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Chapter 2: Certificate Development, Revision or Deactivation/Discontinuance




This chapter is designed to make the process of developing/revising academic certificates transparent and easier; simply click on the appropriate handbook section (located below) to take the quick link to the desired content.

Please note that certificate development and approval can be a lengthy process, particularly for new curriculum and curriculum changes that require the approval of SUNY and NYSED.


Chapter 2 Section A: Certificate Development


FAQ: What certificates need to be registered with SUNY and NYSED?


Chapter 2 Section B: Certificate Revision


FAQ: What types of changes require a certificate to undergo the revision process?


Chapter 2 Section C: Certificate Deactivation


Chapter 2 Section D: Certificate Deactivation and Discontinuance


FAQ: What is the difference between a certificate deactivation and certificate discontinuance?















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Chapter 2 Section A: Certificate Development
We recommend that you begin the academic certificate development process by engaging in meaningful conversations with your colleagues, the department chair and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) regarding the certificate goals and the required resources. New certificates may require additional resources and/or internal-review; please be sure to work closely with the VPAA to ensure that all requirements have been met.  Given a positive response from these discussions, you are ready to proceed through the process outlined below.

The certificate developer and/or the sponsoring department chair should attend and be prepared to address questions at the appropriate department meeting, Curriculum Committee meeting and Faculty Council meeting.

All courses required as part of the certificate must be approved prior to the certificate approval; this approval can take place at the same meeting.  CCC certificates must have a minimum of 24 credits and all 24+ certificate credits must be part of a registered CCC program as a general education course, a major requirement, or an elective.


Certificate Development:
step 1: discuss proposed certificate with sponsoring department colleagues, department chair and VPAA 
step 2: develop certificate curriculum and complete the new program proposal form, including a graduation worksheet

Certificate Internal Review and Approval:
step 3: review and approval by the sponsoring academic department; the sponsoring department chair forwards approved proposal to the Curriculum Committee chair
step 4: review and approval by the Curriculum Committee; the Curriculum Committee chair forwards approved proposals to Faculty Council and proposals in need of revision back to the sponsoring department
step 5: review and approval by the Faculty Council; the Faculty Council chair forwards approved proposals to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) and proposals in need of revision back to the sponsoring department
step 6: review and approval by the VPAA
step 7: final approval by the College President and the Board of Trustees

State Notification and Approval:
step 8: approved materials and required forms are finalized by the VPAA's Office
step 9: materials are submitted to SUNY and NYSED for approval
step 10: The VPAA's Office notifies the college of approval and disseminates approved materials
step 11: Intent to Offer an Educational Program Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement is completed and sent to the Department of Education




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FAQ: What certificates need to be registered with SUNY and NYSED?
As per 6/18/02 SUNY Ask Kate FAQ, " Strictly speaking, a review of the Commissioner’s Regulations would prompt one to suggest the registration of all certificate programs. (See the April 9, 2001 Ask Kate for the pertinent Regulations and general discussion) However, we know that some campuses offer a sequence of courses to already matriculated students and recognize the achievement with a "certificate." We also know that campuses offer non-credit or CEU certificate programs."

"I suggest the following guideline: for a coherent set of courses, designed by the faculty, consisting of credit courses applicable toward a registered degree program, and available only to matriculated students at the campus and not to the public at large, the course of study need not be separately registered. If, however, the sequence of courses is available to matriculated students and to citizens "off the street" (for which you will doubtless advertise at least in your catalog), then the course of study needs approval by the University and registration by the State Education Department. The exception, of course, is a course of study that leads to licensure or certification in New York State, which will always require registration."

"You will want to examine your certificates. If any are for credit and available to the public and/or you wish to advertise them, we should seek immediate registration."








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Chapter 2 Section B: Certificate Revision 
We recommend that you begin the certificate revision process by engaging in meaningful conversations with your departmental colleagues, the department chair and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). 

The certificate revision initiator and/or the sponsoring department chair should attend and be prepared to address questions at the appropriate department meeting, Curriculum Committee meeting and Faculty Council meeting.

