A Fordham GSE/United States Military Academy educational partnership, that began as a planned five-year endeavor in 2016, has been so successful thus far that the program is expected to endure well into the future. Select USMA military science instructors enroll in classes each year at the GSE’s Lincoln Center campus to earn a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Teaching. The military instructors, tapped from among the most skilled and experienced in their field, are learning the best ways to share their knowledge with the next generation of Army leaders by using the most up-to-date, effective classroom teaching methods.
“The Fordham GSE Program further professionalizes and arms our instructors – academically – with the tools necessary to train, educate, and inspire Cadets daily, specifically in the classroom environment,” noted Major Carmen Bucci, Executive Officer in the Department of Military Instruction at West Point. He added, “Currently, 13% of our instructors are Fordham GSE grads, and they fill critical roles during the academic year ranging from Military Science Instructor to Course Director, touching all of the approximate 4,500 Cadets annually.”
GSE Dean Virginia Roach, Associate Dean Anthony Cavanna, and Associate Professor John Craven visited the USMA at West Point this fall to see first-hand how the inaugural cohort of GSE-trained instructors are doing in their classroom settings. Following the classroom visits, the combined Fordham/USMA group held a roundtable discussion. The Fordham GSE team was then given a West Point Simulations Center Tour and Demonstration, to further understand how cadets receive training for combat.
“It was truly rewarding to see the instructors trained at the GSE using the multiple modes of high-level instructional skills they acquired at Fordham to teach Cadets at the Academy,” stated Dean Roach. “We look forward to continuing and fostering this successful and unique partnership between our institutions. It is an excellent example of how much can be accomplished for the benefit of students when there is highly focused collaboration.”
Major Bucci concluded, “Our recent visit with Dean Roach and her academic team was a great opportunity to create shared understanding between institutions and converse on ways to cultivate our relationship, maintain a world-class experience for our GSE students, and ensure the coursework and requirements are best aligned to achieve Fordham requirements and produce the best instructor upon graduation; we believe we have a great recipe to achieve this.”
Beginning this spring, the GSE Military Instructor students will conduct credited and sponsored fieldwork and observations at the Academy to ensure they are even better prepared to step into the classroom on day one.