WPAFB Continuum of Learning program provides further career assistance for installation personnel

  • Published
  • By Darrius Parker
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Eight months ago, members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Professional Development Center started brainstorming for a program that could enhance the career of the enlisted member, providing multiple courses that would inform them on how to push past critical points in their careers.

That idea originated from the Air Force’s Continuum of Learning initiative, which is a shift to better focus how Airmen learn by integrating education, training and experience in ways that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers.

The end goal is to create a culture of lifelong learning.

The WPAFB Continuum of Learning program has kicked off and now provides the opportunity to register for 10 courses, all of which are designated towards the rank of an enlisted member’s career.

“We started the WPAFB Continuum of Learning at the local level to augment the 84 days of Professional Military Education that an enlisted member will receive in their career” said Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Zengerle, 88 Force Support Squadron’s, WPAFB Development Advisor. “By applying this program, we can help enlisted members fill the educational gaps and provide members with an opportunity to take control of their professional development.”

Although these courses are geared towards enlisted members, civilian workers are allowed to attend all courses that are rank equivalent. The PDC has also established a course for First Term Officers, designed for attendees from second lieutenant to captain.

The courses available for registration are listed below, as well as their designated ranks and dates for the rest of 2023. For more information on these courses, please visit www.wpafb.af.mil/units/wright-path-university/.

First Term Airmen Course (FTAC)

Rank: Airman Basic (E-1), Airman (E-2), Airman First Class (E-3)

Dates: July 10-14, Aug. 7-11, Sept. 11-15, Oct. 16-20, Dec. 4-8

Airmen Professional Enhancement Seminar (APES)

Rank: Airman First Class (E-3), Senior Airman (E-4), Civilians (GS-6 and below)

Dates: July 18-20

Leadership Enhancement and Development Seminar (LEADS)

Rank: Senior Airman (E-4) who have completed ALS, Staff Sergeant (E-5)

Dates: July 11-14, Aug. 22-25, Sept. 12-15, Oct. 31-Nov. 3

LEADS, which is one of the more familiar courses, was developed by MSgt. Landon Spaulding, 88th Comptroller Squadron’s Financial Operations Flight chief. He explained that he developed 32 hours of curriculum for the course including student guides, activities, case studies, presentations, instructor facilitation guides, student resources, and lesson plans.

“LEADS offers a place for leaders to come to a safe learning environment to practice the vital leadership skills such as public speaking, counseling, and writing, receiving constructive feedback in each area from their peers and instructors to better prepare them and give the confidence needed to be effective and knowledge enabled leaders,” he said. “My hope is that LEADS bridges the gap between conceptualization and the application of transformational leadership.”

Staff Sgt. Professional Enhancement Seminar

Rank: Staff Sergeant (E-5)
Dates: Aug. 15-18, Nov. 6-9

Tech. Sgt. Professional Enhancement Seminar

Rank: Technical Sergeant (E-6)
Dates: Sept. 19-22

Master Sgt. Select Professional Enhancement Seminar

Rank: Master Sergeant (E-7)
Dates: July 24-28

1st Sgt. Professional Enhancement Seminar

Rank: First Sergeant (E-7, E-8)
Dates: Oct. 11-13

2nd Year Master Sgt. Professional Enhancement Seminar

Rank: Master Sergeant (E-7)
Dates: January of each year

Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) Course

Rank: Master Sergeant (E-7), Senior Master Sergeant (E-8)
Dates: Oct. 16-20

Chief Master Sgt. Professional Development Course

Rank: Chief Master Sergeant (E-9)
Dates: March of each year

First Term Officer’s Course

Rank: Second Lieutenant (O-1), First Lieutenant (O-2), Captain (O-3)
Dates: June 21-23, Aug. 22-24, Oct. 24-26

Professional development, continued self-improvement, and educational growth are key components of the whole Airmen concept that our Airmen Leadership Qualities (ALQ) are focused on
Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Zengerle, Development Advisor, 88th Force Support Squadron

Zengerle’s motivation to help airmen of Wright-Patt goes beyond furthering their career. She believes in the importance of prepping airmen for the service they provide to the country.

“The installation’s program is important because this gives us the opportunity to help members understand and realize that they are in fact, a part of the world’s greatest Air Force, and we especially need them to know that now,” Zengerle said. “We have pacing threats such as China and Russia, and it’s our job to develop airmen and ensure that they know we are a competition-focused force.

“I think it’s the responsibility of the PDC to do something, like Continuum of Learning, to ensure that at each point of a member’s career, they understand the strategic, operational and tactical implications of what they do every single day and how that plays into our mission.”

Lastly, she wanted to voice a final piece of advice to all airmen in any part of their careers.

“Professional development, continued self-improvement, and educational growth are key components of the whole Airmen concept that our Airmen Leadership Qualities (ALQ) are focused on,” she said.

“The one thing that no one can take away from you is your education and foundation of knowledge. Those attributes are needed in Airmen to sustain our Air and Space superiority, propel members to new heights, and it stays with them well after they take off the uniform.”

To register for these courses, please either go to teamup.com/ksdswyt6y5s4ro5ehm or contact the PDC office at 937-257-3763.