The VCU paralegal certificate program is a six-month noncredit certificate program designed to advance legal industry skills and career options. We focus on practical knowledge in the law profession to prepare you to be competitive in a legal career search. You will earn a digital badge for the successful completion of this program.
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When traditional just won't do.
VCU Continuing and Professional Education recognizes that millions of adult learners across the country are looking for something other than a traditional four-year degree. So we offer something different for untraditional learners — courses designed to suit your personal and professional goals, as well as your schedule.
With a world-class faculty, strong national brand and enduring community relationships, VCU offers an unlimited environment for working professionals to pursue their continuing education and career aspirations. Our course portfolio is robust and continually growing. Want to suggest or teach a course? Submit your ideas.
Types of courses
Our office offers noncredit and credit courses. Some courses also offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which are a way of officially recognizing the time you put into your professional education when credits aren’t available.
- Noncredit: These courses are not eligible for credit toward degree programs. Students who take noncredit courses receive contact hours for participation. These courses are open to all learners.
- Credit: These courses are designed for students who are interested in earning college credits toward a degree, certificate or license renewal. Course credits are measured in semester hours. Students who take credit courses receive a grade at the end of the semester. Auditing Graduate Courses: Class size permitting, students may register for graduate courses on an audit basis, meaning they enroll in courses, but do not receive academic credit upon completion. Audit students are charged the regular rate of tuition and fees. Learn more on the VCU Graduate Bulletin website.
- CEUs: The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement used to recognize participation in noncredit continuing education programs. CEUs are not equivalent to undergraduate or graduate credit and are only recorded to one decimal point (i.e., 14 contact hours is equivalent to 1.4 CEUs). Visit our CEU website for more information.
- Digital badges: Digital badges are web-enabled versions of a credential, certification or learning outcome. Representing your skills as a badge gives you a way to share your abilities online in a way that is simple, trusted and can be easily verified in real time. Visit our digital badging page for a full list of FAQ.
Some of our specialty areas include:
Continuing Education Units
Read more about Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement used to recognize participation in noncredit continuing education programs. CEUs are not equivalent to undergraduate or graduate credit and are only recorded to one decimal point (i.e., 14 contact hours is equivalent to 1.4 CEUs). Visit our CEU website for more information.
Cultural competency and language classes
Read more about cultural competency and language classes
These classes, offered throughout the year, introduce adult learners to different cultures and assist them in becoming interculturally competent and exposed to world languages. Language classes are conversation-based with an emphasis on oral fluency and listening. Current offerings include Introduction to Conversational Spanish I and II, and Language and Culture: Francophone World. Faculty and staff may be eligible to use a tuition benefit for 1-credit courses.
Noncredit courses are open to all learners, and have included French Culture and Cuisine and Spanish Language and Culture Through Media.
VCU's English Language Program offers a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate Program for individuals interested in teaching English to multilingual students, locally, internationally or online. Courses are noncredit bearing, accommodate all levels and do not require prior teaching experience. You can learn more and apply for this program at https://global.vcu.edu/outreach/specialprograms/tefl/.
Read more about digital badging
View our digital badging page for information on continuing education opportunities that lead to web-enabled, verifiable digital badges in areas such as Alumni Relations, Business, Clinical Research, Education, Engineering, Government and Public Affairs, Health Professions, Health Sciences, Inclusive Excellence, Innovation, Pre-Law, REAL Research and Creative Inquiry, Research, Social Work, VCU Student Affairs, and VCU Professional Development (Provided by VCU Online).
Engineering professional development
Read more about engineering professional development
In partnership with the VCU College of Engineering, noncredit and credit-based professional development opportunities are offered to adult learners including but not limited to entry-level scientists, engineers, technicians, supervisory personnel, and business managers of all types. Courses, such as Automation and Controls Training, may be appropriate as on-boarding for new employees. Networking and educational sessions have also been available for alumni and industry professionals through the VCU College of Engineering Alumni Board. Participants may be eligible to receive professional development hours for licensure, and digital badges are available for select engineering activities.
Additional training courses are offered to VCU students to obtain the proper certification and training to use the College of Engineering's makerspaces.
Event planning courses
Read more about event planning courses
As a university partner with Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI), VCU Continuing and Professional Education offers these noncredit hospitality courses:
Visit an upcoming Hospitality Open House! Explore the event planning programs that we offer, and meet with staff to ask questions.
- Wednesday, April 19 from noon-1 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 26 from noon-1 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 17 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Health, fitness, and wellness classes
Read more about health, fitness, and wellness classes
Join a Certified Personal Trainer, and member of the Virginia Army National Guard, on a journey to get and stay healthy. Classes explore a variety of topics surrounding health including exercise, goal setting, training programs, diets, and nutrition. Enroll in one course, or bundle two or three, and save!
Choose from the following online courses (when scheduled):
- Getting Started with Getting Healthy
- Fitness Fundamentals
- Nutrition and Emotional Wellness
Introductory Aikido courses are also available in partnership with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and are offered during the academic semesters.
Additionally, we have offered an introduction to face reading and acupressure with live online courses in Acupressure for Facial Rejuvenation and Facial Lines and Wrinkles: Reading and Reduction. Our instructor is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine practitioner, and a Master Face Reader. Let her multi-faceted approach to health and healing, help you!
Infant Mental Health
Read more about Infant Mental Health training
Professional development training programs meet competencies required for the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement for Culturally-Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health. Offerings include Infant Mental Health and Attachment: Promoting Relationships in the Lives of Families and Young Children, and Working Towards Systemic Change: Understanding Social Determinants of Health.
