ACSC Home About Inbound Academics Student Life Community FAQS
Q: How can I prepare for the reading and writing required at ACSC?
A: There are several resources that will be issued to you upon your arrival. If you would like to get ahead here are the books and the sections that can get you started.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Suggested Reading: Ch1-2; Ch4, Ch7, and Ch11
Break-Through Rapid Reading
By Peter Kump
Suggested Reading: Ch18, Ch19, Ch20, and Ch21
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th Edition
by Kate L. Turabian
Suggested Reading: Ch 4-7, Ch 9-12
The Craft of Research, 4th Edition
by Wayne C. Booth, et al
Suggested Reading: Ch 7-8, Ch 10, Ch 13, and Ch 16
Q: What is an ACSC Concentration and how do I apply for them?
A: An ACSC Concentration provides students the opportunity to spend their time at ACSC focusing on a specific area of study. Current concentrations at ACSC include: Space (Schriever Scholars), Nuclear Deterrence (SANDs), Political Affairs (PAS) and Multi-domain Operations (MDOS).
Each concentration focuses the student’s educational experience around the targeted subject matter. This can vary between just dedicated electives to a full curriculum entirely dedicated to the material.
Selection into each concentration is as follows:
The School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) and PAS are considered an ACSC Concentration but participating students are selected directly by the Central Selection Board.
The invitation to apply for Schriever Scholars, MDOS, or BH is typically sent out early spring (March-May) prior to the start of the upcoming academic year. The message is sent out via NIPR email. It is possible for late add alternates to miss the initial message. If that is the case please contact the STUS leadership.
Blue Horizon’s (BH) is not considered an ACSC Concentration. It is a CSAF-sponsored program, but it does select members from the inbound ACSC student roster by an invitation to apply.
Q: I have been designated for Political Affairs Specialist (PAS) or AU Fellowship (AU_Fellow B), what does that mean?
A: PAS –The Political Affairs Specialist concentration focuses a student’s academic experience on civil-military relations in preparation for serving in a follow on assignment to a 16P AFSC billet. PAS students complete all the core curriculum, but take focused electives to achieve this goal. PAS students also attend additional, highly informative, and focused briefs from subject matter experts in the field during elective days. For additional questions please contact the PAS program director at 334-953-9146
AU Fellowship – The AU Fellowship is a 3-star sponsored Fellowship program. This is a two-year assignment which includes one year as an AU instructor and one year attending ACSC in-residence. The goal of the AU Fellowship is to develop leadership, critical thinking, written and verbal communication skills. Within the two-year assignment, each Fellow receives individualized developmental experiences based on the variation in Fellow assignments. AU_FELLOW_A will report for instructor duty at Squadron Officer School (SOS) prior to ACSC attendance. During their instructor year, Fellow As directly influence and motivate the mid-level officer corps by connecting officers to the depth and breadth of Air Force mission. AU_FELLOW_B will report in accordance with ACSC ISC standard reporting instructions and will commence instructor duty at ACSC upon graduation from ACSC. During their instructor year, Fellow Bs, have the unique opportunity to instruct peers and connect operational experience with an academic examination of joint warfighting and national security issues in air, space, and cyberspace. AU_FELLOW_C will report in accordance with ACSC standard reporting instructions and commences instructor duty at OTS upon graduation from ACSC. During their instructor year, Fellow Cs have a direct impact on molding and shaping officers through the most rapid and largest accessions program in the Air Force.
Upon arrival all Fellows will receive an orientation day to acclimate them to Air University, meet key authorities, and gain better understanding of the program.
Fellow As have an April report date in order to allow for instructor training.
Fellow Bs are included in the Initial Student Cadre and have an early July report date.
Since Fellow Bs remain at ACSC as instructors, during the assignment cycle timeline, they are asked to prioritize their top three teaching department choices. ACSC leadership considers multiple factors such as career experience, department requirements, and student desires when placing fellows for their instructor year. Fellow Bs are notified in the January to February timeframe of department assignments.
Fellow Bs assigned to a teaching department will spend 1-2 terms teaching and the other terms in faculty development or professional development.
