Through our professional and personal development courses, Samford After Sundown responds to the educational needs of individuals, businesses, industries and government agencies in the Birmingham metropolitan area, as well as to professional groups in the region.
In cooperation with Education to Go, Samford After Sundown offers a wide range of interactive professional development and personal enrichment courses, taught by expert instructors and available entirely online.
Samford After Sundown’s certificate programs provide comprehensive professional training to help you succeed in the workplace. Programs include:
- Photography Certificate
The Samford After Sundown Photography program offers a certificate of achievement to students who have completed all required course work and successfully presented a portfolio for review. The certificate recognizes that the student has a broad background in photography and should be able to function at a high level as a photographer. Upon completion of the program, it is expected that students should be able to:
- Understand and operate the camera and peripheral equipment quickly and efficiently;
- Demonstrate a high degree of technical and artistic skills;
- Download or develop and manipulate the images to achieve the look, the size and the format desired;
- Deliver high-quality output either as a printed image or a digital file.
Completion of a core of Samford After Sundown photography courses in the following areas:
One of either:
- Basic SLR Photography (AR160) OR
- Photography I: Basic (AR190)
One of either
- Intermediate Photography (AR138) OR
- Photography II: Intermediate (AR290)
One of either
- Advanced Photography (AR164) OR
- Photography III – Advanced (AR390) OR
- The Art of Seeing (AR170)
Artificial lighting Techniques:
One of either
- Basic Flash Photography (AR232) OR
- Basic Flash Photography for Nikon (AR235) OR
- Basic Flash Photography for Canon (AR225)
- Basic Studio Lighting (AR134) OR
- Advanced Studio Lighting (AR234)
One of either
- Adobe Photoshop Elements I (AR163) OR
- Adobe Photoshop Elements II (AR263) OR
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (AR119) OR
- Adobe Photoshop I (AR135) OR
- Adobe Photoshop II (AR165)
Portfolio Development and Presentation:
- Developing an Effective Portfolio (AR301)
Digital Color Printing:
- Essential Digital Color Printing (AR169)
Complete three additional Samford After Sundown photography courses numbered AR100 or above, excluding workshops.
To successfully complete a class:
- Students must attend a minimum of 80% of the class sessions. (Note: Leaving at the break is considered a half class.)
- Students must present work in each photography review program that immediately follows a completed class. Presentation at a review is not required for AR110 or AR120
Successful Submission of a Portfolio
Certificate candidates will submit their portfolio for judging. To qualify for the certificate, the student portfolio must pass the judges with an average score of 70% or higher.
- The student will present a portfolio of exactly twenty images. Five of the images will be in a series. The remaining fifteen will demonstrate mastery in a variety of subject areas; especially those in which the student has taken courses.
- All twenty images will be included in a well presented digital portfolio.
- At least ten of the images will be matted, archival quality prints.
- The five images in a series must be among the printed images.
- The prints must have been printed by the student.
- The student will present an artist statement that is:
- Well written and original
- Attractively displayed
The candidate must select an advisor from among the photography instructors at Samford After Sundown.
The advisor must be selected at least six months prior to application for the certificate so that the advisor has ample opportunity to counsel and direct the student in the finishing stages of the process.
The advisor may not serve as a judge on the portfolio review for any student he/she advised.
Certificate Award Ceremonies
Certificate Award Ceremonies are held during the two annual photography review programs.
Change of Requirements
The requirements for The Certificate of Achievement in Photography will change from time to time. The candidate for the certificate will be governed by the requirements that are in effect on the date the student notifies the SAS office of his/her choice of advisor.
Effective March 19, 2012
- Pharmacy Technician Certificate
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program prepares students to become part of the fastest growing profession in the healthcare industry. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists with technical tasks, such as filling prescriptions, record entry and patient support, allowing pharmacists to spend more time counseling and educating patients. Community and hospital pharmacies, prescription processing companies, home care organizations and other pharmaceutical industries employ pharmacy technicians.
Samford’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program, taught by Samford pharmacy faculty and registered pharmacists, introduces the necessary clerical, business and technical aspects of the industry. This includes the role of the pharmacy technician and standards of the industry, pharmacy law, understanding a prescription, pharmacology and therapeutics, sterile products, pharmacy math, inventory management, business management, patient communication, prescription processing, and pharmacy records.
