Continuing Education Units (CEU)


The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is designed as a uniform unit of measurement to facilitate the accumulation and exchange of standardized information about individual participation in non-­credit continuing education. CEUs must be consistent with the Mission and Goals of PCC [], and characterized by high quality instruction with qualified instructors.

CEUs provide the opportunity for individuals to have recognition of their efforts to update/broaden their occupational knowledge, skills, or attitudes. Records of CEUs successfully completed provide a framework within which individuals can develop and achieve long-range educational goals through a variety of educational options. Having readily available permanent records permits individuals to maintain and transmit to others a record of their life-long occupationally-related learning experiences.

The most common uses of a CEU record or transcript by an individual are to supply an employer or prospective employer with information on continuing education and training experiences pertinent to occupational competence; and to provide documentation to registration boards, certification bodies, or professional and occupational societies, of continuing education undertaken to maintain or increase professional competence. CEUs are only available for occupational upgrading purposes.

A request for Continuing Education Unit instruction may originate from an individual, an employer, or a professional association. In addition, PCC staff may identify the need for CEUs within business, industry, labor, government, and/or professional organizations. When a need has been identified, a PCC staff member will validate the need for the CEU instruction with their department administrator.

Examples of Activities that Do Not Qualify for CEU Include:

  • Association Membership and Certification Programs - Non-educational activities of professional, occupational, or other organizations that otherwise may be used to qualify for professional and occupational membership or certification.
  • Committee Work - Committee meetings, activities, and assignments.
  • Credit Programs - CEUs and academic credit, for secondary or post-secondary courses and programs, may not be awarded simultaneously. There is no relationship between CEUs and academic credit. Academic credit applies specifically to certificate/degree requirements and CEUs are not awarded to individuals for that purpose.
  • Entertainment and Recreation - Attendance at cultural performances, entertainment, recreational meetings, or participation in travel groups.
  • High-­School Equivalency - Programs leading to high-school equivalency certificates or diplomas.
  • Individual Scholarship - Independent writing or the presentation of papers outside of a planned, directly supervised continuing education experience that fulfills CEU criteria.
  • Mass Media Program - Programs delivered through the media (e.g., television, radio, newspaper), unless these activities are an integral part of a planned continuing education experience that qualifies under CEU criteria.
  • Conferences and Conventions - Meetings, conferences, and conventions of professional/occupational organizations do not automatically qualify. However, specifically organized courses, workshops or seminars held in conjunction with meetings, conferences, or conventions may qualify for CEUs when the CEU criteria are met.
  • Instructing - Instructing or leading a continuing education experience for which CEUs are awarded.
  • Work Experience - On-the-job training and other work experiences unless the experience is offered according to CEU criteria. Prior life/work experiences.

Approval and Administration

One Continuing Education Unit is defined as 10 contact hours of participation (with 1 contact hour defined as 60 minutes), in an organized continuing education experience, under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. The State of Oregon’s Community Colleges & Workforce Development Department [] requires that CEU courses be between 1 and 210 contact hours. Fractional CEUs may be awarded down to the minimum increment of 0.3 CEU for the successful completion of 3 lecture hours.

A Course Content & Outcomes Guide (CCOG) must be developed according to PCC's preestablished standards. Read more at the Curriculum Office's "CCOG" page []. CCOGs must be completed and on file with the instructional department prior to offering the CEU instruction.

The CEU course development process is explained at the PCC Curriculum Office web page in the section for "Stand-alone Courses." Links to various application/request forms are provided at the same page: Developing Stand-Alone Courses [].

CEUs may not be awarded for anything less than what was originally approved for a given CEU number and title.

Documentation of the instructor’s qualifications will be kept on file in the department offering the CEU course.

The requirements for the successful completion of CEU instruction are to be established prior to the offering and provided to the students at the first session. Requirements should include demonstrations of competence based on course objectives, attendance, or a combination of the two. When attendance is the only determinant of successful completion, the criteria for successful completion should be attendance at a minimum of 90% of the class sessions.

The grades recorded for CEU instruction will be in accordance with G301--Grading Guidelines []. Grades are available through MyPCC at the end of each term in the same manner as presented in credit classes.

CEU students register for CEU courses using established registration processes.

A PCC student record will be established that includes name and student identification number, title of the CEU course, term and year of completion, number of CEUs awarded, and an indication as to whether or not the student has successfully completed the CEU instruction. The permanent CEU transcript will be maintained for each student who has enrolled in a CEU course, and can be separate from the transcript for work taken in a credit program.


A department offering CEU instruction is responsible for the evaluation of course content and instructor. Evaluation procedures must include feedback from students, employers and/or professional organizations, and instructors. Evaluations will be kept on file with the department offering the CEU course.

Policy/Standard Name:  Continuing Education Units (CEU)
Policy/Standard Identifier: C101
Units responsible for review and update:  Associate Vice President for Workforce Development, Dean of Academic Affairs, Curriculum Office
Approval: College President
Responsibility: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Date of Final Approval:  June 2010
Effective Term:  Summer 2010
Prior Versions: Yes