After twenty years of constant changes and improvements to the Institute’s core program, there is always room to grow and expand. So, this past October, during the annual instructor conference, we revamped, rewrote, organized and improved every aspect of the 6 programs taught at the Institute.
The first improvement was to unite all 19 instructors by creating departments and deciding which faculty members would serve on each department. This may sound simple at first, but when one considers that all the instructors teach on independent weekends away from each other you can see the challenge of making certain the materials flow from one class to another. And, that was the very challenge that Dr. Baker, our Director of Education, and Amy Jo Howard, our Asst. Director of Education, presented to the instructing staff. We are creating not only a smooth transition from level one courses to level two courses but also a bridge from topic to topic.
It is very important to create a strong foundation in our curriculum: a foundation that allows a student to take further classes at the Institute and other higher learning facilities without fear of not knowing and understanding key concepts to build from. What has always and will continue to be great about the Institute is our ability to present multiple fields of study with great cohesiveness while still allowing for various theories, views and experiences through our materials and instructing staff.
Now, with the faculty members closely comparing teaching materials and attending each others’ classes, we are able to repeat core materials in a way that brings confidence and not be redundant in areas that are easy to understand.
It is also agreed amongst the instructing staff that the students are arriving with more and more of a foundation in natural health than in the early years when it was not common knowledge. This is exciting and challenges us to continually evolve the program. We have learned so much about teaching and pioneering a school of natural health in the 21st century that now, with twenty years under our belt, we know the next twenty will be even more amazing!
The first area for improvement was a complete revamping of the herbal program with additional classes, research portions, hands on, multiple instructors per session in the advanced classes and more time outside! The classes have been renamed to better suit their topics and course descriptions will quickly be available on the web site. Current students will have no scheduling or course material conflicts. Everything is ready to roll for 2015 and beyond. The nutrition and food classes changed and increased to meet the challenge of our modern food crisis. Sounds hopeful and yummy!
So, thank you to our amazing students, alumni, past and current instructors for seeing this incredible challenge through and to our Director of Administration, Julie Wagester, for giving us the guidance and format to see it through! The departments and faculty members are listed to the right.
Biology Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Dara Clark, Heather Dexter, Kathryn Doran-Fisher, Amy Jo Howard
Body Work Department Faculty: Michelle Barber, Bonnie Engels, Amy Jo Howard, Laura Johnson, Christina Roy
Doula Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Beth Barbeau, Heather Dexter
Examination Board Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Michelle Barber, Dara Clark, Heather Dexter, Amy Jo Howard, Beth Barbeau, Diane Sack
Herbology and Plant Essences Department Faculty: Nia Aguirre, Bessheen Baker, Jan Doerr, Amy Jo Howard, Suzy Sikora
History, Law & Current Events Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Amy Jo Howard, Nicole Paquin
Homeopathy Department Faculty: Jackie Featherly, Amy Jo Howard
Nutrition Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Kathryn Doran-Fisher, Nancy Fodor, Barb Nurenberg
Subtle Energy Healing Department Faculty: Bessheen Baker, Amy Jo Howard, Jill Mattson, Sarah Mokma, Diane Sack