Currently, the program is divided into 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.
A specified series of classes and field activities is required for each level of certification. Completing a class successfully will meet the requirements for the respective certification level as well as other areas of certification where the same class may be required. Courses range from eight to 25 hours in length, and are taught in 11 locations throughout Colorado. At the end of each course an examination will be given. A minimum grade of 70% for PAAC credit, and 80% for college credit, is required to pass each examination. If a participant should fail an examination, he/she will be given two more opportunities to pass the class for PAAC credit.
In order to have previous experience accepted for course credit, a participant must take and pass the examination for that course. Individuals "testing out" will receive no formal assistance from the State or Local Coordinators. Individuals failing this examination must take the course and pass the examination to receive credit toward certification. The materials fee is required for individuals "testing out" of a course.
Each level of certification has a required field activity or project to be completed on the participant's own time. He/she may work independently or volunteer for ongoing projects. Documentation of these field activities must be given to the State Coordinator to register credit for each level of certification. Copies of time sheets and a letter of verification from the supervising archaeologist will be considered acceptable documentation. A participant wishing to have previous field experience evaluated for credit as he/she starts the program, should complete the Record of Previous Experience. The document will be evaluated by the PAAC Board.
Individuals wishing to participate in the program without striving for certification may do so under an audit category. Auditors will pay the materials fee but will not take the course examination. The number of auditors in any class is restricted to no more than half of the total number of class participants. An auditor must state in writing that he/she wishes to audit. If a person decides to change his/her status (try for certification or change to an audit), he/she must make that decision before the half-way point in a given class.
Please note: There must be a minimum of ten participants to hold a course. Individuals interested in taking a course will pre-register with the Local Coordinator. The materials fee must be paid at the time of registration. This preregistration will be completed ten days prior to the scheduled start of the course. Additional participants may register with the first session of the course. In the event that the preregistration count is less than the required minimum of ten, the course will be canceled. The materials fee will be refunded only as a result of a canceled course.