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Associate of Applied Science in the Department of the Air Force Leadership and Management Studies


The goal of the civilian Associate of Applied Science in the Department of the Air Force Leadership and Management Studies program is to help DAF civilians reach their full leadership potential.  Courses have been designed to teach skills and competencies deemed critical to the Department of the Air Force and are based upon the DAF’s Institutional Competency List.  Many class projects will involve work-related activities.  As a result, the program allows students to provide a positive impact to their work center as well as their own professional development. Completion of the program results in an Associate of Applied Science Degree in the Department of the Air Force Leadership and Management Studies.  The degree is awarded by Air University and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Eligible DAF civilians can complete the program at little or no cost to the student. 



This 60 credit hour program allows students to achieve an Associate of Applied Science degree in AF Leadership and Management Studies. It is designed to be completed in 2 years 9 months in a fully online format.  Students will take:

  • Term 0 – Orientation, Academic Writing and Prep classes to begin working on General Education requirements (Length: 9 months)
  • 10 core classes taught online by Air University (see Program Major Curriculum) along with an additional (Length: 2 years)
  • 10 general education/elective courses completed through funded credit by exam or transfer credit from another educational institution.  (Length: completed in same 2 years as core classes)

AU core classes consist of a mix of scheduled live classes along with out-of-classes readings and assignments.  Students will attend live webinar (class) sessions at scheduled times.  Class times will be available before, during and after the duty day (this may vary depending upon your geographic location).  All other coursework can be done during evenings or weekends, whenever it works best in the student's schedule. 

General education/elective requirements will be completed at the same time as AU core classes.  Students may have previous college credit that can transfer into the program.  Academic advisors will review transcripts of selected students and help them develop a degree plan during the initial orientation phase of CADP.  Students needing to complete requirements will be guided to select the best CLEP, DSST or available local/online course from an outside college or university to transfer into the program.  The AF civTA will pay for one attempt at credit by exam for each of the 10 general education/elective course requirements.  CADP students may also receive 100% civTA for courses taken to complete CADP requirements.  Amount of civTA used each year cannot exceed the annual civTA cap.  Hence, using CLEP and DSST may help students best accomplish this portion of the degree requirement.

Classes required for the program:



First 9 month of program (Year 0)
Student Orientation and Advising (SOAR)
AF Academic Writing

These classes are considered preparatory.  Successful completion of each is required to move into the Core Curriculum. CLEP and DSST prep will walk students through the process of studying for, requesting civTA, and taking a CLEP or DSST exam.  Students will ideally have at least 6 credit hours of general education requirements completed by the end of Term 0.




Year 1

Professionalism in the Air Force
Foundations of Leadership
History and Heritage of the Air Force
Introduction to Management
Principles of Leadership 1

Year 2

Thinking, Logic and Decision Making
Conflict Resolution
Organizational Culture
Process Improvement
Principles of Leadership 2

These classes are taught by CADP using online systems for both "classes" and coursework.




Year 1

Written Communication
Oral Communication
College Math
Social Sciences

Year 2

Introduction to Computing
Introduction to American Government
Program-related elective
Program-related elective
Program-related elective

These requirements will be transferred into the program.  They can be:

  • College credits transferred into the program from a different college (previously completed OR completed while in CADP)
  • Credit by exam (CLEP/DSST) completed while in the program 

Please Note:  General education and elective classes are currently not offered by AU.  These courses will be completed individually by students while simultaneously working on Program Major classes.  In order to graduate on time, students will find themselves spending up to 10 - 15 hours a week of off-duty time focused on program requirements (both program major and general education/elective requirements).


The best part of CADP is using the information learned from the class and from the discussions with my supervisor and applying them to my career. It enabled me to become more effective to my organization.” - CADP Student


“CADP has enabled my AF Civilian employee to start conversations that she would not have had with us a year ago.  She is amazing now!  Thank you for what you are doing for our civilians! ” - WG/CC & CADP Student Supervisor


“If you are dedicated to the Air Force and are looking for something to help you impact the organization, education is the best route. This program gives us the tools to excel and the knowledge to make a greater impact in the Air Force.” – CADP Student


“CADP is an amazing program that has exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be happier in it.  I am all the time telling people about the program.  You guys are amazing.  Thank you.” – CADP Student

See link to her video at:  https://www.dvidshub.net/video/659248/cde-associates-degree-karen-rost  Please note minor discrepancies in this video.  1) All levels of GS, WG and NAF are eligible to apply if you meet the other eligibility criteria.  2) Students may encounter limited cost to complete this program.  This may include: internet connection; personal computer or tablet; personal printer, ink and copy paper should you desire to print readings or other materials; cost of books, fees, and/or supplies when completing a course at a non-AU location to transfer into the program (see curriculum for additional information)



