Policy ACAF-PDE-001

Responsible University Administrator:Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer:Director of the Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach
Origination Date:N/A
Current Revision Date:02/18/13
Next Review Date:02/18/17
End of Policy Date:N/A
Policy Number:ACAF-PDE-001




Policy Statement

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized unit of measure for noncredit continuing education programs.  It is designed to document learning experiences that are valid in their own right but differ from experiences for which academic credits are traditionally awarded. 


Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding The Continuing Education Unit. 


Who Needs to Know This Policy

All university employees.  


Website Address for this Policy






The Continuing Education Unit is easily computed, has a shortened registration procedure with no admission application to the university required and is awarded to adult learners of all types–from high school dropouts to postdoctoral professionals.

Continuing education units are computed according to the number of contact hours spent in focused training or instruction in an approved program.

  • One (1) CEU is defined as ten (10) clock hours of instruction.
  • One clock hour is equal to a full 60 minutes of instruction.
  • A program must consist of a minimum of five (5) contact hours of focused instruction to qualify for state approved continuing education units.
  • Programs of 5-10 contact hours are carefully evaluated for “significant length and substance.”
  • CEUs will not be approved for conferences; however, focused training, such as pre- and post-conference sessions or extended workshops provided within a conference agenda may be approved for CEUs if established criteria are met.


Instructional contact hours do not include registration, breaks, meals, travel or other non-instructional time.



Before granting or offering CEUs, all providers and programs must meet either national or Mississippi Department of Education standards.



To qualify for CEUs at The University of Southern Mississippi, the program must include evidence of the following:

  • The program is responsive to an educational need of a specific target population.
  • There has been opportunity in planning the program for representative input from the target population.
  • The program is of an educational nature.
  • The program is of significant length and substance.
  • A statement of learning objectives has been formulated.
  • Qualified instructors have been found.
  • The instructional content has been organized to meet the objectives.
  • Time requirements have been established.
  • Suitable evaluative tools will be employed.



(may include, but are not limited to, the following)

  • Continuing education programs for professionals, e.g., doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, teachers
  • In-service training programs for specific target populations
  • License renewal programs
  • Seminars, workshops, or short courses for the general public
  • Paraprofessional training programs
  • Certificate programs

CEUs will not be approved for activities such as the following:

  • Social activities
  • Athletic activities
  • Programs only casually related to educational objectives
  • Entertainment
  • Activities that coach or otherwise prepare participants to pass examinations such as those required for certified public accountants, realtors, the Graduate Record Examination, or others where passage of the examination is the real test of preparation



Submission of the CEU application and required documentation is requested no later than two (2) weeks prior to the program date.  CEU programs cannot be approved retroactively.

Required Documentation:

  • A timed agenda which must contain times for each session of each day.
  • A statement of learning objectives in sequential order of presentation.
  • A copy of the evaluation tool. The CEU evaluation is a measurement of how well the participant learned the stated learning objectives.  Questions should be short-answer and open-ended.  A minimum of one question should be included for each learning objective. The evaluation is not a survey of the participants’ opinions. Evaluations will not be accepted with “yes/no” questions, opinion questions, nor ranking questions.
  • Vitae for each instructor/speaker indicating expertise in pertinent field.
  • The program must be approved before The University of Southern Mississippi CEUs are advertised.
  • Application must be made every time a program is offered, even if the program is identical to one that was previously approved for CEUs.



CEU registrations are the responsibility of the OPDEO CEU coordinator. A program director has the option of having the Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach staff conduct the on-site registration or of using his/her own personnel. The CEU Registration Option Form must be completed by the program director.  If the program director chooses to have an OPDEO staff member conduct onsite registration, service fees will apply.

Staffing Requirements

  • One OPDEO staff member per 100 anticipated CEU registrations is required.
  • If the program director chooses not to use OPDEO staff to conduct the on-site CEU registration, he/she must meet with the CEU coordinator for instructions as to how to conduct the CEU registration.
  • Registration materials are to be returned to the CEU coordinator within ten (10) working days after the conclusion of the program.
  • The CEU coordinator must be involved with the CEU process at every level.



Participant must attend the entirety of all sessions to receive CEU credit. CEU credit will not be awarded for participants under any of the following circumstances:

  • If participant did not attend entirety of all session(s)
  • If CEUs were awarded for entire program and participant only attended a portion of the program.  (If CEU credit is to be awarded for individual portions/sessions of a program, the program director must make this request at the time of submission of Request for Awarding CEUs form available from OPDEO.
  • If participant failed to initial the Attendance Roster, available from OPDEO, at the beginning and end of each session
  • If the participant did not provide legible name, address, and Social Security number
  • If the participant did not pay the applicable CEU fee

Verification of Attendance

  • Participant names must be printed legibly in the “name” column of the Attendance Roster.
  • Participants must attend and initial the Attendance Roster at the beginning and end of each session each day. By initialing the Attendance Roster, participant acknowledges understanding of the attendance policy.
  • Any participant who does not initial for each session will not receive CEUs.  (The only recourse would be for the individual to obtain written verification of attendance from the program director requesting issuance of CEU credit for that individual.)
  • The Attendance Roster cannot be altered after the program concludes.
  • Each participant must initial the roster for each session. 



  • USM CEUs are transcripted, and records are maintained on a permanent basis.
  • Transcripted CEU credit cannot be changed to academic credit.
  • CEU credit will be recorded on the participant's transcript upon successful completion, or
  • nothing will appear.
  • No partial credit will be awarded for any program.



The Mississippi Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure will recognize a Southern Miss CEU transcript awarding CEU credit to an instructor of a CEU program for the course preparation; however, said instructor will be awarded this credit one time only during any given licensure period.

Refund Policy

Once a CEU program commences, no refund requests will be granted. 



The Director of the Office of Professional Development and Educational Outreach is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review). 








Related Information




Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.

02/18/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.