In 2016 we added a mandatory 1:1 requirement around the 80% mark of coursework. The intention was to answer questions about the certification exam, get a gauge on the student's knowledge gaps, and try to help each student prepare to finish the program and be successful in passing the exam. In practice (at least to me), it sounded like a really practical, great idea that added a touch point with each student so I tasked the web team and trainers to implement it and away we went.
After a year, it's not quite what I imagined it would be. There were some benefits, but in listening to both student and trainer feedback it's clear that language and cultural barriers made communication hard with some students. Others were confused as to the purpose and intention and came into it on the defensive (not at all what we want!); ultimately it didn't fulfill the goals I had for it. So this week I made the decision to cut it out of the program as a mandatory requirement. Some quick eyed students have already noticed that it disappeared yesterday, and several people were suddenly eligible for the certification test. We'll remove the final remnants of it over the coming week or so. Our goal at XamU is for our certification experience and process to be the best out there and we're not afraid to change things to make that happen. I still really like the idea of it, and you will see it again in a different form - as part of something new we'll be introducing later this year so stay tuned on that.
One thing I want to make clear as we make this change: it's still an option for any students who have a desire to get some preparatory help as they move towards the final steps of certification. Just schedule an office hour and let us know that the purpose is to talk about certification. It won't count that against your office hour set - it's a freebie because we want you to be well prepared and setup for success!
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