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Continuing Education Essay

Continuing education (called further education in the United Kingdom and Ireland) is an all-encompassing term within a broad spectrum of post-secondary learning activities and programs. The term is used mainly in the United States and Canada. Recognized forms of post-secondary learning activities within the domain include: degree credit courses by non-traditional students, non-degree career training, workforce training, formal personal enrichment courses (both on-campus and online) self-directed learning (such as through Internet interest groups, clubs or personal research activities) and experiential learning as applied to problem solving.

GENERAL CONTINUING EDUCATION General continuing education is similar to adult education, at least in being intended for adult learners, especially those beyond traditional undergraduate college or university age. However, it is not normally considered to include basic instruction such as literacy, English language skills, or programs such as vocational training or GED preparation. Instead, as the term suggests, it is assumed that the student already has an education and is simply continuing it.

Frequently, in the United States, continuing education involves enrollment in college/university credit-granting courses, often by students enrolled part-time, and often offered through a division or school of continuing education of a college/university known sometimes as the university extension or extension school. Also frequently in the US, it can mean enrollment in non-credit-granting courses, often taken for personal, non-vocational enrichment (although many non-credit courses can also have a vocational function). Also, in the US, many such non-credit courses are offered by community colleges.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison, in 1907, was the first academic institution in the US to offer what today would be considered an identifiable continuing education program. [1][2] In 1969, Empire State College, a unit of the State University of New York, was the first institution in the US to exclusively focus on providing higher education to adult learners. In 1976 the University of Florida created its own Division of Continuing Education and most courses were offered on evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of working students. [3]

In the spring of 2009, Eduventures, a higher education consulting firm, released the results of a study that illustrated that the recession had made a significant impact on the views of prospective continuing education students. A survey of 1,500 adults who planned to enroll in a course or program within the next two years determined that while nearly half of respondents believed that the value of education had risen due to the recession, over two-thirds said the state of the economy had affected their plans to pursue continuing education. CATEGORIES OF CONTINUING EDUCATION.

Continuing education can be broken down into three categories: Formal education * Structured and organized education, training or professional development that takes place in a school, in the workplace or through a professional credit-granting organization. * Learning takes place under the set rules of the school and the education must be completed within specific time lines. * Results in a formal certification. Non-formal education * Education, training or professional development activities that are provided by by education institutions, community organizations and training agencies. * More flexible about meeting the student’s needs.

* Depending on the program, this kind of education does not always result in a formal certification. Informal education * The process of gaining knowledge, skills and values from daily experiences at home, in the community or at work. * Individuals learn in order to enrich themselves. * May result in a certification, but not always. To learn out more about continuing education policy, explore these reports and papers: * Harnessing the power and potential of adult learning and education for a viable future – Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI), UNESCO, December 2009.

* Qualifications Systems: Bridges to Lifelong Learning – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, April 2007. CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR PROFESSIONALS Within the domain of Continuing Education, professional continuing education is a specific learning activity generally characterized by the issuance of a certificate or continuing education units (CEU) for the purpose of documenting attendance at a designated seminar or course of instruction. Licensing bodies in a number of fields impose continuing education requirements on members who hold licenses to practice within a particular profession.

These requirements are intended to encourage professionals to expand their knowledge base and stay up-to-date on new developments. Depending on the field, these requirements may be satisfied through college or university coursework, extension courses or conferences and seminars attendance. Although individual professions may have different standards, the most widely accepted standard, developed by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training, is that ten contact hours equals one Continuing Education Unit.

[5] Not all professionals use the CEU convention. For example, the American Psychological Association accredits sponsors of continuing education such as PsychContinuingEd. com and uses simply a CE approach. In contrast to the CEU, the CE credit is typically one CE credit for each hour of contact. METHOD AND FORMAT OF CONTINUING EDUCATION The method of delivery of continuing education can include traditional types of classroom lectures and laboratories.

However, many continuing education programs make heavy use of distance learning, which not only includes independent study, but can also include videotaped/CD-ROM material, broadcast programming or Online Education which has more recently dominated the distance learning community. Many universities such as Southern New Hampshire University, have begun to offer hybrid courses; where adult learners have the option of in-classroom learning, as well as taking online courses.

[6] Online courses have brought the possibility of obtaining an affordable college education to many of those of to whom it was previously out of reach. In addition to independent study, the use of conference-type group study, which can include study networks (which can, in many instances, meet together online) as well as different types of seminars/workshops, can be used to facilitate learning. A combination of traditional, distance, and conference-type study, or two of these three methods, may be used for a particular continuing education course or program. CONTINUING EDUCATION UNIT

A continuing education unit (CEU) or continuing education credit (CEC) is a measure used in continuing education programs, particularly those required in a licensed profession in order for the professional to maintain the license. Examples of people who need CEUs include: teachers, interior designers/interior architects, lighting designers, architects, engineers, educators, nurses, mental health professionals, and social workers. Generally, a CEU is defined as ten hours of participation in a recognized continuing education program, with qualified instruction and sponsorship.

