By Tom Zimmerman, U.S. Army War College Public Affairs OfficeApril 15, 2008
Post civilian employees were given a first-hand look at the new civilian education system during a noon-time lecture April 3 in Bliss Hall.
Col. Garland Williams, Commandant of the Army Management Staff College, talked for more than an hour about why the system is being updated and what it means for employees.
"The only thing constant in our Army is change," said Garland during the presentation. "As the Army continues to transform to successfully accomplish its missions of tomorrow, our leaders, both military and civilian, must be adequately prepared to support the Army in any venue."
According to the CES website, it is a new progressive and sequential leader development program that provides enhanced leader development and education opportunities for Army civilians throughout their careers. CES provides the Army Civilian Corps self-development and institutional training (leader development) opportunities to develop leadership attributes through distance learning and resident training.
"We're tying to build multi-skilled leaders," said Williams. "More importantly, CES is a program for civilians, written by civilians. We're not just taking military courses and slapping a civilian cover on it. The new CES is sequential and builds on the class before, hopefully eliminating redundancy."
During the noon-time session, Williams went through each of the courses that are part of CES and the requirements and objectives for each. The college offers the education program, which includes four progressive and sequential courses. The 57-hour Foundation Course is required for all Army civilians who were hired after Sept. 30, 2006.
This online distributed learning course is followed by three resident courses: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. The courses range from two to four weeks in length and are offered at the staff college's Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Fort Belvoir, Va., campuses. CES includes the Action Officer Development Course, Supervisory Development Course, Management Development Course, Foundation Course, Basic Course, Intermediate Course, Advanced Course and Senior Service College.
"These courses are designed to be done during on-duty time," said Williams. "That's how we came up with the suggested times that it should take to complete the online portions of the course."
One of the other benefits to the CES program is that the resident phases are centrally funded.
"I pay for you to come to the resident phases of the courses," said Williams. "So thats another great thing about the program, it may not cost your command anything to send you."
Williams also acknowledged that unlike the traditional military education system and career progression, there was no "set path" for civilians.
"Civilians don't have a typical career path since they come from so many different places," said Williams. "That's why we needed to re-look our current system and see what we could do."
The courses are also constantly being improved, said Williams.
"We want to make sure everything presented is valuable and relevant to our civilian employees."
For more information, visit the AMSC CES website at http://www.amsc.belvoir.army.mil/ces/