Planned Parenthood

Great Northwest

Frequently Asked Questions

Time Commitment, Workload

What is the class schedule?
The courses are offered on a quarterly academic calendar and generally last 10-12 weeks, with weekly assignments, or assignments based on multi-week course units.

Are there specific times that a person has to be in front of a computer, or can they work at their own pace?
These online courses are self-paced, although there are specific due dates for completing assignments and posting contributions to an interactive discussion forum.

Is there any residential requirement or travel involved?
All of the courses are offered online – there is no in-person component.

Are there specific start dates for each class?
They are offered on a quarterly academic calendar. Human Sexuality: Overview (Course I) is offered in the fall, and subsequent courses are offered through the academic year. Please refer to the academic calendar.

What is the time commitment? Do you have an estimate of how many hours per week this will take a typical learner?
The feedback from our participants is that the workload can range from 5-10 hours/week, including reading, writing and responding to assignments. The range of time may depend on the student’s reading speed, computer access, and relative familiarity with the material.

Credit, Grades

What credit is granted? By what institution?
Three credit hours are granted for each course by the Continuing Education department of North Seattle Community College. The Sexuality Education certificate includes three courses and a practicum quarter for a total of 12 credit hours. The certificate is granted jointly by PPU and North Seattle. 

Can I apply the credits toward a degree program?
Students matriculating in undergraduate or graduate degree programs can petition to use these continuing education course credits to satisfy elective or independent study requirements, as permitted by their institution. Transcripts and program descriptions can be provided for students as needed.

How are the courses graded?
All Planned Parenthood University courses are graded as Pass/Fail. Students who do not complete all required work by the end of the academic quarter will receive a grade of Incomplete and are asked to submit outstanding assignments before the close of the following quarter. At that time, the grade will default to whatever grade the completed work merits.


What is tuition? Are there additional fees?
Tuition for each 3-credit course is $475 for Planned Parenthood staff and $625 for those from outside Planned Parenthood. Tuition may be higher in subsequent years. Required texts are additional, and are the responsibility of the student.

Are there discounts for group registration? Are scholarships available?
The tuition for Planned Parenthood staff has been set as low as possible, to support affiliates with limited training budgets. Some affiliates have successfully found local grants to support staff attendance.


Are there deadlines for registration?
Yes, to make sure students are registered through the host institution and have timely access to the online course materials, registration must be completed several weeks prior to the beginning of each course. Please consult the academic calendar and downloadable registration forms on this site.

Must I register for the entire certificate program?
The first course can be taken as a stand-alone; then each is the prerequisite to the subsequent course. Since these certificate programs adhere to national standards (so that the understanding of what constitutes competencies in these areas are portable between Planned Parenthood affiliates and related family planning agencies) we hope participants will decide to complete the entire sequence.

How do I register?
Downloadable registration forms are available online. Admission to PPU is not automatic, and we carefully review each applicant to assess whether they will benefit from this particular education program.

Technical Requirements and Orientation

What kind of computer equipment do I need?
You will need a computer that gives you access to the Internet. In order to complete and submit assignments, you will need word-processing capability – MS-Word is preferred, but other programs can work as well. You will probably want to print out many of the online resource materials.

How will I learn to use the online program?
When you are first registered for these courses, you will receive a login and password for the online course management program and access to an online tutorial. Ongoing technical support with the program is available throughout the course from instructors and PPGNW support staff.

Program Content, Instructors, Outcomes

What level of sexuality educator is the Human Sexuality: Overview for?
Our students have included educators ranging from relatively new PP community education staff to extremely experienced Education Directors, and clinic staff with a range of experience. While the content was freshest for the more recent hires, there were a number of people with more experience who found that they received substantial new or in-depth information and material. The course may be very appropriate for someone whose training was generally on-the-job.

Who are the instructors?
Courses are taught by experienced professional master teachers from the education and training departments of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and other affiliates nationwide.

What other organizations recognize these certificates?
We have received formal endorsements from PPFA, AASECT and SIECUS. AASECT accepts the Sexuality Educator certificate in partial completion of their credential in the area of sexuality education.

Updated 7/14


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Frequently Asked Questions