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ACSC DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM DL 6.0

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The ACSC DL 6.0 program is completely online, giving students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course concepts and build critical thinking skills through online, peer-to-peer and faculty interaction. Today's students are globally deployed and desire to access and complete courseware when and where they choose. Online content allows for curriculum delivery and update at a much faster pace than previous book-based content.

The core content of the ACSC DL 6.0 program does not deviate extensively from the former program and continues to offer the same seven core courses as the previous 5.2 program. However, the new program offers a completely different learning experience in that students are able to more actively engage with the material. In addition to lesson narratives, reading materials and lesson progress checks, students encounter videos, computer-based interactive learning activities and "game-like" exercises all available in an online environment. Self-paced is enhanced by collaborative, online facilitated courses that enable students to engage in course concepts via faculty-guided, peer-to-peer interactions. And great news as all assessments are online...no need to travel to the test centers anymore!

Please reference the DL 6.0 program handbook for general course information.. Throughout this course you may require assistance on a variety of issues. As a general rule, your primary point of contact will be Student Services for all self-paced courses and your CI for all Applied Courses. Students may contact contact ACSC Student Services by opening a help ticket with the
AU Education Support Center.

Student Services personnel are available to assist you if you have an immediate, specific concern about the impact of the transition to your PME progression/completion, but the
FAQs should be able to address most of your needs at this time.
 



HISTORY

In 1948, ACSC established a Distance Learning (DL) Program to provide intermediate-level professional military education (PME) via correspondence to meet the needs of nonresident students. The scope of the program expanded in 1969 when a seminar option was added to provide a forum for nonresident students to share opinions, expertise, and experiences with each other. Today, the DL team continues to explore better ways to deliver course materials in our current expeditionary environment in order to meet the demand for PME of mid-career officers and civilians stationed throughout the world.

 

General Program Description

The curriculum consists of eight self-paced courses and four applied courses to be completed in the following order: Orientation and Introduction (ORIN), Leadership and Command (LC), Applied Leadership and Command (ALC), National Security (NS), Applied National Security (ANS), Warfare Studies (WS), Airpower Studies (AP), Applied Warfare (AW), Joint Forces (JF), Joint Planning (JP), Joint Air Operations (JA), and Applied Joint Warfare (AJW).

The ACSC DL 6.0 program is a totally online curriculum administered through a learning management system, where students have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course concepts and critical thinking through online, peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration.


PROGRAM INFORMATION

Eligibility

IAW AFI 36-2301, the following military, civilian, and international applicants are eligible to enroll in the ACSC Nonresident Studies Program:


Military: O-4 selects and above on active duty, non-extended active duty, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard; sister-service active duty, Guard, and Reserve O-4s and above; and Civil Air Patrol.
Civilian:Federal civil service employees in the grade of GS-12, GS-13 or NAF Employees 4/5, with a bachelor's degree.


International:International Applicants for nonresident ACSC must be O-4 major-select or higher, or equivalent grade civilian employees of the military department of a country or international organization assigned to a DOD billet. International Officers must enroll through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) training sponsorship program and have an acceptable Test of English as a Foreign Language score.

Enrollment

You will be enrolled in ACSC upon verification of your identity in the Air University Student Information System (AUSIS). You will remain enrolled through completion, provided you stay in good standing. If you ever need to verify your standing, please contact us.
Contrary to the former 5.2 program, students are not automatically enrolled in courses. Students are given the freedom to enroll in courses based upon their personal and professional schedules. Also differing from previous version, each self-paced course has a four-month completion expiration date from date of student enrollment. Students not completing within the four-month window will be given the grade of "Unsatisfactory" and are required to re-enroll the course. The four applied courses require students to sign up at least 2-weeks prior to class start date. Students must schedule their time wisely and not let the scheduling of an applied course delay their progress through the program.

Course Materials

After registering for a course, students are granted access to the Blackboard® Learning Management System where their courses are stored. There they will find a list of the materials needed to complete each course in electronic format: online articles, reading extracts, video presentations, digital workbooks, etc. In addition to housing courseware, Blackboard® serves as the collaborative-learning tool supporting asynchronous discussion forums, as well as schedules, syllabi, and other related materials.

BENEFITS OF ACSC 

 

Joint PME Phase I Credit

All ACSC graduates receive joint professional military education (JPME) phase I credit. Phase I emphasizes the fundamentals needed for a sound basis in joint operations and provides a foundation for follow-on study for phase II education. Current JPME objectives for intermediate-level joint learning are listed in the Appendix to this Guide.

