• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Welcome to the newest and oldest US National certification agency!

Discussion in 'SEI Diving' started by Jim Lapenta, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,863
    8,545
    113
    As stated above and in another thread here on SB the oldest US national certification agency is alive and well! Under a new name, with new leadership, but with the same high standards that you expect. WHile it is common knowledge that the YMCA Scuba program has been put in "sunset" mode by YUSA, the program itself will continue. Over the next few days I along with a few others hope to answer your questions as well as pass along information. Now known as SEI Diving, a non profit organization and the education and skills based program that was the model for all the others that came after, has been given new life by a group of dedicated Instructors.

    Under the leadership of Tom Leaird and Dan Marelli along with others who I hope to introduce over time, SEI Diving will continue to offer a training program that does not take shortcuts or offer "quickie" certifications.

    I offer a sincere thanks to NetDoc, EL Orans, Howard E, and SJSpeck for their help in setting up this forum. I also thank the many former YMCA instructors who will sign on with us. I'd also like to invite those of you who for whatever reason may have left the YMCA program to give us a look and perhaps come back into the fold. THose who are retired may find new life and energy in this new program.

    To all the Y DM's and AI's, rest assured that you are not left out of this either. You are the new blood that we will need to make this a success. Your dedication and commitment will serve as an inspiration for future generations. Many of us are new instructors and were caught off guard by what happened. But we have new hope. I like many of you became a Y instructor because of the high standards and ethics of the program. This will continue and perhaps in some cases be strengthend by a revision of things that require it. All changes that may be made will be done in the spriit of producing the safest, best qualified, and skilled divers possible.


    Finally many of you may have seen the November issue of Dive Training which contains an article regarding the closing of the old program. No mention was made of the new agency. Myself, Dan, and Tom have made or will make contact with them to see that this is addressed. Again the program has not closed. As I've stated before it has merely been reborn under a new name and new leadership. We welcome all of you.

    Thank You,
    Jim Lapenta
    SEI Diving
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,620
    22,827
    113
    Jim,

    it's with great pride that we welcome SEI into our forums. I am sure that we will hear a lot of great things in the coming months! Hopefully, we will get to hang out at our respective booths a bit next week! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  3. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    18,583
    334
    83
    I'm getting excited about these changes to the program and am considering coming out of retirement to participate.
     
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,863
    8,545
    113
    Walter, we'd be glad to have you. There are alot of changes coming. All in the original spirit of the program. Some specialties that were kind of languishing are not gone but are in the process of being revised, not only to update them to today's technology and knowledge, but to put them more in line with the high standards of the OW program. Many times even though we have the freedom to add to our classes, it still is nice to have some standard guidelines so that even though sites and conditions may change the actual dives, the course itself remains constant in the level of skill and knowledge required to EARN the certification. If a drysuit class requires x number of classroom hours and x number of dives that should stay the same even if one class is taught in 60 degree water and the other in 40. This way when the diver goes to another location or part of the world we know he/she has had the same basic training that is at a level higher than that offered by others.

    My proposed UW Nav specialty will reflect the importance of the skill and the different methods that can be used, when they should or should not be used, and require a solid demonstration of not only that the diver can dive the course but put the knowledge to use on land as well. You can't do that by using self study and 3 dives. The instructor will need to be right there in class and on the dives. I'm proposing a minimum of 6 dives. When it's fleshed out and if it's accepted the need for that many will be apparent based on the skills and knowledge to be imparted, and the exit requirements.

    I also received a nice email from Mark Young at Dive Training. He will be stopping by the booth at DEMA. They got a release from YUSA and it never mentioned the changes that were in the works. True they had not been finalized but this has been getting worked on since the decision was made to "sunset" the program. Why they talked to Tec Clark is not clear. What is even stranger is that he did not give them any inkling or refer them to someone who had some knowledge of the new agency. Just guess it shows how out of the loop he was for whatever reason.

    In any case they will be updating and correcting this in a future issue. Thanks to Dive Training for that.
     
  5. couv

    couv Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    4,669
    1,914
    113
    Good luck Jim,

    Thanks for keeping the faith.

    c
     
  6. leapfrog

    leapfrog Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 40Žº 34'N -3Žº 55'W
    851
    0
    0
    Jim,

    Sincere congratulations on your new venture. Any plans for taking the program outside the US and if so where?

    Best of luck!
     
  7. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,863
    8,545
    113
    There are, as of the end of DEMA, instructors in Korea, Panama, Canada, and soon Jamaica. It will not be long before we start seeing more as word spreads and instructor renewals come in. Also as our cards start showing up in different areas of the world and the website is up there should be no issues with acceptance of it.
     
  8. scubatomwetzel

    scubatomwetzel NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern California
    194
    24
    18
    Thank you for keeping us updated.


    Tom
     
  9. avpro4

    avpro4 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Wheaton, IL
    32
    1
    0
    Thanks for the update. I was first certified some 40 years ago in the YMCA program via Explorer Scouts. Growing up on Long Island Sound at that time, the water was green and viz about 5' on a good day, so I lost interest in it for years. Picked it up again a couple of years ago at our local Y, in prep for a 25th wedding anniversary trip and got my wife trained as well.

    While illness prevented her completing the OW program, she learned enough to be well prepared for the PADI "Intro" class at the resort in Mexico, and tells people that she would never have been able to go through with it had it not been for the 10+ hours of pool time at the Y.

    While the quality of any agency's training is highly dependant on the quality and care of the particular instructor, I was most impressed with the Y program... both times; and I'm glad to see it getting "born again". I think one reason the program suffered over the years was a lack of "marketing" muscle as it's pure treble voice was drowned out by the increasingly raucous din commercialism as our sport morphed into an industry. I wish you the vision needed to navigate above the deep hole of commercial interest, and promote the pure joy of the sport, safely practised.
     
    htiger likes this.
  10. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,863
    8,545
    113
    Thank you for your post and your story. We look forward to serving you in the future in any way we can should the need arise. Keep a look out for more info here and on our website that will be coming on line in the near future.
    Jim Lapenta
    SEI Diving Instructor #00204
     

Share This Page