By Kim Ta, SCAA
Where can I get SCAA education? How do I start? How much does it cost? These questions, along with many others, are asked daily by many who are just starting in the specialty coffee industry, as well as those looking to further their careers. Since my beginnings at SCAA as a membership assistant, education has been one of the most valuable resources we offer. We heard the desire for more accessibility to education, and answered by creating the SCAA Campus program.
What is an SCAA Campus? In a nutshell, SCAA Campuses are certified facilities, owned by members, who have calibrated their space to teach SCAA standards and protocols. What does this mean for everyone? Now, more than ever, students who are looking to take Pathway courses can do so closer to home and with more flexibility to their schedule. Currently, we have a network of over 100 Campuses worldwide, and this number is growing every month.
Personally, it has been very exciting for me to facilitate this program in the last few months. Without a doubt, our Campus operators are our greatest advocates. I’ll let those involved in this program speak to their own experiences:
Todd Arnette, owner and operator of Academy of Coffee Excellence in Williamsburg, Virginia, offers his insight on the program from inception:
“The growth of the SCAA Lab Campus community has provided much greater access to the industry-leading, standard-set- ting education that SCAA has developed over dozens of years with hundreds of subject matter experts.
“Greater access to indus- try-leading education and recog- nized subject-matter experts in the specialty coffee industry is the true bene t to the SCAA Member (and future Member) community.”
Dan Streetman of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters in New York says, “Being an SCAA Campus affirms our position as leaders in the specialty coffee industry, both as a coffee company and as coffee educators. In addition, it gives us other avenues to promote our business and connect with people entering the industry.”
Another leading example of what SCAA Campuses offer comes from Mike Ebert, founder of Firedancer Coffee Consultants: “Firedancer Coffee Consultants partners with campuses all over the globe providing specialized lead instructors, and technical and other support. It is amazing the dedication and quality of educational events that happen at the campuses, that just a few short years ago, did not exist. This is how we will support a sustainable future for specialty coffee: education and working together.”
Renee Espinoza of Firedancer continues: “Working with SCAA Campuses is very rewarding. As a coffee educator, these campuses provide us the opportunity and the perfect environment to work with up-and-coming coffee professionals on a personal level. The campuses are dedicated to success, and it’s heartwarming to witness the students begin their coffee journey and make great connections.”
Without these folks, and many others, we would not have this wonderful and growing program. I encourage you to reach out to anyone in the Campus network, and myself at SCAA, for more information. We are constantly evolving, with the desire to make this the best it can be.
Kim Ta is the Account Manager for SCAA’s Campus Network and the point of contact for campus operators around the world.