DAU COURSE EQUIVALENCY PROGRAM
DAU Directive 708 of March 4, 2009
REFERENCE / PURPOSE / DISCUSSION
DoDI 5000.57, Defense Acquisition University dated February 8, 2006
a. To implement paragraph 6.2.8 of the reference which directs the President, Defense Acquisition University (DAU) to establish an equivalency program that identifies alternatives for Defense Acquisition Workforce members to attain required training.
b. This directive supersedes DAU Directive 708-1, Course Equivalency of July 27, 2001.
a. DAU is charged with developing and delivering a continuum of coursework to support the consistent and continuous development of the Defense Acquisition Workforce's capabilities as they relate to effectively and efficiently implementing the Defense Acquisition System.
b. A collateral benefit to the University of supporting a vibrant equivalency program is the potential to cultivate relationships with other organizations for the exchange of best practices, current trends in industry and education, ideas, and effective student assessment techniques.
c. The primary objectives of the equivalency program are to:
1) Promote flexibility and efficiency in meeting Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition training requirements.
2) Expand the number of DAU course equivalents by expanding the approved provider listing and/or the number of DAU course equivalents.
3) Facilitate the development of new DAU course equivalents among approved equivalent providers.
4) Ensure equivalent providers maintain currency of their DAU course equivalents with changes in the DAU courseware and curriculum and consistently deliver a quality training experience to their students when teaching equivalent courses.
5) Make readily accessible information on how to become an equivalent provider, the process for approving DAU course equivalents, and a listing of current DAU course equivalents.
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a. DAU supports the development and expansion of partnerships with activities through the equivalency program.
b. Any entity legally authorized to conduct business in the United States may apply for approval as an equivalent provider.
c. All potential equivalent providers must be approved prior to the approval of any of the provider's products as an equivalent.
d. All approved providers will be categorized as one of the following:
- College or University - (A college / university is defined as only those regionally or nationally accredited academic institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- DoD School
- Other DoD/Federal Agency
- Civilian Organization or Professional Society
- Commercial Vendor
e. Prior to review of an application to become an equivalent provider, the provider must execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the program and the responsibilities of both DAU and the equivalent provider.
f. All DAU 100 and 200 level training courses are eligible for equivalency. This does not include those courses DAU categorizes as Continuous Learning Modules, Targeted or Rapid Deployment Training Courses. DAU 300 level and higher level courses may be considered for equivalency on a case by case basis prior to the equivalency review process commencing.
g. DAU will make readily available to the equivalent provider course/student material for which DAU will consider approving an equivalency. This does not include:
- Instructor personal notes
- Student examination/assessments instruments
- Material that is proprietary to a third party and used by DAU with permission when the material can be reasonably excluded or extracted without substantively impacting the lesson flow
h. Equivalencies may be approved when the provider demonstrates that the provider's product(s) reflect the ability to convey and verify behaviors identified in the DAU course objectives, and that these behaviors are assessed at a Bloom's Taxonomy hierarchy level equal to or greater than that to which DAU teaches for each individual course learning objective.
i. DAU will issue equivalency certificates to approved providers outlining the provider's equivalent product(s) that have been approved as equivalent to a DAU course(s). This information will also be published and maintained on the DAU website.
j. Individuals (students) taking or participating in DAU equivalent course products will have an opportunity to provide feedback directly to DAU regarding the provider and the individual's participation in the provider's equivalent product(s).
k. DAU will accept without further evaluation, the equivalent coursework (equivalencies) completed by individuals (students) attempting to meet DAU course prerequisite requirements.
l. The American Council on Education (ACE) as an objective third party and the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions will serve as the reviewing body to make recommendations for approval of potential equivalent providers and their products.
m. The Director, Academic Programs, is responsible for oversight, management and administration of the DAU Equivalency Program and serves as the source authority for DAU on the program. This includes its processes and all provider and DAU course equivalent product approvals/disapprovals.
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a. General. The equivalency program will be executed in a two (2) phase approach where first the potential provider is approved prior to any equivalent products being reviewed and approved. Attachment 1 outlines the fundamental process flow for the equivalency program as well as the details for Phase I and Phase II.
b. Phase I
1) Attachment 2 is the MOU that all equivalent providers must execute and submit with their Equivalent Provider Application (EPA), attachment 3. Failure to execute a MOU will render a potential provider ineligible for consideration.
2) Attachment 4 is the EPA instruction guide. It provides detailed instructions on what must be included in an application and how it is to be submitted.
3) Attachment 5 is the EPA evaluation sheet for use with all EPAs by ACE. The areas of evaluation are not necessarily "GO" / "NO GO" criteria. The reviewer is to make a value recommendation based on the entire package as presented giving consideration primarily to the ability of the provider to:
- Adhere to professional standards imposed by academic or other accrediting bodies
- Effectively maintain and deliver equivalent products in a consistent and effective manner
- Positively represent DAU and the DoD
4) Normal processing time from receipt of a completed application to approval should not exceed 20 business days.
5) The provider's approval will run for 36 months unless otherwise terminated as outlined in the MOU and/or this directive. Every triennial period the Provider will be required to update and resubmit their EPA directly to DAU summarizing in a cover letter, all changes that have occurred since the last application.
c. Phase II
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1) Once a provider has been approved, the approved provider can submit an equivalency review request as outlined in attachment 6. Normal processing time from receipt of a completed package to approval should not exceed 35 business days for a one-for-one (one provider product to one DAU course) review.
2) Attachments 7 through 9 contain the associated templates for this phase as well as the evaluation sheet for use with all review requests by ACE.
