Continuing Education Units Policy


This document sets forth the policy for the awarding of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for instructional events under the sponsorship of Eastern Mennonite University.


The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certifies participation in non-credit continuing education programs. One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.

Policy Statement

Program Qualifications

Non-credit programs for which individuals may be awarded Continuing Education Units must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The program is consistent with the institution’s mission.
  2. The program meets the educational needs of a specific target population.
  3. The program has a clear, written statement of appropriate learning outcomes (knowledge, skills or attitudes).
  4. Qualified personnel plan and conduct the program.
  5. The content and instructional methodologies are consistent with the target population and learning outcomes.
  6. Participants are required to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes.
  7. The program is evaluated for quality and effectiveness.

Program Review and Approval Procedures

Program review and approval is the responsibility of the Office of the Provost. The appropriate academic unit submits a completed Continuing Education Unit Request Form to the Provost after determining that the program meets the criteria outlined above. Requests must be submitted for review and approval a minimum of two weeks prior to the program’s start date. The guidelines below must be followed in determining the appropriate number of CEUs. CEUs will not be granted for courses already completed.  CEUs are not to be advertised prior to approval.

Registration Procedures

The sponsoring unit must send the Continuing Education Unit Participant Form to the provost’s office (or the Associate Provost for EMU at Lancaster's office), along with certificate fees. This becomes a permanent record for each individual registrant to whom CEUs are awarded. A transcript of CEU records is made available by the Registrar’s Office upon request to the individual who has received those credits. Records are retained the same length of time as all credit records at EMU.

Participants must request CEUs at the time of the event; they will not be awarded at a later time.

CEU certificates are returned to the contact person for delivery to the participants.

CEU Fees

Each student desiring CEUs pays the current fee in order to pay for costs of administration.

Responsible Party

Responsibility for this policy lies with the provost.

Policy Review

This policy is to be reviewed every five years.


This policy is distributed via the Faculty/Staff Handbook.

Approved by Academic Cabinet, October 23, 2002
Revised by Academic Cabinet, January 16, 2008
Reviewed and updated by Provost's Council, April 30, 2020

Additional resources (templates, roster forms, etc.) are available via that campus network at z:\provost\forms\ceu.

Continuing Education Unit Guidelines

When calculating the number of CEUs for a course, the number of contact minutes should be totaled and divided by 60 to arrive at the number of contact hours. Non-instructional time such as breaks, introductions, lunches, and social events are not included. Total contact hours are then divided by 10 to determine the number of CEUs. CEU can be expressed in tenths; that is 17 contact hours equates to 1.7 CEU; a three contact hour program converts to .3 CEU.

CEUs are normally expressed in tenths of a CEU; however, institutions may use hundredths to express one-half hour increments. For example, a program of two and one-half hours may be expressed as .25 CEU. Hundredths may be used to express only one-half hour segments and not any other fraction of an hour. For example, .28 CEU is not acceptable.

When the fractional part of a contact hour is at least 50 minutes (5/6ths of an hour) the fractional portion may be counted as a whole hour. Any segment of an hour less than 30 minutes is not counted. Any segment between 30 and 49 minutes is counted as 30 minutes. When a program consists of a series of sessions, the minutes for all sessions are totaled and then equated to CEU.

CEUs are awarded for any program that is at least one hour in length. Sessions within a program, however, may be of any length. Often learning experiences scheduled for relatively short periods of time are not adequately planned to meet the criteria.

Responsibility for the final determination of the number of CEUs to be awarded for a program rests with the designated individual who is responsible for administering the CEU system. The accuracy and consistency with which CEUs are assigned depend upon the understanding and professional competence of that designated individual.

Calculations of contact hours involved in a continuing education experience may include the following elements:

  1. In-class time with direct participation between the learner and instructor is converted directly to contact hours.
  2. Activities in which there is no instructor present such as supervised independent study, computer-assisted instruction, or project-based assignments may be counted if they meet the criteria. The contact hours are determined after field-testing has shown the average amount of time required to complete the activity.
  3. Field experiences, laboratory assignments, and projects may qualify for CEU if they are sufficiently structured to meet the criteria. The number of contact hours is determined after field-testing has shown the average amount of time required to complete the activity.

The following are sample activities which are not included when calculating the number of contact hours:

  1. Time for study, assigned reading, and other related activities outside the classroom or meeting schedule
  2. Meeting time devoted to business or committee activities
  3. Meeting time devoted to announcements, welcoming speeches, or organizational reports
  4. Time allocated to events such as socials, refreshments breaks, luncheons, receptions, and dinners. NOTE: Time devoted to a luncheon or dinner presentation integral to the continuing education experience may be included in calculating contact hours.