Undergraduate and graduate certificates offered and awarded within the College of ACES are intended to address a growing demand for knowledge in specific areas of personal interest or career exploration. Certificate(s) provide students with a credential -- an official certificate document -- which validates their competency in the specialization area in which the certificate is awarded.

ACES certificate proposal

    Certificate Proposal Process

    1. Complete the ACES certificate proposal (go.aces.illinois.edu/CertificateProposal).
    2. Your proposal will automatically route to your department-level Courses and Curriculum (C&C) Committee and your department head to review and offer suggestions.
    3. After department approval, your certificate proposal will automatically route to the ACES C&C Committee and the Associate Dean of Academic Programs to review, offer suggestions, and approve.
    4. Once approved, you will receive an email notification that your certificate has been approved and is ready to launch. 

    Best Practice Recommendations

    • Identify the target audience for your certificate.
      • Who are the learners? What are their needs and interests? Are they current students or non-degree learners? Will they prefer online accessibility, blended modality, or face-to-face instruction?
    • Determine the objective and/or intent of your certificate.
      • What skills, knowledge, and perspectives will learners attain as a result of completing this certificate?
    • Select the required courses and elective courses that will be included in the certificate.
      • While there is no defined rule on the number of courses and credit hours for a certificate, it's recommended that an undergraduate-level certificate be at least 9 hours but no more than 15 credit hours, and graduate-level certificates be at least 12 credit hours. 
    • Create a title for your certificate. 
      • Does the title reflect the intention of the certificate? Is it clear and succinct? Will it generate interest from your target audience? Will the title be appealing for the learner to add to their online profiles and resume?

    Certificate Conditions

    • Certificate(s) awarded will not appear on a student’s official academic record, transcript, or diploma. 
    • Certificate(s) must be awarded no later than the final day of classes in the student’s final term to affirm that the requirements for the certificate have been met.
    • Certificate(s) may not be awarded retroactively after a degree has been conferred. 
    • Students completing a certificate may list this credential on a resume or application for advanced study. 

    Getting Your Certificate Information Online

    1. Once your certificate is approved by the C&C committee, Debra Korte sends the information to ACES marketing.
    2. Your department will work with the ACES web team to display your certificate page.
    3. The web team will populate the certificates page on the ACES website.

    Increasing Enrollment for Your Certificate

    There are several low-cost and effective ways you can promote your certificate to increase enrollment.

    • Draft an email that includes the “apply” to certificate link (go.aces.illinois.edu/Certificate) and a link to your individual certificate page. Consider emailing the following groups:
    • Email instructors of each course included in the certificate. Ask instructors to share the information about the certificate during a class session, and request they add certificate information and the "apply" link to their course website.
    • Share the flier on departmental social media accounts. As appropriate, tag other colleges, departments, RSOs, etc. to broaden your reach. 


    Email Dr. Debra Korte, director for learning innovation and e-learning in the College of ACES.