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View Full Version : USDF Recognized Associate instructor rip off!



blackhorse6
Dec. 15, 2010, 04:22 PM
USDF is eliminating the Associate Instructor title including all the instructors who currently hold that designation.:mad:. Considering the cost involved to achieve this goal(at least $2,500)this is outrageous...They could at least continue to recognize the instructors who went through the program and spent their money.. Why anyone would attempt USDF Certification if they can withdrawal your qualifications at a whim???:confused::confused:

netg
Dec. 15, 2010, 05:30 PM
USDF is eliminating the Associate Instructor title including all the instructors who currently hold that designation

USDF is hiring hit men?! :eek:


Seriously, though.... Do you have a link? Someone had reported that there was discussion of the topic, but I hadn't seen anything official, and at least right now don't see anything on the USDF site. (I am known to be blind when things are directly in front of my face, though, as a disclaimer.) If money spent for certification is thrown away that's crummy. If it can be used for a further level of certification, or if the title is being changed to accurately reflect intent, that's different, though.

Spyder
Dec. 15, 2010, 05:31 PM
Did you receive a letter notifying you? Did you see it in the USDF magazine? Where did you hear?

ThreeFigs
Dec. 15, 2010, 05:39 PM
That's a shame.

It costs $2500 for the Associate certification? Holee Cow! Not worth it. If I were one of the Associate certificate holders, I'd be p*ssed off!

leilatigress
Dec. 15, 2010, 06:58 PM
quick look at the USDF site does not yield anything that states this. Not on the blog and not in the news. If this is something they have announced I would love to know where they announced it!

Inese
Dec. 15, 2010, 07:04 PM
There was an article in the December USDF Connection magazine on page 8 written by Gerhard Politz, starting off with "Allow me to explain why USDF decided to discontinue the Associate Instructor recognition in its certification program."

dressurpferd01
Dec. 15, 2010, 11:21 PM
Basically, USDF got a ton of complaints from people about "associate instructors" that were calling themselves "certified associate instructors", when there was no certification. From my my understanding, the associate instructors were the ones who didn't complete the certification process. I don't blame them one bit when a lot of people were getting confused from the inappropriate verbage being used by some. Either complete the certification, or don't, there shouldn't be an in-between.

AnotherRound
Dec. 16, 2010, 11:24 AM
Can you please explain? Is there a (full rather than associate) Instructor title? How does one get that?

Am I to understand that an associate instructor is someone who didn't finish the Instructor program and get certified?

Or was there an Associate Instructor program? Whan that was completed, what did you get, a certification? Nothing? Why wouldn't you get a letter or something to certify that you completed the program? Why woudl it be wrong to call yourself a certified AI if you completed the program?

I am confused.

mjhco
Dec. 16, 2010, 12:18 PM
"An Associate Instructor has successfully completed the USDF Instructor Certification Workshop series in Lungeing, Teaching and Riding but have not yet been tested for certification."

http://www.usdf.org/about/contact/certified-instructors.asp?TypePass=Associates


It would be like auditing all the 'L' program sessions but not testing then saying you are an 'Associate' L program grad.

ideayoda
Dec. 16, 2010, 12:22 PM
AIs went to cert courses, but that is all. They did not test (which is a quarter that price and does not require pre-certs).

NJRider
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:01 PM
Maybe they should change the name of the Associate Instructors instead of nullifying the thing all together. It is like the "L" people cannot be called Judges, but Graduates. Maybe a similar designation. L
I actually pointed out an Assoc Instructor to the USDF who in fact was advertising herself as a "Certified" USDF Instructor and the USDF did nothing.

Melyni
Dec. 16, 2010, 06:30 PM
They are not taking away from the folk who went through the program and then tested and passed and are now certified.

They are only stopping the ones who sat through a few workshops but never tested and who still call themselves Instructors.

If you went through the workshops now finish the process and get tested and get certified.

Shuts a loophole that has been abused for quite a while IMO.

MW

NJRider
Dec. 16, 2010, 06:49 PM
Wasn't it the USDF who called them Associate Instructors? That was the problem... they should have chosen an more appropriate name without the word Instructor so that the actual USDF Certified Instructors can have that designation.

HFSH
Dec. 16, 2010, 10:14 PM
The problem is they should have never attempted to recognize people that only attended the courses. As was already pointed out, they don't recognize people who attend sessions A-C of the "L" program but never attend part 2, and they shouldn't recognize people for just attending instructor certification courses.

If we want to have qualified instructors on par with the german or even british instructor programs for example, we have to start somewhere. But the instructors HAVE to test.

So tired of the mentality in this country of recognizing people for barely doing anything. You don't get credit for going through a college class if you don't take the final exam and pass it. Attendance doesn't count, sorry. :rolleyes:

Nothing in the sport of dressage is cheap. SO WHAT if it costs $2500 to do the courses. That's cheap when you sit back and add up how much you spend taking lessons or clinics, attending shows, etc.

Next thing people are going to whine about is the fact that you actually have to have experience and even successful students at these levels. :no:

Another problem is they didn't grandfather in the "Greats" of our sport such as, oh, say George Williams, Steffen Peters, Debbie McDonald. But that's a whole other can of worms.

Velvet
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:03 AM
Basically, USDF got a ton of complaints from people about "associate instructors" that were calling themselves "certified associate instructors", when there was no certification. From my my understanding, the associate instructors were the ones who didn't complete the certification process. I don't blame them one bit when a lot of people were getting confused from the inappropriate verbage being used by some. Either complete the certification, or don't, there shouldn't be an in-between.

Yeah, um, well, this is something that the USDF office was perpetuating and telling the associates to call themselves. It wasn't something that the associates suddenly decided to do. So there way of covering up their own mess is to eliminate the whole associate designation. Nice...

BTW, the whole program is a major joke. Who cares what they do? No one should bother wasting their money on going through certification with the USDF. It's useless and meaningless.

ThreeFigs
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:49 AM
Velvet, a graduate of the USDF course told me that, too. A waste of time and money.

horsefaerie
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:42 AM
[QUOTE][/QUOTEAnother problem is they didn't grandfather in the "Greats" of our sport such as, oh, say George Williams, Steffen Peters, Debbie McDonald. But that's a whole other can of worms.
_______

If these people are great instructors then perhaps they should. I only know them as competitors. That DOES NOT make them good instructors. Kind of like thinking Refrigerator Perry would have to make a great coach.

I have been teaching a long time. A very long time. Perhaps if they looked at the show records of students, including the type of horse they rode to get those scores to decide who should be an instructor.

Right now it is just a money making scheme.

I know some wonderfully capable riders and trainers. They CAN NOT teach. THankfully, they will be the first one to tell you so. Too bad everyone is not so honest.

CapitolDesign
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:50 AM
I am a USDF Associate and "L" Graduate. To help clarify, there was an article in the USDF Connection, but most of this news about cancelling the Associates was sent to the current Associates via mail or email.

While I am in the process of testing for my instructor certification and plan to continue on with the program, I have not gotten to that point. As one poster suggested, Associates did not simply audit the workshops - we participated in all three, were evaluated by the instructor in all three phases, took a first aid course and paid dues to receive the recognition for getting to this point. In my opinion, there is a difference between someone who has done the workshops and someone who has not, just as there is a difference between Associates and people who have passed the testing.

In reply to someone saying there is not anything like that in the "L" - I disagree. When I was in my "L" program, I was an "L" Education Program participant. Professionals recognized that I was something different than someone who had not started the program and my title (no matter how formal/informal) helped me gain access to judges for sitting and continuing education.

Unfortunately, the USDF created the Associate level and it seems that many people are upset because they took the workshops and first aid course and paid a lot of money/dues with the plan of only becoming Associates.

In my mind, it would be like giving a credential to someone who completed the Part 1 of the "L" and sat/scribed for 30 hours - they are not yet "L" graduates, but they paid for a certain amount of education and expected to be recognized accordingly.

The problem is that the USDF now faces having to take away something that they have been selling to their members. I understand both sides of the argument and have no personal feelings about keeping/cancelling the Associate level, but am glad I do not have to make the choice!

blackhorse6
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:03 AM
They did send a letter to the instructors but did not ask for any of their input. To become an associate you need to attend the workshops, have references, first aid course, and positive comments on your workshop reviews. Each year you need continuing education and pay a fee of $40- to maintain your recognition. Personally i feel this level shows that your instructor is working on continuing their education and testing their knowledge. Not all of the instructors can continue with testing due to financial constraints or physical issues.

Some of these instructors are certified with other organizations and list themselves as certified on their websites. As a potential student you need to do your own due diligence. Anyone can say they are a FEI rider/gold medalist/champion etc.

If USDF doesn't wish to continue with this option fine but for the instructors who have spent the money and time they should still be recognized.

dwblover
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:18 AM
All they really needed to do was eliminate the term "instructor" from the title and that would have been the end of it. They could have simply called them USDF associates, but why oh why keep anything simple?

Velvet
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:23 AM
Actually, they need to get out of the business of trying run an instructor certification program. Period. End of story.

Continuing on with the program is the definition of insanity. You know, repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Give up the ghost, USDF. You have too many politics and egos involved to run something like this. You are not helping the dressage community nor it's membership. You've tried long enough and you've consistantly failed. Removing one piece of the program is not saving nor making any real changes.

It's done. Stick a fork in it already.

blackhorse6
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:02 AM
The issue is not the criteria for the Associate recognition level. The issue is that USDF offered this level and now wants to eliminate it.

If USDF decides to change the requirements for future certification that is certainly within their realm to do so. But do not take away the achievements of those who have already dedicated their time, effort, budgets, to support USDF educational programs. I do not see how USDF can now, arbitrarily, eliminate a program that they offered and which people have worked toward and paid for. At the very least, USDF should continue to recognize the Associate level and the instructors who have achieved it.

Why not have all the judges go back and get the scores currently required for them to judge at their levels? Ha! That would never happen. Maybe USDF wants to up the percentage required for the Medals. Everyone has to re-qualifiy with 65%'s?

Again the issue is USDF is making decisions without thinking them through. Why attempt the instructor program if they can withdraw your level/qualifications on a whim?

ThreeFigs
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:10 AM
Here's another side of it:

I've been teaching riding for years. I have a Bachelor's degree in teaching, as a matter of fact. Most of my students, up to the last couple of years, had no interest in showing -- many were reriders or beginning adults & children who just wanted to feel safe and had a bit of interest in dressage. Just not as far as showing. I don't push them to show if they don't want to. It's about their needs, not my ego.

Because of this, I would not be "qualified" as I understand it, for certification with USDF. Only one of the instructors I have worked with over the years has had any official certification from any organization, yet most were competent teachers and good communicators. The bad ones I left behind years ago.

Even from them I learned useful things: how NOT to teach!

merrygoround
Dec. 17, 2010, 03:56 PM
I am sure that there are some like me who participated in the 6 eight hour days of workshops after years of teaching because they wanted the mileage, and welcomed the critique of their abilities.

I for one was surprised when informed that I was entitled to a USDF certificate, certifying me as a USDF Associate Instructor. I did not simply assume that I was so certified. USDF sent me the certificate!!!!!

Yes! I do continue to participate in clinics and lectures that I hope will enrich my teaching ability. And yes, I do keep sending the USDF the extra $$$ they request to keep me so entitled.

Why not go on for full certification? For one thing physical issues, for another, I live in an area where people don't give a "tinker's dam" whether or not you are certified. They only know if they and their horses are progressing, safely and sanely.

Mardi
Dec. 18, 2010, 01:06 AM
Just wondering if their are legal issues here. USDF promoting an educational
opportunity with certification the end result. Money accepted, but end result
abruptly eliminated.

Anyone plan on asking for a refund ?

merrygoround
Dec. 18, 2010, 05:58 AM
Just wondering if their are legal issues here. USDF promoting an educational
opportunity with certification the end result. Money accepted, but end result
abruptly eliminated.

Anyone plan on asking for a refund ?

As I recall, certification was not mentioned (but perhaps since that was not my initial interest, I missed it) as an end result of participating in the USDF Workshops, and getting favorable comments in the praticum portion. It was spoken of later, and it was over a year before any paperwork arrived.

My problem with USDF is not only their handling of the Associate Instructor program, but the general cost of membership, to the point that now there is an additional charge for such basics as the directory.

vicarious
Dec. 18, 2010, 09:50 AM
Of course the dues are high!! Has anyone counted the staff? that's full time staff, who doubtless have their expenses paid for conventions, etc.

I believe the Instructors for the clinics and certifications are paid by the participants. Anyone know?

ThreeFigs
Dec. 18, 2010, 09:50 AM
^ This.

Saddlez
Dec. 18, 2010, 10:34 AM
A relationship between horse and rider is based on trust, respect, and communication. Too bad USDF is now eroding those three principles with its members. If USDF wants to create new requirements or new programs, that's fine. But they should definitely NOT take away the achievements of Associates who completed the programs previously. Create a new level, give it a new name, but DON'T just take it away as if it never existed.

blackhorse6
Dec. 18, 2010, 12:37 PM
I did ask about a refund. haven't heard back:) My friend is a lawyer, maybe she will help.

