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Fast-Track in certification - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Your skiing based on the bumps and short turns from Snowbird is not nearly level 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
But this Woman at least with the skiing in the videos on her blog clearly had none of that.
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Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
It was also obvious to anyone that she was not skiing at the 3 level.
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Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
They give someone with no skiing related skills and dubious credentials that is nowhere near a level 3 skier ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Let me add that she received coaching from some of the top PSIA trainers for a year and still couldn't pass the skiing. That either says something about the student or the teachers.The list of coaches, clinics, trainers, supporters, doctors, chiropractors etc is astounding. She's not even close.
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
I dont mean to rag on this woman .........

Anyway I have $5K that says she never makes the Dteam by 2012 and another $2.5 that she can't pass 3 next year either.
Oh you're not ragging on her at all. You never criticize others do you?

By the way, I still don't recall ever seeing any video of your skiing. I'd love to see that high horse you're riding on sometime.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Ther's no big WAAAA, she took the exam and couldn't pass the skiing. It was also obvious to anyone that she was not skiing at the 3 level.

SO my question still stands why did the division grant a special dispensation here?
I was pretty young when I was told if you want the answer to your question, go to the person(s) that have it. The person(s) that made the decision & has the answer. Later in life, I heard that re-iterated. Anything short of going to the source, comes across as searching for an audience for general complaining, aka: WAAAAA. This is Epic ski & has nothing to do with those PSIA decisions. Your PSIA has the answers to your PSIA decision questions. I'm sure they need to hear your input & you their answers. So far you are 0-2. I'm gonna check with Mollmeister for purchase of her product if you go 0-3.
post #33 of 48
As I understand it, PSIA is a Member-Driven organization that is dedicated to the support of ski instructors and to the advancement of their education in skiing and the teaching of skiing. The 'Certifications' referred to are just that: Certifications of given levels of skiing and teaching competency. They are not Levels of Club Membership, Importance Rankings nor 'Proof' of any degree of perfection at skiing or teaching. And Certifications are a bit subjective, based on what is seen at actual Exams.

If some dues-paying members of PSIA want to pursue higher levels of Certification at a quicker than normal rate - more power to them. PSIA is here to support us members - not the other way around.

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There is a legitimate concern for the reaction of members who get frustrated or angry when they don't pass Exams but that is not the responsibility of PSIA, it's the responsibility of the candidates and their source of training. PSIA should only help and support members. They should not try to control them.

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I am opposed to artificial constraints in all professional and educational endeavors. Too many times in my life I've been held back because of some artificial 'waiting period' or someone else's "approval" to allow me to try and achieve something. Such things abound in the working world and I advise all my clients to abandon such Good-ol-Boy's-Club control mechanisms. This should be a Merit System - those who can will succeed, those who can't, won't. It's not a big deal.

If PSIA is concerned for the well being of candidate outcomes then we should be putting more effort into the training of candidates and providing fully honest feedback as to their readiness to succeed. If they want to try anyway (for the experience - a huge benefit of just trying) then more power to them.

A year after I passed my own Level 1 I wanted to try the level 2 modules. The only two trainers I got to spend time with both said I'd fail to qualify and refused to sign the forms letting me go. I was ready to quit PSIA and the ski school because of this artificial constraint. I'd been a clinic junkie attending every training session offered. Didn't help a lot because no one was very interested in training us newbies and we were mostly relegated to the weakest trainer in the school. He taught us pretty much nothing and spent most of his time ridiculing us.

If I was ever to be able to pass the L2 I needed to know what was involved, what the level of skiing looked like, what kind of teaching skills were required, etc. Late in that season I 'guilted' one of the TD's into signing off on me by agreeing that probably would not succeed. I went to both Level 2 Exam modules ... and learned a ton! I met the very people (Examiners both) who the following year helped me pass both modules by providing me with the proper training and information I'd been seeking all along. Had I not gone to those Exams I'd never have known what was required (and how easy it really is) and would likely have abandoned ship altogether.


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If there are relevant prerequisites in capability that PSIA wishes to clearly document and require ahead of each Exam level - great! In my view if a candidate can demonstrate the equivalent capability that any other 'approved' candidate possess then they too should be allowed to attempt that Exam. If this means an Exam Checkpoint (like we have in the PNW) then fine.

Consider a grade school teacher who has been teaching for 5 years and skiing for 10 years on their own. Putting that teaching and skiing capability together isn't difficult as this stuff ain't rocket science. Sure, there are some housekeeping things to figure out and a bit of movement analysis to learn but what of it? What "level" are they? Dunno. Why not let them try the Level 1? If they succeed, let 'em try the Level 2. If they nail it, let 'em try the Level 3.

