The following broad based goals are submitted by the THSOA Education Committee for further review, discussion, amendment and prioritization:
- Improve and increase the knowledge level and skills of American hydrographers.
- Encourage and support the development of formal education and training programs at all levels: pre-collegiate, undergraduate, graduate and continuing education for working professionals.
- Increase national awareness of hydrography as a profession and its relevancy to science, engineering, commerce (port development and maintenance, resource assessment and management, export and import shipping, recreation, etc.) and national defense.
- Increase the number of students in academic and vocational hydrographic training programs within the United States.
We have assessed that renewed and invigorated focus of educational efforts should address the following triad: Within The Membership, Outside The Membership (with specific focus on those individuals that should be recruited into the membership) and the General Public. Each of these groups is addressed below with “sub-goals” established specific to each group.
WITHIN THE MEMBERSHIP – OFFER STRUCTURED TRAINING IN SUPPORT OF CERTIFICATION AND GENERAL “CROSS-TRAINING”
- Survey current THSOA membership about what they perceive are the current educational / skill set gaps within the industry.
- Provide a well laid out study guide, to include references and practice exams, to support certification efforts for members working within the industry.
- Create online course content in support of certification efforts and general cross training. Content should be presented by noted subject matter experts and peer reviewed prior to posting.
- Consider reinstitution of a newsletter with real world “lessons learned”, project applications, “members on the move”, etc.
- Create a number of “member profiles”, membership “breakdown / demographics” and a “salary survey” for distribution as per below in support of recruiting efforts.
- Create a means of liaison with other professional organizations – for example PLS/PE/PG (state chapters), AUVSI, MTS.
- Created a recommended reading list for members.
- Create workshops (similar to USACE “Prospect” courses) in support of certification preps – held in conjunction with national conferences.
- Channel Corporate Member (specifically manufacturers) support to proper university “feeder” programs on a regional basis.
- Identify and examine successful foreign hydrographic training programs and incorporate their best practices into THSOA’s education program(s).
OUTSIDE THE MEMBERSHIP AS A RECRUITING TOOL – IDENTIFY AND APPROACH PROPER UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS IN A PRO-ACTIVE MANNER IN AS A RECRUITING EFFORT TO INCREASE MEMBERSHIP AND AWARENESS
- Identify university programs whose curriculums serve well as a “feeder” to careers within our industry and assign “Hydro Heroes” for liaison.
- Identify volunteers on a regional basis to conduct “career day” presentations (Richard Byrd’s PPT as an example) at “feeder” university programs.
- Identify volunteers on a regional basis to liaison with high school science fairs, ROV competitions (STEM, Sea Perch, etc.), “Robot Wars” to present “career day” presentations
- Create a summer co-op / internship listing available to Corporate Members
- Publicize and promote THSOA scholarship opportunities – prioritize efforts with university programs actively engaged in any of the above.
GENERAL PUBLIC - BROADEN EXPOSURE OF HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYING AS A CAREER CHOICE
- Create a page on the THSOA website that would draw www hits on key words such as “career”. The page would be designed to “showcase” careers within our industry
- Explore the possibilities of a “documentary” on career opportunities within our industry – Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc.