Online Courses

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We know that today's park and recreation professionals want to reach their professional goals through education that fits their lifestyles, whether through classroom training, conference education events or fully online. NRPA supports the membership by providing an array of online learning opportunities. Tailored educational courses are offered in the following areas:

If you wish to view and search a full listing of our online learning offerings, please check out the online learning catalog.

Current Courses

  • 2020 NRPA Virtual Comprehensive Bundle

    Contains 65 Product(s)

    The 2020 NRPA Virtual education sessions provide an inspirational approach to professional development for Park and Recreation professionals. Register for this comprehensive package of the 2020 education sessions and join the discussions on innovation, social equity, and the essential roles you serve to positively impact communities.

    The 2020 NRPA Virtual education sessions provide an inspirational approach to professional development for Park and Recreation professionals.  Register for this comprehensive package of the 2020 education sessions and join the discussions on innovation, social equity, and the essential roles you serve to positively impact communities. This bundle is packaged to provide over 5.0 CEU upon completion by including the full education sessions plus, all Speed Sessions (0.68 CEU eligible) are included for no additional cost.  

    Total eligible CEU upon completion: 5.18



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • COVID-19 and the ADA: Guidance for Park and Recreation Agencies

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session for an in-depth discussion and case study analysis on the interface between the CDC's COVID-19 requirements and American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the way recreation programs are delivered and park assets are used by the public. Terms like PPE, positivity rate, and asymptomatic have barged into the language used to plan programs, staff facilities, and maintain parks and facilities. Complicating how to approach this issue is the hands-off approach by the federal government, leaving it to the states to interpret guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and develop an approach that works. As a result, Oregon does it differently than New Jersey, and Texas does it differently than Illinois. There has been one constant: The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are not overruled by any coronavirus restrictions adopted by a state, county or city. This session reviews CDC guidance, known ADA requirements for recreation programs, and applies these to four case studies. Attendees will leave with a toolkit to address the ADA/COVID-19 interface.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. TBD.
    2. TBD.
    3. TBD.




    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    John McGovern

    Partner, Principal in Charge

    The WT Group, LLC Accessibility Practice

    McGovern has spoken about access and inclusion at training events in 43 states. He is recognized nationally as the leading expert on the application of the ADA to public parks and recreation. McGovern is the President of Recreation Accessibility Consultants LLC (RAC), established in 2008. RAC is one of the companies under the umbrella of W-T Engineering, one of the premier engineering firms in Illinois. RAC advises local parks and recreation agencies, cities, counties, states, and private entities regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act with regard to existing buildings and sites, new buildings and sites, and inclusive recreation support.

  • ‘Become The Agent of Change’: How Leaders Create Staff Excellence Through Inspirational Change

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this entertaining and informative program from the 2020 Virtual event, to hear how park and recreation professionals can effectively implement, lead, and navigate people through the uncertainties of organizational change or disruptions in their communities.

    Are the changes in today's world an opportunity for prosperity or pain in the neck? Many leaders of today are struggling with how to direct change while benefiting from it. When it comes to change, there are many challenges from how we get started, to how the change will be perceived by the public and embraced by your teams. In this entertaining and informative program, we will discuss how park and recreation professionals can effectively implement, lead, and navigate people through the uncertainties of organizational change or disruptions in their communities.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Understand a change management blueprint for implementing an organizational change.
    2. Engage more strategically resilience to manage organizational change.
    3. Apply strategies and techniques for change management and team performance improvement.



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Johnny Campbell

    CEO, The Transition Man

    Speak On IT

  • 2020 Leadership Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on leadership and management discussions from revenue to work satisfaction.

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on leadership and management discussions from revenue to work satisfaction. Upon completion, the sessions included in this bundle are eligible for 0.3 CEU.  The fourth session is included for no additional cost and eligible for 0.034 CEU.


    Sessions included in this bundle:

    1. Park Foundations and Friends Groups - City Manager and Mayors Panel Discussion (0.1 CEU)
    2. COVID-19: What Do We Do Now With Our Concessions? (0.1 CEU)
    3. ‘Become The Agent of Change’: How Leaders Create Staff Excellence Through Inspirational Change (0.1 CEU)
    4. What Makes a GREAT Day at Work?: The 3 Cs of Work Satisfaction (0.034 CEU)



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • There’s an Octopus in the Parking Garage?! ‘Futureproof’ Your Parks for Resiliency to Climate Change

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session for an overview of how climate change will be affecting parks and recreation departments, what jurisdictions around the country are doing to be more resilient, and how you can describe these changes and their effects on elected officials and the public.

