Instructional Design Certificate – FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI)

FEMA Emergency Management Institute

FEMA Emergency Management Institute

By definition, Instructional Design (also called Instructional Systems Design (ISD)) is the practice of creating “instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing.” The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition. Ideally the process is informed by pedagogically (process of teaching) and andragogically (adult learning) tested theories of learning and may take place in student-only, teacher-led or community-based settings. The outcome of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically measured or completely hidden and assumed. There are many instructional design models but many are based on the ADDIE model with the five phases: 1) analysis, 2) design, 3) development, 4) implementation, and 5) evaluation. As a field, instructional design is historically and traditionally rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology, though recently Constructivism (learning theory) has influenced thinking in the field.

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Master Trainer Program (MTP) is designed to provide training professionals a means to acquire knowledge and skills in various areas of the training profession and at various levels of expertise. The program is comprised of seven separate certificate programs, at basic through advanced and executive levels, in the areas of Instruction, Instructional Design, and Training Management.


The Instructional Design Certificate provides personnel assigned to design and develop curriculum materials in support of courses, training programs, and training activities, practical knowledge and skills in developing and publishing training materials. Emphasis is placed on the process of developing training plans, training materials, evaluation plans, and student knowledge and skill assessments. A certificate of completion for the Instructional Design Certificate will be awarded upon completion of required courses and research paper.

Application Requirements: Prospective participants in this certificate program should submit an application letter requesting enrollment in the program to NETC Admissions, 16825 S. Seton Ave. Emmitsburg, MD, 21727. The enrollment request should include either a completion certificate for the Master Trainer Program Basic Instructional Design Certificate or a resume that outlines a minimum of 1-2 years experience as a curriculum developer. Additionally, please include a completed General Admission Application, FEMA Form 119-25-1, for each resident course required by the certificate. This form is available online. Online courses may be completed via the EMI Independent Study Program located here.

NOTE: The E614 and E615 courses are scheduled sequentially over a two-week period. Students are expected to request enrollment for both courses and complete them as scheduled in residence for two weeks.

Required Courses for Certificate Completion:

Section 508 Awareness Course (IS-901)

Research in Training and Education (IS-619)

Technical Writing (IS-613)

Analysis and Design of Training (E614)

Development and Evaluation of Training (E615)

Required Research Paper for Certificate Completion:

Each participant in the certificate program will be required to complete a research-to-application paper regarding an observed instructional design and development issue within their organization. This paper will describe the issue to be researched, results of a literature review, the research model used in collecting data, the results of analysis of data, and recommendations to resolve the identified issue.

MTP Research Paper Guidelines

Course Descriptions:

Section 508 Awareness Course (IS-901)
Available online from EMI’s Independent Study program, this course provides a general overview of accessibility requirements under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended).

Technical Writing (IS-613)
Available online from EMI’s Independent Study program , this course provides instruction in technical writing processes and products. Key topics in this course include prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing, as well as copyright requirements, organization of information, and use of photographs, graphics, and charts.

Study Hours: 10 hours

CEUs: 1.0

Research in Training and Education (IS-619)
Available online from EMI’s Independent Study program, this course provides an overview of the process in conducting research in training and education and documenting the analysis of the research in a paper. Topics in the course include the development of an issue or problem statement to be researched, process to conduct a literature review, types of research and data collection models, and formats for research papers.

Study Hours: 5.75 hours

CEUs: 0.6

Analysis and Design of Training (E614)
An essential element of instructional design and curriculum development is the initial analysis of the need for training and the resulting design of training methods and content. This course provides the student the theory and application of analysis methods and course design. Key topics of this course will include analysis of training needs and requirements, development of analysis documents, and design of courses and training programs based upon the results and recommendations of an analysis.

Selection Criteria: The primary audience for this course is composed of individuals assigned to curriculum development duties or positions.

ACE recommendations: This course has not been reviewed for credit.

Prerequisites: Required: Completion of the Master Trainer Program Basic Instructional Design Certificate OR 1-2 years experience as a curriculum developer.

Course Length: 5 days

CEUs: This course has not been reviewed for credit.

Development and Evaluation of Training (E615)
Efficient development of course content and evaluation of curriculum and training program elements are key to the successful implementation and sustainment of training. Key topics of this course will include development of various types of training materials, student knowledge and skill assessments, and implementation of evaluation programs for courses, instructors, and training programs.

Selection Criteria: The primary audience for this course is composed of individuals assigned to curriculum development duties or positions.

ACE recommendations: This course has not been reviewed for credit.

