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Continuing Education Programs

Continuing Education Programs

An Introduction to Continuing Education Programs

If you're interested in signing up for a course, you're probably wondering how exactly continuing education programs work. How do students receive recognition in a non-credited course? What is a CEU? Do you need to apply for these courses? Here's some information on the logistics behind continuing education.

First of all, most of continuing education programs are open enrollment. This means that the course doesn't require the student to do anything more than register his or her name with the course provider and hand over the registration fee. It can be that simple. However, depending on the class, some open enrollment courses might require a high school diploma or GED and some prerequisite knowledge of the subject matter.


Students can sign up for continuing educations programs for college credit or non-credit. The program cost will reflect this decision and can range in price from $10 for a non-credit workshop to over $300 for one college credit. Courses for credit are usually considered diploma programs and can include adult undergraduate degrees and graduate level study. Workshops, summer programs and seminars are usually non-credit. If a student wants to matriculate at a certain school, yet does not have the experience or ability to do so, enrolling in a credit course can be a good way for the student to introduce him or herself to the university.

Professionals, on the other hand, are not interested in college credit but will enroll in continuing education programs to maintain their Continuing Education Units or (CEUs). Some careers require the professional to participate in continuing education in order to stay current in the field.

Even if you aren't interested in college credit or CEUs, there is always the option of enrolling in a certificate program. These programs offer concentrated study in one professional field. Sometimes a certificate program can help people start a new career or give their resume an added boost. These programs are considered 'career training programs' and can cost between $1,300 and $3,000 depending on the area of study.