SENIOR SPECIALIST

Thank you for your interest in teaching seniors. Teaching older adults in the mountain environment provides a unique challenge. Working with seniors requires both strong foundations in the fundamentals of skiing as well as a solid knowledge of the way older adults move, learn and engage in the sport.  The purpose of the Senior Specialist program is to provide educational training for instructors of all ages and various abilities to gain the tools and knowledge necessary to provide high quality teaching and performance enhancement outcomes for the senior skier seeking lessons. To this end, PSIA-NW has created a curriculum to meet the unique needs of teaching to the senior population.

The PSIA-NW Senior Specialist program consists of the Senior Specialist 1 and Senior Specialist 2 educational courses. This is a certificate program which is based on an educational framework with an assessment component. The Senior Specialist program is based upon the PSIA-NW Senior Specialist Standard referenced in its entirety in the appendix of the Senior Specialist Manual and on the Senior Specialist PSIA-NW website. The Senior Specialist Standard is derived upon existing National Standards including Alpine, Children and Snowboard.

The premise of the Senior Specialist Standards is based upon the concepts of “levels of understanding” levels that define stages of learning within degrees of understanding. Just as certification is a measure of understanding, levels of certification represent stages of understanding. Although not a certification, Senior Specialist participants will be expected to meet levels of competency as defined by SS 1 and SS 2 standards.  Participants will be held to the knowledge and performance standards of the level at which they are participating as well as the criteria for all preceding levels.  Levels of participant expectation are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, referenced further in the SS Standard.

Senior Specialist 1 (SS1)

A two day course available to any Level I or higher PSIA member. There is a mandatory online workbook and quiz for this course that both need to be successfully completed two weeks prior to the on-snow event.  Principles of the senior specific models, teaching cycle, theories and professional knowledge will be covered. Identification of critical skills and skill blending including senior specific movement pattern techniques that allow for efficient outcomes. A SS 1 certificate is awarded based upon the degree of participation and understanding including the knowledge and comprehension and application and analysis of course material. 

Register for the online SS1 workbook and quiz here

If you prefer, you may also download the PDF version of the SS1 workbook here, but you will still need to take the SS1 quiz online.

Resources for discovering the answers to the questions and tasks found in the online workbook and quiz are:

    • PSIA-NW Senior Specialist Manual
    • PSIA-NW Standards
    • PSIA Core Concepts Manual
    • PSIA Alpine Technical Manual
    • Your experience teaching adults

Senior Specialist 2 (SS 2)

A two day course available to any Level II or higher PSIA member who has successfully completed the SS 1 course one season or more prior to the SS 2. The SS 2 includes a teaching component and a rigorous curriculum focusing on the beginning through advanced skier applying concepts, tactics and theory specific to coaching the senior learner. This includes a deeper exploration into the cognitive and effective attributes of a senior as well as identification of movement pattern techniques for the advanced level skier. There is a mandatory online workbook and quiz for this course that both need to be successfully completed two weeks prior to the on-snow event. A SS 2 certificate is awarded based upon the degree of participation and understanding including the synthesis and evaluation of course material. 

Register for the online SS2 workbook and quiz here

If you prefer, you may also download the PDF version of the SS2 workbook here, but you will still need to take the SS2 quiz online.

Resources for discovering the answers to the questions and tasks found in the online workbook and quiz are:

    • PSIA-NW Senior Specialist Manual 
    • PSIA-NW Standards
    • PSIA Core Concepts Manual
    • PSIA Alpine Technical Manual
    • Your experience teaching adults