By Greg Pick, DTM
Pathways becomes the only way to earn educational awards on July 1, 2020. Until then, individuals who were members before February 13, 2018 (in District 25), can earn education and leadership awards under either the traditional education (e.g., Competent Communicator, Competent Leader, Level 1, Level 2, et cetera in their chosen path) programs or both. Any individual who joined Toastmasters for the first time after February 13, 2018, can only earn educational awards under the Pathways program.
Toastmasters International headquarters created a transition Distinguished Club Program to accommodate the ability of members to earn education awards under either program. The Distinguished Club Program criteria during the transition period provides greater flexibility since you can earn any one up to six award categories and receive credit towards becoming Distinguished, Select Distinguished, or Presidents Distinguished. You can view the Distinguished Club Program in effect for the transition period here. Please note that the membership (four new members and four more new members) and administration goals (a minimum of four officers trained during each training period and at least both one officer list and one dues renewal submitted on time) did not change.
On July 1, 2020, the Distinguished Club Program transfers to the six criteria listed related to Pathways along with the membership and administration goals.
Both the traditional education and Pathways learning experience programs afford members the opportunity to earn the coveted Distinguished Toastmaster award. The Pathways program has slightly different requirements that can be viewed here.
Any service credit(s) earned (e.g., one-year term as a district officer, club sponsor, club mentor, or club coach) that have NOT been previously applied to an educational award can be carried forward and used towards education awards during the transition period or once Pathways goes live. The High Performance leadership project completed under the traditional program can NOT be used for credit under Pathways.
If a member is working to earn Distinguished Toastmaster by the end of the transition period, they can get credit for their term as a district officer that ends on June 30, 2020, so long as the award is submitted on June 30, 2020, AND ALL other requirements for the award have been previously submitted for credit but not used towards another award. This same concept applies if your award for a successful club coach occurs at the end of the Toastmaster year ending June 30, 2020.
As specified in the answer to Pathways Question 999, “Members who serve as a club or district leaders or as club coach through June 30, 2020, may receive an exception to use this as credit toward a traditional education program award that is also submitted on June 30, 2020. The role must be the final requirement for the award to receive recognition and these exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please be aware that members who use the role to complete an award such as ALB or ALS in the traditional program will not be able to transfer the work to an award in Pathways. Members who are seeking a DTM, but are unable to complete all requirements by June 30, 2020 may be better served by applying their club and district leadership roles to a Distinguished Toastmaster award in Pathways.”