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Q: What is Path Intl. Community Connections?
A: Community Connections is the voice of PATH Intl. membership. It unites members with both similar and diverse interests and provides them with networking opportunities. The vision is to support a member-centric approach, where members have the ability to engage with one another in communities as they see fit. This will be accomplished by creating PATH Intl. Community Groups with active and defined leadership and a shared passion for the association mission. PATH Intl. Community Connections will also support local, state, regional, national and international opportunities for face-to-face meetings and networking events.
Q: What motivated the association to create PATH Intl. Community Connections?
A: YOU! Members have been asking for increased opportunities to connect and share passions, interests and insights. PATH Intl. Community Connections provides just such a social networking platform. It is for members by members.
Q: What are PATH Intl. Community Groups?
A: The PATH Intl. social networking site connects members through community groups by linking individuals with a shared interest and/or purpose through involvement in the group(s) of their choosing. These groups foster community through member participation, member and mentor matching, support, resource sharing and advocacy. Community groups align with the PATH Intl. mission, vision, strategic plan and practices, but they are imagined, created, defined and managed by their members. The association creates the environment for community groups to operate; however, the communities themselves are self-directed.
Q: What is the difference between PATH Intl. Community Groups and PATH Intl. Committees?
A: Committees will remain active under the association’s volunteer organization chart, making relevant decisions regarding the association’s credentialing programs; overseeing standards development; ensuring the educational support exists for the EAAT industry; supporting staff in recruiting, retaining and recognizing members. Committees do the WORK of the association.
Communities operate freely with their purpose being driven by members rather than the association. While community groups align with the PATH Intl. mission, vision and goals, their activities are self-directed. Communities are less project-driven and more focused on networking.
Volunteer committees and staff may turn to community groups as advisors and experts in addressing association opportunities and issues. Communities may petition appropriate volunteer committees and staff regarding opportunities, issues and procedures they believe the association should be aware of as they relate to PATH Intl. strategic priorities and the needs of the industry.
Q: What PATH Intl. Community Groups have already been identified?
A: Community groups are formed by members for members. To date a number of highly active groups have stepped forward to pilot this new initiative: the instructor community (including riding, driving and vaulting instructors), the equine-facilitated psychotherapy community, the equine-facilitated learning community and the administrative community. PATH Intl. hopes that many other communities will emerge to form active community groups in the near future.
Q: How do regions and PATH Intl. Community Groups interact?
A: Each region can have a community group if they feel it is useful. Members can engage with each other via any geographic groups and by the specialty community groups of their choosing. Members will be able to search for each other and for events, programs and professionals by state and also by specialty. Finally, since the community chairs of the broad-based community groups sit on the PATH Intl. Membership Oversight Committee (made up of all region representatives), the needs of both regions and specialties will be represented.
Q: What if a PATH Intl. Community Group identifies an opportunity or issue with certification, accreditation or standards development?
A: Members of the community group can follow the individual processes of their community to submit a proposal to the Community Chair. The Community Chair can in turn submit this proposal to the appropriate Oversight Committee. (See Community Connections User Manual for more specific information.)
Q: How can I join a PATH Intl. Community Group?
A: It’s easy! For existing PATH Intl. members, just go to www.pathintl.org/path-intl-membership/my-community and click the link to PATH Intl. Community Connections to create your profile. View all of the community groups available and engage in active dialog or just enjoy the resources and discussions from a distance.
Q: What if I want to start a new PATH Intl. Community Group?A: One of the best things about PATH Intl. Community Connections is that it is FOR MEMBERS BY MEMBERS, so if you feel like there is a community out there that isn’t represented, and you can demonstrate active participation by the membership, PATH Intl. will help you start a new community group!
Q: Can I be part of more than one PATH Intl. Community Group?
A: YES! You can join as many community groups as you like. All PATH Intl. members have access to all the community groups.
Q: Is there a fee associated with joining a PATH Intl. Community Group?
A: For PATH Intl. members, it’s FREE
Q: How do PATH Intl. Community Groups operate?
A: Each community group is led by a community chair and a team of community leaders who represent the needs of their community members. The community chairs of the broad-based communities sit on the PATH Intl. Membership Oversight Committee (MOC) along with the region representatives. The chair of the Membership Oversight Committee represents the needs of both the regions and the communities to the other oversight committees and to the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees. (See Community Connections User Manual for more information.)
Q: How do I communicate with my PATH Intl. Community Group?
A: PATH Intl. has invested in a new social networking site similar to Facebook but designed specifically to meet the needs of PATH Intl. members. This social networking site provides each member with the opportunity to create a profile, choose community groups, connect with other members, find mentors, engage in discussion, work on projects collaboratively, participate in community-wide or association-wide surveys and access the resource library, which is created and maintained by the members of the various community groups. One of the great benefits to this social networking site is that members can connect with one another and work on projects regardless of time zones or what continent they live on and can do so in their free moments between lessons and sessions.
Q: What kind of technology do I need to have to be involved in a PATH Intl. Community Group?
A: You will need access to both a computer and the Internet. If you are at all familiar with Facebook, you will be comfortable with the PATH Intl. social networking site. The PATH Intl. staff and the community chairs and leaders will assist you with any technological issues you may encounter. Pick up a handout about the PATH Intl. Community Connections social networking site or download a copy from the PATH Intl. website at www.pathintl.org/path-intl-membership/my-community.
Q: Is there a mobile application for the PATH Intl. Community Connections social networking site?
A: No, but there is a mobile site that you are automatically directed to if you are using your mobile device. This site has fewer features but is optimized for your phone.
Q: With this transition to PATH Intl. Community Groups and the new social networking site, what will happen to existing Yahoo Groups?
A: The Yahoo Groups email exchanges can continue to act as an independent sites for conversations that include both members and non-members. All important resources currently available on the various Yahoo Groups will be condensed into appropriate resource libraries based on special interest and content and can be accessed through the social networking site. PATH Intl. invites any members or non-members who wish to continue monitoring the individual Yahoo Groups to do so independently of PATH Intl.
Q: How will the association change because of PATH Intl. Community Connections?
A: PATH Intl. will become more streamlined and more professional because of the powerful voice of thousands of actively engaged members who advocate for their areas of specialty, engage in lively dialog and provide vision for the association as a whole. The association will be stronger, more diverse and at the same time more integrated as PATH Intl. Community Connections unites members and gives them a voice.
Q: How can I get more information about PATH Intl. Community Connections?
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