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Welcome to SunCam

SunCam: Online Continuing Education Classes

An Invitation to Authors Last updated 15 April 2017

SunCam, Inc. is a popular source of continuing education training for engineers. In 2016, SunCam provided a total of over 51,000 hours of training.

As we continue to grow, we are always seeking experienced engineering professionals and qualified engineering educators to author continuing education courses. If you would like to become a SunCam author, please review the information listed below. If you wish to explore a course idea please contact me.

William C. Dunn, P.E. President
SunCam, inc. suncam@suncam.com

Royalties

We offer generous unlimited 50% royalties to authors of continuing education courses and we continue to pay those royalties for as long as the course is offered.

If you create a very popular course that sells 1,000 copies at an average price of $50 each, we will send you monthly royalty checks totaling $25,000 and your course will continue to be useful to others and financially rewarding to you for many years to come. Our Authors have earned over $1 million in royalty payments in the past decade.

We will pay the royalties to one or more individuals, a partnership, a corporation, a trustee or an assign. If you have another idea or request, we will be happy to consider it. Payments are made monthly in US dollars no later than the 15th of the following month. Payments to non-US authors are converted from US dollars and paid in the foreign currency by USForex.

SunCam's duties

For our share of the revenue we perform the following duties:

  1. Secure agency approvals for courses (where required),
  2. Host the courses on our web site,
  3. Market the courses to professionals worldwide,
  4. Process orders,
  5. Score the tests,
  6. Issue certificates of completion,
  7. Report results to licensing boards where allowed or required,
  8. Maintain an archive of course completion records,
  9. Report royalties to authors in real time for each sale,
  10. Pay monthly royalties to authors,

Agreement

We have a draft "Course Author Agreement" prepared that may answer some of your questions about the business arrangement. The copy now posted has been reviewed by our attorneys and is the same wording as the final version that we will send you. You can view the draft agreement at https://www.suncam.com/Author-Agreement-Draft.pdf.

NOTE: SunCam will prepare final agreements including any adaptations required for multiple authors, corporations, trusts etc.

This agreement does not have a fixed term and could reasonably be expected to survive for many years. In fact, the agreement could survive the author therefore; you may want to consult an estate-planning attorney before signing a contract.

NOTE: The author of a course has a duty to be available to answer technical questions from customers. It is imperative that we have the author or someone of equal competence available to answer these occasional questions, so in planning your estate, be sure to identify someone who will be available to take over those duties. If there ever comes a time when we have no one to refer technical questions to, we will be forced to terminate the agreement and/or course offering.

Copyrights

Your course belongs to you and SunCam will make no claim of copyright or ownership for your work-product. The Author Agreement described above only grants SunCam the exclusive right to distribute your course, not ownership. If your course materials have been copyrighted by others through publication or otherwise, it will be your responsibility to obtain a written release to offer the course on SunCams website.

Qualifications

We seek design and construction licensed professionals, educators and others who are qualified by education and experience in the subject matter of the course that they propose. A biography that demonstrates solid education in your field along with professional licensure or advanced degrees combined with extensive experience or research in the subject matter of the course are required. Your biography must support the subject matter of the course. If your degree and license are in structural engineering, we will be reluctant to allow you to publish a course in electrical or mechanical engineering unless you have extensive paid professional experience in those fields. Courses must be well written in English and royalty payments will be made in US dollars. Otherwise, we have no restrictions on the physical location and/or nationality of the author.

Course Topics

Courses on business management, insurance, marketing or self improvement topics will not be acceptable.

Planning

You may have only one course in mind but our general advice to course authors is to plan and outline a series of courses on the selected topic starting with a broad, general overview and progressing to more detailed, specific and/or advanced coverage of a subject. After your first course, with each new release in the series we will contact all of your previous customers to announce the new arrival. A logical series of course releases will build a following for your work and increase your royalties.

We will happily take new courses as you produce them on your schedule. One a month or one every year or two works just fine for us. When we post your first course, we will also tell customers about your future courses. We'll solicit comments and ask customers to tell us what courses they want to see.

