A&T Updates: Fall Edition

Fire Alarm I Distance Learning

To assist chapters interested in offering Fire Alarm I, distance learning will be an option this fall. After hearing from chapters that this class generally does not yield large enough enrollment to make it a financially viable option, the IEC National A&T Committee, IEC National Education and Training Department, and IEC Oregon worked together to create this solution. IEC Oregon currently offers this course and boasts a strong and growing low-voltage program.


IEC’s Fire Alarm I course reflects the 2019 edition of NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. The textbook is available for purchase on the IEC Training Advantage bookstore website and the course will be administered through the IEC National CMS via a NICET IV-certified instructor. Completing this course allows students to sit for the NICET exam.


“We’ve finally created a solution to a nagging problem,” said A&T Chairman George Thess. “This new option increases accessibility for chapters—large or small. Cross-training their current electricians in fire alarm installation means contractor members no longer need to subcontract that work. It also creates a new revenue stream for them. It’s truly a win-win.”


The hands-on training portion of Fire Alarm I is still being confirmed. There are two options being discussed. One option is to have the instructor visit each enrolled chapter to conduct in-person testing. The second option is to provide a “traveling suitcase” of lab components (rotated between chapters) and ask each student to conduct an installation in real-time via video conference to show his or her competence. The hands-on portion of this course will be finalized prior to its start date.


For more information, contact Chrissy Skudera at cskudera@ieci.org or Paul Dolenc at pdolenc@ieci.org.


Printreading Beta Test

IEC’s new Printreading I course will undergo beta testing in September. IEC Atlanta and IEC Dallas have agreed to offer the course and provide critical feedback.


“We’ve been teaching the printreading course for years. Our instructors have enjoyed teaching it and believe it improves students’ skills and understanding of construction methods,” said IEC Atlanta Training Director Todd Hawkins. “We’re enthused to see new material for this course as it will further enhance the instructor and student experience.”


“For me, printreading has always been boring to teach and I’m excited to see new material and new technology in our IEC classrooms,” said IEC Dallas Training Director Joe Chandler. “To be effective at reading blueprints is a valuable skill. If the Dallas chapter can help with this process, we’re glad to chip in!”


The course uses ATP’s Printreading for Residential and Light Commercial Construction textbook in conjunction with industry-specific content written by a subject matter expert. The industry-specific content will be delivered via the IEC National CMS. This course will be part of IEC’s Electrical and Systems Training Series (ESTS) and the Professional Electrician’s Program (PEP).


After successful beta testing, this course material will be inserted into the Four-Year curriculum, eliminating the Bay Colony prints—a welcome change for many instructors and students.


Printreading I consists of ten lessons, including a mid-term and final exam, and covers the following topics:

  • Basic Concepts: project workflow, symbols, scales and dimensions, floor plans, and schedules
  • Brick Veneer Residence Case Study
  • Construction Materials: framing, supports, wall coverings, finishes, roofing, and MEP material
  • Light Frame Construction: framing, foundation types, masonry types, steel construction, and electrical materials
  • Wendy’s Restaurant Case Study (two lessons)
  • Veterinary Center Case Study
  • Take-Off


Eventually, 3D animations covering residential installations in a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and basement will be included as additional resources. At the time of print, the bedroom and kitchen animations were nearly complete.


“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally here. This course can now enter the classrooms of our beta testing chapters,” said Thess. “I look forward to the feedback as it will help us build upon the course’s quality and effectiveness.”


For more information on this course, contact Chrissy Skudera at cskudera@ieci.org.


Instructor’s Conference Recap

On July 24, IEC National held the 2020 Virtual Instructors Conference in partnership with ATP and Eaton. Enrollment exceeded 250 participants—a new record for this conference!


“When COVID-19 hit, it quickly became apparent that we needed to postpone the 2020 Instructor Conference. IEC National and the A&T Committee made this decision in early April,” said IEC Vice President of Education and Training, Paul Dolenc. “However, due to our amazing sponsors for this event—ATP and Eaton—we were able to provide a virtual option while not losing momentum for our face-to-face event in 2021. A tremendous thank you goes out to them and all those who contributed to the success of this event.”


The six-hour conference included a keynote by Chris Zirkle of The Ohio State University on adult-style learning and teaching, a CMS overview by ATP, and an Eaton “Show and Tell” Q&A session. IEC National also provided a thorough update on all of its new and existing educational offerings.


“ATP was proud to assist IEC in bringing together a record number of instructors from across the country for training. We believe these efforts help improve the quality of the IEC apprenticeship programs,” said ATP Senior Vice President of Business Development, David Holloway.


“On behalf of Eaton, we were thrilled to once again host the IEC National Instructors Conference from our Pittsburgh experience center this year. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had to modify the schedule and move to a fully virtual event,” said Eaton Vice President of Light Commercial & Construction Programs, Robert Stroescu. “With that said, the IEC National leadership team, ATP, and our exceptional Eaton Power Experience Center team created an outstanding educational and collaborative experience. We’re looking forward to hosting this same event next year in-person at our facility in Pittsburgh.”

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