PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) welcomed the American Council on Education (ACE) team for their second review of information warfare classes and ratings in December to close out 2022.
When the ACE team arrived at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, Jim Hagy, executive director, CIWT, welcomed them and thanked them for their continued partnership in assessing the center’s many information warfare ratings and courses; ensuring service members receive appropriate college credits for their military training and experience.
During this visit, the ACE team reviewed the occupational experiences for cryptologic technician interpretive and cryptologic technician networks ratings, in addition to courses for the electronics technician (ET), cryptologic technician maintenance (CTM), cryptologic technician technical (CTT) intelligence specialist (IS) ratings and intelligence officers.
The courses reviewed during their visit included: Information Systems Maintenance Technician Course; Cryptologic Installation Methods, Practices and Procedures (CRIMP) Course; AN/SLQ-32B(V)2 Maintenance Course; AN/SLQ-32(V)6 Maintenance Course; Maritime Operational Intelligence Analysis Course; and Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course.
Jessica Sabo, associate director of learning evaluation for the American Council on Education, explained that during ACE reviews, a team of college and university faculty members, who are subject matter experts in the areas being evaluated, are assembled to do an in depth assessment of a set of courses and occupations, aligning the knowledge and skills taught with the type, level (lower or upper division), and amount of college credit hours to award for the nontraditional learning taking place.
Prior to the ACE review, CIWT provided as much of the course work as possible for the courses being evaluated, to include student materials, instructor materials, assessments, as well as any other documentation to do with that course, at the unclassified level for the team to review ahead of time. For the ratings or occupations being evaluated, CIWT provided the primary qualification standards, occupational standards, and learning and development roadmap for each rating being assessed to help the team understand what each rating does at each skill level.
During the review, the ACE team conducted panel interviews of enlisted Sailors in the rates of E-4 through E-6, and E-7 through E-9. The interviews validated the information in the occupational standards, and helped the team to account for any on-the-job training and learning taking place outside of school, while also assessing the professional, technical, and managerial skills used each level based on the shared experiences of the panel. The panel members came from a cross section of the rating from around the Navy to ensure a breadth of backgrounds and experiences were represented.
Throughout the review, CIWT ensured subject matter experts from the courses and ratings being reviewed were available to answer any questions as necessary to facilitate the process.
After the interviews, the ACE team reviewed the documentation provided and worked together based on their own areas of expertise to come to a consensus on how what is being learned at CIWT, and in the ratings in the fleet, aligns with college courses being taught at their institutions. The team will then use these determinations to make recommendations on what credits should be awarded.
Denise Myers, CIWT instructional systems specialist and ACE Program manager/liaison for CIWT, has been working behind the scenes for months ahead of time, to ensure that their information warfare Sailors receive the most college credits as possible for their hard work in the field.
“The ACE reviews help our Sailors attain recommended college credits to get their degree, whether it is their associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree,” said Myers.
She specified that they are recommended credits, and that they do not become actual college credits until the Sailor applies to a college or university to have the credits reviewed. Soon after graduating from a course that has ACE recommended credits, those credit recommendations should show on the Sailor’s Joint Service Transcript (JST), so it is in their best interest to review their JST after attending any course with ACE credits.
Myers said that having the courses the Sailors take throughout the CIWT domain reviewed for ACE credit recommendation should help motivate Sailors, because they are not only progressing in their rating, but they are also working toward a civilian degree program, should they choose to pursue it.
ACE reviews of the courses and ratings are completed at a minimum of every 10 years, according to Myers, with more frequent reviews in fields like information systems technician or cyber where course requirements are continually changing. Reviewing and updating credit recommendations allows the credits recommended by ACE to best reflect current academic standards.
Myers said she feels that it is owed to the Sailors to do the best they can to prepare them for their second careers, as in today’s society, even if they retire from military service, they will still most likely have to continue working. This is something that Myers takes to heart, educating Sailors she comes in contact with about the educational benefits they receive from attending their required Navy training courses, and encouraging them to take advantage of the opportunities they have earned.
Sabo shared she really enjoys coming to Pensacola and working with the team at CIWT and said, “CIWT does an amazing job in terms of preparing materials, getting us the necessary information we need, and actually, in some cases creating the template that we provide to other schoolhouses for them to prepare for their reviews.”
Sabo also shared one of the more rewarding aspects of the ACE review.
“Every time we come here, we meet Sailors who say, ‘I benefitted from ACE credits,’ or ‘I finished my bachelor’s degree from ACE credit recommendations,’” said Sabo. “It really reinforces why we do the ACE reviews.”
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, Center for Information Warfare Training trains over 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. Center for Information Warfare Training also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.