“It is a super rewarding program. It seemed like every class related to something that I was going through leadership wise.  It was/is kind of fun to apply the lessons right away to what I was dealing with at the time… The program…takes a lot of personal and work time... One must be fully involved in it. Not just one week but every week to the end.” - CADP Student


“It is an awesome opportunity to complete an Associate’s degree while also seeing the “Big” picture of an AF leader’s role and expectations at various levels… it is not for the faint of heart and will take some commitment on their [students’] part to see the process through.” - CADP Student


“It is very demanding but it is well worth pursuing because I have learned so much while attending CADP that has made me a better co-worker and leader.” - CADP Student


“It's not only made me a better employee but a better person… all the time and effort that we have put into the program was well worth it.” - CADP Student



If you are a current or previous CADP student or supervisor with a story you’d like to share, please contact us at:  eakercenter.afcue.af@us.af.mil


Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering applying for the program.

Focus of the program:

  • Help students develop as future AF leaders
  • Develop skills you can use in your current AF position
  • Earn an associate degree – a stepping stone towards professional development

Ideal qualities of an applicant:

  • Self-motivated – program requires that students create and track personal due dates to meet full program deadlines 
  • Computer & online-oriented – Enjoy interacting online (do not need an actual classroom to feel a part of the class)
  • Have free time in their off-duty schedule to focus on education – as adults, not every phase in our lives may lend itself to earning a degree.  CADP students routinely dedicate 10 – 15 hrs per week of off-duty time towards education. 

Things to consider when applying:

  • Time to graduation = 2 yrs 9 months (+ application time)  -- For those who are already in a degree program or may have many academic credits, this program will likely not be the fastest way to a degree
  • Webinar times: We currently offer the webinar portion of the class at 0630 CT, 1100 CT, 1300 and 1630 CT.  Students will attend one of these times (based upon availability of class and best fit with student’s scheduling requirements) twice a week. (Either M/W or T/TH, depending upon which year students are selected to attend the program.)
  • Due to the limited size of the student population and CADP staff, courses are offered only once per year.

Reasons AF civilians choose to use traditional AF civTA and attend a local or online college rather than attending CADP:

  • Have a large number of credits and can complete degree more quickly at a civilian college
  • Desire a degree tied to their specific career-field – for example, computer programming or accounting
  • Desire to be in a brick and mortar classroom (traditional class style)
  • Not able to dedicate 10 - 15 hrs of off-duty time every week to this program
  • Life schedule requires the ability to take terms off (complete degree at a slower pace)

For more information on how the program works, please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.



Applicants must have:

  • Status as a permanent full-time appropriated fund or non-appropriated fund (GS, WG, or NAF) Air Force civilian in any grade level
  • Two years Federal civil service by the application deadline
  • Acceptable rating on most recent performance appraisal
  • High school diploma, GED or equivalent (May have some college credit, but must NOT have been awarded a post-secondary degree from a regionally accredited 2 or 4-year institution).  Will NOT submit during application; will be verified by Air University once students are selected.
  • Supervisor coordination with agreement to provide access to a government computer and agreement on whether supervisor can provide up to 3 hours per week of duty time for class attendance (subject to mission requirements). All students MUST understand that the majority of time spent completing CADP requirements will be off-duty time. Additionally, the granting of duty time is NOT required to participate in this program.



Interested applicants should apply through the Civilian Developmental Education (CDE) call during the application window (approximately Jan to Mar of each year).   Applicants MUST have a valid HS transcript or GED (or equivalent) and meet all other eligibility requirements to apply for this program.  Selectees will be required to submit official transcripts to Air University to complete enrollment in CADP.

PLEASE KNOW:  Students will incur a one-year Continued Service commitment upon degree completion.




  • Call for Nominations Opens...................................... 13 Jan 2021
  • Employee Submits Application Via MyVector NLT........ 26 Feb 2021 (please note this date is prior to the close date for the Call for Nominations)
    *Communicate with local leadership regarding any internal suspense*
  • Endorser Reviews / Forwards Nominations................. 13 Jan 2021 - 13 Mar 2021
  • Call for Nomination Closes....................................... 13 Mar 2021
  • Selectees Announced………………………………... September 2021



Please access MyVector using Google Chrome to register or access your account. Once in MyVector, select "Sign Up" to establish a profile or "Login" to access your already established profile.



