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Policy Number
3306
Responsibility
VP Academic
Approved
Program Council
Previous Name
Credential Nomenclature
Effective Date
November 06, 2014
Amended
July 07, 2021
Context/Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to inform current and prospective students, as well as the JIBC Community, of the requirements for Program completion and the awarding of Credentials by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (“JIBC” or the “Institute”).

Policy Statement

JIBC offers a wide variety of Programs and recognizes a student’s graduation from credentialed programs by awarding certificates, diplomas, and degrees as authorized by the College and Institute Act

All JIBC Programs defined in this Policy conform to quality standards that support academic excellence and student success. Each Program is developed in accordance with JIBC’s Policy 3103 New Program Development and Program Change, and is reviewed per JIBC’s Policy 3305 Program Review.

Scope

The Policy applies to all Programs offered at JIBC.

Definitions

Board – The Board of Governors of the Institute.

Course – A formal, organized learning experience, usually taught by an instructor from a prepared outline of content and/or learning outcomes.

Credential – A formal qualification resulting from studies containing evaluative components; it is not just a certificate of attendance. 

Credentialed Program – A program of studies leading to a certificate, diploma or degree.

Credit – A numerical value assigned to a course as per JIBC procedure 3309-002 Establishing Credit Value for JIBC Courses.

Dean – The administrative head of a JIBC School.

Director/Program Director – The administrative head of a JIBC program area.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – The GPA is a number representing the average value of the accumulated final grades earned in courses over time. The GPA is calculated by multiplying the grade points associated with the letter or percentage grade assigned for a course by the number of credits assigned to that course, adding those values for all courses taken, and dividing the result by the total number of courses taken. The GPA can be calculated for all courses taken (i.e. cumulative), for a specified time period (e.g. term or year) or for a specified body of courses (e.g. program, level, or subject). Withdrawals from courses are not included in the calculations. For repeated courses, only the highest grade achieved is used in the calculations.

JIBC Community – All Institute employees, Students, Board members, and any other person who is contractually obligated to comply with this policy.

Laddering – Academic credit earned through the completion of one credential (certificate, diploma, degree) accepted as an entry requirement for or credit toward another higher credential within the same program area.

Ministry – B.C. ministry responsible for post-secondary institutions.

President – The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute.

Program – A collection of courses, practica and evaluation activities that have been identified as requirements for a credential, or a collection of courses aggregated to meet the business practices of the institution.

Program Council – Committee to which the Board has delegated some of the functions and responsibilities of an Education Council, as described in the Program Council Terms of Reference.

Program Grade Point Average (PGPA) – The PGPA is the GPA calculated for all courses in a specific program. 

Program Start Term – The program start term for each individual student is established upon admission, re-admission, or approved declaration of program and determines program curriculum requirements in effect for each student.

Registrar – The registrar of the Institute.

Student – A person the Registrar recognizes as being enrolled in a course or program of studies at the Institute. 

Time Limit – The maximum number of years from the Program Start Term in which students must complete the program graduation requirements; measured in full years (three consecutive semesters) spanning any twelve-month period.

Vice-President Academic (VPA) – The person responsible for all academic programs at the Institute.

Credentials

Programs leading to Credentials are approved by the Board. JIBC offers the following types of Credentials:

Associate
Certificate

A Credential issued for successful completion of an approved Program which is generally less than the equivalence of 3 months of full‐time studies (fewer than 20 credits).

Certificate

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program which is generally the equivalent of 3-12 months of full‐time studies (a minimum of 20 credits). 

Advanced
Certificate

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of 3-12 months of full time studies (a minimum of 30 credits) that requires a minimum of a Certificate for admission.

Advanced
Specialty
Certificate

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of 3-12 months of full time studies (a minimum of 30 credits) that requires a minimum of a Diploma in a related field for admission.

Note: An Advanced Specialty Certificate will be designated as an “Advanced Certificate” in Ministry reporting.

Diploma A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of 12-36 months of full time studies (a minimum of 60 credits).

Advanced
Diploma

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally greater than 12 months of full time studies (a minimum of 60 credits) that requires a minimum of a Diploma for admission.

Bachelor's
Degree

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of four years of full time studies (a minimum of 120 credits).

Post
Baccalaureate
Diploma
A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of two years of full time studies (a minimum of 60 credits) that requires a minimum of a Bachelor Degree for admission. Courses are predominantly at the 3000 and 4000 levels.

