A12 – Issuing of College Credentials

Originator: Vice President, Academic
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: June 2020
Replaces: September 2018

1. Preamble

Red River College issues a number of official documents indicating the completion of academic programs or courses.

Criteria for Red River College program credentials support student and employer understanding of the scope of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills underlying each credential issued by the College. The criteria identified for each statement and credential will also assist faculty in the implementation, revision and delivery of programs.

2. Definitions

Credit Course: Planned training that has a defined set of learning outcomes or competencies and evaluation processes. Credit courses are part of applied certificate, certificate, diploma, post-graduate certificate, post-graduate diploma, or degree programs, apprenticeship and licensure requirements.

Credit Program: A credit program is a Red River College-approved occupation-specific education or skills training endeavour that includes evaluating, documenting and formally recording student achievement in the student’s permanent record. Every credit program has a specific title, length, admission requirements, course outlines, credit courses, specified learning outcomes or competencies, credit units, completion requirements and credential.

Senior Academic Committee (SAC): SAC provides strategic leadership in implementing the Academic Mission of the College. It serves as a forum for discussion and decision-making on issues of academic policy and practice, and is a medium for the sharing of program information. (Guide to SAC, 2018.)

3. Policy

The credentials for credit programs are the following:

  • Statement of achievement
  • Applied certificate
  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Advanced diploma
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Post-graduate certificate
  • Post-graduate diploma

The criteria listed within these procedures will set out the specifics details and characteristics of each type of credential.

An acknowledgement of participation may be issued for non-credit courses.

4. Responsibilities

Senior Academic Committee is responsible for the approval of all new credentials. All parchments awarded by the College for its own courses and programs will be designed and produced by the Office of the Registrar. Any questions related to design should be directed to the Registrar.

Related Policies

A1 – Application and Admission to College Programs
A4 – Certification of External Programs and Courses
A6 – Cooperative Education
A20 – Requirements for Graduation
A22 – Academic Standards
S1 – Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities
S2 – Student Discipline
S4 – Academic Integrity
Red River College Credential Qualification Framework

Credentials and Statements Criteria: Length, Credits and Admission Requirements

* Assumes that 15 hours = 1 credit unit. *Also note that some programs may be designed with more or longer WIL

Credential Name Length Award Credit Units* Admission Requirements
Acknowledgement of Participation Varies No Non-credit Red River College Policy A12.
Statement of
Achievement
Varies No < 16 Program specific requirements and a range of learning from open access to specific grade
requirements such as Grade 10, 11 or 12 (includes pathways – transition, exploration, preparatory).
Applied Certificate 240 – 600 hours Yes 16 – 40 Program specific requirements with a minimum Grade 12 or Mature Student.
Certificate 660 – 1140 hours Yes 45 – 75 Program specific requirements with a minimum Grade 12 or Mature Student.
Diploma 1500 – 2025 hours Yes 100 – 135 Program specific requirements and Grade 12 or certificate in the same field or Mature Student.
Advanced Diploma 2100 – 2500 hours Yes 140 – 170 Program specific requirements, and Grade 12 or certificate in the same field or Mature Student.
Baccalaureate
Degree
4 years or
8 semesters
(minimum)
Yes 120 (minimum) Program-specific requirements plus Grade 12 (for direct entry students); or program-specific requirements plus diploma (for degree completion).
Post Graduate
Certificate
240 – 480
hours
Yes 15 – 30 Certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or baccalaureate degree in the same, related or
complementary field.
Post Graduate
Diploma
480 – 1000
hours
Yes 30 – 65 Diploma, advanced diploma or baccalaureate degree in the same, related or complementary field.

*Assumes that 15 hours = 1 credit unit (CU). Also note that some programs may be designed with more or longer applied learning activities than others. Since some applied learning activities have flat-rate credit units not determined by hours, the 15:1 CU rate will not match program hours. In these cases, program hours alone will determine the credential.

Procedures

1. Credential Criteria

Red River College has developed criteria related to program credentials offered by the institution. The criteria focus on the knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills associated with each credential.

2. Credential Parameters

  1. For a program credential to be awarded, most programs must meet both length and credit unit minimums. For some programs, including those designed with more significant applied learning activities, there may only be a criteria in terms of length, since some applied learning activities have a flat-rate CU calculation (i.e., not determined by the 15:1 CU rate). Baccalaureate degrees will be awarded based on credit units only.
  2. In order to be granted an additional credential, a minimum of 25% of the required credit units of the additional credential must consist of different content and material.
  3. All instructional time will be valued equally regardless of delivery method (e.g., online vs in-class instruction).
  4. The calculation of credit units for statements of achievement, applied certificates, certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, degrees, post-graduate certificates, and post-graduate diplomas will be based on a single unit of measurement as follows: 15 course hours = 1 credit unit. There may be some exceptions to this parameter; for example, see a) above and h) below.)
  5. All credit units will be full multiples of 1.0 credit unit.
  6. All credit courses will normally be delivered in 15-hour increments.
  7. Three (3) or six (6) credit hour courses are encouraged as the standard course length.
  8. Work-integrated learning (WIL) or experiential learning activities required for graduation, such as work experience, clinical and practicum placement or cooperative education may apply credit hours differently (on a per week rather than per hour allotment, for example).
  9. The length of specific certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and baccalaureate degree programs may vary slightly depending on graduation requirements, but typically they will be the equivalent of one year, two years, three years or four years of study, respectively.

