Q. How big is the program? 
A.  Many online programs use massive open online courses (MOOC) which can enroll hundreds and even thousands of students; however, our program does not embrace that pedagogy. Our enrollment goal is 5 local students (matriculated from Humboldt State) and no more than 10 non-local students per year. Our students will have direct and ongoing contact with, (1) their faculty member , (2) Program Coordinator, and (3) their internship mentor. We currently have one faculty member (Dr. Honda) and who teaches only one course per semester. Internship mentors will vary, but will always be an IR related professional located at a college or university near the student.

Q. How many courses do I need to take for the certificate?
A. There are three mandatory online core courses (4 units each) which include an internship component. The minimum number of units for the certificate is 12. Transfer work cannot be accepted to replace core courses. 

Q. How do I know if a course counts as a prerequisite?
A. The prerequisite courses (graduate level research methods & graduate level statistics) can be taken in any field (sociology, psychology, statistics, etc.) from an accredited college and can be qualitative or quantitative. Institutional researchers come from a variety of fields and to accommodate the diversity of educational backgrounds the prerequisite requirements are intentionally broadly defined. If you have questions, please contact Michael Le at Michael.Le@humboldt.edu to discuss your options. 

Q. Can I take the prerequisite courses online from Humboldt State University?
A. Humboldt State does not currently offer a graduate level research methods course or a graduate level statistics course online; however, this may change in the next couple years. See the Prerequisite Course information page for more details. 

Q. Are the online courses delivered asynchronously or synchronously?
A. All three core courses are delivered asynchronously through our Course Management System, Moodle. Students will typically have one week to read new course materials, watch lecture videos, and complete assignments.

Q. How interactive are the online courses
The courses are designed to be very interactive, your typical week would look like this:

  • Log onto Moodle (course management system) and review weekly objectives
  • Read chapter or assigned reading (1-3 hours)
  • Watch Weekly lecture (varies between 5 and 20 minutes)
  • Complete weekly tasks (2-6 hours) – These tasks include hands on activities, research, literature reviews, blogging/ responding to online discussion forums, etc.
  • Internships activities and projects(1-3 hours) – Work on research projects by collecting data, analyzing data, writing a report, etc.

Q. How much does the certificate cost?
A. Courses are $399 per credit unit, making each 4-unit course a total of $1,596. Payment for each course is due the Thursday before the course starts. Students can expect to pay a total of $ 4,788. This does not include the cost of textbooks and the cost of taking prerequisite courses if you have not already taken themTuition is the same for in-state students and out-of-state students.

Q. How much are textbooks?
A. If you buy new, textbooks will cost about $100 per course. If you use free online versions and buy used books you may spend as little a $10-$40 per course. 

Q. Can I get Financial Aid for Psych 550, 551, and 552?
A. While the three core courses (Psych 550, 551 and 552) are offered for academic credit and have been approved by the HSU Academic Senate, they are offered through our Extended Education Program which is self-supported. This means that the State of California and Federal Government do not provide any funding for these courses and the courses cannot be counted for financial aid or the CSU Fee Waiver Program.

All students, whether matriculated at HSU or not must pay the same price ($399 per unit). This is what allows us to offer in-state and out-of-state tuition at the same rate. A limited number of matriculated HSU students may be eligible for a scholarship from HSU’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning. HSU matriculated students may contact Michael Le (Le@humboldt.edu) for more information.

Q. Can I get Financial Aid for the Prerequisite Courses?
A. The IR Graduate Certificate was developed to compliment students who are working toward or have completed a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in a related field. Many of these students will or have already completed the prerequisite courses as part of their other degree which may qualify for financial aid. Individuals who qualify for the CSU Fee Waiver Program may have the option to take the prerequisite courses using their fee waiver.

Q. Are there scholarship opportunities?
A. The California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR) offers a $1,000 to a California resident. Learn more at: www.cair.org/awards. Students who are also in doctorate programs may be eligible for grants from the Association for Institutional Research (AiR). Learn more at: www.airweb.org/GrantsAndScholarships

Q. How to pay for courses?
A. Students may pay using MasterCard, VISA, or Discover credit cards in person, over the phone, or online. Students wishing to pay by mail may also use a check or money order. Learn more at www.humboldt.edu/extended/registration.html#fees.

Online payments go through a secure and trusted third party (CashNet SmartPay system) and students using a credit card will be charged a 2.75% service fee. To avoid paying the service fee students may pay their bill directly to HSU’s College of eLearning and Extended Education by paying in person or over the phone. 

Q. How does the internship work?
A. Each course has an internship component that is conducted either in an IR office that you choose, at your current job site, or one that we will find for you. For individuals new to the IR field, the internship gives you practical experience that will be valuable on your resume when seeking an IR position. For current IR professionals, the internship will introduce you to global IR issues across sectors of higher education, and provide you with an infrastructure of issues in higher education, including areas of accreditation, accountability, and assessment, that are increasingly becoming part of the IR workload.

Q. How long is the certificate program?
A. The certificate is three semesters long and runs spring, fall, spring. Semesters at HSU are 16 weeks long (academic calendar). The Certificate Program will begin in the Spring semester, which allows enough time to take the prerequisites the previous Fall, or concurrently with the first semester of the IR Certificate Program.

Below are the start and end dates for the Spring 2016 Cohort.

Q. How many hours a week do I need to spend on each course?
A. Students hoping to earn an “A” in a course should anticipate on spending an average of 8 to 12 hours each week reading, writing and editing, researching, submitting assignments and participating in online discussions, and participating in the internship (about 4 hours per week).

Q. Can I take one of these courses if I am not in the certificate program?
A. At this time, no. All students must be in the IR Certificate Program to register for these courses. The courses are not designed to be taken as standalone courses. Each course has graded elements that require interaction between students. The students are expected to get to know each other over the three semesters and get used to working in small groups via online collaboration tools. In addition, the course content builds upon prior coursework. Students would not have the background to complete the second and third course without completing the first course.

Q. Do I need to submit an official transcript?
A. Maybe, you need to submit an official transcript for both your Bachelors Degree and any coursework that meets the prerequisites if the work was completed at an university other than HSU. If your bachelor’s degree and/or prerequisite courses were completed at HSU, then an unofficial transcript from your student center is fine.

Q. Where should the letter of recommendation be sent and in what format?
A. Your letter of recommendation should be e-mailed directly from the person writing the letter to the IRGC Program Coordinator at Michael.Le@humboldt.edu – Email is preferable to a physical letter.