Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC)
The Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC) is a mutually beneficial educational program for avocational and professional archaeologists. Established in 1978 by the Colorado Archaeological Society (CAS) and the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado (OSAC), it allows CAS members and other citizens to obtain formally recognized levels of expertise outside of an academic degree program.
The program also facilitates avocational public service and assistance in education, governmental management of cultural resources, research, and the protection of archaeological resources in Colorado. PAAC complements, but does not replace, existing university and governmental training programs. Please see the Commonly Asked Questions section for answers concerning enrollment, cost and locations.
The program is supervised by the PAAC Board; members include the Board Chairperson (appointed CAS member), the CAS President, and the State Archaeologist. The State PAAC Coordinator (Assistant State Archaeologist) is responsible for course development, scheduling, and course presentation. Each CAS chapter or other group designates a Local PAAC Coordinator. The Local Coordinator, while not on the board, is responsible for expressing group needs to the board and State Coordinator, publicizing PAAC activities, organizing the arrangements for PAAC courses, and promoting the program.
Currently, the program provides certification in two areas, Archaeological Survey and Archaeological Laboratory. Each area offers several levels of certification. There are 12 regular courses in PAAC, each of which applies toward the requirements of at least one PAAC certificate. Special topics and additional courses are always being developed. Individuals completing the requirements for certification will be formally recognized as competent to perform the activities specified by each level and will receive a certificate of expertise for each level of certification.
There are 12 core courses in the program, all of which have accompanying lists of suggested readings (Bibliography) and definitions of terms (Glossary) relevant to that subject. Courses range from eight to 25 hours in length.