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Educational Department
- Squadron Educational Officers -

Lamp of Learning

 

SEO FlagSquadron Educational Officers Home Page

This page is intended to assist Squadron Educational Officers (SEOs) perform their duties. Suggestions for improvements to this page should be sent to the WebMaster.

Administrative Functions

  • What does the SEO do? See paragraph 6.2 of the USPS Operations Manual.
  • How should things function in the squadron educational department? See Educational Department Manual (EDM) I, Squadron Organization (PDF, 1253KB)
  • At the start of your tenure, ensure your local board chairs information has been sent to Headquarters by your squadron commander using form ED-1. (Your own information as well as your assistant's information should have also been sent to Headquarters by the Nominating Committee Chair using form ED-80.) Alternatively, you as SEO may use the on-line ED-1 to make course, seminar, teaching aid, and guide chairperson assignments. This will ensure that they can order materials and exams for your squadron without the need to bother you with these details.
  • Be sure that you, your ASEO, your local board chairs, and your instructors have valid e-mail addresses in the USPS data base. If someone needs to provide or change an e-mail address, he/she can do this him/herself by visiting http://www.usps.org/cgi-bin-nat/tools/myprofile.cgi and clicking on Change Status on the E-Mail Status line. He/she will need to log in using his/her certificate number and PIN in order to make the change.
  • Encourage your instructors to be certified; note that many states require those teaching public boating classes to be certified. Certification must be renewed every four (4) years as well. You can locate certified instructors with their certification expiration dates by squadron or district from the SEO/DEO Tools page.
  • For questions or comments, contact the appropriate person using the Who to Contact page or the EdDept directory.

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Getting News Updates

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Procedure for Enrolling Nonmember Students in USPS University and Ordering Exams

  • Exams can be ordered for nonmembers, but they first must be enrolled in USPS University. Please follow the attached procedure (18KB, PDF) for enrolling the nonmember students in USPS University, ordering exams, and issuing certificates of completion. The nonmember will get a certificate number that may be used for all future courses and seminars and will become their membership number on joining USPS. The enrollment only needs to take place once for each student. Note that USPS University members do NOT get a course completion certificate from USPS Headquarters for advanced courses, so it is incumbent on squadrons to provide this acknowledgment. (PDF, 262KB)
  • Exam fees should be considered when setting seminar and course costs.
    • No fees apply to America’s Boating Course exams.
    • A fee of $10 per student seminar completion entered on HQ-800 (or BCA) is now imposed. Squadrons will be invoiced for the seminar completions and need to price their seminars accordingly.
    • For advanced and elective course exams, there will be a $20 fee for all non-member passed exams assessed as a separate charge to the squadron treasurer. The purpose of the fee is to offset the various costs incurred in processing and maintaining records for the non-members.
  • Most squadrons already charge an additional fee to non-members taking a class and this additional cost should be anticipated in your pricing of future courses and seminars. Obviously, the best case is to convince the prospective student to join the squadron and take advantage of the member pricing.
  • Be aware that under no circumstances should you give the student a choice of avoiding this exam fee by not taking the exam. We cannot predict the future needs of any student; we receive regular requests for documentation of course completion.

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Running a Public Boating Course

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Running a Public Seminar

  • Register your seminar on-line (known as the HQ-800 process). Get registration help here if you need assistance with the on-line form.
    • Be sure to check the "Allow Online Registration" button about midway down the form so that students can sign up on-line, reducing your workload.
    • Helpful tips for using the HQ-800 system are in this HQ-800 Quick Guide (142KB PDF or 400KB DOCX). A “BY THE CLICKS” document to REGISTER classes, ENROLL students in the classes, and REPORT completion of the classes is also available (83KB PDF, 119KB DOCX).
    • When determining your seminar prices, be sure to consider the seminar completion fee invoiced to squadrons. A brief description of this fee is above, with more detail on the Seminars page under News.
  • Ensure advertising is done locally for the seminar by your Public Relations Committee. Use the seminar trifolds and window flyers to help promote your seminars.
  • To advertise a seminar, you can use either www.usps.org/findaseminar or usps.org/findaseminar. Either one will take a user to the search page where a user can find a USPS seminar close to home. You can also copy this QR Code image and add it to flyers so that smartphone users can just scan it and be taken directly to the Find a Seminar web page.
  • Order course materials using the On-Line Catalog and Shopping Cart, accessible from any Educational Department web page under the "Order Course Materials" pull-down menu topic. Alternatively, you can order from the USPS Materials Catalog using the Standard Order Form (SOF). In either case, order materials at least 30 days in advance of the course start date. Get Shopping Cart help here or SOF help here.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions web page for information such as instructor certification requirements.
  • Check out the Seminars web page for updated information on the seminar you are offering.
  • Ensure the seminar is run properly and professionally by your instructor and his or her assistants. Be sure to invite your Membership Chair to your seminars.
  • Report student information to Headquarters shortly after seminar completion using either the HQ-800 web application or the Boating Course Assistant standalone software.
  • Be sure to prepare and/or submit Merit Mark recommendations for those members who assisted in your seminar in any way.
  • Plan for your next public seminar, and prepare and distribute any "Lessons Learned" to improve your next session.

