Certificate Requirements

Vocational Certificate Program

College of the Sequoias awards vocational certificates to students who have satisfactorily completed a high level of technical training and meet or exceed the skills and knowledge required for employment in business or industry.

Certificates are not equal to an AS or AA degree and can usually be completed in a much shorter period of time. Certificates verify to employers that the recipient has achieved a high level of technical competency. Certificate units can also be applied toward an associate degree concurrently or at a later date.

Certificate Policy

The College of the Sequoias will issue certificates to those students who satisfactorily complete the requirements stated in the college catalog with a “C” or better grade in each required class.

Students can petition their division for a waiver and/or the certificate requirements with training and/or professional experience from another institution or agency.

Students must complete at least 50% of the units required for the certificate in classes offered through COS. The petition is initiated through the division chair or department faculty in which the certificate training is available. Verification of any substitution for a required class must be attached to the certificate application.

Types of Certificates

Certificates of Achievement* (18 - 60 Units)

These certificates are awarded to students who have achieved the highest level of technical competency in their field and have satisfactorily completed a rigorous sequence of courses. The requirements for these certificates are based upon close articulation with business and industry.

Skill Certificates (17.5 or Fewer Units)

Skill certificates also prepare students for employment but have fewer unit requirements than the Achievement certificates. They are highly specialized and are available in a wide variety of career and technical areas. These certificates are frequently used to upgrade or update an individual’s skills for promotion or increased salary.


Certificates of Achievement may have a total unit count of only 12-17.5 units, if approved by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

How to Apply for a Certificate

Awarding of Certificates

  1. Skill Certificates or Certificates of Achievement will be awarded after the posting of grades of the particular certificate’s course requirements (as outlined in the college catalog) and application procedures have been completed.
  2. In order for certificates to be published in the COS graduation program, certificate applications must be approved and returned to the Admissions and Records Department prior to the deadline established each year by the Admissions and Records Department.

Application Procedures

  1. Students can obtain an application for a skill or achievement certificate online at www.cos.edu.
  2. Students should complete the application and print a copy of their unofficial transcript by accessing Banner Web.
  3. Students will then be responsible for obtaining verification and approval of the application from the division which awards the certificate.
  4. After the Division Chair and Division Dean have approved the application, Division Office staff will forward the completed application to the Admissions and Records Department for processing.
  5. The Admissions and Records Department staff will print the certificates and hold for pick-up by the student. If a students chooses to pay for mailing. those arrangements can be made by the student with the Cashier’s Office.

Determining Award

The academic program or division is responsible for determining if an award of a college certificate shall be granted. After reviewing the applicant list and related applicant materials and determining if an award has been earned, the division chair, or designee from the program or department, will check mark the applicant list next to the name of the student. This indicates the division chair acknowledges to the Dean or other administrator that an award has been earned. The Dean or other administrator will then verify and sign that the program or department has “certified” that the award can be issued for that term to the student. If a program or department deems a certificate cannot be awarded at that time, the program or department staff will contact the student and inform him/her of any deficiency.