    With the election upon us, one topic that is often discussed is climate change and its dramatic effects on communities all over the world. Increased flooding, drought, expanding ranges of non-native invasive species, access to clean water, and changes in the growing season are just a few impacts that show that this isn't just a coastal problem. Resiliency is another term often used, but what is resiliency and why should you be thinking about it when developing/redeveloping parks? Making decisions regarding the location of parkland, the use of those lands, the placement of infrastructure, and overall park design will be critical in the coming decades. This discussion will give you a good idea of how climate change will be affecting parks and recreation departments, what jurisdictions around the country are doing to be more resilient, and how you describe these changes and their effects to elected officials and the public.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Understand how climate change is affecting communities and parklands.
    2. Identify practical steps to "futureproof" parks for long-term sustainability, recreational use, natural resource protection, and climate change mitigation.
    3. Discuss how parklands assist municipalities with resilience.



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Chris Matthews

    Division Director

    Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation

    Chris Matthews is the division director for nature preserves and natural resources for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and a Master of Science degree in applied ecology and conservation biology. His professional interests include habitat restoration, fisheries, stream restoration and protected species management. Matthews speaks regularly at NRPA Annual Conferences and instructed at the NRPA Green School.

    Jai Cole

    Natural Resources Manager

    Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery Parks

    Jai Cole has 15 years of experience in Park and Recreation and is currently the Natural Resources Manager for M-NCPPC, Montgomery County Department of Parks. Cole supervises Natural Resources staff in Montgomery Parks who are tasked to manages the stewardship of 457 miles of streams, 26,000 acres of forest and more than 500 lakes, ponds and stormwater management facilities and devices in the 38,000 acre 5 time NRPA Gold Medal Award winning park system. Cole specializes in biological monitoring of streams, stream restoration, and the environmental review of projects being designed and built both internally and by external agencies on parkland.


    Cole reviews plans from concept through final design to ensure that environmental impacts are limited, the design is beneficial, the goals are feasible, and construction access routes and planned construction practices are minimal. I assist project managers in designing and permitting projects to comply with Federal, State, and County environmental and forest conservation laws, policies and plans. Cole serves as the primary point of contact for question, concern, and issues from other agencies, residents, politicians and environmental advocacy groups related to environmental issues. Her section also manages both the Department's Phase II NPDES permit and its NPDES Industrial Permit as well as provides GIS support to both the Park Planning and Stewardship Division and the Department as a whole.

    Cole has taught a Freshwater Ecosystems course in the USDA Graduate School for 4 years, taught 'Fundamental Ecological Principles' for the Maryland Master Naturalist program 3 times, has presented to Montgomery County watershed groups on various topics involving Natural Resource Management and stream health and I have presented over 30 times to the Montgomery County Planning Board.

  • Safe Spaces for High Performers: How to Create a Safe Space for Your Workforce

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session for an interactive discussion that explores characteristics of high performers and identifies engagement tools that support the continued success of high performers within the workplace.

    In this interactive learning experience, participants will explore the characteristics of high performers and how engaging these key team members within the workplace can be critical to work performance. Identifying these characteristics will create an opportunity for managers and coworkers to put into action the concept of “checking on your strong friends.” High-performing staff members can be an asset to your team. However, managing and staying engaged with such members can be a challenge. This session will stimulate a conversation that identifies characteristics of high performers and also puts into action essential staff engagement tools to support the continued success of high performers within the workplace. This interactive lecture experience will mirror in delivery previously well-attended and received NRPA Annual Conference lectures facilitated by Cortni and Atuya, such as "What Is Your Awesome Sauce?!?!" and "Tap Into Your Power to Inspire."



    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Utilize evidence-based techniques in order to identify high performers within their departments/workgroup. 
    2. Apply strategies to identify their high performers' characteristics and how these characteristics impact work performance.
    3. Develop a five-star plan which supports high performers while valuing their contributions.

