Can’t Afford Continuing Education! Now what?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Can’t Afford Continuing Education! Now what?

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    Hey now,

    I have gotten nowhere with the NJ Board of Architects so I’ll post this here in hopes that someone with a similar experience can shed some light.

    I have been unemployed for quite some time now and can’t afford to get my credits.  When I add up the meeting, hotel room, food, and gas it is simply too much, even with two part-time jobs. I called the NJ Board of Architects and asked about putting my license on hold.  I was told that even if I put it on hold I still have to get the continuing education credits because when I reactivate it I will have to show proof of back credits.  This doesn’t make sense and doesn’t help my situation.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this?  Many thanks!

    Eric Gilbey

    Keith, I would recommend to you to determine how many of your credits you can get that are not specifically approved by NJ’s board and attempt to secure those credits from other approved provider associations (ie. USGBC, AIA, AICP, Universities etc) And also check out distant learning opportunities through LA CES and other chapters of ASLA, and approved vendor providers. So many distant learning opportunities exist that if allowable for credit in NJ, could be helpful. Another example is ASLA’s LATIS series…where you can read or watch their series and take a test afterward…as a member of ASLA, you can have these available to you…sometimes reading books and documenting your time and content learned, etc. There are a few ways to be creative about getting your credit and it may take some time to find them, but they are out there. I’m also wondering if you could volunteer for the NJASLA annual meeting in Atlantic City, if that might help with the cost of the conference…or offer to help one of their sponsors/exhibitors and see if they would sponsor your registration for the conference.


    You guys are the best!  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.


    I let mine lapse when I was out west, thinking I’d be able to stay there, but alas, it was not to be.  So I find myself back in NJ.  Since I was out for more than two years, I need to reapply via reciprocity with Nevada.  No Continuing ed requirement, apparently.  I took a month long course in home energy auditing last year that was paid for by the feds which I will try to use for credits.  You might be able to find one of these courses still around.  I see ads from time to time.  Which reminds me, I need to call them and see what the holdup is.


    Who knows, you might get a job next year and then you’ll need the current license.  I don’t know what the answer is with this ruined economy or when things will turn around.  Its really testing my sanity!


    Jordan Lockman

    I agree there are plenty of other places to get free or at least cheap CEU’s. Our local nursery and landscape association has a really affordable expo in the winter here. Maybe look into that. They are able to yearly hold a conference that is pretty similar to the ASLA conference but at about a quarter the cost. The sessions are not all applicable, but there is usually 6-7 hours to be gotten for around $100. As far as free CEU’s like others have said look into what vendors may offer. For example, if you want to learn more about retaining walls contact them(or look at their website) and see if they have any training seminars that they are putting on?

    Our DNR and extension service have courses occasionally that would be beneficial also. They are not usually too expensive. The thing to remember is that continuing ed does not need to be certified as continuing ed, it just needs to be applicable to health, safety, and welfare relating to landscape architecture.

    Minnesota(my state) has some resources on how to deem a course/activity eligible for CEU credits. I am sure your state does as well?

    Some ideas.


    Please note that I am in NJ.  I understand it may be easy to get CEC’s in other states but the NJ Board of Architects accepts next to nothing outside of the annual meeting.  They make it very difficult to even obtain information from the board on what alternatives I have to the meeting.  It feels like they care more about making money than helping landscape architects continue their education.   

    Jonathan J. Bob

    Keith,  There are other sources for NJ CEC’s.  Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in PA. has a Land Ethics Symposium that gives 5 CEU’s (at least the 2011 session did). 




    Amy Kobe

    Why don’t you find out if the NJ Board accepts credits for online programs? There are hundreds of free programs on the internet! Check out and for ideas.

    Darrell V. Oliver

    Hey Keith,


    Just stumbled across your msg….have you tried McGraw Hill’s online education site? You can take the online

    courses and once you pass, print the certificate that shows you pass and the credit hour.  It’s great!

    Tosh K

    Can you use the AIA backed credits from the article in Architectural Record?  I’m sure many libraries carry it and I believe they have articles each month (articles have quizzes in the back).

    Amy Kobe

    Keith, I just read the CE rules for the state of NJ and you are misinformed. The NJ rules allow CE credits a very wide variety of activities–far more than just the annual meeting. Here is a link to the NJ rules:

    The CE rules start on page 13.

    There are literally thousands of free online CE courses with AIA credit; as a previous post said, many are applicable to the profession of landscape architecture.

    Ken Householder


    Pro-line Publications has some internet CE classes that are pretty reasonable. There is an 8 hour water conservation course for $100 that I’m going to take. I’m in the same boat as you – when you add up the conference, hotel, gas, and other expenses, you’re looking at around $500. P

    Good luck to you.

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