The Maine DOE and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are working cooperatively to assess an applicant’s readiness, according to State learning standards, to work in the Maine Warden Service.
The MWS has long engaged in a rigorous screening system to assess applicants including a physical test, an oral examination, and a written exam. To determine whether candidates have sufficient writing skills to quickly submit reports that are accurate, MWS added an essay component to the screening process in 2009. According to Sergeant Dan Menard, “In this day and age, every written document produced by our wardens has the opportunity to be requested under the Freedom of Information Act or provided as discovery to defense attorneys. It is a necessity that wardens be able to accurately and effectively articulate their observations into a well-crafted written report.” Developed with a specialist from the Maine DOE, the on-demand essay provides applicants an opportunity to respond to a prompt which is scored for both content and correctness.
The MWS application screening process is a single-elimination system which means that even if an applicant does well in all other tasks, failing to meet the minimum requirement for writing will immediately disqualify the applicant. The writing component aligns to Maine’s writing standards and is double-blind scored using a six point essay rubric. The oral examination also aligns to Maine’s speaking and listening standards with the goal to demonstrate the ability to engage in collaborative conversation, extract critical information and share findings. In return, Maine DOE learns from the Maine Warden Service in seeing the English Language Arts standards enacted in the work place.