Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation Uses Online Courses to Improve Member Skills and Job Performance
The Oklahoma Association for Pupil Transportation (OAPT), a state organization that facilitates quality education to those responsible for pupil transportation, has found School Training Solutions (STS) online bus driver courses to be an integral part of their education process.
OAPT began using the STS online training in 2005 to help its drivers meet professional development goals. These courses have continued to improve driver skills and job performance. With the addition of new recertification courses, OAPT in conjunction with STS, now offers their drivers three different online options. School bus drivers may take courses for certification, in-service, or recertification.
“We had a lot of hesitation at first in taking the instruction out of the hands of the face-to-face instructors,” stated Kim Hamilton, Executive Director of OAPT. “Ultimately we liked the consistency of the program. With the online courses every driver receives the same instruction and the same content.”
Another advantage OAPT has found is the turnover time. “Districts will call trying to find a class for a driver to attend. With the online courses, I can enroll them, and they can start class the next day,” stated Hamilton. This is a big plus, as drivers do not have to be taken away from their jobsite for a week to attend face-to-face training. With the online training participants can complete the course at their own pace and in their own time-frame.
School districts and drivers in Oklahoma are very positive about the online training courses. Many districts are purchasing the online courses to meet their yearly in-service basic skills requirements. According to Hamilton, they have had regular route drivers move up to training positions. These drivers like that the online courses teach the “bookwork.” This allows the instructors to utilize their time for the hands-on, behind-the-wheel training.
“We are in the computer age and more and more drivers are no longer afraid to take online courses. A lot of districts will call and are not sure if their elderly drivers will like it. In the end, they love the online courses and even ask what else they can do online. Drivers don’t have to be apprehensive. This is a very encouraging and user-friendly product,” stated Ms. Hamilton.