IDE CreditAll Air Force officers earn Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) credit upon completion. If you are a USN, USA, or USMC student, you will need to contact your service PME office to ensure you receive Intermediate Service School credit for successfully completing ACSC's nonresident program.

Graduate Credit

The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends approximately 21 graduate credit hours be awarded for completing ACSC. The final decision on how many hours you will receive rests with the school to which you have applied.

Reserve Points

Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) determines ANG and USAFR retirement credit points.

AIR COMMAND & STAFF COLLEGE (ACSC) AIR RESERVE COMPONENT SEMINAR (ARCS)

Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve majors have the opportunity to enhance their Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) distance learning (DL) professional military education (PME) during the Air Reserve Component Seminar (ARCS).  ACSC ARCS is a blended-learning program which comprises one two-week seminar conducted in June on-site at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.  The ACSC ARCS offers an in-resident experience to those total force officers without the opportunity or time to attend a resident PME program.  The ACSC ARCS program provides an enriched learning environment that uses a combination of student-led seminars, guest lectures and exercises facilitated by AU resident and distance learning faculty. 

ACSC ARCS participants follow the ACSC 6.0 DL curriculum and are required to complete certain pre-requisites before they participate.   Following ARCS, members are expected to complete the remainder of the ACSC DL curriculum requirements at home station.  Only non-resident IDE credit will be reflected in ACSC ARCS student personnel records. 

For ANG and full-time Reservists, the ARCS TDYs are completely unit funded. For IMAs, TRs and ART Reservists, ARCS attendance is centrally funded by AFRC.

HOW TO APPLY


For ANG officers, a Course Announcement/Call for Applications will come out from NGB/HR o/a 1 March and will be distributed via the Base Education and Training Managers (BETMs) and Unit Training Managers (UTMs). The course announcement will include all application directions and specific program details.

For AF Reserve officers, specific application instructions for the ACSC ARCS program will be listed in the Fall Reserve School Selection Board (RSSB) announcement.

 **ACSC DL students currently enrolled in ACSC DL who have already completed the Applied Leadership in Command (ALC) course are ineligible to apply for Phase I ARCS.**

ACSC ARCS PROGRAM INFORMATION

New ACSC ARCS (Phase I) students must complete the ACSC 6.0 Student Orientation and the self-paced Leadership and Command (LC) courses BEFORE attending Phase I at Maxwell AFB.  These are pre-requisites to attend Phase I.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin working on their ACSC pre-requisites BEFORE official ARCS selection notification. During the Phase I TDY, students will complete the Applied Leadership and Command (ALC), the self-paced National Security (NS) and the Applied NS courses. 

ACSC ARCS eligibility information:

* Open to all ANG and AFRC O-4s
* Major selects must pin-on prior to class start date
* TFCSD must not exceed 18 years by application date

ACSC ARCS Program Directors:

AIR NATIONAL GUARD ADVISOR
Colonel Gary Kirk
DSN 493-2128
Comm (334)953-2128
Email: gary.kirk.1@us.af.mil

AIR FORCE RESERVE ADVISOR
Colonel Shelley Kavlick
DSN 493-7113
Comm (334)953-7113
Email: shelley.kavlick@us.af.mil

 

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS


Participants are required to own or have access to a computer with high-speed/broadband Internet capability, and possess at least an intermediate level of computing skills, defined as the ability to:

  • Organize and manage files and folders in the operating system of choice
  • Receive and submit electronic course materials
  • Use a word-processing program effectively
  • Use a spreadsheet program for grade book purposes effectively
  • Send and receive e-mail (including attachments)
  • Download and execute files from the Internet 

Hardware/Platform

Apple Macintosh

Microsoft Windows

Operating System

MacOS X 10.5 or higher

XP

Vista

Browser

Safari 2 or Later

Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7

Firefox 1.5 or later

Firefox 2.0 or later

Firefox 2.0

Netscape 7.1 or later

Netscape 7.1 or later

Netscape 9

CPU Memory

512 MB of RAM

1 GB of RAM

2 GB of RAM

Java Runtime

http://developer.apple.com/java/

http://www.java.com/

Processor Speed/Type

800 MHz Power PC G4 processor or better

1 GHz Intel Pentium III/AMD Athlon processor, or equivalent/better

Monitor Resolution

1024 x 768

Internet Connection

Any high-speed connection (e.g. Cable Broadband or DSL)

Hard Disk Space

9 GB

20 GB

Free Hard Disk Space

3 GB

15 GB

Audio Card

24-bit sound card

Video Card

Virtual memory turned on and allocated to at least 128 MB

64 MB VRAM with True Color (24-bit or 32-bit)

Browsers needed for Blackboard 9.1

Browser

Supported Desktop* Browser Versions

Chrome**

Version 36+

Edge**

Version 1+

Firefox

Version 31+

Internet Explorer

Version 9+ (Windows only)

Safari

Version 6+ (MacOS only)

* Mobile app versions of these browsers aren't support at this time, although users may have success using them. 

