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Value of MTNA certification #941444
11/14/08 10:12 AM
11/14/08 10:12 AM
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Posts: 180
Connecticut, USA
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mkorman Offline OP
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What's the general consensus on this? All else being equal, how do
people view the relative merits of teachers who have:

(a) No credentials
(b) MTNA certification
(c) A degree in music education
(d) A degree in music performance

I know a lot of organizations are entirely self-promoting, and their
certifications carry no real weight. But, reading the requirements on
their site, it does seem like they cover the important aspects of a
music degree with respect to piano teaching.

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Value of MTNA certification #941445
11/14/08 10:26 AM
11/14/08 10:26 AM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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As a member of MTNA for 10 years, I've toyed with the idea of becoming certified through them. I already have my master's degree, but my teaching business was booming even when I only had a bachelor's in music. What carried the most weight, and still does I think, are references from students. That word of mouth is the best testament to how good of a teacher you really are. But it is nice to have stuff to put after your name as well. The MTNA certification can give you that, and then you can explain to prospective students what that means. It generally means little to the average person who doesn't know the different kinds of certification, but like anything, it sounds impressive. I know that is shallow to say, but it is also the truth.

I think a) would be the worst choice, and b) c) & d) would be fine individually, but better to have b) plus C) or d).


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Value of MTNA certification #941446
11/14/08 12:46 PM
11/14/08 12:46 PM
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Wisconsin
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Karisofia Offline
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I, too, am considering getting certified--partly for the letters to put after my name and partly for the forced personal study/review. I think anything we do to further our "qualifications" is a good thing.

Being certified may not mean anything to most students, but it will mean something to other teachers. It "legitimizes" your ideas which isn't entirely a bad thing. I also think your current students might be impressed that their teacher is continuing the pursuit of excellence.


Private Teacher
Member MTNA, WMTA, CVMTA
Local Association President
The Achievement Program Center Representative
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941447
11/14/08 12:57 PM
11/14/08 12:57 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Well, I'm sure this topic could lead to another imbroglio, but here's another perspective:

I see the MTNA certification as a GED of teaching. It shows the world you've mastered the basic subject matter knowledge to be a teacher.

It does not, at this point in time, say anything about the quality of your teaching.

I know of two other certifications: Piano Guild and Well Prepared Pianist. Both require demonstrated excellence in teaching by measuring the student performance. In addition, the WPP certification requires you send in tapes of your teaching to the certification committee.

I prefer the latter certifications because they are based on results, not book learning. And the last time I checked, it's really difficult to produce consistently high results without the foundation knowledge, so the certification implies mastery of the subject matter.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941448
11/14/08 12:59 PM
11/14/08 12:59 PM
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Australia, Western Australia
nutchai Offline
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As a former piano student, I've never paid any attention to the letters at the end of any of my teachers' name. I've always judged them on how well they teach me and whether their explanations hold any logical weighting in relation to the context.


nUtChAi

Kawai K-5

"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941449
11/14/08 01:08 PM
11/14/08 01:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 201
Wisconsin
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Karisofia Offline
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John, you may have a very good point. Right now, I would not have to do tons to get MTNA certification, and my state association will refund the application fee. So it seems like it might be worth doing.

I was not aware of the Piano Guild or WPP certification. I have been more serious about getting my ARCT in teaching from RCM. That is a three-tiered program that involves demonstrating performance ability, testing "book learning," and taking a vive voce examination.


Private Teacher
Member MTNA, WMTA, CVMTA
Local Association President
The Achievement Program Center Representative
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941450
11/14/08 01:22 PM
11/14/08 01:22 PM
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Posts: 180
Connecticut, USA
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mkorman Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:

I see the MTNA certification as a GED of teaching. It shows the world you've mastered the basic subject matter knowledge to be a teacher.
Right, I wouldn't expect anything more.

My main question is how much more valuable a college degree is than MTNA certification. Looking at the curricula for music degrees, it seems that the certification does test you on the main points.

