The program pilot for the Pathways learning experience is now complete, with three districts—57, 27 and 51—successfully launching Toastmasters’ new education program. Pathways is now rolling out in phases, region by region. Region 14 launched first, at the end of July, with Region 2 scheduled for September.
Before a region launches Pathways, each of its clubs should be visited by a Pathways Guide and a Pathways Ambassador. These two members will give a presentation about the learning experience, helping club members prepare to work in the program. Be sure to attend your club meeting the day of the Pathways visit—it will be a great benefit to you.
Jim Heeren, DTM, a District 27 Pathways Guide, says his club visits went well overall, especially in meetings with high member turnout. “The members were enthusiastic and had lots of questions,” he says. Heeren, a member for 35 years, says the presentations took about an hour and, “once we got into the material, they kind of wished there was more time.”
JoAnn Ainsworth, ACG, ALB, a member of two clubs in Northern California, says a number of Toastmasters are concerned about working in the new program because they’ve been working in the traditional one for a long time. That’s why the club visits are so important, she notes—they make members feel more comfortable about what’s ahead. Club visits by District 57 Pathways Guide Coordinator George Marshall have been very informative and reassuring, Ainsworth says.
John Dinh, ACB, ALB, a member of the Star Search Toastmasters club in Fremont, California, echoes Ainsworth’s comments. He also stresses the important role club officers play in the launch. As club leaders, officers need to set the tone by embracing Pathways and actively working in the learning experience, says Dinh, the club’s 2016–2017 president.
“It’s very important, because club members need to have someone to help show them the ropes.”
Visit the Pathways webpage for FAQs as well as information about Pathways’ history, Base Camp and the role of member volunteers.