In a normal year, about now, the CTPA would be opening registration for the Fall Session of Arboriculture 101. The Spring Session would have been over since early April. An opportunity for people in the class to take the written exam would be scheduled for mid-May. We would be expecting several people from the class to be qualified in time to take the oral exam, to be given in early June.
Needless to say, this is not a normal year.
Right now, our plans for the Fall Session are up in the air. We don’t know what to promise people. The preferred scenario, that we fill our small classroom with 40 or so committed students and hold the classes as per usual, does not seem likely. More likely options are to hold the class with a fewer number of people, perhaps in a larger space, or to hold the classes electronically. While the second option, putting the classes on Zoom, might seem the most realistic, there are downsides. We wonder about class quality and how much is missed without the classroom experience. For instructors, it is much easier to give a 3-hour class with a live audience than it is to stay focused and engaged while staring at a computer screen. The same is just as true for the students.
Fortunately, we do not have to make a decision right now. In order to ease the minds of those people interested in enrolling in Arboriculture 101, we are now accepting registrations for the Fall Session. We do this with the clear caveat that we don’t know even if we will hold the Fall Session, much less what form they will take. PLEASE NOTE – WE ARE ASKING PEOPLE NOT TO SEND MONEY WITH THE REGISTRATION FORM. We are asking people not to send money for two reasons. The first is the uncertainty about the class. The second reason – in these difficult times, we don’t want people to feel pressured to set aside money they might have a need for right now.
All of this is spelled out on our On-Line Registration page. We do encourage people to sign up. Depending upon how many people sign-up, we will make every effort to include those people in the next class.
As for completing the Spring Class – since the lock-down occurred before the class finished, that too is on hold. We are committed to completing those classes as soon as we can – students in that class are aware of our plans.
Currently, no written Arborist Exams are being given by DEEP. That is a big factor in our planning. The Tree Protection Examining Board is planning to hold the June tree ID and oral exams as scheduled, but with social distancing measures in place. Only people who had qualified by early March, the time the last written exams were given, will be eligible to take the June TPX exams.
This will be over at some point. When it is, we will have a lot of catching up to do. We mean that in several different ways.
Everyone, be safe and be careful.