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Problems with Advanced and Stress/Rescue Class

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by acelockco, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. acelockco

    acelockco Solo Diver

    I really hope that a representative from SSI is able to address my issues and help to figure out a solution.

    I recently signed up for the SSI Advanced and the SSI Rescue diver programs at my local dive shop. They handed me a small stack of books that I needed to study for the class. Upon starting to read the books I felt extremely upset to find that the books were geared toward people with a 5th grade education, I was wondering if we were supposed to get crayons with the books?

    Seriously, I just got off the telephone with the dive shop and am waiting for the owner to get back to me as I have requested a refund on both classes. I can't understand why classes like this would be on such a remedial level. Of course I am sure I will have to eat the cost of the books because I was required to write in them, which really pisses me off.

    Anyway, I am thinking about going to NAUI for the remainder of my training. I feel so cheated by SSI as I learned more in my original OW1 class from NAUI then I would learn from any of these classes offered by SSI.

    I had no idea when I was sigining up for SSI that I was signing up for scuba for dummies!

    As you can tell I am livid and HOPE that the dive shop owner refunds my money. If not, I hope that SSI will step in and make it right. And even one step better would be for SSI to rethink their education system or rethink being in this industry.

    I also will no longer dive with someone that has a certification by SSI unless they can prove to me they really know what they are doing. I can't believe what a joke SSI is. I am sorry to be so harsh, but I feel like SSI slapped me in the face as they took my money.

  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I don't know what an SSI representative will say about this, but I know that PADI materials are also written this way. I believe a decision is made to pitch to the lowest age and educational level that is permitted to take the class, on the theory that more educated and adult readers will be able to extract the useful information anyway.

    I'm with you; I prefer to be spoken to as a rational adult. That's why I take GUE classes :)
  3. acelockco

    acelockco Solo Diver

    They should offer classes for different levels or maybe rethink that diving is not necessarily for everyone. I know they think more divers = more money, but maybe just maybe if someone doesn't know how to tie their shoes, then maybe diving isn't really the best sport for them.

    Anyway, it looks as of right now that I will have to take the advanced class unless the owner changes his mind and offers a refund. I only left a deposit on the Stress/Rescue class and am going to have to eat the deposit I guess. We will see if the dive shop owner makes this right or if money is his bottom line as well.
  4. ptyx

    ptyx Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: CA
    I don't know anything about SSI curiculum. That said, the (lack of) quality of the materials doesn't necessarily say much about the course itself.
  5. acelockco

    acelockco Solo Diver

    I feel just the opposite. The materials are designed to give you the information you need to learn for the class. They told me to learn the book and then go to class where the instructor will go over the information to make sure we understand. It really says just about everything that can be said about the class. Of course there are different instructors and all of that, but the bottom line is that the material is remedial and not appropriate for an Advanced Diver class or a Stress/Rescue class. I wouldn't want to have to rely on an SSI Rescue diver to save me!!!
  6. acelockco

    acelockco Solo Diver

    I strongly feel that SSI insulted me when they offered the training materials to me! I would really like to hear from an SSI representative in regards to this.
  7. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    Is it possible that you are taking things a bit too personally?

    I have never taken an SSI class, but this rant seems a bit over-the-top. FWIW, I'd think that the shop owner would allow you to back out of the class. It makes little sense for you to take one of their classes considering the way you feel about SSI now, regardless of whether it's justified. I suppose it's up to him whether he chooses to keep your deposit or not.
  8. Dockmaster

    Dockmaster Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maine
    I guess I'm having a hard time understanding how you were insulted by SSI's training manuals. After dusting off my Stress& Rescue book from ten years ago, I'd have to agree that it will never be considered fine literature, but I feel that it adequtely prepared me for the class. In class, my instructor took the time to go over the material in the book, answer our questions thoroughly, and added real world examples of when we might need to use these skills. Once in the water, we drilled until the instructor was satisfied that each student was capable of doing the skill properly. While the manual may not have been on par with a college textbook, I felt that the overall Stress & Rescue class was worth my time and money. It more than prepared me for diving with OWDs who can't put on their own fins, drop their weights, lose a fin, or have their air tank slide out of their BC because they improperly assembled their gear. Some of these divers were SSI, others PADI and NAUI.

    The old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" holds a lot of water here. Quality instruction goes hand to hand with the manuals. How did you choose this SSI shop? Have you evere been on a dive with this instructor? Have you been on dives with people certified by this shop? If you were happy with the NAUI shop, why the switch?

    Dive classes are a lot like college; you have to endure the core 100 and 200 level courses before you get to the good stuff. I just finished my SSI DiveCon course and found that manual to be very thorough. My advice, dial back the attitude a little, have a calm talk with the instructor about your concerns and what you hope to get from the class. If you are still unhappy with his answers, try to get as much of your money back as you can, and move on down the road to a shop you'll be happy at.
  9. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    I can't say for sure on all the training agencies, but I would not be surprised if you didn't find the materials of most to all of them like that, as most are under the RSTC umbrella for standards & what is taught. The agencies must gear them towards the youngest allowed for that particular level. It is made for the general public. The agencies can't do different age levels,as you are inquiring. The standards would be crazy trying to separate all those levels. Recreational courses (except for a few) are geared towards divers 10yrs old & up. Deep & Overhead courses are generally the only ones that are geared to 15yrs & up.
  10. Blue Sparkle

    Blue Sparkle Captain

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chesapeake Bay
    I found the PADI manuals (OW and AOW) to be written similarly (going on your post - I have not seen SSI materials). I was rolling my eyes and making side comments on the writing and graphics the whole way through (I'm sure my friend who was in the room with me got a bit tired of it!). I thought all of the graphics, side-bars, and ads kind of got in the way, and - especially when I was reviewing later on - wished I could just have the facts, presented in a straightforward fashion.

    I have not seen any NAUI materials.

    (I did take the classes though, and thankfully the instructors were not on "the same page" with the style of the training materials.)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010

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