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About the Module The Curriculum Certification Standard About Submission More Resources Anchor Products

Preparing Your Submission: What You Need to Know

Module 310: Planning Park Interpretation


To demonstrate certification the interpreter must answer a series of questions in narrative format, analyzing a interpretive planning effort in which the interpreter participated. [The certification process in this module is under a period of "field-testing" as an ongoing effort to assess its effectiveness. If you participate successfully in the certification review, you have met the standards. If you do not meet the standards initially, be sure to check the "Last Update" line in each element of the module to be sure you work from the latest version of this module when continuing your efforts.]

What you will submit:

1) A completed questionnaire (see below). Your narrative answers must describe a park planning effort in which you participated. Your product may be a special event or other interpretive event or project that involves a team planning effort. This could also be a park planning project that does not directly address interpretation but affects the interpretive goals of your park in some way (i.e., a resource management project for which there is an educational or interpretive component), or your role as a team member of a comprehensive interpretive planning effort. Describe your project and answer the questions as directed in the questionnaire that follows. (Download in a Word format (46KB) or a PDF format (43KB).

2) A "Product Submission Registration Form" (Download in a Word format (43KB) or a PDF format (36KB).

Important: The parenthetical questions listed are intended as guides to help you provide information that will address the certification standards. Please provide the narrative answers in a manner that you feel best communicates the way in which your project met certification standards. Your ultimate task is to match your answers with the bold faced language provided at the top of the rubric page. Ask, "Are my statements clearly described by the rubric language that defines certification standards?"

Always check your work against the assessment rubric.

Note: At the Full Performance level you have the option to develop one competency project to be reviewed against all four sets of standards separately. Keep in mind that the requirements on the "How to Submit" page for every competency you couple with your project must be met (i.e., you must prepare an essay, and a facsimile, and a questionnaire if you choose to combine Planning, Media, and Training/Coaching in one submission). Likewise, you have the option to develop a separate project for each Full Performance competency, and submit them separately. If you choose to combine the reviews and address more than one competency with a single project, be sure to INDICATE CLEARLY on your project label which competencies you wish to have the project reviewed against.

Certification in this competency serves the overall development of employees in Ranger Careers positions, and meets the NPS national standard for interpretation in field-based interpretive planning. Certification is a point-in-time assessment. Long-term performance is measured at the park level. Eligibility for promotion is determined solely by the supervisor and park.

What to do when your submission is ready:

Review your answers with your supervisor. When you and your supervisor concur that the submission is complete, the project should be sent to the office of Training Manager, Interpretation, Mather Training Center by e-mail. If e-mail is not available, send a disk with the requested files in WORD format to: Training Manager, Interpretation, P.O. Box 77, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, Attn: Product submission.

What happens next?

The training manager will send your submission to two peers who are trained certifiers. Each will independently review the essay using the Assessment Rubric for Benchmark Competency: Planning Park Interpretation, developed specifically for this competency. The submission will be evaluated through peer review to determine whether it meets the certification standards. Those meeting the certification requirements will receive a letter from the training manager.

Those approaching certification will need to revise and resubmit their entry, making the adjustments prompted by feedback provided by the reviewers, and discussions with their supervisor. If you have your project reviewed against multiple standards and one or more elements are judged to be approaching certification, only the portion(s) approaching certification need to be revised and resubmitted. Questions about the process can be answered by any of your curriculum coordinators or the training manager.

Submission for "Planning Park Interpretation"


Please provide descriptions and answer the bold-faced questions in an essay format. Suggestions on what to include are in parentheses below each question.

  • Describe the park planning effort to which you contributed. (What relationship did interpretation have to the specific plan? What were the goals of the planning effort? What was the scope of the project?)

  • How was teamwork important in your planning process? (What roles did each member have? Were there problems reaching consensus? What were they? If consensus was reached, how did it occur? What role did the facilitator play? How did the team achieve "teamwork?" Were multiple perspectives included and respected?)

  • How did your planning effort contribute to the goals in established park and interpretive planning documents? (Are there established purpose, significance, and goals [CIP, GMP, RMP, Media Plan, SFI, etc.] for this park that relate to this planning effort? How did your planning effort support the purpose, significance, and goals for the park? How might it have more effectively addressed these?)

  • Did your planning team develop an implementation strategy? (Were potential funding sources identified? Was there a timetable for implementation? Who is responsible for the plan’s implementation? How were implementation priorities established? )



Last module update: April, 2001
Editor: STMA Training Manager Interpretation

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