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Continuing Education (CE) Course Submission and Organization Guidelines

The Society of Toxicology is committed to presenting quality Continuing Education (CE) courses at its Annual Meeting. Education may be considered as a formal structure for imparting or acquiring new learning. While symposia and workshops offer SOT participants the opportunity for expanding their knowledge base, CE courses offer a structured approach for gaining an understanding of a developing (or established field) at either a Basic or Advanced level. These courses are ideal for expanding one’s appreciation for the breadth of the field of toxicology.

Conversely, CE courses provide a rich and fulfilling opportunity for a member to introduce one’s colleagues to the essential features of a field of interest. Because these are courses, and not symposia, they are intended to present techniques, ideas, and concepts that are more established than those suitable for symposia and workshops. Reflecting this perspective, CE courses are developed with a timeline quite different from that for symposia and workshops. Often the latter present the results of recently obtained cutting edge research. CE courses, however, are developed months before the annual meeting, with presentations finalized in January, obviating last minute changes. However, the SOT CE committee and staff provide significant help in forging and organizing courses, as well as supporting the course presenters in this process.

The Society’s Continuing Education program is an integral part of its mission to nurture, support and serve its members. Accordingly the Society encourages its members to take part in the CE program, both as participants and as presenters. We welcome your interest.

The proposal dates follow the same timeline as regular Scientific Sessions; the deadline for all submissions is April 30 of each year. The CE Committee will review all proposals and send out official notifications of acceptance in June.

Courses are designed as either Basic, to provide a broad overview and general knowledge about techniques or approaches, or Advanced, to provide further detail to individuals with previous experience and advanced techniques or approaches useful to those already working in the field. The final assignment of a course as either basic or advanced is made by the CE Committee and at their discretion, the committee may ask for the course to be revised to address a different level than originally prepared for.

The CE courses are taught on the first day (Sunday) of the SOT Annual Meeting. Courses are offered in three time slots—Sunrise, Morning, or Afternoon. Sunrise courses consist of one 45-min presentation followed by a question-answer period, and generally have only one or two speakers. Morning and Afternoon courses run for approximately four hours, with one 30-minute break. Approximately six full-length courses are offered concurrently in the morning and another six in the afternoon. Generally, a brief overview by the chairperson (10–15 minutes) is followed by four 45-minute presentations. Each course speaker presents a slide presentation with an accompanying syllabus book. Assignments for Morning and Afternoon slots are made by the CE Committee.

The CE Committee is responsible for screening the proposals submitted in order to select a balanced portfolio of courses covering both fundamental topics and advanced technologies. Furthermore, the CE committee solicits proposals in selected priority topic areas of interest to the membership. These priority topic areas include both the scientific themes selected by the Scientific Program Committee for the overall Annual Meeting, and the specific target areas the CE Committee has chosen based on requests by past course attendees. Proposals are not required to address one of these priority topic areas to be considered for presentation.

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Organizing a CE Course

Preparing a Course

A Veteran’s Reflections on Organizing and Running a CE Course
CE Course Information and Preparation Guide (2016)
CE Course Preparation Calendar
CE Course Speaker Biographical Information and License Release Form
CE Licensing FAQ
How to Create Widescreen Powerpoint Presentations
Sample Syllabi Template

Any individual member, Specialty Section, Special Interest Group, or Committee of SOT may propose a CE Course. Specialty Sections, Special Interest Groups, or Committees are encouraged to endorse/sponsor proposals, and to work with and provide guidance to individuals who are preparing proposals for submission. No financial obligation is associated with an endorsement or sponsorship.

Prior to submission, the course preparers should make sure the following points are addressed:

  • Purpose of the course is clear and well-defined, and the overview paragraph is well-written.
  • Speakers and their proposed presentations are defined.
  • Course presents a balanced perspective, both in topic and speaker representation.
  • Topic has a broad appeal across employment sectors.
  • Chairperson is an SOT Member.
  • Funding issues are clear and agreed upon. Note that full-funding will be provided to only one nonmember per course.

