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Parchment Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
13.11 Vice President, Academic and Equity Director, Enrolment & Registrar Executive Council Nov. 1, 2019   Nov. 1, 2019 Nov. 2020
  1. Purpose
    1. Nova Scotia Community College recognizes the successful completion of students in qualifying programs by granting parchments as artefacts that represent credentials earned.
    2. This policy governs the NSCC parchment, including credentials granting parchments, the awarding and distribution of parchments, and the defining characteristics of NSCC parchments.
  1. Scope
    1. This Policy:
      1. Outlines credentials that qualify for NSCC parchments and delineates between credentials that are granted and not granted parchments.
      2. Identifies defining characteristics and security features for parchments.
      3. Identifies the schedule of granting and distributing parchments through the academic year.
      4. Outlines the rules and business process for the replacement/reissue of parchments.
      5. Outlines the College’s parameters around granting and stewarding credentials that deliver parchments in partnership with other institutions and credential partnerships associated with NSCC.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
College Seal an embossment that bears the official NSCC design and wordmark
Conferral the official granting of a credential, with all its rights and responsibilities.
Conferral Date is the official date the credential is granted by the College
Credential an academic qualification that represents the successful completion of the knowledge and skills to a defined standard within a distinct area of study.
Honorary Diploma a distinction bestowed on a person who has demonstrated significant achievement in an area of competency or accomplishment. Honorary diploma recipients are determined by the Board of Governors and are not specific to an NSCC program or earned credential.
Honours the recognition of academic excellence earned by students who meet a defined academic benchmark in their program of study. Honours recognition is notated on the parchment/credential and the student’s official transcript/academic record.
Learning Institute For the purposes of this policy, NSCC has two recognized learning institutes: Centre for Geographic Studies (COGS) and Nautical Institute.
Parchment the formal document/artefact granted by the College signifying successful completion of a program and conferral into a discipline/subject area of knowledge and skill.
Security Features measures and unique identifiers embedded and included in the printing of parchments, to preserve authenticity and reduce risk of copy and forgery.
Sequential Number the unique numeric identifier on each parchment issued.
  1. Policy
    1. Criteria for NSCC Parchments
      1. NSCC parchments are legal documents issued at completion of qualifying programs that grant credentials, as approved by our Board of Governors.
      2. NSCC grants parchments for the following earned credentials:
        1. Advanced Diploma
        2. Diploma
        3. Certificate
        4. Certificate of Individual Accomplishment
        5. College Certificate
      3. Programs and credentials that do not offer parchments may grant other artefacts to acknowledge successful completion, such as certificates or letters of recognition.
      4. Parchments are issued by the Registrar’s Office, the College body that stewards academic records.
    2. Defining Characteristics of NSCC Parchments
      The following elements of a complete and official credential are included on the NSCC parchment:
      1. Official name of institution: Nova Scotia Community College
      2. Language attesting to successful completion
      3. Student name – official student name as recorded in the College database
      4. Conferral language
      5. Program name
      6. Learning institute (where applicable)
      7. Honours (where applicable)
      8. Credential type
      9. Conferral date and witness
      10. Signatures: President and Vice-President Academic
      11. College seal/wordmark
    3. Security Features
      1. NSCC parchments are designed and embedded with specific criteria and security features that support their authenticity and limit copying or falsifying these documents. These features include:
        1. Paper: bond and size
        2. Font and ink
        3. Embossed College seal
        4. Authorized College signatures
        5. College logo
        6. Numeric sequence
      2. Design and security features have evolved since NSCC began granting parchments, and the authenticity of a parchment is determined based on the design and features of the era it was granted.
    4. Conferring and Distributing Parchments
      1. NSCC parchments are conferred and distributed by the Registrar’s Office.
      2. Parchments are granted at convocation ceremonies, and two other points in the academic year; and in accordance with the conferral schedule.
      3. Parchments can be picked up within ten business days of conferral, by the graduating student, or by an approved third party, with the written permission of the graduate.
      4. Parchments not picked up within the above noted timeline will be mailed, via Canada Post.
      5. Parchments lost in the mail are not the responsibility of Nova Scotia Community College.
    5. Replacement/Reissue of NSCC Parchments
      1. The College replaces/reissues parchments for credentials earned since the 1996 inception of Nova Scotia Community College.
      2. Credentials earned through the province’s vocational school training prior to the 1996 inception of the College cannot be reissued as an NSCC credential.
      3. Replacement documents will be issued in the College’s current parchment design and will bear the signature(s) of officials at the time of reprint.
      4. Replacement documents will bear a notation on the face of the document, indicating ‘duplicate of original parchment’.
      5. Requests for replacement parchments can be made at any NSCC campus.
      6. The parchment replacement fee is $25 CAD.
    6. Honorary Parchments
      1. NSCC reserves the right to bestow an honorary diploma, with accompanying parchment, to members of the community who have demonstrated significant achievement in business, community involvement, study/learning, or other area of accomplishment.
      2. Honorary diplomas/parchments are awarded once annually, at the College’s June convocation ceremonies.
      3. Honorary parchments bear all the consistent elements, characteristics and features of a parchment, as outlined in this policy.
      4. Honorary parchments bear additional language specific to the honour/recognition for which they are being awarded.
    7. Partnerships in Granting Parchments
      1. NSCC grants the Nova Scotia high school diploma, in partnership with the Department of Education, to students who have successfully completed the College’s Adult Learning Program.
      2. The criteria, defining characteristics, design and security elements associated with the Nova Scotia high school diploma are determined by the Department of Education.
      3. The name and seal of Nova Scotia Community College will be the only college or university name, crest or seal on official NSCC parchments, unless otherwise approved by the Vice-President, Academic, through a partnership agreement.
  1. Policy Supports

13.01 College Credentials Policy 
23.11 Grading Policy 
23.01 Program Progression Policy