10 Questions You Should Consider to Help You Find the Perfect Continuing Education

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What Are Your Continuing Education Plans for this Summer?
Continuing Education has long been part of being a teacher and can often be one of the factors that move a good teacher to a remarkable teacher.  CE can energize with new ideas and techniques to try in the classroom.  CE can inspire and motivate, but not all continuing education is created equal.

How do you find Continuing Education that’s right for you?

How do you find CE that meets your needs?

Below are 10 questions that will help you find the perfect Continuing Education for you!

1) Do I need Continuing Education for relicensing purposes or to advance along my district’s salary schedule?  What is the difference?

  1. If you are looking to relicense, we strongly encourage you to check with the Department of Education for the state in which you’re licensed.  Many states and districts have unique requirements for relicensure. Often states don’t require graduate credit for relicensure but instead continuing education units (CEUs), professional development units (PDUs) or clock hours (CH).
  2. If you are looking to move along your district’s salary schedule, often degree-eligible graduate credit is required.  We encourage you to reach out to your district staff to make sure you understand the specific requirements necessary to move along your steps and lanes.

2) Does my state or school district have any specific requirements for the graduate credit?

  1. Often, graduate credit needs to be obtained from an accredited institution. Check with your district office to understand what type of accreditation is needed; some terminology includes NCATE/CAEP or Regionally Accredited.
  2. Occasionally, districts require the graduate credit teacher obtain to be “degree eligible.”

3) How much does a courses cost and what is included in the cost?

Price is an important factor to consider and sometimes a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.

  1. Will you need to pay for the course yourself?
  2. Will your school or district reimburse me or provide a PO to pay for your continuing education?
  3. Are there opportunities for discounts?  Group Discounts?  Multi-course order discounts?
  4. Do textbooks need to be purchased separately or are they included in the cost?
  5. If you need graduate credit, is that cost included in the price you are seeing advertised? Or, do you need to pay an additional charge to obtain the graduate credit? Some companies offering continuing education will advertise a low price, but in order to obtain graduate credit, the customer may have to pay an additional fee to the college or university providing the graduate credit.
  6. Do you need a transcript from an academic partner?  Is there an additional cost to securing the transcript?

4) How do you like to learn?

Consider how you like to learn.  Do you like to:

  1. Be in a classroom environment with an instructor and classmates?
  2. Learn in an online or virtual classroom?
  3. Work independently and at your own pace with a textbook in your hand?

5) If you register for a course, through a continuing education provider, and not directly through a college or university, how do you obtain graduate credit?  Are there extra steps you need to take to receive a transcript?

Your time is important and you don’t want to jump through hoops to get that all-important transcript.  Consider all the steps from course ordering to receiving your transcript.  How complicated is the process?

6) What does the course look like?  What is the timeline for completion?  How do you gain access to the coursework?

When you find a continuing education course that interests you, ask to review the course syllabus.  Do the requirements seem valuable? Do they meet your school or state requirements? Do you need access to students to complete the course? Do you need internet access or need to be available at certain times to interact with the instructor or other students? Ask these questions and evaluate whether this will constitute a good learning experience for you.

7) When are the courses offered? 

Consider your schedule – will you be able to get the most out of this course? Will you be able to complete the course during the given timeline? Are you ready to give up every Saturday for the next eight weeks? Or, are the courses self-paced and allow you to work on your own schedule? Do the courses start and stop at specific times or run all year round?  Which mode of learning works better for you?

8) How long will it take to complete a course?

Some people want to press the “Easy” button to complete their continuing education. However, consider that you are often paying your hard-earned money for this CE and wouldn’t it be great if what you learned in your CE could actually translate into lesson plans in your classroom or help you lead a productive and engaged group of students? As a teacher, we hope you buy into the mantra that learning is fun and valuable!

Consider the time you have available and when the coursework is due to make sure you have adequate time to complete the course thoroughly and productively!

9) Who can you contact with questions when working on your course?

How accessible will the instructor be if you get stuck when working on the course? Do instructors have office hours? Will they be able to respond in a reasonable timeframe? Make sure these response times meet your needs.

10) How do you submit your coursework? How fast can you get a transcript?  What is the process?

Do you have to print and mail in your coursework?  Can you submit your coursework electronically by uploading or emailing?  Can all coursework be submitted online? Consider which method is most convenient for you.

Relicensing dates tend to sneak up on us. Will you have enough time to complete the work, have it evaluated and get a transcript in time to satisfy relicensing needs? These are very important questions to ask and to make sure the continuing education you select meets your needs.

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For more than 15 years, Learners Edge has provided continuing education graduate credit courses for salary advancement and re-licensure to tens of thousands of remarkable teachers from across the United States. Learners Edge is passionately committed to helping teachers succeed in their classrooms and in their careers. Explore Learners Edge and Let Us Be Remarkable for You!

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