All of Liberty's instructors are certified?
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PhysicsMan
September 14, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
At least it says so on their website:

http://www.skiliberty.com/newguest/newguestafter.htm

Whazzup?

BTW, nice new look to the Liberty and WT websites (I haven't checked out RT yet).

Tom / PM
Jim
September 14, 2004
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Hmmm.... if its true, that's something new. My understanding is that most of the instructors are PSIA certified (at least level I). However, in years past, there would always be new instructors without any certification (many without teaching experience). Liberty would train them so that they could teach basics and as the season wore on, they would eventually get their certification (or fail and have to try again the following year or just drop out). Not sure how its going to work this year. If you a new skier, it shouldn't matter much either way. If your an intermediate or advanced skier, they aren't going to put a newbie instructor with you.
PhysicsMan
September 14, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
That's exactly what happens at my resort (Whitetail) as well, and is exactly why I felt their statement was so odd.

At WT, my very rough estimate is that if you include ALL of the instructors (ie, include the younger ones that just teach kids), probably about half are not even PSIA members, let alone certified.

At WT, if you limit your scope to instructors that teach adults, the numbers are much better, with probably 2/3rds at least at Level I.

My understanding is that many Rocky Mtn resorts have a much lower PSIA uncertified fraction because the RM division of PSIA accepts a several day new instructor training clinic as equivalent to PSIA-E's two day "First Tracks" program, so with just one more day for testing, many new instructors get their L-I even before they have taught a single class (somebody correct me if this is not correct). OTOH, PSIA-E has a minimum number of teaching contact hours required b4 you can even register for your L-I exam.

Tom / PM
bawalker
September 15, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
Do these certifications apply to snowboard instructors or just skiing instructors? I am considering getting an instructor job teaching basic intro snowboarding to newbies and would definately love to become certified. Or is this a whole different world?
Jim
September 15, 2004
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Tom - you certainly have more knowledge about the PSIA cert process than me. I just know that it didn't seem possible that ALL Liberty instructors were certified given the influx of newbies each year.

BAWalker - unfortunately, my knowledge of the snowboard instructor cert process is even less. However, I do know for a fact that they are always looking for new instructors - skiing or boarding, so its definitely worth checking the websites to see how to sign up. Believe it or not, its not too early to start thinking about this stuff!
Otto
September 15, 2004
Member since 11/19/1999
176 posts
The PSIA cert process guarantees that some instructors will not be certified. You must have some minimum amount of teaching experience take the level 1. All resorts have new and experienced instructors without PSIA cert. At Liberty, almost all 2nd year or beyond instructors have some level of certification. Some experienced instructors (although not at Liberty) reject PSIA altogether, either for philosophical reasons or because the entire cert and re-cert process seems to keep expanding to suck money out of your wallet...

Any decent boarder who wants to teach should try it out. Snowboard instructors are in great demand.
PhysicsMan
September 16, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
Quote:

The PSIA cert process guarantees that some instructors will not be certified. You must have some minimum amount of teaching experience take the level 1. ...




Hi Otto -

I can't tell if you are disagreeing or not with what I wrote above about the process in PSIA-RM. What you said certainly is true for PSIA-E, but I'm pretty certain it's different out west. But, as I said above, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - I just checked PSIA-RM's website. Although they didn't say it in so many words, I believe the content confirms what I said above. On the page, http://www.psia-rm.org/disc_alpine.htm , you will notice that under "Professional Development Materials", they list only ITC (Instructor's Training Course), L-II, and L-III (ie, no L-I). I believe they consider the preparation for the L-I and the ITC essentially one and the same, as I described in my earlier post. I vaguely remember an EpicSki thread on this subject, but I couldn't find it on a quick search of their archives.
Otto
September 16, 2004
Member since 11/19/1999
176 posts
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything. Almost all of Liberty's instructors are PSIA. I know, I work there. However, not ALL of them are. We still teach a hell of a never-ever lesson. We have to.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 17, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts
When I joined PSIA you had to have 25 hrs. teaching in a certified ski school before you could take the exam for certtified Level 1. Your ski school Director had to sign off on this. I believe that the requirement may now be 50 hrs. Otto and Physicsman know this of course, but I post it for others who may be interested. I have gotten far more out of PSIA than I have put in. I believe that anybody who loves to share their sport with others would feel the same.
PhysicsMan
September 17, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
Er ... ok ... I certainly wasn't trying to start a Liberty vs WT fight. I was just pointing out what sounded to me like typical exaggeration from a marketing person.

