Guest Author - Maria S. Cuasay
Continuing Education Units (CEU) are often dismissed as not being useful. This view is shortsighted. CEUs can benefit adult learners looking to enhance their skills, learn new interests or support their professional credentials.
Here are some basic facts about continuing education credits:
• CEUs are recognized in the USA and parts of Canada. Other countries have equivalent programs for adult students.
• In the USA, the normal conversion rate is 1 CEU for every 10 hours of instruction. To get the number of CEUs for a course, divide the number of hours by 10. For example , a 12 hour course is equal to 1.2 units.
• Seminars, schools, workshops and conferences offering CEUs must be accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education (IACET). The IACET will define the CEU conversion rate.
• Professional associations define the number of CEUs required for certification or renewal of licensure.
• CEUs are granted for noncredit classes and do not count towards a traditional college degree.
• In the USA, Students can use noncredit courses to prepare to sit for proctored exams that can result in college credit with a passing score.
CEUs are particularly useful in a computer career because of the field's constantly changing training and education needs. Individuals at any level of computer expertise can benefit from earning and collecting credits.
Certain technical certifications are recognized as eligible for CEU conversion according to Certiport, a provider of testing centers throughout the world. The American Council of Education (ACE) will convert into CEUs courses taken as part of a certification track. Each track has one or more required courses. Individuals who have passed courses for the following tracks are eligible:
• Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)
• Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA)
• Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
• Internet Computer Core Certification (IC3)
Here's an example. The Microsoft Office Specialist certification indicates to current or potential employers that you have the knowledge and training to use Microsoft Office products at a professional level using methods found in a typical office setting. There are 7 required exams. With a passing grade in each exam, you would be eligible to apply for and receive .5 CEUs.
Earning 3.5 CEU for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification may not seem like much. Given that the cost of a single credit hour of a university course is $100 and above, any savings gained is worthwhile. In the end you will have a desirable certification and CEUs to add to your education inventory.
When contemplating taking a course, check out CEU eligibility. Not all schools or training sites offer classes eligible for CEU credentialing. Consult the IACET global directory to check for accredited course providers. While it's not mandatory for courses to be CEU convertible, it is an extra attribute that could benefit you in the future.
CEUs are not only for those seeking to gain entry-level skills. Many professions require their practitioners to acquire a set amount of CEUs on regular basis. Nurses, geologists, teachers, engineers, therapists and fitness instructors are only a few professions that use CEUs for ongoing career development.
CEUs are for everyone. Individuals can use CEUs to demonstrate initiative in advancing in their careers. Companies can enrich their workforce by offering corporate training classes. Noncredit courses are a great way to explore new hobbies or acquire a new skill like learning a new language. They are easy to overlook but can pay unexpected dividends later on especially in a computer-oriented career.
Check out CEUs!