Printer Friendly

DISAM 2001 Curriculum Review.

On February 21 and 22, DISAM conducted its annual curriculum review with participants from the Unified commands, training activities, military services and other implementing agencies. Although there were a few rumblings about coming to Dayton, Ohio in the middle of winter, the review was well attended by implementing agency representatives from DFAS, DSCA, SAF/IA, AFMC, AFSAT, Navy IPO, DUSA/IA, AMC, SATFA, USASAC, USMC, and the Coast Guard, along with unified command participants from CENTCOM, EUCOM, PACOM and SOUTHCOM. The stated purpose of the curriculum review is twofold: to review and validate formal changes to the content of DISAM courses, and to determine the number of classes and student quota allocations for FY2002. As in previous years, DISAM took advantage of the gathering to inform the community of other on-going significant educational and professional development initiatives that are relevant to the security cooperation community. This article contains some of the highlights of the meeting. A complete set of the minutes, along with copies of the presentations is posted to the DISAM web page at

As preparation for the curriculum review discussions, the meeting began with a definition of the responsibilities for curriculum development and maintenance at DISAM. Most of the faculty members at DISAM, in addition to being instructors, directly participate in developing the content and organization of the information provided in the classes.

The core material presented in courses at DISAM is divided into functional areas such as logistics, finance, training management and acquisition. A faculty member is assigned as the functional coordinator for each area of concentration, and is responsible not only for developing the blocks of material presented in each class, but also for keeping all the material up-to-date and making sure that the DISAM instructors are informed of any changes or updates that occur. Their efforts include writing the objectives for each class, composing a lesson outline, developing the practical exercises, providing visual aides and/or vugraphs, and monitoring the test questions. In addition, the functional coordinators direct the training of new faculty and provide continuing education and guidance for the current faculty.

In turn, each course at DISAM (SAM-C, SAM-O, SAM-E etc) is assigned a course manager in charge of incorporating the materials from the functional coordinator into a course. This integration effort involves developing the schedule and the sequence of instruction. The course manager is also responsible for making sure the materials in the classroom, including the course books, are properly put together and available for the classes.

One of the most important functions a DISAM faculty member will perform is the duty of class manager. Each offering of a course will have a faculty member assigned as class manager whose functions are broad in scope, including both administrative and instructional activities. While not directly involved in the development of the curricula, the class manager monitors the instruction and makes sure the information is relevant and timely, and will notify the functional coordinator of any discussions or concerns that are pertinent.

The Army, the Navy and the Air Force are each assigned a DISAM faculty member as the service lead who is responsible for maintaining current information regarding policies and procedures within each individual service. The Navy lead faculty member also monitors the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard practices. This information is used for general instruction and for the service unique seminars in SAM-CF, SAM-CM, SAM-CR and SAM-A.

The Overseas course, SAM-O, focuses heavily on regional practices both from the viewpoint of the unified commands and from the perspective of the individual countries. A regional seminar director faculty specialist is assigned to each region and is responsible for maintaining current information on policies and practices. DISAM students are assigned to a region based on their assigned countries for cross cultural and political/military studies; for administrative purposes, students are assigned to a unified command group. The regional seminar leaders for Asia, Africa, Mid-East, Europe and Latin America coordinate with the unified commands for policies and practices, and also develop country specific information for the students.

Curriculum management at DISAM starts out with the faculty obtaining material through individual research, professional background, contacts, conferences, professional memberships, career fields etc. The information is researched for applicability and put together in the proper format by a functional coordinator, a MILDEP leader or a seminar director, who also maintains the currency of the material. All the information and research is integrated into a particular DISAM course or seminar by the seminar directors or the course managers. Twice a year, DISAM sets aside a week for in-service faculty training to ensure that instructors are current and the materials presented in the classroom are appropriate. On the inside back cover of this Journal, there is a list of DISAM faculty, and their individual specialty assignments.

Colonel Judy-Ann Carroll, DISAM Commandant, formally opened the 2001 DISAM curriculum review with an update of DISAM activities. COL Carroll began her presentation with an overview of the DISAM mission, emphasizing the management focused curricula of the DISAM courses. She introduced the newly assigned DISAM Directors: Ernie McCallister, Director of Academic Support, and Mark Ahles, Director of International Studies.

