Home Audiology 6 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Continuing Education Provider

6 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Continuing Education Provider

by Amy-lynn Engelbrecht
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Photo by Brett Jordan

The Internet is changing how and where we learn. Make sure you know what to look for when shopping for your next online continuing education course.

Creating and selling online continuing education is a rapidly growing industry, a fact that is great news for busy SLPs and audiologists. It’s become easier than ever to complete your national association and/or state mandated CE requirements quickly, conveniently and inexpensively.  And that means it’s more important than ever to know what to look for when shopping for a provider. Choosing the wrong one can result in a very dissatisfying educational experience and unwanted stress.  The following list will help you find the best fit for your CE needs.

  1. Accreditation:  Has your regulating board approved the provider or the provider’s courses? There are strict rules and regulations that must be adhered to and a good provider will be transparent in disclosing their accreditation. It’s also a smart idea to check with your national and state regulating bodies. Websites like ASHA.org will generally list all approved continuing education providers.
  2. Reputable Instructors: When you’ve located a provider and checked out some of their courses, do a quick online search on the instructors. Make sure they are licensed healthcare professionals, experienced educators or individuals with the appropriate credentials/specialized training in their field of instruction.
  3. Large and Varied Course Selection: Advances in medicine and documentation require that the practitioner must continually update their knowledge base. Continuing education providers should be doing the same thing. Look for one that is adding new courses to their catalog on a regular basis. Does their course catalog cover a wide spectrum of subjects that will not only keep you current but also enhance you professionally?  Providers can and should offer a large selection of informative and engaging courses.
  4. Understanding of Your Needs: When you’re shopping for continuing education courses you should feel confident that the provider understands your needs and requirements. Any provider worth their salt will be able to help you understand the rules and regulations that govern your profession.
  5. Production Quality: Simply having good content isn’t enough; it should be presented in a professional format, with clean visual components and clear audio. It’s no good spending money on a video course that is blurry and hard to hear or fails to even provide any visual demonstrations. It should be easy to access, too. A few clicks of your mouse button are all it should take to get to your material. You can check the provider’s website for screenshots or video samples of their courses to evaluate the value they place on production quality.
  6. Cost: It’s always nice to save money, but be wary of the provider with ridiculously low prices. That usually means that corners have been cut, never a good thing.  Prices should be reasonable based on the amount of content provided in the course, and the production quality of the course. Some providers will offer options to combine courses together at a lower cost than buying them individually. One that offers flexibility to buy exactly what you need to meet your requirements and takes your budget into consideration can be a lifesaver, especially if you’ve left those requirements to the last minute!

It’s always smart to do your research before you commit to a continuing education course,as for the SLP or audiology professional the fallout from a bad choice can create extra stress and unwanted complications in your life. Following these few simple tips can help you make the decisions when it comes to choosing an online continuing education provider.

 

Amy-lynn Engelbrecht is the Online Content Specialist at HomeCEUConnection.com. HomeCEUConnection.com is an ASHA Approved CE Provider, provides online continuing education courses that are convenient, affordable and user friendly. HomeCEUConnection.com provides that offer ASHA CEUs for Speech-Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Athletic Trainers, Massage Therapists, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists.

 

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12 comments

Tatyana Elleseff July 24, 2012 - 12:20 pm

Amy,
I think this is an awesome blog post not just for those SLPs looking for the CE courses but also for current or even perspective CE providers, because it gives all parties an excellent idea of all the important aspects involved in the process of CE provision. Nice!

Amy-Lynn July 26, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Thanks Pam!

Amy-Lynn July 26, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Thanks Tatyana!

6 Things to Look For When Choosing Your Continuing Education Provider | Speech Language Pathology | Scoop.it July 25, 2012 - 10:44 am

[…] Photo by Brett Jordan The Internet is changing how and where we learn. Make sure you know what to look for when shopping for your next online continuing education course.  […]

obgyn palm beaches July 25, 2012 - 10:47 am

Great post and great advice, thanks for sharing!

Pam July 25, 2012 - 12:46 pm

I have been thinking about signing up for online CEU courses as school districts are limiting the funds available for continuing education. I did wonder about the low cost of one such provider and wondered how one can check it out to ensure they are truly accredited and that the courses are relevant and useful? Is it enough if they say there are? How do you check it out? Does ASHA have a list of approved providers?

Amy-Lynn July 26, 2012 - 3:34 pm

Hi Pam! Yes ASHA does have a list of approved providers and it can be found here: http://www.asha.org/ce/CEUs/ceProviders.htm

Your best bet for learning if the course will be relevant and useful would be to check out the course’s goals and objectives as well as the instructor of the course.

Good luck with your CEUs – let us know if we can be of any help!

Pam July 31, 2012 - 12:21 pm

Thank you all so much for your help! This is exciting to have this available as I value my time and my district’s money and want to get the most bang for their buck!

Pam

Tom Jelen July 31, 2012 - 9:38 am

Hi Pam,

If you want to search for specific courses, ASHA’s Course Search application may also be a resource to use: http://www.asha.org/eweb/ashadynamicpage.aspx?site=ashacms&webcode=coursesearch. You can search by date, location, keyword, and subject area.

Hope that helps!

Tom Jelen, Director of Online Communications for ASHA

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Elizabeth Strong July 27, 2012 - 8:29 pm

Amy-Lynn,

My husband and I are doctorate students who have been taking college credit classes in research and adult learning methodology. Will ASHA accept those class hours as CEUs. If these courses are acceptable, what form of proof does ASHA require?

Thanks.

Elizabeth

Ellen Fagan, Director, ASHA CE August 1, 2012 - 5:35 pm

ASHA CEUs are awarded for courses designed and delivered by our network of 550 ASHA Approved CE Providers. Some colleges and universities are ASHA CE Providers and offer their courses for academic credit as well as ASHA CEUs. However, it sounds like the courses you are taking are not offered for ASHA CEUs. ASHA does not have a process for converting academic hours or other providers’ hours or credits to ASHA CEUs. If you take a course in the future that is not offered for ASHA CEUs, you might consider developing an independent studyplan around the course content and what you hope to do with the knowledge and skills you will learn. You can find out more about independent study at: http://www.asha.org/ce/self-direct/

If you are taking courses that are not offered for ASHA CEUs and want to use those courses toward your ASHA CCC maintenance, here is a link to some information about that. http://www.asha.org/certification/FactDef.htm

Contact me if you have other questions or if this did not answer your question. My email is efagan@asha.org or call 301-296-5739.

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