Certificate Revision:
step 1: discuss proposed certificate revision with sponsoring department colleagues, sponsoring department chair and the VPAA
step 2: complete the program revision form, including revising the graduation worksheet

Certificate Revision Review and Approval:
step 3: review and approval by the sponsoring academic department; the sponsoring department chair forwards approved proposal to the Curriculum Committee chair
step 4: review and approval by the Curriculum Committee; the Curriculum Committee chair forwards approved proposals to Faculty Council and proposals in need of revision back to the sponsoring department
step 5: review and approval by the Faculty Council; the Faculty Council chair forwards approved proposals to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) and proposals in need of revision back to the sponsoring department
step 6: review and approval by the VPAA
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FAQ: What types of changes require a certificate to undergo the revision process?
Any change to the graduation worksheet requires the revision process and, in some cases, may require the approval of SUNY and NYSED; see the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) for the current certificate status.









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Chapter 2 Section C: Certificate Deactivation
We recommend that you begin the certificate deactivation process by engaging in meaningful conversations with your departmental colleagues and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

The certificate deactivation initiator and/or the sponsoring department chair should attend and be prepared to address questions at the appropriate department meeting, Curriculum Committee meeting and Faculty Council meeting.

Certificate Deactivation:
step 1: discuss proposed certificate deactivation with sponsoring department colleagues and chair
step 2: complete the deactivation/discontinuance form

Catalog Course Deactivation Review and Approval:
step 3: review and approval by the sponsoring academic department or the VPAA or the College President; the proposal is forwarded to the Curriculum Committee chair
step 4: review (information only) by the Curriculum Committee; the Curriculum Committee chair forwards proposals to Faculty Council
step 5: review (information only) and approval by the Faculty Council; the Faculty Council chair forwards proposals to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA)
step 6: review and approval by the VPAA
step 7: final approval by the College President and the Board of Trustees

State Notification and Approval:
step 8: approved materials and required forms are finalized by the VPAA's Office
step 9: materials are submitted to SUNY and NYSED for approval

Follow-Up:
The VPAA will contact SUNY within three years of the deactivation date to officially discontinue or reactivate the discontinued certificate.








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Chapter 2 Section D: Certificate Deactivation and Discontinuance
We recommend that you begin the certificate deactivation and deactivation process by engaging in meaningful conversations with your departmental colleagues and the VPAA.  Using this process, the college will not accept new students into the certificate as of the deactivation date and all students will have completed the certificate by the discontinuance date.

The certificate deactivation and discontinuance initiator and/or the sponsoring department chair should attend and be prepared to address questions at the appropriate department meeting, Curriculum Committee meeting and Faculty Council meeting.

Certificate Deactivation and Discontinuance:
step 1: discuss proposed certificate deactivation and discontinuance with sponsoring department colleagues and chair
step 2: complete the deactivation/discontinuance form

Certificate Deactivation and Discontinuance Review and Approval:
step 3: review and approval by the sponsoring academic department or the VPAA or the College President; the proposal is forwarded to the Curriculum Committee chair
step 4: review (information only) by the Curriculum Committee; the Curriculum Committee chair forwards proposals to Faculty Council
step 5: review (information only) and approval by the Faculty Council; the Faculty Council chair forwards proposals to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA)
step 6: review and approval by the VPAA
step 7: final approval by the College President and the Board of Trustees

State Notification and Approval:
step 8: approved materials and required forms are finalized by the VPAA's Office
step 9: materials are submitted to SUNY and NYSED for approval
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FAQ: What is the difference between a certificate deactivation and certificate discontinuance?
A deactivation occurs when a campus makes a decision not to admit any more students to a program but wishes to maintain the program’s registration. This may be done to reassess the need for the program or restructure a program. This action is internal to SUNY and limited in duration to no more than three years. The deactivation effective date is the first regular admission date for which new students will no longer be permitted to enroll in the program.


A discontinuance occurs when a campus no long offers the program nor awards a credential for completion of the program. The program is removed from the New York State Education Department’s Inventory of Registered Programs. SUNY review/approval must precede NYSED review.  The discontinuance effective date is the last graduation date for which a credential for completion of the program is awarded.