Right now, I have neither. I do have a master's degree in an unrelated subject, so going back to get my bachelor's in music would be a major commitment.

On the other hand, I've read college-level textbooks on theory and history, so I'm pretty sure I could pass the certification exams in those subjects.

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941451
11/14/08 01:23 PM
11/14/08 01:23 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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If I recall correctly, you also have to present a recital, and send a copy of the program to MTNA. This requirement may have changed since I last looked.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941452
11/14/08 01:29 PM
11/14/08 01:29 PM
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Connecticut, USA
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mkorman Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
If I recall correctly, you also have to present a recital, and send a copy of the program to MTNA. This requirement may have changed since I last looked.
I believe there's a form that has to be completed by 3 witnesses.

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941453
11/14/08 02:42 PM
11/14/08 02:42 PM
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Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Wow, what we don't know about MTNA Certification.

I think I'll email her and tell her there is a real opportunity to provide information in PWF. Or, better yet, go to MTNA and look for Certification.

There is a MTNA certification path for 1) those with degrees in music, and a certification path for study in 7 subjects and testing at each of them.

And there is a ONLINE program in North Dakota at a community college to prepare for MTNA Certification. Beth Gigante Klingenstein is the director. I wish I had a moment to provide those links.

Pedagogy is of the utmost importance: How to teach, what to teach. Access to pedagogue's and their philosophies and expertise is a huge reading group for anyone wanting to know a whole lot more about piano teaching. I recommend reading biographies of composers, pianist performers and piano teachers. We are all connected in music education.

MTNA is a mighty organization.

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941454
11/14/08 04:29 PM
11/14/08 04:29 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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John,
While a teacher should understand the basic body of knowledge of music, the testing also asks pedagogical questions that will meet their standards of excellent teaching. Teachers are tested on their musical knowledge in a test or with equivalent studies at a college or university. They are tested on their performance proficiency by submitting a program that meets the requirements of performance or by having letters from a university teacher stating that you have met those requirements. Thirdly, you need to prove that your are knowledgeable as a teacher by submitting 3 letters of reference by current MTNA members as well as providing proof that you have taught for at least 2 consecutive years by submitting lesson plans and notes. They also look into how you conduct business as well (like with a studio policy and such).

Details can be found at http://www.mtnacertification.org/Home/tabid/106/Default.aspx

While I don't know what the other certification programs out there are like, it seems to me that anyone who is certified has met a high standard, as these requirements are not easy to meet.

To the OP, given the fact that you have your undergrad degree in something other than music, you may want to look into certification rather than getting another bachelors. I don't think anyone would fault you for having a career change, and the certification would "prove" to a prospective student that you are a capable teacher.


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Re: Value of MTNA certification #941455
11/14/08 04:59 PM
11/14/08 04:59 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Morodiene, every thing you say is true, and it has value, but it doesn't address "output." That is, student accomplishment.

There is a certain tension between academics and business, because the former reaches a standard and then is admitted into the profession, while the latter must constantly prove his worth through superior production.

The teacher side of my really likes the former, but the parent side of me prefers the latter.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941456
11/14/08 05:56 PM
11/14/08 05:56 PM
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Stanny Offline
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I'm working on my MTNA certification. I've started on classes this semester through the program Betty mentioned.

It's not hurting my ablility to have a full studio, but I feel I'm becoming a better teacher because of what I'm learning.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941457
11/14/08 05:59 PM
11/14/08 05:59 PM
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Connecticut, USA
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mkorman Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Stanny:
I'm working on my MTNA certification. I've started on classes this semester through the program Betty mentioned.
What's the name of that program?

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941458
11/14/08 06:42 PM
11/14/08 06:42 PM
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Betty Patnude Offline
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For Mkorman, the information you are asking for!

For Stanny, So glad to hear it Stanny!

MTNA Certification Preparation -
Completely ONLINE

Valley City State University (South Dakota)
Phone: 800-532-8641 Ext: 37269
e-mail: Beth.klingenstein@vcsu.edu
web: http://music.vcsu.edu

"Pedagogy is aligned with MTNA Certification Portfolios requirements and includes preparation of all MTNA portfolio documents."