Graduate
Certificate

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally the equivalent of 3-12 months of full time studies (a minimum of 15 credits, but fewer than 20) that requires a Bachelor’s Degree for admission. Courses are above the undergraduate level (e.g. at the 5000 level).

Master's
Degree

A Credential awarded for successful completion of an approved Program generally greater than 12 months of full time studies (a minimum of 30 credits). A Bachelor’s Degree is an admission requirement.

Other

In addition to Credentials, JIBC issues the following documents:

Professional
Certificate

A document issued for successful completion of a Program offered at JIBC under a service contract, where learning is evaluated but no credits are granted. This does not preclude a contract program from awarding a JIBC credential if all the requirements are met.

Statement of
Completion

A statement of completion may be given by an instructor or department for the successful completion of any course(s). Such statements are not considered formal JIBC credentials.

Graduation Requirements

All JIBC credentialed programs comprised of courses using letter grades require a minimum Program GPA (PGPA) 2.00 for graduation. Some programs may require a higher standard. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the graduation requirements of their program(s).

Graduates from programs 20 credits or more will be invited to convocation.

Residency Requirement

In order for a JIBC Credential to be awarded, 50% of the program must be taken from JIBC. In cases where a student in a degree program is applying for both prior learning assessment and recognition (“PLAR”) and transfer credit, and the combined total of possible credit exceeds the residency requirement, the student may request an exemption to this policy through the Office of the Registrar. If an exemption is granted, at least 50% of upper level credits in a program must be completed at JIBC.

Multiple or Concurrent Credentials

Two credentials will not be given for substantially the same body of work, unless they form part of an intentional sequence of laddering. To ladder a credential, a student must have been admitted to and be building on a previously earned credential towards completion of a subsequent, higher-level credential.  

In cases that do not involve laddering, a student who wishes to obtain an additional credential cannot use substantially the same courses from a credential previously earned. In such cases, a student must complete at least 50% of the credits needed for an additional credential with new courses beyond those used to satisfy requirements for a previously earned credential.

Posthumous Credentials

A credential may be awarded to a student who died after successfully completing a significant portion of a program but before completing the program and for whom successful completion was expected. Credentials may also be awarded posthumously at the discretion of the program Dean in consultation with the Registrar.

Honorary Credentials

Refer to Policy 1201, Honorary Degrees for further details.

Time Limits for Completing Program Requirements

The Time Limit for program completion (both credentialed and non-credentialed), unless otherwise specified by the program and identified in program information, is measured from the Program Start Term and is applied based on the following:

Defined Length of Study

Time Limit (years)

One year or less 4

Greater than one year, up to two years

7

Greater than two years, up to four years 10

Students who do not complete their program within the identified time period will be withdrawn from the program and may be required to re-apply, unless exceptional circumstances exist.

Students may seek the permission of the Department/Program to complete a program outside the approved Time Limits.

With the approval of Program Council, Departments/Programs may establish more stringent Time Limits for completing program requirements that supersede these maximums.

Rescinding Credentials

JIBC awards credentials upon those students deemed to have met all the approved requirements for their credential. In spite of the care taken in all aspects of the process of awarding credentials, there are circumstances in which rescinding a credential must be considered. Two general cases have been identified:

  • Administrative Errors – The rare and unusual circumstance where a credential has been awarded when the student has not met all the credential requirements and therefore has not earned the credential. 
  • Academic Misconduct or Fraud – Where the Institute discovers there was some academic misconduct or fraud involved in meeting the credential requirements and, consequently, the awarding of the credential. Refer to Policy 3207 Student Academic Integrity for further details.

Role of Registrar

The Registrar issues all JIBC Credentials, prepares documents attesting to Program completion, and records them on a student’s official transcript. In addition, the Registrar will maintain:

  • a standard for the official names of programs and credentials, and their abbreviations;
  • a standard for official credential parchments and other program completion documents;
  • a list of current, approved programs of study and their official names, program/credential types, and graduation requirements; and
  • criteria for calculating grade-point averages.

Procedures

The procedures related to credentials in accordance with this Policy are set out in Procedure 3306-001.

Student Awareness

Students are required to make themselves aware of all JIBC policies and procedures. Lack of awareness of this or any other JIBC policy does not excuse a student from responsibility for their actions. 

Employee Awareness

Employees are required to make themselves aware of all JIBC policies and procedures. Lack of awareness of this or any other JIBC policy does not excuse an employee from responsibility for their actions.

Related Policies and Procedures

Documents and Forms