• Acquisition Education and Training Corner: March 2011 Update

    Upcoming Training Opportunities

    • We have many educational and leadership opportunities available in the near term. Our updated Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience Catalog provides in-depth information on all training and developmental opportunities. Please view the catalog on the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) at http://asc.army.mil/career/pubs/aete/default.cfm for information on all training opportunities available to acquisition civilian and military workforce members. Eligible and interested applicants may apply for all of our programs by using the Army Acquisition Professional Development System tab within the Career Acquisition Management Portal/Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAMP/CAPPMIS) at https://rda.altess.army.mil/camp.
    • The School of Choice (SOC) announcement is currently open and runs through May 2. SOC is a highly competitive, 18- to 24-month full-time degree-granting program that provides civilian Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce members GS-11 through 15, or broad/pay band equivalent within a Demonstration Project or the National Security Personnel System, an opportunity to keep their current acquisition position while completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree during duty hours. For more information, visit the SOC website at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/soc/default.cfm.
    • The Naval Postgraduate School-Master of Science in Program Management (NPS-MSPM) (Distance Learning) announcement opened March 17 and runs through May 17. NPS-MSPM is an eight quarter, 24-month part-time master’s degree program. The program requires students to take two courses per quarter over a 24-month period. For more information, visit the NPS-MSPM website at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/npsmspm/default.cfm.
    • The announcement for the next offering of the Congressional Operations Seminar will be open April 7 through May 6. The Congressional Operations Seminar is a five-day seminar on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, that will provide civilian AL&T Workforce members a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities within the U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, and Senate as they relate to the performance management of the defense acquisition system and policy. For more information, visit the Congressional Operations Seminar website at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/ConOps/default.cfm.
    • The announcement for our Acquisition Tuition Assistance Program (ATAP) will be open July 15 through Aug. 31. ATAP is designed for civilian AL&T Workforce members who wish to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree or fulfill the certification of U.S. Army Acquisition Corps membership business-hour requirements. For more information, visit the ATAP website at http://asc.army.mil/career/programs/atap/default.cfm.

    Defense Acquisition University Highlights

    • FY12 Defense Acquisition University (DAU) class schedule: Open registration for FY12 classes begins May 18. Students may apply through the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS) Internet Training Application System (AITAS) at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas.
    • New Student Information System (SIS): DAU has successfully procured a commercial-off-the-shelf SIS to replace the current, distinct DAU registration systems for the four services. The system, named PORTICO, is Web-based and will interface with current DAU and DOD systems, ATRRS, and CAMP/CAPPMIS. Army workforce members will be able to authenticate via a DOD common access card. PORTICO will standardize functionality and capability available for all services. It will allow more transparency and up-to-date status to students when applying for DAU courses. The initial operating capability date is targeted for June 2013.
    • Shortfall in Level II Contracting Classes: There are six commercial vendors and four universities that offer CON 215, 217, and 218 equivalent classes. For more information on equivalencies, please visit DAU’s website at http://icatalog.dau.mil/appg.aspx. Please e-mail the program execution point of contact at usaascweb-ac@conus.army.mil if you are unable to obtain CON 215, 217, and/or 218 this fiscal year and would like to use Section 852 funds to pay for an equivalent provider. USAASC plans to offer this to individuals who need those courses and are unable to get an FY11 reservation.
    • Shortfall in Level II Business, Cost, and Financial Management (BCFM) courses: The Army is placing only first-priority students into available BCFM classes. DAU is well aware of the backlog and is working to expand classroom size for current and additional course offerings. The demand is due to a surge of BCFM certification requirements, which is a temporary issue. For experienced BCFM personnel, fulfillment of the course is recommended. Fulfillment information may be found at http://icatalog.dau.mil/DAUFulfillmentPgm.aspx.
    • New Program Management Tools (PMT) 257 course: PMT Part II will replace the current PMT 256 course, effective third quarter of FY11. PMT 250 and 256 will remain valid predecessor courses until Oct. 1, 2012. For more information on the course, see the I-Catalog link at http://icatalog.dau.mil/onlinecatalog/courses.aspx?crs_id=1735.
    • PMT 257 is a five-day online course, and class start times are regionalized. The course will cover earned value management, scheduling, and risk topics. Students will have two weeks to complete approximately four to six hours of pre-course work before the course begins. This is extremely important; failure to do so will make the first day of the course tedious.
    • The course includes an individual, open-book final exam. Students must obtain 80 percent (with no remediation) to pass the course. These offerings are available for registration now in AITAS at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/channels/aitas/.
    • Please note that the course begins at 8 a.m. in the time zone in which it is being offered. Unless a student specifically requests the course, Pacific Time Zone students should not apply to the Eastern Time Zone offerings, and vice versa.
    • DAU will host its annual Acquisition Community Symposium on April 12, 2011, at its Fort Belvoir campus. High-level officials from both government and industry will address the theme, “Making Every Dollar Count—Improving Acquisition Outcomes,” at this one-day event. The conference opens with a keynote by Dr. Ashton B. Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L)), followed by an Acquisition Executive Panel moderated by Frank Kendall III, Principal Deputy USD(AT&L), to focus on the services’ achievement of Carter’s Sept. 14, 2010, memorandum to acquisition professionals, which provided guidance on obtaining greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending.
    • The agenda also includes a presentation by Christine Fox, Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office; a congressional-level perspective from Peter Levine of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and an industry panel perspective on attaining a new direction in acquisition leadership and management moderated by Stan Soloway.
    • Through a series of speakers and panels, the symposium will examine issues including target affordability and control cost growth and incentivizing productivity and innovation in industry. Additionally, breakout sessions will address implementation of USD(AT&L)’s affordability initiatives, and one session will cover the DAU Alumni Association Research Paper Competition winners (Hirsch Prize). The symposium will conclude with dinner and a speech by former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, who currently is co-chair of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.
    • Presentations honoring the winner of the 2011 Alumni Association’s Acker Award, induction of new DAU Hall of Fame members, and presentation of Hirsch competition winners will wrap up the event. For more information, visit https://www.dauaa.org/Symposium2011/20Registration11.asp.

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