Students will be prepared to take the national certification examination offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician [CPhT], but most importantly, will get hands-on experience in sterile compounding and processing prescriptions in Samford’s state-of-the-art laboratories.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program consists of a total of 69 classroom and lab instructional hours. The smaller class size allows for individual attention from the instructors and interaction with a small cohort of students.
- Healthcare Interpreter Training Certificate
The Healthcare Interpreter Training Certificate, the first of its kind in the southeastern United States, is designed to train bilingual and bicultural students to develop the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary for effective language interpretation in healthcare settings. Through academic preparation, practical skills training and service in community-based healthcare settings, certificate candidates learn the roles and responsibilities of a healthcare interpreter, basic knowledge of common medical conditions, treatments and procedures, language and cultural nuances for specific communities, and advanced interpreting skills. The nine-month program consists of course work taught one evening each week and on two weekend days each month. In order to qualify for admission, prospective students must have completed at least a high school diploma and must be bilingual in English and Spanish. Pretests are administered to determine language proficiency.
On April 24, 2006, the Healthcare Interpreter Training (HIT) Certificate Program was honored by Region VII of the Association of Continuing Higher Education with the 2006 Distinguished Non-Credit Program Award. This award recognizes one non-credit program in the Southeastern United States each year for outstanding originality and innovation, as it relates to audience, delivery, promotion, collaboration and content, and success in achieving the goals and objectives established by the program. The HIT Certificate Program is designed to train individuals who are bilingual in English and Spanish to become qualified interpreters in a medical setting. By building on the Samford distinction and by partnering with community organizations, the HIT Certificate Program excelled in each of these areas. In the spring of 2005, twenty-one students successfully completed the program and are now better equipped to bridge the communication divide between healthcare providers and limited-English-proficient patients.
- Natural History Program Certificate
What is the purpose of this program?
The program is primarily for adult learners who wish to know more about the natural history of Alabama.
- Learn to identify Alabama’s plants and animals for personal enjoyment with other like-minded enthusiastic people.
- Study Alabama’s natural history, ecology and unique biodiversity and share with others. Natural history also includes astronomy, geology, weather and wildlife photography.
- Develop skills for participating in environmental field studies and citizen science projects.
- Be encouraged to join and support a local nature educational or environmental organization.
What are the requirements for the certificate?
- Seven Natural History courses taken through Samford After Sundown (SAS) representing at least 6 contact hours of class time per course. A list of qualifying courses is given below.
- A citizen science project involving at least 6 hours of time. Possibilities include taking field trips, volunteer work or doing research with an environmental emphasis. Coordinator will approve and assist in developing the project.
What are the certificate rewards?
- Upon completion of seven courses and a project, the participant will receive the Natural History Certificate of Achievement, an Alabama Legacy Wildlife poster and either a color illustrated field guide or natural history book of their choice.
- After just four courses, the participant will receive an Alabama Legacy poster.
Awarding of the Natural History Certificate indicates that the participant has a broad knowledge of the common flora and fauna of central Alabama and the biological communities in which they are found. Furthermore, the participant will have had hands-on experience using the methods, equipment and techniques used by scientists to study the natural world, including extensive use of the microscope, thus preparing the individual for participation in citizen science projects.
The Natural History certificate also serves as a pathway to the Alabama Master Naturalist certification currently under development by the Samford University Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Oak Mountain Interpretative Center.
Who would enjoy and benefit from taking natural history courses?
- People with indoor jobs wanting an occasional outdoor learning experience
- Retired people who are still active learners
- Volunteers for local nature groups such as birding groups, wildflower groups, etc
- Hikers, walkers and those leading family outings
- Scout or Camp Leaders
- Garden Clubs
- Conservation groups dedicated to preserving our Alabama mountains, rivers, streams and other unique habitats.
- Teachers and Home Schoolers
- Environmental Education Groups - Interpretative Centers , Nature Preserves, Parks, Science Centers, etc.
- Those who enjoy our excellent Zoological and Botanical Gardens in the area.
What courses are available?
Courses listed below with a PD or AR designation have already been taught and count towards the Naturalists Certificate through Samford After Sundown and the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Almost all biology courses meet for one Saturday and have a microscope component. Several courses will be taught each term. Since we respect living things, organisms are studied, photographed and then returned to their natural habitat.
Saturday classes meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a break for lunch. Evening classes meet for several hours once a week for one to three weeks. Each course earns 0.6 CEUs.
