NEWPORT, R.I. – The College of Distance Education (CDE) held its annual Fleet Professors Conference at the Naval War College (NWC) from August 9 to 11. Sixty-eight adjunct faculty members attended the event that brought the entire CDE faculty up-to-speed on revisions to curriculum and changes in teaching methodologies.
“This conference is the best opportunity for ensuring that the fleet professors maintain their currency in our three core courses,” Director of CDE Jay Hickey said. “It’s essential to know that the same advanced professional military education taught here in Newport is available to every one of our officers regardless of their geographic location.”
Since the majority of the staff are dispersed throughout the country, the conference serves as a golden opportunity to refresh, update and re-engage CDE professors as well as strengthen the network between colleagues. It also reinforces the reality that the nonresident faculty are an integral part of the greater body of academics at NWC.
“During the past year for each intermediate-level resident student, there were nearly 10 students taught in nonresidential programs,” Hickey said. “Our adjunct professors’ high level of expertise and teaching experience is critical to the college’s nationwide footprint.”
The conference regularly examines revisions and updates in curriculum, case studies and teaching methodologies. Hickey described an example of this group dynamic within CDE.
“If we switched from studying naval battles of the Atlantic to battles of the Pacific, a fleet professor would receive the rationale behind the change and how best to integrate the new material into the program,” Hickey said. “This interaction between Newport faculty and our adjunct professors often results in an exchange of ideas and new information that’s critical to the future development of the curriculum.”
Going above and beyond in the development of new faculty members is the rule rather than the exception at CDE.
“Whenever necessary, we’ll spend extra time providing one-on-one instruction or re-teaching the fundamentals of a course to new or former faculty members,” Hickey said.
Nonresident instruction is conducted through the faculty-led evening seminars of the Fleet Seminar Program, the “Naval War College at the Naval Postgraduate School” program in Monterey, Calif., Web-enabled online courses, and a CD-ROM based correspondence program. These courses mirror the program of study offered to resident students at NWC’s Newport campus.
By David Reese, Naval War College Public Affairs