By: Wanda Campbell

What is continuing education? Google says it is a broad list of post-secondary learning activities and programs. That does not really tell you what continuing education is. A better definition is provided by dictionary.com: Continuing education is education provided for adults after they have left the formal education system, consisting typically of short or part-time courses.

Continuing education is required for workers to stay current with the latest developments, skills, and new technologies required for their fields. Many careers require continuing education credits as proof that professionals are keeping abreast of their fields so they don't lag behind.

This fall, Athens State University Center for Lifelong Learning will be offering several certificate online programs and courses to renew your skills. Most can be finished in less than a year, some in only six months. “Certificate holders earn 20 % more than workers who hold only a high school diploma…and more than one-third of certificate holders also have Associates degrees or Bachelor degrees.” (Inside Higher Education, June 6, 2012)

There are classes in accounting and finance, business communication, and business leadership. For those interested in computers, we have classes in the applications – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; Access and Publisher; as well as the IT specialist courses for Certified Information Systems, Cisco and CompTia. For Programmers and web designers there are classes in Pearl JavaScript, and MySQL.

For those interested in medical fields, there are certificate courses in Dental Assistant, Electronic Record, and Nursing Assistant Career Prep. There are classes in Green and Renewable Energy as well as Industrial and Skilled Trades.

For the business community, there are classes in managing change, program management and dealing with difficult people. In the manufacturing community, there are classes in Six Sigma and project management.

We will offer a class for those interested in obtaining a ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certificate. Class will be held on Monday, November 11 at the Center for Lifelong Learning located on the east side of the Limestone County Courthouse Square. Class is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cost is $175 which includes the textbook, study materials, and exam. The last day to register is November 4.

The ServSafe Food Protection program blends the latest FDA food codes, food safety research, and years of food sanitation experience. Students will learn to implement essential food safety practices and create a culture of food safety. The coursework meets the changing compliant solution for your organization.

For information on this class or any of the others listed visit www.athens.edu/CLL or call the Center at 256-233-8260
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning - 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 - 256-233-8262

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