RON SMITH & ASSOCIATES, INC.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
NEW FOOTWEAR & TIRE TRACK ACADEMY SCHEDULE TO BE POSTED SOON


How long is the Footwear and Tire Track Academy?
The National Footwear/Tire Track Examiner Training Academy will be 6 weeks total classroom time, but will last 10 weeks due to 2-2 week long breaks.

How can you train someone in footwear and tire tracks in just 4-6 weeks?
First, we are not training new examiners, as each examiner will already be a case working analyst in another discipline. Second, this is not just a four week program as there will be assignments prior to the academy and during each of the breaks. We are using the same concept for footwear and tire tracks as we use for the latent print academy, where we take a 24 month training program and squeeze it into 20 weeks. For the footwear and tire track academy, we are taking a 6 month program and squeezing it into 6 instructional weeks and 4 off site weeks.

This is an accelerated training program that will provide each examiner with the instruction and tools necessary to be ready for supervised casework when done. However, it will be dependent on each agency as to when you are allowed to start supervised casework.

How will the breaks work?
There will be a full-time requirement to the training program when off-site. Assignments will be given prior to the start of the academy and between training segments. Completion of assignments is mandatory before showing up or returning to class.


Will I be eligible for the IAI footwear certification when I complete the academy?
You will be eligible for the IAI Footwear Certification when you complete a footwear training program and have a minimum of 3 years of experience in footwear examination. We can provide the coursework and training; you have to provide the time. The coursework provided in our academy will cover all topics required for the IAI Footwear Certification as seen below:

"Applicants must have satisfactorily completed a training program in the examination of footwear evidence to include, but not limited to, terminology, manufacturing process for footwear, photography of track/mark evidence, enhancement, recovery and preservation of footwear evidence, comparative examinations, case note preparation and report writing, legal considerations and courtroom testimony."

Can family come to visit me at the academy?
Yes, but you should know there is only one queen bed in each room; however, there are cabins on the lake that can be rented or camping spots around the lake that are available for renting. There are also hotels in Hattiesburg and outside the front gate of Camp Shelby.

What does the price of the academy cover?
All tuition, no matter which portion you choose, will include instruction (5 days a week), room and board and 3 meals a day (7 days a week) while at the academy.

The cost for attending only the Footwear Academy is $7,500.00 per student.
The cost for attending only the Tire Track Academy is $3,750.00 per student.
The cost for attending both the Footwear and Tire Track academy is $11,250.00 per student.

Can a break be given on the cost of the academy?
No, the price has already been set as low as possible in order to make the cost feasible. The average cost to an agency for 1 week of external training runs around $2,090.00. If you add that up, at the normal rates, the cost of the academy would be as follows:

The cost for attending only the Footwear Academy is $8,360.00 per student.
The cost for attending only the Tire Track Academy is $4,180.00 per student.
The cost for attending both the Footwear and Tire Track academy is $12,540.00 per student.

So, the cost of the academy is cheaper as a package deal.

Can meals be separated from the total cost of the academy?
Yes, you can remove the meal cost from the total price of the academy if you prefer to use your agencies per diem. This will make the final cost of the academy lower. You will still have access to the chow hall on base and the all ranks club for meals, but you will have to pay per meal. If you choose to buy groceries, just remember there are only microwaves and small refrigerators in the rooms. Also, if you choose to use per diem, you may go off base for your meals but the restaurants which are accessible within the given lunch HOUR are limited.

If only attending the Footwear Academy, you can remove $672.00 for the meals.
If only attending the Tire Track Academy, you can remove $336.00.
If attending both, you can remove $1,008.00 for the meals.

I have already attended some of the RS&A classes being offered, so do I still have to pay for and attend for those weeks?
Yes, the academy is an all inclusive price and cannot be broken down in any way, except for removing the meals (see above question). Also, testing is not typically required in any of RS&A’s current classes, but is required in the academy. So, graduation from the academy is based on the successful completion of the weeks attended.

Is the airfare included in the price of the academy?
No, airfare is not included.

What are the educational requirements?
RS&A prefers to utilize the most stringent educational requirements for acceptance into the academy. However, these can be waived by the agency in lieu of their own educational requirements.

If an agency does not have educational requirements, then the preferred educational requirements would be a BS or MS degree in forensic science, natural science or a closely related field, a minimum of 24 hard science hours and a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Do you know if RS&A will be offering or providing any financial assistance or student loans?
RS&A can not offer any financial assistance or student loans. It is the responsibility of the applicant / agency to provide the funding required.

What do we need to bring to the academy?
- (2) Magnifiers
- (2) Pointers
- Drafting Calipers (call for questions)
- Digital SLR Camera with macro lens
- Laptop Computer

What if I don't have any of the above equipment?
RS&A has some extras, but not enough for everyone in the academy to use.

What is the dress code for the academy?
Dress code is business casual. (ex. Dockers/polo)
Dress down days is jeans and a t-shirt. (ex. lab days & clean-up days)

Will I need a car?
A vehicle will make things much easier for you while at the academy, so, it is recommended that you bring a car.

If I cannot attend the coming Footwear/Tire Track Academy, will there be another one?
It will be dependent on the success of the preceding academy session and the number of applicants that did not get in.