Q: When does the Academic Calendar get finalized?
A: The Academic Calendar is finalized by ACSC Leadership near the completion of the current class. Once finalized the Academic Calendar communicates which core courses will be conducted in the different terms, key ACSC events, breaks, and holidays/family days. ACSC is a unit within AETC and honors all US National Holidays and AETC Family Days.
Q: How frequently does Academic Calendar change?
A: Once the Academic Calendar is finalized there are minimal changes. On a rare occasion the school may have to adjust the schedule to accommodate the mission, but only duty days will be affected (to include non-contact duty days).
Q: What is a “non-contact duty day”?
A: ACSC is executed over the course of four terms and the time spent in the classroom and at lectures is called contact time. “Non-contact duty days” are days are built into the calendar where there is no scheduled activity. It is still considered a duty day, but “non-contact duty days” afford students the opportunity to conduct research, take leave, or go on various TDY/PTDY.
Q: How stable is the daily/weekly schedule? Are there multiple changes?
A: Individual course day schedules are generally published at the start of each term for the entire term. Every effort is made to maintain the published schedule, but some events require the school to modify dates or times of events. Changes can be driven by weather events, changes to outside speaker schedules, or other similar circumstances. When changes occur, they are communicated through the STUS leadership to the flight leads. Individual elective instructors and concentration leads may modify their own program’s schedules as well due to speaking engagements.
Q: Where is the Academic Calendar and student schedule located?
A: The Academic Calendar and student schedule will be published on CANVAS and the Air Command and Staff College App when finalized.
Q: What is CANVAS?
A: CANVAS is ACSC’s learning management system. It is the system that houses all of the courses you are enrolled in, the student schedule, and connects you to your student squadron. During in-processing you will receive a log-in. The system can be accessed through any device that is internet or WIFI capable.
Q: What is the Air Command and Staff College App?
A: The Air Command and Staff College App can be found on any app site and is free to download. The app provides the student calendar, student groups for text-like chat, information about the program, and more. When students are in transition and do not have access to their NIPR or a computer, this is the best means of communication. It also provide information that will be available in CANVAS and can be accessed prior to arrival.
Q: How often should I check the student schedule?
A: Students are expected to check the student schedule regularly (daily is recommended). While STUS leadership does its best to notify students of changes via other means, it is the students responsibility to check and know the official schedule and where to be and when. The student schedule is available through the learning management system CANVAS and accessible on mobile devices.
Q: I would like to stay at Maxwell after my student year, is this possible?
A: Every year ACSC receives requests from current students to stay on as faculty. If a student wishes to stay at ACSC and instruct or fill a staff position their first step is to discuss this with their DO and STUS/CC. After this the student should discuss this option with their assignment team to ensure release for instructor duty is given prior to submitting assignment preferences.
Q: Who handles ADP/Talent Marketplace assignments processes?
A: While attending ACSC all students are assigned to a student squadron. The Student Squadron Commanders (STUS/CCs) fulfill the same responsibilities as Air Force squadron commanders. For all Active Duty Air Force, the STUS/CC is responsible for submitting ADPs and Talent Marketplace comments. Students can arrive to ACSC with an ADP and comments from a previous commander (highly encouraged). Typically comments are crafted as a result of one-on-one sessions with the student, comments from previous commanders, and discussions with the assignment team and career field managers.
During the Fall, just prior to the assignment cycle, the STUS leadership will coordinate for AFPC assignment teams to visit ACSC and meet with individuals regarding their follow-on.
For all Sister Service, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Civilians, and International Officers your follow-on assignments are processed by your respective Service, home station, headquarters, or nation.
Q: How do I apply for special career opportunities throughout the year?
Throughout the year, many opportunities are made available for career enhancement. This include Squadron Commander Boards, DET/CC and DO opportunities, Aide-De-Camps, USAFA Instructor, Advanced Academic Degrees, and more. You will receive notification of these opportunities through MyPers and/or the STUS leadership team. Submissions will be routed through the STUS/CC. If a senior rater is required, the ACSC/CC will submit the packages.
