Every state will require some sort of continuing education from the various licensed professionals seeking to renew their license. This can be seen in the field of Professional Counseling. Licensed counselors in every state will find they have to meet a certain number of CE hours in order to renew their license. The total CEUs needed will differ between the states, but they all require it.
It is not uncommon for a counselor appraoching the expiration date of their license to go through the motions and earn the necessary CEUs to renew their license without really learning anything new. However, there are those that desire to take their expertise to a new level and use this board imposed expectation to progress their professional development. So, a good question to ask yourself is where do you stand on this issue?
Wanting to just “get through it” is common and not necessarily bad. Everyone’s schedule is getting more and more hectic over time. Client demands are high, insurance reimbursement is difficult, family dynamics are changing and requiring more attention. All of these are valid reasons to “just get through” the required classes. Stating all of this, you can now ask yourself if you want to fall victom to your circumstances or do you want to rise above your circumstances and grow beyond where you are?
So, you decided you do want more from your CE experience. Here are some questions to assist you in the process.
“In my current position, where can I improve?”
“What are some areas that must be developed in order to stay current?”
“What are areas of interest that can be applied to my profession that have not been undertaken?”
“Where do I see myself professionally in the next 5 to 15 years?”
“What resources will I required to bring this about?” (ie: CE courses needed, new fields to study, etc)
As you have probably already discovered, your path to growth and development is paved with several options and opportunities. You will find that there are plenty of courses to choose from that pertain to whatever field of study you are seeking, from the everyday to the more niche. The internet has made these options more readily available and easier to acquire than ever before.
The key is to not wait until one week before your licenses expires. Plan ahead, think where you will be over the next few years. Resolve what skills will have to be taken to the next level and which skills you don’t possess at all. Then apply all of this in a workable plan to meet your professional growth needs. Don’t let your continuing education be just another task to check off the list, but a springboard to a more enriching career.