• Why was the CAE program redesigned?

    • The CAE program has consistently taught the value of continuous improvement as a central principle of association management. The evolution of the CAE program is the result of applying that lens to the program.
    • Feedback from hundreds of past students was considered and implemented. The restructured program stays true to the many aspects that students have valued over more than five decades. We’ve also taken into consideration some of the challenges presented by the program and some of the areas where improvement was required.
    • The restructured program, based on the framework of the Competencies for Association Executives, is easier to update, allows for more variety in resources and content, and is based upon standard principles of adult learning.

    What improvements does the restructured program feature?

    • Using the Competencies as a framework allows each course to be specifically focused on one key area of association management. The result is that each new course will result in a micro-credential recognizing that targeted focus.
    • We’ve included more variety in the supporting materials. The competency framework will allow us to increase the library of materials over time recognizing that association management is not a one size fits all approach. Each association is unique in size, budget, human resources, mission and vision and thus so will be their approaches to success.
    • We’ve incorporated more variety in the types of assignments students will complete over the course of the program allowing participants exposure
    • We’ve added case studies so students who may not have access to all the data required to complete an assignment can participate.

    What is being discontinued and what will remain the same?

    The original courses will be phased out over time but what we are keeping is:

    • Content and insight provided by association leaders
    • Cohort-based courses that allow participants to develop their professional network as they learn
    • Self-paced weekly content that allows participants to complete coursework when most convenient for them
    • Online asynchronous delivery that makes it easier to fit professional development into a busy schedule
    • Real-world scenarios that allow students to take current work projects or challenges and explore them in their course work
    • Experienced instructors able to share their own insight with participants

    Will my existing CAE designation be affected in any way?

    No! A CAE is a CAE. While the programs are different, both the original courses and the restructured courses explore association leadership in great depth.

    I’m partially through the original program. Can I gain my CAE designation under the restructured program?

    • Because the approach to course development is so different between the original and restructured program, students will be required to complete the designation in the same format in which they began.
    • Both programs cover the same important material, but they are organized so differently that it is not possible to switch between programs.
    • If you’ve already completed a few of the original courses, we encourage you to continue and earn your CAE through the original program. For more detail on the timeline for existing students to complete the program, please contact Eve Mechici at eve@csae.com.
    • If you’d prefer to earn the micro-credentials available with the new courses, you can complete any of the new courses or apply for prior learning recognition for them.

    Is the original program being phased out?

    • Yes; CAE 100 will be offered for the last time in Fall 2024, and that will be the final intake of students into the original program.
    • Students in the original program will have an opportunity to complete all five courses by the Spring of 2027, when CAE 500 will be offered for the last time.
    • The last opportunity to write the CAE exam will be in August 2027. Students in the restructured program will complete a capstone project instead of a final exam.

    For more detail on the timelines for existing students, please contact Eve Mechici at eve@csae.com.

    I have taken some of the CAE 100 to CAE 400 courses, but I paused and am not currently active in the program. Do I have to start over in the new program?

    • If you can make time to complete the remaining courses between now and the spring of 2027, you can write the CAE certifying exam any time until August 2027. This would be the most efficient way of achieving the CAE designation.
    • If you’re not interested in pursuing the CAE designation at this time, you can take any of the restructured courses and achieve a micro-credential for each one.

    Is there a difference in the delivery of the restructured program versus the original program?

    No. Courses will remain as self-paced, online courses delivered over 3 distinct terms every year.

    Does the restructured program feature micro-credentialing?

    Yes! Because each course focuses in depth on a specific area of association management, students who complete these  new courses can earn the following micro-credentials:

    • CAE – Optimize Governance
    • CAE – Establish Direction
    • CAE – Lead People
    • CAE – Manage Operations
    • CAE – Deliver Value

    How many terms will the restructured program have?

    There remain 3 terms per year: Winter, Spring and Fall.

    Does the restructured program have PLAR? How does it work and how do I apply for it?

    Yes, please refer to our PLAR section for more information.

    How long will it take me to complete the restructured program?

    The time to complete the courses is different for each student. Some students accelerate the process by taking one or more courses every term. Other students must take a break between terms to address busy times in their roles. The average completion timeline is approximately 2.5 years.

    Is the registration process still the same?

    Yes. You can register online today here.

    Do I still need CPD credits to maintain my CAE designation?

    Yes. Please visit the CPD page to find out more.

    Is the pricing different for the courses under the restructured program?

    Yes, each course in the new program will cost $899 for members and $999 for non-members.

    Is there a free trial for the program for me to determine if the CAE program is for me?

    Yes, prospective students are welcome to review the course during a two-week trial period. Contact eve@csae.com to begin your trial today.

    Has the restructured program been tested?

    Yes, each course was developed and reviewed by CAEs. We will continue to collect student feedback and commit to applying the continuous improvement lens to the courses over time.

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