This course (PALS 00500) is offered once each fall and twice each spring on Thursday evening (enrollment in the course is limited to 35 students per section). This course is where it all begins for a diver, and it's the certification card that results that allows someone to participate in the sport. The requirements for certification for certification require both classroom and pool work, a grade to 80 on a national written exam and successful completion of 5 open water dives. Students who complete all requirements are awarded lifetime-international certification.
This course is taught by professionals from National Aquatic Service Inc. located in Syracuse, NY. A $199 fee will be billed to all registered students' IC bursar account to cover classroom and pool sessions, educational materials and a regulator mouthpiece. It also covers the use of all life support equipment, fins and weight belt. Masks and snorkel are available, however, students are encouraged to purchase their own (available on the first day of class). Not included in the fee are costs associated with the open water dives (these dives are not required in order to pass the course, they are only required if a students wants to receive a lifetime-international certification). An additional $189 Open Water Dive fee is due before class #7 for this certification. The Open Water Dive fee will be collected by the instructors and will not be billed to your IC bursar account.
The instructional staff of NAS includes a wide-cross section of individuals with one strong common theme - a love of diving. They were selected for their diving skills and more importantly for their ability to teach others how to dive. Most are college graduates with advanced degrees who find the teaching of Scuba a rewarding endeavor.
A question often asked is "Do I need to be a great swimmer to enjoy scuba?". The answer is No. Just average swimming ability is sufficient. Scuba divers don't really swim, and all divers wear an inflatable jacket that allows for surface support whenever needed.