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Continuing Education for Counselors – Benefits of Online CEUs

Continuing education for counselors (LPC, LPCC, LCP, and MHC) not only enriches the licensed counselor’s practice but also satisfies individual state requirements for counselor CEUs for license renewals. These requirements are not only intended to keep the counselor up with the latest trends in the field but to update them on the latest risks and treatment options regardless of when they first began to practice or their field of expertise.

The focus of licensed counselors can vary greatly from one practice to another. For example: a licensed counselor in a school situation faces many different issues with at risk clients than that of a LPC whose practice focuses mainly upon the challenges of the aging population. Continuing education courses can reflect the different challenges faced by professionals in their areas of practice and the situations they and their clients face.

Whether or not there are formal counselor CE requirements depends upon the state issuing the license; however, many individuals who work in a government or a state agency may have CE requirements set by their individual agency. For example: state agencies may require a specific number of CEUs for counselors practicing under their auspices. Even if there are no continuing education requirements in place, the challenges of a counselor’s client population and the techniques for approaching these challenges are constantly changing. It takes more than just the occasional periodical to keep up with these changes. Online continuing education for counselors can assist the extremely busy professional counselor in keeping current with these changes and the needs of their target population while allowing them to leverage their available time in a more efficient fashion.

The minimum continuing education requirements in most states is from 20 to 40 hours depending upon the US state. Some states will also have additional requirements that set a specific number of hours in a course requirement such as ethics or risk assessment. Renewal of the license will usually involve providing proof of completion in the applicable areas. License cycles for counselors run from one to four years in length, again, depending on the state.

Satisfying Continuing Education for Counselors Requirements for License Renewal

Depending upon the individual state the continuing education requirements can vary. Many states will permit a combination of educational experiences to count toward the renewal of their counselor CEUs. A LPC working on a doctorate or whose has papers published may also apply this experience to credit against their license renewal requirements. Traditional classroom courses may also be applied toward the State’s CE requirements.

Perhaps one of the most innovative changes in continuing education for counselors is that of allowing credit for online courses. Many professional counselors are in private practice and the demands on their time are relentless. Most find that keeping up a personal life as well as a practice can be challenging and the requirements for CEUs may be simply one more thing on an already too full schedule. However, with online courses from a state board approved educational organization the burden of CE is notably less onerous, since courses and study takes place on their schedule. Selecting a continuing education class need not be a matter of taking what is available regardless of the content or its applicability to their practice.

Methods and challenges are constantly changing and the focus of the LPC must change with it. Additionally, changes in individual state laws require the licensed counselor be aware of their legal obligations as well as the ethics of sometimes entirely new situations. There are rarely grey areas in the laws that apply to the professional counselor and their responsibilities in reporting, and it is imperative they keep up with changes in the laws and current requirements. Continuing education for counselors in ethics and legalities is almost a professional necessity regardless of whether the state requires them for license renewal.

It is entirely possible to combine online counselor CEUs with offline seminars and other educational experiences to satisfy a state’s requirements for renewal of the counselor’s license. This can be particularly useful when the professional’s state or employer’s requirements include courses not available locally. In the real world very few professionals can take off on someone else’s schedule to attend coursework in another city or across the state.

Continuing Education For Teachers

Learning is a lifelong process. Nothing is more apt than that proverb which applies to teachers and educators across the world all over. Teachers undergo courses in continuing education as an annual ritual. The purpose is to ensure that obsolescence doesn’t creep into their knowledge and that it is current. Additionally, continuing education courses are targeted at equipping teachers with methodologies that assist students in learning in multiple and innovative ways. For teachers, the upside is in sharing best practices and managing behavior of students and classrooms effectively.

To ensure that teachers are at the forefront of the latest educational developments with respect to methodologies and technologies, continuing education is provided. Continuing education for teachers can be compared to a bridge that connects the best practices of individuals and groups within the field. The purpose of continuing education is to keep teachers up to date and hone their teaching mechanisms in order to derive effective outcomes from students.