There are also assignment opportunities outside of ACSC both at Maxwell and Gunter. Again students should work with their assignments teams and STUS/CCs to ensure preferences and comments match during the applicable assignment window.
Q: How does the follow-on assignments Orders process work?
A:The STUS/DOs work directly with the MPF to execute student assignments for all Active Duty Air Force students. STUS/DOs will disseminate information on the necessary actions to students several times throughout the year to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Students will be matched to assignments as part of the AFPC Summer VML Cycle and can generally expect to receive assignment notifications between January through March.
Q: I have been designated for PAS or AU Fellowship, what does that mean?
A: PAS –The Political Affairs Specialist concentration focuses a student’s academic experience on civil-military relations in preparation for serving in a follow on assignment in a 16P AFSC billet. PAS students are mixed into every flight, and the only curriculum difference is a slightly limited selection of electives. PAS students also attend highly informative and focused briefs from subject matter experts in the field on elective days. For additional questions please contact the PAS program director at 334-953-9146.
•AU Fellowship – The Air University Fellowship is designed to provide an enhanced and unique learning and development experience beyond the regular ACSC curriculum. There are three types of Fellows (A, B, and C). Fellow As will report to the Squadron Officer College the year prior to their ACSC Academic year to instruct Basic Development Education. Fellow Bs and Cs will report directly to ACSC to complete their academic year followed by a year instructing at ACSC (B) or Officer Training School (C) respectively. Fellows can expect to develop their leadership styles through interactions with students and other faculty members. Fellow Bs are asked in the fall of their academic year to prioritize their top three teaching department choices. ACSC leadership considers multiple factors such as career experience, faculty shortfalls, and student desires when placing Fellows for their instructor year. Fellow Bs are notified in the winter timeframe of department assignments for the following year.
A: An ACSC Concentration provides students with the opportunity to focus on a specific area of military studies such as Nuclear (SANDS), Political Affairs (PAS), Space (Schriever Scholars), or Multi-domain Operations (MDOS). Applications are program specific as outlined below.
The School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) is considered an ACSC Concentration but participating students are selected directly by the Central Selection Board.
PAS (see previous FAQ) is considered an ACSC Concentration but participating students are selected directly by the Central Selection Board.
The invitation to apply for Schriever Scholars, MDOS, or Blue Horizons will be sent in early spring (March-May) of the prior academic year. Selection notifications for each concentration are sent on individual timelines for each program but will occur prior to the first day of academics.
Blue Horizons (BH) is not considered an ACSC Concentration but does select members from the inbound student roster on an invitation to apply basis.
A: Every year ACSC receives requests from current students to stay on as faculty. If a student wishes to instruct their first step is to discuss this with their DO and STUS/CC. The student should also discuss this option with their assignment team to ensure release for instructor duty will be approved prior to submitting assignment preferences.
Assignment outside of ACSC on Maxwell and Gunter is possible and students should work with their assignments teams and Sq/CCs to ensure coordination during the applicable assignment window.
Q: How does the follow-on assignments Orders process work?
A: The STUS/DOs work directly with MPF to execute student assignments for Air Force students. STUS/DOs will disseminate information to students several times throughout the year to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Students will be matched to assignments as part of the AFPC Summer VML Cycle and can generally expect to receive assignment notifications beginning in December through March. Sister service assignments are handled via their own service reps.
Q: Who handles ADP/Talent Marketplace assignments processes?
A: The STUS/CCs are responsible for signing ADPs and Talent Marketplace comments for Active Duty AF students. The ACSC/CC or their delegate may be required to sign Statements of Intent (SOIs) for special opportunities like command boards or special selection opportunities.
Q: I am interested in Advanced Studies Groups (ASG), how do I apply?
A: Each of the major ASG programs (SAMS, SAW, and SAASS) send representatives to ACSC to present their individual programs and application requirements. These visits occur during the fall, prior to application deadlines. Each ASG has unique selection requirements, which will be clearly presented. Selections are generally announced in December.
Q: How do I apply for other special selection opportunities (like JSOC, command boards, etc)?
