New Direction for IA Education: Accreditation Concept Approved
The Irrigation Association Board of Directors has approved a new direction for IA Education, endorsing a plan designed to significantly increase the number of trained and certified individuals in the irrigation industry.
The board endorsed a proposal to create an Accreditation program that will allow accredited member companies to teach IA classes or accredited courses they have developed. The board asked IA education director Dennis McKernan and the Education Committee to continue developing details of the program, scheduled to begin in 2006.
"The accreditation model has the potential to vastly increase training and raise education standards throughout the industry," McKernan said.
Accredited programs, which would be required to match the IA's high education standards, would have access to IA teaching materials as well as the IA Train-the-Trainer program.
IA course materials are developed and regularly updated by industry experts to bring the latest information and technology to the classroom. The IA's Train-the-Trainer program teaches industry professionals how to interact with adults in the classroom to get the most out of the professionally developed curriculum. Instructors are a vital element of the IA's respected education program.
"IA Certification and Education have an excellent reputation in the industry. The only complaint we hear is that IA training is not available to enough people," said IA executive director Tom Kimmell. "The IA currently trains about 2,500 people a year. Accreditation has the potential to raise that to 10,000 or more. This will raise the bar throughout the industry.”
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