On a much broader topic, the pace of change for alternative and informal credentials to develop value is maddeningly slow, across the education "industry".
A degree from an accredited school or a certification from some long-standing professional association still has tremendous value as a "signifier", an indicator of how knowledgeable and competent a job applicant is likely to be.
At the same time, we see (certainly in the U.S. news) that formal degree programs are not necessarily producing students ready to step into the available jobs.
There is a paradox here. To show that alternative credentials have value, employers must be convinced that the credentials adequately signify positive traits a potential employee brings to a job. But to evaluate those traits, an employer must first hire an employee. The trouble is that employers would still prefer to rely on more traditional credentials in the hiring process.
I do believe that employer attitudes toward non-traditional credentials are changing, and that traditional schools are increasingly finding ways to accommodate non-traditional students. But the latter trend is cold comfort to those seeking a true alternative to a traditional degree program.
Personally, I do wish we could use the word diploma, but I know that there are flaws in that approach. The word "diploma" may have its greatest value to the student if employers believe that it is a more traditional kind of credential. What happens if the employer discovers that we are not a traditional, accredited educator? Although the regulations exist to protect students from being victimized by fraudulent organizations (and we have always been careful and clear with our students -- that is, the law isn't really trying to protect students from us), the regulations also serve to protect applicants from confused and disappointed employers. Not that I need to make traditional institutions' case for them!
I am conflicted here. I know any credential is a powerful motivator, even when it is "just" a certificate, more so when it is a "diploma", enormously so when it is a "degree". But I also strongly feel that the student best serves their own best interests when knowledge and skills equal or exceed credentials as motivating factors. Finding additional ways to document and demonstrate knowledge and skills is crucial, as is insisting, whenever feasible, that employers look at more than just the first few lines of a resume in making a decision whether to bring someone in for an interview.
Any significant educational experience (traditional or otherwise) works best, I believe, when it prepares a student to continue to learn and develop on their own. "All education is self-education", as it has been said. My hope would be that certificates, diplomas, and degrees become equally less relevant, or at any rate less dominant, as badges of learning.
In short: I wish the difference between "diploma" and "certificate" did not matter at all. I realize that, in many ways, it does.
But there is a silver lining, perhaps: assume that a potential employer knows or will discover that Saylor Academy is not a formal, accredited education provider. I would encourage anyone to be forthcoming about that and to assert the value of what they have learned as actively and creatively as possible.