The nice thing about a documented 'fast track' is that candidates can submit an evaluation form to each Exam Level's Examiners and after the Exam the Examiners can make a recommendation on how well they think this candidate will do in the next level - a go/no-go determination. Exam Checkpoints with Examiner recommendations would also work and would help potential candidates get around problematic TD's at their own ski school.

In the end I'm for getting rid of any non competency-related constraints. Things like Pay'in-Yer-Dues constraints (artificial waiting periods), Hours-Served (meaningless to competency), Approval Signatures (Good-ol-Boys-Club stuff) and the like have no place in a truly professional organization. Teaching Knowledge and Skiing Competency should be the ruling Merit factors in each PSIA Certification Level.

I would rather clinic with a person who nailed the L1, L2 and L3 in a single season than with another who effectively just 'paid their dues', served out their time and eventually found Examiners willing to pass them.

.ma
post #34 of 48
L3 (to me) (and I am not L3 yet, I just passed skiing this year) is a two part exam. You have strong skiers and strong teachers. From what I have seen, it is weighted on the skiing side. At least in PSIA-E, there are three grades...1, 2, 3. One is a fail. Two- meets standard. Three- Strong.

Only reading this thread and her website, I voice this opinion. She is focused. Her resume shows she is a STRONG teacher. Her last year shows she is committed to her goal; as evidence of this I cite her creating the MA forum at her hill. I venture to say that she has attended more non-paid clinics and wrote more notes about skiing than most L3 candidates under 35. I also venture a guess that she has done more high level MA than most.

I have not seen her skiing. But I have heard comments like "take your exam at this mountain, or during these type of conditions, you might pass" Examiners know the students who do this and why. For me...I picked a mountain that challenged me, not one that I felt I could beat. Do the L3 candidates who pass on these days or at these mountains wear a less gold pin? No, the examiners (at least two) found they met standard.

If or when Kate does pass her L3 skiing...I would bet $100 she pops the teaching part...3, 3, 3. Would a client rather take a lesson from a 333/221 or a 221/333 ? I vote the latter.

I agree with the committee who let her take the exam(s) early. Perhaps she was not the best skier...but she may have been the strongest teacher.


I leave this thread on this note:

I would rather spend the day skiing with Vokskier.....he sounds like he can rip and have fun. But if I wanted to work on something and get in a "skiing brain" mood, I would love to spend the day with Kate. I am very sure her clients all think she is L3 now. Kate if you are reading, good luck. Quite a goal.
post #35 of 48
Coming up through the ranks demonstrates dedication to the organization. If it's too quick and easy for some, what commitment can be expected? What will be the willingness to give back?

If the criteria for advancement is too demanding then many will not and do not opt not to continue. Instructors who show strength may decline to even go for their level I knowing that too much is expected to move up to II and III.

I think something needs to be done to bring better skiers into the organization. There needs to be more of a 'carrot' to get to Level I with hopes of getting Level II. As it is, there are too many instructors who understand MA but can't ski. They need to be better skiers.

These are my observations around southern New England. I am limited in that I am not an instructor, but I notice.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones
If it's too quick and easy for some, what commitment can be expected? What will be the willingness to give back?
I think that's probably a real issue too.

If a person challenges the process solely out of egotism and a desire to prove something they'll probably be gone pretty quickly.

Hopefully that's why they ask for a written explanation from candidates. Maybe there should also be a written agreement by the candidate that if approved for a Fast-Track they will commit to teaching a certain number of hours or seasons in the industry.

.ma
post #37 of 48
I read her letter and it seems to me that she has a fair bit of teaching experience and as an elite athlete probably has many hours logged being coached and coaching others. Skating is pretty comparable to skiing. She seems extremely motivated and goal oriented. Why the heck not allow her the opportunity to test as far as she could in one year. Most ski schools would kill for someone with the motivation of this gal! Why hold someone like this back. She still had to pass the test, nobody just handed her a pin.

Vocalskier1, just pissin in cornflakes again?
post #38 of 48
I can't help myself but butt in here, eventhough I'm not all that familiar with PSIA and whatever. Most of my opinion is based on my own experiences and some "hearsay". The latter actually making my post obsolete so if you want you can just skip to the next one if you like.

