Guide to Program Selection

The types of Professional and Continuing Education Programs (PCE) offered at Western 

Whether you are looking for a single course to hone a skill, a series of courses to upskill and advance your current career or start a new career, WWU Professional and Continuing Education offers a variety of options to meet your professional and personal goals. Flexibility is built into our programs to meet the needs of busy working adults. We offer non-credit and credit courses, and certificate programs.

Non-credit Courses and Certificate Programs

Non-credit courses and certificate programs are not offered for college credit. They provide primarily professional growth opportunities for non-matriculated students who do not need an academic degree or certificate. Non-credit programs are often shorter and more condensed than credit-bearing certificate programs. Non-credit programs generally address an area of skills development, general knowledge, or learning interest and are advantageous for those individuals looking to advance or change their career, or simply learn a transferable skill. Some of these programs may lead to industry-recognized credentials.

Non-credit programs and courses are not recorded on a Western transcript and federal financial aid is not available, although additional payment plans or sources of funding may be available. Many of these certificate programs and courses offer continuing education units (CEUs) that are a nationally recognized standard for verifying successful completion of non-credit programs. Recognition of course and certificate completion is provided through Outreach and Continuing Education (OCE), a non-academic division of Western Washington University.

Non-credit courses may be developed by Western Washington University faculty such as the Web Development Bootcamp. They may also be developed in collaboration with industry-partners such as the upcoming Supply Chain Management for Better Business Practices. Professional and Continuing Education also partners with third-parties such as Ed2Go and Ziplines who work directly with industry professionals to develop career ready-trainings that have been demonstrated to provide value for working professionals.

Credit Courses and Certificate Programs 

Credit bearing courses and programs are designed for individuals interested in earning college credit and may be used towards a degree or certificate. These programs and courses have been reviewed and approved through a rigorous academic process at Western Washington University, and are associated with an Academic College or Academic Center. Credit offerings are posted on a Western transcript and may be eligible for federal financial aid. Example of credit certificates and courses at Western include: