Training News

Instructors Update Skills and Earn College Credit

Journal: November - December 2000

Categorizing IMI’s annual Instructor Certification Program (ICP) as professional education never rang truer than in this latest round. Held in October, ICP 2000 introduced an exciting new opportunity for BAC instructors: a chance to earn a college degree.

Through IMI’s participation in the National Labor College, instructors who complete ICP can apply 15 credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

The National Labor College was launched in 1997 at the George Meany Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to obtaining credit for instructors through ICP, BAC is working with the College to offer credit to members. The program will eventually factor in union members’ apprenticeship and training and related experiences, which can be applied toward a college degree.

“This is yet another benefit that IMI can offer instructors and that BAC can soon offer members,” notes BAC President and IMI Co-Chair John J. Flynn. “It distinguishes the BAC-IMI training system even more.”

The degree concept is a natural progression for ICP, which is a multi-level approach underscoring IMI’s belief that quality training is a career-long endeavor. Even seasoned instructors swear by the knowledge they gain each year on a wide variety of subjücts, whether it is masonry-specific technical knowledge, industry news, or effective teaching techniques. “We create masonry professionals by keeping instructors up to date and invested in their profession,” says IMI Apprenticeship and Training Director Gene Stinner.

Offering both technical and professional courses “gives instructors confidence,” notes Education Programs Coordinator Colleen Muldoon. “And being around some of the best instructors in the business inspires them to strive even higher.”

Participants enjoy the week-long, hands-on exposure to all masonry crafts: tile, brick, block, plaster, refractory work, and pointing/cleaning/caulking. For many, it is a rare opportunity to try a different craft.

Beyond the crafts, ICP spans a rich variety of topics, from CPR and architecture, to estimating and teaching unionism.

The 2000 program matched last year’s record crowd of 180 instructors, with 40 “first-timers.” An even dozen graduated after this session, becoming Certified Instructors of Journeypersons and Apprentices in the Trowel Trades.

Certification itself requires a minimum of 200 ICP hours in at least 35 courses. Completion of the program usually takes five years. Candidates must also complete instructional internships, lesson audits, and committee reviews.

An ICP Sampler

The select group of instructors completed the rigorous requirements for instructor certification after attending this year's IMI Instructor Certification Program. From left to right, they are: Andy Gasca, 21 IL; Richard Evans, 1 NE; Joe Nathan White, 33 GA/SC/NC; Hans Strasser, 11 NY; Warren Marietta, 18 CA; Alcide Chambers, 27 IL; Richard Bass, 1 FL; Jim Glaser, 4 IN/KY; Michael Papp, 21 IL; and Leroy Wilson, 4 NJ.

Here’s a sample menu of the technical and professional courses offered to IMI and BAC instructors in 2000, along with masonry craft familiarization sessions:

• Architectural Principles
• Managing Programs with Computers
• Hazard Communication
• Respirators
• Labor and Management
• Relations
• Scaffold Safety
• Building Codes
• Principles of Adult Learning
• Masonry Restoration Techniques
• Evaluation Instruments
• Dealing with Drug, Alcohol Abuse
• Blueprint Reading


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