     



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Atuya Cornwell

    County-Wide Sports Coordinator

    The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation

    Atuya Cornwell is an active member of NRPA and is passionate about connecting young professionals with professional development tools. Cornwell has organized and participates in several professional development video blogs and written blogs. He has presented at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 NRPA Annual Conferences. Cornwell is the 2015 recipient of NRPA’s Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award.

    Cortni Grange

    Problem Solver | Social Entrepreneur | Impact Strategist

    Grange Enterprises

    Cortni Grange is a father, creator, social entrepreneur and lover of all things Jerk Chicken. He says that he has been fortunate to explore speaking and workshop facilitation to the tune of more than 10,000 lives impacted — from keynotes for National Philanthropy Day and Washington, D.C. Startup Week, to facilitating workshops with the Washington Redskins, Milwaukee Bucks, D.C. Public School system and We Work.

  • A Comprehensive Response to the Substance Use Crisis

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session to learn about the impact of the opioid epidemic on park and recreation professionals. Presenters will discuss the findings of a summary report coming out of a Community of Practice (CoP) developed by NRPA and includes overarching themes and lessons learned, data collected from agencies across the country, and recommendations from leading public health organizations and the federal government.

    Over the past few years, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has been monitoring the impact of the opioid epidemic on park and recreation professionals and the communities they serve. As a response to these challenges, NRPA created a Community of Practice (CoP) specifically addressing substance use — with a strong focus on opioids. The CoP examined two main areas in response to substance use on park grounds: (1) prevention and (2) operations/facility management. This session will discuss the summary report that was developed as a result of the Community of Practice and includes overarching themes and lessons learned, data collected from agencies across the country, and recommendations from leading public health organizations and the federal government. It also will include case studies from local park and recreation agencies implementing different strategies in response to the substance use crisis.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    • TBD.
    • TBD.
    • TBD.



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Julien Scott

    Bronx Operations Manager

    NYC Parks

    Julien Scott currently serves as the Bronx Operations Manager at NYC Parks, where he started as an analyst in 2013. He oversees data collection and analysis at the borough level, and helps the agency to develop and implement solutions to operational challenges. It’s in this role that he witnessed firsthand the dramatic increase in the level of public drug use and discarded syringes in South Bronx parks over the last few years. He is now working closely with senior agency leadership, maintenance staff, and a broad coalition of outside partners to implement a comprehensive plan to address these issues.

    Prior to joining NYC Parks, with an undergraduate degree in graphic communications, Julien worked in magazine publishing in New York and Los Angeles, and as a journalist in Mexico City. Deciding to pursue a second career in public service, he completed graduate degrees in sustainable development and public policy. This focus afforded him the opportunity to join NYC government at an agency that is vital to creating a more resilient and livable city for all New Yorkers.

    Lauren Kiefert

    Program Specialist

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Specialist for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and works on various substance abuse prevention and education-related grants and projects. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Her thesis examined the current opioid epidemic and potential approaches to address the nation-wide issue. She also worked for a substance abuse prevention coalition that served a diverse youth population.  

    Annette Cheng

    Project Development Coordinator, Innovation and Performance Management

    NYC Parks and Recreation

    Kelly Kitchens

    Programming & Special Events Coordinator

    City of Elizabethton Parks & Recreation

    Jilian Reece

    City of Elizabethton Parks & Recreation

    Patricia Roberts

    Deputy Director

    City of Port St. Lucie Parks & Recreation Department

  • Leadership — It’s a Choice...AND a Challenge: How Emotional Intelligence Plays a Significant Role in Leadership

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session to learn about what makes a powerful and excellent leader.

    What makes an excellent leader? Leadership is defined many different ways by many different people. It is a choice, and that also can be a serious challenge at times. Emotional Intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Do you know how to navigate the culture of a multigenerational workforce in your workplace? Can we use emotional intelligence to help build trust and loyalty across the whole company? Join us as we discuss all these facets of leadership and seek to help each of us define leadership in a way that helps build a successful brand within our agency that leads all of our employees to succeed.

