[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 13, 2009

New Supervisory Development
Course to roll out in December

Story & Photo by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner, 84th Army Reserve Readiness Training Center

Course writers and instructors are busy putting final touches on the new Army Reserve Supervisor Development Course (SDC) due to pilot in mid-December at Fort McCoy. The SDC will be a five-day course to enhance leadership skills within Army Reserve civilian and military supervisors of civilians.

Photo: Sue Ellen Kress, an instructional systems specialist, monitors the Supervisory Development Course task selection process. (Photo by Master Sgt. Christina Steiner)
Sue Ellen Kress, an instructional systems specialist, monitors the Supervisory Development Course task selection process.

“This is both a small- and large-group interaction course; individual and group exercises are to be expected,” said Jack Venza, spokesman from the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC), the proponent agency, in Atlanta. “Students will have the opportunity to share their leadership success stories and principles by which they mentor individuals within their organization.”

Topics will include: National Security Personnel System (NSPS) training and other managerial classes in personnel, finance and recruiting. Leadership topics, which account for about 70 percent of the course, include leadership styles, followership, team building, critical thinking and emotional intelligence.

Prerequisites for the course include: SDC-distance learning, NSPS 101 and iSuccess, which can be found through the Army Institute for Professional Development also known as Reimer’s Digital Library. Civilian and military personnel supervising USAR civilians must attend this course within a year of assuming their jobs.

SDC is designed, developed and instructed by personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 339th Regiment (Leader Training) under the newly re-established Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC).

“Before we considered modifying the existing three-day SDC program, we first gained important insight from our Army Reserve population,” Venza said. “We asked selected non-supervisory, supervisory and managerial personnel pinpointed questions about what characteristics and principles they wanted a high-quality leader to exhibit.”

To that end, the SDC task selection board commenced in late June at Fort McCoy. Sixteen subject-matter experts from USARC, along with leadership instructors and instructional systems specialists (ISS), determined what class topics and sequencing to build.

The staff analyzed and collaborated until they agreed upon certain topics, some of which had been discussed during the critical task selection board several months ago.

Sue Ellen Kress, an ISS with the 2nd, 339th, led the board. “We (selected) tasks for the residency SDC based upon (subject matter experts’ advice), total task inventory, USARC guidance, and also TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command) regulations.”

Kress explained how the board chose the SDC tasks. “The proposed tasks came from the West Point Leadership Development Program, the Army Management Staff College- Intermediate, the Company Team Leader Development Course, the Army Reserve Technician Entry Training Course, and the new Critical Thinking Class in the Battalion Brigade Pre Command Course … we also use the Systems Approach to Training. We also have to determine the target audience, assess and cluster the tasks into related topics, sequence them and rate the difficulty.”

Lt. Col. Shelley Balderson, 2nd, 339th commander, is excited about the new course. “We’ve worked closely throughout the process with the proponent of the course, USARC G1 (personnel section) to ensure the key areas of development closely suit the needs of the Army Reserve as a whole.”

“The support shown by Mr. Jack Venza and the rest of the USARC staff has been instrumental in the course development,” she said. “We’ve developed a course that has leadership competencies woven throughout, tied them together using hands-on, student-centered approach to learning. Students will find the course both educational and very interactive, an approach that is most effective for adult learners.”

The new residency SDC is listed in the Army Training Requirements and Resource System (ATRRS), under school code: 921-190. The pilot is scheduled for Dec. 14 to 18 at Fort McCoy.

Eight classes are planned for fiscal year 2010.

Beginning in May 2010, SDC will be held in Atlanta.

“The USARC will top load many of the students,” said Todd Jahnke, course director. “But prospective students can submit applications now, provided they have met the distance-learning requirements. It’s first come, first served for the first four iterations. We take between 14 to 32 students per class.”

“For the fifth through eighth iterations (beginning late next spring), USARC will submit and handle the quotas,” Jahnke said.

For more information on SDC, contact Jahnke at: todd.e.jahnke@usar.army.mil or call him at 608-388-2425. Jahnke is full time and oversees the SDC development.

Master Sgt. Christina Steiner also works with the SDC as course manager. Steiner can be reached at: christina.steiner@usar.army.mil or 608-388-2292.


[ Top of Page ]

[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]