The California State Parks System once operated on the premise that experience is the best teacher. Most skills in park management, operations, maintenance, interpretation, safety, and law enforcement were acquired on the job. But times change. In 1969, a pioneer park management and operations training program began in a small cottage on the Asilomar Conference Grounds. That program proved its worth; in 1973, construction of the William Penn Mott Jr., Training Center was completed. From those first efforts in 1969, the Mott Training Center has grown to provide many different programs to meet the increasingly complex and diverse job performance requirements of employees in the park and recreation field.

The William Penn Mott Jr., Training Center now offers a variety of training programs on a regular basis to both California State Parks' employees and those from other agencies. Located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, the Mott Training Center consists of modern classrooms, audio-visual rooms, a conference room, a library, and offices. Surrounded by the picturesque Monterey pine forest next to Asilomar State Beach, the facilities provide an ideal learning environment. Three lodges, each with living room and fireplace, accommodate 60 persons on a shared-room basis.

California State Parks is proud of its reputation for training excellence, and is looked on as a leader in park management, interpretation, maintenance, and law enforcement training. Each program combines a variety of instructional methods designed to accomplish individual learning. Small group assignments, field projects, demonstrations, and other "active learning" means are used to involve learners in meeting individual training needs.

Optional evening sessions are sometimes offered to supplement and enrich the normal day's activities. Instructors, whether department employees, representatives from other public agencies, or training consultants, are selected on the basis of technical expertise and instructional ability, and are committed to results-oriented training.