Monday, June 22, 2015

Continuing Education Options For SLPs

I've seen a lot of discussion recently about CEUs and what the best ways to complete them are.  As someone who just received her CCCs and will have to begin continuing education soon, I thought I would do some investigating for you.

First, let's talk about the basics of CEUs.  ASHA requires 30 hours every three years.  Your state will also have requirements, so be sure to check those out.  They are not always the same either.  For example, my state requires 30 every two years.

ASHA has a way to record CEU information for you in something they call their CE Registry.  This is an easy option because it will automatically submit your compliance form if you have 30 hours in the registry.  Please note, however, that the CE Registry will not record anything that is not a course registered with ASHA (see more about that below).  You are allowed to record your own, so that is another option.

I used to think that CEUs had to be at a conference or seminar, but I was wrong!  There are a lot of options out there, so let's get started!

I'm going to lead off with this because I don't want anyone to miss it.  ASHA is offering fifteen FREE CEU courses beginning in July and running for 15 months.  Registration is open today, so head on over here to sign up!

One of the easiest ways to get a lot of CEUs in one place is a conference.  Some examples include the ASHA Convention (every year in November) and ASHA Schools (every year in July).  ASHA also hosts some online conferences such as Language and Literacy in Elementary Schools and Complex Cases in Adult Dysphagia.  You can read more about ASHA conferences here.  Also be on the look out for specialty conferences.  One example of this is the National Association for Neonatal Therapists Conference (every year in April).

Be sure to check out your state association's website for information about their annual conference or other workshops they are offering.

Another easy and cost effective way to gather CEUs is ASHA's online journals.  If you are a special interest group affiliate, you can read a journal article and receive CEUs for $5.  You heard me, $5.00.  Check out that page here.

If you like going other places than ASHA for you continuing education, you have a lot of options.  First up, Super Duper has FREE CEUs for us.  You watch a video and take a quick test.  Pretty awesome, right?  Check them out on Super Duper's site.

Another cost effective option is  For $99/year, you have access to unlimited CEUs.  They have courses on a wide variety of topics to meet all of your needs.  Some of them can even count for college credit, which is a double bonus if you need that too!

Another online option that a lot of SLPs recommend is Video Continuing Education.  You can purchase a yearly subscription for all courses ($179.99) or you can purchase one course at a time (ranging from $9.99 to $299.50 for SLPs).  Price varies by topic and number of hours.

Passy-Muir has free, online CEUs available to you.  Their topics include getting started, vents, swallowing, pediatric, special populations, and special focus, all related to their technology for trachestomy and ventilators.

Find workshops on programs designed by other SLPs/related professionals.  These could include one on the Expanding Expression Tool by Sara Smith, PROMPT training, Kaufman Apraxia Approach, Social Thinking courses, the SCERTS model.

Here's one I didn't know about until recently.  College or University Coursework at any level can count as continuing education so long as it is in an area that meets the definition for professional development (foreign languages that you need to communicate with your population, autism, literacy, neurological disorders, genetics, etc).  This is one way to get a lot of CEUs because 1 semester hour counts for 15 hours of continuing education.  This means that one course can cover your continuing education requirements (3 credits= 45 hours of CEUs).  Not only can your work on track advancement if that applies to you, you can knock out a lot of CEUs at once.

Another one I didn't know about until recently is teacher-oriented content or employer-sponsored in-service activities such as special education workshops.  Yes, these all count according to ASHA.  So long as it is information that enhances your ability to better serve your clients or deals with professional ethics, diversity issues, etc, then you can count it.  In the schools, we are already required to complete so much professional development, why not count it for this too (if applicable)?

Other places to look include:

Note- these are in no particular order.

Northern Speech Services
Home CEU Connection
Ciao Seminars
Relias Academy
SATPAC--one free course for /r/ and /s/
AAC Institute

Phew--that was a lot of information.  I hope that helps you get started!

What are your favorite places to obtain CEUs?  What are some of your favorite CEU courses that you've taken? 

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