CEU records are widely used to provide evidence of completion of continuing education requirements mandated by certification bodies, professional societies, or governmental licensing boards. The records also provide employers with information on training pertinent to particular occupations. The term CEU is in the public domain. Any organization may award a traditional CEU without requiring any accreditation. With a traditional CEU an employer or other organization must decide on an individual basis whether to honor the CEU from a training provider.

Due to certain CEU providers not adhering to high standards, and the lack of standards for specific fields, there is sometimes a distrust of the value of a CEU, and accrediting organizations have been created to standardize what a CEU means. [1] Of these, the International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET) offers the accreditation of CEUs for the most industries. Specific industries, such as nursing, health, etc. , have their own accrediting processes for CEUs. Any accredited CEU generally has a preface of the accrediting body.

For instance training institutions accredited by the IACET can offer IACET CEUs. THE GOALS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION Ideally, continuing-education programs benefit both businesses and workers. Businesses encourage continuing education in order to sustain a highly skilled and specialized workforce—a workforce with the skills to perform a variety of tasks or workers with “cross-functional” skills. Workers, on the other hand, may receive promotions, gain more power in the job market, or become more valuable employees by enrolling continuing-education programs.

Courses are available through a variety of channels. High schools, community colleges, universities, and trade/professional societies and organizations all provide continuing-education programs. Many offer night courses or run weekend-only programs that provide a convenient alternative for those with traditional Monday through Friday schedules. Schools sometimes team up with businesses and organizations to offer programs jointly. In addition, many companies run their own continuing-education programs, ranging from workshops and seminars to full-fledged college-credit curriculums.

For example, Associated Spring, of Bristol, Connecticut, a division of the Barnes Group, cosponsors a voluntary on-site training program for employees that allows participants to earn credits toward associate degrees. The classes are run by instructors from Tunxis Community-Technical College in nearby Farmington. Classes range from basic subjects such as English composition to advanced managerial courses, such as organizational behavior, business and society (the study of public policy), and labor relations. By offering such courses, businesses can ensure that they have a steady supply of qualified workers.

While advancing technology played a role in creating the need for continuing education, it also created new avenues for providing continuing education. The Internet, for example, eased the burden of enhancing business skills by allowing professionals to learn at home whenever convenient, alleviating the commuting and the time constraints associated with traditional classes. Universities as well as professional societies and organizations set up Internet classrooms or web sites that provide audio and visual instruction in such fields as insurance, accounting, real estate, and computer software.

Not all continuing-education courses are aimed at professionals. Some schools offer training facilities and programs for tradespeople such as plumbers and carpenters. Classes in such programs provide not only practical information on the tasks of the trades, but also information on how to start and manage businesses. THE BENEFITS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION People who upgrade their work skills and knowledge not only can keep up with the latest technologies and business techniques, but they also can receive other benefits, such as the training needed to climb the corporate ladder and to realize additional career goals.

Training facilities often house state-of-the-art equipment such as computers and computer-based training equipment. Computers can facilitate interactive training through computer networks such as the Internet. With this technology, learners have instant access to experts in virtually every vocation. While continuing education is sometimes perceived as largely a means to career advancement, researchers in the late 1990s argued that continuing education was becoming less of an option and more of a necessity. Hence, one of the greatest benefits workers may derive from continuing education is simply keeping their jobs.

Nevertheless, additional education still can help employees receive promotions and land better jobs. Besides these basic advantages, some experts contend that continuing education provides additional benefits at a more abstract level. Continuing education allows workers to clarify and understand the purpose and goals of their occupations. In addition, continuing education can help advance various occupations by giving employees the opportunity to acquire both theoretical and practical occupational knowledge and to improve their problem-solving skills.

Continuing education also facilitates establishing and regulating occupational standards for some professions. Perhaps the ultimate benefit of continuing education, however, is its ability to impart an attitude or disposition that encourages workers to find and use the best techniques available at any given time and to realize that these techniques will need to be improved or replaced, according to Cyril 0. Houle in Continuing Learning in the Professions.

This attitude became all the more important late in the 20th century with the persistent technological advances, the growth of competition for jobs, and the shift from a manufacturing-based economy to a service based economy. Continuing education provides Canadians with skills and knowledge. Most importantly, continuing education provides people with options. See how continuing education can help you: Career and skills development * increase job opportunities * change careers or get a promotion * upgrade or develop new skills * get exposure to new ideas and best practices.

* improve your competitive edge on the job market * keep pace with technology and industry trends * turn hobbies into job skills * get tools to cope with economic downturns * expand your professional network Academic enhancement * get your high school diploma * improve basic literacy * get prerequisites for college or university * retake courses to improve your academic grade point average * qualify for academic scholarships Personal development * explore new interests * get a richer awareness of different topics * meet new people and expand your network * become engaged with your community.

* better understand issues affecting you and your community * improve self-esteem CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTRE (IITR) Learning is a lifelong process It is a pioneering centre in the area of continuing education in the country. It has completed more than 50 years of service and has played a very important role in the promotion of knowledge upgradation activity in our country by organizing refresher/specialist courses for in-service technical and professional person from various Govt. /Semi Govt. organisations, public and private undertakings, research institutions and industries.

