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Development of a Graduate Education Program for U.S. Army Interns and Careerists


New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education Volume 136, ISSN 1052-2891


In the winter of 2007, a small group of faculty and administrators at East Carolina University (ECU) began discussions with personnel at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia, regarding the education and continuing professional development of U.S. Army civilian interns and careerists (two types of nonenlisted Army employees). TRADOC's interests included a series of continuing professional development (CPD) courses focused on adult learning theory and instructional technologies for newly contracted civilian employees in an internship program with the Army as well as for select longer-term career employees (or careerists). The educational and CPD program at the center of discussion ultimately would comprise a portion of the 24-month training program for these interns and would be offered as CPD courses for select careerists. ECU was a prime contender for partnering with the U.S. Army for several reasons. The university was ranked by "U.S. News & World Report" as the 12th largest distance education provider in the United States in 2010, with nationally recognized faculty in the fields of adult education and instructional technology. ECU continues to lead the University of North Carolina system in the provision of distance education in the state and invests heavily to provide virtual access to instruction, library and state-of-the-art computing resources, and student services in order to provide exemplary educational experiences. North Carolina is nationally recognized as a military-friendly state and works diligently on behalf of the nation's armed forces. This article focuses on the development of this partnership between the U.S. Army's TRADOC division and ECU. The article opens with a brief review of relevant literature on the history of training in the U.S. Army as well as the adult education literature on program planning. Next is an overview of the negotiations for the off-model, or customized program of study, memorandum of agreement with the Department of Defense, followed by the resulting program details, several student success stories, and a summary of lessons learned.


Schmidt, S.W. & Mott, V.W. (2012). Development of a Graduate Education Program for U.S. Army Interns and Careerists. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 136, 41-51. Retrieved September 25, 2023 from .

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