News>Refined Curriculum designed to breed stronger leaders
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Demareo Smith, Airman Leadership School instructor, speaks to his students at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 11, 2012. On Nov. 6, 2012, the school is scheduled to begin its new curriculum to enhance ALS students’ communication skills, strategic thought process and leadership skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st. Class Kenna Jackson)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Devon Elliot, Airman Leadership School student, speaks during class at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 11, 2012. An Airman must have at least 48 months’ time in service before attending ALS, though less time is allowed if the Airman is a senior airman who has been selected for promotion to staff sergeant. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st. Class Kenna Jackson)
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kiel Kauffeld, Airman Leasdership School instructor, lectures his students at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 11, 2012. ALS is engineered to make Airmen better supervisors and leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st. Class Kenna Jackson)
Airman Leadership School students attempt to solve a strategic leadership exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 11, 2012. ALS students go through 192 hours, or 24 days, of classes designed to strengthen their communication and leadership skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st. Class Kenna Jackson)
by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/11/2012 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The U.S. Air Force is constantly looking to better their noncommissioned officers, which is why a new Airman Leadership School curriculum has been created with emphasis on improving communication and leadership skills.
With the approval of the Barnes Center of Enlisted Education, Misawa's ALS instructors are scheduled to begin using a new curriculum Nov. 6, 2012.
The curriculum is engineered to focus on real-world applications and situations. The ALS courses will also include interpersonal counseling content and identifying and addressing risk related behaviors.
"This curriculum will give them [the students] a little bit more realistic view of the expectations that are out there," said Master Sgt. Jerome Bristow, ALS commandant. "Also, this will help them really think about what they have to do to lead their future Airmen down the right road."
According to test class surveys, the new curriculum works. Ninety-five percent of students commented on how useful the curriculum was and how they felt better prepared to be adept leaders and supervisors.
The commandant couldn't agree more.
"Our mission is to take care of the students and mold them into excellent supervisors and knowledgeable leaders," said Bristow. "I feel the curriculum helps us do that."
However, this teaching guide does come with a challenge. Already instructors are apprehensive about familiarizing themselves with the 192-hours of replacement curriculum. Especially with a new class coming in so soon.
But the commandant is confident that, with time, discussion and patience, this transition will go very well.
"It's going to be a challenge because the amount of hours, but we are working hard to do our part," said Bristow. "If they [the students] do their part and their duty when they come to these professional military education courses, then I don't foresee anything but success."
Overall, the commandant believes the new curriculum is well worth the effort.
"With this curriculum I foresee leaders walking out of here [ALS] with a plan for themselves for the Airmen who will work under them," said Bristow.