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 minimum grade of C 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 percent 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* (8 or more 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 (Fewer than 16 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.

For more information, see Types of Degrees and Certificates


Certificates of Achievement may have a total unit count of 8-15.5 units, if approved by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

How to Apply for a Certificate

Awarding of Certificates

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. 

Application Procedures

To apply students should follow these steps:

  1. Obtain an application for a Skill Certificate or certificate of achievement online at www.cos.edu (https://www.cos.edu/en-us/admissions/forms).
  2. Make an appointment with a counselor (optional).
  3. Review the catalog to ensure all course requirements for a Skill Certificate or Certificate of Achievement in the program of study is complete. You may work with the counselor or check DegreeWorks to help determine eligibility.
  4. Update address in Banner Web to ensure the certificate is mailed to the correct address.
  5. Complete and sign the application. Email to evaluations@cos.edu or submit using the Secure Student Upload Submission.
  6. Students may also complete the application and print a copy to be turned into one of the following locations:
    1. Visalia - Sequoia Building, Admissions & Records, Room 107
    2. Hanford - Vocational Building -The Hub
    3. Tulare - Building A - Student Service

Determining Award

The Evaluations Specialist in Admissions and Records is responsible for determining if an award of a college certificate shall be granted. After reviewing the applicants academic record, a determination will be made as to whether or not the student has successfully fulfilled all of the requirements for the certificate they are seeking. If the certificate is awarded, it will be posted to the student's records and a certificate will be ordered from our outside printing company. The entire process may take approximately six to eight weeks from the time final grades are posted for the certificate to be granted. The certificate will be mailed directly to the student at the physical address listed in Banner. If the student does not meet the necessary requirements, they will be notified by an email sent to their college email address.