Executive (Non-credit) Education

Executive (Non-Credit) Education at Columbia University
Open Enrollment, No Sponsorship by External Entity

Columbia University offers a number of Executive Education programs for professionals in a variety of areas. These non-credit programs are designed to meet the needs of individuals who are seeking new skills, knowledge, or competencies to enhance their performance in the workplace or respond to new professional demands in a changing world. In contrast with degree programs or credit-bearing certificate programs, Executive Education programs tend to change more rapidly in response to evolving needs.

Note that the information below pertains exclusively to non-credit programs. If you wish to learn more about credit-bearing programs (e.g., statutory Certificate programs or Certifications of Professional Achievement), please click here.

  • Format: Executive Education programs typically take the form of workshops, seminars, or short courses, ranging in duration from a few hours to several days. These programs may be offered in-person or online (or through a combination of both), over a few days or several months. Some are offered on the Columbia campus, while others may be offered at off-site locations (e.g., for organizations sponsoring training for their employees).
  • Content: The content of any Executive Education program is developed and managed by the unit at the University that sponsors it (a school, center, or institute). The program need not be related to any existing degree or statutory certificate program at the University. It should have a clearly defined audience, specific learning goals, and an evaluation plan through which students may rate the program, and which informs future program improvements.
  • Approval and Oversight: The school, center, or institute that offers the program, called the “host,” takes responsibility for approving its curriculum and reviewing its evaluation data. The host is also responsible for maintaining enrollment data and tracking participants in the program. At all times, the host must clearly convey to prospective participants the goals, costs, and non-credit status of the program. Before the launch of a new program, the host must submit a brief course description (including sample marketing materials) to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs via DARCI (Database for Agreements, Renewals, Centers, and Institutes), an online tool for processing educational agreements. For further information on DARCI, please visit this page: https://provost.columbia.edu/content/educational-agreements. In addition, the host is required to report on programs (sometimes annually, but no less than every 5-7 years) as part of ongoing, periodic review processes for each unit at the University.
  • Status of Participants: In general, participants in these programs are not considered students or alumni of Columbia University and do not receive official Columbia transcripts. In addition, the Registrar’s Office does not normally maintain any academic records of enrollment verification data for Executive Education programs; these records are typically maintained by the host only. These programs do not offer federal or other financial aid to participants.
  • Certificates of Participation: Students who complete these short, non-credit programs may be presented with a Certificate of Participation. The document must use the specific phrase “Certificate of Participation.” It may not use the phrase “successfully completed” or “successfully participated,” since these programs rarely include a formal evaluation of student performance.
    • The Certificate of Participation must include: the name(s) and/or logo(s) of the host unit(s) at the University; the title of the program; an indication that the program is non-credit; program dates; and the total duration of the program (in hours or days, as appropriate).
    • The Certificate of Participation must NOT include the seal or logo of Columbia University (though it can include the logo of the school, institute, or center that is offering the training). It must not resemble a Columbia University diploma, include the word diploma or a “graduation” date, or indicate that the participant has “successfully” completed the program, since these programs typically do not include any student-level assessment procedures and completion does not imply any formal recognition of accomplishment.  
    • To see a sample Certificate of Participation, click here.
  • Co-Sponsorship: If the program is offered in partnership with an entity outside of Columbia, special instructions apply. Please see instructions provided below.
  • International Programs:  Executive Education programs offered outside the U.S. might be subject to registration and other regulatory requirements of the host country.  Programs outside the U.S. might also trigger tax issues for the University and even participating faculty.  These programs should be reviewed in advance with Global Support, globalsupport@columbia.edu, or the host’s contact within the office of the General Counsel.
  • Continuing Medical Education: If interested in establishing a program that leads to CME credit, please see: http://www.columbiacme.org/.

 

Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (ovpap@columbia.edu) with any questions. Remember that non-credit education does not lead to a University credential.

 

Executive (Non-Credit) Education at Columbia University
Co-Sponsorship by an External Entity

Executive Education (i.e., non-credit) programs may on occasion be co-sponsored by organizations external to Columbia.   Co-sponsored programs should abide by the following guidelines.    These guidelines assume that  Columbia faculty are the principal developers and instructors in the Executive Education program; if this is not the case, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (ovpap@columbia.edu) for further guidance.

Note that the information below pertains exclusively to non-credit programs. If you wish to learn more about credit-bearing programs (e.g., statutory Certificate programs or Certifications of Professional Achievement), please click here. 

If a program is to be co-developed, funded (partially or completely), or co-taught by an external entity, the host (the school, center, or institute within Columbia that is offering the program) must prepare a formal educational agreement with the terms of the collaboration.  The Office of the Vice Provost works with the Office of General Counsel and, if appropriate, other central university offices in reviewing the agreement.  The host must submit the agreement via DARCI. Full details on the process for submitting and approving an educational agreement can be found on this website. Please note that co-sponsored programs may proceed only after the educational agreement has been reviewed and approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs. 

Special conditions apply to the Certificates of Participation for co-sponsored programs. These conditions vary, depending on whether the partner is an academic institution (non-profit), a non-profit organization (non-academic), or a commercial/for-profit entity.

If the partner is a non-profit academic institution or other non-profit organization:

  • All rules on Certificates of Participation provided here must be followed.
  • In addition, the Certificate of Participation may include the logo of the partner at the top of the document, in addition to the logo of the relevant school, center, or institute at Columbia.
  • Neither Columbia nor the partner may use the name or logo of the other without explicit permission, as described in the agreement governing the partnership.

If the partner is a for-profit entity:

  • All rules on Certificates of Participation provided here must be followed.
  • In general, the name/logo of the partner may NOT be included in the Certificate of Participation. However, if the partner is providing funding or other significant resources in support of the program, the Certificate of Participation may include an “acknowledgement” of the partner (using name and/or logo) at the bottom (centered or in the right- or left-hand corner), covering no more than about 10% of the area of the document, stating: “HOST gratefully acknowledges the contributions of PARTNER in the development and offering of this Executive Education program.”  Variations from this formulation must be approved by the Provost.
  • The name/logo of the partner may be included more prominently at the top of the Certificate of Participation for the special circumstance in which the Executive Education program has been offered exclusively to employees of the partner entity.
  • Neither Columbia nor the partner may use the name or logo of the other without explicit permission, as described in the agreement governing the collaboration.

To see a sample Certificate of Participation, click here.

Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (ovpap@columbia.edu) with any questions.