As NPS park units and offices begin a phased return to operations, the NPS Fundamentals Program and Albright Training Center are planning on how to best meet employee needs for training while following guidance set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the White House during this unprecedented time.
Decisions about canceling or rescheduling courses are being made as necessary based on changing circumstances and guidance provided from the Departmental level. We recognize this approach may make it difficult to plan your attendance to NPS Fundamentals. We encourage you to review the FAQs below to determine the best course of action for your situation. Additional questions can be sent to NPS_Fundamentals@nps.gov.
We recognize this situation can be stressful for many, especially new agency employees. The NPS Fundamentals Program is committed to providing opportunities for you to build your professional and personal development during this time. As we look at current training options and potential new ones, we are committed to using technologies that allow us to reach employees at any location while looking forward to resuming our residential courses.
When will I know if the class I’m signed up for is cancelled?
It is hard to say. Our goal is to give students a two-week notice before the start date their course. However those enrolled should recognize that NPS Fundamentals residential courses at Albright will not be able to resume until non-essential travel is allowed. When those restrictions are lifted, we will evaluate our operations to ensure we are meeting safety standards and proceed with scheduled classes. Class cancellations are posted as a return reply on the Fundamentals email at NPS_Fundamentals@nps.gov.
I am signed up for an upcoming course, but I don’t feel comfortable traveling.
Not a problem. We want all our students to manage the risk of traveling and being in face-to-face training at their own discretion. If you are signed up for a course, but would like to postpone or cancel your attendance, please speak with your supervisor first about your decision, then email us at NPS_Fundamentals@nps.gov so we can discuss next steps.
I am approaching my two-years as a permanent employee. If I don’t attend now, am I ineligible to attend NPS Fundamentals in the future?
Not at all. We understand that canceling or rescheduling courses in addition to personal and work obligations may mean you can’t attend before the cut-off period (within two years of obtaining permanent status). We will be flexible in extending this timeframe.
How is Albright Training Center adjusting operations to prevent the spread of the disease?
The training center is following cleaning practices outlined by the CDC. We are currently looking at additional options to provide our guests with a safe experience that includes:
- Providing sanitizer, gloves, and masks to guests
- Limiting class sizes to meet social distancing requirements
- Limiting the number of people allowed in government vehicles at a time
We will continue to revise practices as additional updates regarding the operation of facilities is released. Specific questions about the facility, including lodging rooms and cleaning procedures, can be directed to Albright_Campus@nps.gov.
What about classes next year?
While we plan to adapt to changing circumstances, we are proceeding with scheduling classes for FY21. This will include a full menu of class options including 8-day classes, 5-day classes, Fundamentals–On–the–Road, and opportunities for mid-career employees. Upcoming class dates and how to apply can be found on the Common Learning Portal.
Is there is way to take NPS Fundamentals virtually or online?
Currently there is no option to complete the NPS Fundamentals course virtually or online as a major component of the curriculum is networking, peer-to-peer learning, and field experiences. However, there are several virtual opportunities for new employees to start becoming familiar with the NPS mission, culture, and operations. Note these resources are open to any employee, volunteer, or intern:
- NPS Fundamentals Essentials: These short articles found on the Common Learning Portal provide an overview of various NPS operations. They are great place to start when looking to build a holistic understanding of how the agency works to meet its mission.
- Welcome New NPS Employees Webinar: These monthly, 1-hour webinars provide information and resources that are “need-to-know” for new employees.
- NPS Core Values: What are our core values and how do they impact the work we do? Read this article on the Common Learning Portal and complete the questions to build your understanding.
- The History of the National Park Service: In this online course, you will learn about the ideas that formed and transformed the National Park Service, the people who supplied those ideas, and the laws that shaped the NPS.