** Google Chrome versions 42+ and Microsoft Edge do not support NPAPI-type plug-ins including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn't support these these browsers for use with the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat tools, the multiple-file upload interface, or embedded media that require NPAPI plug-ins for viewing. 

Java and Other Browser Plugin

A handful of features in Blackboard Learn require particular additional software to be installed. Without these, the features themselves do not function. For this release of Learn, the following features have plugin requirements:  

  • Multiple File Uploads in Course Files and Content Collection requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Oracle enabled as a browser plugin. The single file upload tool does not have this requirement. The upload applet is signed by Blackboard and includes a timestamping authority that allows the applet to run even after the certificate has expired.
  • The Virtual Classroom Tools in courses require the JRE from Oracle enabled as a browser plugin. The Virtual Classroom applet is signed by Blackboard and includes a timestamping authority that allows the applet to run even after the certificate has expired.
  • The Meeting Room and Blackboard Collaborate synchronous communication features, available via Building Block, require download and installation of the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher application, but do not require the Java JRE browser plugin.
  • The Record from Webcam feature of the Content Editor requires the Flash Player browser plugin from Adobe to successfully save the recordings to YouTube. Adobe Flash Player version 11 or 18 is the recommended version of the Adobe Flash Player plugin, but the YouTube service ultimately determines the version required for this plugin. For Google Chrome, the Record from Webcam feature is supported with the built-in Flash support, requiring no plug-in installation.  

JRE versions 7 and 8 are the recommended versions for features that depend on it. JRE version 6 may work, but could result in unexpected behavior. Oracle has acknowledged some security issues with JRE version 6. 

Plugin Links: 

Student Performance


Attendance

The Distance Learning 6.0 Program is conducted asynchronously, so while "attendance" is mandatory, students may "attend" at the time and place of their choosing. In the Applied Courses, students are expected to meet minimum participation requirements in all class activities and complete all class assignments by the assignment due date.

Construction and Preparation

The DL 6.0 program employs the instructional systems development (ISD) process in developing its curriculum and assessments. Assessment topics and requirements, as well as threaded discussion questions, are developed from lesson objectives and are built to reflect the following levels of learning:  

  • Knowledge-level questions ask students to recall or recognize facts, theories and information in the same form it was presented in the course materials
  • Comprehension-level questions require students to see relationships, concepts, or abstractions beyond simply remembering the materials. This typically involves translating or interpreting information
  • Application-level questions require students to use learned material in new situations, including applying rules, methods, concepts, principles, and theories.
  • Analysis-level questions require students to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure can be understood. This level includes identification of the parts, analysis of the relationship between parts, and recognition of the organizational principles involved.
  • Synthesis-level questions require students to combine, create, formulate, design, compose, construct, rearrange, and revise material as it applies to the course
  • Evaluation-type questions ask students to judge, critique, compare, justify, conclude, describe, or support their arguments based on solid research or empirical data.
  • Regardless of the level of learning, students are prepared for all assessments if they meet the desired learning outcomes described in the course syllabus and complete all assignments - readings, videos, interactive learning modules, threaded discussions, and essays - successfully.
PROGRAM SUPPORT

Online Services

ACSC/DL manages the ACSC section of AUSIS (https://ausis.maxwell.af.mil) which takes you one step closer to achieving real-time information transfer in a distance-learning format. The website is unique to the version of the program in which you are enrolled and is active for the duration of a program version.

Course Content

Blackboard® is the online platform AU employs to host its distance learning programs and distribute course materials and related information. All course materials listed in the course syllabi are available in Blackboard®. Instructors, in the Applied Courses, use Blackboard® to guide seminar discussions, accept assignments, provide feedback, post grades, communicate course information, and answer questions. It is important to direct any course content-related questions, or the administration of course content, to the course instructor (CI) in the Applied Courses.

Completion Status

Although students can complete the program in seven months, the program's rigor requires a significant time commitment to meet that goal. The program must be completed within a 5-year timeframe.

Personnel Record Updates

The AU Registrar's office inputs PME program completion data into USAF officers' records through the PME data center. Students' program completion information is transmitted to the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) or to Headquarters, Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC for both AFRES and ANG) as appropriate. AFPC updates local Military Personnel Flights' computer files. Your personnel records should reflect that you have completed ACSC within ten days following successful completion of your final assessment (either test or exercise). Sister-Service officer and civilian records must be updated through appropriate channels. Civilian students need to take a copy of their completion certificate to their civilian personnel office to ensure their records are properly updated.