A: Students wishing to apply for special selection and command boards are responsible for monitoring board announcements and must initiate the process. The STUS team regularly identifies and advertises upcoming opportunities of interest to the student body, but it is up to each individual to meet submission deadlines. The STUS/DOs are points of contact when needing to staff nomination packages for signature to the STUS/CCs or ACSC/CC.
Q: Who do I contact if I have an emergency that will require missing class?
A: The Student Squadron’s are responsible for handling all actions regarding student attendance or absences such as long term absences for medical issues, parental leave, or TDYs. In addition the STUS team handles changes to report dates, and in/out processing actions with the MPF. Students should always contact the STUS team first at ACSC.21STUS@us.af.mil, or commercial 334-953-7956/4816.
Q: Can I graduate on time if I have a long term absence (greater than 10 academic days in a term) during the academic year?
A: The short answer is yes, you can graduate on time. The STUS team works with each student to develop a plan that will help them make up all course requirements during absences, including parental leave. These plans will be coordinated with the course instructors, department chairs, and Dean of Students. There are also options to extend the academics into the following summer, provided there is flexibility with the follow-on assignment.
Q: How many forms of communication are used in the ACSC environment?
A: As with most modern institutions, ACSC uses a variety of communication tools to disseminate information to students, faculty, and staff. These tools include an ACSC app in the Apple and Google Play stores, a learning management system called CANVAS, a SharePoint site, a public webpage, and official af.mil email. These tools are used for unique and complementary purposes to ensure all members of ACSC have access to the information they need to succeed.
Q: Which Student Squadron will I be in?
A: The Student Squadron Commanders (STUS/CCs) will determine your squadron and seminar assignments based on in-bound AY20 student demographics. Because of frequent and late changes to the list of AY20 students, STUS/CCs will inform all students during main body inprocessing of their assignment. Certain concentrations are unique to a particular squadron.
Students will not be able to request a particular squadron since ACSC leadership attempts to distribute students so that each students get to experience a variety of view points and learn from the experience of others within their class.
Students in both squadrons are afforded the same leadership opportunities, are able to apply for electives equally, and are treated as a single student body by the academic instructors and other staff at ACSC. However, the student squadrons do maintain a healthy competition through events like the Sq/CC PT Challenges and annual Dragon Boat races.
Q: What is the ACSC Booster Club?
A: The ACSC Booster Club is a student-run private organization whose stated mission and purpose is to promote the welfare of ACSC by executing class and community service events outside the purview of the official ACSC curriculum. The Booster Club achieves this objective by planning and executing events for the ACSC students like ACSC Dragon Boat races, class barbeques, holiday parties, and a graduation ball. Each class establishes a budget based on the demand for events and collects a voluntary membership fee to pay for them.
Q: Does ACSC administer PT Tests for Students?
A: For Air Force students (Active, Guard, Reserve) ACSC does not conduct PT Tests. You will need to schedule your PT Test with the Maxwell AFB or Gunter Annex Fitness Center (https://cs2.eis.af.mil/sites/er/0055/sitepages/home.aspx)
For Navy, USMC, and Army students your senior service representative will schedule your service specific tests and de-conflict them with the student schedule. Army and USMC students can expect to take their PT Test during orientation week. Navy students can expect to take theirs early in the academic year
Q: How do I schedule a Fitness Assessment (AF Students)?
A: 1)Go to: https://cs2.eis.af.mil/sites/er/0055/sitepages/home.aspx
NOTE: It may take a minute for the page to load all the information.
2) Once window opens look in the Title column for "Maxwell Fitness Assessment" to schedule your test on Maxwell or "Gunter Fitness Assessment" if you prefer to test on Gunter Annex on the track
3) Select your preferred date based on “Start Date” column, then click in that row for another dialog window to open.
4) Verify the date, time, and location in the dialog box. The box also displays how many people are currently registered for that date, time, and location. A maximum of 32 people can test during normal test days.
5) Click "Register“ once you have verified the time, location, and date.
6) Click "Close"
NOTE: The fitness assessment schedule publishes following month tests part way through the current month. End of month times fill up quickly so sign up early. It is best to sign up for an early to mid-month slot in case the ACSC schedule changes and you have to reschedule.
Q: When is the best time of year to test at Maxwell AFB?
