Schools and employers alike give out certificates of achievement. Certificates attest to the fact that a person has done exceptionally well in a particular area or that he has completed a course of study focused on a certain professional discipline. Certificates of achievement are official documents that can be added to the resume of an adult or put into the school record of a child.

College Certificates of Achievement

Colleges offer courses of study that typically last a few semesters in a concentrated subject, such as medical assistant training or human resources, which lead to certificates of achievement. They may provide graduate-level training, or training for entry-level positions. For example, Portland State University offers the "Deepening Mathematical Understanding for Elementary Teachers Certificate of Completion," and Southwestern Oregon Community College offers a certificate of achievement in Welding and Fabrication. These courses do not equal a degree, but it is possible that a student can transfer the credit to another college, or be hired for or promoted to a certain position as a result of receiving such a certificate.

Other Types of Certificates of Achievement

Certificates also acknowledge completion of elementary or secondary studies, such as the completion of kindergarten or eighth grade. They are also sometimes given to students in special education programs who are unable to earn a high school diploma. In this case, students who completed the school's program of study based on learning goals can attend the graduation ceremony.