The term “continuing education” refers to educational courses and programs in all types of disciplines, including, business, psychology, writing, sciences, workforce training and health and wellness. Courses are taught online, at schools and even on cruise ships.
Brush up your skills with continuing education resources. Find online courses, professional organizations and community colleges offering continuing education programs in your region.
In 1907, the University of Wisconsin at Madison was the first academic institution in the United States to offer what would be considered today as an identifiable continuing education program. Later in 1969, Empire State College, a campus within the State University of New York system, became the first institution in the United States to exclusively focus on providing continuing higher education to adult learners.
There are myriad professions and occupations that require continuing education as an element of maintaining certification in that particular field, e.g., healthcare, finance, law, teaching and engineering. Such courses are maintained and supervised by the applicable state, trade or professional accrediting agency or board.
“Mandatory continuing education is common in certain careers, such as dental and health professions. By law, certain individuals are required to keep up with modern developments, thus guaranteeing the best possible course of treatment for patients. Because of the highly competitive market, professionals who do not need require continuing education often decide to undertake it anyway as a means of improving their resume and their chances for advancement. Critics of continuing education programs argue that obtaining credit is becoming easier and easier, which means many professionals are attending workshops but not necessarily absorbing new information from them.” [ Source - "What is Continuing Education" from Wisegeek.com ]
“[Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)] was founded in 1974 for the purpose of improving continuing education and training and has been officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education since 1978 as a “reliable authority” as to the quality of education and training provided by the institutions we accredit. In 1998, ACCET became the only recognized accrediting agency to be certified as an ISO 9001-Quality Management System, under the international standards established by the International Organization for Standardization, and continues to hold that unique status.” [ Source - The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training ]
“In order to maintain certification and provide evidence of maintaining expertise in a nursing specialty, certification renewal must be completed every few years (e.g. [American Nurses Credentialing Center] ANCC requires 5-year renewals). Certified nurses must fulfill the professional development requirements for their certification specialty, as well as complete a minimum number of practice hours in their certification role and specialty or retest.” [ Source - "Why Certified Nurses Should Should Look For Accredited Continuing Nursing Education" by Amy Bernard ]
“The American Public Health Association’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Committee provides leadership in the creation, development, implementation and, evaluation of continuing education. The committee strives to promote unique and innovative continuing education to meet the dynamic and diverse needs of public health practitioners.” [ Source - The American Public Health Association ]
“Accreditation is a voluntary process by which [the Accreditation of Continuing Nursing Education Providers] ANCC reviews and accredits an organization providing continuing nursing education to ensure that its programs are designed using pre-determined national education design criteria. The essential purpose of this system is to provide professional nursing judgment on the quality of the continuing nursing education offered.” [ Source - "Accreditation of Continuing Nurse Education Provider" by the American Nurses Credentialing Center ]
“Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE was established in 1932 for the accreditation of pre-service education, and in 1975 its scope of activity was broadened to include accreditation of providers of continuing pharmacy education.” [ Source - The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education ]
“Once, having your degree, diploma or certification was a lifelong guarantee of success and knowledge. Today, continuous learning and education is required to stay competitive in industry and job markets, stay abreast of new developments in your field, enhance your personal knowledge and skills, and to serve your patients and clients most effectively.” [ Sources - "Online Continuing Education Resources" by World Wide Learn ]