Information Papers

Civilian Education System (CES)

What is it?
The Civilian Education System (CES) is a progressive and sequential leader development program that provides enhanced educational opportunities for Army civilians throughout their careers comparable to that provided to officers, warrant officers, and noncommissioned officers. CES is comprised of four courses delivered via distributed learning and resident instruction, and is based on leadership competencies from the Office of Personnel Management and FM 6-22, Army Leadership.

What has the Army done?
The Army Management Staff College recently completed the pilot year of four CES courses —Foundation Course (FC), Basic Course (BC), Intermediate Course (IC), and Advanced Course (AC). The CES continues to be marketed Army-wide and policy has been published to provide guidance for implementation. The Continuing Education for Senior Leaders (CESL) Course was piloted in FY08 and is pending Army approval. CESL addresses contemporary issues, Army transformation, and leadership at the strategic and senior organizational level.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
? The Advanced Course, the first CES course fielded, is already being modified to leverage the Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) methodology which places students in real-world contexts to apply new knowledge and skills to address actual issues. IBL promotes development of creative and critical thinking, high performance teaming and conflict management, and problem-solving. As the CES continues to evolve, required changes will be made to the curriculum and policies will be refined and published in the next revision of Army Regulation 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development. Additionally, CES Learning Communities (LC) will be developed and implemented. LCs will be designed and structured to build the skills for continuous knowledge building and support life-long learning for the Army Civilian Corps (ACC). LCs will support on-going leader development for all levels of organizational leadership and can include collaborative forums for all civilians and CES course graduates, and will provide access to updated course materials.

Why is this important to the Army?
Although Army civilians have historically made significant contributions in the execution of the Army’s mission, our reliance on civilians today is even more pronounced. The Global War on Terrorism has diverted uniformed leaders increasingly from Generating Force roles to warfighting missions. As the Army transforms, Army civilians will assume a greater number of leadership roles and responsibilities to support Army operations at war. Freeing-up military manpower to perform more military-specific tasks required in the contemporary operating environment is critical. A fully implemented CES will help meet the Secretary of the Army’s vision to develop leaders who are multi-skilled and possess the attributes of the 21st Century Army leader.