Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, part of the School of Public Health-Bloomington, has launched a new professional development program, the Professional Interpretation Certificate Program.
The first component of this program is Fundamentals in Interpretation, and it is now available. Though similar in some content, this certificate is different than the classroom-based Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG), offered by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) in regional classes throughout the U.S. Certification through the CIG adds an in-person learning experience that also requires demonstration of skills to experts.
Both of these offerings are in turn followed by another online program offered by the Eppley Institute, Intermediate Methods in Interpretation, which expands on the skills taught in Fundamentals and the CIG. It is anticipated that this component will be available in October 2017.
The Eppley Institute is developing this program using input from experts from city and state parks, federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and NAI. The purpose of the Professional Interpretation Certificate Program is to provide high-quality development opportunities and resources for interpreters in an online format.
“Our efforts were to gather some of the leading experts in interpretation to advance the profession, the quality of the experience for the public visiting natural and heritage places, and to create a collaboration that benefits NAI and Indiana University,” said Steve Wolter, 20-year leader of the Eppley Institute. “The online courses provide opportunity and add depth to the development opportunities afforded interpreters who are critical to our appreciation and understanding of our heritage.”
- Fundamentals in Interpretation is intended for interpreters new to the profession or those who would like a refresher in the basics of interpretation. The certificate includes four specific e-courses: Foundations of Interpretation, Knowing and Connecting to Your Audience, Interpretive Talk, and Roving and Informal Interpretation.
- Created in partnership with NAI, the intermediate certificate, Intermediate Methods in Interpretation, expands on the skills taught in Fundamentals and the CIG. This program also includes four specific e-courses: Essential Elements of Interpretive Writing, Social and Nonpersonal Interpretation, Guided Interpretive Programs, and Introduction to Dialogic Interpretation.
While it is not required to complete Fundamentals or the CIG prior to Methods, students in this program do need a solid foundation in interpretation, which can be provided by Fundamentals or the CIG.
“We are excited to partner with the Eppley Institute to develop online courses, which will lead to an intermediate certificate in interpretation,” said Margo Carlock, Executive Director of NAI. “These courses will build upon the skills learned in our Certified Interpretive Guide program and help prepare interpreters for the next level – the Certified Heritage Interpreter professional certification.”
Interested persons may wish to seek certification as a Certified Heritage Interpreter after completing Intermediate Methods. Certified Heritage Interpreters must demonstrate a basic knowledge of several skills and practices, and the Professional Interpretation Certificate Program can help interpreters with the skills needed to reach this certification.
Indiana University has a long history of providing education and training in interpretation. Beginning in the 1950’s, the University began teaching interpretation and environmental education at Bradford Woods, continuing through to this day. In 2002, the Eppley Institute at Indiana University partnered with the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program to develop a suite of competency-based online courses. This partnership resulted in more than eight courses, including a certificate in History, Parks, and Interpretation: Civil War to Civil Rights. Currently over 4,000 students are registered for interpretation e-courses with Eppley.
The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources in settings such as parks, zoos, museums, nature centers, aquaria, botanical gardens, and historical sites. For more than 50 years, NAI and its parent organizations have encouraged networking, training, and collaboration among members and partners in support of our mission: inspiring leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. Throughout its tenure certifying interpreters, NAI has certified over 25,000 across the globe.
For more information on the Professional Interpretation Certificate Program, or other online training opportunities in interpretation, contact Nona Henderson from the Eppley Institute at (812) 855-0864 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the CIG, CHI, or other NAI training, contact Emily Jacobs from NAI at email@example.com.
Visit http://provalenslearning.com/certificate-programs/interpretation-certificate-program to learn more and register today.