In addition to the basic management courses, over the past two years DISAM has developed and added five new specialized courses in direct response to requests by the security cooperation community. The Logistics Customer Support Course (SAM-CS) provides in-depth logistics, supply and transportation training. The Contract Management course (SAM-CT) is a limited onsite course specifically designed to provide an overview of security cooperation information for DCMC personnel. The Reconciliation and Case Closure course (SAM-CR) is specialized training focused on assisting the community to quickly and accurately close supply completed cases so that the foreign customer funds may be reconciled and excess funds made available for other uses. Case closure has been a continuing problem for the security cooperation community. The SAM-CR course requires MILDEP instructors to augment the DISAM faculty. The Advanced Training Automation Workshop (SAM-TA) for U.S. government personnel includes advanced applications for the DISAM developed training management system (TMS) users. The International Training Management course (SAM-IT) is an add-on to the Foreign Purchaser Class for international students to provide training in the available automated systems that support the training management program and the international security assistance network.

In December 1999, DISAM was mandated to serve as a repository to collect and disseminate best practices by former Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre. DISAM supports this on-going effort through our educational mission in several ways. Guest speakers in the DISAM courses provide current practices and policies which are incorporated into classes. The DISAM faculty travel to locations and interview personnel directly working in security assistance, and also attend conferences and meetings. The DISAM Journal is published quarterly and distributed throughout the world and other DISAM publications are available on-line either through the Deskbook or the DISAM web page. DISAM is the international programs coordinator of the Defense Acquisition Deskbook.

As a further effort to disseminate information, DISAM proposed an outreach program that will send a team of instructors on the road to provide informational briefings to groups of 30 people involved in international programs. See the article entitled "DISAM Outreach Program" by Gary Geilenfeldt beginning on page 95 of this Journal. The participants in the curriculum review endorsed this program and encouraged DISAM to proceed. Navy IPO has already initiated a request and has agreed to prototype the first offering.

The DISAM report on the distance learning initiatives included some good and some bad news. The distance learning survey was accomplished and results were shared with the participants at the review. DISAM has developed a plan for a virtual classroom and a series of computer based training modules. Unfortunately, with the creation of several new traditional courses, DISAM faculty members have not had sufficient time to make many advances in the distance learning domain. A new instructor, who has considerable experience in developing computer based training classes, has been hired to take over the distance learning projects. New developments will be posted to the DISAM web page as they become available and will be reviewed at curriculum review in 2002.

In a joint venture with OUSD(ISPS), DISAM has agreed to assume responsibility for implementing and executing the International Program Security (IPS) Course mandatory training program. The Deputy Secretary of Defense memorandum dated October 22, 1999 mandated "All DoD personnel responsible for negotiating, overseeing, managing, executing, or otherwise participating in international activities shall successfully complete either the International Security Requirements Course offered by DTUSD(P)PS, the International Programs Security and Technology Transfer Course taught by the Defense Systems Management College, or an executive version of the course for mid-level and senior manager. Examples of applicable activities include security assistance, cooperative research, foreign disclosure, specific country relationships and other international policy activities." DISAM has incorporated relevant material into the SAM-C and SAM-O courses and will shortly assume direct management of the 5-day course and the 2-day sem inar. Additional information is available at http://www.acq.osd.mi1/ips/ipsrcchome.htm

Craig Brandt provided an overview of results of the workforce survey conducted by DISAM under the direction of DSCA. This study looked at the results of downsizing, lack of new hires, aging of federal workforce, the possibility of a new security assistance career field and the use of a security assistance internship program in relation to career development. The DISAM investigators visited twenty six headquarters and field organizations to conduct interviews with security assistance managers in those organizations. In addition, DISAM conducted a survey over the internet to obtain demographic data for the security assistance workforce. Three hundred thirty responses were received. A copy of the study report is posted the DISAM web page.

For the afternoon sessions, the participants divided into two groups. One group conducted an in depth review of the CONUS series classes, with focus on military service unique instruction in the Financial Management Class, the Case Reconciliation/Case Closure Class and the Case Management Class.

A concurrent session was directed at updates in support for the SAOs, and included details on the revisions to the Overseas Class. One of the major updates to the SAM-O class is the incorporation of a management studies track which is targeted towards the SAO chiefs and administrative personnel, and begins during the second week of instruction. The management studies track features discussions of relationships and responsibilities, embassy life and integration into the embassy country team, and strategic planning. Additional topics include the joint manpower program and updating joint manpower documents; an outline of the administrative and personnel policies applicable to SAOs; USDR and SAO force protection officer designees responsibilities; and resources management authorities, policies and processes for the legal expenditure and use of government resources and facilities, including the ICASS program.

