Michigan Certification Programs with School Information

There are over 100 schools offering undergraduate and/or graduate certificate programs within Michigan. See how four of these universities and colleges stack up against each other to find the school for you.

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School Ranking Overview

Certification programs typically aren't offered by schools. Students interested in pursuing focused study in a particular field may consider earning an undergraduate or graduate certificate in Michigan instead. Some certificate programs are designed to help prepare students for certification, though this depends greatly on the field of study and on the individual program.

Students wanting to enroll in a certificate program have their choice of 149 colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions in Michigan. Depending on the type of school and program level, they may be able to earn a certificate in just a few months to up to a year or more. To help students get a better idea of what kind of certificate-level learning opportunities are available, this article compares four of Michigan's largest schools. The top three schools among the four are ranked in the following categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

Of the four compared, the institutions that follow have the most academic programs on offer to students; in fact, the top three all have more than 100 options to choose from. Students seeking to earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate can explore a wide variety of subjects through these schools, ranging from business and computer science to agriculture and the arts.

1. Michigan State University

Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing is the largest postsecondary institution in the state based on its student population; it also ranks first in this category for offering 322 programs. The school awards both undergraduate and graduate certificates in areas of study such as dairy science, agricultural business, veterinary assisting, electrician technology, public health, journalism, conservation law, youth program management, human resources and nursing. MSU also awards degrees from the bachelor's to doctoral levels.

2. Oakland Community College

Based out of Bloomfield Hills, Oakland Community College (OCC) awards associate's degrees and undergraduate certificates through its 111 programs. Students attending this two-year public school can pursue a certificate in fields such as landscaping, construction management, bookkeeping, computer programming, network administration, photography, autobody repair, criminal justice, phlebotomy and emergency medical technology.

3. Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University (GVSU), a four-year public school in Allendale, awards degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Among its 104 academic programs are several graduate certificate options as well. Some of the areas of study available at that level include taxation, nonprofit leadership, clinical trials management and applied behavior analysis. Grad students can also pursue certificates in computer information systems and focus their studies in database management, software engineering, biomedical informatics and more.

Lowest Net Price

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) determines a school's net price by subtracting an average amount of awarded financial aid from the total cost of attendance, which is a figure based on in-state or in-district undergraduate tuition rates, enrollment fees and expenses like textbooks and housing. Based on these stats, the schools below had the lowest net prices for full-time students during the 2012-2013 academic year (NCES).

1. Oakland Community College

OCC comes out on top in this category. Students here paid a net price of $5,086 for a year of enrollment.

2. Macomb Community College

Warren's Macomb Community College (MCC) is a two-year public school offering undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs. It ranks second in this category for its average net price of $6,598.

3. Michigan State University

Ranking third for its net price is MSU. Full-time undergraduate students at this institution paid an average of $14,526 during the academic year.

Highest Graduation Rate

According to the NCES, the following institutions have the highest graduation rates among the four profiled schools. The figures are based on full-time undergrads who completed degree or certificate programs within 150% of normal time. These rates can offer those researching school options some insight into the level of education quality provided at colleges and universities.

1. Michigan State University

MSU takes the top position for its graduation rate of 77% overall, which is based on students who began their studies in fall 2007. The university has the highest retention rate of the four schools as well. Of those that were enrolled full-time in bachelor's degree programs during fall 2012, 91% continued on at MSU the next fall (NCES).

2. Grand Valley State University

Ranking second is GVSU; based on students who entered academic programs in the fall of 2007, its graduation rate stands at 70%. The university's fall 2012 to fall 2013 retention rate for full-time bachelor's-seeking students was 82%, according to the NCES.

3. Macomb Community College

MCC comes in at a distant third for its overall graduation rate of 12%; this figure is based on students who started their education in the fall of 2010. The NCES reports that 62% of full-time students attending the college in fall 2012 continued on there a year later.

Lowest Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Students wanting individualized attention in the classroom, as well as the ability to get regular one-on-one interaction with educators, should look for institutions with low student-to-faculty ratios. The schools below have the lowest of these ratios among the group (NCES).

1. Michigan State University

In the lead once again is MSU; this time, it's for the university's student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. This large institution was home to a faculty of 4,074 professionals in the fall of 2013; most worked full-time, and about 22% held research and public service positions (NCES). The remaining faculty members primarily had instructional roles at MSU.

2. Grand Valley State University

GVSU's student population of 24,477 is less than half of MSU's, so it takes second place despite also having a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. In 2013, there were 1,069 full-time and 554 adjunct faculty members with teaching duties at GVSU (NCES).

3. Oakland Community College

With a ratio of 26 students for every one member of faculty, OCC ranks third. The community college employed 1,458 instructional faculty members in 2013, and nearly 17% worked full-time (NCES).

Michigan Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI Public Graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #2 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Macomb Community College Warren, MI Public Undergraduate certificates and associate's degrees #2 in Net Price, #3 in Graduation Rate
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #3 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI Public Undergraduate certificates and associate's degrees #2 in Program Variety, #1 in Net Price, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
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