Changing responsibilities in the work world and in private life create situations which encourage or require specialized educational programs outside the traditional University degree programs. Continuing Education attempts to address the needs for lifelong learning by providing non-academic courses, professional and personal enrichment courses, workshops, seminars, institutes and conferences. Non-academic continuing education programs make available the varied resources and facilities of the University in order to serve the needs of the general public.
In the year 2000 Continuing Education began offering selected courses on-line to better meet the needs of the public. These courses are instructor-led and delivered over the world wide web. Participants can learn at their own pace and at their convenience.
Some continuing education programs are documented by the University as Continuing Education Units (CEU). The CEU recognizes participation by adults in organized continuing education programs. Because CEUs are not academic credits, they are not applicable toward any degree program. In addition to CEUs, certificates of completion and attendance are granted to participants in some programs.
The Continuing Education Department is composed of five subdivisions: Advanced Technology Training, Business and Industry Training Service, the Louisiana Environmental Training Center, Potpourri, and Road Scholar.
Advanced Technology Training
Advanced Technology Training offers hands-on computer training courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced computer users. These courses are scheduled at a variety of times during the day, including evenings. Many application courses are offered in short form with well-defined objectives so that participants can minimize their time away from the office. Off-site and custom classes are available on demand.
Business and Industry Training Service
Business and Industry Training Service (BITS) is specifically designed to provide educational opportunities and prepare people to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing business workplace. Comprehensive programming covers the broad areas of communication, management, supervision, office proficiency skills, marketing, money matters, professional development, hospitality, and tourism industry training. In-house training and tailoring of courses is available through BITS for companies or organizations that have specific needs to train several employees.
Louisiana Environmental Training Center
The Louisiana Environmental Training Center (LETC) was established in the fall of 1990 through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency under the 109(b) program. LETC offers a diverse array of classes covering areas such as regulatory compliance, water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, solid waste, hazardous waste, environmental management, and oil and gas operations, as well as many required safety courses such as Emergency First Responder and all levels of HAZWOPER.
Potpourri programs are designed with the general public's interests in mind, with course offerings ranging from photography to Pilates, flower arranging to golf, water color to Cajun dance. During the summer, Potpourri offers myriad children's courses which are scheduled throughout the day. Potpourri offers over 400 courses yearly to the general public and serves over 5000 participants.
Road Scholar is a national program for 55+ adults who want to continue to expand their horizons and develop new interests. Participants enjoy inexpensive, short-term academic programs. Nearly a quarter-million people study and travel with Road Scholar every year at more than 1,800 colleges, universities, museums, national parks and other cultural institutions. UL Lafayette has hosted Road Scholar (Elderhostel) since 1987 and has successfully offered over 100 weeks of programs.