Velvet
Dec. 18, 2010, 12:46 PM
A relationship between horse and rider is based on trust, respect, and communication. Too bad USDF is now eroding those three principles with its members. If USDF wants to create new requirements or new programs, that's fine. But they should definitely NOT take away the achievements of Associates who completed the programs previously. Create a new level, give it a new name, but DON'T just take it away as if it never existed.

Well, they already did a bit of trying to dismiss it by separating it out from all the other sections listing "certified" instructors. Kind of funny, they wanted the money, but also wanted to put the people nearly off the list and buried on the site.

ideayoda
Dec. 18, 2010, 02:03 PM
Did the peeps go to the USDF course? Yes. So, they get a piece of paper saying they did. There was no real certification as they merely attended, no testing (only prepping for one). I was surprised when they can them in the first place since they had no real substance except to verify the person went.

Velvet
Dec. 18, 2010, 02:30 PM
Did the peeps go to the USDF course? Yes. So, they get a piece of paper saying they did. There was no real certification as they merely attended, no testing (only prepping for one). I was surprised when they can them in the first place since they had no real substance except to verify the person went.

I don't disagree with you, IY. I agree with the OP that they shouldn't just change their mind over politics. Stick with one thing or another. BTW, people get certificates for completing training courses in the "real world' all the time. They also do have value.

The testing of the candidates in the program really doesn't do much more--except make the USDF more money. It's not doing anything to the industry. It's not improving things for the state of dressage in the US. They need to just give it up. If they really wanted to do something to help the industry, then just keep having sessions to train people and give them certificates for completion of courses so that they can list those on their site. Kind of like the whole University program. Just shows they might have more knowledge. But as in the real world, the proof will still always be in the pudding. It's what you can do and what your students can do that matters. The program is useless for testing people's real skills and way of teaching. It only tests their ability to learn how to pass a test.

ThreeFigs
Dec. 18, 2010, 02:39 PM
Heh.

I just received my "diploma" from USDF U. All I did was attend a symposium and various offerings at the last convention I attended.

Good stuff, for the most part, augments my knowledge base a bit, give me ideas for teaching and training, etc., etc., but I didn't have to take a test or write an essay to earn the credits. I listened to lectures & demostrations and the overall cost was less than what these associates had to pay to sit through the instructor courses.

So while they haven't yet earned full certification, they have certainly supported USDF's program and gleaned information from the course. That should count for something, unless USDF wants to lose more credibility. These associates may eventually go for the certification, but why discourage & alienate them by denying them some props for attending the courses?

I just visited the USDF site and see that I can earn more USDF U credits by watching various videos of symposia and the like. Now that's a good idea. I can't get to all the conventions with their educational offerings -- just not possible with two aging parents to watch out for.

HFSH
Dec. 18, 2010, 08:39 PM
Why would the USDF lose credibility by eliminating the recognition of something that really doesn't count? Associates haven't tested. They've only gone through the courses. They need to prove their abilities, do the test, and become fully recognized.

I really don't understand the whining. :no: AI's have until Nov 30, 2012 to finish by testing. They don't HAVE to go through the pre-certification, unless they want to. They can just test. So test already and prove yourself.

Unless you don't think you're good enough to pass. And then the USDF is warranted is dissolving the AI, isn't it?

Isabeau Z Solace
Dec. 18, 2010, 10:14 PM
I'm guessing I know exactly why the USDF chose to 'recognize associates,' at least initially. They needed to flesh out the ranks and maximize the # of people who (looked like they) were 'participating.'

I will quote from the July/August 2010 USDF Connection.
page 39

"The Road to Instructor Certification. What does it take to earn USDF credentials ? An associate instructor recounts her journey. I am now a USDF associate instructor with plans to attend the next final exam for USDF instructor/trainer certification."

So from the USDF's current stance, apparently the most important part of the above is the participant's intention to do further work. But the article is not about that at all.

The article is about how her work to date had earned her USDF credentials. How valuable this work was. How much more she has learned by doing it. About how much she got out of her $2762 investment and time spent at the workshops.

Sure seemed to me like USDF was trying to promote the value of the AI designation. They also profiled AIs in the Regional USDF certified instructor profiles they do in the magazine.

In light of all this previous recognition, the recent announcement does seem like a 180degree slap upside the face to the AI participants they had been previously recognizing and promoting.