When it comes to construction supervisors in Massachusetts fulfilling their state-mandated continuing education requirements in order to renew their licenses, some people like to complete their coursework online at their own pace. Others prefer to enroll in a classroom course so that they can learn in a more structured environment. But beginning in 2018, many construction supervisor license (CSL) holders will get to experience both learning formats.
New Rules For CSL Continuing Ed
The reason? New regulations approved by the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) pertaining to CSL continuing education. As of January 1, 2018, the BBRS will cap the number of continuing education credits earned online at six hours per license renewal cycle. The remainder of the necessary credits must be obtained from a continuing education course conducted in an in-person classroom setting.
In other words, individuals with an unrestricted CSL must earn at least half of their 12 mandatory continuing education hours from classroom coursework. Restricted CSL holders must enroll in a classroom-style course that fulfills a minimum of four of their ten required continuing education hours. As before, CSL holders must renew their licenses every two years.
Classroom/Online or Full Classroom?
Here’s an important note: even though the BBRS has instituted a minimum number of in-classroom continuing education credits, that is not the case for credits earned in a virtual setting. In other words, CSL holders can complete all of their mandatory continuing education hours in the classroom if they wish to do so. This may appeal to people who would rather block off a few hours in an evening once per week for a few weeks, or even the full ten or twelve hours in a single weekend.
Of course, there are those CSL holders who would rather earn as many continuing education credits online as they can. These people might sign up for an online course and complete the curriculum within the same week they have scheduled their classroom continuing education. Or they could enroll in the classroom course before getting their online credits – or vice-versa.
Tips For Classroom Courses
If you are a CSL holder who has never entered a classroom for your continuing education credits, here are some suggestions:
- Ask your work colleagues for recommendations about classroom courses. They can give you their opinions about the quality and convenience of such courses that are offered in your area.
- Examine the “fine print” pertaining to the classroom courses. Doing so will answer your questions about exact locations, study materials, available refreshments or meals, and topics that will be covered.
- Know what the cancellation and makeup policies are. If you miss one session of a weekly six-week course, will you be able to make it up? Will you get a refund if something unexpected prevents you from attending your weekend course?
- Leverage the strengths of a classroom setting. Since you have to be in the classroom anyway, take advantage of it by asking the instructor questions about subjects you may not fully understand or working with classmates to learn the material before the quizzes and exams.
- Be prepared to learn. Don’t spend the class time sleeping, reading the paper, or playing with your smartphone. You will be tested on the material, after all.
If you have any other questions about in-classroom CSL continuing education, you can contact the Massachusetts Contractors Academy at (888) 334-9497. As much as you may not like returning to the classroom years after finishing high school or college, you’ll have to adjust to the new normal if you want to complete the necessary continuing education requirements to maintain your Massachusetts construction supervisor license going forward.
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