3) Unlike the evaluation sheet for the provider, the Equivalent Product Evaluation Sheet is fundamentally a "GO" / "NO GO" criterion checklist. Accordingly, for any review request that ACE does not recommend approval, ACE must provide notice to the provider and give the provider a reasonable opportunity, not less than 30 days, to respond with a plan of action to correct the deficiency. Failure of the providers to appropriately respond with a plan of action will cause the review request process to be terminated. The plan of action to correct the deficiency cannot exceed 120 days.
4) For all approved equivalent products, the provider will receive a certificate of acknowledgement that provides a consolidated listing of products that are recognized as equivalent to current DAU courses. This information will also be made available to the public via the DAU website. Additionally, the provider point of contact and course point of contact information will be provided to all stakeholders. Course point of contact information includes the contact information for the DAU Course Manager (CM), Performance Learning Director (PLD) and Center Director. Providers are encouraged to periodically communicate with the CM and PLD regarding the course and its delivery.
5) The approval period will normally start at the time the submitted material was initially implemented by the Provider and run for an indefinite period of time, listed as "INDEF". A termination date will be established when DAU no longer offers the course; the provider ceases to be approved; or the provider fails to comply with the MOU or this directive.
d. Post Approval
1) Once a product has been approved, the provider may promote their product as equivalent to the appropriate DAU course for as long as the equivalency remains in effect.
2) Within 30 days following the anniversary date of an equivalent product approval, the provider will deliver to the Director, Academic Programs the following metrics regarding each equivalent product:
- Number of Offerings
- Number of DoD Participants
- Number of Federal Government Participants (excluding DoD)
- Number of Industry Participants Supporting DoD
3) The Providers may make permanent design modifications to their product as they deem appropriate to serve the needs of their customers without undergoing another review as long as:
- The DAU associated objectives of the approved product, the Blooms levels associated with the objectives and participant assessment methodologies are not degraded
- The material in the initial review request is updated and provided to the Director, Academic Programs prior to implementation.
4) Within 60 days of the anniversary date of an equivalent product(s) approval, or since the last annual certification, the provider must certify that any changes to the DAU Plan of Instruction that involves the Course Student Assessment Plan (CSAP) have been incorporated into the approved equivalent product. If the DAU changes have not been incorporated, the provider will provide the planned implementation date for each change. Failure to provide this notification will be cause to terminate the equivalency. The equivalent product start date will be used as the "anniversary date."
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a. Director, Learning Capabilities Integration Center (LCIC):
1) Assume staff cognizance over the implementation and daily management of the DAU Equivalency Program as outlined in this directive.
2) Establish and maintain an information page on the DAU website on the equivalency program for Defense Acquisition Workforce members as well as a current listing of all equivalencies acceptable towards meeting course prerequisite and acquisition career field certification training standards.
3) Establish and maintain an information page on the DAU website on the equivalency program for potential equivalency providers to include review procedures, policies, standards and forms required.
4) Make available, upon request of an equivalent provider preparing for an equivalency review, the requested course materials as outlined in paragraph 4.g.
5) Maintain and publish a generic e-mail contact address and phone number for questions regarding the DAU Equivalency Program.
6) Develop a plan to implement this directive with current equivalent providers. Current Providers are required to execute the MOU and submit a completed EPA. (The current Providers will not be required to undergo an ACE review.) Determine a reasonable end date, not to extend beyond December 31, 2009, for equivalencies of providers who do not want to continue participation in the equivalency program as outlined in this directive.
7) Represent the President, DAU for purposes of executing the MOU contained in attachment 2. This authority may be delegated to a direct report.
8) To facilitate the execution of the equivalency program, amendments to the attachments are authorized as needed and will be posted on the DAU website as long as the amendments are consistent with the policies and objectives outlined in this directive. Amendments to attachment (2) must be approved by the DAU General Counsel before implementation.
b. Director, Operations (OPS):
1) Ensure the DAU transcript reflects all AT&L workforce equivalencies that have been recorded in Army Training Resources and Requirements System (ATRRS) by the services and DoD agencies.
2) Provide web design and update support to LCIC to facilitate the implementation of paragraphs 5 of this directive.
3) Provide e-mail support to LCIC to facilitate the implementation of paragraphs 6.a.(5) above.
c. Director, Performance and Resource Management:
1) Provide support as necessary to implement paragraph 4 of this directive.
2) Ensure course registration systems supporting the Services and DoD agencies recognize workforce equivalencies, that have been recorded in ATRRS by the Services and DoD agencies, when assessing course prerequisite requirements as appropriate.
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a. Activity. A college; university; DoD school, organization or agency; professional organization; or commercial vendor.
b. Equivalent Product. A course, program of instruction, or assessment process implemented by an activity other than DAU that assesses its participants against related competencies and/or substantially similar learning outcomes that meet or exceed the collective outcomes of a specific DAU course.
c. Equivalent Provider. An activity, who has had specific coursework and/or an assessment process evaluated against the learning outcomes and student assessment indices of a specific DAU course and is approved by DAU to market their equivalencies.
d. Equivalency Review. The process of assessing activity's courseware and/or assessment process to validate that it is or is not equivalent to a specified DAU course.
e. Equivalent Coursework. Sometimes referred to equivalencies is the equivalent course delivered or implemented by an equivalent provider.
f. Instructor Personal Notes. This is material intended for the personal use of the instructor(s) in executing a course of instruction regardless of whether or not the instructor decides to share this material with select colleagues.
g. Student Examination/Assessments Instruments. These are examinations and associated answer keys. This does not include grading rubrics, or group exercise such as case studies.