There are thousands of CE course options available to counselors. It can feel overwhelming when you are trying to decide which one is the right course for you. It can also cause you to dread your CE requirements. I have been choosing, completing, and creating CE courses for many years, so I decided to share with you a few tips I use. Here are my five tips that will help you choose the right CE course for you.
1. Identify the required CE courses for your license
To obtain your clinical license and upon renewal, you are required to complete CE courses. Each state and organization are different in these requirements. If you go directly online and begin to search for a CE, you need to know the specific one that is required. Many CE courses have similar names and hours that are necessary for licensure, but they may not be the one for your state requirements. Look on your state licensing website or call them to ask for specific requirements before purchasing CE courses.
2. Double check for approval
Don’t assume that every CE course is approved by your board or certification. Take the extra time to confirm that the course is approved. If you don’t, then it is possible you won’t get credit for the course. For example, to obtain your state license, you are required to complete a domestic violence CE. If you purchase and complete the course, without confirming that it is given by an approved provider it will not count. Don’t waste your time and money by picking a wrong course. Always double check that the course is given by an approved provider for your license or certification.
3. Explore CE courses that you find interesting
Since there are specific courses you have to complete, be sure you also see a few that you have interest in. For example, in your CE course search, you came across a CE about telehealth and you are considering implementing this into your practice in the future. Go ahead and take this course because you have interest in it. I have accidentally stumbled across CEs that I didn’t know existed while I was searching for required ones. This is a great way to keep your interest and clinical skills fresh.
4. Try a different approach
If you only feel comfortable taking live CE courses in person, consider trying something different. Get out of your comfort zone by taking a virtual CE. You don’t have to be a tech wizard or have the most up to date computer system. You will be surprised at how simple virtual CE courses are and increase your confidence at the same time. If you are dreading your CE requirements, do something different this time. Don’t worry, if you hate it, you can always go back to the CE approach that is comfortable for you.
5. Ask your network
If you are looking for a new CE or wanting to try something different, ask other clinicians for recommendations. Word of mouth referrals are the best so consider getting feedback on which CEs to take. Most CE courses also have reviews posted on their site or social media. You can also ask your local networking groups which courses their favorites were and which to avoid. Check out what clinicians are saying about the course before signing up.
Don’t let the task of CE courses overwhelm you. Think of it as a buffet of learning options that you get to pick based on your interest. Also, don’t get stuck in the decision-making process because this won’t be your last opportunity to obtain CEs. Take a deep breath, use these five tips, and enjoy the learning process.