Pre-Approved Advanced Training Opportunities
Note: PCTMN members who haven’t been on a hike can count the hours as Advanced Training, and members who help lead the hike can count them as Volunteer hours.
The purpose of advanced training is to provide Texas Master Naturalists an opportunity to focus their interests on one, or a few, specific topics that interest them. Also, advanced training on an annual basis promotes continued learning and development. Advanced training is a benefit in itself, providing the experienced Master Naturalist with tools to work in more advanced volunteer efforts. Although the State Texas Master Naturalist program may occasionally provide statewide or regional advanced training opportunities, it is generally the responsibility of the chapter to insure that there are sufficient advanced training opportunities offered so that members can attain their 8-hour minimum requirement. In addition, the local chapter should be a clearinghouse for notifying members of approved advanced training opportunities that exist outside the chapter boundaries.
Advanced training courses may be made available directly through AgriLife Extension, TPWD, or any number of short-courses provided by universities or nature centers. One way for a chapter’s trainees to meet their advanced training requirements is by actually sponsoring the advanced training sessions. The chapter’s Local Coordinating Committee, Advanced Training Committee or equivalent must pre-approve all advanced training opportunities before the volunteer attends. Educational television shows are not a form of advanced training and therefore should not be approved as such. Advanced training hours are also counted one hour for each hour of advanced training, however travel time is not included for advanced training hours. Pre-approval must be obtained for an advanced training session that is outside the chapter boundaries.
Chapter Coordinators and/or the Chapter Advanced Training Committee should use the following criteria or ask the following questions of the opportunity when reviewing and approving Advanced Training Opportunities:
Does the Advanced Training opportunity:
1. Promote continued learning and development of naturalist skills?
2. Provide Master Naturalists with knowledge and skills to work in volunteer efforts?
3. Direct trained volunteers toward specific programs in need of their services?
4. Provide practical information and training for application in volunteer efforts?
5. Take advantage of local partnerships?
6. Provide Master Naturalists an opportunity to focus their interests in one or a few specific topics?
7. Build on the core curriculum initially provided by the local chapter?
8. Provide natural resource management issues and information applicable to Texas?
Advanced Training opportunities must meet the following criteria: 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.
It is suggested that the remaining criteria also be a part of the opportunity