Civilian education window open through May 1

By KAT BAILEY
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
March 16, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Eligible Air Force civilians have until May 1 to submit their civilian developmental education (CDE) program applications to the Air Force Personnel Center. 

CDE provides developmental education and leadership opportunities that will prepare Air Force personnel to anticipate and successfully meet challenges across the wide range of Air Force operations and missions. 

“It is the responsibility of Air Force leaders at all levels to invest in and actively support the civilian workforce through mentoring, training and development to ensure we have the right people in the right job at the right time,“ said Gina Banda, the AFPC Civilian Developmental Education program manager.

The greatest change to this year’s eligibility is the requirement to have a minimum of two years federal civil service in order to apply versus just one, in line with the new two-year probationary period that went into effect November 2015. 

Also new this year is the Civilian Associate Degree Program, open to all general schedule and wage grade employees, which offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Air Force leadership and management studies from Air University. In addition, the Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program is now open to applicants in all career fields. 

“These efforts recognize that to remain the world’s best Air Force, we must compete for, develop and retain talent, skill and expertise in new and creative ways,” Banda said. “We will continue working to ensure our Air Force is an employer of choice for our nation’s best and brightest.”

Although requirements and eligibility can vary, most of the developmental education programs require employees have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution as a minimum. Some programs also require a master’s degree. Applicants must also meet grade requirements and appropriate education level. Applicants should carefully review their chosen program’s submission requirements before preparing their application packages.

CDE programs offer a wide variety of opportunities for civilians to develop leadership and management competencies, divided into basic, intermediate and senior tiers. More than 30 programs in all, CDE includes the new Civilian Associate Degree Program, Squadron Officer School, Education with Industry, Air Command and Staff College-in residence or the ACSC Online Master’s Program, Air Force Legislative Fellows program, Air War College in-residence, National War College and Defense Senior Leader Development Program to name a few.

“Our goal is to identify promising and qualified employees, select them for the developmental education that best suits their career goals and the needs of the Air Force,” Banda said. “Then, if we can, we’ll place those employees in a follow-on assignment that will utilize their CDE experience.”

Applicants may list up to four CDE program preferences on the CDE AF Form 4059. However, a separate completed application package must be uploaded for each of the programs listed on the form. The deadline to submit application packages through the myPers Civilian Force Development website is May 1. 

The CDE board will convene in September and final approval of primary and alternate candidates will be released later in the year.

Stay informed on the most current CDE information on the Civilian Force Development page on myPers or select “Civilian” from the dropdown menu and search “CDE.”

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