• Original CAE Program

    Based on core not-for-profit management subjects, the original CAE® Program is a suite of five online, 12-week courses and a certifying exam. This program is being phased out as a new, restructured program (see above) is introduced.  
    If you are a current student in the original program, use the links below to register for your next course or exam. You must complete all five courses and the certifying exam by August 2027. If you have not yet begun the program, consider registering in the restructured program instead (see above).  

    Fall 2024 Term
    September 9, 2024 — December 2, 2024
    CAE 100 – Association Leadership, Change, Strategy, & Structure
    CAE 100 will be offered for the last time this Fall 2024.  
    CAE 100, the first course in the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) Program, introduces students to the foundational elements of associations; goals, leadership, management strategies, organizational structures, and strategic planning. In addition, this course addresses the concepts of change, change management and engaging stakeholders in the change process.
    CAE 200 – Association Membership Services 
    CAE 200 will be offered for the last time in Spring 2025. 
    CAE 200, the second course in the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) Program, examines the need and rationale for the development, implementation and discontinuation of products and services,  This course introduces the concepts of quality, pricing structures, product evaluations and member satisfaction. As a key component of CAE 200, students will learn how to manage the marketing of products and services through the development of a marketing plan. Discussions will include integrating strategy and standards to improve member services. 
    CAE 300 – Association Operations I (Operations Support)
    CAE 300 will be offered for the last time in Winter 2026. 
    CAE 300, the third course in the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) Program, builds on learning from CAE 100 and CAE 200, by providing the association manager with key insight into operational areas of critical importance.  Students learn about Human Resource management through the lenses of Systems, Technology, Accounting and Communications as well as explore the concept of Continuous Improvement.
    CAE 400 – Association Operations II (Products & Services)
    CAE 400 will be offered for the last time in Fall 2026. 
    CAE 400, the fourth course in the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) Program, provides association managers with key insights into the products and services typically found in associations. Products and services play a key role in strategic planning and as such, association managers need to have an awareness of current trends and issues and best practices. 
    CAE 500 – Developments in Association Management
    CAE 500 will be offered for the last time in Spring 2027. 
    In CAE 500, the fifth and final course in the Certified Association Executives (CAE®) Program, students reflect on prior learning to identify their personal competency challenges and methods for improvement. Students delve deeper into personal development through a learning project designed to hone their skills while facilitating development and growth for their organization.
    CAE Exam – August 16 – 18, 2024LOCATION
    CAE Final Exam
    The CAE final exam will be offered for the last time in August 2027.  
    The Certified Association Executive (CAE®) Exam is conducted via the internet. Each candidate is responsible for having access to the internet. CSAE will not be responsible for internet access or operations.
    Restructured CAE Program

    In 2024, CSAE introduced a refreshed, redesigned and re-organized learning pathway for the CAE designation. The restructured program is organized around the five competencies for association executives.  
    The five courses are CAE Optimize Governance, CAE Establish Direction, CAE Lead People, CAE Manage Operations and CAE Deliver Value. Each is delivered online over a period of 12 weeks. The first course in the new program will be offered in April 2024, with the remaining courses launching in 2025 and 2026. 
    The CAE designation will be given to CSAE members who complete all five courses (or demonstrate equivalent prior learning) and a capstone project.  
    The courses can be taken independently, in any order, and each one comes with a micro-credential. Those who are not ready to pursue the CAE designation, can take individual courses based on their learning and development needs.  

    Fall 2024 Term
    September 9, 2024 — December 2, 2024
    CAE Optimize Governance
    As a senior staff leader, you play a critical role in ensuring your governance structures are current, suited to your specific organization’s needs, and reviewed on a regular basis. Help your board focus on identifying the strategic goals for your organization – the role they are best suited to provide – while you facilitate putting in place the checks and balances that will steward your association into the future. 
    CAE Establish Direction
    Association Executives are responsible for implementing the board’s vision and goals into concrete, actionable, timely objectives. Translating a strategic plan into measurable outcomes is a critical task of leadership as is setting in place the plans, targets, and partnerships to ensure success. The Establish Direction competency area explores everything from financial planning, budgeting, annual planning, maintaining brand and reputation and partnering for success.  
     CAE Lead People 

    Whether you have one direct report or 100, leading people is both an art and a science. Putting in place clearly defined roles and metrics are critical to an association’s success. Making sure you have the human resources in place to execute on your organization’s objectives, training your staff, managing individuals and teams, are all critical components of leadership. As a leader, you also want to ensure that you are constantly improving your own performance. The Lead people competency area covers everything from evaluating what you need, hiring, onboarding, creating a strong team and leading through change. 

    • This course will be offered for the first time in Winter 2025.  
    CAE Manage Operations 

    Day-to-day operations might not carry the same shine as a carefully presented strategic plan but they are essential to that plan’s success. Managing cash flows, facilities, technological requirements are all important aspects of an association’s success. 

    • This course will be offered for the first time in Spring 2025.  
    CAE Deliver Value 

    Delivering value to our members and stakeholders is the heart of an association’s purpose. The best governance and planning won’t save an organization that has lost sight of what its members want, need, and value. Whether your organization is focused on lobbying, professional development, affinity programs or an endless variety of additional possibilities, we all seek to improve our industries, professions, or special interests. Defining, implementing, and improving our products, services and benefits is they key to association success. 

    • This course will be offered for the first time in Fall 2025.  

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