All continuing education providers are not created equal

New York social workers have many ways to educate themselves, but continuing education hours eligible for licensure must be obtained from entities specifically approved by the New York State Department of Education. NYSED provides a list of all the providers it has approved to date on the Office of the Professions website.  As of the date of this post, there are 82 providers, based from Cape Cod to Alaska! [update: over 100 now listed]

Unfortunately, this is a nontransparent list that includes many organizations that don’t really provide training accessible to the majority of social workers for purposes of licensure. There are many reasons (providers who only do multi-year psychoanalytic training for thousands of dollars, providers who only train their own staff, etc.). Digging through the list can be frustrating and time-consuming for a busy social worker just looking for the continuing education needed to renew their license.

Don’t despair, though. The providers include many organizations with sterling reputations (as well as some interesting newcomers). Among them are national companies, such as PESI and Cross-Country Education, that provide ongoing workshops week in and week out around the region. They are well-established in providing credential-ready CEs. There are also a number of psychotherapy training institutes that have short courses and workshops, many on weekends, as well as schools of social work—NYU, University of Buffalo, Columbia University, for example—that have begun to offer courses, often with discounts for alumni.

Are there enough courses to satisfy the continuing education needs of 50,000 New York LMSWs and LCSWs?  At the moment, we doubt it. Over time, this is going to be a growth area in the state and will keep you up-to-date as new providers and courses are developed.

Is it easy to find courses that are interesting and easy to access? Based on our experience of the past few months, it isn’t. One has to poke through many nooks and crannies to find a course—and then too often registration is closed, or the course has ended, or it demands a huge commitment in time and money.

Which is why we intend this site to be the source for locating the quality, interesting material to keep you on track with the new requirements. Stay tuned as we build out this site.