Posted Date: July 8, 2011

Author:  David Bergeron, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #12: Certificates Awarded as Part of a Degree Program

In Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #11, we provided information on how an institution can determine whether an educational program is a Gainful Employment Program (GE Program). The information below provides guidance on the status of a degree program where a student may, in addition to earning the degree, also receive a certificate.

  • If students are enrolled in only the degree program and are not also enrolled in a separate certificate program, it is the degree program that should be evaluated using the guidance in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #11.

  • If the institution also offers a separate certificate program, students enrolled in the degree program only should not be included in either the disclosures or reporting for the separate certificate program.

  • If students are enrolled in a certificate program, even if the enrollment is concurrent with enrollment in the degree program, those students must be included in the certificate GE Program’s reporting and disclosures, and also in the degree program’s reporting and disclosures if the degree program is considered a GE program under Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #11 .

  • If a significant number of the students enrolled in the degree program are awarded only the certificate and not the degree, the students enrolled in the degree program must be included in the disclosures and reporting for a certificate GE Program. If the institution does not offer a separate certificate program, it must, for gainful employment purposes, treat the degree program as a gainful employment certificate program for which the institution must comply with the gainful employment regulatory requirements.

Information and updates related to Gainful Employment will be posted on the Gainful Employment Information Page. This page can be accessed either by going directly to http://ifap.ed.gov/GainfulEmploymentInfo/index.html or by clicking on the words "Information Page" in the Gainful Employment box on the right hand side of the IFAP home page.

Should you have further questions, please send an e-mail to GE-Questions@ed.gov.

   

End of Page