Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
/ Published October 24, 2016
The Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC) bridges the gap between technical functions and broad financial management and leadership. The course is designed to develop critical thinking, analytical, leadership and conflict resolution skill sets. It also works to take foundational financial management skills to the next level. Successful students earn graduate credit hours and continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Students also have the option to participate in other useful electives such as the DFMC version of Toastmasters called ''Speak Easy."
The faculty achieves its mission through guest lectures, interactive seminars, case studies, and facilitated exercises. The students are asked to actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete homework and test requirements. Students must successfully complete several assessments during the course. Students must also successfully complete a multiple page advocacy or position paper, and will make several formal presentations during the course. The course is taught at the graduate level and offers a highly rewarding learning experience. The course is paperless (for the most part) and employs electronic media. Students should bring or will be issued laptop computers to facilitate course completion requirements. Students should have a basic knowledge of computing devices, as well as word-processing and presentation software before attending the course.
LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION: This instruction area focuses on understanding the importance of working well with others, leading teams, and effectively communicating. Students actively participate in exercises and complete requirements relating to group dynamics, communication, team leading and conflict resolution. The importance of working well with others, properly communicating ideas and understanding basic leadership concept is crucial to the development of an efficient and effective working environment. Senior leaders present their perspectives on leadership and the FM career field through the course. Each students is expected to reflect on his/her personal beliefs about leadership and then develop a personal leadership approach. Students leave with a documented definition of leadership, enhanced personal communication skills, and a better understanding of the dynamic DoD leadership environment.
DoD STRATEGIC AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ENVIRONMENT: This instructional area focuses on DoD's financial processes, controls, and information. Faculty and guest speakers discuss various types of DoD funding along with fiscal law concepts and how they impact the financial manager. Students learn the purpose and the effect of key legislation on performance measurement, audit readiness, and financial operations. In addition, students increase their knowledge on the DoD resource allocation system ( Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution--PPBE) and the Defense Acquisition System process. This area also introduces the FM professional to the Department's strategic view and how it impacts financial management. Faculty and the guest speakers will present up-to-date information on how the economy, military strategy, and politics impact the budget process and how to provide decision support in a dynamic environment. The FM framework provides the students an understanding of the current challenges facing resource managers.
DECISION SUPPORT: This instructional area is designed to develop decision support skills sets to include critical thinking, analysis, advisory responsibilities,strategic orientation, leadership, and conflict resolution. Students achieve this mission through active participation in informal lectures, interactive seminars, small group discussions, and facilitated exercises. Students use critical thinking and analytical skills to develop, evaluate, and clearly communicate alternatives, projections, impacts, and recommendations in a concise, actionable, and timely manner to decision makers.
The DFMC evaluation process has two broad objectives: (1) evaluation of student performance to measure achievement of behavioral objectives established by the faculty and (2) evaluation of the faculty, guest speakers, educational materials and other facets of the curriculum to determine if the course is meeting the needs of the comptroller community and the DoD. Students achievement of behavioral objectives is measured using several methods including exams, written and oral presentations, seminar participation and problem solving exercises. Students must actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete assignments. Exams are composed of multiple choice and essay questions related to course content. Evaluation of the course is accomplished by several means. An on-line critique system provides real-time feedback through required and voluntary student submissions. The broad use of a variety of evaluative indicators enable the school director to measure student learning, continue to improve instructional methods and update the curriculum to make the course continuously responsive to user needs. End-of-course critiques and post-course surveys are also used to continually monitor course effectiveness.
525 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6335