Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Get your spot now

It's that time again: the rush to get a spot at USAC's applicant training.  In case you missed the announcement, registration is open for the fall training.  Well, that's not quite true: registration for the DC training is already closed.  All 265 spots filled in less than 12 hours.

That seems like a problem to me.  I have two suggestions:
  1. Do what rock bands do when they sell out: add another show.  Even better, run a separate training for SECA and E-mpa®.  I'd guess half of DC's registrants come from those two groups.  Apart from the "see and be seen" factor, both groups now wrap meetings around the training, so state coordinators and consultants need to be in DC at that time.  A separate training would also allow us to ask the kind of questions that no one else cares about, and if you subscribe to Commissioner Pai's belief that consultants are evil, it would protect the applicant sheep from the consultant wolves-in-sheep's-clothing.
  2. Put it on the Web.  I'm all for continuing the live sessions, but even if they all fill up, only about 2,000 people will see a presentation.  There are about 21,000 applicants.  Even assuming that each applicant sends only one person, it's only enough to cover 10% of applicants.  And the pool of potential applicants is over 56,000, so only 3.5% of potential applicants can get a look.  USAC already has a YouTube channel.  Why not put the presentations up there?  Apart from reaching a wider audience, it would also help that poor school employee whose supervisor says in February, "Oh, you need to get us E-Rate funding."  They used to put videos online, but I can't remember seeing any since 2007.  Maybe the opportunity for viral fame would bring back the skits.  And maybe after Bad Lip-Reading got through with the Cost-Effectiveness Review presentation, it would better reflect reality.
Which training will fill up next?  LA.  (Los Angeles, not Louisiana)  Less than 24 hours after the trainings were announced, there are only 38 spots left.


  1. USAC's Weekly News Brief lists all the dates and locations for applicant training. That's a little mean, given that DC and LA are already closed.

  2. A week later, Philly is atop the field for the bronze medal. I'm surprised Orlando had 85 spots left. Who doesn't want to go to FL in November? More importantly, it's the last training, and in a program where the rules change constantly, you want the last possible update.