Everything I wanted to know about the CAAE Diploma but never thought to ask!

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When the CAAE was first established in 1993, a lot of thought went into how it was going to be set up and the type of courses to be offered. 

After much debate, the CAAE’s guiding principles were set up:

1) To be a totally Canadian organization to represent the needs of Canadian astrologers.

2) To provide a resource for astrology students by providing them with a structured form of astrological study – through course curriculums, offering exams and providing accredited teachers with whom they could confidently study.

3) To provide astrology teachers with access to students, course outlines and mentoring. 28 years later, the aims of the CAAE remain exactly the same. 

We are pleased that since 2009, the year that the first graduates received their Diplomas (Dip. CAAE), we now have a growing list of graduates being added each and every year.

What courses do I need for my Diploma?

To get the Diploma there are a total of 9 courses to be completed.

Any student who successfully completes any CAAE course by obtaining a mark of at least 70% receives a Certificate. Students who complete all courses receive a final graduating Diploma. May Examinations The CAAE courses are divided into two parts. The first part are the Examinations. Examinations are held in May each year. These are held for the Basic, Intermediate, Advanced Levels and the Mathematics of Astrology. The Basic Astrology and Mathematics of Astrology examinations are each 3 hours in length and held across the country on the same date and time (For 2016, this will be Sunday May 15).

The Basic Astrology examination is a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions, plus the completion of a worksheet. The Mathematics of Astrology examination requires the hand construction of a natal birth chart as well as knowledge of basic astronomy.

The Intermediate Level examination tests a student’s ability to interpret a natal chart and the Advanced Level exam tests Trending Technique (transits, solar arcs, secondary progressions, eclipses, solar returns). These last two examinations are open book where the student is emailed the examination in May (May 1 in 2021) and is given two weeks to prepare answers and submit them to the CAAE Registrar. 

Students put a lot of effort into writing the examinations each year, so a word about how they are marked. Each student is assigned a candidate number and the papers are reviewed by two markers independently, to determine a final graded mark.

Due to the logistics involved in students writing in different parts of the country and in the two weeks allowed to complete the open book exams, the Education Committee does their best to send out all the results by the end of June or beginning of July. 

So is there a good way to prepare for the examinations?

Some students study by themselves but the majority find a CAAE teacher who leads them through the required material in time to write the exams. There are also study guides available for each Level which outline in detail the required material plus provides sample practice exams. For self-studiers, teachers are often available to step in and offer some review classes, just prior to exam time. 

The CAAE website lists the teachers who are currently offering courses. There are usually links to the teachers’ own websites so you can see which classes they are teaching. Courses are offered in a classroom setting but nowadays most teachers are on line.

Elective courses

Once you’ve got the examinations under your belt, the second part of your CAAE studies are the elective courses. These are more specialized courses taught by teachers with expertise in the field. The current electives are Chart Rectification, Astrology of Relationships, Vocational Astrology, Consulting Skills for Astrologers and Horary Astrology. Successful completion of these courses involves assignments (not exams) and the pass mark is still 70%. 

The topics for the electives are all ones the CAAE feels round out the skills of the student to become a working astrologer. 

Can I fast track and take more than one course at once? There is no time limit in which the courses have to be completed. Students usually study the courses in a sequential manner (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, etc.) and take the examinations in that same order. Occasionally we have had students writing more than one exam at one sitting (and passing!). We realize that people have busy lives and that they are fitting in their astrology studies along with other demands and responsibilities. As far as possible, our aim is to make the study of CAAE courses as flexible as possible. Having said that, it is not advised to embark on any of the electives courses until the student has either passed or is currently enrolled in the Advanced Astrology Level course. This is due to the background material that is needed for the elective courses. 

What do I get once I’ve finished all my studies?

The designation given by the CAAE to all students who have finished the courses is Dip. CAAE (Diploma of the Canadian Association for Astrological Education). A considerable achievement! 

Hear what one of our first graduates has to say about why she invested the time to take the Diploma: ” Having a very busy career in technology I felt an urge to study something more esoteric that could help people. I pondered on this urge and one day decided – Astrology – something I had dabbled in years before. I thought if I gave it a good 6 months, I would have it down pat and have the skills to spend some of my time doing something less stressful, and helping people. Little did I know! I searched around but there was nothing on the internet at that time. Then I heard of someone who I previously worked with who was studying astrology. The whole process of structured learning strongly appealed to me – in the IT field I worked in, both personally and for my staff, I was well aware of the pitfalls of learning in an ad-hoc self- directed manner. The structure of the CAAE curriculum suited my needs exactly and acted as a huge stepping stone in my astrological education.” Joan Bennell, Dip. CAAE, 2009 

If you have any questions or would like to know how best to proceed with your studies, please let me know.