Program Completion Certificates

The AU Registrar's office automatically issues a certificate upon successful program completion. The completion certificate will display your name and rank as it is reflected in AUSIS (https://ausis.maxwell.af.mil) and will be mailed to the address on file in that database. If you do not receive your completion certificate within thirty days after AUSIS reflects your status of "Program Complete," you should e-mail the AU Registrar's Office.

Program Transcripts

The AU Registrar's office will furnish you a transcript upon receipt of your written request. The request format is on the AU Registrar Transcripts page. Be sure to include your name, and address (former name if applicable), last four of SSAN, program number and/or title, year completed, and name and address of school or agency (for official transcript). Unofficial transcripts will be mailed directly to you. Send requests to the AU Registrar's Office.


ASSESSMENTS AND GRADING
 

Assessments Administration

In the DL 6.0 Applied Courses, the CI provides instructions for each assessment. Students are instructed to refer any assessment-related questions to their CI. Additionally, as previously discussed, students are not permitted to review or discuss the contents of any assessment with anyone other than their CI after it is completed. In Self-Paced Courses, instructions are provided within the course material for each assessment. Students are instructed to refer any assessment-related question to Student Services.

Grading Applied Course Criteria

In DL 6.0 Applied Courses, assessing student success in attaining learning objectives in the online environment is necessarily subjective; however, to assist CIs in the important task of grading, ACSC/DL has provided a grading rubric for standardization. The grading criteria contained in this rubric serve as a guideline for instructors. CIs use their best judgment when determining the appropriate grade for assessments, threaded discussions, and other postings that may be evaluated. The CI may include other course-unique grading criteria when appropriate. For purposes of "letter grade" evaluation of student academic performance, CIs will assign one of the following: Outstanding, Excellent, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory.

Applied Course Grading Rubric

Standardized rubrics, scoring tools for subjective assessments, are provided to all ACSC faculty members teaching in the DL 6.0 Applied Courses to provide a standardized feedback format to each student and to ensure common learning outcomes are understood and obtained.

Applied Course Scale

Students are graded on the scale as outlined below. Students who obtain an "Outstanding" or "Excellent" as their overall program average on the four applied courses will have the earned distinction marked on their official transcript. There will be no special distinction printed upon the course completion certificate. The applied course weights towards the overall program grade as follows: Applied National Security - 15%, Applied Leadership and Command - 25%, Applied Warfare - 25%, and Applied Joint Warfare - 35%.

Incomplete Grades Applied Courses

Due to the nature of the facilitated DL 6.0 classes, the four Applied Courses, and the students' professional and personal commitments, there may be instances when students are unable to complete their studies in the allotted one, two or three-week course. The time-limited nature of the classes terms offer restricted opportunity to re-schedule missed evaluations; therefore, students must contact their instructor and request an "Incomplete Contract." This contract provides students the opportunity to make up work within a one-week period after the end of a particular class.
Extensions to the Incomplete Contract will not be approved. If the student does not make complete the contract within the one-week timeframe, the "Incomplete" grade officially converts to an "Unsatisfactory."

Self-Paced Courses

Due to the nature of the Self-Paced Courses, all students who are currently enrolled in a Self-Paced Class will have a grade of "Incomplete" until they successfully pass the course or until the course expires. All self-paced courses expire four months from the date of student enrollment. If the course expires before the student completes the course, the "Incomplete" will automatically change to a "fail." Once a student has failed a class, then he/she is eligible to retake the class.


CURRICULUM SUPPORT/CONTACT INFORMATION 
 

Students are asked to contact the ACSC/DL Student Services by submitting a help ticket with the AU Education Support System support website.

 

Air Command & Staff College Distance Learning (ACSC/DL)

Curriculum Support

Student Services Website: http://www.aueducationsupport.com. (Select "Request Support" at top of page.)

Fax numbers - Commercial (334) 953-4003 or DSN 493-4003

 

Technical Support

For questions regarding computer or AUSIS issues, submit a ticket via http://www.aueducationsupport.com (Select "Request Support" at top of page)."

Student Services

For questions about administrative issues dealing with enrollments, extensions, or other concerns not addressed above, submit a ticket via http://www.aueducationsupport.com

Fax Numbers

Should you need to fax anything to us, please include a fax coversheet with details of the faxed communications and contact information and send to:

Comm. Fax: (334) 953-4003 / DSN Fax: 493-4003

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eSchool of Graduate PME
51 East Maxwell Boulevard
Maxwell AFB, AL  36112