Why Professional Education?

Professional certificate courses are non-credit classes, sponsored by educational institutions, have designated learning objectives, follow a specified curriculum, and lead to an educational credential upon successful completion of the coursework. These courses may be taught in regular classrooms or online and are typically shorter than other university programs.

Certifications are awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization when a candidate passes an assessment process indicating mastery of a defensible set of standards. The standards are developed through a comprehensive job analysis resulting in an outline of the required knowledge and skills for the given profession. Certifications are not associated in any way with higher education or degrees and typically require some level of professional experience before beginning the process.

Upon earning a certification, professionals often receive a designation to use after their names to differentiate experienced certified professionals from their peers. After initial certification, the awarding organization requires proof of continuing education (often presented as continuing education units, or CEUs) to ensure the professional standards are maintained.

Earning a certificate is a way to earn professional knowledge in a structured, discipline-specific way. A certificate can prepare you to advance in your career, or to gain the extra knowledge needed to stay competitive and cutting-edge in your field. Completion of the certificate demonstrates evidence of specialized educational achievement. Once your course of study is complete, add the certificate to your resume, performance evaluation, and to professional networking sites such as LinkedIn® to inform your employer and professional colleagues of your achievement.

Couse hours are determined by the number of instructional hours students receive, referred to as contact hours. Student documentation may also indicate Continuing Education Hours. Per the US Department of Education, a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as ten (10) contact hours.

Enrolling in a Course

Enrollment deadlines can be found by selecting a subject area on the Professional Education Programs & Courses webpage. Each program has a specific enrollment period and students are encouraged to complete their application by the posted date(s).

We encourage all students to enroll by the designated date to ensure they receive all pertinent information in preparation for the start of class. Late enrollment is processed on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. Students should contact the College admissions teams for more information and Late Enrollment Checklist. You can reach admissions via email at or by phone at 610-519-4300.

Students are permitted to drop a course up to 48 hours prior to its start date. To drop a course a student must submit an online drop form. You will need to know specific information about the course in order to complete the form. Log in to MyNova to find your course information.

Enrolled students will receive communication from their Program Coordinator prior to the start of class with pertinent information about course material access. Some course textbooks are distributed by the College prior to the start of classes. Please check the course page for the most recent edition and up-to-date information about distribution.

CMA Exam Preparation - Digital. (Hard copy available at additional cost)
Drug & Alcohol Counseling Programs - Hard copy or digital from instructor.
English for Everyday Life - Hard copy or digital from instructor.
Facilities Management - Digital. (Hard copy available at additional cost)
Fundraising - Hard copy or digital from instructor.
Human Resources - Digital. (Hard copy available at additional cost)
Immigration Studies Training for Advocates - VIISTA - Digital from instructor.
New Manager Bootcamp - Digital from instructor
Paralegal Professional Program - Book list at the start of semester, additional hard copy or digital from instructor.
Payroll - Digital. (Hard copy available at additional cost)
Project Management - Digital. (Hard copy available at additional cost)
Women's Leadership Development - TBA

Current Student Questions

Upon enrollment, students are assigned to a Program Coordinator who will be your primary contact at CPS. If you are unsure who your Program Coordinator is, please visit the Professional Education website or contact

Students may petition the College of Professional Studies for a withdrawal from a course if there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. deployment, extreme medical emergencies, natural disasters, etc.) by completing the withdrawal form and providing supporting documentation.

To request a withdrawal, please fill out and submit the Course Withdrawal Form.

Professional Education courses do not carry credit hours therefore, students will not receive a traditional official transcript. However, students who successfully complete individual courses and/or full programs will receive a Course Record, along with the Certificate of Completion, from the College. This document serves to confirm the class(es) attempted and the certificate(s) earned, as applicable.