Anyways, having a required number of lessons taught between courses I think is a good and natural policy. Requiring a minimum time period in which this is achieved (in this case it seems to be a year) is just plain silly!
Some will have the hours in the belt in one or two weeks so why would they have to wait till next season if there up to it?
Others will also achieve the required hours in two weeks and maybe not teach a single class anymore in teh following year, so why the year wait?

In the end, granting exceptions is dangerous and a really bad policy. At the least those exceptions should be quantifiable too.

I have nothing to say about the case at hand since I don't know how "Kate" skies, teaches or what her credentials and references are.
post #39 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I'd love to see that high horse you're riding on sometime.
I'm not riding on a high horse. I never asked for and never received special treatment from PSIA or CSIA when I went through my certification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
If some dues-paying members of PSIA want to pursue higher levels of Certification at a quicker than normal rate - more power to them. PSIA is here to support us members - not the other way around.

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PSIA should only help and support members. They should not try to control them.

---
This should be a Merit System - those who can will succeed, those who can't, won't. It's not a big deal.

---
If there are relevant prerequisites in capability that PSIA wishes to clearly document and require ahead of each Exam level - great! In my view if a candidate can demonstrate the equivalent capability that any other 'approved' candidate possess then they too should be allowed to attempt that Exam. If this means an Exam Checkpoint (like we have in the PNW) then fine.

In the end I'm for getting rid of any non competency-related constraints. Things like Pay'in-Yer-Dues constraints (artificial waiting periods), Hours-Served (meaningless to competency), Approval Signatures (Good-ol-Boys-Club stuff) and the like have no place in a truly professional organization. Teaching Knowledge and Skiing Competency should be the ruling Merit factors in each PSIA Certification Level.

I would rather clinic with a person who nailed the L1, L2 and L3 in a single season than with another who effectively just 'paid their dues', served out their time and eventually found Examiners willing to pass them.

.ma
Michael makes a lot of excellent points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

I think something needs to be done to bring better skiers into the organization. There needs to be more of a 'carrot' to get to Level I with hopes of getting Level II. As it is, there are too many instructors who understand MA but can't ski. They need to be better skiers.

These are my observations around southern New England. I am limited in that I am not an instructor, but I notice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I read her letter and it seems to me that she has a fair bit of teaching experience and as an elite athlete probably has many hours logged being coached and coaching others. Skating is pretty comparable to skiing. She seems extremely motivated and goal oriented. Why the heck not allow her the opportunity to test as far as she could in one year. Most ski schools would kill for someone with the motivation of this gal! Why hold someone like this back. She still had to pass the test, nobody just handed her a pin.

Vocalskier1, just pissin in cornflakes again?
No Bud, I'm not pissin in cornflakes. I'm looking at a policy that makes no sense. If you took the time to carefully READ my posts then you would see that in fact I am all for people being able to go for the exams fast tracked. Let everyone progress as they pass. What I am against is the need for PSIA to as MA put it "control" it's membership instead of supporting it.

This whole system reeks of the favoritism that has become the hallmark of this organization. Her biggest qualification seems to have been that you "can contact Megan Harvey". For those who don't know Megan is a PSIA alpine team member and her sister is the teams manager.

An example like this highlights two problems that are rampant through the entire system:

1. Cronyism and politics
2. Diminution of certification and the profession

Those members of PSIA that don't believe that there is a problem with politics in the organization either are unwilling to look or are part of that structure. It's at all levels. Why was the national team dominated for a numer of years by Vail then Aspen? Why is there magically 1 and only 1 member from the largest division selected regularly? Why are there so many "certified" instructors that can't ski? Don't get me wrong, you can see this type of favoritism in any activity where subjective evaluation is a part. This is not unique to PSIA. But let's recognize it and try and change it.

Why should we want to change it? Because when unqualified people are passed and certified and they don't really have the SKIING skills it diminishes the value for those that can actually pass on their merits! It also diminishes the respect that the organization has from the public. Ski instructors have gone from being admired and respected to being mocked. If I go skiing the last thing I tell someone is that I am certified by PSIA. Now imagine an 18-30 year old! The major reason why young rippers are not coming into PSIA is because instructors can't SKI. That's the pereception. It's the domain of the hacks.

You notice that I said SKIING skills! In an effort to bolster declining membership and keep the coffers full the organization created the level 2 and the level 1. In some divisions they now have "master" teaching programs where you can become a "master" teacher without being able to ski! So in other words don't worry if you can't ski, we welcome you and have a pin you can out on your jacket!