Prerequisites: Required: Completion of the Master Trainer Program Basic Instructional Design Certificate OR 1-2 years experience as a curriculum developer.

Course Length: 4 days

CEUs: This course has not been reviewed for credit

Class room

How to apply for a course held in EMI (On-Campus Course)

Enrollment Policies / Eligibility

Enrollment in EMI courses is generally limited to U.S. residents; however, each year a limited number of international participants are accommodated in EMI courses. To take a course at EMI, applicants must meet the selection criteria and prerequisites specified for each course. Participants may not take the same course more than once.

Foreign Applicant Policies

A very limited number of opportunities exist for non-U.S. citizens to attend EMI courses. Click here for more Foreign Application information.

Application Timeline

Seats are filling up fast, so it’s important to apply early. Please click here for EMI on-campus courses application timelines.

Application Procedures

Please follow the instructions below to apply an EMI course.

   Screen Fillable (Acrobat 2.1 and above)

  • Complete and sign the application form (Please fill out all blanks on the form completely or it will be returned). This application must be coordinated, reviewed, and approved by:

   The head of the applicant’s sponsoring organization,

   Forward the application to the appropriate State Emergency Management Agency for Emergency Management Services, and (The addresses are listed at the back of the EMI Catalog of Activities)

   The NETC Admissions Office.

  • Send completed application(s) to:

Admissions Office, Room I-216
National Emergency Training Center
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727-8998
Phone: (301) 447 – 1035
Fax: (301) 447 – 1658

After each application period

  • NETC staff will review the applications and notify applicants regarding their status as noted above.
  • EMI will post any remaining vacancies on the EMI Web site and interested personnel may continue to apply. EMI will fill vacancies on a first-come, first-served basis.

Free Microsoft Office 2010 Certificate – Step by Step Instructions

Written by Angel Candelario


The Microsoft Office 2010 suite is an essential collection of desktop applications that includes Word for documents, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, Access for databases and much more.® offers cost-free online courses in Word 2010, Excel 2010, Power Point 2010 and Access 2010.   These classes include a certificate plus a CEU Transcript. 

Steps to obtain the certificate

Step 1 – Create an account

Create an account


Step 2 – Class Registration 

I checked in the course of Excel 2010 to evaluate it.  You may select the online class you want here.



Step 3 – Complete all the tasks assigned in the course in order to obtain the certificate.

excel class

Step 4 – Take Final Exam Online

If you successfully pass the exam, you will get a notification via email along with the link where you can download your certificate and the CEU Transcript. Best of luck!

Excel Certificate

CEU Transcript


Professional Portfolio for Technical Communicators; Part I


Applying for a job can be a stressful experience for anyone, but applying for a job with little or no experience has the added stress and challenge. Therefore, your portfolio is a major component in the application process. A portfolio attests to your work, accomplishments, skills and your ability and experience. If you have the skills and the experience, but never had a job with a title of technical writer, a portfolio will testify in your favor.

A portfolio does not replace a resume, but it can highlight your abilities and what you can offer in the technical writer career. Creating a portfolio shouldn’t be a scary process, you only need to take your time and organize yourself. Take a breath, and try not to get discouraged. In the first part of this article we will review the characteristics of an online portfolio. In the second part of this article we will review the characteristics of a printed portfolio.

With that said, I will guide you on how to prepare your portfolio.

Online vs. Printed Portfolio

My recommendation is to complete two portfolio, one which can take to interviews (print), and another a little longer (online), which you can elaborate a little more. There are some differences between them, so we will discuss them separately. I will start with the online portfolio.

Online Portfolio

The first step to create an online portfolio it’s to choose where to publish it.  I chose the “Chateau” theme from WordPress.  



An online portfolio might include these elements:

  1. Introduce yourself;
  2. Feature articles you have written;
  3. Technical Writing and/or Desktop Samples;
  4. Resume;
  5. Transcript and/or certificates; and
  6. Letters of Recommendation/References.

1. Introduce yourself; this is a brief description to the prospect employer or client about what can you do for them.

2. Feature articles you have written; here you will show any article you have written, like blog articles, newsletters, forums and any other format you can think of (including some college essays).

3. Technical Writing and/or Desktop Samples; you may include here quick reference guide, owner’s manuals among other works.  If you don’t have any work sample you may create your own. 

As part of the research I made to write this article, I selected an owner’s manual from the Manuals Online website. I chose a General Electric Magnetic Swipe Card Reader Owner’s Manual. Once you select the document, please review the instruction manual and draft your own manual using simpler language. Put both the original manual and your rewritten version in your portfolio.  You may see what I done in the following link.

