Education Leadership Council Update: 5 Questions with Dave Schuiling

Nick Herrin and Dave Schuiling


The Education Leadership Council (ELC) serves PSIA-AASI educational directives and acts as the conduit between all discipline task forces and association leadership to drive consistency in all educational initiatives. The ELC additionally acts as the visionary steering council for future growth and evolution in snowsports education.

During the 2016 Leadership summit, the ELC was charged with Strategic Goal Three: Complete the transition in consolidation, consistency and cooperation regarding education and certification.

Here, PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling discusses the history of the ELC, and the positive impact it has on the work you do.

Why was the ELC created?
The ELC was created to address strategic goal three from the 2016 leadership summit focused on consistency in education and certification. The ELC evolved from the Education Advisory Council (EAC) to make sure that divisional representation for education, as well as discipline representation through the team coaches, provides a national visionary education and certification oversite group.

What have been its biggest accomplishments so far?
At the highest level, we’ve developed a greater level of trust and realization that the national association is made up of representatives from all the divisions. From an education and certification standpoint, we are realizing true consistency with certification assessment and measurement using standard common language based off learning outcomes to produce consistency across all disciplines and at each level. The association is united through this mission as new education programming is being developed “nationally.”

How does this benefit individual PSIA-AASI members?
As the membership looks to diversify their professional development by transferring over to other discipline certifications or specialist certificate programs, they will see and feel a very consistent language in outcomes from the national standards all the way down to education training materials. Transferable skills will be tied to university credits to validate our credentials whether in and/or outside of the snow sports industry.

Where do PSIA-AASI members see the impact of the ELC in how and what they teach, and how they develop their on-snow skills?
The ELC serves the membership as the education and certification oversight council to make sure that all education materials and programming are at the highest level of consistency and transferability. Therefore, the ELC has its fingerprints all over the Learning Connection fundamentals of teaching, people, and technical skills, and national standards. One of the most exciting developments are national performance guides that provide all of the detail for learning experiences (training) and assessment, to achieve the learning outcomes that define the skill sets instructors utilize to enhance learning on snow.

What’s next for the ELC, and PSIA-AASI?
It’s very exciting that we are about to see the strategic alignment initiatives come to fruition this fall and into the season as changes are implemented in all the national standards across all disciplines. Once this step is in place, we can look to truly validate and have transferability of our products into a college curriculum. Eventually, we’re looking to build a snow sports education degree program with our partner Penn State University. Immediate next steps for the ELC are to create and maintain a quality assurance and enhancement (QAE) program to make sure we hold ourselves accountable for the consistency of all our credentials.

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