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Thread: Prerequisites

  1. #1

    Prerequisites

    If you are signed up for a class at anything other than "Fundamental Level" but you have literally not touched a gun for SEVERAL MONTHS... this goes beyond a clue.

    This is called a red flag.

    Prerequisites are there as minimum requirements. They can never be all-encompassing, but if you cannot COMFORTABLY meet all course prerequisites at the beginning, you are engaging in self-delusion.



    The above applies specifically to the classes that I teach, but I think applies across most of the spectrum.
    Protective Shooting Concepts
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  2. #2
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    I'm kind of interested in this as a student. I've never submitted a list of previous courses to an instructor even when previous courses were supposedly required, and never had an instructor ask about the ability to meet prereq's or seen anyone get crapped at for not meeting them. There is always a list of prereq's but I don't see any enforcement on my end.

    Do instructors ever check up on their students with other instructors in the community to vet their abilities? I've only ever seen two unsafe situations, both fairly minor, but I would feel better if there was some kind of pre-class communication about the folks on the class list.

  3. #3
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    Abso-freaking-lutely. I appreciate that people want to get more, better, "higher level" training. I appreciate that people want to push themselves. But when a black and white prereq is announced for a class like you must be able to hit a 5.5" circle at 5yd on demand and you can't do that, why would you sign up for the class?
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TriumphRat675 View Post
    I'm kind of interested in this as a student. I've never submitted a list of previous courses to an instructor even when previous courses were supposedly required, and never had an instructor ask about the ability to meet prereq's or seen anyone get crapped at for not meeting them. There is always a list of prereq's but I don't see any enforcement on my end.

    Do instructors ever check up on their students with other instructors in the community to vet their abilities? I've only ever seen two unsafe situations, both fairly minor, but I would feel better if there was some kind of pre-class communication about the folks on the class list.
    It's not the job of an instructor to act as a private investigator. It is the instructor's job to provide clear prerequisites in several categories so that the student can self-vet.

    For my classes I have prerequisites like "hours of formal training" which is the "on paper" portion. I then have a performance prereq: you should be able to do X, Y, and Z from this range within this timeframe comfortably. Finally there's the gear prereq... when it states that you need electronic earpro and/or SF Sonic Defender earpro, it's not a "nice to have" thing. It's a required prerequisite. Why? So you can hear what is being said and you don't keep pulling your earplugs out asking "What did he say?"

    So it's my job to provide thoughtful prerequisites. It's the students job to take them seriously. The last thing an instructor wants to do is refund someone's money within the first 10 minutes of shooting stating "you don't belong here". However, the second-to-last thing an instructor wants to do is hold back a class for an inordinate amount of remediation.
    Protective Shooting Concepts
    www.protectiveshootingconcepts.com
    PSC on Facebook
    Based out of Western Pennsylvania

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriumphRat675 View Post
    Do instructors ever check up on their students with other instructors in the community to vet their abilities? I've only ever seen two unsafe situations, both fairly minor, but I would feel better if there was some kind of pre-class communication about the folks on the class list.
    Using previous training certificates as a prereq is a mistake. Let's take Rogers Shooting School as an example. Anyone who's attended will tell you it's a tough, detailed class. So if you're a graduate of RSS does that make you qualified to take someone else's class? Of course not. Maybe you graduated with 124 out of 125 on the "test." Maybe you graduated with 24 out of 125. The fact that you were present doesn't mean you listened and certainly doesn't mean you learned anything.

    I've also had students who've never received any formal training but showed up to AFHF and kicked butt.

    The number of certificates in your desk drawer doesn't indicate how good a shooter (or student) you are.

    That's why I use skill-based prerequisites. Either you have good enough marksmanship fundamentals to hit x-target in y-seconds at z-yards, or you don't. The first dozen or so shots fired at any of my classes is a skill evaluation and folks who aren't able to meet the prereq get pulled aside and given a stern talking to. I don't kick anyone out for being a lousy shot but I do make sure they know I'm not going to stand over their shoulder the entire weekend being their personal dedicated trainer at the other students' expense.
    Donate to Rampage For The Cure!
    Todd Louis Green, pistol-training.com Train hard & stay safe!
    "Speed is the essence of war."
    Sun Tzu | Sometimes the fastest way to get fast is to go faster.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TriumphRat675 View Post
    I'm kind of interested in this as a student. I've never submitted a list of previous courses to an instructor even when previous courses were supposedly required, and never had an instructor ask about the ability to meet prereq's or seen anyone get crapped at for not meeting them. There is always a list of prereq's but I don't see any enforcement on my end.

