When the words “continuing education” are mentioned, the first thought that usually comes to mind is a degree program requiring considerable time and money. There is apparently much truth to this perception. According to the University Continuing Education Association, 70 percent of bachelor’s degree completion programs through private universities fall under continuing education departments.
However, continuing education can also include short courses and certificate programs in the non-credit category. Many colleges offer non-credit courses as a way for individuals to upgrade existing job-related skills without going through a formal admissions process. Generally speaking, ten contact hours equals 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). Various professional organizations require a specific amount of CEUs in relevant subjects every few years to maintain continued membership.
CEU certificates have other advantages as well. The American Council on Education occasionally recommends college credit for select CEU programs. But the greatest potential benefit provided by non-credit certificates requires thinking outside the box. A non-credit certificate earned from a prestigious university could also energize an otherwise lackluster education section of a resume.
Listed below are five non-credit certificate programs offered online by well-respected universities. Various prerequisites may apply. Please check with the school prior to enrollment.
- Colorado State University – Ergonomics Certificate Online – $594
- Stanford University – Computer Security Certificate Program Online – $395 + $75 CEU fee
- Teachers College Columbia University – New Teacher Online Survival Series – $349
- Washington State University – Telework Online Certificate Program – $195
- West Virginia University – Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Certificate – $505
Information current as of October 1st, 2007.
For more information on these certificates as well as similar programs available online from many other prestigious universities, please visit the CEU page at e-Learning Pundit.
Paul monitors online college degree programs in the USA. His blog, e-Learning Pundit, focuses on the many distance degree opportunities often lost in cyberspace.
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