Frequestly Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Western Schools courses accepted for continuing education for my profession in my state?
Click on the Accreditations/Hours link for a list of our accreditations and course approvals.
How many contact hours does my state require to renew my license?
Contact hour requirements vary from state to state. Click on the Accreditations/Hours link for a list of hours required by state and profession. Continuing Education requirements change from time to time. We recommend that you contact your state licensing board for the most current information.
When can I expect to receive my course materials once I have placed an order?
You can expect to receive your course materials within 10 business days of placing an order.
I need my course ASAP. How can I receive my order faster?
If the course is offered in online format, you can order the course and access it in online format immediately after your order is processed. If you prefer to receive the course in book format, it can be sent to you via overnight delivery for an additional charge. Click on the Shipping Info link for additional options.
What format are courses available in?
A) Book format (Mail Order Course)
With book format, you receive a course book, an answer sheet, and a grading/answer instruction sheet through the mail. You read the course book and fill in your responses to the multiple-choice exam questions and the course evaluation questions directly onto the answer sheet. You then mail the answer sheet to Western Schools for grading. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate will be mailed to you. The book is yours to keep for your reference library. [This is a great format for someone who loves to curl up to a good book, or likes having the course book as a reference to refer to in the future].
B) Online format (Online Course)
Once your order has been processed, this format allows you to immediately access and download the course book from our website onto your computer. You also have the ability to print out the course book. You read the course book and post your responses to the multiple-choice exam questions and the course evaluation questions right online. Completed work can be saved as you go along! This format provides the convenience of instant online grading and allows you to print your own certificate immediately upon successful completion of the course. [This is a great format for someone who is in a hurry, wants instant grading and their certificate quickly, and/or simply enjoys working on a computer].
C) Dual Format
Dual format allows you to receive a course book through the mail AND submit the exam online via our web site. This format allows you to read and study with a course book but take the final exam online for instant grading. You can complete the exam online and save your responses as you work through the coursebook. Note: You will not have access to the course content online, only the exam. Dual format will save you time by providing the convenience of instant online grading and immediate printing of the certificate of completion, all while being able to add the book to your reference library. [This is a great format for someone who enjoys being able to have the coursebook for future reference, but who is in a hurry and wants instant grading and their certificate].
I already purchased a course in book format but now I want to take my exam online. How can I do that?
Most courses provide the online exam option. To set this up for a nominal charge, Call Customer Service at 1 800-618-1670.
Why do you need my license number? I don't like to give it out.
Most states require that your professional license number appear on your certificate of completion. We respect your privacy and have many security measures in place to protect your personal information.
I am licensed in more than one state. Can I receive multiple certificates?
We would be happy to send you multiple certificates for the completed courses, free of charge, provided that you supply us with all license numbers needed for the certificates at the time that you enroll in your course(s) or prior to the exam being graded. All license information must be submitted with the completed answer sheets prior to grading. There will be an extra charge for any additional certificates provided for licenses that you supply to us after your exam is graded.
How can I get another copy of my certificate?
For Online and Dual Format Courses: You have one week after completing any course online to print your certificate as many times as you need, at no charge. After this time period, you can contact Customer Service to receive another copy for a nominal charge. If you are registered on our website, you can also re-order and print a copy of your certificate online. Go to Manage My WS CE.
For Book Format (hard copy) Courses: For a nominal charge, Western Schools will mail you a duplicate copy of your certificate. If you need to receive the certificate by fax or express courier, rush charges will apply. If you are registered on our website, you can also re-order and print a copy of your certificate online. Go to Manage My WS CE. Email or call Customer Service (1-800-618-1670) for additional information.
Remember to retain your certificates for your records, based on your state board’s specifications.
Can Western Schools forward my certificate to my state licensing board?
Unless requested by your board, Western Schools does not submit certificates directly to the board. It is your responsibility to provide a copy of your certificate to the board, when necessary. All certificates should be retained for your records, based on your state board’s specifications.
Will Western Schools submit my course records to CEBROKER?
Upon successful course completion, Western Schools submits course records to CEBROKER on behalf of nurses licensed in the District of Columbia, and nurses, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors licensed in Florida.