During the second day of the review, the focus shifted to DISAM administrative issues. DISAM's current facility, Building 125, is scheduled for demolition. DISAM will move to another building on Wright-Patterson AFB, Building 52, in FY2002. Previously a high altitude aircraft laboratory during WW II, Building 52 has gone through many transformations and is currently undergoing renovation for DISAM. The projected move will necessitate that DISAM close for a month. The scheduled time is July 2002, with a back up time in November 2002 to accommodate potential slippage in construction and renovation. No classes will be scheduled during the month of July 2002 and most of November 2002. DISAM will still conduct on-site courses and send out METs.

An ongoing issue from the previous curriculum review, is the fill rate of DISAM courses. DISAM continues to receive complaints from students unable to get quotas for classes, while at the same time, we are only experiencing a 75 percent fill rate. In order to assist in the quota process, DISAM is increasing projected class sizes and allocating additional quotas to the MILDEPs. Also, DISAM will advertise on the DISAM web page, all available seats, including unfilled quotas, thirty days prior to a class start date. Potential students can notify DISAM directly of their desire to attend a class. DISAM in turn will direct them to the appropriate quota manager. It will be necessary for the students to complete a DD Form 1556 with supervisor's signature, and the DISAM student eligibility questionnaire. Both of these forms are available on the web page, along with a list of the service points of contacts.

As a future initiative, DISAM will be looking into the possibility of direct web page registrations. This endeavor as currently envisioned, will have DISAM advertise on the DISAM web page an offer to accept student requests for standby seats. Potential students can notify DISAM directly of their desire to attend a class via the website. DISAM in turn will forward their request to the appropriate quota manager. Thirty days prior to the start of a class DISAM will contact by e-mail individuals on the waiting list using two criteria. The criteria for filling a seat are first, DISAM's service ratio requirements, and second, first in, first out from the list of standby students that meet DISAM needs. Students will still be required to complete a DD Form 1556 with supervisor's signature, and the DISAM student eligibility questionnaire.

The FY2002 Class Offerings are listed below. As soon as the actual class dates are available, they will be posted to the DISAM web page.

Reviewing the curriculum is a constant improvement process at DISAM. While the formal review is only held once a year, changes to courses are continuously incorporated each time the class is presented. Recommendations and on-going feedback from end-of-course evaluations are carefully reviewed and used as applicable. DISAM faculty members constantly monitor activity within the security cooperation community to make sure the information presented in our courses is current and valid. Suggestions and updates are always welcome.

About the Author

Virginia Caudill is an associate professor and the Director, Management Studies at DISAM. She has over twenty-six years of international and security assistance experience. She has a bachelors degree from the University of the Americas in Mexico, and an MPA from University of Dayton. In addition she has an adult education teaching certificate from Milligan College in Tennessee. She has been teaching at DISAM since 1988.
FY 2002 DISAM C CF CM CO A E [1] TO CS [2] CR [3]
 OFFERINGS 8 3 3 2 2 [4] 3 4 3 2

This chart does not include SAM-O, SAM-F, SAM-P, SAM-TA, SAM-IT, METS, or On-Site Courses.


(1.)Average of 15 U.S. government executives per class. This class is combined with an average of 15 industry students for an overall class size of 30.

(2.)CS Courses will be scheduled in residence only for FY 2002. If a specific group requires an on-site course, they must request it through the on-site coordinator, and provide the funding.

(3.)There will be two resident CR Courses. Additional CR courses will be scheduled onsite as programmed by the MILDEP coordinators, and funding must be provided

(4.)One Advanced course will be conducted with training management focus.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Caudill, Virginia
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2001
Previous Article:Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2000.
Next Article:Distance Learning Survey Results.

Related Articles
Training Officer Survey Results.
German Army Hosts Multinational DISAM Foreign Purchaser Courses in Historic Hammelburg.
Distance Learning Survey Results.
Creating the International Training Management Web Site: A Corporate University Portal That Shares Best Practices.
Training Management System (TMS): The Past, Present, and Future.
Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management mobile education team travels to Kazakhstan.
Global Master of Arts Program well underway.
The Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management mobile education team visits Tajikistan.
Training Management System 6.003 upgrade.
Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management Mobile Education Team to the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters