Registration for free CCAF-credit culture course available now

2/22/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air Force Culture and Language Center, part of the Air University's Spaatz Center, is now accepting applications for the spring 2013 session of its introduction to culture course.

The self-paced ITC course is entirely online and is offered at no charge to enlisted active-duty Airmen, Air Reservists and Air National Guardsmen enrolled in a Community College of the Air Force program.

Enrollment continues through March 20. Participants are encouraged to enroll early, said AFCLC officials. There has been a significant increase in student demand for the two online culturecourses offered to enlisted Airmen since the center began offering the classes in 2009.

"The response over the last three years has been phenomenal," said Jay Warwick, AFCLC director. "It's a testament to how important cross-cultural competence is in today's global Air Force. Airmen value these courses because the content is useful and relevant to theirmissions, and we'll continue to work with our students to improve the courses based on student feedback."

Student feedback is an important part of the process, said Dr. Patricia Fogarty, the AFCLC's assistant professor of crosscultural relations. Students' attitudes are assessed prior to and following the courses, and the students are also asked for specific feedback on what they liked and didn't like.

"We always appreciate receiving  student feedback since it's integral to the development and improvement of the courses," Fogarty said. One recent example of the course's popularity among Airmen came from a student's postcourse feedback.

"I have had a blast taking this course. I feel as if I could handle cross-cultural situations a lot better," wrote Tech. Sgt. Ronald Beasley. "Overall, I think the most important aspect of the course is to keep an open mind, remain objective and not to pass judgment too quickly without knowing all the facts.... Great course!"

The courses are part of the Air University's Quality Enhancement Plan, which focuses on developing cross-culturally competent Airmen across the continuum of education. The first iteration of ITC was offered in 2009, and the AFCLC launched its cross-cultural communication course in 2011.

In 2009, the AFCLC offered two sessions of ITC, with a total of 410 available course "seats." Five hundred and five Airmen applied for those two initial courses. In 2012, the AFCLC offered two sessions for both ITC and CCC. Nearly 5,100 Airmen applied for the 2,250 course seats available.

Since 2009, nearly 1,800 Airmen have successfully completed either ITC or CCC, said Dr. Lauren Mackenzie, the AFCLC's assistant professor of cross-cultural communication. The center has grown the size and number of courses offered to keep up with the increasing demand, she said.

"These courses represent our effort to provide military cultural education to the most students in the most efficient and far-reaching way possible," Mackenzie said. "We believe the process adopted here at the AFCLC could be a model for teaching culture throughout the Department of Defense."

Dates for both ITC and CCC registrations schedules are available on the AFCLC's public website at

Courtesy of the Air Force Culture and Language Center