Overwhelmed? Here's Help for Students, Faculty, and Staff - UNLV NewsCenter

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Overwhelmed? Here's Help for Students, Faculty, and Staff - UNLV NewsCenter Overwhelmed? Here's Help for Students, Faculty, and Staff - UNLV NewsCenter Posted: 23 Nov 2020 09:21 AM PST Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and staff have worried over their students' wellbeing, not always knowing how to help or where to suggest students go when the strain seems to affect their academic success. "UNLV students are presenting to Student Counseling and Psychological Services for mental health services with increased symptoms of anxiety and depression," said Shauna Landis, director of student counseling and psychological services.  Although statistics for UNLV students were not immediately available, Landis said student visits to CAPS seems to track with national data. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 40 percent of American adults surveyed in June 2020 reported experien

What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider

What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider


What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 16 Nov 2020 02:39 PM PST

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As the pandemic continues, many people are wondering if graduate school is a good investment of time and money right now. While graduate degrees can provide chances to pivot to new careers, they also can take a few years to complete and charge high tuition, depending on the school and program.

While not the same as a master's degree, graduate certificates can sometimes be a more affordable option that requires less of a time commitment. Depending on the intended profession, they can help you learn new skills to transition into a different field — with official certification to show employers on LinkedIn or your resume — and some even have built-in portfolio assignments so you can exit the course with new samples of your work.

On some occasions, graduate certificates can double as college credits towards a related master's degree, since you technically completed graduate coursework. However, certificate credits are not automatically accepted by all schools — it varies on the university and program.

Here's everything you need to know about graduate certificates, how they compare to master's degrees, and some of the most popular graduate degree programs:

What's the difference between a graduate certificate and a degree?

Unlike finishing a full master's degree program, certificate program students take a few master's courses around a subject — like Sustainability and Development or Data Science — and receive a certificate of completion upon passing the program. 

Because certificates involve taking fewer classes (and don't usually have an admissions process), they're not considered the same as having a master's degree or PhD. However, they can help you stand out to prospective employers, especially if you're looking to transition into a different field and want to demonstrate that you learned the required skills. 

Most certificate programs, such as the ones offered through edX's MicroMasters, don't require a formal application process. If the course requires prerequisite knowledge, that information will usually be in the course description.

That being said, graduate certificate programs, such as Coursera's MasterTracks, can cap off after a certain number of applicants, so it's good to bookmark the enrollment date and sign up as soon as you can.

Graduate certificate programs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the school, program, and length. The price of a graduate certificate can be a fraction of the cost of traditional college degrees (including online ones).

Graduate certificate programs vary in length. Some, like MIT's Supply Chain Management MicroMasters, can take a little over a year. Others, like the University of Minnesota's UX Design MasterTrack, only take four months to complete.

Usually, no. Coursera and edX's graduate certificate offerings pick the classes for you and you have to pass all of them to get the certification.

There are exceptions, though. Harvard's extension school, for instance, lets you choose a few electives as part of your certificate. 

While graduate degree programs operate via GPAs, graduate certificates are often Pass/Fail. Coursera, for example, gives you a percentage grade on each assignment and then a final combined score. 

Depending on the program and size of your class, your written feedback on assignments might also be shorter and more brief than it would be in a graduate degree program.

Specific programs in the edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTrack series have different guidelines regarding college credits. Some might only accept the certificate classes as college credits if you pursue a degree in the same school and program you completed the certificate in; others provide a list of schools that will take the credits.

One upside to completing a certificate before continuing a degree in the same field is that the certificate credits are typically cheaper and can save you some money down the line.

It depends. Coursera MasterTracks don't currently offer financial assistance. And while edX lets you apply for financial aid for most of its programs, for MicroMasters, you'll have to audit each course first and apply for financial aid every time. 

If you're looking to save time and money, graduate certificates can be a great alternative to graduate degrees, especially if you're just looking to pick up some new skills, such as accounting or coding. Online certificate programs can also offer some flexibility in terms of scheduling and can help you decide if you want to pursue a full degree later. Here's a review of one of Coursera's MasterTrack programs.

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