Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Students Dive In!

Chasing a wild idea that is truly outside the box, PIU has begun a recreational scuba diving program to assist students in finding employment after graduation. Although our graduates earn a highly marketable degree from PIU, some students don’t want to teach or work in the government when they get back home. Even those who are called to ministry don’t really have a “voice” until they are nearly forty, and teachers could use the extra income, anyway. As a result, there has been an unfortunate “brain drain” out of Micronesia as locals migrate to Hawaii and the states for better employment. Since it is a stated desire of PIU to send quality Christian graduates back to their islands, staff have been dreaming up ideas to enable them. Out of the dreams comes the new dive program, featuring Eric as program coordinator (yes, he’s still Seminary Dean). Theoretically, by the end of the program (6 units), a student will be certified as a dive master, which qualifies him or her to become a professional dive guide in the world-famous waters of Micronesia. In fact, by spring, we should begin offering our new 18-unit minor degree in Outdoor Ministry with an emphasis in water recreation. Although our students grow up surrounded by the ocean and from it forage their food, they have never actually tried scuba diving (it’s usually for tourists). By the pictures you can see that now they have tried it! Guided by Fred Schmidt, our professional instructor, twelve students experienced breathing air underwater for the very first time. From this fledgling group, we hope to have our first certified scuba divers by mid October. Eric is especially excited by the enthusiasm for our program that Micronesian dive resort owners have shown. Nearly to the last one, they are thrilled to have a pool of real-life Micronesian dive guides, not the variety imported from Europe for a hefty fee. Some ideas are simply outside the box; this one is so far outside, it’s in the water!


Melody and Tim Plaxton: said...

Eric, these are great photos! Glad the dive class is going so well!!

Eric and Karyn Sorenson said...

Melody, some of the credit goes to Daisy. She took some of the pictures, and Eric took some of them. (And, it was her camera).

Jo A. said...

These are really nice pictures. What a great idea about the certified diving class! People pay thousands of dollars to travel to places like Micronesia just to go diving - so great way to make the extra $$.