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Training PoliciesAccess 21 Logo

Training Overview

Part of the mission of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Access Corporation is to provide training to the community in order to produce television programs to air on Access 21.

In order to operate specific equipment at Access 21, you must be certified on that equipment by us.

Because of the nature of television production, the emphasis of most of our classes is hands-on experience. This includes in-class exercises, labs, and volunteer sessions outside of class. Courses may include written and/or practical tests.

Registering for a Class

Members can register for classes during office business hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM) over the phone, or in person, up to 2 business days prior to the start of the course or workshop. At that time, your file will be accessed to verify that you qualify for the specific class and that any required volunteer labs have been completed.

Our basic classes are free with your membership, however most of the advanced classes do require a small fee. For classes requiring a fee, registration must be done in person. Payment must be made in full at the time of registration. All fees are non-refundable. Checks (payable to CMPAC) and cash are accepted. Credit and debit cards can be accepted in the office only during regular business hours (8:30 AM -5:00 PM).

It is strongly recommended that you register for a class as early as possible, as many of our popular classes fill up well before the start dates. No registrations will be taken less than 2 business days before a class, and walk-in registrations are not permitted. If no one has registered for a class, or a minimum required number of registrant has not been met, 2 business days before it starts it will be cancelled.

Missing a Class

Attendance at all classes is required to pass the class, however we understand that things do come up. Emergency situations will be handled by the Operations Manager, but given the nature of our courses, making up the missed time will be difficult. Likely, you will need to re-register for a later course.

Without prior notice, if you do not attend a class, any fees are forfeited and an additional penalty fee may be charged before you can register again for any classes. Repetitive no-shows and late cancellations will result in suspension of course registration for a period of time.

Workshop Cancellations

If inclement weather, insufficient enrollment, or instructor illness necessitates canceling a course, we will notify registrants by phone and/or email. The course dates may be altered if sessions are affected by weather. In case of overall cancellation, the registrants will be moved to the next available course date unless they choose otherwise.

Class Size

To ensure quality training and a good teacher/student ratio, class size is kept relatively small. When the maximum number of registrants has been reached, the course will be closed. If openings come up, registrants in the next session will be contacted to move up to the earlier session. If demand warrants, CMPAC may add additional classes in future quarters.

Labs

Several courses require the completion of lab sessions. In the studio classes (Basic Studio, Control Room, and Basic Directing), these take the form of required crewing on other producer’s programs. CMPAC can help you find programs to perform your labs on, but producers will also be able to contact you directly through our Volunteer List. You should also take the initiative to complete your labs as quickly as possible.

Testing Out

For those who have prior experience in television production, you may “test out” by taking the required practical tests. You must schedule a test out with the Operations Manager, and pay a non-refundable fee of $20 per class. If you do not pass the tests, you will be required to take the appropriate course for certification.

Dress Code

We keep the facility cool to help maintain the equipment. Make sure to dress warmly! For the studio classes in particular, make sure to wear footwear which will be comfortable while standing for long periods.

Certification

No one may use the facility or operate the equipment until they have passed the appropriate course (or tested out). Following the successful completion of each course, you will receive a certificate in the mail. Your certification will also be noted in our files. At that point please consider adding yourself or updating your listing on the Volunteer List. Once certified, you must remain active. If you are inactive for more than 2 years, your certification and membership will expire.

Volunteering

Access 21 exists because of its volunteers. Our producers depend on you! A television program takes a whole team of people, not a single person. Volunteering is also the surest way to gain valuable experience in the areas in which you are certified. Television Production is a hands-on field, and your skill level and knowledge can increase only by doing. To be added to the Volunteer List, or to update your information, fill out one of the Volunteer Forms available in the Administration offices and in the facility. An updated list is released each month.