Entry-Level Program Staff Certificate
“I carefully looked over several staff training options, and I think the ACA Entry Level Program Staff Certificate is fantastic! While I can't require the entire course for my staff prior to the start of camp this summer, we are going to require the lessons for the first three competencies prior to camp, then use subsequent lessons as continuing education in our staff meetings throughout the summer. I'm going to offer a pay incentive to anyone who completes the entire course before the end of the summer. I'm super excited for yet another way to bridge the academic and professional worlds!”
Laurie Browne, Ph.D.
Day Camp Director, Rowland Hall Summer Programs
This entry-level program staff certificate course is specifically designed for people who are interested in working with young people in a camp, afterschool, summer enrichment programs, or other community-based youth settings but who lack experience. This online course is an intensive 15 hour course built around ACA's thirteen core competencies that results in a certificate of completion and 15 continuing education credits (CECs).
This course assumes that you have little to no experience working with youth in an organized program. Once you complete this course and gain experience by working in organized youth programs, you may want to consider enrolling in the ACA Experienced Program Staff Certificate. 
The final component of the course, “Special Interest Experience,” is designed to provide options to focus on a topic of particular interest to the learner. For example, one might be interested in working with:
- a specific clientele (i.e., youth with special needs),
- a special setting (i.e., wilderness tripping),
- or a specialized activity (i.e., ropes courses).
The learner then designs the learning experiences that allow exploration of the chosen interests. One could attend a special training or conference, complete online experiences, select additional readings, or create some other unique learning opportunities that meet the objectives for the experience.
At the end of this course, learners will have completed learning experiences that
- Augment their personal skills/knowledge sets
- Improve their abilities to offer quality experiences to the youth they serve
- Enhance their own professional development.
Many learners that complete this course may want to enroll in the Experienced Program Staff Certificate course.
Entry-Level Program Staff Course Length: 15 hours
Entry-Level Program Staff Course Credits: 15.0 CEC
- John Beitner, Tumbleweed Day Camp
- Ann Gillard, Springfield College
- John Paul McNeal, Camp Broadstone
- Mary Rogers, Sherwood Forest Camp Inc.
If interested in this Entry-Level Program Staff Certificate course, please review the following course overview and learner outcomes.
- Course Overview : Entry-Level Program Staff Certificate (Syllabus)
- Learner Outcomes  for the Entry-Level Program Staff Certificate
Purchase Options for Entry-Level Programs Staff Training Certificate:
|Quantity||Member Price per person||Nonmember Price per person**|
|1 to 9*||$15/person||$30/person|
|10 to 25*||$10/person||$20/person|
|26 to 999*||$8/person||$15/person|
*Be sure to indicate the quantity you intend to purchase before you complete your checkout. Note: You do not have to have detailed info for all your learners at the time of purchase. You can amend your list as necessary.