A: The best time of year to test is early spring or mid-fall when the weather is cooler and there are fewer people trying to schedule a fitness assessment. Alabama gets very hot and humid during the summer months, and frequently rains during the winter. In addition, the months of December and May are very hard to reserve because of the few testing times available and large base population requiring testing.
Q: How far is Gunter Annex from Maxwell AFB?
A: Gunter Annex falls under the authority of the 42d ABW and is approximately 15 minutes away.
Q: What is located on Gunter Annex?
A: Gunter Annex offers additional housing options for students. It also hosts a separate Child Development Center, School Age Center, and Youth Programs. Additional Gunter services include:
Important Note: Signing up for child care on Gunter is a separate step from signing up for care on Maxwell. If you wish to be considered for spots at both locations you must apply separately to both centers.
Q: When is Maxwell Military Clothing Sales receiving USAF OCP items?
A: Maxwell AFB will be one of the last bases to receive USAF OCP items, currently expected late in calendar year 2019 or early 2020. At the current time the only OCP items on hand are name tapes, USAF tapes, some occupational badges, and US Flags. Air Force members wishing to wear OCPs must self-procure all necessary items (including MAJCOM patch) but will be issued one Squadron OCP patch.
Q: What uniforms do I have to bring with me for A) hand carry and B) household goods?
A) Please see the inbound student page for more details about uniform requirements.
Navy must have Choker Whites with ribbons and no name tags along with utility greens/blues/flight suit, and service blues.
All other uniforms including mess dress can be in your household goods shipment if you desire but at a minimum bring all uniform items in your accompanied baggage necessary for PT, regular duty, and Opening Ceremonies.
Q: Can I miss ACSC school activities to receive household goods?
A: Students should make every attempt to receive household goods outside of scheduled school activities. Where that is not possible the student must request permission to be absent from the STUS/DO as early as possible in order to mitigate impacts to the student and the school.
Q: Can I live on-base and what is the process for getting assigned a house? How do I apply?
A: Yes, you can live on base, please see the community page and the next question for more information on requesting a housing unit.
NOTE: On base housing at Maxwell is privatized and quarters are not guaranteed for any Military or Civilian student.
Students interested in living on installation should visit http://www.maxwellfamilyhousing.com/ for more information. To apply for housing please visit https://www.huntmilitarycommunities.com/portal?pid=15 and register to complete the application process.
Wait lists can be long so apply early if you would like to live on base!
Q: If I live off base can my child attend the DoD school on base?
A: Only members eligible and living on base may attend the on base school. See link below and the community page for more information on school options.
Q: If I live in Fam Camp or use my friends’ address can my child attend the on base DOD school?
The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force has designated FAMCAMP as permanent housing for AY 20, so families living there may send their children to the DOD school. This policy will be reviewed during the year and updates will be announced before AY 21.
Q: I am an International Officer (IO), may my children attend the on-base DOD school?
IO’s who wish to have children attend the DoD School must comply with the following requirements. The lodging dorms assigned to individuals are not considered base housing for enrollment purposes. For additional questions contact International Officer School at (334) 953-3799.
1) Foreign officer must show military orders assigning them to the location in the US.
2) Student must be listed on orders (or have an affidavit stating that they are authorized to travel to the US with the officer).
3) Show the student passport with visa.
4) Provide any previous school record showing current grade - must be translated to English. If no previous grade, student will be enrolled where they are age appropriate.
5) Show current lease with on base housing listing the student as authorized resident.
Children will be enrollment coded as 1MB.
Q: When is Alabama School Registration due?
A: By the first day of school, usually the first or second week of August, depending on school and district. Contact the schools early as they get very busy just before school start dates dealing with both local and inbound students every year.
Important Note: Links to Alabama Schools work best when viewed from a desktop computer as some are not mobile compatible
Q: Which District do I live in?
A: There are 4 main school districts that serve the student population of ACSC. Because the borders of each district are very close to areas students may choose to live it is very important that you verify which district your residence is assigned to.
https://excensus-guidek12.net/montgomeryal/school_search/2018/ (for Montgomery County Public Schools only)
Q: What is required for School Registration in Alabama?
