PADI students

Back row from left, course staff instructor Curtiss Carter, CFK marine science faculty Angelo ‘Jason’ Spadaro, students Christy ‘Hannah’ Fry, Skylar Saxon and Madeline Ticer. Front row from left, students Kim Platt, Daniel Metz, course director John Miller, course staff instructor and CFK dive faculty Lucja Rice and PADI instructor examiner John Land.

Six diving students from the College of the Florida Keys have advanced from the role of student to instructor.

Each passed the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) instructor examination in December, certifying them as open water scuba instructors. The exam is a two-day evaluative program conducted by a visiting PADI employee who tests an instructor candidate’s teaching ability, dive theory knowledge, skill level, understanding of the PADI system, and attitude and professionalism. With PADI certification, these new diving instructors will be qualified for diving professional jobs around the world.

In addition to earning the industry certification, five of the six students also graduated with a CFK Professional Dive Instructor college credit certificate. They were aided in their endeavor by Rapid Credential grants, a statewide initiative to help individuals, particularly those negatively impacted by the pandemic, quickly train for a career.

The grants, which covered tuition, course fees, textbooks and testing costs, were funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Fund. Those students earned the following industry certifications as well: Divers Alert Network (DAN) diving emergency management provider instructor, PADI divemaster, PADI open water scuba instructor, emergency first response primary, secondary and care for children with AED instructor certification.

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