Five quick and easy ways to earn CEUs

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On September 30, NCRA’s 2013 education cycle will come to an end. NCRA members with cycles ending in 2013 have a number of quick and easy ways to earn CEUs in the time remaining. Here are five ways you can get CEUs that are relatively quick and painless.

1. Play the game. In 2012, NCRA created a learning game called Courting Disaster that offers members a fun professional development opportunity based on the challenges reporters face every day. Since its launch, more than 2,000 people have logged in to the game and considered the various scenarios presented in the interactive narrative. Players are presented with a number of quests, or scenarios, and are asked to choose how to best proceed. With each decision, players must balance their desire to serve their clients well while maintaining, according to the NCRA Code, “their profession at the highest level.”

The game is free to play. To get started with “Courting Disaster,” simply go to www.ncra.org/CourtingDisaster and start playing along. You can play as many times as you like. During each gaming session, you’ll be presented with six of 12 possible quests. The quests appear randomly, so every time you play, you’ll have a chance to see new content and have a unique experience. To earn CEUs after finishing the game, complete an e-seminar that examines the issues encountered in the game in more detail. A screen at the end of the game will direct you to the webinar.

2. Catch up with NCRA’s distance learning offerings. NCRA offers more than 100 on-demand e-seminars and live webinars on topics ranging from ethics and grammar to realtime and administrative law. Both formats give you access to the video and downloadable handout materials from highly regarded speakers in the court reporting-related fields. With e-seminars, the attendee can start, pause, and stop the e-seminar on demand. With webinars, attendees can ask questions of the speaker. In addition, attendees have up to 30 days to finish viewing the program. Explore the topics in NCRA’s Distance Learning Library at ncra.inreachce.com/.

3. Prepare for an emergency. NCRA offers CEUs to members who take first aid or emergency preparedness classes. A great place to start is with the Red Cross (redcross.org) or the American Heart Association (heart.org). The first-aid classes put on by these two organizations are accepted by NCRA for CEUs, as is the Red Cross’s emergency preparedness class. CPR classes given by other organizations, such as at a hospital or fire station, are generally accepted but should be cleared first through NCRA’s continuing education department (contact sbryant@ncra.org if you need further information). Please note that NCRA limits these classes to 1.2 CEUs (12 hours of credit) per cycle.

4. Go through your records. See if there are any educational opportunities that weren’t submitted or were somehow overlooked. Classes should be closely related to court reporting and not paid for by your employer. If the event was held in the past three years, it may be worth the time to see if it might be CEU-worthy. In addition, get more information on NCRA’s website (at www.ncra.org/Certifications) to see if any other qualifying experience, such as board or committee experience, pro bono services, or the transcription of Veterans History Project tapes, may not have been credited on the CEU transcript.

5. Check the calendar. Many state and local court reporting associations offer CEUs during their annual conventions in September, and this year is no exception. Check the JCR calendar of upcoming events to see if a live event will be held near you. Or visit a more complete, interactive calendar on NCRA’s website (www.ncra.org/calendar). State associations, members, and court reporting related organizations post details about their events at no charge.