[StATS]: American Statistical Association Traveling Course committee (August 15, 2006, Teaching resources, General)
I volunteered to be the new chair of the Traveling Course committee of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The ASA recruits speakers who offer a one day course on an important topic in Statistics and then offers the course to three local ASA chapters that are in reasonably close proximity (that gets a bit tricky for some of the chapters in the western United States). The ASA pays the speaker honorarium and the airline costs while the local chapter pays the hotel and meals. Typically, the local chapter will re-imburse the national office for $25 per attendee. Local chapters typically charge more than $25 to each attendee to recoup their costs, though some will also subsidize the cost for full-time students.
It's a nice program that helps the local chapters enhance the quality of programs that they offer and it usually makes some money for both the local chapter and the national chapter.
The committee met during the Joint Statistics Meetings last week. The vice chairs of each district have been asked to either serve on this committee or designate someone to serve. This will insure good geographical representation on the committee.
There are several topics and speakers that we will pursue for the upcoming year. When we get two volunteers (maybe three) to teach for the traveling course, we will send out a call to all the chapters to apply for one or both of the classes. We will give priority to chapters that have not had a traveling course recently.
Next year, I suggested that we move the process up by a few months so that a speaker would be selected in June or July and announced at the Council of Chapters meeting at the JSM meeting in August. This would allow chapters to work a traveling course into their schedule for the fall.
I also think that we need to describe the details of the traveling course on the ASA website. There is already a set of pages for the LearnSTAT courses,
that we could use as a model for the traveling course.
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