3. Program Attributes

  1. All credit programs have formal assessment of learning or skills application (please refer to Policy A22 – Academic Standards). The pass mark is 50%. Graduation from a program of study is dependent upon successful completion of all course requirements with a minimum program GPA of 2.0.
  2. All credit programs have practical and theoretical components. These components may be integrated and need not be separate learning experiences.
  3. All graduation requirements for credit programs must be completed within a required time period to ensure graduate currency and relevancy in their chosen field of practice. In accordance with Policy A20 – Requirements for Graduation, the time period for the completion of all academic programs (regardless of full time or part time format) leading to a Red River College academic credential will be as follows, from the initial date of enrollment:
    • Certificate – 4 years
    • Diploma – 6 years
    • Advanced Diploma – 7 years
    • Baccalaureate Degree – 8 years
    • Post Graduate Certificate – 3 years
    • Post Graduate Diploma – 4 years
  4. Some programs may establish different completion time periods based on accreditation, licensing or industry standards. If a student does not complete the program within the designated time period, the student may be required to retake certain courses or take additional courses to meet current program requirements.

4. Program Components

  1. There will be up to three terms per year with common start, break and end dates as established for each term.
  2. Weekly student class load will not normally exceed:
    • For statement of achievement, applied certificate, certificate, diploma or advanced certificate and diploma programs: 25 hours of scheduled class, lab, shop and guided workplace simulation time.
    • For baccalaureate degree, post-graduate certificate or post-graduate diploma programs: 15 hours of scheduled class, lab and guided workplace simulation time.
    • For co-operative education, clinical, practicum and industry project placements in all programs: 40 hours of workplace and industry time per week.
  3. Programs are expected to include some forms of work-integrated learning (“WIL”) or experiential learning activities within their program design and graduation requirements. These activities may take the form of:
    • Clinical: A method of unpaid training that takes place in a clinical setting in the field of study in which students are orientated, typically in health-care programs. Clinicals are taught, monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors or preceptors based on established learning outcomes. Students receive a pass / fail grade. Credits are awarded and clinical experiences are required to graduate.
    • Co-operative Education: Co-operative education (co-op terms) combines classroom learning with paid on-the-job work experience monitored by RRC faculty. To increase career growth potential, training alternates between academic semesters and co-op work terms. Co-op work terms may be mandatory or optional, depending on the program. Credits are awarded for co-operative education terms. Students receive a pass / fail grade.
    • Practicum: Practicum (or professional practice placement or professional placement) refers to the experience by which professional capabilities are developed in a work setting, with the aim of meeting professional registration requirements. The work experience is often a requirement of the academic program, with learning content and assessment developed based on standards and professional competencies as defined by the accrediting body.
    • Shop: This method of training generally involves the use of an on-campus shop or mobile training lab to provide students with the opportunity to learn industry-related skills required for the course or program. Students are monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors based on established learning outcomes or competencies. Shop hours are considered the same as course hours (15 hours equals one credit unit), and may be integrated within a course. Students receive a percentage grade or a pass / fail.
    • Simulation: This method of training involves the use of an on-campus simulation learning centre to provide practice-based training related to a student’s field of study. Students are monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors based on established learning outcomes or competencies. Fifteen hours of simulation time is equal to one credit unit. Students receive a percentage grade or a pass / fail.
    • Work Experience: A method of training that involves unpaid on-the-job training. Students are supervised by employers and monitored by RRC faculty. Work experience is a requirement for graduation for some programs and credit is awarded. Students receive a pass / fail grade or a complete / not complete. The minimum length for a work experience is one week.

5. Baccalaureate Degree Completion

A baccalaureate degree may be a “completion program” that involves a diploma. Diploma credits are considered to be equivalent to two years of study and are considered as part of a student’s overall degree credits. Degree completion programs consist of:

  1. a minimum of 60 credits or the equivalent from an appropriate diploma plus 60 to 65 CU in the final two years;
  2. a minimum of 45 senior credits (300 level or higher); and
  3. up to 15 credits (but generally 9 to 12 credits) of general education electives and  a minimum of 9 credits elective courses.

6. Non-Credit Acknowledgement

An “acknowledgement of participation” may be issued upon completion of non-credit course(s) typically delivered through continuing education, and for which there is no formal assessment of learning.