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NEWS | April 28, 2023

Seats available for AMSC Advanced Course, changes coming in FY24

By Michelle L. Gordon

The Army Management Staff College is preparing to send a Mobile Education Team to Redstone Arsenal in June to conduct the Advanced Course phase two and seats are still available.

Part of the Civilian Education System, the four-week, in-person course prepares Army civilians in the grades of GS-13 through 15 to assume increasing levels of responsibility and leadership. Prerequisites include the Advanced Course phase one distance learning course, as well as the foundation course for individuals hired after Sept. 30, 2006.

Tom Olszowy, chief of training for the Aviation and Missile Command, said the phase one distance learning course is self-paced and there is time to finish it before the June phase two course begins. He added that phase one and phase two do not have to be taken back-to-back. Phase one certification is good for four years, so anyone who has completed the distance learning portion between June 2019 and May 2023 is eligible to enroll for the upcoming phase two.

The June Advanced Course phase two class will be similar in structure to the phase two class taught by a mobile team at Redstone in January, with some of the students receiving new AMSC curriculum incorporated into their lessons.

“Our new curriculum won’t officially be indoctrinated until FY24, but just like the January class, we are piloting some specific lessons into the course,” said Jerome Hawkins, AMSC director of the Department of Enterprise Leadership. “The new curriculum is more cognitive in nature, and we’ve inserted some structural analysis tools.”

Like the January class, the June class is expected to include four new lessons, which Hawkins said is a large piece of the new curriculum.

“The older curriculum really concentrated on the individual’s cognitive abilities with critical and creative thinking, and we’re carrying that over, but now you’re leading a team of people and learning how to manage the team dynamics in a way where everyone gets heard,” said Josh Mayne, an AMSC instructor. “That is where I see those structured analytic techniques coming in and students learning the ability to manage a conversation, even a really tough conversation, in a group setting.”

The Advanced Course taught at Redstone in January was the largest class ever taught outside of the resident course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and both Hawkins and Olszowy would like to see a similar turnout for the June course.

“Normally METs teach classes of 64 or 32 students,” Olszowy said. “However, due to our first-class training facility and the support we provide, we are able to teach larger classes.” 

There are approximately 30 seats still available, and Olszowy anticipates they will be filled before the course kicks off June 5. In fact, he usually has a waitlist.

He said, “Completing the Advanced Course is a factor in being selected for supervisory positions and as you start looking at higher level options — manager, director, SES — it’s going to eliminate you if you don’t have it done; if you don’t have CES complete, you can’t compete.”

The Redstone June class is one of the last opportunities to attend the Advanced Course phase two before the curriculum and structure change for FY24. Beginning in October, phase two will be a blend of in-resident and virtual learning. 

“Two weeks will be in residence and two weeks will be virtual,” Hawkins said. “It’s not like the phase one distributed learning; it’s synchronous distributed learning, where instructors and students will be in class at the same time, and they give each other feedback.”

The blended model is based on resources. Hawkins said the largest part of the AMSC budget is student travel and by only traveling for two weeks, as opposed to four weeks, the Army will save a substantial amount of money.

However, while the course curriculum and structure are changing, Hawkins said the variety of teaching modalities will remain. AMSC will continue to offer the Advanced Course phase two in residence at Fort Leavenworth and throughout the Army via mobile teams, as well as a 100% virtual option.

He conducted focus groups after each of the January Advanced Course classes — the resident course at Fort Leavenworth, the 100% virtual course and the Huntsville MET — and each group proclaimed they had the best option and outcome.

“We are going to give the people what they asked for,” he said. “We are going to maintain all three modalities, we are going to save the Army some money and we are going to revise our curriculum, so it stays current with the direction the Army is moving.”

For more information about the June Advanced Course phase two on Redstone Arsenal, talk to your training coordinator, or email Olszowy,