What is a CEU?

What is a CEU?

Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, are a nationally recognized standard for documenting successful completion of non-credit programs and courses intended to improve the knowledge and skills of working adults.
The typical CEU represents ten contact hours of experience in a structured continuing education experience (class, seminar, retreat, practicum, etc.) that is supervised by a qualified instructional provider. For example, participants receive 6.0 CEUs after completing our Meeting and Event Planning Certificate program.
The International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has established the criteria for CEUs to make standard procedures for issuing these lifelong learning credits. Academic institutions must be willing to meet these standards in order to give out verified CEUs.

Understanding the Benefits of CEUs

Professional Requirements
Certain professions require that practitioners earn a specific number of CEUs per year to ensure that they are up-to-date with current practices in their field. Proof of credits earned is necessary in order to renew a license to practice. The number of credits required varies by industry and state.

Improved Marketability
Even in the most uncertain economic conditions, employees who have earned CEUs will improve their marketability as a professional. Since continuing education programs provide specific career-related training, employers recognize the value of CEUs and are more likely to hire and promote candidates that have demonstrated their commitment to increasing their knowledge and strengthening their skills.

Learn More, Earn More
In addition to improving your likelihood of being hired for a new opportunity, continuing education will also help you to secure a higher income in your current position. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of education you complete is directly tied to your earning potential.

Having more valuable skills makes you more valuable to employers, so it’s then possible to negotiate a better salary. Gaining new skills and certifications can similarly help you grow your income if you’re self-employed. Learning how to do something new (e.g. graphic design) means you don’t have to outsource these tasks to others and adds to the services you are able to provide to your customers.

Certification Exams
CEUs are required in some industries to sit for certification exams. Continuing the Meeting and Event Planning Certificate example above, this program meets the continuing education requirements to qualify to sit for the Certified Meeting Professional certification exam administered by the Events Industry Council.

Networking Opportunities
Professionals who pursue continuing education units are able to take advantage of a shared learning environment in order to network with others in their field. This provides great opportunities to make lasting connections that could develop into potential business relations down the road.

UNC Charlotte Continuing Education will help provide the documentation you need to report your CEUs through transcripts and certificates of completion. For more information, please contact our registration center at 704-687-8900 or ce-info@uncc.edu.


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