13:58 PM

Volunteer U. Launch Brings 'New Era for CAP Education & Training'

The opening of Civil Air Patrol's much-anticipated Volunteer University becomes a reality today as the cornerstone of CAP's new Senior Member Education and Training Program.

Volunteer University, or Vol U, went live this morning, offering online and off-site courses and schools to enhance the education and training opportunities for CAP’s more than 37,000 senior members

“This is a new era for Civil Air Patrol education and training,” said Col. Regena Aye, chief of the Education and Training Program. “We've prepared for over a year now, and to see it finally happening is really exciting.”

Members can find out details about the program and Volunteer University on GoCivilAirPatrol.com.

“Congratulations on the successful launch of Civil Air Patrol’s latest innovative project – Education and Training/Volunteer University,” Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO, said in a message sent to Aye and Col. Joe Winter, the university provost. “Not only is it the latest example of innovation within Civil Air Patrol, I believe it is our largest success story in many, many years.” 

Vol U is the end result of a transition from CAP’s old Professional Development Program to the new Education and Training Program. To understand more about this initiative, review CAP Regulation 40-1, which makes the new program official.

Assisting Aye and Winter with Vol U are Col. Barry Melton, the school’s onsite learning dean, and Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, the online learning dean.

“You and your ‘cast of thousands’ have taken our 1970s-vintage professional development program and brought it up to modern times,” Smith told Aye and Winter. “And the structure and processes you have built into the program will help it to stay leading-edge indefinitely. The fruits of your labor will benefit the members of Civil Air Patrol for many years to come.”

Smith will be among 300 initial Education and Training Program instructors from CAP units nationwide. “I am very proud of you all, and I am honored to have been selected to serve with you as a fellow Vol U instructor,” he said.

Aye said the program is seeking more applicants to teach in the five-tier CAP program and especially those who wish to teach Level I. “If you would like to teach Level I and onboard our new members, please apply today,” she said. “Our goal is to have over 1,500 individuals who can teach Level I across the country.”

Aye also encouraged senior members registered for the upcoming National Conference, a virtual event set for Aug. 14-15, to take advantage of an entire learning track devoted to the Education and Training Program. 

“Please join us for one of our sessions where you can learn more about how Volunteer University works, how to implement Level I, how to implement Level II, navigating the new tools in eServices, the role of education and training officers as well as commanders in the new program, and commander training in the new program,” she said.