Professional Development FAQs

Q: How do I apply to a certificate program?
A: There is no application. Simply begin taking courses at your own pace.

Q: I don’t want to complete a program certificate, but I want to take some of the required courses. Are they open to everyone?
A: Yes. You may take any courses that interest you provided the course prerequisite has been met. It is not necessary to complete the entire sequence.

Q: What is successful completion of a course?
A: A grade of “C” or better.

Q: Are all courses graded?
A: Yes.

Q: Are there tests, and how much homework can I expect?
A: All classes will have some form of assessment. Instructors may choose projects rather than written quizzes or exams. The amount of homework will vary depending upon the course material and your ability level. You can generally expect to spend an equal number of hours working in class and outside of class.

Q:  Who teaches these courses?
A: All instructors are approved by the appropriate Penn State University college. These instructors are experienced industry professionals.

Q: If the class is full, and it’s okay with the instructor, may I bring my own laptop and join the class?
A: No. Class sizes are predetermined, and instructors may not admit additional students.

Q: Can I sign up for an entire professional development certificate program at once?
A: No. Not every course is offered each semester.

Q: How much does an entire professional development certificate program cost?
A: There is no “package price.” Your certificate cost is determined by the courses you select.

Q: Can I apply the same course to more than one professional development certificate program?
A: No.

Q: How can I receive more than one certificate, if the same courses are required?
A: You must consult the program manager to approve substitutions for overlapping courses. A maximum of two substitutions per certificate are allowed.

Q: Can I apply a course I have taken at another Penn State campus to a professional development certificate program from Great Valley?
A: Yes, as long as the course content and hours are comparable. Contact the program manager for pre-approval. Courses taken at other colleges and universities will not transfer.

Q: Can I “test out” of a required course?
A: No, but you may substitute a higher level course for courses in which you are already competent. This will require a consultation with the program manager and the subject area instructor.