Learning to dive with The Great American Diving Company is a unique and exciting experience.

Through our professional staff and a combination of at home study, pool instruction in our private pool and open water dives (with us or on your vacation) you will learn to become a safe and comfortable diver.

Why choose to learn to dive with us?

As the St. Louis area’s oldest PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, we are able to offer you a unique and exceptional experience.

We have trained over 18,000 divers and our experience shows.

We are the ONLY dive shop in the area with our own pool and training center. Because of that, your class is easy, convenient and we can provide a clean and disinfected facility. All class and pool sessions are held at our AquaCenter, eliminating the hassle of traveling between locations and transporting gear. Everything is in one convenient location – classrooms, pool and gear. The AquaCenter provides a distraction free, family friendly environment unlike other pools with noisy and disruptive aquatic activities and residents.

Pre Requisites

10 years old
Comfortable swim ability




Prior to attending your class, you will need to complete some home study. The preferred option is using the PADI eLearning class which allows you to start learning without even coming into the store. With eLearning you will read the material and watch the related videos online as well as complete all quizzes and exam in the convenience of your own home at your own pace. You will also be able to skip the classroom sessions reducing your time in class. We also offer the materials in a printed format with a streaming video for those individuals who prefer more in person contact time with the instructor.

Call us or sign up through our online registration to start your eLearning. We can email your eLearning code directly to you. Of course you are welcome to visit our store and get your eLearning code or pick up your printed materials (for in class learners) if you choose that option. The price includes all materials, use of rental scuba gear (excluding mask, snorkel, fins & boots) and pool use fees. Individually this is over $450 but our students get all this for only $199.

Private classes are also available, please call us for additional information



We offer both weeknight and weekend classes to meet your busy schedule. Weeknight classes are 2 evenings (for eLearners) or 4 evenings (for in class learners). Weekend classes are 2 afternoons (Saturday & Sunday for eLearners) or 2 full days (Saturday & Sunday for in class learners). A complete schedule is listed below. You may be able to find discounts on this portion here.

See our special on Groupon here



To complete your certification you will do 4 open water dives with an instructor. This can be done with one of our instructors at our affiliate dive site near Metropolis, IL or on vacation with another operation. The latter option is called a “referral.” When choosing the “referral” option, consult the destination operation for scheduling and fees. Our open weekends include admission to the dive site, rental scuba gear (excluding mask, snorkel, fins and boots), certification fees and air fills (travel, meals and overnight accommodations not included).


Each student is required to have their own personal gear which includes a mask, snorkel, fins & boots. When your purchase your 4 items from us, you’ll receive an instant $100 rebate on the gear. Properly fitting gear is important for your safety. Borrowed gear or gear purchased elsewhere may not fit properly as is subject to our determination of its appropriateness.

Upgrades to your Open Water certification dives

Drysuit Diver: Stay warm and dry when you complete your Open Water dives in a drysuit. Each student completes an additional class and pool session, one additional open water dive and will be able to use their rental drysuit on their open water dives. This option is $185 / person and includes all instruction, materials certification and the rental drysuit.

Peak Performance Buoyancy: Float effortlessly, drifting over reefs or exploring the underwater treasures at Mermet Springs. Build on the buoyancy skills you have developed in the Open Water class by completing two additional dives for Peak Performance Buoyancy class after your Open Water dives. This option is $75 / person and includes all instruction, materials and certification.

Time is a precious thing these days and we never have enough. Rest assured that we DO NOT cancel classes. If you sign up for one of our courses it will happen – no need to worry about it being canceled. In return we ask that you confirm that your class dates work for you before you sign up. Cancellations on your part are honored only in the case of documented medical emergencies.

2022 Schedule

Printed Materials Students Only
TGADC AquaCenter
6:30pm - 10:30pm
Pool Dives
All Stduents
TGADC AquaCenter
6:30pm - 10:30pm
January 18 & 20January 25 & 27Tues & Thurs Evening
February 14 & 16February 21 & 23Mon & Wed Evening
March 8 & 10March 15 & 17Tues & Thurs Evening
March 28 & 30April 4 & 6Mon & Wed Evening
April 19 & 21April 26 & 28Tues & Thurs Evening
May 9 & 11May 16 & 18Mon & Wed Evening
May 31 & June 2June 7 & 9Tues & Thurs Evening
June 20 & 22June 27 & 29Mon & Wed Evening
July 12 & 14July 19 & 21Tues & Thurs Evening
Aug 1 & 3Aug 8 & 10Mon & Wed Evening
Aug 23 & 25Aug 30 & Sept 1Tues & Thurs Evening
Sept 12 & 14Sept 19 & 21Mon & Wed Evening
Oct 4 & 6Oct 11 & 13Tues & Thurs Evening
Oct 25 & 27Nov 1 & 3Tues & Thurs Evening
Nov 28 & 30Dec 5 & Dec 7Mon & Wed Evening

Weekend Classes

Best Option ---> eLearning students 12:30pm - 6:00pm

Printed Materials Option 9:00am - 6:00pm

TGADC AquaCenter
Jan 8 & 9
Jan 29 & 30
Feb 12 & 13
Feb 26 & 27
March 12 & 13
March 26 & 27
April 9 & 10
April 23 & 24
May 7 & 8
May 21 & 22
June 4 & 5
June 18 & 19
July 9 & 10
July 23 & 24
Aug 6 & 7
Aug 20 & 21
Sept 10 & 11
Sept 24 & 25
Oct 8 & 9
Oct 22 & 23
Nov 5 & 6
Nov 26 & 27
Dec 10 & 11

Certification Dives
Mermet Springs, IL
8:30am - 5:00pm
April 2 & 3
April 9 & 10
April 23 & 24
May 14 & 15
May 28 & 29
June 18 & 19
July 2 & 3
July 16 & 17
July 30 & 31
Aug 13 & 14
Aug 27 & 28
Sept 10 & 11
Sept 24 & 25
Oct 1 & 2
Oct 8 & 9
Oct 22 & 23
Nov 5 & 6