5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your PE Credits
Being a licensed PE in Wisconsin means you have until July 31 on even numbered years to fulfill your 30 credit requirement. While fulfilling your credit requirement is obviously important, make sure you take courses to help your job performance.
In Wisconsin, you can complete 17 credits online (although a minimum of 13 hours must be from live webinars). You also have to complete two hours on ethics. When choosing courses, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
1. Find courses from approved, reputable providers.
Be wary of some discount providers that don’t deliver quality education material. Many of these discount providers excel at marketing because they know each state’s requirements and market hard to professionals in the last few months before their license expires. UW-Madison Engineering Professional Development, among others, offers many courses in Madison, Wis., and online that are reputable within the industry.
2. Look for courses that can solve a problem you’re facing in the workplace.
“People come to our classes because they have a problem they need to have solved,” said Howard Rosen, program director. He leads EPD’s ethics courses with Professor Laura Grossenbacher. “Our classes give them the help they need, and the fact that they also get the credits is kind of secondary.”
EPD offers interactive and online courses that are usually several days long. Students learn through hands-on training and demonstrations.
“If you’re a PE, you have to get your credits, but why not get something out of it that enhances your professional skills and solve your problems?” said Dave Peterson, program director.
And what you learn could completely change the direction of your work.
“I’ve had students step out in the middle of class and call their coworkers to say, ‘Stop, I’ve just learned we’re doing it wrong,’” Rosen said.
3. The most helpful courses feature instructors who create—and update—their own course materials.
Experienced instructors know their subject matter more intricately. They can answer your questions instead of delivering a canned lecture. Look for instructors with real-world experience, which means they are on top of the latest trends.
“In my opinion, when you’re creating your own materials and presentations for class, you’re much closer to the subject matter and can be a more effective speaker,” Peterson said.
4. Make sure the credits you are receiving actually count toward a PE license.
Many of Peterson’s students are seeking credits for a PE license. Schools must fulfill requirements to become approved providers, and this information should be readily available when you register for a course. EPD is an approved provider in all states that require PE’s to acquire PDHs (Professional Development Hours) or CEUs (Continuing Education Units).
5. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better.
Financial strains affect many technical professionals, so quality education might seem like a luxury. But in today’s world, having the knowledge and expertise to do your job better–rather than just fulfilling state credit requirements—can save you and your organization money in the long-term.
“Differentiate value from cost,” Rosen advises. “What is the value you’re really getting? It’s not always just about what you pay. You can take one of our in-depth classes and figure out a better way of doing a project that can save thousands of dollars.”
July 1, 2018 Online
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