The U.S. Army War College provides an outstanding strategic-level education to the military and civilian leaders of the DoD and other federal agencies. Each year, roughly 380 U.S. and international students attend the year-long resident course at Carlisle Barracks, PA. But what many people don’t realize is that at any given time there are nearly twice that many students enrolled in the distance education program receiving a similar quality education as those in the resident course and ultimately the same degree. Today we have COL Heather Smigowski, Chair of the Department of Distance Education, in the studio to describe the creation of the program and the changes it has undergone to become the present-day effort.
Created in 1967 the distance program has evolved over the last five decades into a two-year program that is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously, online and for two weeks each year in-person in Carlisle. All of this is accomplished by board-selected students who navigate the courseware from their present duty (or deployed) location while performing their “day job,” often while serving in command positions. It’s a great conversation with podcast editor, Ron Granieri that looks at how the U.S. Army provides educational opportunities to the force around the world.
A lot of our students are in command while they’re doing the program. So they have their normal day job, they have their guard or reserve job, a lot of them are battalion commanders at the time, and then they’re doing the program on top of that.
Heather Smigowski is a colonel and an Army Strategist (FA59) and serves as the Chair for the Department of Distance Education, U.S. Army War College. Prior to assuming her current position, she was a Politico-Military Planner and the Executive Assistant for the Deputy Director for Africa, Joint Staff J-5. She holds Master’s Degrees from Clayton College of Natural Health, Regent University, and the U.S. Army War College. In 2015, she received her Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Capella University.
Ron Granieri is Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
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