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About the Center for Academic Outreach and Engagement

The Center for Academic Outreach and Engagement serves as the host for many activities and partnerships between the University and our surrounding communities, including community engagementcontinuing education courses and service learning. These collaborative partnerships allow knowledge and resources to be combined to encourage learning, service and research that go beyond the walls of Tarleton State University. As an engaged institution, we hope to enrich our core activities of research, teaching and service by forging partnerships that will meet the needs of professional development and continuing educational studies in our communities and beyond.

Our Continuing Education office also helps in the following ways:

Initiate a Continuing Education Activity!

Community members who are interested in exploring a professional discipline, skill, craft or hobby may explore engaging in a Continuing Education Activity

What can Continuing Education programs do for you?

Business leaders greet each other around a table.

Many careers require continuing education. For example, teachers, real estate agents and engineers are required to have a base of education and then receive updated training as they continue to work in their fields. Nursing, pharmacy, accounting and criminal justice are additional fields in which professionals must continue to develop the skills necessary for ever-changing environments.

Continuing education programs are educational opportunities offered to individuals throughout their lifecycle. Such programs cover a range of experiences including courses, camps, conferences and certificate programs.

If you already have a degree, you may take continuing education courses to upgrade your skills or expand your knowledge base. Tarleton State University’s continuing education offerings provide flexible and innovative options, encompassing everything from intimate workshops in creative writing to intensive certificate programs for career advancement.

What is the difference between continuing education and professional development?

Students improving on themselves through a fitness program.

Picking up a new hobby is fun, and continuing education courses can also improve your skills at work and home. Studies are now showing that investing time into the arts sparks areas of the brain that improve cognitive skills such as memory and concentration. Did you know that learning how to play the violin or learning a new language, or taking a cooking class at your local community center or college could uncover a hidden talent?

Professional development addresses the educational needs of people in a broad range of jobs and career fields, usually through non-credit, non-degree programs. They may include formal coursework, conferences, seminars and workshops taught on different platforms, including online or in the classroom. You can take advantage of professional development and education to remain current in your fields, learn new skills, change careers or enhance your marketability. 

What is the difference between a certificate program and a certification?

Students learning first responder techniques to earn a certification.

Certificate programs are generally non-credit, non-degree professional training or executive education programs that award certificates to participants upon successful completion of one or more modules. Certification programs are designed to provide training to individuals, who are required to have and maintain specific levels of knowledge and skills in their job categories, often as a legal requirement to perform their duties. Certification programs may carry credits and may be prerequisites for licensure.