Staff:
Beth Klingenstein,NCTM
Piano Pedagogy and Music History
and
Dr. Sara Hagen, NCTM
Music Theory

Subjects:
Applied/Piano Pedagogy 2 semesters
Music History 3 semesters
Music Theory 4 semesters
Applied Lessons Jury Evaluation

Good luck!

Betty

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941459
11/14/08 07:39 PM
11/14/08 07:39 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
I see the MTNA certification as a GED of teaching.
GED? confused What is GED?

Gigantic Education Degree?
Gentle Entry Diploma?
Get Everything Done?

(not just trying to be funny - I've really never heard of it smile )


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941460
11/14/08 08:01 PM
11/14/08 08:01 PM
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Connecticut, USA
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mkorman Offline OP
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Thanks, Betty.

currawong, the GED is a high school equivalency test.

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941461
11/14/08 09:49 PM
11/14/08 09:49 PM
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GED = General Equivalency Diploma

For students who drop out of high school…


Piano Teacher
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941462
11/14/08 10:52 PM
11/14/08 10:52 PM
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Pacific Northwest
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Quote
Originally posted by Gary D.:
GED = General Equivalency Diploma

For students who drop out of high school…
Or choose to not go because they want to advance their education by alternative means.


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941463
11/14/08 11:01 PM
11/14/08 11:01 PM
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Pacific Northwest
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Quote
Originally posted by mkorman:
What's the general consensus on this? All else being equal, how do
people view the relative merits of teachers who have:

(a) No credentials
(b) MTNA certification
(c) A degree in music education
(d) A degree in music performance

I know a lot of organizations are entirely self-promoting, and their
certifications carry no real weight. But, reading the requirements on
their site, it does seem like they cover the important aspects of a
music degree with respect to piano teaching.

Any thoughts on this?
None of the above is applicable, imo.

I personally think that being a good, qualified teacher is based on what that teacher can produce and how much or little turnover a teacher has.


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941464
11/16/08 02:58 PM
11/16/08 02:58 PM
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Stanny Offline
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I'm a little mortified that someone would say the MTNA certification is like a GED. I don't see any relation.


~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941465
11/16/08 03:46 PM
11/16/08 03:46 PM
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currawong Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Stanny:
I'm a little mortified that someone would say the MTNA certification is like a GED. I don't see any relation.
I know nothing about the particular certificate in question, but I think John's point was that as a GED (thanks for the explanation, folks!) has a sort of equivalance to something else (a high school certificate, I gather), so the MTNA certification is meant to be roughly equivalent to one or more of the university-based courses.

We have some similar accreditation systems here - one, for example, requires tertiary qualifications, or a specialist teaching qualification from one of the music exam bodies, or something they call "proven record of teaching" which usually boils down to exam results over a long period of time.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941466
11/16/08 04:51 PM
11/16/08 04:51 PM
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Let's all hit the www.mtna.com site to check out the requirements for certification either through 1) college diplomas or 2) self directed study in the private domain.

It's a really big project in many areas of study and performance - it is not something you ace unless you are incredibly well prepared.

I have huge respect for anyone holding NCTM's through MTNA. (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music).

It's signifies true diligence to music study and teaching.

I'm amazed more MTNA teachers don't know enough about the certification program and what it means.

Stanny, I'm with you. Mortified! That must have a root in morde/death, because I'm not sure I have the correct definition in mind, but I can hear my mother saying she was "mortified" and it meant greatly embarrassed, beyond greatly embarrassed. More than a "run in your stocking", or "your slip showing", "mortified" was the worst possible situation, like "being caught with your pants down".

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941467
11/16/08 05:13 PM
11/16/08 05:13 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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There's no reason to be mortified at all.

You can either obtain a degree in music, then apply for the NCTM, or use plan B, which is what Betty is encouraging. It is precisely analogous to the GED, except that it's at the collegiate level, not secondary school level.

