DUBOIS – This summer, the Penn State DuBois Wildlife Technology Program earned a continued five-year accreditation with the North American Wildlife Technology Association (NAWTA).
This association accredits hands-on, technical programs in Canada and the United States that demonstrate updated curriculum, current technology and concepts and professional development.
The Penn State DuBois program has been accredited by NAWTA for 35 years and celebrates this continued accreditation as a testament to the quality of the program.
The Wildlife Technology Program is the only accredited two-year program in Pennsylvania and unique in the Penn State System. NAWTA was started in part by a former faculty member at Penn State DuBois in 1984.
Keely Roen, assistant teaching professor in the Wildlife Technology Program said, “Our relationship with NAWTA is extremely important for the maintenance of relevant concepts and techniques.
“We learn what other institutions are teaching, what is regionally important for schools, what new labs or equipment they are using and what their graduates are saying.
“NAWTA reviews our curriculum in variety of categories from field techniques and professional communication to mechanical skills. Earning accreditation tells us that we are doing what we should be doing for our students and we are meeting their high standards.”
Roen traveled to Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, S.C., where she made presentations about the program before the NAWTA accrediting board.
She said, “While I did the presentation, it is really my colleagues Emily Thomas, Carrie O’Brien and Nate Weyandt that make the program the success it is. We have a smaller budget and more students than almost all the other accredited programs and we have made it work.”
There are approximately 20 programs accredited through NAWTA in the United States and Canada at any time. Seven colleges presented at this year’s conference, with five earning multi-year accreditation, including Penn State DuBois. Five years is the maximum term of accreditation that can be earned.
According to NAWTA, its accreditation standards ensure that graduates of accredited institutions possess requisite job-ready skills sought after by employers to meet the increasing diverse needs of society and the profession of wildlife and fisheries science and management.