I ordered a 30 contact hour course and my state requires only 15 hours. Can I answer only half of the questions to get partial credit?
We do not give partial credit. The entire course and all of the exam questions must be completed to receive a certificate of completion. If you complete only half the questions, you will receive a failure notification.
What is the difference between Clock Hours and Contact Hours?
These are several terms used to describe the awarding of hours for continuing education. Nursing hours are based on contact hours. Behavioral Health hours are based on clock hours. I clock hour = 1 contact hour.
What is your return policy?
If any course does not meet your expectations, you may return it within 30 days from the date of purchase for a full refund or exchange (less shipping, processing and rush charges). All items must be in their original condition: books must be unmarked; software, audio and video materials must be unopened. You may not return materials for any course for which you have already received continuing education credit.
Do you ship COD?
No. To keep our shipping and processing prices as low as possible, we do not ship COD.
A colleague and I want to take a course together. Can we purchase one course and share it?
Certain courses are available through our "Share-A-Book" program. The “Share a Book” program allows you to purchase the full course at the price indicated, share the textbook, and have your colleague purchase just the workbook (which includes the exam) at a reduced cost. (plus shipping and processing for each order.
What if I already own the textbook to a course?
In most cases, if you already own the textbook, you can purchase the workbook (which includes the exam) at a reduced cost (plus shipping and processing).
How long do I have to complete the course?
Unless otherwise indicated with a specific course expiration date in the course description, courses must be completed and your exam answer sheet must be received at Western Schools within 2 years from the date that the course is shipped.
What if I go past the course completion date?
If the course completion date has passed, you may be able to purchase a 6-month extension for a nominal charge. For courses with a specific expiration date imposed by a licensing board or accrediting body, we are not able to extend a course completion date beyond the expiration date.
What score do I need to get on the exam to pass the course?
You must score 70% or higher to successfully pass and receive a certificate of completion for a nursing course. For courses for any other professions, you must score 80% or higher to successfully pass and receive a certificate of completion.
What happens if I fall below the passing score?
If you score below the required passing rate on your exam, you will be provided with two additional opportunities to pass. After the third unsuccessful attempt, this course is considered closed.
Once my exam is mailed in, how long will it take to receive my certificate of completion?
Once we receive your exam answer sheet at Western Schools, we will grade it and, upon successful completion, your certificate will be mailed within 3 business days. Allow 2 weeks from the date that we receive your exam answer sheet to receive your certificate. If you fax your exam answer sheet to us at 1-508-894-0177, you can expect to receive your certificate in the mail in 10 business days. Remember to print out and retain a confirmation of the successful fax transmission.
I need my certificate in less than a week! Do you offer rush service?
If you are taking an online or dual format course, you can print your certificate immediately upon completion of the course. For courses in book format, there are two options for rush grading and delivery of your certificate: fax service or courier service. Payment must accompany rush grading requests in order to be processed.
We offer rush Fax Service and Courier Service on business days (Monday through Friday) for an additional charge. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club, and American Express. Please send your exam, with the completed Rush Grading request form, along with your credit card number and expiration date, and signature, via RUSH FAX to 1-508-894-0172. Remember to print out and retain a confirmation of your successful fax transmission. Click here for additional information on Rush Services .
I mailed my exam answer sheet to you by the end of the month and my certificate is dated the first of the month. Can you change the completion date on my certificate?
We date the certificates with the date on which we receive the exam. This is true for both mailed and faxed exams. To change the date of a certificate, without proof (i.e. a signed certified mail receipt or a fax confirmation) that it had been received by us earlier, would jeopardize our accreditation. To ensure that your certificate has the proper date, allow at least 10 business days for your exam answer sheet to reach us via regular mail (remember we do not receive mail on Saturday or Sunday) or fax it (and print out and retain a confirmation of the successful fax transmission).
I completed my course online at 10:00pm PST but my certificate is dated with the next day, what happened?
Western Schools computer systems are set for Eastern Standard Time (EST). Based on this time setting, certificates are dated with the date that you graded your exam online, regardless of when you print out your certificate.
Will Western Schools make special accommodations for customers with disabilities who are interested in taking a course?
Western Schools strives to ensure that all of its programs and services are accessible to people with disabilities, in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please contact our customer service department at 1-800-618-1670 if your disability requires that special arrangements be made in order for you to take our courses.
