Continuing Education is a requirement to renew state license or national certification for practice.
College students aren’t required to earn or collect certificates for conferences because they’re often not licensed or certified to practice.
Many well-meaning people tell college students that they don’t need to collect certificates of completion.
Many college students do indeed attend professional conferences and yet many of them don’t collect certificates of completion for the trainings they attend.
Here are times when a student may attend a conference:
- Their professor is presenting, so they are attending too.
- Their school is going to the conference
- The student has been awarded a scholarship like the Peg Connolly Scholarship to attend an American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)conference
- A student might get free access to attend or a discounted price.
College students might want to consider getting a certificate of completion for the training sessions they attend at state or national conferences despite not needing the Continuing Education Units (CEUS) for a state license or national certification.
A certificate of completion may be useful for college students who are competing in the job market.
Here is a scenario:
Let’s imagine that your first interviewer asks an interviewee is she has experience with (XyZ).
Of course, the interviewee could say one of several things:
- I have a certificate of completion in XYZ from the ABC Association’s national conference this year. (+ Points for you!)
- Yes – I attended something on that once before. (no additional points for you)
- I’m not sure what this Xyz thing that you’re talking about. (Loss of points for you)
Having a CEU certificate could be a very valuable thing for a student who is seeking employment.
I suggest for students to go ahead and get a certificate of completion if they’re attending a conference.
If it wasn’t documented then it didn’t happen.
Sign-in. Request a certificate of completion. And put it in an important CEUs file as a student so you’ll be ready for an interview.
You might get asked ten or fifteen years later about something you learned about at a conference. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a certificate of completion for a training session you once attended?
Additional note: Students are already busy with their assigned coursework. I wouldn’t recommend a student seeking out continuing education programs (while in college) without their academic advisor’s input.