HomeNewsArticle Display

Air University rolls out new ALS curriculum

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.(AFNS) -- When pencils go down and scores go up, senior Airmen across the Air Force check to see their line number. Out of thousands, a name they recognize as their own shows up and when the dust they kicked up from clicking their heels finally settles, a unit first sergeant, commander or supervisor lets them know when they’ll be headed to Airman Leadership School.

Academic experts at the Barnes Center took a look at the ALS curriculum and decided a new, modernized plan was overdue. Several of the more than 60 Airman Leadership Schools around the world are currently testing the course ahead of the Air Force-wide release scheduled for June 5.

“We’ve completely rebuilt the curriculum,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Heming, Barnes Center for Enlisted Education instructional systems designer. “We sought input from officers, enlisted of all grades and sister services. We looked at what 21st century Airmen need to get out of ALS and molded a new curriculum around those ideas. We wanted to find the right balance between education and training, so we removed a few things that are handled at the unit level like bullet writing and feedback.”

Among other changes were the removal of the final exam, various written assignments and marching. These were replaced with four graded performance tasks and a capstone simulation at the end. The new course relies heavily on student research and student-led discussions, emphasizing creative problem-solving, communication and an openness to other perspectives. These concepts are rooted in the four “universal outcomes” of PME: the mission, leadership, problem solving and Air Force culture.

“We, as PME instructors, are educators,” said Tech. Sgt. Dan Sims, Maxwell Air Force Base ALS instructor. “We only have students in our classroom for roughly four weeks, so we are focused on giving the Airmen the leadership skills and knowledge they will need to be successful leaders in their career field.”

The student-centered lessons revolve around discussion and group exercises. Instructors facilitate the conversation to ensure it stays on task, leaning on relevant experiences from the students.

“After teaching for two years, it’s a very new delivery method,” Sims said. “It’s great to see lesson concepts linked together by the students without me having to guide them directly to the connection. The conversation is more positive and relatable for them.”

As part of the pool of bases in the initial trial, Maxwell AFB Airmen have received a first-hand look at the new curriculum.

“My favorite part of the course has been the open discussion,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Gilson, Maxwell AFB ALS student. “I get to speak my mind and see things from different perspectives. We’re taught the concept and talk about it and, with the exam being gone, we won’t be just studying to ‘brain dump’ as soon as the test is over. Having the capstone (simulation) instead means we’ll have to use what we learned.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @MacDill_AFB: CSM John W. Troxell has our #TotalForce team here at MacDill feeling empowered! 😎💪 Thanks for visiting our service members…
.@NellisAFB plans to roll out shorts for maintenance technicians to wear on the flight line in the scorching Nevada… https://t.co/fcavaNG112
⚡️ “RAF Lakenheath breaks ground on future F-35 infrastructure” by @usairforce https://t.co/wiOjMMONZD
.@48FighterWing hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new #F35 infrastructure at Royal Air Force Lakenheath,… https://t.co/nOmLeR1egG
🗣Calling all #Milwaukeeans! #USAF Captain Curtis Hinca calls #Milwaukee home & is an Air Force Prosecutor… https://t.co/0LqvQdCUqm
RT @ValerieInsinna: Here’s a little bonus footage of @GenDaveGoldfein taxiing before his a ride in @FinnishAirForce F/A-18s. Read the story…
.@NellisAFB, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Delongchamp saved lives during the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.… https://t.co/GJygss6FBZ
RT @PACAF: Airmen from around the @usairforce tested themselves in the Small Unit Ranger Tactics course at the @25ID #LightningAcademy. #Ai
The latest roundup of the best #AirForce photos is out. See them here: https://t.co/0w3MNpiixe
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Gained a new appreciation for the strength and capability of our #Finnish partners, and have confidence we can prevail…
.@SheppardAFB, #C130 maintainers from all over the world came together for training & relationship building.… https://t.co/PW6CdoqgJS
Outstanding job Tech. Sgt. Collett! https://t.co/QKJWJ7a2OA
.@MaxwellAFB is receiving its' biggest Officer Training School class ever, 810 officer trainees. #Godzillaclass https://t.co/0WfcqDzZRI
RT @USNationalGuard: "My parents raised us to know our strengths and to always try our hardest, to tell the truth and be brave. To do thing…
.@TeamEglin has some new residents. #Leatherback, #Kempsridley, #Loggerhead, and #Greensea turtle species now call… https://t.co/TSMAvQvaWa
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: #Estonia was integral in the conceptualization of @CCDCOE - responsible for identifying & coordinating education & tra…
RT @USEmbassyBogota: Los @AFThunderbirds llegaron a #Rionegro en dónde presentaron su show de acrobacias aéreas durante la #FAIRColombia en…
RT @USEmbassyBogota: En una muestra de solidaridad, los pilotos de los @AFThunderbirds compartieron con los niños de hospital Pablo Tobón U…