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School of Continuing EducationCEU Information

Many professions, certifications and license renewals require annual continuing education units. While ODU's School of Continuing Education provides CEUs for our classes, we also provide CEUs for approved courses and conferences. The tabs below will explain the CEU approval process for an outside organization such as a professional society to earn CEUs from Old Dominion University.

Once approved, our college will provide a mailed, printed certificate and CEUs that are maintained in our registration system. There is an administrative charge of $35.00 per certificate issued.


What is a CEU

The CEU records serve as a part of the students reporting system for the institution. One Continuing Education Unit is officially defined as: "Ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction." A decimal fraction of a unit may be awarded for an offering of shorter duration.

How are CEUs Earned

Continuing education and public service programs may be divided into three categories: professional education, community education, and community service. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are awarded for those programs which advance a participant's education. CEUs also may be awarded for programs in community education, if the program meets certain standards. Programs of a community service nature do not qualify for CEU award.


The Continuing Education Unit originated with a national task force which was formed (1968) to determine the feasibility of a uniform unit of measurement of noncredit continuing education programs. In 1971, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools adopted a revised Standard Nine on Special Activities (now contained in the new Criterion 4.3) which incorporated the concept of the continuing education unit. Old Dominion University's noncredit continuing education programs meet the criteria set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools regarding the award of university CEUs. In accordance with these criteria the CEU is used as the basic instrument of measurement for an individual's participation in an institution's offering of noncredit classes, courses or programs.

What Qualifies to Receive CEUs

Continuing Education Units may be awarded when the activity meets at least the following criteria:

  1. Need: The noncredit activity is planned in response to an assessment of educational needs for a specific target population.
  2. Objectives: There is a statement of objectives and rationale.
  3. Content: Content is selected and organized in a sequential manner
  4. Planning: There is evidence of planning which should include the opportunity for input by the target group to be served, the faculty area having content expertise, and continuing education personnel.
  5. Instruction: The activity is instructional and is approved by an academic or administrative unit of the institution best qualified to affect the quality of the program content and to approve the resource personnel utilized.
  6. Records: There is provision for registration for individual participants.
  7. Evaluation: Evaluation procedures are utilized and criteria are established for awarding CEUs to individual students prior to the beginning of the activity. The continuing education activities which are approved to award continuing education units must meet at least one of the following evaluation standards:
    1. an overall program evaluation (usually written) is completed by each participant It is designed to assess program content, instruction, administration and quality.
    2. an individual evaluation in the form of a pre and/or post-test is administered to evaluate student performance.
    3. when a skill/s is to be learned, participants are evaluated individually by demonstration, written or other response.

For approved CEU activities which require only a program evaluation and not an individual evaluation for the award of CEUs, attendance will be the sole criterion for the successful completion of the activity.

What Does Not Qualify to Receive CEUs

In accordance with national guidelines the following activities DO NOT qualify for continuing education unit award:

  • staff orientation meetings
  • academic credit programs, either secondary or collegiate
  • committee meetings
  • meetings and conventions of professional societies and associations, excepting independent educational programs held concurrently with meetings that meet CEU criteria.
  • work experience, including on-the-job training and apprenticeships
  • individual, self-directed learning experiences not subject to later verification by testing
  • individual scholarship, including writing of articles research reports.

Programs sponsored by other agencies and taught by faculty outside of ODU, but for which CEUs have been requested from ODU, will be expected to comply with the same procedures devised to assure that criteria for awarding CEUs and handling of records are done in accordance with criteria set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting body for ODU. Unit directors are responsible for complying with these procedures.

Company CEU Request Form

Please note that if approved there is a fee for each participant to receive their certificate. This fee is payable by check or money order only.

Contact Us

For questions, please e-mail us at cepd@odu.edu or call 757-683-5650.