The Sports Field Management Association (SFMA) initiated four distinct programs that focus on bringing young people to a career in sports field management: SFM 101, Cue Career, iCEV, and the Chapter Ambassador program. A strategic goal for SFMA is to grow the organization by focusing on integrating the next generation into positions that will ultimately lead to the sports field manager by using technology to bridge the gap between those upcoming generations and current sports field managers. These four programs address this goal.
The SFMA 101 free self-paced training course provides continuing education opportunities for anyone who has not been formally educated in turfgrass science and is interested in entering the industry.
The course is online and, when completed, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion that can printed out to show a potential employer.
The course builds a solid foundation in the science and practices of turfgrass management so students can successfully care for a turfgrass sports surface. Those who complete the course will be ready to be hired for seasonal and crew assistance at sports facilities.
This course is not restricted to students, and may also be used as a training tool for current sports field crew members. Although the course is free, those pursuing it must be an SFMA member or join as an SFMA student member ($30) to participate. If you are interested, visit sportsfieldmanagement.org.
SFMA has partnered with iCEV Multimedia, LLC to develop a national online turfgrass curriculum. iCEV is an organization that provides online curriculum, instructional materials and certification testing for career technical education. Similar to FFA, it provides its educational products to agricultural ed teachers. It also offers other technical career education outside of agriculture-based (i.e., business, marketing, health sciences and more), as well as develops training curriculum for companies. More than 14,000 teachers in classrooms have used the lessons, and students have viewed 12 million minutes of videos.
iCEV provides educators pre-built, fully customizable courses complete with multimedia lessons and supporting coursework. The SFMA turfgrass curriculum is being redeveloped into presentations accompanied by detailed lesson plans, projects and activities, handouts, assessments and more. Content is aligned to the latest state and national standards.
The goal of iCEV is to provide students with the focus and preparation needed for a successful transition from K-12 to post-secondary studies to career success, along with providing necessary training for the lifelong learner.
When students complete the iCEV curriculum and pass the test they will receive SFMA Turfgrass Science Certification. SFMA is the issuer of the certification, and iCEV is the supplier of the preparation content and the testing platform. SFMA is the only entity to offer this certification through iCEV. iCEV will also include a short module on the importance of joining the SFMA as a student member.
For more information, visit icevonline.com.
Cue Career is an online platform where students learn about careers by directly interacting with professional associations. Cue Career provides students with an easy and effective way to access information about careers and professional development opportunities. SFMA has partnered with Cue Career to present the career of sports field management. Students will explore the career of sports field management by watching video interviews with SFMA members who are early in their career. They will also have access to development opportunities such as internships, apprenticeships, seasonal crew opportunities, etc. Cue Career is free to students.
To see all that this resource offers, visit Cuecareer.com
Chapter Ambassador Program
SFMA has 32 chapters, and they are an ideal channel to help share the career of sports field management with students in their local communities.
The SFMA Chapter Relations Committee is developing a model to provide to chapters on how to contact and engage middle school and high school students. The model will include how to contact schools, who to contact, how to volunteer for career days or other opportunities. There will be a PowerPoint presentation and script developed for presenting to students plus suggestions on how to further engage students at chapter events. There are many messages that apply to a variety of students’ interests, such as those who:
- Enjoy the outdoors
- Are involved in sports and want to stay involved
- Consider themselves a sports fan
- Want to use emerging technology such as drones, GPS, robotic equipment, and high-tech turf apps
- Care about protecting the environment
- Are interested in the art and science of creating and maintaining beautiful and safe fields for athletes
- Are in a high school ag education program
The committee’s goal is to complete the module by year’s end and present it to its chapter leadership at the Chapter Officers Training Session during the annual conference.