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Running Advanced/Member Courses

  • Ensure advance advertising is done for the courses. Use e-mail, your squadron web site, flyers, post cards, and/or word of mouth to encourage members and the public to take our great advanced/member courses.
  • If your course will be open to the public, register your course on-line (known as the HQ-800 process). Get registration help here if you need assistance with the on-line form.
    • Be sure to check the "Allow Online Registration" button about midway down the form so that students can sign up on-line, reducing your workload.
    • Helpful tips for using the HQ-800 system are in this HQ-800 Quick Guide (142KB PDF or 400KB DOCX). A “BY THE CLICKS” document to REGISTER classes, ENROLL students in the classes, and REPORT completion of the classes is also available (83KB PDF, 119KB DOCX).
    • When determining your course prices, be sure to consider the passed exam completion fee invoiced to squadrons. A brief description of this fee is above.
  • Order course materials using the On-Line Catalog and Shopping Cart, accessible from any Educational Department web page under the "Order Course Materials" pull-down menu topic. Alternatively, you can order from the USPS Materials Catalog using the Standard Order Form (SOF). In either case, order materials at least 30 days in advance of the course start date. Get Shopping Cart help here or SOF help here.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions web page for information such as instructor certification requirements, US Coast Guard Auxiliary course credit, and our On-The-Water policy.
  • Check out the National EdDept course web page for updated information on the course you are offering.
  • Ensure each course is run properly and professionally by your instructor and his or her assistants. Be sure to invite other course chairs to classes to encourage members to take other courses. Advanced Grades (AG) enrollment can especially benefit from having the next AG course chair attend a class near the end of the preceding AG course (AP attending a P class for instance).
  • Return unneeded course materials with an HQ-9A form within a 90-day period reckoned from the date the material is shipped from Headquarters and the date the unused material is eventually received by Headquarters. See paragraph 6.38 of the USPS Operations Manual.
  • Order exams using the On-Line Exam Ordering process, accessible from any Educational Department web page under the "Order Course Materials" pull-down menu topic. Alternatively, you can order using an ED-33 form via fax or postal mail. In either case, order exams at least 30 days in advance of the planned date of the exam. Get On-line Exam Ordering help here.
  • For Navigation, submit sight folders with form ED-33.  This form is required per Section 6.42, Sight Folders, of the Operations Manual. Alternatively, squadrons may use the on-line Sight Folder eED-33 Form, accessible on Educational Department web pages under "Order Course Materials", to prepare a printed form that may be submitted with the sight folders to USPS Headquarters. All information for processing member records is taken from the ED-33 or eED-33 before the folder is sent to the ONCom for evaluation. Sight folders received without the accompanying ED-33 or eED-33 will be held until either one of these printed forms is received. NOTE: There is NO facility to send either the ED-33 or the eED-33 electronically to HQ. One of these printed forms MUST accompany the sight folders when they are sent to Headquarters.
  • Use this fillable PDF form (262KB) to acknowledge USPS University member completion of Elective Courses or Advanced Grades courses. Note that USPS University members do NOT get a course completion certificate from USPS Headquarters, so it is incumbent on squadrons to provide this acknowledgment.
  • Be sure to prepare and/or submit Merit Mark recommendations for those members who assisted in your classes in any way.
  • Plan for your next members course, and prepare and distribute any "Lessons Learned" to improve your next course.

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Awards

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Miscellany

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SEO Kit

SEO kits are no longer shipped from HQ. SEOs are encouraged to download and/or use the tools in the SEO kit directly from the web. SEO kit contents are as follows:

Essential materials

Reference materials

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This page last updated Wednesday, April 26, 2017 16:55