What are Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
CEUs are learning hours that can be earned through the completion of various “professional development” modules. They may also be referred to as professional development hours or certificate maintenance hours.
In a broad sense, CEUs are earned through the completion of courses that provide education about something related to the field of speech-language pathology. These may be podcasts, videos, webinars, or conferences. Some of these courses are as short as 1 hour and cover something very specific, while others are longer and more in-depth. This may be something like the PROMPT or LSVT trainings, which are 10 or more hours each.
Though you can earn CEUs in virtually anything related to the field of speech-language pathology, in order to maintain your ASHA CCC, there are a few specific areas in which you must earn continuing education credits. It is important to periodically review ASHAs guidelines in the event of any changes to membership requirements.
- If your three-year maintenance cycle runs from 2023-2025, you must earn at least two hours in the areas of cultural competency, cultural humility, culturally responsive practice, or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
- If your three-year maintenance cycle runs from 2020-2022, you must earn at least one hour in the area of ethics.
- If you are going to supervise a Clinical Fellow, you must complete at least two hours in the area of supervision after you earn your CCC.
When do you Earn CEUs?
In order to maintain your ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence, you must earn 3.0 CEUs, which equals 30 hours of professional development hours, every three years. These hours may be earned at any time during your three-year maintenance cycle and can be earned through a variety of ways (outlined below).*
Many SLP state licenses also require license holders to partake in professional development activities, which may have different names other than continuing education units. They are essentially the same thing, and you can earn hours for state licenses and ASHA CCC together (e.g. a 1-hour course can count towards hours needed for a state license AND for your ASHA CCC).
*Many states require SLPs to renew their licenses more often than three years (which is what ASHA requires for the CCC). They *usually* do not exceed ASHA requirements but they may need to be completed more regularly throughout the three-year maintenance cycle. For example, Colorado requires 10 hours (the equivalent of 1.0 CEUs) every year, and Florida requires 20 hours every two years. Therefore, while ASHA may accept 30 hours completed in one year, other states may not. (Procrastinators - this can be helpful!)
Where do you earn CEUs?
You can earn CEUs virtually anywhere - both online and in person.
There are numerous websites that provide affordable (even free) continuing education hours. The following are some ways to earn CEUs.
Memberships cost $100/year and you can earn unlimited CE hours. There are live courses, prerecorded ones, and even video courses that have been transcribed into texts. Complete a course, take a short quiz, and you have a CE hour done!
They have a wide variety of CE topics so you’re sure to find one that is related to the population you serve or one that is simply interesting to you!
They also break down courses into different lengths and ability levels, so you can find a 1.5 hour “beginner” level course or 1.0 hour “intermediate” level course.
Other similar sites include:
- MedBridge Education
- Northern Speech Services
- Summit Professional Education
- Lingraphica (they have a lot of free options!)
- PESI Rehab
- ASHA Learning Pass
I am a big fan of podcasts so I love the idea of combining a podcast with continuing education. You can listen to the podcasts for free but if you want to use them for earning CEUs, you can buy a (very affordable) quiz, pass the quiz, and count it towards your CEUs.
There are also numerous virtual and/or in-person summits or courses that you can attend to earn CEUs. This list is not exhaustive, but some examples include:
- ASHA Convention: ASHA holds its annual convention every November and is a great opportunity to earn CEUs
- Stepping Stones Elevate U: an online summit
- SLP Summit
- It Takes Two To Talk - from the Hanen Centre
*Hint: You can search for “your state” speech-language pathology conferences and you may find some good options! For example, the Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association lists CEU-earning opportunities for each month.
Why Earn CEUs?
- The field of speech-language pathology is BROAD and we often find ourselves lacking the DEPTH in certain areas. You may have taken one class in grad school related to child language but you find yourself working in Early Intervention and want to brush up on your early language development skills. You may be working with adults and want to become certified in LSVT.
- On the other hand, because the field of speech-language pathology is so broad, you may be interested in an area that’s different from what you’re familiar with. I completed a CE hour related to animal-assisted therapy, and while I don’t anticipate participating in it, it was really interesting to learn about!
- You don’t want your CCC to lapse. If you let your CCC lapse it can be hard, and costly, to have it reinstated. Depending on how long it’s been since you earned it and let it lapse, you may have to take different courses or retake the PRAXIS exam (and I don’t think anyone wants to go back to that!).
Face it - there’s no way to learn everything you need to know in grad school, and it is our responsibility to keep up to date with the current research and best practices.
Other Things to Know
The first time I renewed my state SLP license and ASHA CCC I was prepared to submit all of my carefully-saved CE certificates that I completed over the past year/three years. I was surprised when neither my state agency nor ASHA requested them! Though I didn’t *need* to prove I completed all my hours, I also didn’t get audited. If you are audited, you must prove that you completed all of the hours.
You can keep track of your hours for a small fee using the ASHA CE Registry. I prefer to use my laptop (and Google Drive) to track my hours independently, but the registry may be worth it for your peace of mind!
Looking for more information?
The ASHA website has a ton of great information about it all: https://www.asha.org/certification/