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COMPETENCY a.k.a. “Placing Out of Basic Courses”


Is the FCEA “Competency Track” for You?

By Steven Forrest

The Forrest Center for Evolutionary Astrology is a step-by-step “Kindergarten through PhD” training program, aimed at turning intelligent, motivated beginners into professional “Steven Forrest Method” astrologers. The trouble is that many of you are not beginners. A large number of you have attended my classes or studied astrology diligently through my books and other media. We respect the work you have done. The FCEA provides a path for you to place out of the more basic programs.

At each stage of the program, there are exercises and exams. Students enroll in the 100-series, in the self-directed or guided program, aiming ultimately for certification, complete the exercises and take the exams as many times as they want. A big part of the 100-series exam is a chance to engage in an actual chart interpretation, which our team of Forrest-trained tutors evaluates. If a student were to fail the exams, he or she could learn from those errors, and take it again (and again) until he, she, or they passed. In other words, in the FCEA, exams are more about teaching than about judging or shaming anyone.

“Dare to be competent. Competency is what makes everyone remain at peace when things are being handled by you. Watch yourself if everyone feels uncomfortable just because it’s you doing it.”

Say that you already consider yourself to be an intermediate or advanced astrologer. You are very probably right about that – but we do ask you to prove it by doing the exercises and taking the same exams, including your ability to interpret a chart. Pass them, and you will have demonstrated your competency. Were you to fail, that suggests that there are gaps in your foundational knowledge. Then we would invite you to enroll in the course at that level to “fill in the blanks” and sharpen your skills. Once again, our aim is teaching, not judging – but in this case we would hold a mirror before the actual state of your competency.

Administering the competency courses takes some person-power. That is especially true of evaluating your chart interpretation skills. This means there will be a fee involved. Also, critically, unlike a normally-enrolled student, you only get one shot at the competency exams.

Over the past couple of decades, something like 2000 people have attended my Apprenticeship Programs. Many have gone on to become professional evolutionary astrologers, serving their communities. I am really proud of that. Some, unfortunately, even ones who hold certificates, have not done their homework. That has always been the main weakness in the AP – a certificate only proves attendance, not that a person has actually mastered the material, in particular the Steven Forrest Method. On several occasions, this has put me in a painful ethical bind. With my Level one and Level Two certificates, I have essentially endorsed the work of a few people who have not made the necessary effort to become truly competent craftspeople. Their disgruntled clients have sometimes sent me angry emails. All I could do was apologize. Mea culpa.

That is the issue we are addressing with the FCEA’s Competency policy. Our school is more structured and rigorous than the previous Apprenticeship Programs. Again, we are committed to respecting the work you have already done. From wherever you join the program, we will hold your hand all the way through the next steps toward Mastery. But anyone who attains the highest level of FCEA certification is guaranteed actually to have the knowledge and be a master of the craft, just as if he or she had earned a degree from a respected university. As the school develops, we will also be empowering people as teachers of the Steven Forrest Method, and of course the existing programs will involve FCEA-certified tutors whom we have trained even more rigorously. 

Thanks for your understanding. We are trying to cobble together a bridge between my previous teaching and the new world of the FCEA. Our competency courses might seem a bit on the bureaucratic side, but they are the fairest solution we could find.