    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Navigate the culture of a multi-generational workforce through emotional intelligence. 
    2. Build trust and loyalty in a multi-generational workforce through emotional intelligence. 
    3. Understand why employees seek positions outside their current agency.
    4. Determine the operational plans needed to meet these standards. 



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Dave Bietz

    Director of Operations

    Fargo Park District

    Dr. Joe Deutsch

    Professor of Physical Education and Recreation

    North Dakota State University

    David Leker, CPRP

    Execitive Director

    Fargo Park District

  • 2020 Climate-Ready Parks Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on Climate-Ready Parks.

    This bundle is a collection of four, 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on Climate-Ready Parks. Upon completion, the sessions included in this bundle are eligible for 0.3 CEU. The fourth session is included for no additional cost and eligible for 0.034 CEU.


    Sessions included in this bundle:

    1. Assigning Value to the Financial, Environmental and Social Benefits of Nature in Urban Greenspaces (0.1 CEU)
    2. There’s an Octopus in the Parking Garage?! ‘Futureproof’ Your Parks for Resiliency to Climate Change (0.1 CEU)
    3. From Brown to Green: Transforming Urban Infrastructure in Lakeland, Florida (0.1 CEU)
    4. Conservation in the Parks: A Community-Based Approach (0.034 CEU)

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • Make It Stick!: Activities to Make All of Your Trainings More Fun and Impactful

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session and learn a variety of experiential online and in-person training activities that can be used as openers, energizers, reinforcers, and powerful learning tools for impactful and lasting training sessions.

    Do you want to engage your staff and volunteers in training sessions? Do you want the material to stick long after the training ends? Experiential learning helps make any training, whether in-person or online, more fun and impactful for both new and veteran employees and volunteers. This session will provide a variety of training activities that can be used as openers, energizers, reinforcers and powerful learning tools for all types of learners. We encourage you to participate and experience the activities in the same way your staff and volunteers will during your training sessions. Please be prepared with 4 sheets of blank, white 8½-in. by 11-in. paper, a pen or pencil, and a sticky note or small paper square. All of the exercises can be easily replicated in your department/agency to maximize the impact of all of your in-person or online training sessions.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Describe the advantages of using interactive exercises to increase training effectiveness.
    2. Identify where in training sessions they can insert activities to make training more effective.
    3. Utilize a variety of activities to successfully convey their training messages with stronger impact while having fun. 




    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Roz Buck

    Principal

    Roz and Jed Training & Consulting

    Roz and Jed Buck are proven youth development experts and dynamic speakers. After working side by side as the owners/directors of Meadowbrook Day Camp from 2004 to 2016, they launched Roz and Jed Training & Consulting to help Youth Development Professionals make a difference. They have presented keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops for a wide variety of RPA Conferences across the country.

    Jed Buck

    Principal

    Roz and Jed Training & Consulting

  • 2020 Engagement: Staff Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    Register for this 2020 virtual bundle to hear methods for increasing impact with staff during meetings and professional development activities.

    Register for this 2020 virtual bundle to hear methods for increasing impact with staff during meetings and professional development activities. Upon completion, the sessions included in this bundle are eligible for 0.3 CEU.  The fourth session is included for no additional cost and eligible for 0.034 CEU.


    Sessions included in this bundle:

    1. WE GOT ENGAGED!: Tips for Communicating Effectively with Your Part-Time Workforce (0.1 CEU)
    2. Safe Spaces for High Performers: How to Create a Safe Space for Your Workforce (0.1 CEU)
    3. Make It Stick!: Activities to Make All of Your Trainings More Fun and Impactful (0.1 CEU)
    4. Master Class: Meetings 101 — 10 Sure Ways to Get Them Talking! (0.034 CEU)




    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • 2020 Advocacy Bundle

    Contains 3 Product(s)

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions that include advocacy discussions related to grant funding and the expansion of ecological restoration.

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions that include advocacy discussions related to grant funding and the expansion of ecological restoration. Upon completion, the sessions included in this bundle are eligible for 0.2 CEU.  The third session is included for no additional cost and eligible for 0.034 CEU.