A: Required Items:
1) 2 forms of proof of residence (see school specific requirements)
2) Parents Picture ID
3) Student’s Birth Certificate
4) Students past report card/withdrawal form/Transcripts
5) Alabama Immunization Record
6) Custody Papers (If applicable)
Q: What constitutes proof of residence?
A: Most districts require a primary and secondary proof of residence. Primary proof consists of utility bills within the last 30 days and lease/mortgage/closing documents. Secondary proof includes things like property tax statements, W-2 showing legal residence, correspondence from Social Security Office or other government agencies, and employment records within the last 30 days.
Q: Can I receive temporary enrollment status?
A: Some districts may allow for temporary enrollment prior to having all necessary proof of residence for military students. Contact your district or school enrollment office to determine if this is possible.
Q: Can my utility provider send me a temporary proof of residency?
A: Some of the local utilities may be able to provide you with a record of residence prior to your first bill to serve as proof of residence. Contact your utility directly to inquire about this option.
Q: What is the Alabama Immunization Record?
A: Alabama requires a full immunization record transcribed onto the state form, known as the Alabama Certificate of Immunization (sometimes called the Blue Card). This process can be accomplished by the 42MDG or at the Alabama Dept of Health. This form is required as part of school, Head Start, or day care enrollment (off base) and should be accomplished as early as possible upon arrival.
Mandatory Immunization Law -- Each child enrolled in day care, Head Start, and public or private school in Alabama must have a valid Alabama Certificate of Immunization on file at the facility that they attend. The certificate may be obtained from the physician or clinic that administers the vaccine or may be completed by any county health department in the state if the parent presents a vaccine record from the provider. For students who are moving to Alabama, out of state vaccine records must be transferred to the Alabama Certificate of Immunization prior to enrollment in day care, Head Start, or school entry. This may be accomplished by taking a vaccine record from the provider to the local county health department, or if a physician in Alabama has been chosen by the family, the record may be transposed by the physician.
The State of Alabama does not recognize philosophical, moral or ethical exemption from vaccination. A medical exemption may be used by a physician or an Alabama Certificate of Religious Exemption may be obtained from the local county health department. Attendees of day care and Head Start must be age-appropriately vaccinated against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Polio, and Chickenpox.
Q: Can my middle/high school child play school sports?
A: School sports generally require a yearly physical for each athlete who wants to participate, along with other registrations forms. For information about your child’s specific requirements please contact the appropriate organization early to ensure completion by applicable cut-off dates. There is an Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children that requires local schools to allow military dependents to receive consideration and participate in a special tryout.
Alabama High School Athletic Association (7th-12th Grades):
Important Note: It is important to understand local eligibility requirements for those students seeking to participate in school sports as some situations may require a student to be ineligible to represent their school for periods of up to a year.
Q: How do I sign up for child care on base?
A: Maxwell and Gunter utilize the MilitaryChildCare.com (MCC) website for care requests. All requests are managed through this site and separate requests are required for each program, dependent, and base.
Example: A student who lives on Gunter want their two children to receive care at the CDC but is willing to use either Gunter or Maxwell CDCs must submit 4 total requests in the MCC website.
MCC Link: https://militarychildcare.cnic.navy.mil/mcc-consumer/home/viewhome.action
Q: What services does the Maxwell Clinic offer?
A: Maxwell Clinic offers the following services:
Q: If I am an ACSC Student which part of the clinic will I be assigned for my PCM?
A: The majority of students will have a PCM as part of Trainee Health, while flyers will fall under Flight Medicine, even in student status.
Q: What are the options for specialty care and referrals in the local area?
A: As Maxwell has limited specialty services as a clinic, most specialty care is referred off base to local area practices. Since the Montgomery region is also relatively small, some services have very long wait times or limited provider options. Please ask your current PCM or EFMP office as necessary to work a referral early to reduce wait times when you arrive.
Students or families seeking additional options may be able to ask for a referral to the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Medicine or MultiCare Auburn Medical Center. These options are about 1.5 hours away from Maxwell AFB but may provide faster access to care.