Proposals for the next SOT Annual Meeting must be submitted by April 30 in the preceding year. The proposal must be submitted online. A proposal should contain the following items:

  1. A descriptive course title. Be sure to note whether the proposed course is basic or advanced.
  2. A well-written, concise overview that clearly describes the intent of the course.
  3. Chair and Co-chair are defined. Note that the Chairperson(s) must be an SOT member. The Co-chair is not required to be a member.
  4. The name, affiliation, contact information, and SOT membership status of each presenter.
  5. A title and two- to four-sentence summary of each proposed speaker presentation. Chairpersons should obtain a tentative commitment from proposed speakers before course submission.
  6. Defined funding issues and requests. Note that SOT will provide full-funding for one non-SOT member per course (in special cases, funding for more than one speaker may be provided by SOT). All nonmember-speaker funding must be justified and approved by the CE Committee. Full-funding provides travel, two nights lodging, and waives meeting registration for a nonmember speaker. All participating nonmember speakers are eligible for waived registration. By SOT policy, SOT member speakers are responsible for their own travel and registration arrangements.

A $500 stipend is provided to all course speakers (both member and nonmember) to offset the cost of preparation. A $100 stipend will be provided to each course chair to offset the administrative cost of developing the course and maintaining the necessarily tight timeline. This stipend may be applied directly to lodging—arrangements must be made through SOT. These funds are available to government employees.

*Important Note: Please be aware that rigid timelines are required for development of the syllabus (slide presentation) for the course. Preparation of the slides and course content begin very early in the fall, and drafts of the slide presentations are due to the CE Committee in early November. The slide presentations must be completed and finalized in early December, so that the printed syllabus booklets can be produced in the months before the meeting. All speakers should be aware of the demanding time schedule for course preparation from late September through early December. Chairpersons should be sure all those involved are aware of the time schedule and verify their commitment to the course.

A complete Course Preparation and Information Guide is provided on the CE Section of the SOT website, including a full calendar schedule of deadlines and important dates.

Approval of a CE Course

The deadline for proposal submission is April 30. Following this deadline, the proposals are reviewed by the CE Committee. The CE Committee meets in May/June to review and make their selection from the proposals under consideration. Both the quality of the proposal and a need for a balanced offering of courses are important considerations in the selection process. The matrix of past course offerings and requests of SOT members are taken into consideration in the selection process. There is a concerted effort each year to provide courses that update fundamentals, integrate advancing technologies, and provide advanced expertise. The intent of these courses is to meet the diverse needs and evolving careers of the SOT membership. The CE Committee considers the following points as it selects courses for the Annual Meeting:

  • Preparedness of the proposal and clarity of purpose for the course
  • Strength of Sponsorships and Endorsements (scores, rankings, and comments)
  • Relevance to the field of Toxicology and appropriateness for the CE venue
  • Timeliness of the topic and how recently it has been presented
  • Balance in the perspective and representation of speakers
  • Application to scientific themes or CE target areas

Following selection of courses by the CE Committee, a slate of proposed courses is presented to Council at the May/June meeting. The recommendation of the Committee and the decision of Council are relayed to the Course Chair soon thereafter.

Should any issues be identified by the CE Committee with a selected course proposal, these will be discussed with the course chair and brought to resolution before the course can be formally accepted. The Committee may make recommendations towards adjusting the course title, overall content, or proposed speaker line-up.

If your proposal is not be selected, the Committee will provide an explanation and recommendations to assist you with revising and improving the proposal, and you are encouraged to resubmit for the following year.

An example of a well-prepared course proposal is provided on the CE Section of the SOT website.

Course Liaisons
A member of the CE Committee is selected as the liaison for each course. The course liaison is the immediate link between the course chair and SOT. While the course chair organizes/finalizes instructors and the course content, the review and revision of the syllabus are a coordinated activity shared by the course chair and the liaison. The liaison assists in the communication between SOT and the chairperson to ensure logistical support for the course by SOT staff before and during presentation at the Annual Meeting.
Continuing Education Course Archive
Each Annual Meeting and ToxExpo features a full day of Continuing Education Courses. Descriptions of all of these courses from 1990 through the present are available in our archive.

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