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Frequently Asked Questions about Climate Discovery

Are college credits available?

2 optional semester credit hours of graduate-level continuing education credit are available through the Colorado School of Mines Teacher Enhancement Program.   NCAR is not a degree-granting institution and therefore cannot grant official credit for our courses. Recognizing that many schools and districts require their teachers to complete a certain amount of continuing education each year, we have made arrangements with the Colorado School of Mines to offer graduate-level continuing education credits upon the successful completion of each course.

How do continuing education credits differ from traditional university or college credits? 

Graduate-level semester credit offered for each course is applicable for recertification in the State of Colorado and is generally accepted elsewhere. The credit is not applicable toward a degree at the Colorado School of Mines. Typically, continuing education credits are used by teachers for relicensing or recertification and not for application to a degree program or initial certification.  Requirements vary by state and district, therefore, you should check with your local administrators to determine if the graduate level continuing education credits meet their requirements.

Is there a cost for the graduate-level continuing education credits?

Yes, these optional credits require an additional fee.   As of Septermber 2009, the fee is $90 per course and is separate from the $225 course fee.

How do I apply for the optional continuing education credits?

Early in each course, information and directions for obtaining the optional continuing education credits from the Colorado School of Mines will be provided. Please do not contact CSM directly.

Are there prerequisites for the courses? Am I required to take the courses in a particular order?

The Climate Discovery courses were developed as a logical sequence, but you are not required to take them in a particular order. There are no specific prerequisites for any of the courses, although all participants must have a baccalaureate degree.

How many hours per week should I expect to work on each course?

Over the past two years, our participants have reported that they spent between 5 and 12 hours each week working on course readings and assignments.

Can I work ahead? Do I have to keep up each week?

Climate Discovery participants are required to complete a set of assignments (including readings, assessments, and online community-building activities) each week. Since meaningful interaction with your fellow educators is an integral part of each course, participants may not "work ahead."

How and when do I pay the $225 course fee?

Payment in full is required at the end of the online registration process. In order to save time, please have your Visa or Mastercard available before starting the registration process.

Will I receive a letter or certificate of completion?

Upon successful completion of each course, participants will receive a certificate of completion. If required by your school or district, a letter of completion will be provided upon request.

I am not an educator. May I take the courses anyway?

The Climate Discovery courses were developed specifically for educators. Participation is currently restricted to teachers, faculty, and informal educators (museum or science center staff, for example).

I have a question not answered above or on the other pages. What should I do?

Please email any questions to
Our staff will respond as soon as possible, usually within one business day.

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