By the way, Betty, you can be MORTIFIED about this:

The proper site is MTNA.ORG not MTNA.COM laugh


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941468
11/16/08 05:16 PM
11/16/08 05:16 PM
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Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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PS When I first started even thinking about NCTM 20 years ago, the requirements were FAR LESS RIGOROUS. Teachers recently certified are certainly demonstrating much higher levels of competency than when the certification first began.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941469
11/16/08 06:37 PM
11/16/08 06:37 PM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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To address the original post, I think people view the merits of teachers on:

a) Gut Feeling
b) Reputation

You can get all the degrees and certifications you want, but it's been my experience that the general public weighs Gut Feeling and Reputation above all else.

I understand what MTNA is trying to do (raise the level of teaching and professionalism), but until the general public embraces it on the level of something like ASE, I don't see the point for me personally.

(For those who are seeking recognition for their own personal enrichment, I do see some value. I agree with the GED parallel. It's a certificate that's roughly equivalent to an undergraduate emphasis in piano pedagogy.)

Quote
Originally posted by mkorman:
What's the general consensus on this? All else being equal, how do
people view the relative merits of teachers who have:

(a) No credentials
(b) MTNA certification
(c) A degree in music education
(d) A degree in music performance

I know a lot of organizations are entirely self-promoting, and their
certifications carry no real weight. But, reading the requirements on
their site, it does seem like they cover the important aspects of a
music degree with respect to piano teaching.

Any thoughts on this?


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941470
11/16/08 10:23 PM
11/16/08 10:23 PM
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Thank you, John!

"By the way, Betty, you can be MORTIFIED about this: The proper site is MTNA.ORG not MTNA.COM"

Ijust really disagree with the GED guys. Let's read AMT columns about certification and read the website to find out what it is about.

I appreciate the folks who feel that a teacher can be a good teacher without the academic diplomas, some of us missed those opportunities.

To me that was a really big challenge to acquire the experience and informational paths to become good enough to teach, and then to earn a reputation that speaks well enough of my teaching efforts. Without mentors and MTNA programs at the chapter level I would be a lesser teacher.

It takes exposure to other teachers and exchanging ideas and giving encouragement to our peers that we face and pace our teaching challenges.

I'm a believer of what we give away comes back to us. I've been a receiver and a giver for a long time and it just makes the piano teaching world better to have great and dependable resources among our fellow musician - teachers.

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941471
11/16/08 10:36 PM
11/16/08 10:36 PM
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Kreisler Offline
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I've read all the information and have been familiar with MTNA Certification for several years. I also helped write the curriculum for a certificate program at the university where I taught.

I believe very strongly that an academic diploma is not necessary to be a good teacher. I also believe very strongly in the value of MTNA and it's various programs.

But I also think it's very important that it's the education and support that makes you a better teacher, not the certificate. The certificate itself, like any other diploma, is worth very little. I believe that about my own diplomas, all of which have resided in a box in the corner of my closet since the day I received them.

And don't worry, it's not just MTNA certification. I'm wary of public school teaching certificates, Suzuki, Orff-Schulwerk, etc... I'm an equal-opportunity Credential Skeptic. smile

wink


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Value of MTNA certification #941472
11/17/08 01:53 AM
11/17/08 01:53 AM
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Betty Patnude Offline
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I really enjoy your comment: "I'm an equal-opportunity Credential Skeptic."

Certainly your credentials/diplomas deserve a hanging file in the filing cabinet, if not the elevation to a frame!

No? Oh!

wink

Re: Value of MTNA certification #941473
11/17/08 02:16 AM
11/17/08 02:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,243
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,243
South Florida
Quote
Originally posted by pianobuff:
Quote
Originally posted by Gary D.:
[b] GED = General Equivalency Diploma

For students who drop out of high school…
Or choose to not go because they want to advance their education by alternative means. [/b]
Absolutely! I meant to mention the idea of simply following another path. Thanks for adding that. smile


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