Frequently Asked Questions

What is ION?

ION provides professional development opportunities for higher education faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as K-12 faculty.

Where is ION located?

ION is located at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for Online Learning, Research and Service in Springfield, Illinois.

Is ION only for Illinois colleges and universities?

No. ION has been serving the United States, Canada, and a number of other countries for over 20 years.

How does ION deliver services?

ION delivers its professional development courses and certifications though an online learning management system (LMS). Courses are taught by leading educational professionals in higher education.

I have a workshop I need help developing for our faculty, can ION help?

Yes. Member institutions can request in-person consulting and on-campus workshops.

Do I earn college graduate credit for the courses?

A select number of ION’s 8-week courses are available for graduate credit through UIS. All courses earn continuing education credits.  View a complete ION course catalog.

What is continuing education?

Continuing education programs are educational opportunities offered to individuals throughout their lifecycle. ION offers a range of experiences from courses, webinars, conferences, and certificate programs.

If you already have a degree or are in a career transition, you may take continuing education courses to upgrade your skills, experiences, and knowledge base.

Why would I choose continuing education courses?

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

Does receiving a certificate make me a “graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield?”

No. You are only considered a “graduate” of University of Illinois Springfield or its campuses when you earn an academic degree certificate from a degree granting unit. However, you can earn a professional certificate from ION and have the benefit of an educational experience from a highly reputable institution.

How long are the courses?

Courses are 4 or 8 weeks in length. We offer a variety of topics from Digital Accessibility, Universal Design for Online Learners, to Student Support Services for Online Learners.

What is the difference between an ION Certificate Program and a certification?

ION certificate programs are generally non-degree, noncredit 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.

My institution is not a member of ION, can I still enroll in a course?

Yes, you can still enroll in a course paying the non-member price.

Do I have to formally apply and submit transcripts or SAT scores to be accepted into n ION continuing education course or program?

No. Some courses may require a certain level of training or background to enroll. Be sure to read the “pre-requisites” that may be listed for a course.

How to employers know I completed the course?

ION issues electronic badges, as well as, a transcript of courses. The transcript is accessible and downloadable within your ION registration account.

I can’t see CEUS from my last (or previous) cycle on my transcript?

CEU cycles are for 6 years. Only CEUs from the current cycle, which includes 6-year, will be present on your ION course transcript. ION course transcripts are updated at the end of each term, and the year cycle ends Dec 1 of that calendar year.


If you took an ION course for graduate credit please contact the UIS registrar for a copy of your transcripts.

What is the Standard for CEUs?

The IACET, or International Association of Continuing Education and Training, established the criteria and standards for CEUs.

What constitutes one CEU?

One CEU equals ten contact hours of participation in organized continuing education classes and/or training conducted by a qualified instructor. A contact hour is equivalent to one 60-minute interaction between an instructor and the participant.

What is the minimum period of contact for which a CEU can be awarded?

A CEU cannot be granted for learning events that are less than one hour in length.


CEUs are not available for plenary sessions, exhibit hall presentations, meetings, social events, archived online events, or those sessions that provide participants with information about a particular “product” or program without including measurable learning objectives.

Who tracks my CEUs?

Individuals are responsible for keeping track of their CEUs and for providing documentation when an employer requests the completion record. ION maintains all active certificates and/or courses in a cycle on file and available for immediate participant download.


For archived CEUs please contact the ION office.

How does my institution become a member?

Your institution can contact the ION office directly to discuss membership and pricing. Email or call (217) 206-8650