Fall Conference Looks to Finalize Strategic Alignment, Establish National Consistency


PSIA-AASI Fall Conference 2019 kicked off Wednesday night with the overarching objective of finalizing the Strategic Alignment Initiative with refinement of Learning Outcomes (LO) and Performance Guides (PG) for all discipline standards for national consistency.

Attendees were provided with a 40-page booklet, titled Fall Conference 2019 Outcomes, which in part stated that:

“This document provides a summary of the three skill areas that support the Learning Connection Model (LCM) and the associated structures for interpreting and applying the Learning Connection Model including the Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) cycle throughout the Association… The intention is that this document - or a similar version of it will create the foundation for the new National Standards for PSIA-AASI.”

The LCM and the work being done in Breckenridge this week are all focused on providing “Greater clarity and consistency of the professional development of all snowsports pros,” said PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling. “It has inspired skill development in all areas that go far beyond snowsports education. There’s such a higher purpose beyond training to simply pass an exam. The learning connection speaks to developing yourself to be a better human being in all aspects of our lives.”



Although still in draft phase, “this new structure focuses on teaching skills and people skills as the ‘spine’ of the Association and the common values that we all share – regardless of our sliding preferences. It does NOT prescribe the examination process for divisions.”

According to Schuiling and Pete Allison of Penn State, who have collaborated on the initiative and the Handbook, “This process of introducing new National Standards will take some time and involve change in some ways for all divisions. It will bring divisions closer together in the overall strategic alignment project and vision for the Association and contribute to enhancing the quality of snowsports education.”

This overview (Allison & Horrell, 2014) outlines the components of the application of the Learning Connection Model:

Learning Outcomes: (Objectives) A statement of what is expected to be achieved on successful completion of a level of certification. This does not vary between examiners or divisions. 

Learning Experiences: (Tasks) The experiences candidates have to enable the knowledge and skills required for the learning outcomes to be addressed. Note: The Learning experiences listed below are recommendations of what that the instructor may utilize in order to gain the knowledge and understanding relative to the given subject area. These are not requirements, they are suggested approaches to aid individuals in their development as professional snow sports educators. For more details refer to the associated Performance Guide. 

Assessment Activities: (How assessed) Tasks the candidate will engage with to provide evidence that they have achieved the learning outcomes. NOTE: The Assessment Activities listed below are examples of what an instructor may expect in order to assess the knowledge and understanding relative to the given subject area. Variations and alternatives may be utilized at the time of assessment. Those listed should provide an idea of how an assessment could be experienced. For more details refer to the associated Performance Guide. 

Assessment Criteria: (Level of Standard) A clear description of levels of achievement and what performance is required at each level. This does not vary between examiners or divisions. 

There are about 100 education leaders from across the country representing every discipline, meeting on snow and in conference rooms today and through the weekend, to finalize these initiatives so that they can be utilized by PSIA-AASI members. Tomorrow, both Schuiling and Allison will discuss how this will impact and enhance the work you do.

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