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The Command and General Staff College has granted Sergeants Major Academy students in the resident and distance learning Sergeants Major Course a 32 credit hour undergraduate certificate in Leadership and Workforce Development (UG-LWD) beginning with the Academic Year 2021-2022.

“This under graduate certificate will be available to both the SMC-R and SMC-DL students which is comprised of 15 lessons,” Tony Battle, NCOLCoE director of the Policy and Governance Directorate said. “This new undergraduate certificate will provide the SMC-DL students a recognition of their academic accomplishments when completing the SMC-distance learning. Additionally, the 32 credit hours earned can be utilized toward the pursuit of an academic degree in similar leadership and workforce development programs at other universities.”

Currently, the SMC-DL students are not able to participate in the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Leadership and Workforce Development (LWD) program that the SMC-R students are able to participate in.  The development of the new undergraduate certificate was a joint effort between the Degree Programs Office, Command and General Staff College,Dean of Academics and the Sergeants Major Academy.  The certificate, is signed by Dr. Jack D. Kem, PhD; Dean of Academics and Professor, CGSC, and Chief Academic Officer, Army University.

Shawn Conrad, NCOLCoE Education Program Analyst, noted the certificate will serve to enhance the senior enlisted element of the Army to better analyze the Army’s Human Resource (HR) doctrine, support concepts, systems, and organizational structures.  This understanding will help to foster a broad understanding of HR operations by exploring the basics of human resource services, the HR structure, and supporting organizations involved in delivering support, as-well-as providing an outline of civilian HR support.

According to an information trifold produced by the NCOLCoE, many schools will use credit from an undergraduate certificate and apply those credits to a bachelor degree. Undergraduate certificates are often seen as a ‘stepping’ stone to a bachelor degree the same way an associate degree is. The student population are noncommissioned officers who have on average twenty years of work experience. By design, LWD curriculum combines the Army’s leader development program and individuals’ professional experiences.  The course encourages students to make connections between the material they are learning and real world experiences of both peers and professors.

“Leadership and workforce development are core competencies and essential requirements for U.S. Army NCOs,” Conrad said. “The CGSC Undergraduate Certificate in LWD intentionally leverages the world’s premier leader development program for NCOs, as well as individuals’ professional military experiences. Curriculum and SMC pedagogies and andragogy encourage students to “connect” learning with experience, and to draw on the experiences of peers and professors, all of whom have extensive experience leading and managing organizations around the world.”

The inclusion of the certificate into the Sergeants Major Academy curriculum will ensure its recipients are better equipped to meet HR challenges in the modern highly technical environment, Conrad added.

“The Sergeants Major Academy (SGM-A) on Fort Bliss, TX develops and delivers all LWD courses,” he said. “In 2017, the SGM-A formally joined the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College as its fourth school and branch campus. CGSC is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer four graduate degrees, two graduate certificates, one bachelor’s degree, and one undergraduate-level certificate. All SGM-A faculty teaching LWD courses meet Higher Learning Commission and Command and General Staff College credentialing requirements and faculty qualification standards.”

The implementation of the new under graduate certificate adds to the selection of educational opportunities that the NCOLCoE offers to the Army’s enlisted leadership. The NCOLCoE provides professional military education that develops holistically-fit, disciplined, well-educated professionals capable of meeting the challenges of large-scale combat operations in a multi-domain environment. It is the premier institution driving innovative development for enlisted leaders; constantly focused on readiness.