Continuing education (CE) is a broad term that encompasses many different types of learning. It typically refers to post-secondary activities and programs that follow certain prerequisites. Examples include non-degree college courses, career or workforce training, self-directed learning, and personal enrichment classes.
People seek continuing education for various reasons. Some courses fulfill CE requirements for working professionals. Others allow people to learn new skills for career change or advancement. Some classes provide personal enrichment and recreation. Here are the most common types of continuing education courses:
Professional Continuing Education
Professional continuing education allows employees with a college degree to meet the CE requirements for professional licensure or certification. Professional CE courses are often available online or at night school. The schools that offer continuing education work closely with regulatory agencies to ensure that their classes meet approval guidelines.
Certain professions have regularly scheduled classes for continuing education. They include the real estate, insurance, income, early childhood and health professions. In fact, allied health courses are a separate type of continuing education.
Allied Health Education
Allied health education offers CE courses in all aspects of health care. Classes on physical and mental health are available to almost every type of health care provider. The schools that offer them work closely with health care facilities and health service organizations to provide high-quality learning opportunities. Among the professionals served by CE courses for allied health are physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nurse assistants (CNAs), emergency medical technicians (EMTs), nursing home administrators, registered dietitians, social workers and cosmetologists.
Computer training is another type of continuing education. Basic computer skills are necessary in most businesses today, and many companies offer CE courses to help employees obtain these essential skills. Computer courses teach a basic understanding of computer concepts, keyboarding, and the Internet. They allow students to learn and practice their skills in Microsoft Office programs and other software commonly used in an office setting. Some classes teach computer-aided design (CAD), web page development and other technologies.
Personal enrichment classes are designed for personal development, hobbies, and recreation. Conversational Spanish, sign language, photography, genealogy, woodworking, and financial management are popular examples. Some courses prepare students for exams like the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the American College Testing (ACT) exam, and the Graduate Educational Development (GED) test.
The delivery method for continuing education varies from traditional classrooms, lectures and laboratories to online training and distance learning. Many CE courses are available in the evenings at night school or in weekend classes. The flexibility makes it easier for working professionals to balance their professional and personal lives.