    Do instructors ever check up on their students with other instructors in the community to vet their abilities? I've only ever seen two unsafe situations, both fairly minor, but I would feel better if there was some kind of pre-class communication about the folks on the class list.
    I have attended courses at the GA Public Safety Training Center where there was a "shoot in" course of fire in which the student had to achieve a minimum score to attend the course. After all of the registration paperwork was completed, the students were all taken to the range to shoot the "shoot in". Those that failed were sent packing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Cunningham View Post
    It's not the job of an instructor to act as a private investigator. It is the instructor's job to provide clear prerequisites in several categories so that the student can self-vet...it's my job to provide thoughtful prerequisites. It's the students job to take them seriously. The last thing an instructor wants to do is refund someone's money within the first 10 minutes of shooting stating "you don't belong here". However, the second-to-last thing an instructor wants to do is hold back a class for an inordinate amount of remediation.
    Completely agree, but obviously it doesn't always happen that way. What do you do with the deluded people? Kick 'em out? I assume yes if they've got unsafe gun handling skills. I've also heard of this not happening when it should have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Cunningham View Post
    For my classes I have prerequisites like "hours of formal training" which is the "on paper" portion. I then have a performance prereq: you should be able to do X, Y, and Z from this range within this timeframe comfortably.
    How do you apply the "hours of formal training" requirement? Or is it just laid out there for the student's reference, in which case it is more of a guideline than a true prereq? Example: my state's CHL training will give you umpteen hours of largely worthless instruction. Would that count, and do your students have to provide evidence of the training?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
    Using previous training certificates as a prereq is a mistake...That's why I use skill-based prerequisites. Either you have good enough marksmanship fundamentals to hit x-target in y-seconds at z-yards, or you don't.
    While this makes sense , I personally am more inclined to trust a new guy with a Rogers background more than a new guy with no background. Kind of like how a Taurus might pass the 2,000 round challenge but an HK is more likely to pass it. If that's the case, and all other things being equal, wouldn't a student's documented background from other courses be of interest and useful to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlw View Post
    I have attended courses at the GA Public Safety Training Center where there was a "shoot in" course of fire in which the student had to achieve a minimum score to attend the course. After all of the registration paperwork was completed, the students were all taken to the range to shoot the "shoot in". Those that failed were sent packing.
    This, coupled with an immediate dismissal for poor or unsafe gunhandling, seems like the best way to go to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriumphRat675 View Post
    While this makes sense , I personally am more inclined to trust a new guy with a Rogers background more than a new guy with no background. Kind of like how a Taurus might pass the 2,000 round challenge but an HK is more likely to pass it. If that's the case, and all other things being equal, wouldn't a student's documented background from other courses be of interest and useful to you?
    A student's course history is definitely of interest. But it rarely provides anything definitive about his skill or safety. Be present in a class doesn't mean the student paid attention, learned anything, or even managed to avoid getting a stern talking to once or twice for safety issues.

    Part of the reason I run students through the F.A.S.T. individually at the beginning of each class is to establish their safe gun handling (or lack thereof).

    This, coupled with an immediate dismissal for poor or unsafe gunhandling, seems like the best way to go to me.
    That's far easier to pull off when it's a government agency providing training for government personnel.

    For a "commercial" instructor it would be the kiss of death:

    Please pay $500 plus travel expenses, time off from work, ammo, etc. to come to my class where, if you have a bad day during the initial test, you'll be kicked out.

    Do I give him a refund, thus costing me $500 because he couldn't cut it? He'd still have the travel costs and such to absorb.

    Do I not give him a refund, thus telling him that he's risking all that time & money? Not a lot of students are going to show up for a class under those circumstances.
    Donate to Rampage For The Cure!
    Todd Louis Green, pistol-training.com Train hard & stay safe!
    "Speed is the essence of war."
    Sun Tzu | Sometimes the fastest way to get fast is to go faster.

  9. #9
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    Attendance has no bearing on whether or not someone learned the lessons, in my experience.
    Staff blogger for Gun Nuts Media

  10. #10
    Cottonheaded Ninnymuggins
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
    That's why I use skill-based prerequisites. Either you have good enough marksmanship fundamentals to hit x-target in y-seconds at z-yards, or you don't. The first dozen or so shots fired at any of my classes is a skill evaluation and folks who aren't able to meet the prereq get pulled aside and given a stern talking to. I don't kick anyone out for being a lousy shot but I do make sure they know I'm not going to stand over their shoulder the entire weekend being their personal dedicated trainer at the other students' expense.
    I think that's about all you can do until a safety issue becomes evident. It becomes an issue of the instructor making sure the weak link doesn't hold the whole class back, and that can be a burden, but unless its an invite only class or the prerequisite is a basic class from the same instructor, I'm not sure how you avoid getting a few people over their head from time to time.

    For most open enrollment classes I see that working. Some classes have same-instructor prereqs, like having ECQC before VCAST or AFHF before AFHS, make a lot of sense for more advanced classes and seem more enforceable. It doesn't mean you won't have have someone who was "that guy" in the standard class trying to take the advanced class, but at least the instructor might have an opportunity to weed that person out.
    --Josh
    "Scan and assess? No, I'm just looking around to see if anyone saw me yoink the last shot..."

 

 

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