Course guidelines

Courses may be in an advanced subject or fundamentals. The individual courses may be any length (one hour=50 minutes). The courses may include text, photos and illustrations (but generally not video) (see table below for course duration guidelines). If you make extensive use of photos and illustrations then more pages per hour will be necessary. We will convert the course documents to Adobe Acrobat (PDF) when we post them on the web site.

Course duration (PDHs) Approximate Number of Pages (Text and Illustrations) Minimum Number of Test Questions
1 10-20 10
2 15-30 15
3 25-40 20
4 35-50 25
5 45-60 30
6 55-70 35
7 65-80 40
8 75-90 45

SunCam will be the final judge of course duration and PDH assignments

View a checklist for course authors at https://www.suncam.com/Checklist.pdf.

Other than the final conversion to PDF format the Author will be responsible for the authoring, editing and finished layout of the course materials. SunCam will only accept courses that are well written, edited to perfection and presented in a professional layout. If you have mathematical formulas in your course materials we will insist that you present them using the mathematics formatting similar to "Equation Formatting" in Microsoft Word.

If you need some help with the final proofreading and editing, you are not alone. Many of our authors are skilled in their own technical subject but don't particularly enjoy the rigors of writing. We will make every effort to refer you to an independent, professional copy-editor that you may retain (at your expense) to help you with this final step.

Test questions

The test can be true/false or multiple choice (any number of choices). Please use true/false questions sparingly. The minimum number of questions for the test will be 10-questions for the first hour and 5-questions for each additional hour. Each question must include an "explanation" that will give customers an idea of why they got the question wrong. The explanations are only revealed to customers after they pass the test. A sample of our online tests (without explanations) may be found at the web page for any of our courses.

We highly recommend that you save writing the test to last. Most course documents will go through extensive editing and if you write the questions too soon you could end up editing out the answer. We also require that the question sequence match the sequence of the course document.

Your web page

Within the SunCam store, we will develop a web page for you and your course offerings. Typically, your page will include your photo and biography followed by a listing of courses.

By clicking on the course name, a customer will be able to read your description of the course. In addition to the description, there will be links to open the complete course document and a test worksheet listing all the questions. The course documents will be in an Adobe Acrobat format, restricted to prohibit printing, copying or editing. After the course is purchased, the customer will receive a link to a read/print version of the course document. (Please be aware that modern browsers often circumvent this printing restriction.)

Anyone will be able to read the course without paying (similar to having your published work on the shelves of a public library) but no continuing education credits will be awarded unless the course is purchased and completed successfully.

Authors will also have the option to make brief promotional mention of their own commercial enterprise or that of their employers or books they have published.

Course ratings

Customers will be asked to rate your course using a 5-star system similar to Amazon.com and to leave comments. The ratings and comments will be emailed to you and to SunCam immediately and, after approval, will be available to other customers to help them make their decision about course purchases. Courses on popular topics that are entertaining, informative and carefully crafted get high ratings, positive comments and many customers. Courses that get poor ratings will be discontinued.

Passwords

We control access to tests with a password and username system for creating a unique URL for each course purchased by a customer. The customer selects one or more course(s) and adds them to their shopping cart. When they checkout, they receive an email with their unique URL for logging into each course that they have selected. The email also contains links to a printable version of the course document, a test worksheet and a link for emailing the author if they have a question about course content.

The test login screen asks for name, license number and email address. Customers may leave the test and login again at any time using the same unique URL. Once the test is successfully completed, the URL is disabled to prevent further use.

When the customer completes the test and clicks on the "Submit" button, the test is instantly scored. When the customer receives a passing score, a certificate of completion (along with their detailed results and question explanations) is displayed and emailed to the address that was provided at login and the detailed results are emailed to SunCam and the author and recorded in our database. All information including the details of the test answers is collected in our database for archiving.

Automation

At SunCam, customer and author inquiries get our personalized attention but everything else is automated. Our goal is to make everything from publication through purchase and course completion completely automated so customers and authors never have to ask for anything. When a question does arise one of the SunCam owners will be available (usually within minutes during extended business hours) to answer it.