Thursday, February 23, 2006

CEDIA Says: Education at All Levels

I want to address a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and many of those within the CEDIA organization in this - education.

Education comes in many forms throughout life and this holds true in respect to CEDIA Education as well. As many of you know, and more of you will soon learn, CEDIA is the benchmark for education within the residential electronic systems contractors (RESC) channel. CEDIA has made a solid commitment, as part of its ongoing strategic plan, to deliver education to its members at the highest level possible. This has never been more evident with the implementation of CEDIA University “CU on the Road,” CEDIA’s integrated training plan that is being delivered in eight locations throughout North America this year. In addition, CEDIA is providing Installer I and II certification exams at many locations across the country this year. Of course, we cannot discount the comprehensive education that is offered annually at CEDIA EXPO. This will be even more apparent at CEDIA EXPO in Denver, Sept 13th through 17th, in 2006. As time progresses, you will see an increased frequency in educational events with a more in depth and richer offering of curriculum.

Ok, that somewhat covers the CEDIA educational information for our members. Let’s talk about the peripheral educational initiatives that CEDIA is in the process of developing.

CEDIA feels that education shouldn’t stop with its membership. We feel that it is important to address education on a number of different levels. After all, it is our goal to ultimately reach our customer, the consumer. The challenge is... “how do we get there?”

One of the most logical avenues that CEDIA has chosen has been to reach out to the strategic trade community. This would be identified as the builders, the architects and the interior design communities; more specifically through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

CEDIA is approaching this from a multiple-tiered perspective. Currently CEDIA is delivering Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to ASID and Learning Units (LUs) to AIA through approved educational courses, both in person and online. Both CEUs and LUs are required by each respective association for their membership to maintain accreditation on an annual basis.

Another element of CEDIA’s outreach effort and our newest initiative is the upcoming CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Forum that is being held in San Francisco from February 23 through 25th. This inaugural event features a combination of high end industry keynote speakers, panels of industry experts, and breakout sessions bringing together builders, architect and interior designers and, our RESC members for an intense networking opportunity (see http://www.cedia.org/el_forum ). CEDIA will also offer its “train the trainer” course which prepares the CEDIA RESC member to deliver CEU’s in their respective markets. This is a “not to miss” event and we invite our members to attend, there is still space available but it is filling rapidly!

As you can see, CEDIA is constantly reviewing, revising and improving its many vehicles to facilitate delivery of education. Please, take advantage of the opportunities. CEDIA exists for its members, from there its up to you!

I hope to see many of you in San Francisco and again in Denver! Until then, good selling and better learning.



--Andy Willcox

President of CEDIA

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