CAP Professional Development Courses
CAP's Five Senior Member Professional Development Program Levels
The CAP Senior Member Professional Development Program prepares members to serve their units, their communities, and their nation. Eligibility for duty promotion requires senior members to progress through the five levels. Refer to CAPR 50-17 for corresponding chapters and Attachment 1 for a summary of requirements to achieve each level.
Level I Orientation Course
A relevant, yet quick introduction to Civil Air Patrol, the Orientation Course provides new CAP members with fundamental knowledge when beginning one's journey that applies throughout one's career. The course is titled Level 1 Orientation: "Starting Your Journey" and is accessible from the CAP Learning Management System (LMS) after logging into eServices.
Officer Basic Course (OBC)
The Officer Basic Course, formally ECI 13, is hosted on the CAP Learning Management System, is comprised of three blocks of instruction with each block examining CAP and leadership: the Personal Dimension of Leadership; the Professional Dimension of Leadership, and the Organizational Dimension of Leadership. Each block has several lessons included. Each lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete, and there is a total of 20 hours of instruction.
There is no end-of-course examination. To complete the OBC, members must successfully pass an open-book online quiz at the end of each lesson within the blocks. When all the lessons in Block 1 are complete, members move to Block 2, etc. After completing all 3 Blocks, your completion of the Officer Basic Course will be automatically recorded in eServices under your Professional Development Training.
Members will have 90 days to complete the OBC from the time they start the course. Members work individually and can access the course at any time. Members have been able to complete the course in as little as two weeks with a large majority completing the course before the 90-day deadline. Each Block should take no more than 30 days.
Squadron Leadership School (SLS) & Corporate Learning Course (CLC)
CAP supports both online and in-residence versions of these classes. The online course is offered as an option for those students who are unable to attend the in-residence class. Personal contacts and friendships created during an in-residence course are encouraged and expand students' knowledge and understanding of the Colorado environment. The course is designed for two training days of no less than a total of 12 hours of instruction. Training can be spread out over several meetings as long as the 12 hours of instruction requirement is met. Contact your unit commander if you are interested in an alternate format. Group Commanders will use these requests to try to develop schedules to meet the needs of their members.
Course descriptions and prerequisites are found in CAP Regulation 50-17 and on the CAP National member CAP University site for Level II: Technical Training and Level III: Management. The same prerequisites are required for both online and in-residence courses. In residence, courses are published on the Wing Calendar, the national web site, and this web page. They are announced by Wing e-mail. Although not specifically required by CAPR 50-17, please use a CAP Form 17 to register for a course. Your Unit Commander should approve the request before registering for the course. You may register for a course in an adjoining Wing, with appropriate permissions (usually your Unit Commander, the Wing Commander, and the Region Commander).
SLS and CLC are required to attain Level II and Level III, respectively.
In-Residence Course: Follow the instructions provided by the Course Director.
After Completing Any Course: Check eServices to confirm that you have credit for course. Processing usually takes a couple of weeks; contact the course director if you still haven’t received the credit after this time. Contact National if the course was taken online.
What to Expect: In-Residence Course
When your registration is accepted, the director will contact you and confirm your acceptance. They will also explain any preparation required by you. The classes are participatory and involve group discussions. Networking and meeting other CAP members is an important part of these courses. Be prepared to share your successes and struggles with performing your duties as a CAP member. Occasionally issues do crop up that delay or change a course. The director is doing everything possible to give you the best learning experience possible. The key is to be flexible, and let him, or her know in the course evaluation how you felt about the class and what improvements you could suggest.
What to Expect: Online Course
The current waiting list is about 18 months. Like the in-residence course, online is guided and interactive. The course itself takes eight weeks and requires answering essay type questions showing your understanding and involvement. Be prepared to share your successes and struggles with performing your duties as a CAP member. Occasionally issues do crop up that delay or change a course. The course is monitored and active participation is expected.
As a Senior Officer, you’ve already proved your willingness to serve others. Now, consider helping your organization grow professionally. As an instructor, you are mentoring the next leaders of CAP. In addition to completing requirements for your Level III and IV, you are practicing leadership skills; meeting new members, and challenging yourself and your understanding of CAP programs. If you took SLS or CLC more than a couple of years ago, you might find that you learn as much as the students. PD courses are a great way of being involved in making CAP a better organization and of getting to know other members.
Courses should be announced at least two months before the course start date, and after a director and location has been identified. A Director has complete authority to approve and request his or her instructors. A person interested in teaching outside of his group can contact a director of a course being offered anywhere in the state. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse instructors; directors or students for expenses incurred by traveling to or attending a class.
Need more information?
