As part of the mission of the University System, public service and continuing education act as an interface between the 34 institutions and the communities which they serve. Such activities are an extension of the traditional on-campus learning process and have been established to improve the welfare of Georgia's citizens and serve business, industry, government, and professional organizations. The public service/continuing education component consists of the following:

Board policy mandates that each institution will offer a variety of conferences, institutes, short courses, workshops, seminars, and training programs. The principal unit awarded for participation in these non-degree credit activities is the Continuing Education Unit (C.E.U.), defined as "ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction."

The C.E.U. is accepted nationally as the unit for measuring participation in non-credit continuing education programs. There are two categories of continuing education activity, and only those individuals who take programs that meet the criteria for Category I may be awarded C.E.U.'s. Activities in Category I must meet administrative criteria, including being a part of an institution with a continuing education staff that has a library with reference resources and program criteria that include specifying outcomes of the learning experience and stating requirements for measurement of goals and completion of the program. Programs in Category II do not meet the criteria for inclusion in Category I but may meet the needs of the community or help satisfy the service mission of the institution. Category II activities are planned educational events of an instructional nature, with individually registered participants. "Continuing Education Activities" include both Category I and Category II programs. The rapid growth that has occurred in this area is displayed below.

1976-77 -- 1995-96
  12-Month Period* No. of Programs   12-Month Period* No. of Programs
  1976-77 7,118   1986-87 13,361
  1977-78 8,434   1987-88 13,645
  1978-79 9,094   1988-89 11,987
  1979-80 9,124   1989-90 13,883
  1980-81 9,197   1990-91 14,018
  1981-82 10,032   1991-92 15,876
  1982-83 10,694   1992-93 16,329
  1983-84 11,378   1993-94 17,241
  1984-85 12,143   1994-95 17,045
  1985-86 12,556   1995-96 18,945
*June 1 - May 31

Sources: Policy Manual, 1983; Utilization of the Continuing Education Unit (C.E.U.) within the University System of Georgia, 1988; 1995-96 Annual C.E.U. Report

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