    Sessions included in this bundle:

    1. LWCF State Assistance Fund: Tapping into Its Great Potential for Your Community (0.1 CEU)
    2. How to Expand Ecological Restoration and Management in Your Park System (0.1 CEU)
    3. A Simplified Guide to Successful Grant Writing (0.034 CEU)



    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • ‘7 Habits’ to Achieve YOUR Parks and Rec ‘Super’ Status

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session where we take Covey's 7 Habits and apply them to current events/trends we are facing in the parks and recreation field.

    As supervisors, we must juggle meetings, staff schedules, put fires out, adapting to the ever-changing requirements, compliance concerns all while meeting the community’s needs during an international pandemic. Nothing is more important right now to our staff than to provide leadership, resources, and support during this difficult time. Those are just to name a few of what being a supervisor does! When situations in the Park and Recreation world are thrown at us in the workplace environment it is vital to change not only ourselves but change our perceptions on how we handle the outcomes. Most of us know of Stephen A. Covey's, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In this session, we will take Covey's 7 Habits and apply them to current events/trends we are facing in the parks and recreation field. Join us as we further break down learned habits and manageable outcomes necessary to build your own parks and recreation super team.



    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Identify ways to build effective and/or sustainable relationships with fellow coworkers and teams.
    2. Learn ways to create an atmosphere that solidifies staff buy-in and involvement.
    3. Formulate productive/effective staff and create habits that positively impact your team.

     

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Katy Keller

    Program Coordinator

    Indian Trail Parks & Recreation

    Katy Keller is the name and marketing is her game! Keller uses her social media and programming superpowers daily as the program and marketing coordinator for Indian Trail Parks and Recreation. She also uses her powers for good as the current chair-elect for NRPA’s Young Professional Network. Above all, Keller loves spending her time with her husband and children, exploring breweries and enjoying the North Carolina life.

    Trinette Mumford

    Facility Manager

    Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

    Trinette Mumford has 10 years of recreation experience and is a facility manager with a background in recreation from Indiana University. She currently works for Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mumford is an active member of NRPA and is passionate about getting youth and seniors active in recreation. She has presented at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference.

  • How to Expand Ecological Restoration and Management in Your Park System

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join this 2020 Virtual session for a deep dive on how to improve the quality of natural resources with a limited budget. In this session case studies from the Upper Midwest and Great Plains will be used to present an approach to planning.

    Park natural resource managers share a basic challenge: how to improve the quality of natural resources with limited budget and staff. Drawing on projects in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, we will present an approach to systemwide natural resource planning that: (1) sets realistic goals using inventory and assessment data, (2) identifies the finances needed to elevate ecological health and resilience, (3) identifies the shortfall in current capacity, (4) schedules annual expenditures that are achievable with current and potential funding, and (5) achieves related CAPRA standards. With this foundation, staff have planned, prioritized, budgeted, and communicated to leaders and constituents the ecological restoration and ongoing maintenance for a decade or more across entire park systems. A county field biologist will share why fast-growing Johnson County, Kansas, embarked on this path, the process they used, and how the plan helped secure additional funds and led to rapid implementation.


    Learning Objectives
    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Explain the value and use of systemwide natural resource plans for park systems, including how such a plan can meet the CAPRA standard.
    2. Demonstrate the difference between park-specific natural resource restoration & management plans versus systemwide plans.
    3. Create a work plan for initiating a systemwide natural resource plan for their community.




    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Douglas Mensing

    Senior Ecologist

    Applied Ecological Services, Inc.

    Matthew Garrett

    Field Biologist

    Johnson County Park and Recreation District

  • 2020 Prepping Parks and Recreation for the Future Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    This bundle is a collection of 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on Leadership and Career Development.

    This bundle is a collection of four, 2020 Virtual sessions with a focus on Leadership and Career Development. Upon completion, the sessions included in this bundle are eligible for 0.3 CEU. The fourth session is included for no additional cost and eligible for 0.034 CEU.


    Sessions included in this bundle:

    1. Emerging Leaders: Put the Pow! in Powerhouse (0.1 CEU)
    2. Leadership — It’s a Choice...AND a Challenge: How Emotional Intelligence Plays a Significant Role in Leadership (0.1 CEU)
    3. ‘7 Habits’ to Achieve YOUR Parks and Rec ‘Super’ Status (0.1 CEU)
    4. Hiring to Reflect the Community You Serve: How to Overcome Employment Barriers (0.034 CEU)


    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.