Continuing education courses are so popular these days that HCC has an entire school that carries the name.

HCC’s School of Continuing Education is the third largest such program in the United States, behind such national powerhouses as Miami-Dade Community College in Florida and CUNY (City University of New York).

At HCC, that means nearly 29,000 students are expected to enroll in one or more CE course this year.

What is Continuing education, and what makes makes it so popular?

Continuing Education is the broader term for community education and workforce training.

Community education focuses on courses and programs geared for special age groups (children, youth, and seniors), and courses and programs that expand a student’s horizons, such as fitness, arts and crafts, and hobbies.

Workforce training prepares students for jobs in a limited amount of time. Some courses or programs can be as short as three weeks, while others make take up to a year or more to complete—a much shorter time than most academic courses and degrees.

Continuing Education is also the place where professionals go to maintain certifications and licenses. Many occupations require periodic updates in their fields: teachers, real estate agents, nurses, pharmacists, accountants, and criminal justice professionals, to name a few.

CE courses do not award academic credit that applies towards a degree. Instead, students successfully completing a CE course can earn CEU’s (Continuing Education Units). Community colleges are required to transcript all courses that result in CEU’s for the student’s use in obtaining employment.

Typically, one CEU is earned for every 10 hours completed in a CE course.

Even though CEU’s don’t count towards an academic degree, some CEU’s can be converted into academic credit hours for that purpose.

HCC’s School of Continuing Education can help you with this process.

For example, if you take a non-credit welding course, and later decide you want to earn an associate degree in welding, you may be able to to apply your CEU towards your degree.

Academic credit can be granted for CEU’s if the subject matter is approved as applicable for academic credit, and the CE course has been analyzed for content.

CEU’s are most commonly converted using a formula that considers 10 CEUs equivalent to one academic credit hour.

Most HCC CE students enroll in workforce training courses in order to learn a new skill and get to work without completing a certificate or two-year degree program.

Others taking workforce training courses are already employed, but need to learn more in order to qualify for advancement or obtain better pay.

Classes are available during the day, evening, or online. Courses are starting up nearly every week, not just at the beginning of a new semester. And CE courses are affordable.

With all they have going for them, it’s no wonder CE is so popular.

Take time to explore the options and see if a CE class is right for you. Find programs online at www.hccs.edu.