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.
Each of the core courses applies toward the requirements of at least one PAAC certificate. All core courses must be passed to earn the Scholar certificate, while other certificates require specific courses in addition to other tasks. A new course is being tested, Geophysical Survey and Remote Sensing, and offered upon request.
Overview of the purpose of an archaeological laboratory and the processing sequence for artifacts and other collected materials through a laboratory including receiving, sorting, routing, cleaning, cataloging, conservation, analysis, reporting and storage.
Basic summary of the field of archaeology, common terminology, and Colorado's place in North American prehistory. Also describes the PAAC program in detail, and the functions of the Colorado Archaeological Society (CAS) including interactions with the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado. State & federal laws protecting archaeological resources and codes-of-ethics also are covered.
History of archaeological survey, site identification, formation processes, survey methods, recording procedures, basic equipment usage, reading USGS topographic maps, goals and problems of archaeological survey. A field trip to identify and record a site. Curation of archaeological remains and necessity for final reports.
The intent of the seminar program is to provide additional educational opportunities that are not presently available with the current demand for PAAC training. The seminar program offers individual CAS chapters and other local organizations the opportunity to tap the knowledge of their members as well as non-member specialists. Subjects suitable as seminar topics are numerous but must be applicable to the needs and general intent of PAAC.
Covers the history of excavation in archaeology, developments in excavation techniques, importance of planning and research designs, field procedures, recording & documentation, lab duties and report writing responsibilities. A classroom experience, this course does not involve actual field training.
Each year the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado (OSAC) sponsors an archaeological inventory ("survey"), typically during the June-August period. The survey provides field training in surveying techniques for PAAC volunteers.
Draft a detailed outline or script for a presentation on archaeology. The document should be equivalent to a 30-45 minute talk on any approved topic in archaeology. Topics may include, but are not limited to Archaeology as a Career, Colorado Prehistory, General Archaeology, and Vandalism.
Complete a State or National Register nomination form for an archaeological site or district. The site should be selected based on consultations with both the State PAAC Coordinator and the National and State Register Coordinator at the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP).
Write a report on some aspect of rock art, minimum ten pages. Topics may include, but are not limited to Colorado rock art styles, regional rock art styles, recording techniques, dating techniques, rock art conservation, repair of vandalism, interpreting rock art, oral traditions about rock art, and presentation of original field work results.
The Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) has archaeological collections that have yet to be completely processed for permanent curation. PAAC volunteers may receive credit toward certification at either the Laboratory Trainee or Laboratory Technician level by helping the State Training Coordinator in the cataloguing and analysis of these materials.