Continuing Education Unit

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is the standard unit of measurement of individual participation in all non-credit continuing education programs offered by the School of Continuing Education (SCE). 

Each course is assigned a number of CEU's before being added to the course inventory of the Management Information System (MIS) by the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Office scheduling and student services associate director. 

One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an allowed learning activity. One contact hour is equivalent to 60 minutes of clock hour interaction between the learner and the class faculty member, whether in a classroom, laboratory and/or a learning experience designed outside the traditional boundaries of an SCE learning facility.

Contact Time (hours) =

 (total minutes of all activities) – (total minutes of non-allowable activities)

 60 minutes

*Number of CEUs = 

Contact Time (hours)


*Rounded to the nearest tenth                                               


When appropriate, a decimal part of a CEU may be awarded. However, CEU's are not expressed past the tenth place, i.e. 1.78 CEU = 1.8 CEU.

Non-allowable learning activities include unplanned, unsupervised and unsponsored activities such as breaks, non-working lunch and anything promotional in nature. Allowed learning activities include classroom, self-paced instruction, distance learning, pre/post assignments and other projects in support of a learning outcome. The following learning activities are examples of allowed activities to include when calculating contact hours for CEUs:

Class/Meetings: Classroom or meeting session time led by faculty and/or discussion leader.

Self-Paced Learning Events: Learner activities in which a learner is engaged in a planned program of learning whereby the learner’s progress is monitored and the learner receives feedback. Examples include independent study; computer-assisted instruction, interactive video, and planned projects.

Assessment: Learner assessment and program evaluations.

Outside Assignments: Field trips, projects and assignments, which are an integral part of a course or program, may count towards contact hours. However, a standard number of hours should be assigned using the averaging method where a representative sample of the intended audience is selected and each participant, in the sample, records the actual time spent completing the assignment; the average is calculated by dividing the total recorded times by the sample size.

Laboratory Assignments: Laboratory assignments tend to be an integral part of a planned program and are generally more structured than field experiences. If the conditions for learning are consistent and the amount of time for assignments fairly even for all learners, each hour of lab time can be counted as a contact hour. If there is considerable variation in lab conditions and time required for the completion of assignments by different learners, establishing a standard number of contact hours should be considered based on the average time utilized by a number of learners.

Field Experiences: Field experiences provide learners opportunities to gain practical and realistic experiences, which cannot be acquired in a classroom setting. Such activities may or may not be highly structured, may vary in duration from one learner and location to another, and may not be readily calculated into contact hours. Field experiences are viewed in terms of tasks to be accomplished rather than the amount of time involved. If the field experience hours are needed to be counted, it should be first determined whether the field experience meets the ANSI/IACET standard. If so, a standard number of contact hours could be determined by calculating the average time spent by several learners in different field experiences as discussed above. 

The following activities are not intended to receive the CEU:

  • Academic Credit Courses: Acceptance of IACET CEUs for college credit is at the discretion of the college or university.
  • Association Membership and Leadership Activities: Holding membership or serving in some leadership capacity in an association or society do not qualify for the CEU.
  • Committee Meetings: Participation in committee meetings and activities do not qualify for the CEU.
  • Entertainment and Recreation: CEUs may not be awarded for attendance at cultural performances, entertainment, or recreational activities unless they are an integral part of a planned course, which meets the ANSI/IACET Standard.
  • Individual Scholarship: CEUs may not be awarded for independent writings such as articles, books, research reports, or presentation of papers outside a planned, directly supervised continuing education experience that fulfills the CEU criteria.
  • Mass Media Programs: Programs delivered through the mass media (e.g., television, radio, newspaper) do not qualify for CEUs, unless these presentations are an integral part of a planned course, which meets the ANSI/IACET standard.
  • Some Meetings, Conventions, and Exhibitions: Meetings, conventions, and exhibitions, which attract large numbers of participants, involve different activities, and are conducted primarily for information sharing purposes generally, do not qualify for the CEU. Planned learning activities within such events, which meet the ANSI/IACET standard are eligible for CEUs.
  • Travel: Travel or participation in a travel study program, do not qualify for CEUs, unless the educational component of a travel study program meets the ANSI/IACET standard.
  • Unsupervised Study: Individual, self-directed study or other forms of independent learning experience not planned, directed, and supervised by a sponsor do not qualify for CEUs.
  • Work Experience: On-the-job training and other work experiences do not qualify for CEUs unless the work experience is structured as part of a planned and supervised continuing education experience that meets the standard. CEUs are not to be awarded for life or previous work experiences.
  • Youth Programs: Programs designed primarily for ages below adulthood.


 PPM: H1 December 2015