I've just logged on to the site and it wants me to register. I've already registered!! What's wrong?
Our site stores your registration information in a small text file on your computer. This file is called a cookie. Cookies must be turned on in your browser for our site to recognize you when you return. If you do not allow cookies, you will be asked to register each time you visit. To enable cookies in Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. On the Privacy tab, move the slider to Medium. To enable cookies in Netscape, open the Edit menu and choose Preferences. Under the Privacy & Security category, click Cookies. Click Enable All Cookies.
I can’t download my course or, when I do, it comes out as gibberish. What could be wrong?
The problem could be one of three things:
1. You don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded and set up on your computer. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to open the course PDF (portable document format) files. The program is free from Adobe, and there are step-by-step instructions on how to complete the download under the Acrobat Instructions link found at the top of most Informational pages of our website. Make sure you double-click to install the program.
2. You may have an older version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Again, try the download explained above.
3. The links to the chapter downloads aren’t working properly. You will need to e-mail the webmaster. She can fix the broken links.
My certificate won’t print, and when it does it looks funny! How can I fix this?
This is probably due to the page setup of your printer. Try this:
With the certificate window still open, make the margins smaller. This can be done by clicking File, then Page Setup, on the top menu bar of your browser.
You may also need to check the page effects under the printer’s properties. Find the “print to fit” option.
My certificate crashed in the middle of printing! What should I do?
Either your computer, the printer or the site has crashed. Try printing again. If no results, E-mail customer service and a certificate will be generated.
Note: All certificates are dated with the date that you graded your exam online, regardless of when you print out your certificate.
How can I print the downloaded course text?
If the little print icon in the Adobe Acrobat Reader doesn’t work or isn’t there (it should be on the left just above the text), you have two options:
With the download window open:
1. Click on the word ‘File’ on the top Menu bar.
2. Then Click on ‘Page Setup’.
3. A window will open up showing a little picture of the page, along with paper size and paper source. The margins are at the bottom. I suggest changing all of them to: .166".
4. Click on the button at the bottom of this window that says ‘Printer’. Another window will open.
5. Click on the button to the right that says ‘Properties’.
6. There will be a bunch of “tabs” at the top. Click on the one that reads ‘Effects’.
7. In the box at the bottom under the word Zoom Smart, click the box next to‘Print Document On’ and print the box next to ‘'Scale to Fit’. Be sure that the box in between is set for ‘Letter’. (If you don’t have a tab that reads ‘Effects’, look for an option for “print to fit” or “fit to page” under the printer properties.
8. Click OK or APPLY on all of the windows.
9. Click on ‘File’ up at the top again.
10. This time click on ‘Print’.
11. Under the ‘Properties’ button on the right, you should see a box checked off for ‘Fit to Page’. If it isn’t checked, click on it!
12. On the left, you’ll see a box asking if you want to print all of the pages, or from page X to page Y. Do a test and print pages from 1 to 3 just to make sure this works.
13. Then click OK and it should start printing.
If Option 1 doesn’t work:
1. Copy and paste the course into Word or Word Perfect. Then you can adjust the margins and print size.
2. Open the chapter download you want to copy.
3. Save it to your computer by clicking on the disk icon. It will be on the left, next to the printer icon.
4. Name the file with the course title and the chapter number.
5. I recommend placing it on your desktop or in a folder on your desktop (like My Documents).
6. Once it has been saved, double click on the file icon to open it.
7. The file will open in Adobe Acrobat.
8. Click on ‘Edit’ in the Menu Bar at the top.
9. Choose ‘Select All’ in the drop down box.
10. This will highlight the entire page.
11. Go back to ‘Edit’ and then choose ‘Copy’.
12. Open your word processing document.
13. Choose ‘Edit’ in the Menu Bar, and ‘Paste’.
14. You should now have the text in a long column down the left side of the page.
15. Highlight the text using your mouse, and choose ‘Format’ from the Menu Bar.
16. Click on ‘Font’ and choose a different font or point size. Most software has font and size options at the top that enable you to easily pick larger font or point sizes.
17. Then Print!
Where can I go for more information?
Click here to Contact Us