About Alternate Credentials

Alternate credentials are short-term learning experiences that allow you to gain relevant skills and knowledge needed in today’s workforce. Some require you to complete a small set of college courses; at WP these are called “certificates.” Some require completion of a training program without taking a college course. Some credentials can be earned through co-curricular activities.

Why enroll in an alternate credential program?

  • Alternate credentials take less time to earn than a full degree. Most for-credit alternate credentials require 12 or fewer credits and can be completed in 1 to 3 semesters; most non-credit credentials require even less time. You can earn a credential and leverage your work-ready skills for employment long before you earn your degree.


  • You choose what you learn. Alternate credentials give you the freedom to learn what you want, without the financial and time commitment of a full degree. You can earn a credential that demonstrates specialized skills in your own field of study or you can earn a credential from a different discipline that complements your field of study.


  • You choose what you earn. Alternate credentials can be credit-bearing (certificates) or not-for-credit. Students who complete a credit-bearing credential will receive a notation on their academic transcript and a digital badge that can be shared with potential employers on a resume or social media platform, such as LinkedIn. Students who complete a non-credit professional training program receive a certificate of completion. Some non-credit programs can be converted to credit if and when a student enrolls in a full degree program. Students earn digital badges for completing co-curricular alternate credentials.


  • You control the cost. For students enrolled in a degree program at WP, there is no additional cost for a credit-bearing certificate. The credits earned while completing a certificate can be applied to requirements and electives in a full degree program. Some non-credit programs offered through your department and college can be completed at no additional cost. While many other non-credit programs require additional cost, some can be converted to college credit at no additional cost if you enroll in a WP degree program.