Awarding the Continuing Education Unit at
The University of Alabama
1. The continuing education unit (CEU) is used to recognize participation in non-credit
classes, courses, and programs. One CEU is defined as 10-contact hours of participation
in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable
direction and qualified instruction.
The number of contact hours and appropriate CEUs must be determined prior to the
beginning of the program, but only after the objectives, content, format, methods of
instruction and program schedule have been established.
2. The following criteria are used in awarding CEUs:
a. The non-credit activity is planned in response to an assessment of educational
need for a
specific target population.
b. There is a statement of objectives and rationale.
c. Content is selected and is organized in a sequential manner.
d. There is evidence of pre-planning which includes an opportunity for input by a representative
of the target group to be served, the faculty area having content expertise and continuing
e. The activity is of an instructional nature.
f. A provision is made for registration of individual participants to provide data for institutional
g. Appropriate evaluation procedures are used and criteria are established for awarding CEUs to
individual students prior to the beginning of the activity. This may include the evaluation of
student performance, instructional procedures and course effectiveness. The contact hour is
defined as a typical 50 minute classroom instructional session or its equivalent. In informal
formats, the clock hour should be used.
3. In calculating the contact hours involved in an educational activity, the following factors may be included:
a. Classroom or meeting session hours with direct participation between the learner
instructor or discussion leader are counted as contact hours.
b. Laboratory sessions, clinical experiences, field trips and activities using non-traditional
methods of instruction (e.g., courses) may be awarded CEUs, but the contact hours must be
based on the equivalent instructional class hours.
c. For correspondence or self-study courses, the number of CEUs to be applied should be based
on the time that the sponsor estimates will be required by students to complete the course at a
4. Time devoted to the following and similar activities may not be included when calculating contact hours for CEUs:
a. Meeting time devoted to business or committee activities
b. Meeting time devoted to announcements, welcoming speeches, or organizational reports
c. Time for study, assigned reading, reports, written assignments, and other related activities
outside of the class of meeting schedule
d. Scheduled time allocated to social activities, coffee hours, luncheons, dinner, etc. (Luncheon
or dinner presentations which are an integral part of the educational experience may be included).
e. When the appropriate number of instructional or contact hours has been determined, CEUs
are assigned on the basis of one unit for each 10 contact hours and one-tenth unit for each
additional full contact hour.
f. Once activities have been approved for the awarding of CEUs and the number of units for the
activity has been determined, only those individuals who satisfactorily complete the activity will
receive CEUs. Satisfactory completion will be determined by the program director or instructor
on the basis of criteria for completion developed by the planning group for the program or
g. Non-credit offerings which do not meet the individual CEU criteria should be accounted for
only in terms of the Institutional CEU. Normally these non-credit offerings will be less
structured and more informal in nature.
5. Institutional CEUs should meet the following criteria:
a. The activity is a planned educational experience of a continuing education nature.
b. The activity is sponsored by an academic or administrative unit of the institution qualified to
affect the quality of the program content and to select and approve the resource personnel
c. Record of attendance is required for institution reporting use and a file of program materials
will be maintained by the administrative unit for special activities. Attendance records may be in
terms of an accurate headcount.
d. CEUs are not used to recognize or account for participation in entertainment, social or
athletic activities. Programs which deal with the internal affairs of an organization do not qualify
for the awarding of CEUs. Committee meetings, board meetings, delegate assemblies or similar
meetings for policy-making purposes do not qualify for CEUs.
6. The Fiscal year for purposes of CEU reporting is June 1 - May 31 of the following year. If you are interested in a program with The University of Alabama, please contact Donna Keene, College of Continuing Studies, Box 870388, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 or phone (205) 348-6513.