What is a Continuing Education Unit?
The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized unit of measurement for participation in non-credit continuing education programs. Adults who successfully complete Smart Horizons approved programs will be awarded continuing education units. A permanent record of CEUs awarded will be maintained in the NEXPORT database and will be easily accessible for certification and verification purposes.
- Provide a nationally established record of professional development learning activity
- Encourage adult students to utilize educational resources to meet their personal and educational needs
- Recognize individuals that continue their education and keep themselves current in their chosen professions
- Enable individuals to have an accurate source of their current CEU activity
- Provide a system to document continuing education experiences in meeting certification requirements.
What types of events may be approved to award CEUs?
All non-credit courses, workshops, conferences and seminars that are designed to expand the skills and knowledge of professionals, are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
CEUs may be awarded to any of the following:
- Non-credit classes, clinics, independent study programs, online courses, and TV or videotaped programs used as part of an organized education experience.
- Non-credit technical and professional courses.
- In-service training programs.
- Programs that will fulfill certificate or licensing requirements.
- Programs falling within a "technical/industrial society" sponsored by the university, enabling members to upgrade their technical or occupational credentials.
- Paraprofessional and vocational training programs.
- Staff development programs.
CEUs are typically not awarded to:
- Any program for which academic credit is received.
- Orientation or on-the-job training programs.
- A program that leads to high school credit.
- Individual, self-directed studies or independent learning experiences not subject to verification by testing.
Whether it’s in school, at home, on the job or in the community, people are constantly gaining new knowledge and skills. This is lifelong learning; continuous learning that helps people master non-stop change and become more innovative and productive.
It provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and understanding they’ll need in life as individuals, citizens and workers.
It makes communities more productive and innovative, as workers create and discover new abilities and ideas. In our knowledge based economy and society, change is constant the workplace. But people who embrace lifelong learning – who constantly learn new skills and train for new challenges-can better cope with the demands of workplace changes.
It strengthens the economy. The more skills, knowledge and ability that individuals develop, the greater the level of capacity in the economy. A stronger economy means citizens benefit from the chance to earn more, live better and contribute to the economic system.
We live in a world where people must have the skills to understand, interpret and process different information. Because of that, it is essential to recognize and value all forms of learning.
Benefits of Continuing Education for Adults
Adults go back to school for a variety of reasons. These reasons are centered on personal achievements or a new found inner drive to succeed. The main reasons adults continue their education include:
- Taking advanced courses in their career field to improve chances for promotion and salary increases.
- Becoming more marketable in their career field or a new career field they are entering.
- Improving education level to improve their lives and to inspire their children to improve their education.
- Simply take courses of interest or complete a program they have developed a deep rooted passion about for a specific subject area.
According to various studies, including the U.S. Department of Labor, adults complete continuing education for a variety of reasons. The most prominent reason is for personal accomplishment, with learning things they are interested in as a second reason.
Over 70% of adults believe taking continuing education courses will increase their salaries by moving up the ladder in their work place. Which in many cases this is true. However, over 60% state their primary reason for taking continuing education courses is to make them more marketable for changing careers.
This is important for those who want to change careers and have no experience in a new career field. Many take continuing education courses to place themselves in a position to improve their lives. Also, 58% state this will lead to being a better role more for their kids to inspire them to continue with their education and job prospects.
Some adults take continuing education courses to earn more respect from their family and friends. Many of these adults over 50 take courses just to learn something new. A large benefit for adults, who complete continuing education courses, is that 75% feel a positive impact on their lives. This leads to increased job satisfaction and helps them achieve their short term goals (next 5 years).
By far the largest benefit is that 80% of all adults entering continuing education programs complete the program, earning a degree or certificate. This is far superior to the typical 50% completion rate of those who enter college directly from high school, based on earning a degree by their 25th birthday.
Distance learning is transforming the continuing education landscape by offering students more course options and flexibility than ever before education is truly becoming an anytime, anyplace possibility.
Each year, 6 million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries at an annual cost to U.S. businesses of more than $125 billion, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics. Of those 6 million injured, 40 percent are employees who have been with the company less than one year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In light of this data, employee safety training seems a wise investment for employers, especially in high-risk sectors like the waste industry. Companies should start right away with their new recruits.
To be sure, many waste companies already provide some form of introductory training or orientation for new hires, as government regulation, insurance carrier requirements and pure common sense dictate. But, many employers still fail to recognize the importance of immediate and extensive safety training that should begin on the first day of an employee's tenure.
For new employees, knowing how to do their jobs properly should mean recognizing the need for safety in the workplace, understanding the role they play in ensuring a safe workplace, and demonstrating the right attitude toward safety by understanding and consistently following safety rules and procedures.
A training program for new waste firm workers should include the following:
- Reporting procedures for medical, fire and other emergencies
- Hazardous materials identification
- Accident avoidance
- Ergonomic and safe work procedures, such as proper lifting techniques
But safety should be more than a pile of procedures and checklists. It should be a core value within the company. There may be no better way for a new employee to learn about a firm's commitment to safety than by having a senior employee take him or her “under wing.” Pairing a new employee with a mentor to observe safety procedures in action as a complement to standard training has many advantages.
Mentoring has been found to help new employees acclimate to the company, which in turn helps reduce employee turnover rates. Less turnover means that the company is not losing its base of skilled and highly trained employees. That, in turn, minimizes the potential risks associated with hiring and training new employees.
Most companies cannot afford to risk an accident or safety violation due to the inexperience of a rookie employee. Improving safety practices can reduce insurance, medical, liability and other costs; improve employee morale; and decrease turnover.
Whether about the proper use of equipment and industry standards or preventing work-related illnesses and injuries, effective safety training can mean the difference between life and death for those who work around machinery, hazardous materials or boxes that simply need lifting.
A total of 4.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces during 2004. These cases occurred at a rate of 4.8 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, according to the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor and data released last November. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that, since 1971, the number of workplace fatalities has fallen by more than 60 percent and occupational illness and injury has decreased by forty percent.
One of the first reasons given by OSHA to explain this dramatic improvement is an increase in quality safety training. Companies increasingly are making employees aware of the dangers present in their work.
Indeed, the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) charges, "Awareness of safety does not come naturally; we all need to be trained to work safely." The majority of workplace accidents result from human error or inattention, and, as such, are easily avoidable via effective safety and health programs and training.