So Bud, It's not about pissing in cornflakes it's about how this organization's policies are perceived by the membership and the public.
post #40 of 48
She did not pass. PSIA's vaunted skiing standards are intact.

I think we should be certifying teachers who ski well. If you think FIS points have more to do with teaching skiing than coaching rock climbing, then I suspect you do not actually teach.

There may be a geographical bias at work here (referring to what region you come from, VS1, i.e., your POV may be biased). In NRM to earn Level 3 is a true accomplishment that few achieve each season. I don't know why the largest division only places a few on the D-Team -- our tiny division has been far more successful per capita than yours. (Though the people who make it from NRM generally leave for Aspen or Telluride or some other Mecca, for which I cannot blame them.) I would laugh at anyone who would argue that NRM is politically important in the PSIA. So I tend to believe that the charge of political bias is a flopping red herring.
post #41 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
She did not pass. PSIA's vaunted skiing standards are intact.
Clearly the screening process for fast track failed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
I think we should be certifying teachers who ski well. If you think FIS points have more to do with teaching skiing than coaching rock climbing, then I suspect you do not actually teach.
Yes I do and here's why. If you have reached a level in your skiing that you have FIS points then you have most likely been coached by a variety of people both good and bad. You have most likely been inspired. This coaching is directly related to skiing! Now even if this person ends up to be a poor teacher, they can at least demonstrate and identify the skills. Now just because you coach rock climbing doesn't mean you are a good coach or teacher and if you are not and you can't ski then where does that leave a ski student?

Let's be honest ski schools are filled with people who can't teach let alone inspire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
There may be a geographical bias at work here (referring to what region you come from, VS1, i.e., your POV may be biased). In NRM to earn Level 3 is a true accomplishment that few achieve each season. I don't know why the largest division only places a few on the D-Team -- our tiny division has been far more successful per capita than yours. (Though the people who make it from NRM generally leave for Aspen or Telluride or some other Mecca, for which I cannot blame them.) I would laugh at anyone who would argue that NRM is politically important in the PSIA. So I tend to believe that the charge of political bias is a flopping red herring.
No bias here. My home division was and still is NRM although I have experience in many divisions. Politics happen at many levels. Are you telling me that you dont believe anyone in NRM ever got a pass on an exam because of politics? At National are you telling me there are no politics in play with selectors? It's human nature!

The way to change it is to identify it and get it in the open.
post #42 of 48
I would be the last person to deny that cronyism exists, but I would also be the first (as you've pointed out) to assert that at Level 3, at least in this division, PSIA certification is 97% reliable. If I were sitting on the committee, I probably would have allowed this woman to try to fast track. Do not ask for whom the clock ticks, eh? For her it's apparently ticking very loudly.
post #43 of 48
If Cronyism placed people on the D-Team, wouldn't it have a lot of members from the biggest division?
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Clearly the screening process for fast track failed as well.

....
I respectfully disagree. The screening process looked at her other qualifications for becoming certified. (This is a paper process.) From that paperwork the go decision was made. The on snow portion (skiing, knowledge of skiing, and presentation) was left where it belonged, to the examiners on snow. She evidently met the qualifications all the way up to Level II. GREAT, the system worked. When she went on to try Level III she did not meet the standards. Again, I say GREAT. It proves the system works, allowing someone with unique qualifications to come into the ski teaching world of PSIA and challenge up to the level of their abilities. So what if she didn't make it all the way, she made Level II and that in itself proves that she has a hell of a lot of Moxie.

Anyone who has gone through even part of the process knows the dedication and time it takes to pass even one level. To take on all three. Good Lord, that is immense! But, if someone with good teaching qualifications in another sport wants to try. Good on em. Give it hell. Remember, all that is waived is time. The knowledge and skills still have to be there. That's what the examinations are all about.

I for one like to see people take the challenge, even if they aren't fully qualified. Its not the destination, but the journey that is important. You don't learn by arriving at the end point. It is in going through the process that you learn.

Teaching takes commitment to teaching. Teachers have it in their blood, they cannot not teach. (Sorry for the double negative, but it is appropriate.) These are the type of people that the industry needs to grow. We also need highly motivated people and anyone trying the challenge route is definitely motivated.
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
Remember, all that is waived is time. The knowledge and skills still have to be there. That's what the examinations are all about.
Which we all now = money.
And it's not just a little time. Getting the chance to do something in one season that others are required to do in three seasons is no small gift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
I for one like to see people take the challenge, even if they aren't fully qualified. Its not the destination, but the journey that is important. You don't learn by arriving at the end point. It is in going through the process that you learn.
Exactly couldn't have said it better!
Only a bit less dedication is demanded from here than from others...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
Teaching takes commitment to teaching. Teachers have it in their blood, they cannot not teach. (Sorry for the double negative, but it is appropriate.) These are the type of people that the industry needs to grow. We also need highly motivated people and anyone trying the challenge route is definitely motivated.
If by challenge route you mean fasttrack then I would argue it actually takes less motivation/dedication.
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volklskier1
This whole system reeks of the favoritism...
I would disagree with the degree cited here.

