A Different Approach to Continuing Education

Water Otter extends an offer during COVID-19 pandemic significantly reducing subscription costs to its online continuing education platform

A Different Approach to Continuing Education

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A decade ago, Treatment Plant Operator was first to announce the formation of a new company that was taking a different approach to continuing education for the water and wastewater industry. At the time of that article, the company was recently formed with the vision of providing the industry quality continuing education that is more available, consistent, valuable, less costly, and easier to track and report.

Since that time, the vision has evolved into Water Otter and has grown to meet those goals by adopting the trend in modern education of providing anytime, anywhere online delivery. Water Otter’s mobile friendly platform allows courses to be taken from a PC, a tablet, or even a smart phone, and is continually expanding the curriculum to address an increasing number of subject areas. There are YouTube videos that describe the program (WaterOtterIntro) and which offer a simple tutorial for using the program (WaterOtterTutorial).

Quality education and regulatory compliance remain foremost in the Water Otter program. The water and wastewater courses are written and presented by experienced senior operators who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience, and an ongoing initiative is to strive to keep courses approved in most states that require pre-approval despite the 50 separate sets of regulations required to do so.

Sadly, even as the concept is 10 years old and has matured into a well-recognized product in use from its home base in Virginia to Hawaii, the industry has been slow to adapt to online education. Worse, regulators have struggled to understand how to treat this new paradigm — some avoiding it altogether. Those working for a state regulatory agency can read this post to learn how Water Otter can help you protect the integrity of your approval process and improve your service to the industry.

Despite the industry’s struggles to deal with online education, there are thousands of operators taking courses online and there are many bright spots. A recent TPO article highlighted the careers of three women at the City of Richmond, Virginia, where the Water Otter program has been included as an important component of their training operations. Others use Water Otter’s online content to complement hands-on experiences to bring more variety and structure to their continuing education programs. 

Long-term relationships with member organizations like these have also led Water Otter to take an active role as a patron to the industry, recently providing free online credits to participants of a hurricane-shortened Virginia Water Environment Association industry trade show, and offering a special COVID-19 rate to allow new members to subscribe at significantly reduced cost. If your operations haven’t taken advantage of online continuing education yet, Water Otter has recently extended its COVID-19 offer and welcomes subscriptions from new members. For more information, go to WaterOtter.com or call for details at 1-877-378-8111.


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