Staying In The Traditional Program… Or Jumping Into Pathways?
The question is being asked and will be asked and debated by some Toastmasters, whether they should continue with the traditional program or jump into Pathways or do work in both. The answer to all of the above three questions is yes, yes, and yes!
Each Toastmaster will need to decide which option and/or options will best suit his or her individual needs and goals, going forward. In addition, the availability of time in completing the traditional program during the two-year transition needs to be factored in.
All educational awards earned under the traditional program will always be recognized by Toastmasters International and will be shown in the history of awards earned in the individual member profile.
The final destination of the traditional program as well as in Pathways is the ‘Distinguished Toastmaster’ [DTM] award. Taking this destination as the basis and keeping the “other” requirements of the DTM award aside for the time being (i.e., serving as club officer, district officer, club mentor or coach, club sponsor or speechcraft or youth leadership program) and only count the number of speeches required in both programs, here is how it looks in general context.
At a very rough cut, the requirement for a traditional DTM is at least 45 speeches, usually more.
For Pathways, if we ignore the complexities of some of the level 4 & 5 projects [some of the level 4 & 5 projects are complex and will require additional time to complete them. For example, the HPL is a level 5 project, required in 3 Paths. So this can be construed by some as over simplification]; it could be said that there are about 28-30 speeches required for completion of the DTM award in Pathways.
Even when a member who has completed a Competent Communicator [CC] award, still has 35 speeches to do under the traditional DTM program. Switching to Pathways, he or she would only have to do between 28 to 30 speeches.
Even if a member had completed an ‘Advance Communicator, Bronze’ [ACB] award, it leaves about 25 additional speeches to give in the traditional program. Switching to Pathways would require few additional speeches. Also, the transition period deadline (now 2 years away and/or through June 30, 2020) is no longer relevant and the member can proceed at whatever pace he or she feels comfortable.
The above is a general synopsis of the traditional verses Pathways program. Each member will need to carefully examine his or her individual situation and proceed appropriately in continuing in the traditional program, jump into Pathways and do both, during the transition period.
Communicate and consult with your VP Education or a Pathways Guide or Ambassador to determine which course of action is best suited for you.
Sam Mehta, DTM
Pathways – Chief Ambassador and Guide