We’re adding two new certification programs to our list of courses to go along with the Journeyman course: the Expedition Instructor (XI) and Expedition Instructor Trainer (XIT). They exist as add-ons to our current yearlong immersion program. There are no extra courses that need to be taken, nor is there any extra tuition involved. There is, however, a significant amount of extra work and documentation.
A good way to think of them is like a degree program, where it takes several courses plus other work in order to get the degree. I’ll be writing a lot more about them in the coming days, but before I go too far into explaining what they are I want to be clear about what they’re not. They’re documentation-based and designed to stand on their own merits, not simply a piece of paper. To succesfully complete one there are required courses, required trips, benchmarks consisting of shelters to sleep in, crafts to make, etc., books to read and academic work to complete, and an in-depth nature study curriculum. They’re not for the intellectually lazy, or for those with a passing interest in bushcraft, guiding and outdoor living.
Some people come through our immersion programs as an exploration, or as a semester in the woods. We encourage this, which is why we’re designing our certification programs as add-ons to our current yearlong and summer programs. This will allow those who want to participate in a single immersion program for college credit or personal interest to do so. It will also allow those seeking professional development to get what they’re after. Thus our immersion programs are still open to all, but for those seeking professional training and development, the bar of certification is set high.
The Journeyman, XI and XIT certifications are approved by the Post 9/11 GI Bill. More on the XI program tomorrow.