. Your information on the Certificate of Participation Form provides us with contact information so we can notify you of upcoming award ceremonies.