Every large organization probably has a degree of favoritism involved in its own advancement process - it really is human nature to helpfully support people like ourselves. It's also our nature to remain neutral or distant to people we don't know personally and to consciously (or unconsciously) hinder people who express contrary views, grate on us or are perceived a threat in some way to our own comfortable little world.

The question is not a matter of favoritism existing, it's a matter of the degree to which it actually affects the advancement process for individuals and the ongoing process of organizational change.

Of course we humans tend to favor the people we currently know and like personally! But when more than one person gets involved in the selection process with that process documented by standards there is a degree of transparency and integrity. There are also loud detractors all lined up ready to 'out' any malfeasance and this tends to help keep the process fair and on track.

Most organizations only change from the top down. People in the upper echelons are changed out over time or are externally influenced to change. Organizational culture and the lower echelons either support change or hinder it. I think favoritism always hinders the change process because it keeps 'people like ourselves' in power whereas Diversity promotes change.

Interestingly, the PSIA National Team changes from the 'relative middle'. It is not the people sitting on the PSIA throne who decide who gets to be on the National Team - instead it's

Selectors who come from many Divisions who do the Team Selections. These may be people who never made the National Team themselves, never held National Office, etc. (Perhaps someone can post the criteria for Team Selectors..?) I'm in favor of Fast-Track type programs. It isn't a 'failure' of such a program when someone tries but doesn't make it all the way. The greater the goal, the more we strive to reach it if we believe it's achievable. In many ways it's a great test of the training process itself. If we really are teaching the 'right' things then a highly motivated person should be able to learn very quickly. If we're teaching rubbish then the student will take a very long time to accumulate meaningful content and progress slowly.

I would make it a requirement that any fast-Track person provide a post-process written or verbal evaluation of what worked, what didn't, what made sense or didn't, and what they'd like to see changed. They could do this in exchange for the opportunity and help improve the system.

.ma
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
If you took the time to carefully READ my posts then you would see that in fact I am all for people being able to go for the exams fast tracked. Let everyone progress as they pass. What I am against is the need for PSIA to as MA put it "control" it's membership instead of supporting it.
Not to take you out of context, but I wanted to point out this was announced as a pilot program. While a few are selected for the pilot program, supposedly, this is just a first step in policy changes that would apply more broadly and consistently. Sending a negative message to PSIA that this program is unfair or allows improperly prepared candidates to bypass training, if you really do support ALL people being able to go for the exams fast-tracked, you should focus on the positive side of the message you want to send.

Encouraging accomplished skiers to move forward faster and become instructors, raises the image and reputation of all instructors and makes these people available for lessons and clinics. Anyway, rather than focus on your perceived negative aspects of the program (favoritism or whatever), perhaps you should try finding input that positively advances the aspects you do support.
post #48 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
If Cronyism placed people on the D-Team, wouldn't it have a lot of members from the biggest division?
No. Because it has to do with who holds perceived power. Look over who developed many of the systems and materials over the years. It is often very easy for a minority to keep a majority ion lace and controlled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Not to take you out of context, but I wanted to point out this was announced as a pilot program. While a few are selected for the pilot program, supposedly, this is just a first step in policy changes that would apply more broadly and consistently. Sending a negative message to PSIA that this program is unfair or allows improperly prepared candidates to bypass training, if you really do support ALL people being able to go for the exams fast-tracked, you should focus on the positive side of the message you want to send.

Encouraging accomplished skiers to move forward faster and become instructors, raises the image and reputation of all instructors and makes these people available for lessons and clinics. Anyway, rather than focus on your perceived negative aspects of the program (favoritism or whatever), perhaps you should try finding input that positively advances the aspects you do support.
I think your comments are excellent but I also don't think that PSIA is really interested in or responsive to it's membership. Honestly, I also don't really care enough about PSIA. I'm just bringing up the point. Instead of this type of arbitrary system let people go for it when they want to. PSIA would also make more money in fees for their clinics and exams.
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