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Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Ohio University Regional Higher Education offers online courses for teachers and professionals that require CEUs to meet employers’ requirements.



CEU Award Procedure for Noncredit Continuing Education Programs

Basic definition of the Continuing Education Unit (CEU):

A CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized noncredit continuing education activity under (1) responsible, competent sponsorship, (2) capable academic direction, and (3) qualified instruction. A program must meet these three criteria to be considered for CEU certification.

The following are two examples of situations where the CEU could be awarded and how the appropriate number of CEUs to be assigned would be computed.

  1. Short‑term education program (conference, institute, or workshop)

    Contact hours: 18 (6 hours a day for 3 days)
    Outside assignments: 6 one-hour assignments (estimated by program coordinator)
    Total contact hours: 24
    TOTAL CEUs = 2.4
  2. Internet‑based class

    Contact hours (electronic or otherwise): 6
    Online assignments: 26 one-hour assignments (estimated by instructor or facilitator)
    Total contact hours: 32
    TOTAL CEUs = 3.2

The criteria and guidelines for awarding the CEUs set minimum contact hours for awarding them. At our discretion, the University may require more extensive standards such as submission of papers and/or passing tests. An individual must achieve a minimum score of 80% on a course/certificate program in order to satisfactorily complete it and be awarded CEUs.

Assignment of CEUs will be based on the instructor/department’s judgment of the average number of hours of work required to complete the course. The total of these hours would then be divided by 10 to calculate the correct CEU total.


Purposes of the CEU

  • A uniform unit of measure for continuing education and training
  • A nationally recognized unit of measure
  • A concept that can be used by different sponsors
  • A concept useful in a variety of learning formats
  • Criteria by which the quality of learning activities are judged
  • A systematic means for program development and delivery
  • Criteria by which educational sponsors are evaluated
  • A requirement for the documentation of learning experience

Eligible Programs

Across the country, CEUs are assigned to the following types of noncredit programs by sponsoring units:

  • Intensive noncredit courses, seminars, or workshops in technical and professional areas, especially in continuing professional education programs.
  • Training programs focusing on new technologies, techniques, information, or development in specialized fields.
  • Programs to be used in partial fulfillment of certificate or licensing requirements or to renew existing licenses.
  • Programs sponsored by associations or societies in collaboration with an academic department.

Criteria for Determining Program Eligibility

At Ohio University, programs must meet the following criteria if they are to award CEUs:

  • Planning – The program or course must be planned in response to the educational needs of a specific group. Input must be available from the target group as well as from experts in the field.
  • Purpose – A clear statement of the program or course purpose and goals must be prepared before initiating the program.
  • Performance – Specific performance requirements for awarding CEUs must be established prior to the start of the course.
  • Records – Within the program there must be a system for verification of satisfactory completion of courses for programs attended by individuals and for the transmittal of such data to the office maintaining permanent records.
  • Presenters – The instructional personnel are well qualified by education and/or experience. If instructors are not Ohio University or academic professionals, their qualifications should be specified on the CEU application.
  • Evaluation – Evaluation procedures determined during the planning process are used to measure the effectiveness of the program design and operation.

Occasionally, professional associations and other clientele groups will request that University academic and administrative units co‑sponsor programs and award CEUs for participation. In general, these requests will not be granted unless the above criteria are met.


The CEU application will be evaluated to determine if CEUs will be awarded. Complete the application and submit it to:

Teresa Smith
Ohio University Southern
1804 Liberty Avenue, Ironton, OH 45638