Another idea is to write a training procedure for a common activity, such as teaching how to manage images in Microsoft publisher. You may find this sample here. 

4.Resume; focus on effectively transmit to your prospective employers and clients your ability to contribute effectively to the success of their goals.

5.Transcript and/or certificates; provide a brief paragraph introducing each certificate.

6. Letters of recommendation; post here your letters of recommendation. You may use recommendations posted on social networks like LinkedIn.

Please see below the portfolio example I created as part of this article.  Click on the image.

You can use the following online portfolio as an example.

Tips for Promote/marketing your portfolio

  • Join a professional online communities (LinkedIn, etc.) and networking with other community members;
  • Add your design to gallery websites; and
  • Include a link to your portfolio site in your Facebook profile or any other community you belong to

 Next: Professional Portfolio for Technical Communicators; Part II – Printed Portfolio (April 26, 2013).

The Gratification of Networking – Getting Out of the Shadows

By Angel Candelario

netwoking 1

You always reported to work on time, do your job extremely well and even stay late in the office just to make sure that your work looks so great that everybody notice your outstanding performance. As a result, you figured out that if you worked hard and performed well, managers would notice.  Definitely they will notice, they noticed others and you blame the outcome due to lack of luck (among other things), except yourself.

Ironically, you do such good work on a regular basis that your direct manager may take you for granted. Probably, because of this, you’re not getting notice for your efforts. Incidentally, you need to take advantage of something that has no financial costs, but yet, will catapult your career to the next level; Networking.

Essentially, meet others and let people know who you are it’s an important ingredient in the complex success formula.  Networking builds confidence in others and establishes your brand. For instance, if you are interacting with others on a regular basis, you will feel comfortable speaking about yourself, your role, your job responsibilities, as well as your professional abilities.  Strangely enough, by interacting in company’s events, meetings and other special events, you will obtain better results to get noticed. They will remember you as an eloquent professional.

Remember, your image or perception of yourself and what you do is built based upon your experience in handling situations.  The perception of others about yourself is important because if they don’t know who you are, what you currently do and what you are able to do; then you can’t transmit them confidence enough of your ability to contribute effectively to the success of their goals. Perception is a motivator and thus plays a role in the confidence of executive and managerial staff and new opportunities.

The problem with networking is that many of us don’t know how and/or where to start. Easy, it involves your action to recognize opportunities and then identify, create and maintain relationships with key professionals.  Opportunity is tied at every networking relationship.

Please remember that even if you build a strong networking, you need to stay updated on your industry and develop special skills in order to be successful.

All things considered, networking enhances your interpersonal skills and provides an opportunity for career advancement.  The people in your network can put you in touch with other people in addition to other employment opportunities. In conclusion, when you have a strong network you will be involved in relationships that have mutual benefits.

Free Technical Writing Certificate – Step by Step Instructions

Written by Angel Candelario


More and more people are seeking to transition to a career in technical writing. Many of them do not have the resources to pay for their education in this field and get a certificate or diploma from a respected institution.  If you are one of those people, or want to know a little more about technical writing this article will be of interest to you.

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public.  All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment.

You do not have to be a US citizen to access, download and use the course materials however; they do not provide certificates of completion or process final examinations for Non-US citizens.  Training completion certificates are only awarded to fully registered students accepted into the Independent Study learning management system.


Opportunities for Non-US Citizens

Non-US citizens may request access to complete Independent Study courses.  Non-US citizens do not have a social security number but will be assigned a unique student identifier if approved for training, the NETC policy at this time for a Non-US Citizen to take IS courses is as follows:

  1. The non-US citizen must have a United States organization as a sponsor (i.e., fire department, police department, state emergency organization, college or university).
  2. In addition, the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) may sponsor their members. Details regarding IAEM sponsorship may be found online here.
  3. The sponsoring organization must make a written request on their official organization letterhead. For information regarding student ID please read here. 

About IS-613 Technical Writing Course

The IS-613 Technical Writing course is designed as an asynchronous course.  The course will consist of multiple modules instructing to the comprehension of research, writing, and graphic communications principles.

At the conclusion of the IS-613 Technical Writing course, the participant will be able to;

  1. Identify the proper use of research in training project development.
  2. Describe the various characteristics of written communications.
  3. Explain the communication features of graphics and visual media.

Primary Audience

The audience for this course consists of training personnel and managers and those who wish to gain knowledge and skills in the areas of training and development.


