Irrigation Association Expands Reach of Education

In order to bring Irrigation Association quality education programs to more irrigation professionals, the IA is taking the first steps in a major change in the way it delivers training.

The new direction for Irrigation Association Education comes in three parts: offering clusters of classes at more industry trade shows, allowing outside providers to teach IA courses, and providing IA training online.

The IA will continue to offer its full slate of classes, taught by experienced IA-trained instructors, at the annual International Irrigation Show.

"The most common complaint we hear about Irrigation Association Education is that it is not available to enough students," said Irrigation Association Education Director Dennis McKernan. "After extensive study, we came up with a plan that we believe will make IA Education available to more individuals without diluting the quality of our program."

The IA is working with agricultural and green industry trade shows to increase course offerings at national and regional shows. This approach provides more choices to more people than teaching single courses at scattered locations.

Additional classes will be offered through outside providers. Certification courses will be taught only by the IA and Accredited providers. After teaching a Certification course, Accredited providers can offer IA Certification Exams according to existing Certification procedures. For more information on becoming an Accredited provider, contact McKernan at

Other IA courses will be called Blue Ribbon classes when taught by outside providers. All providers for Certification classes and Blue Ribbon classes will have access to IA manuals and other teaching materials. All instructors must complete the IA Train-the-Trainer program, which is a cornerstone of the association's respected Education program.

The IA is also developing online courses, with the first online courses expected in 2007.

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