By Rich Kozlovich
I recently participated in a conversation where it was asked if there would be any effort to certify any Associate Certified Entomologist's. During the discussion it became apparent the consensus feeling was ACE's weren't "really" entomologists, and I think - based on what was said - that's a consensus view even among ACE's.
However, it was also agreed it was a good PR program and an upgrade for the industry. The big knock on this was - they shouldn't be called entomologists. No alternatives were offered. It was also noted the group certifying them was making a bunch of money. Okay, and that's bad why?
I think this kind of thinking is wrong headed, and I think it's counter productive with a bit of cognitive dissonance thrown in.
Let's analyze this.
To become a university trained entomologist one goes to class, reads books, attends lectures and takes tests. And if those tests are passed some legitimate recognized certifying authority - such as a university - says they're an entomologist.
The Associate Certified Entomologist program is run by the ESA Certification Corporation as a benefit for "practicing pest control professionals" with "a minimum of 5 years of verifiable pest management experience in the United States as proven by a resume, CV, or attestation of employment from your employer. The ability to take and pass an online test of your knowledge of structural pest control, two letters of professional reference. These should be from current or former employers, major clients, professional colleagues, or others who can speak to your professionalism, entomological knowledge, and your ethical standards. Furthermore "there is no need for an advanced degree to participate, just a solid grasp of the practical aspects of applied entomology."
There's other stuff also, but that's basically it.
So it seems clear becoming an Associate Certified Entomologist requires one to read books,
lectures and take tests, because in order to become licensed in their state they did just that, and then take another test overseen by the certifying authority
- in this case the ESA Certification Corporation.
Did I get that right?
So if I got that right I think it's appropriate to ask: What's the big difference between someone certified as an entomologist by a university or by the ESA Certification Corporation?
Well, it would appear the ACE applicant had to have real world experience and have his character attested to by others in the pest control industry. Did anyone see that as a requirement for any university accredited entomologists?
Which is more? Which is better? And no one is claiming this corporation is illegitimate, so that's not an argument against claiming they're not entomologists.
Let's take a look at public education and higher education.
The farthest back I can find where public education became available in the Western world goes back to 1600's Scotland. And the goal of that system was to create responsible, educated, Christian citizens. Well, that's clearly not the goal any longer. Public education isn't turning out responsible, educated or Christian citizens. In point of fact - if these public schools were manufacturing nuts and bolts they would be rejected at the loading dock as defective.
Higher education was formed along the same lines: To develop a "process" that would form young people's minds and create a world view and a way of thinking for future leaders for the benefit of society. Well, that's clearly been corrupted to the point they're turning out some of the most disruptive and destructive forces against civilized behavior the world has ever seen. Young, passionate, ill informed, uninformed and stunningly stupid! Moonbats and snowflakes!
We've been flimflamed! Society has been scammed by "education" charlatans for so long we find it too painful to recognize we're been conned, hornswoggled, deceived, duped and swindled - at all levels of education - and because society has come to embrace the con - society rejects any evidence showing just how badly we've become slaves to the power of these charlatans.
Having gone through "the process" of higher education isn't a winning argument. It's time we got over this intellectual snobbery!
My wife used to be a realtor, which required her to take a test, which a great many don't pass the first and even second time out, including those who went to college for it. My wife passed it the first time by taking two year college course that was condensed into a six week five hours a night class.
I had pointed this out to the group saying if we really wanted to we could take a university course on entomology and condense it down into a few weeks. Some laughed! Well, the fact of the matter is college students spend a whole lot of time doing things other than studying entomology. We just need to get rid of these "other" things to create a credible, concentrated course on urban entomology.
We are what we do, and if someone is recognized as an entomologist by a legitimate certifying authority - then that person is an entomologist.
During the conversation it was noted, with a tiny bit of distaste, one of the nation's leading pest control companies was planning an getting thousands of their technicians certified as ACE's. I say good for them.
Let's face it - do we believe this is upgrading the industry? If we really believe that - and I do - then we need to act like we believe it, and not disparage that accreditation. If we think it's a joke why should the public think differently. Worse yet - if we think it's a joke why should the bureaucrats, politicians and activists we deal with think differently?
What I would like to see is some state university offer an abbreviated condensed certifiable urban entomology course for pest controllers who've been in the industry for five years, and I would like to see the state associations and our national association get on board with that.
It can be done!
All it takes is the guts to row against the tide and the fortitude to stick it out. Then it will become an accepted reality - a reality that will be a wonderful continuing upgrade for our industry. In the meanwhile let's stop diminishing who we are and what we do.
Our adversaries don't need any help from us.