Steps to obtain the certificate

Step 1 – Download the training material


Step 2 – Study with the training material provided. 

It may take approximately ten hours to complete the course. I recommend you take the time to review it and if you have any questions you can bring it to technical writers groups in LinkedIn such as Technical Writer In Action.  Surely you will get an answer.


Step 3 – Take Final Exam Online

If you successfully pass the exam, you will get a notification via email along with the link where you can download your certificate. Best of luck!

Fema Certificate

Telecommunications Challenges in the New Economy

Written by Angel Candelario


I have worked for almost fifteen years in the telecommunications industry, managed in areas ranging from different Supply Chain functions such as Customer Service Supervisor, Global Order Fulfillment Management, Business Analyst, Project Scheduler, Materials Manager and Transport Order Manager within very respected companies like Verizon, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T in the Caribbean and Latin America

Many experienced telecommunications professionals have been witness of the fundamental transformation in the global economy as businesses and individuals, due to new technologies and trends, new opportunities and investments in wireless and mobile, computing, information, and communications technologies.

The Telecommunications industry is facing strong competitive forces resulted in launching hundreds of new technology and operational change projects with limited internal resources.

The employees are pressured to execute more projects, faster, with fewer resources. The operational environment is complex; it consisted of thousands of technologies, vendors, partnerships, supply chain challenges and last minute processes undergoing change at the same time. The number one management challenge is the size and speed of change.

Due to these challenges, the right course of actions is to identify and implement process improvement plans designed to increase customer satisfaction and improve service delivery process.

Customer Satisfaction and Service Delivery

Customer satisfaction can only be achieved with an extraordinary service delivery. Simple and effective workflow is an essential component of a service delivery.  Therefore, a workflow needs to be simple enough to reconfigure and adapt to different projects, situations and emerging market needs. As a consequence, the technology used in the workflow (software solutions like SAP, Oracle, etc.) are a key enabler of service delivery.  The technology platform needs to be modular, flexible and reconfigurable. Therefore, this platform must integrate easily with external systems and process to support customers and suppliers teamwork in order to be effective on a global operation.  Please remember that telecommunication industry competition is not only intense, it is global.

Total Quality Management

The direct benefits to develop, implement and support a cost effective operational processes that improved staff expertise, enhanced communication and collaboration between various operational teams and improved customer service management will be the achievement of objectives to improve operational speed and excellence as part of the competitive strategy.

The quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone at any organization. We need to capitalize on the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers, and even customers, in order to meet or exceed customer expectations.

Total quality management is a management system for a customer focused organization that involves all employees in continual improvement of all aspects of the organization. TQM uses strategy, data, and effective communication to integrate the quality principles into the culture and activities of the organization.

A dedicated team of quality management with an expertise in methods & procedures/process sounds like a plus for any organization. The employer should invest on key personnel with useful trainings and certifications like Six Sigma, Project Management and other quality trainings.  As a result the employer will have a solid team that will fulfill company’s goal in a time and cost saving manner.

Effective Coaching

In my article “The teams are the ones who win and the coaches are the ones who lose” I emphasize on the importance of an effective coaching.  Michael Jordan once said; “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”  That is why my point of view have always been that there are not ineffective employees; there is only ineffective supervision and guidance (or ineffective monitoring and coaching).  Supervisors are sometimes the victims of their own success. They become supervisors not because they have good people and management skills, but because they are good at their job. This can lead to a manager who doesn’t know how to motivate and constructively criticize their employees.

Clear Documentation: Taking the Fog Out of Your Internal Process

Have you ever picked up a reference manual and found yourself more confused after reading it than you were before you started? A clear reference manual for your employees is an essential tool to quality processes.

If an employee need to consult an internal reference document in order to clear a doubt related to a process and the document is to complex (or worse, there are none), the results may be unfortunately and undesirable. For this reason, clear reference documentation will decrease the number of questions to the supervisor or coworkers thereby providing the team with more time to concentrate on complex situations.

Writing clear documentation is not easy.  Have a colleague or a professional writer review your text thoroughly for simplicity and accuracy. A documentation specialist or technical writer could be of great help in this type of situations.

In conclusion, telecommunications challenges need to be addresses with several strategies. Customer satisfaction, service delivery, total quality management, effective coaching and clear documentation are key elements to overcome these challenges. Be careful when you adapt process and procedures from other departments or companies. We need to be reflective in our borrowing of ideas from other operations. The one-size-fits-all mentality in corporate policy and process has proved a disaster.  You may read more about this topic on my article “Does One Size Fit All? A fundamental problem for desirable results.”