|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Soldiers taking the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC) through the SSG
Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy at Fort McCoy will
complete the training via distance learning beginning with a June 17
Master Sgt. Carlton Dozier, the Fort McCoy NCO Academy ALC
distance-learning course manager, said ALC now is being conducted by
distance learning for active-duty Soldiers and is just starting for
reserve-component Soldiers. Fort McCoy is the second Reserve
Noncommissoned Officer Education System program to offer the course via
distance learning, he said.
Instructors from the Fort McCoy
NCO Academy attend a training session about distance-learning
techniques for the Advanced Leadership Course. Eduardo Serrano
of the NCO Standard Domain of Newport News, Va., presented the
training. The first NCO Academy ALC distance-learning session
will begin June 17.
“The advantage is the distance-learning method is more cost
efficient,” Dozier said. “More troops also can be trained at once via
distance learning versus on-site attendance.”
Sgt. 1st Class Donna Vance, the NCO Academy distance-learning team
leader, said up to 96 students can be handled by in-residence training
per course, while 125 can be taught by distance learning.
The students attending the in-residence training are flown in from all
over the country for the 12-day course. The personnel taking the course
via distance learning only need Internet connections and a computer and
will have 90 days to complete the training, Vance said.
“The same material is presented in both courses,” Vance said. “The
distance-learning training is similar to online college courses.
Students will have milestones to finish assigned portions of the
Dozier said the NCO Academy will have instructors available from 8
a.m.-5 p.m. daily and also on an on-call basis to support students in
ALC. This will allow instructors to have a more structured class
schedule, while still being available to support the students.
“We underwent an intensive training session in early May to ensure we
know how to use the new courseware and present the material,” he said.
“This will allow us to use the program to get the best results.”
The distance-learning course requires the unit chain of command to
provide necessary administrative support to students to ensure they pass
and meet all requirements, Dozier said. For example, students attending
in-residence courses at the NCO Academy are screened for height and
weight standards and must pass an Army Physical Fitness Test at Fort
McCoy before graduating from the course. Units must ensure this and any
other administrative requirements are accomplished and up-to-date for
This will result in less paperwork for NCO Academy cadre, which will
allow them to focus more time on supporting the training, he said.
Both Dozier and Vance said their experience, to date, is students
benefit from in-residence training by sharing their military experiences
and interacting with other students and instructors.
The challenge of distance learning will be to design ways to get
students to share their experiences with other students and instructors,
Courses have built-in requirements for Soldiers to exchange this
information online, but the availability of other students may not be as
convenient as if they are attending a resident course.
“The training is critical for Soldiers to get promoted, so increasing
the course availability and class openings will help,” Dozier said.
“We’re all overachievers so we still will be giving 110 percent to each
student to help them succeed.”
Vance said the distance learning requirement only will be in effect for
the ALC course. Soldiers will continue to do the technical portion of
their military occupational specialty training in an in-residence phase
at another location.
Soldiers can register for the ALC by going through their unit
administrative personnel. For more information about the course, call
Dozier at 608-388-4540.