Skip to main content
Saturday, June 23, 2018

From the President

Posted: Thursday, March 2, 2017

Response to College Senate Recommendation: SUNY Certificate Policy

At its February 10, 2017, meeting, the College Senate voted to approve the following resolution to revise the DOPS policy on SUNY certificates to be inclusive of both undergraduate and graduate students and to forward the resolution to the president for consideration and action. The previous policy reflected only graduate students.

Motion to Amend DOPS Regarding Certificate Policy at Buffalo State
WHEREAS, current policy in DOPS reflects only graduate certificates; and,

WHEREAS, the College Senate adopted a policy in May 2016 that recommended compliance with the SUNY certificate policy that covers certificates at all levels of study; and

WHEREAS, creating a duplicative local policy may lead to administrative inefficiency on campus and noncompliance with changes to SUNY policy,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the College Senate Curriculum Committee recommend that Buffalo State adopt changes to DOPS that reflect current SUNY policy, as detailed below.

The revised Senate-approved policy from the February 10 Senate meeting follows:


Policy Number: IV:06:00
Date: July 1986
Updated: November 2016
Subject: Proposals for SUNY Certificates

A SUNY certificate program is a specific cohesive set of courses designed to broaden and enhance career opportunities, provide in-depth study in a discipline, or gain expertise in an area of multidisciplinary studies. The SUNY certificate program may augment the coursework of an individual, supply a nonmatriculated student with a certificate useful to employment, or conceivably serve as the initial step toward a baccalaureate or master’s degree. Certificates will also be attractive as professional development experiences. The SUNY certificate program is made up of credit-bearing courses and requires SUNY approval, distinguishing it from departmental certificates of completion.

Admission and Standards
A student interested in selecting a SUNY certificate program would apply to or be a registered student at the college. The student would then contact the unit coordinating the specific certificate program for advisement. Upon satisfactory completion of all college and certificate course requirements, the coordinating unit would review and recommend action to its academic dean. If the dean concurs, the president would issue a SUNY certificate of completion to that student.

The format for preparation of a SUNY certificate proposal may be found in form 2C on the SUNY Academic Program Planning website. All SUNY certificate proposals include the following:

  1. General objectives of the certificate program.
  2. Background of the certificate program genesis.
  3. Need or rationale for the certificate program, including such information as the population of students to be served, employment opportunities, impact on the community, etc.
  4. Description of the certificate program, including curriculum and course requirements (core courses and recommend electives).
  5. Program assessment and curriculum map.
  6. New courses developed to support the certificate program.
  7. Typical model (sequence of course offerings) of the certificate program.
  8. Administration of the certificate program. In most cases, certificate programs will be departmentally based and will be administered by departments. In some cases, interdisciplinary units will be formed to develop and administer the certificate program. In the latter case, similar circumstances exist for undergraduate academic minors.
  9. Additional resource needs.
  10. Certificate program relationship to other degree programs.
  11. Evidence of support of the department and the dean.

A unit considering the development of a SUNY certificate program should consult the approved guidelines and develop a proposal. That proposal would be reviewed and approved by the department, faculty, and dean. At that point, the proposal would be submitted to the College Senate Curriculum Committee for its review and approval, and then to the college president, SUNY, and the New York State Education Department before the certificate may be offered.

I hereby approve the revisions to the DOPS policy for SUNY certificates recommended by the College Senate. I charge the provost with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of these revisions so that they are in place for the fall 2017 semester.