Course Substitution Criteria

Participants in the certification programs are required to take two three-hour courses from each of the three topic areas, for a total of 18 hours for each certificate.

Program participants may participate in other professional development activities such as discipline specific conferences, seminars or workshops that meet the objectives of courses taught through the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) for program certification. Department chairpersons and supervisors may approve substitutions for CPE courses to satisfy up to 50 percent of the required coursework from each of the key skill areas for a certificate of completion. Supervisors asked to approve a substitution should send a Portfolio Documentation Request to the CPE at or by memo. The request must cite details to document the activity as a substitute for a course in a key skill area of one of the programs.

The following criteria is to assist department chairs and supervisors compare alternate professional development activities to CPE offerings:

  • Topical Match
    Each substitution must fit within add one of the key (topical) areas of the two programs being offered.
  • Rationale Appropriateness
    Each substitution must also relate to the rationale for the specific key skill area, as described in the program brochures.
  • Content Equivalence
    Each substitution must have substantial content to equal approximately three classroom or Web hours.
  • Broad Application
    Each substitution must be broad enough in nature to contribute to the overall development of a set of skills related to leadership or teaching and learning.

Helpful Hints

  • Many valuable learning activities are outside the realm of the two certificate programs being offered.
  • Many professional development training programs/sessions are too specific in nature to qualify as substitutions for courses within these two, general, certificate programs. However, participants who opt to customize their programs by working with a CPE mentor may be able to substitute more restricted offerings.
  • Many conference sessions may be too short to serve as substitutions. However, three conference sessions on a related topic might be packaged to serve as a substitution.
  • Some long courses may cover material from more than one key skill area. A single request may document substitutions in several key skill areas.
  • Documentation such as course outlines, conference publications, and program agendas should be attached to approval letters for inclusion in participants’ program files.

Get in Touch

Center for Professional Excellence
Bulmer Telecommunications Center, Room 1042