CADP applications are part of the CDE process coordinated by AFPC.  For additional information about eligibility, applications or any other application-related questions, please contact AFPC using the following resources:

  • MyPers page discussing CADP (must have CAC-enabled access)
  • For CDE Information, please contact the AFPC Civilian Leadership Development Office, DSN: 665-2524 / Commercial: 210-565-2524

What new selectees should expect (dates/events):

  • Selection announced by AFPC through commanders…………………… Aug
  • Welcome letter from CADP……………………………………………Late Aug/Early September
  • CADP Orientation Classes begin:
    • Student Orientation & Academic Readiness (SOAR) .…….  Oct/Nov
    • CLEP Prep………………………………………………………………..……… Dec/Jan
    • DSST Prep……………………………………………………………………….. Feb/Mar
    • AF Academic Writing ………………………………………………………. Apr/May
    • CADP Core Classes/Term 1…………………....…………………. Begin in June

Selectee Requirements:  Students will be asked to submit HS/GED transcripts after AU Registrar once selection list is announced.  Please do not send transcripts to AU until you enter program and requested to do so.  Please note:  Students MUST have a HS/GED verified to begin Core Classes (Term 1).

Transfer credit process:  Students will discuss transfer credits during SOAR.  All students will have a personalized degree plan completed by the end of SOAR.  Please note:  Due to limited staffing, we cannot process transcripts for interested applicants prior to selection at this time.

CADP Handbook:  For more information on CADP policies and processes, please review our handbook.  For more information on how the program works, please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Continued Service Agreement (CSA):  Students will incur a one-year Continued Service commitment upon degree completion.

Contact Us:  If you cannot find the answer to your question or need additional assistance, please contact us at:   eakercenter.afcue.af@us.af.mil   OR   334-953-0540  (DSN 493-0540)  OR    334-953-0025  (DSN 493-0025)



Mentoring:  Once the CADP program major classes start in Aug 2020, we ask that you spend 10-15 minutes a week talking with students about what they are learning in class.  While students are always responsible for completing all work assignments for this program, your weekly mentoring sessions create an effective learning scaffold by providing guidance and mentoring that enlightens their answers, particularly for students’ learning labs.  As students read one another’s discussion boards posts, your guidance and knowledge then gets shared and its positive effects are multiplied!

Contact with the program:  Your contact with the program is limited.  You are not required to provide feedback to us, although it is always appreciated if you desire/have the time.  Your actions do not affect the students’ grades nor do you have any assignments to complete.  We do ask that you contact us if the student encounters a situation where they cannot attend classes and cannot contact us themselves.  We may occasionally contact you to provide feedback.  This could include informing you that your student won an award or was otherwise recognized for quality work.  You will also be brought into the loop if your student in on academic probation or has been missing classes.  We will also cc you on our newsletters, in the event you would like to know a bit about what is happening in the program.

Duty time for classes:  The program does ask students and supervisors to discuss whether the mission allows for students to use up to 3 hrs of duty time each week to support class accomplishment.  This is NOT a requirement for students to participate in the program.  Webinars are offered at various times throughout the day so that, ideally, students have at least one off-duty time option.  Additionally, students must understand that the majority of the time involved in fulfilling program requirements will be done on their off-duty time.

  • Duty time reference:  DODI1400.25V630_AFI36-815  14 NOVEMBER 2019. Full DODI at: https://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a1/publication/dodi1400.25v630_afi36-815/dodi1400.25.v630_afi36-815.pdf
  • “6. (Added)(AF) ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.    (2) (Added)(AF) Educational development.  As part of the Air Force commitment to employee education, installation commanders, heads of serviced organizations, or designee in writing (e.g. unit commander), may excuse civilian employees for educational activities up to three hours per week, based on mission and workload requirements. Employee participation is strictly voluntary.  Educational activities must be sponsored by recognized organizations (T-0).  These organizations include, but are not limited to: Office of Personnel Management; Department of Defense; Air Force Air University; and accredited post-secondary institutions.  Employees must notify supervisors in advance of the class to ensure attendance does not conflict with work center requirements (T-3).    (a) (Added)(AF) For classes exceeding three hours in a single week, the employee is to submit a leave request for all time in excess of three hours spent at the event(s).  In advance of the employee's request, the employee is expected to coordinate with the supervisor regarding time off for an educational activity and a signed agreement is to be executed by both the employee and supervisor to memorialize the agreement.”

Contact Us:  If you cannot find the answer to your question or need additional assistance, please contact us at:   eakercenter.afcue.af@us.af.mil   OR   334-953-0540  (DSN 493-0540)  OR    334-953-0025  (DSN 493-0025)


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