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Air University Catalog 

Air Command and Staff College  
Col (BG select) John T. Sheridan, Commandant  
Col Stephen German, Vice Commandant

Mission: A world-class team educating midcareer officers to lead in developing, advancing, and applying aerospace power across the spectrum of service, joint, and combined military operations.

Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), the Air Force's intermediate professional military education (PME) school, prepares field grade officers of all services (primarily majors and major selects), international officers, and US civilians to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and other government arenas. Geared toward teaching the skills necessary for aerospace operations in support of a joint campaign as well as leadership and command, ACSC focuses on shaping and molding tomorrow's leaders. The college's academic environment stimulates and encourages free expression of ideas as well as independent, analytical, and creative thinking. Additionally, ACSC is a national leader in the development of new teaching and learning techniques using such technologies as hyper-information systems.

Goals: Prepare students to assume future command and leadership respon-sibilities in campaign planning and execution. To support and enhance this focus, the college's graduate-level educational environment:

  • Prepare leaders for higher-level command and staff responsibilities
  • Prepare leaders to understand, plan, and execute the joint campaign planning process and air operations to support the joint force commander
  • Prepare leaders to think strategically, operationally, and critically to expand and advance the body of aerospace knowledge
  • Provide a premier educational environment with high-quality facilities, resources, and technology
  • Recruit, develop, mentor, and place high-quality faculty members to support the ACSC mission

ACSC traces its roots to the Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) located at Maxwell Field from 1932 to 1942. After World War II, as the independent Air Force was formed, grew, and developed, the requirements and expectations of the school evolved to fulfill the service's educational needs. In 1962, the school became known by its current name, Air Command and Staff College.

Six decades have passed since the Army Air Corps' pre-World War II leaders convinced the Army to found with the vision of expanding understanding of airpower and on the growth of midcareer officers. This vision lives on in the present 10-month curriculum, which still focuses on the same core aims.

During academic year 1994, ACSC undertook the most significant change to its educational program since the school's inception. The school transitioned from a lecture-based, passive-learning environment to a seminar-centered, active environment with an integrated curriculum geared to problem solving in the continuum from peace to war. In academic year 1999, ACSC began efforts to align its curriculum according to the Air University commander's (AU/CC) Strategic Guidance for the Continuum of Education. The ACSC program now functions as a portion of a comprehensive and integrated career-long professional military education program.

ACSC's three deans--education and curriculum, students and support, and distance learning--provide academic leadership to the school's faculty and student body. The dean of education and curriculum coordinates the integration of the final curriculum content and directs the planning and implementation of the academic programs of the eight curriculum departments: International Security and Military Studies, Joint War-fighting Studies, Leadership and Aerospace Power Studies, Joint Education, Research and Communication Studies, Electives, Curriculum Development and Integration, and Modeling and Simulation. The dean of distance learning is responsible for planning, organizing, and delivering the nonresident program of instruction through the Departments of Curriculum, Operations, and Evaluation. The dean of students and support coordinates student activities and is responsible for student services. The dean and the commander and staff of the 21st Student Squadron are responsible for the health, morale, and welfare of 600 resident students.

Resident Program

The primary form of instruction in the resident curriculum is seminars held in specially designed rooms featuring closed-circuit television, an array of multimedia equipment, and student access to a school wide computer network and the Internet. Simulated war scenarios provide integrated capstone course exercises throughout the year and are conducted in the seminar rooms and the Air University's Air Force Wargaming Institute. Students are issued more than 80 books to expand their professional capabilities and a personal laptop computer to use throughout the academic year.

Duration and Quota

The resident program consists of 10 months of instruction. Approximately 500 officers from the US Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps; 80 international officers; and 20 civilian employees of selected agencies of the federal government attend this course.

Prerequisites and Selection

Air Force candidates to attend ACSC are selected in conjunction with O-4 promotion boards with below-the-zone promotees receiving automatic candidate status. A central PME selection board, with major command input, selects the actual ACSC class from these candidates based on their demonstrated potential for assignment to key field grade command and staff positions. Majors, major selects (or equivalent rank), and GS-12 and GS-13 government civilians are eligible to attend ACSC. Reference Air Force Catalog 36-2223, USAF Formal Schools, and Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2301, Professional Military Education, for additional information.

Degree Granting Authority, Accreditation, and Eligibility

In 1999, Congress granted the Air University (AU) commander the authority to confer a master's degree--the degree of master of military operational art and science--upon the graduates of ACSC who fulfill the requirements for that degree. Air University is seeking accreditation of this degree.

To be admitted to the master's degree program an individual must be selected to attend the ACSC resident program and hold a qualifying undergraduate degree. Applicants other than US Air Force officers must submit, to the AU registrar, official undergraduate transcripts of credit earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended. AFIT verifies bachelor's degrees for all Air Force officers, including Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve officers. Bachelor's degree equivalency must be met to be eligible for entry into the master's program. The undergraduate degree requirement is for the degree program and is in addition to admission to the college. Students not having a baccalaureate degree will be allowed to attend ACSC but will not be awarded the master's degree.

International Officers

International officers interested in pursuing the master's degree must submit the following information to the AU registrar, which assesses their eligibility for the degree program.

  1. Official transcripts (academic records) of previous degrees with certified English translations. Diplomas alone are not sufficient, but should be included with academic records.

  2. A document-by-document evaluation of the academic records by an independent foreign credentials evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs: Association of International Educators (NAFSA: AIE) to determine if the records are equivalent to a US four-year bachelor's degree. Applications for this evaluation will be available from the AU registrar during in processing at the International Officer School. It is the responsibility of each individual to pay for costs associated with this requirement. When requesting the document-by-document evaluation, the purpose for the evaluation should be stated as "further education" or "admissions requirement for master's degree program." A copy of the evaluation must be mailed to the AU Registrar.

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