The board may approve awarding of appropriate certificates, diplomas, or degrees to persons who complete a prescribed curriculum.
(a) A technical college or consolidated technical community college shall offer students the option of pursuing diplomas or certificates in each technical education program, unless the board determines that a degree is the only acceptable credential for career entry in a specific field. All vocational and technical credits earned for a diploma or certificate shall be applicable toward any available degree in the same program.
(b) Certificates and diplomas are credentials that demonstrate competence in a vocational or technical area and, therefore, may include a general education component only as part of an articulation agreement or to meet occupational requirements as established by the trade or profession, or by the program advisory committee. Students shall be provided with applied training in general studies as necessary for competence in the program area. Students who have earned a certificate or diploma may earn a degree in the same field if they complete the general education and other degree requirements.
To reduce barriers to enrollment and to train a skilled workforce, students may be assessed for skills necessary for competency in a technical or vocational field as part of their program. The results of standardized assessment tests shall not prohibit enrollment in a student's certificate or diploma program.