VI:02:08 Determination of Non-Credit Course/Workshop Content and CEU Award
The purpose of this policy is to provide information about the determination of CEU award and non-credit program* content.
Non-credit programs are planned in response to needs and interests identified through the continuing education program evaluation, community requests, business and industry requests, agency requests, research, and course proposals from potential faculty.
Non-credit program content and outcomes are developed in consultation with the non-credit faculty member recommended to teach the course or workshop. Faculty are recommended based upon their qualifications and expertise. The Division’s directors meet with the faculty member to plan and outline content, discuss methods, determine the number of contact hours of instruction, and identify the assessment used in determining if a student has successfully completed the course/workshop. Faculty also review and recommend textbooks. The program content and recommended text, as appropriate, are submitted to the Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education and Economic Development for review and final approval prior to the scheduled activity. A syllabus is distributed to all participants and filed in the Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development.
Once content and contact hours are approved, the number of CEUs to be awarded is determined. The institution defines CEU as follows: “One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.” In no instance shall CEUs be awarded for an activity if it has been offered prior to submission for approval.
One contact hour is based on a sixty-minute hour. The total number of contact hours is divided by ten to determine the CEU award. A segment of at least fifty-minutes may also be calculated as one contact hour. CEUs are expressed in tenths and hundredths. For example, a program of two and one-half hours in length is expressed as .25 CEUs. Any segment of instruction less than thirty-minutes is not counted.
Included in the calculation of CEUs** or contact hours for each non-credit program are the following elements:
- In-class time with direct participation between the learner and instructor.
- Activities in which there is no instructor present such as supervised independent study, computer-assisted instruction, or project-based assignments. Contact hours are determined after field-testing showing an average amount of time required to complete the activity.
- Field experiences, laboratory assignments, and projects may qualify for CEU if they are sufficiently structured to meet the criteria. Field-testing is used to show the average amount of time required to complete the activity.
Elements not included in the calculation of CEUs** or contact hours are:
- Time for study, assigned reading, and other related activities outside of the classroom or meeting schedule.
- Meeting time devoted to business or committee activities.
- Meeting time devoted to announcements, welcoming speeches, or organizational reports.
- Time allocated to events such as socials, refreshment breaks, luncheons, receptions, and dinners. NOTE: Time devoted to a luncheon or dinner presentation integral to the continuing education experience may be included in calculating contact hours.
Offerings by Other College Units
The College’s Health Sciences Center of Emphasis and NewSkills regularly offer non-credit instruction approved by the Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development for CEU award. Requests for approval of a CEU instructional activity are submitted prior to the offering of that activity. Curriculum files and faculty resumes are housed in those units. Activity summary forms and student records of CEUs earned are housed in the Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development.
Other College units may avail themselves of the opportunity to award CEUs to participants in instructional activities. Request forms must be submitted in advance of the activity for approval by the Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education and Economic Development.
External Agency Requests for CEU Award
External agencies may request CEUs for an agency-sponsored instructional activity. Requests must be submitted in advance of the scheduled activity for review by content experts. After review and approval of content, content experts submit the request for CEU award to the Assistant Vice President for Continuing Education and Economic Development. Activity summary forms are maintained in the office of the content experts (i.e., Health Sciences Center of Emphasis). Student records are housed in the Division of Continuing Education and Economic Development. A service fee is assessed for each registration processed for the sponsoring agency.
* Program is defined as a single course or workshop/seminar as well as a series of courses leading toward a Certificate of Completion.
** Excerpts from The Continuing Education Unit: Guidelines, The Commission on Colleges, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Fifth Edition, Reprinted 2000.
VSCC Source: July 1, 1989, President; July 7, 1997, President; December 4, 2007, President