Are you ready for the change? A new kind of Con-Ed is just over the horizon! Our Continuing Education program is changing on July 1st, 2020. What does this mean for you? The new program will give you greater flexibility in choosing professional development, allowing you to focus in on what really matters. Here’s the run-down:

Take the Assessments

First, you’ll log in to your My ACAO Profile and take the online assessments for core, eyeglass, and contact lens if applicable. Think of the assessments as self-direction tools. The results are not seen by anyone but you. The data may be aggregated to inform us what areas the majority of the membership need us to focus our con-ed offerings on, but we don’t look at individual assessments.

When you’re done your assessments, you will receive a ranking of “Exemplary,” “Moderate,” or “Need to Address” in each competency area. These rankings are meant to help you focus your professional development on areas that could use attention, so that you’re getting the most out of your Con-Ed.

Build your Learning Plan

Once you’ve done your assessments, you’ll need to make a learning plan. You need to complete 6 learning goals in a 3-year period. You can either choose from a list of suggested courses that address the competency you’re working on, or come up with your own activity that will address the competency. This flexible model allows you to get creative and specific to tailor your professional development to your needs and your areas of focus. Rather than just picking whichever course is cheapest, easiest, or gets you the most credits, you’ll be able to pick a course or activity that really interests you and that will help you to improve your practice in meaningful ways.

The 6 learning goals that you create should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound). These goals can include several courses and/or activities that will help address the competency you’re working on.

Complete your Goals

Throughout the 3-year cycle you should work on your goals by completing exercises, activities, and/or courses that relate to them. It’s best to give yourself staggered deadlines to help you keep on top of things. We recommend completing 2 learning goals per year to keep an even pace and ensure continuous learning, and to prevent an overwhelming amount of work at the end of the cycle.

We are excited for this new Continuing Education model to be unveiled, and we know you have lots of questions! Feel free to contact the college for more information about this new program! You can also read our Quality Assurance FAQ article that answers some common questions about the new program.