Municipal Clerk continuing education
Read more about opportunities for Municipal Clerks
In partnership with the International Institute for Municipal Clerks (IIMC) and the Virginia Municipal Clerks Association (VMCA), Virginia Commonwealth University offers the VMCA Institutes and Academy, a rigorous continuing education program for IIMC members and associate members. An Athenian Leadership Society Dialogue series is also offered.
Online professional development
Read more about online professional development opportunities
In addition to online options for hospitality programs, VCU Continuing and Professional Education offers noncredit online courses and noncredit certificates in partnership with The Learning Resources Network (LERN). New courses and certificates are added throughout the year! Self-paced online learning is available in areas such as Business, Business Communication, Data Science, Management, New Media Marketing, Social Media for Business, and Technology Skills, including:
- Basics of Bookkeeping
- Bookkeeping Certificate (Includes Understanding Debits and Credits, General Ledger and Month End Procedures, and Closing Procedures and Financial Statements)
- Certificate in Accounting and Finance for Non-Financial Managers (Includes Accounting and Finance for Non-Financial Managers, Cash is King, and Financial Analysis and planning for Non-Financial Managers)
- Certificate in Business Writing (Includes Business Writing, Effective Copywriting, and Writing News and Press Releases)
- Certificate in Customer Service (Includes Extraordinary Customer Service and Keys to Customer Service)
- Certificate in Data Analysis (Includes Introduction to Data Analysis, Intermediate Data Analysis, and Advanced Data Analysis)
- Certificate in Mastering Excel (Includes Mastering Microsoft Excel, Intermediate Excel, and Advanced Excel)
- Certificate in Workplace Communication (Includes Conflict Management, Negotiation: Get What You Want, and Using Personality Profiles for Better Work Performance)
- Power BI Certificate (Includes Introduction to Power BI, Intermediate Power BI, and Advanced Power BI)
- Digital Marketing Certificate (Includes Improving Email Promotions, Boosting Your Website Traffic, and Online Advertising)
- Entrepreneurship Certificate (Includes Entrepreneur Boot Camp, The Business Plan, and Entrepreneurial Marketing)
- Management Certificate (Includes Management Boot Camp, Collaborative Management, and Managing Generations in the Workplace)
- Managing Remote Workers Certificate (Includes Remote Working and Communicating and Managing Remote Workers)
- Mastering Computer Skills for the Workplace
- Social Media for Business Certificate (Includes Introduction to Social Media, Marketing Using Social Media and Integrating Social Media in Your Organization)
- Supervisory and Leadership Certificate
- WordPress Certificate
Online courses, leading to the Capital CoLAB Digital Tech Credential, are open to VCU and VCU Health employees, working professionals (including VCU alumni), and those in the job market. Required courses to earn the generalist digital badge include Computers and Programming, Data Science Skills, and Cybersecurity Skills. A Software Engineering and Web Development course is also available.
Read more about online teaching courses
The VCU Online: Excellence in Online Instruction Certificate is an ideal professional development opportunity for anyone teaching online, or planning to teach online. The certificate includes courses in Best Practices in Online Instruction, Designing Online Instruction, Evaluating for Online Excellence, Mentoring for Online Excellence, and Leadership for Online Programs. Digital badges are provided for the successful completion of each course; courses are also offered in a stand-alone format.
Join us for the inaugural VCU Online Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Regional Conference! We welcome submissions for papers, best practice (virtual workshops), and virtual posters.
Read more about personal enrichment opportunities
Our opportunities for personal growth vary widely, and have included introductory Aikido; Athenian Dialogues for municipal clerks; Build Trust and Support Healing from Trauma through Storytelling; Chinese Facial Reading (includes Acupressure for Facial Rejuvenation and Facial Lines and Wrinkles: Reading and Reduction); Cultural Competency and Language Classes; Mindfulness Workshops; PADI Open Water Scuba; Portfolio Development: A Course in Content Creation; Storytelling: An Act of Memory, Imagination and Vision; a primer on Richmond’s acclaimed French Film Festival; a World Drumming Workshop; and more.
We also offer seasonally, a FREE Community Series on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, and have offered a FREE Lunch and Learn Series with sessions around Languages and Cultural Competency. Check back for 2023 topics.
Play Therapy Training Program
Read more about the Play Therapy Training Program
VCU Continuing and Professional Education is an approved continuing education provider (APT Approved Provider 15-397) by the Association for Play Therapy, Inc.
Explore and learn how to apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with, and treat clients. We offer a series of noncredit workshops designed for licensed, mental health professionals and school-based counselors, which are part of the requirements for application to become a Registered Play Therapist™ (RPT) or School-Based Registered Play Therapist™ (SB-RPT). Digital badging is available for eligible workshops.
Read more about test preparation courses
MCAT, PCAT and DAT test prep courses are also offered, through our education partner, Kaplan Test Prep. Courses include:
- Flexibility and guidance
- Score-boosting strategies
- Knowledgeable teachers
- All your prep, all in one place
Join one of Kaplan's free live online events for the MCAT, or watch a recording from previous events.
Looking for test prep for the TOEFL, IELTS, or other English language proficiency tests? The VCU English Language Program (ELP) in the VCU Global Education Office offers Test Preparation courses online and on campus to help students improve their language skills before taking a test. A Pronouncing American English course is also available to help students improve their pronunciation skills and develop fluency, clarity, and understanding of spoken English.