Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Retail Management Certificate and the WAFC. If you have questions about the Retail Management Certificate, please review the following frequently asked questions. Choose the question name to view the answer.

If you are unable to find your answer or have a specific interest or need, please complete our contact form or email and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.

How can my college participate in the Retail Management Certificate program? +

If your college already has a for credit Retail Management or Business Certificate Program you may already have many of the courses in place.

  1. Review and complete the curriculum crosswalk form to assess where your college is in relation to meeting the curriculum requirements and confirm that your courses are available for college credit.  View a  complete list of competencies.  To complete to the crosswalk form, download and save to your desktop as a PDF, enter your information in the downloaded form and select “Save As” to save your completed PDF form. You may also download and fill out by hand and then scan as a PDF.
  2. Begin to solicit or garner support for launching a new certificate from your college leadership. Check our college program resources for statistics, reports, and presentation materials to support your case.
  3. Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, contact the WAFC by completing the Participating College online application and one of our team members will follow-up with you.

May I license the curriculum? +

Program curriculum, it is not an out of the box curriculum. Each of our college partners have created their own set of 8-10 courses using our outlined course titles and competencies. All courses must meet a minimum of 70% of the required competencies.

For colleges looking to create courses, our partner colleges will happily share course outlines and resources.

Can I offer the program through contract ed? +

No. The structure of the program is not intended to be offered as a contract ed program but rather as a launching point towards and associate or bachelors degree.

This model has been proven over the 15 years of working directly with industry that are seeking education for their employees over training. It also helps keep costs lower for employees and companies as contract ed tends to be more expensive.

Do I have to offer the program in a face-to-face format? +

No. Colleges may choose to offer the program 100% online.

Does my college need to be located in the Western United States? +

No. Originally established by the Western Association of Food Chains, the program continues to gain endorsement from leading organizations including Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and is expanding nationally. We are happy to welcome community colleges throughout the United States.

Must the program be for college credit? +

Yes, all courses must be available for college credit. The program is intended to serve a as a launching point towards and associate or bachelors degree.

How do I build enrollment in the program? +

Visit the Best Practices section to see how other colleges have built successful Retail Management Certificate programs.

What companies support the program? +

We are adding new companies all the time and encourage you to invite local retailers to participate. See a current list of participating employers.

Is the program only relevant to the Grocery Industry? +

No. The approved curriculum is relevant to all areas of retail and business. View the course listing.

What is an Approved College? +

Many colleges and universities offer Retail Management certificates or degrees however only Approved Colleges listed on this website are endorsed by the Western Association of Food Chains and have met the requirements for content and student learning outcomes.

WAFC endorsement of this Retail Management Curriculum makes graduates eligible for two certificates: a college certificate that leads to an associate’s degree, and an industry-recognized credential that is linked to employment, career advancement, and increased wages.

Who is the WAFC? +

The Western Association of Food Chains is a non-profit organization comprised of retailers and wholesalers in the Western United States representing over 7,500 supermarkets and $200 billion dollars in annual sales.

The WAFC’s primary mission is to provide educational opportunities for food industry associates and ensure employees have the skills they need for success in a retail leadership career.

The WAFC’s most far reaching educational program is the Retail Management Certificate, an accredited community college program that provides the core skills and knowledge to move into a management role in the retail industry. Read More.