In the past, continuing education for teachers was nominal. It usually contained self serving slides or presentations and similar other tools that educators just needed to click and complete. There was no follow-up, collaboration or discussion to test their effectiveness. However, this has changed in recent times with tools for continuing education becoming more robust and effective. Consequently, the tools of today not only provide self learning but also assess and measure effectiveness through several touch points such as additional learning materials, working with peers and experts, completing assignments and participate in discussions on related subjects within specified time frames. Examples of this online technology that is blended with offline learning is Michigan’s LearnPort and PBS Teacher’s Line.

The focus is not just on eLearning in isolation but also through interaction actively with groups both through online and offline forums using the latest internet technologies across the county and world. Web 2.0 tools are also being used more often in current times such as Twitter, Wikis, Podcasts, Skype, Moodle, Ning, Flat Classroom and Google Docs. These social networking tools are quite useful in professional development of teachers and educators. They facilitate removal of barriers such as territorial boundaries and time zones.

Additional forums of continuing education for teachers include seminars, webinars, workshops and conferences along side courses provided in college campuses and school districts in-house. Non-profits and governmental associations also provide continuing teaching programs in relevant areas and subjects for teachers. Examples are courses conducted by Connecticut Education Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and American Association of Physics Teachers. Such organizations deploy continuing education either state-wise or subject-wise as appropriate. Private companies are also known to join the fray offering continuing education courses for teachers.

Continuing teaching courses may be focused on specific teaching subjects such as Mathematics and Physics could be meant for enhancing their educational methodologies. The latter also covers latest technologies that can be brought into the class rooms. Virtual class rooms are an example. Additionally, they could also equip teachers with heightened capabilities in classroom management and related tasks.

The Importance of Continuing Education

While these 23 million individuals represent the very core of an emerging society that is more inclined to studying and learning, the remaining individuals are excluded from these learning experiences due to reasons of time, cost, or even personal issues.

Over the last few years, the number of adults who are continuing with their education has increased tremendously. This term “continuing education” describes the opportunity and process of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge that is far superior to what we are taught during our formal schooling years.

Most people opt for continued education to further their knowledge base and even their employability.

Continuing Education vs. Traditional

Usually, what we learn in all of those long, arduous years of our formal schooling are just basic skills that are good enough to help us start working, but not good enough to take us further in our careers, especially with the rapid changes and advancements in technology that demands for a more sophisticated and educated workforce.

Students who participate in continuing their education are generally working professionals who seek to further advance and promote their intellectual capabilities while still working. Since their time is divided between studies and full-time work, they have to be extremely motivated in order to succeed. One of the biggest characteristics that distinguish students who are participating in continuing education is their tendency to relate the lessons that they learn in class to their work experience.

Instructors must have the proper and appropriate practical experience and knowledge in order to address the issues and concerns of these special students. Students involved in continuing education can be very selective when it comes to choosing their courses. The courses that they choose have to be in some way relevant to their work and should be able to benefit them. If the right course is chosen, it can benefit you a great deal both educationally and professionally.

More and more adults are now engaged in continuing education that leads to formal qualifications that provide them with the adequate knowledge pertaining to a certain area of study. Furthermore, continuing education also provides us with a certain pride of accomplishment as we take our courses.

Offering an affordable, faster, and definitely more focused means of acquiring career or personal objectives, continuing education credentials can be put on resumes and presented anywhere as evidence of the individual’s professional studies.

The Importance of ‘Continuing Education’ in the Workplace

A skilled workforce will always result in increased economic productivity. Here is how continuing education benefits the working force:

o A more skilled workforce is always more productive – These days, skills and education are seen as the most important elements of the employability and income potential of a candidate. Since the economy has shifted to one that values an educated workforce more than an uneducated workforce, employers are now seeking both educated and skilled workers. The demand for continuing education has thus increased twofold.

o Continuing education helps employers retain better employees while remaining as competitive as ever – A more educated employee will always be more productive, so companies have now started hiring employees who are continuing with their education. Continuing education can be seen as a way to retain the better, more educated employees.

With the rapid advancement of the information technology sector, continuing education will not be confined to only physical space. Distance learning through interactive media will form a major part of continuing education. The internet will also play a huge role in delivering the course materials to the students.