Monday, June 3, 2013

How do I host an ACE Prep Course?

A lot of the incredible growth of the ACE program has come from ACE prep courses. Which leads to lots of questions at ESA HQ about "how do I host a course?". Anyone can teach a prep course, but not everyone has access to the powerpoint slides that are used in many of the presentations.  That said, the process of organizing and hosting a course is actually pretty simple. Here are the steps to host a course.

Think about your audience
Who do you want to come to your class?  Is it just your employees/staff/co-workers, or can you open this up to others in your area?  Class size is really up to you, but if you get more than just a handful of people, you'll need to also give some thought to structuring your teaching room. Will you need a microphone to speak to them? Will you need a screen and projector to display your slides?

Think about your speakers
In most cases the speaker who leads an ACE Prep Course is a BCE. The slides that many courses use were developed by Drs. Mike Merchant and Bob Davis (both BCEs). They hold the copyright and control all access. If you would like to offer a course, contact ESA and we can e-introduce you to them. Of course, you can create your own slides as well. We simply suggest that you follow the content outline for the ACE exam so that your students are as well-prepared as possible.

Organize your meeting location
The size of your audience may well determine your meeting location. If you have 3-4 people to teach then you can likely do this in almost any office. Larger classes may need to reserve a conference room at an office or even a meeting room in a local hotel.  

The larger your room, the larger your expense (most likely). You'll want to keep that in mind when you decide how much (if anything) to charge for prep course.

Market your course
Whether or not you open your course to the PMP public at large will determine how extensively you want to market your course.  If this is an in-house class only, then you'll only need to let ESA HQ know about your plans so that we can coordinate scheduling the exams. 

If you are opening up to a wider audience, be sure to alert pest control publications, your state and national pest management association, and even the general press news outlets in your area.  

For any classes that are open to the general public, we try to list them all on our website here, and then also push out to our Facebook and Twitter pages, if appropriate.  So be sure to contact ESA and we can help you market your class.

Prepare to teach the material
And finally, knuckle down to prepare your class. Be sure to set up an agenda so that you don't jump all over the many subject areas covered by the exam. We've found that a good structure for an ACE prep course tends to be a full day (about 8 hours) followed by the actual exam the following morning.

If you have specific questions on hosting a course, contact ESA and we can help get you started.