Please talk to your unit commander or Professional Development Officer (PDO) for more information. Don’t know who your PDO is? Ask your unit commander. For questions or comments about the COWG Professional Development program, please email the Wing Director of Professional Development.
Unit Commanders Course (UCC)
The objective of the Unit Commander Course is to build a cadre of well-trained officers who are prepared to lead and manage at the squadron level. Graduates will be able to weave the management responsibilities of command with the leadership skills necessary to build and encourage their team of dedicated members from all walks of life and all ages to accomplish CAP's mission and squadron objectives.
Online and Blended Course formats are available. See the course schedule for further information.
Region Staff College (RSC)
The purpose of Region Staff College is to prepare selected CAP officers to more efficiently execute assigned duties and responsibilities associated with CAP staff and command positions. Additionally, important leadership concepts, methods, and ideas that students may not have been previously exposed to are presented in the professional environment of the college. RSC is CAP’s intermediate in-residence school for members desiring to become higher-level leaders, and it is designed to enhance the transition from leadership at the unit level to leadership at the group or wing level and above.
In addition to CAP benefits, attendance at RSC will help you be a more successful leader and supervisor at work and in your community. The education gained at RSC is applicable across the areas of your life, including improving social interactions, learning to be a better team member, and increasing valuable communication and presentation skills. RSC is not just training for CAP; it’s training for life!
See the Region Staff Colleges schedule for further information.
National Staff College (NSC)
National Staff College is the capstone course in professional development. It is designed for members who are, or will be, assuming positions of regional or national importance within CAP.
This college is limited in enrollment to CAP majors or higher in officer grade, or SMSgt and CMSgt in the NCO grades. This college is organized by national headquarters and lasts seven days, held at Maxwell Air Force Base in beautiful Montgomery, Alabama. Fewer than 2,500 of all senior members have reached this demanding level of professional development. Are you up to the challenge?
Air University Courses
Air Force Professional Military Education Courses (PME)
The U.S. Air Force makes Distance Learning (online/non-resident) versions of several Air University PME courses available to CAP senior members meeting prerequisites. For those who join with or achieve PME outside CAP, refer to CAPR 50-17, for possible CAP course exemptions based on meeting or exceeding CAP course equivalency.
Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA)
The Noncommissioned Officer Academy is available to CAP senior members with enlisted grades TSgt to SMSgt only. NCOA is the second level of enlisted Professional Military Education (PME) and prepares technical sergeants to be professional, war-fighting Airmen who can manage and lead Air Force units in the employment of airpower. The goals of the NCO Academy program are to provide the best academic program possible and to maintain our service's high military standards. This academy is not a college campus, nor is it an extension of basic military training. It is a professional school designed to educate and advance the high ideals necessary for leadership, teamwork, good order, and discipline in the Air Force.
Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (SNCOA)
Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy is available to CAP senior members with enlisted grades MSgt to SMSgt only. The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) is the third level of enlisted PME. AFSNCOA prepares senior NCOs to lead the enlisted force in the employment of airpower in support of US national security objectives.
Air Force Squadron Officer School (SOS)
Squadron Officer School distance learning program is available for CAP senior members in the grade of Captain or above as an optional portion of Level IV of the Senior Member Professional Development Program. Upon completion, a bronze star is worn on the Garber or Wilson ribbon. SOS graduates receive equivalency for CAP Officer Course or Region Staff College. If you are are a CAP Captain or higher, the SOS Enrollment option will be available on your 'CAP Utilities' menu in eServices. Click on the link and follow directions to submit an application.
Air Command and Staff College (ACSC)
Air Command and Staff College distance learning program is an advanced-level Air Force program available to senior members in the grade of major or above as an optional portion of Level IV. Upon completion, a silver star is worn on the Garber or Wilson ribbon. ACSC graduates receive equivalency for CAP Officer Course, Region Staff College, or National Staff College. If you are a CAP Major or higher, the ACSC Enrollment option will be available on your CAP Utilities menu in eServices. Click on the link and follow directions to submit an application. ACSC will receive and process your enrollment, and you will then receive an email stating your initial enrollment is complete, and your commander will also receive an email notification of your enrollment.
Air War College (AWC)
Air War College distance learning program is an advanced-level Air Force program available to senior members who hold the grade of lieutenant colonel or above as an optional portion of Level IV or V. Upon completion a gold star is worn on the Garber or Wilson ribbon. AWC graduates receive equivalency for CAP Region Staff College or National Staff College. If you are a CAP Lt Col or higher, the AWC Enrollment option will be available on your 'CAP Utilities' menu in e-Services. Click on the link and follow directions to submit an application. AWC will receive and process your enrollment, and you will then receive an e-mail stating your initial enrollment is complete, and your unit commander will also receive an e-mail notification of your enrollment.