The Centre conducts about 60 to 70 short term training programmes in Continuing Education every year in various disciplines of management, engineering, science and technology in which the professionals are trained from all parts of the country as well as from the neighbour countries. The Centre is fully equipped with the facility of conference hall, accommodation, dining and recreation. This Centre acts as a window to disseminate information and awarenedd of latest technological developments. Courses organised by this Centre are innovative, accessible and stimulating and address to the current needs of the professionals.

Programs reach students in all corners of the country/from all walks of life. To meet a variety of needs, Centre offers flexible, comprehensive course curricula in many formats. In the face of rapid technological advancement taking place around the globe, continuing education of in-service professional to new technologies is the need of the day to update knowledge much after completing formal education. Courses are being organised through the technical expertise available in the departments and centres of the Institute. Experts from industries and R&D organisations are also invited to deliver lectures wherever necessary.

Centre organizes the courses in the beautiful campus of the Institute and also outside the Institute in consultancy as well as in sponsored mode that respond to client’s continuing professional development needs. Who comes to attend the courses Participants who enroll in our courses are interested in lifelong learning. Many participants attend courses to develop professional skills, many because they love learning and many for both of these reasons. The participant of the courses are in-service technical persons from various Govt. /Semi Govt. organisations, public and private undertakings, research institutions and industries.

CLIENT ORGANISATIONS An illustrative List • ALSTOM Projects India Limited • Associated Cement Company • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. • Central Pollution Control Board • Central Water Commission • Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation & Management • Construction Industry Development Council • Damodar Valley Corporation • Department of Science & Technology • Electricity Board Utility • Ethopian Electricity Agency • Ghana Irrigation Development Authority • HAUC, Sweden • HIMC • Hindustan College of Science & Technology • HPGEDA • Indian Railway • Irrigation Management Training Institute.

• Japan International Cooperation Agency • LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd. • Ministry of Home Affairs • Ministry of Human Resource • Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Sources • Ministry of Power • Ministry of Water Resources • Moradabad Institute of Technology • National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development • National Hydropower Corporation Ltd. • National Programme on Earthquake Engineering Education • National Rural Roads Development Agency • National Thermal Power Corporation • Oil & Natural Gas Corporation • PBSTI • Power Finance Corporation • PRAGYA

• Prasar Bharti • Project Management Unit Punjab State Electricity Board Research Designs & Standard Organisation • Rural Engineering Services • Security Paper Mills • Smt. Ram Rati Gupta Women’s Polytechnic • Tamil Nadu News Print and Papers Ltd. • TIFAC-CORE • Uttaranchal Academy of Administration • Uttaranchal Gramin Sadak Vikas Abhikaran • Uttaranchal Renewable Energy Development Agency • Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka • Xerox Modi Corp. Ltd. BACKGROUND This Centre provides high quality, professionally delivered short term courses covering a wide range of subjects.

Provision is made for individuals, organisations, and professional groups. The present rate of development in any scientific area makes the specialized knowledge of a person in that area obsolete very soon. Continuing Engineering Education plays a vital role in the education and training of professionals which will keep them more productive and creative throughout their professional career. The goal of the country’s education system is to provide a very good basic education, train the students in a wide range of academic and professional disciplines to fulfill personal, societal and national needs.

It is therefore the responsibility of companies and organisations to build a work force of their own on this foundation by providing training, continuing education and re-education. Developed countries have demonstrated that Continuing Engineering Education leads to better job performance and job satisfaction contributing to higher levels of economic development. The need for Continuing Engineering Education at the present juncture is all the more evident because the Indian engineering industry has to survive global competition in the light of new economic reforms proposed by opening our industrial sector for foreign investors.

Vision A front line centre in science, engineering , technology and management making significant contributions to human resource development envisaging dynamic needs of the professionals Objective •To create opportunity for gaining experience and more knowledge in a particular field. •To create awareness in the technical community regarding the advances in their area of interest and expertise of IITR. •To provide a platform for interaction of Faculty, Consultants, Industries and users. •To provide an opportunity to study at IIT Roorkee for a short period of time. To provide requisite inputs for improvements.

CONCLUSION Continuing education refers to any type of post-secondary education, used to either obtain additional certifications, or as credits required to maintain a license. Almost anybody can take continuing education courses for personal or professional enrichment; fitness trainers, nurses, and safety instructors are examples of professionals who fall into the second category. This type of education is aimed exclusively to adults who already possess a college or university degree. People take continuing education in the form of workshops, seminars, home-study or online courses, conferences, and hands-on training.

There is no specific format or length for this type of program: some may take a weekend, while others can span weeks or even months. In the case of education for personal advancement only, students usually don’t receive college credits, as the courses are not considered part of the standard educational system. A common characteristic to all continuing education programs is a registration process. Attending a conference or cultural event that is open to the general public does not give attendants any type of education credits, and cannot be considered formal training.


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