The Fiber Optic Association (FOA--www.foa.org) is now offering a "train-the-trainer" program for teachers and instructors that leads to a new certification for fiber optic instructors. This program prepares instructors for creating and teaching hands-on courses for fiber optic technician training and lab courses for university-level programs.
"The FOA was founded on the basis of education," says Jim Hayes, president and a co-founder of the organization. "However, we are not a training organization ourselves; we offer no courses for students. Since the beginning, we have focused on improving the availability of high quality education in fiber optics through program development and approval of training courses. With our new train-the-trainer program, we are working to alleviate the shortage of qualified instructors in fiber optics and offer to experienced instructors the opportunity to become a 'CFOI' - Certified Fiber Optic Instructor."
The program has been developed by college professors John Highhouse of Lincoln Trail College, a past president of The FOA, and Tom Collins of Northern Kentucky Technical College with the assistance of the FOA Board of Technical Advisors. John and Tom bring their experience as educators to this program which focuses as much o how to teach fiber optics as it does what to teach.
The FOA program includes classroom and laboratory (hands-on) sessions. The program is appropriate for instructors at professional training organizations, company trainers and educators from university level down to technical high schools. It can be incorporated in programs focused on telecommunications, IT (information technology) or computer networking. Each attendee gets a copy of the FOA-developed training program and a number of supplementary materials designed to help them develop and teach their own programs. Instructor certification is only available to those who successfully complete the course.
The initial FOA train-the-trainer program was held in July 2002, at Northern Kentucky Technical College. At least four programs are planned for 2003. Instructors interested in the program should contact The FOA via e-mail at [email protected].