Discover what's going on in equine-assisted activities and therapies from PATH Intl. CEO Kathy Alm
Kathy Alm
In the Field

A Quarterly Communication From

PATH Intl. CEO Kathy Alm

June 2017 
I like to approach life as a lifelong learner, always seeing the new possibilities additional information or education can bring. I know from my conversations with many of you that PATH Intl. members are also hungry for education and information. Some of that may have to do with continuing education requirements put in place to ensure ongoing learning that benefits your participants. But some of it is the natural passion many of you bring to equine-assisted activities and therapies and the desire to learn all you can to improve your work.

As important as ongoing education is, one reality we have learned is the volunteer/part-time nature of this business for many professionals. This leads to minimal, if any, support for ongoing education. Even in established centers, where there are full-time jobs and some educational support, education is often one of the first budget items reduced or cut when finances are tight.

In response to this reality, PATH Intl. embarked on a plan to make education more affordable and accessible to our members. One of the first initiatives was making more education available online. This included recording presentations at the international conference (35 since 2014, purchased 599 times in 2017 to date by people in seven countries), offering webinars (204 were watched this year to date), and developing online, multi-week courses focused on a particular topic (6 since 2015, enjoyed by 451 learners so far). We work to offer relevant topics that are low-cost and easily accessible from wherever learners choose to log on. So far in 2017, 1,175 online education products have been purchased.

In addition, this year we added the PATH Intl. Virtual Conference to great success. More than 200 people participated, including several non-members and twenty-four centers. I joined the conference on and off throughout the two days and was thrilled to see the interaction and reaction to the presenters. Although the presentations were recorded, there was a chat feature available so attendees could ask questions or make comments to each other during the presentation and then with the presenter live at the end of each presentation. As one virtual attendee said, "I am not able to attend national conferences very often or at all so this was a great resource and help in allowing me to get some CEUs. The networking was also amazing."

Last, but definitely not least, we reviewed the regional and international conferences to see how we could maintain the focus on education and networking (the top priorities for membership) while streamlining to reduce cost and increase attendance. I am happy to report the regional conferences have been enjoying increased attendance. I also want to give a big shout out to the region leadership teams and conference committee volunteers who help make that happen. And, as of this writing, we expect to lower the international conference registration fee by more than $100 this year! We remained focused on the education while making changes to some of the ancillary events, such as having an awards luncheon instead of an evening banquet. Look for more details in the international conference registration booklet that will be coming in July with your summer issue of PATH Intl. Strides magazine.

For announcements of new products and the most up-to-date education opportunities, watch for the PATH Intl. Education eNews the last Wednesday of each month. Or click here to see what's currently available.

Continuing education is invaluable for ensuring your success and that of your centers and participants. Whether you access education locally or take advantage of offerings from PATH Intl., I encourage everyone to be a lifelong learner.

All the best,
Kathy Alm sig

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