URBANA, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program PSEP has collaborated with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to offer online training courses and online certification exams to Illinois Pesticide applicators and operators. All training courses and exams are available now through at least July 2021.
“Our commercial training courses each provide several hours of instructional content mixed with exam-prep questions,” says Matt Gill, Illinois Extension specialist. All courses are entirely self-paced and can be completed over a 30-day window following purchase. Some even include the opportunity for obtaining continuing education credits.
Feedback on the new online courses has been overwhelmingly positive. “Folks seem to particularly appreciate the ability to review content more than once, allowing them to strengthen any knowledge areas they may be struggling with,” says Maria Turner, Illinois Extension specialist. For a full list of available courses and pricing see the PSEP Training and Testing page.
For those who prefer or require an alternative to online training, PSEP continues to offer fill-in-the-blank style workbooks for most categories of licensure which guide self-study alongside the printed manuals. For availability and ordering instructions, see the PSEP Study Materials page.
When folks are ready to take their pesticide applicator or operator licensure exams, they now have the option to do so online or in-person. Over 6,000 exams have already been administered online this year, and roughly half that many have been administered in-person. The online exams utilize a commercial proctoring service which requires test takers pay a $12 fee per exam attempt for the service. For detailed instructions for scheduling an online exam, start at the PSEP Training and Testing page. Since taking an online exam will be a new experience for many, Illinois Extension Specialist Travis Cleveland’s article What to Expect When Taking Your Illinois Pesticide Certification Exam Online may prove helpful for many.
In-person testing sessions are available, according to the IDA In-Person Testing website. Registration is required, and space is limited. More in-person testing sessions will be added as conditions and state/local policy permits.
“Of the many folks our team has spoken with so far this year, the common message after taking their exam is that they were grateful for the online training courses and felt they were very helpful in preparing for the exam,” says Turner.
The PSEP training courses and exams are hosted at Learn @ Illinois Extension, a new site developed by Illinois Extension. “Great credit goes to the extension web development team,” says Gill. “They made it possible for our program to keep our commitment to providing quality training to folks seeking pesticide application licensure, despite the challenges the pandemic has presented.”
— University of Illinois Extension
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