I based my conclusion on an assumption that the influx, turnover and certification rates of Liberty's instructors was likely to be fairly close to that of WT, and I have a very good handle on the WT numbers.

Here is what I know about WT.

If I recall correctly, at WT last year, something like 50 or 60 non-certified people made it through the ITC and were offered jobs at our SS. Given that we have around 200 instructors, that would immediately guarantee that at lest 25% (these 1st year rookies) are uncertified. A few certified instructors did transfer in from other areas, but their numbers are so small small they don't substantially effect the conclusion.

In fact, over 25% are uncertified because many of these new instructors don't go for their L-I pin in their first year. By the end of the season, only around 10-15 of the uncerts (rookies as well as 2nd year and later) went for their L-I certification.

To work with some hard numbers, lets pick the most favorable scenario: Lets assume only 50 new 1st yr rookies, 15 of them got their L-I's in their 1st year, and that of the remaining 45, half of the 45 didn't return for a 2nd year. Thus, there would be a total of 15+22=37 2nd year instructors. So, there are a total of 50+37=87 1st and 2nd year instructors out of the entire 200 instructors, and of them only 15 are certified.

This would leave 200-87=113 third year and above veteran instructors. To take the most favorable case, lets assume ALL of those more experienced folks have at least a L-I pin (certainly not true in my experience). This means that even with the most optimistic assumptions, at most 113+15=128 of our 200 instructors (ie, 64%) have any certification, and the actual number is likely to be somewhat smaller than this.

This is what led me to make my earlier statement (which I still stand by):

>...At WT, my very rough estimate is that if you include ALL of the instructors (ie, include the younger ones that just teach kids), probably about half are not even PSIA members, let alone certified. ...

As everybody recognizes, this is "the way it is", and just like you won't have brain surgery performed by a medical student, an advanced skier won't be assigned an inexperienced instructor.

Tom / PM
Cliff
September 21, 2004
Member since 09/21/2004
22 posts
Hello! I can shed some light on this topic. My name is Cliff Kauffman and I am a level 2 AASI certified snowboard instructor at ski liberty. Not all of our snowboard instructors are certified. But we have more certified snowboard instructors than whitetail or round top. Adam Steckler is level 3 certified and east cost Dev team/examiner we have over 5 level 2 snowboard instructors and at the end of last season. Alot of our non certified instructors passed there level 1 last season. All together there are 30+ certified snowboard instructors and we are the largest snowsports school in the Area. All of the non certified instructors get there training from level 2 and above instructors at our ITC and must pass a teaching test that's is also giving by the same upper level instructors. These new instructors then will teach Beginner lessons (which is standard when you begin instructing anywhere) and attend clinics given by head trainer Adam Steckler and others to bring them up to standards.

As i mentioned before Adam is a AASI examiner which means he is the one who passes and fails people at AASI certification exams. Most of whitetail's snowboard instructors including there Snowboard head supervisor are not certified, and im not sure about round top's program I am only familiar with whitetails program. Here at liberty our trainers, our supervisors are all certified as well as most of the instructors. Which we believe makes us the best Snowboard school in the area.

I would like to take this moment and invite anyone who is interested in joining our school to contact Brad Dead our snowboard supervisor bdean@skiliberty.com or our snowsports director Steve Martin smartin@skiliberty.com. Tell them Cliff sent you!!! We are looking for people who love to snowboard with a desire to teach what they love to others while getting paid !!!!! You also get to ride for free on your days off at all snowtime inc. resorts, Discounts on food at the resort, A set number of vouchers for your friends. And improve your riding skills. There is a fee for the instructors training last year I belive it was $75 dollars but this includes your lift tickets. In essence this is the snowboard school try out. So email us!!!! We cant wait to hear from you

Cliff Kauffman
EasternSkiBum
September 22, 2004
Member since 08/20/2004
68 posts
Bravo Cliff.... I'll reiterate what Cliff said by saying please contact S. Martin if your interested in becoming a ski instructor too. All it takes is intermediate ski skills and a strong desire to learn and improve yourself while introducing others to the sport. As well as the time to commit to the schedule.

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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