- The Microscope: It’s Use in Biological and Environmental Studies. PD 305. Learn to use the binocular compound microscope and the dissecting microscope in three environmental studies. (Two hours a week for three weeks in evening)
- Beginning Birding: PD 162. Local birds and their habitats, binoculars, field guides and feathers. (One Saturday).
- Urban Wildflowers: PD 200. Common wildflowers in lawns, roadsides and fields. (One Saturday). Emphasis on Composites and Umbelliferae.
- Spring Wildflowers: PD 205. Emphasis on those colorful flowers that bloom only once a year in early Spring including the Mint family. Learn how plants are prepared for storage in the the Samford herbarium. (One Saturday).
- The Forest Floor: PD 206. Ferns, herbs, fungi, mycorrhizae and analysis of soil critters. (One Saturday morning for 3 hrs and the following Tuesday evening in the lab for 3 hrs.).
- Tree Identification and Tree Bark Biota: PD 207. Trees will be identified from two habitats – a dry upland woods and a moist lowland woods. Organisms living on tree bark such as vines, mosses, and lichens will also be studied. (One Saturday).
- Amateur Astronomy: PD 400. Learn how to identify star groups, constellations and other celestial objects in the Samford Planetarium. Use of the telescope will be demonstrated. One evening meeting per week for three weeks.
- Photographing Exotic and Domestic Creatures: AR 366. Zoo to pets.
- Fishes and Aquatic Bioloigy: Learn how seining is done for fish studies. Habitat searches for aquatic organisms as indicators of water quality. Photograph specimens. (One Saturday).
- Geology of Central Alabama: An overview of the geological formation of Alabama with an emphasis on the valley and ridge area. One field trip to collect fossils. (One Saturday).
- Butterfilies, Insects and Spiders: Field trip to collect and photograph specimens. Identify in the lab with microscopes. (One Saturday).
- Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals (One Saturday).
Other Courses as they are developed: Wetlands, GPS, Advanced Birding, Ecological Principles and Community Structure, Weather, Micro-photography, etc.
Meeting place: Samford University, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Probst Science Center.
Instructors: Dr. Ellen W. McLaughlin, Professor Emeritus, Samford University Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and other Faculty.
Coordinator: Dr. Ellen W. McLaughlin, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences. firstname.lastname@example.org
Director: Samford After Sundown: Suzanne Montgomery. email@example.com.
To Register: Call (205) 726-2739.
- Alabama Naturalist Certificate
Samford After Sundown introduces the Alabama Naturalist Certificate Program, the first of its kind offered in Alabama.
The mission of the program is to raise awareness and develop appreciation of the diversity of wildlife and their habitats in Alabama. Participants are trained in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and are instilled with an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. The Alabama Naturalist Certificate Program also assists in the development of a core of highly trained, qualified volunteers to assist government agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations with research, outdoor recreation development, and environmental education and preservation. The program is housed in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and is part of the department’s Graduate Program in Environmental Management and the Vulcan Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education.
Coordinator: David M. Frings, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Director of Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, Samford University
Nine Core Certification Courses:
- Alabama Ecosystems
- Fishes/Aquatic Environments
- Flowering Plants
- Geology and Soils
- Insects and Butterflies
- Reptiles and Amphibians
- Trees and Nonflowering Plants
- Completion of the nine basic core classes (63 minimum contact hours)
- Meeting the minimum requirements outline for each core class as set by the program coordinator and the instructor
- Completion of an approved naturalist project in association with an Alabama nonprofit organization that allows the participant to accumulate a minimum of eight volunteer hours
Continuing Education: Alabama Naturalists may keep their certification current by successfully completing a minimum of two elective classes through Samford After Sundown annually. These classes must total a minimum of eight hours credit.
Awards: Participants receive a certificate of completion for each class that is satisfactorily completed in the program and a final certification diploma upon completion of the nine basic core classes and the volunteer project.
Participants receive continuing education units (CEU) credits for all courses taken.
Contact Samford After Sundown at 205-726-2739 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Custom Programs & Onsite Services
Grow your business through education!
Samford After Sundown offers professional training solutions using several proven methods of instruction:
- Customized corporate training in an appropriate classroom facility, on campus or on-site.
- Individual employee professional development.
- Online courses—Employees can learn at their desks.
Samford After Sundown will work with you to develop education programs that best serve your employees and business. Contact the Samford After Sundown office with questions.