Frequently Asked Questions

How will the Conflict Resolution Certificate help me in my career or community life?

The skills presented and practiced in the program provide the fundamental tools, understanding and confidence to deal appropriately with conflict situations wherever they occur. Students in the program come from diverse career and community backgrounds--attorneys and paralegals, community youth workers, teachers, business managers, human resource managers, counselors, health care professionals, police officers--to name a few.

Do I need to make formal application to the program?

Anyone may take individual courses (except for the Independent Learning A and B). Students wishing to get the Certificate may take two courses in the program before making formal application. The Program Application may be downloaded from our website under Applications and Registration or you may request one from Beth Warner, Program Coordinator, at Submit your application form along with a 200-word essay as described on the application form and include a $30 application fee payable to Sonoma State University. Students will receive written notification of acceptance to the program.

How long does it take to complete the Certificate? When are courses offered?

The program is designed to be completed within three to four semesters. Courses are offered Fall and Spring, with some during Summer Session. Most classes are offered on weekends; some meet on Saturdays, others meet for a full weekend from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.

Do core courses need to be taken in a certain order?

Students may begin the program with any class. However, Survey of the Field of Practice is highly recommended as a first course as it lays the groundwork for what you will be experiencing throughout the program. Also, Negotiation I must be taken before Mediation I. Other than that, courses may be taken in any order, culminating in the Independent Learning A and B, which are open only to Certificate students who have been accepted into the program and who have completed all other requirements.

If I have previously taken other courses on this topic, may I apply these toward the SSU Certificate?

Requests for a waiver of elective credits from coursework or training taken previously (up to 2 units) may be submitted to the Program Coordinator for consideration. After you have been formally accepted into the program, send a complete course description, outline and proof of successful completion to Beth Warner, SSU Extended Education, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928. She will review these for approval.

What kind of credit will I earn?

Core courses in this Certificate program earn academic credit. Individuals who are not interested in the Certificate may take classes for CEU hours. However, to obtain the Certificate, classes must be taken for academic credit.

How many professional development contact hours will I receive?

The complete Certificate Program is comprised of a total of 270 contact hours.

Will the units I earn in this program count towards a degree?

At Sonoma State, up to 24 units of academic credit earned through the School of Extended Education can be applied to a Bachelor's degree and up to 9 units can be applied to a Master's degree; it is up to each department whether to allow these to count for a major. Other colleges may have different policies.

How do I obtain my Certificate?

Upon successful completion of the requisite coursework, contact Beth Warner at or fill out the online Application for Award of Certificate. After checking your transcript to verify completion of requirements, we will mail your Certificate to the address listed on the form.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of individual courses varies, but the total for the program is about $4,000. See the course listing for each term to see the cost for each class.

Is financial assistance available?

While the Conflict Resolution Certificate Program does not qualify for federal financial aid at SSU, various bank loans specifically for adult continuing education are available. Visit the FAFSA website for contact information for these loan programs.

You may be qualified to receive assistance through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The purpose of the WIA is to provide employment training for adults and dislocated workers. For more information, contact your local Workforce Investment Act Office (you can find your local office on the list at

Your employer may also be willing to help you with the cost of acquiring these valuable skills.

Sallie Mae offers a loan financing option for students attending extended education programs.* The Smart Option Loan is a flexible, competitive education loan program specifically designed for students seeking higher education. Applying with a qualified co-signer increases your chances of approval. Sallie Mae offers three payment options including deferred payments while you are in school. For more information, visit the Sallie Mae website.

*This is not meant as an endorsement and is not a preferred lender list. You are welcome to seek a private education loan from any lender of your choice that will provide loans for students attending extended education programs.