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When traditional just won't do.
The Virginia Commonwealth University Office of 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 — 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 optimal environment for working professionals to pursue their continuing education and career aspirations. Our course portfolio is robust and continually growing.
Types of courses
Our office offers noncredit and credit courses. Some courses also offer continuing education units, 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.
Some of our specialty areas include:
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.
In partnership with the VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, continuing education is available for community members and includes self-paced online learning modules with behavioral health topics from understanding suicide risk and trauma to alcohol use and addiction, to cultural competency.
This noncredit program, for participants who are 21 and over, is a partnership with industry and on-campus partners. An introductory course is typically offered several times annually. While the certificate program is currently paused due to COVID-19, a Craft Beer Essentials Online course is open for registration for July 2021.
These classes, offered in the fall and spring semesters, 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, and have included Conversational Spanish, German, Italian, and French. Faculty and staff may be eligible to use a tuition benefit for these 1-credit courses.
View our digital badging page for information on continuing education opportunities that lead to web-enabled, verifiable digital badges in fields such as Education, Engineering, Health Professions, Health Sciences, Inclusive Excellence, and Social Work.
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 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.
Additional training courses are offered to VCU College of Engineering students, to obtain the proper certification and training to use the VCU Maker Garage space. These courses are currently paused due to COVID-19.
As a university partner with Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI), VCU OCPE currently offers these noncredit event planning courses in a self-paced online format:
In addition to online options for hospitality programs and test prep courses, VCU OCPE offers noncredit online courses and noncredit certificates in partnership with The Learning Resources Network (LERN). Self-paced online learning is available in areas such as Business, Business Communication, Data Science, Management, New Media Marketing, 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 Customer Service (Includes Extraordinary Customer Service and Keys to Customer Service)
- Certificate in Mastering Excel (Includes Advanced Excel, Intermediate Excel, and Mastering Microsoft Excel)
- Google Analytics and Advanced Google Analytics
- Mastering Computer Skills for the Workplace
- Supervisory and Leadership Certificate
- WordPress Certificate
Noncredit courses in partnership with the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture have allowed students to study specialized topics in mass communications including Digital Crisis Communications for Global Pandemics.
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 couses 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.
Our opportunities for personal growth vary widely, and currently include: Storytelling: An Act of Memory, Imagination and Vision (New!), Craft Beer Essentials, and introductory Aikido. We have offered mindfulness workshops, PADI Open Water Scuba, a World Drumming Workshop, a primer on Richmond’s acclaimed French Film Festival, and more.
We also offer seasonally, a FREE Community Series on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Registration is open for our 2021 virtual sessions.
The VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education (OCPE) 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 APT-Approved noncredit weekend 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). You can also earn a digital badge for each workshop that you successfully complete.
VCU Test Prep includes:
- Extensive instruction with experienced, expert instructors
- Extended access to our experts beyond the live-online classroom experience
- Comprehensive preparation materials, including actual questions from previous exams
- Multiple practice test-taking opportunities
- Flexible schedule options
FREE Live-Online Intro Sessions and Strategy Workshops are available.
- Flexibility and guidance
- Score-boosting strategies
- Knowledgeable teachers
- All your prep, all in one place
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.