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E nexcom approvals july 13, 2013 (jvo)

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Coming changes to our USCG Auxiliary public education program.

Coming changes to our USCG Auxiliary public education program.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. PUBLIC EDUCATION – THE WAY FORWARD (As approved by NEXCOM on July 11, 2013) Background The necessity for substantial improvements in the Auxiliary public Education (PE) program is now well understood. E Directorate personnel made a commitment to provide a plan to revitalize this program. On 30 March 2013 we submitted a plan (called the Way Forward for PE courses) to increase the effectiveness of the PE program for in-class, instructor-led courses. This plan was submitted in written form and briefed orally to NEXCOM members in a teleconference shortly thereafter. Although the feedback on the written report and oral briefing was favorable, NEXCOM decided to defer a decision on the recommendations at that time—deferring the decision until a recommendation was forthcoming on how to proceed with respect to electronic courses. That decision has been made and the following PE plans reflect approval of both the classroom and internet recommendations. Recommendations -In-Class courses . About Boating Safely: Continue teaching this NASBLA-approved 8-hour course for the next three years (length of the NASBLA approval cycle). Then consider reducing the content to only what’s needed to comply with NASBLA requirements – about a 16 page reduction. Navegando America: This is the Spanish edition of About Boating Safely. We will have personnel from the Interpreter Corps review this course to ensure the Spanish translation is suitable generic, but otherwise continue the course in parallel with ABS. Boating Skills and Seamanship: Continue this newly NASBLA-approved course (14th Edition) for at least the next three years (when NASBLA review and re-approval is required) issuing corrections and updates as necessary. Some of the content of this course will be used in our forthcoming electronic courses as well as short classroom courses. (see below). Sailing Skills and Seamanship (S&S): In content this NASBLA-approved course is similar to the BS&S course, except intended for sailors. Although popular with a devoted subset of instructors and some students, this course accounts for only 1.4% of sales. NASBLA-approval for the present (sixth) edition (published by McGraw-Hill) of the course expires at the end of 2013 and the present text needs updates and revisions. At the present rate of sales, we have approximately a five-year supply on hand. Therefore, we recommend drafting an addendum to the course to keep it up to date and NASBLA approved. In the longer term (two to three years) we should consider either dropping this course or trying to team up with a sailing organization. 1
  • 2. Paddlesports America: This is a four-hour five-chapter course designed to appeal to the fastest growing segment of the boating market—and a population at greater risk of a fatal accident per exposure hour. We recommend searching for partner organizations to develop a co-branded course or making necessary (but generally minor) changes to this course when the inventory situation permits. To this end we have had preliminary, but generally fruitful, contacts with key personnel from the American Canoe Association. Weekend Navigator (WN): This is our basic navigation course, accounting for approximately 1% of sales. This course has not been popular with our instructors in part because the price is relatively high and in part because of perceived quality issues—at least in comparison to an earlier more popular text written by the Auxiliary. Through at least 2014 it is necessary to continue to use this course, which will lower the cost of any inventory write-off and provide time to write an internal (Auxiliary produced) course to be available during 2015.. GPS for Mariners (GPSFM): This is a one- or two-lesson course designed to introduce boaters to the use of marine GPS navigation receivers. We recommend keeping the course for the next three years and increasing our efforts to promote the course with publications such as the Ed-Vantage. How to Read a Nautical Chart (HRNC): This is a specialized course designed to be a teaser or gateway course for more advanced courses, but has not proven popular. At the current sales rate the present inventory of the first edition will be exhausted at the end of 2013, which would be an appropriate time to drop the course. Suddenly in Command (SIC): This is a short course designed to teach those who do not normally operate the boat (e.g., spouses or significant others) how to do so in an emergency that incapacitates the operator. Despite its specialized nature, we believe that the course has potential. A new course has been written and is now in beta testing. Personal Watercraft: We recommend dropping this course—it has not proven popular and does not address the need among operators of these craft for a NASBLA-approved certification course. Based on these recommendations, the future mix of in-class courses for at least the next three years will include ABS, Navegando America, BS&S, S&S, GPSFM, and SIC. Paddlesports America or some alternative co-branded course will serve the paddlesports market. The navigation course will be re-written and the present WN course will be replaced. HRNC and the personal watercraft course will be dropped. Table C-1 (at end of document) provides a recommended timetable. -Electronic courses It is important for the Auxiliary to participate in the growing market for electronic courses. These courses have appeal for many increasingly tech-savvy boaters and the Auxiliary is a late entrant to this market. Already electronic courses have grown to enjoy approximately a 50% share of market. This trend is likely to continue. NEXCOM approvals: In a conference call on July 11, 2013, NEXCOM agreed, subject to a general National Board agreement, to the following internet entry by the Auxiliary. 2
  • 3. Negotiate with Boat ED to produce one enhanced e-book (ee-book) and have it market ready early in 2014. Negotiate with Boat US to produce one short on line course and have it market ready early in 2014. The difference between on on-line ‘course’ and an ee-book is slight with the on line course being somewhat longer, addressing more than one topic, having a test for completion and a passing certificate. What topics to address will be decided by E, with impute from the vendors. Contracting for these two ventures is the responsibility of the CGAuxA. That task needs to be completed by Sept, 1, 2013. Recommendations for public education Timetable and priorities In-Class courses: Suddenly In Command: Complete the new course for introduction at NACON 2013.(Done) Personal Water Craft Course: Announce discontinuance and textbook distribution plan at NACON 2013. Paddlesports America: Institute a search for a partner immediately. Decide on a partner and finalize an agreement by Nov. 1, 2013. Product to follow ASAP. Modern Marine Navigation: Create a team, by 1 Sept.2013, to produce this new navigation suite of courses. Complete the first section of the course – Basic Navigation and GPS by 1 April, 2014. Complete the Advanced Navigation section by 1 Jan. 2015. As these sections of the new Modern Marine Navigation suite are created, the present Weekend Navigator, How to Read a Nautical Chart and GPS for Mariners will be phased out. We will have a new navigation course available during 2015. Sailing Skills & Seamanship: Initiate the NASBLA approval process immediately as such approval needs to be complete by year-end 2013 and, in any event, no later than 30 June 2014.. The re-approval will carry the course for the next three years. Towards the end of that time frame the Auxiliary will need to make a decision on what to do about teaching sailing courses. Boating Skills & Seamanship: The present BS&S course will remain as is for the next three years. The individual chapters within the textbook, however, will undergo course delivery changes. ABS: No immediate changes necessary. 3
  • 4. Navegando America: No immediate changes necessary. Work with Boat-Ed to revise text if the examination by Interpreter Corps personnel indicates that language changes are necessary. Electronic Courses Select topics for both the ee-book from Boat Ed and the short course from Boat US no later than NACON. Finalize negotiations with successful vendor by 15 Sept 2013—this task to be completed by CG Aux. Assn. personnel. MARKETING DIVISION – This new Division, within the E-Directorate, will be staffed and charged by 1 Sept. 2013. ELECTRONIC MEDIA – This new Division, within the E-Directorate, will be staffed and charged by 1 Nov. 2013. 4