Goodfellow program helps enable lifelong learning, prioritizes Airman development

  • Published
  • By Capt. Frank Turek and Mr. Jeb Clay
  • 17th Training Support Squadron

Air Education and Training Command’s Continuum of Learning strives to create a training environment that yields lifelong learning and prioritizes Airman development. In support of this vision, the 17th Training Group created the Student Success Program.

The program consists of a three-pronged approach that complements the numerous efforts already under the 17th TRG's “Learning Next” paradigm.

“We want to empower Airmen to take responsibility for their learning and wellness from day one,” said 17th Training Support Squadron Cognitive Performance Coach Dr. Ashley Fryer. “The Student Success Program exposes Airmen to active learning techniques and how to thrive in a more active learning environment as a student. We also have the students participate in a Mental Fitness Obstacle Course, where they combine physical training with cognitive tasks to test their physical and mental skills.”

The first prong of the Student Success Program is the Student Success Orientation, which kicked off on June 25, 2019. This is each new arrival student’s initial introduction to an active learning environment. The orientation is a key component of the reimagined base in-processing, which seeks to build upon best practices of learning and retention. New presentations have been added to the two-day in-processing to include instruction on airmanship, general wellness, study skills, sleep habits, and how to be an active learner in an evolving environment.

“The orientation also includes a resource fair that consists of multiple base organizations,” said Lt. Col. Amber Saldaña, 17th TRSS commander. “Airmen get the opportunity to have a more informal conversation with each organization and ask personal questions.”

The second prong is the introduction of a new program, Student Success Coaches. The Student Success Coach Program allows interested students the opportunity to further their knowledge on wellness, nutrition, exercise and airmanship, and ultimately pass that knowledge along to their peers. Students in the Student Success Coach Program are expected to complete a minimum community service requirement as well as monthly continuation training. The Student Success Coach Program’s official launch will take place in July, and interviews for interested Airmen began after applications were released on June 26.

The third and final prong is the Mentoring Program, which is designed to introduce students to the importance of personal and professional development.

“Mentoring Airmen is the first step to developing exceptional leaders,” said Saldaña. “We want students to feel comfortable seeking support when needed and providing mentorship to their fellow Airmen when asked.”

While the implementation of the program will vary by squadron, the vision is that instructors will receive training on mentoring tools in the Basic Instructor Course.

The Student Success Program provides a foundation for lifelong student learning that complements the goal of the 17th TRG. With continuous and deliberate development of Airmen using the prongs of the Student Success Program, we will enhance the overall Goodfellow teaching and learning experience, promote lifelong learners, and ultimately deliver more ready, lethal, and operationally effective Airmen.