By Susan E. Lester, Public Affairs Officer, CSFE, and SWCS(SCW/DV) M. Brian Oliver, UCT Learning Program Manager, CSFE
The Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), Port Hueneme, Calif., championed major changes to the Underwater Construction Technician-Basic (UCT-B) Course. The monitored convening was held at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC), a learning site under the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD), Naval Support Activity , Panama City, Fla.
“This curriculum update is a major change to the delivery method of instruction. We are now focusing on teaching our students to utilize references and technical manuals and not rely on PowerPoint slides,” said Lt. Dave Hallam, officer in charge, Seabee Diving Division. “It helps the students understand the concept of being lifelong learners and look to those references when they have questions after dive school. This change was a major undertaking and could not have been as successful as it was without the involvement of CSFE, the instructors and the students.”
EO1 James McVicar, UCT instructor, added, “All the hard work that CSFE and the UCT instructors put forth was evident when we completed the monitored convening. The students were presented with the same information on the same timeline as before but had vast improvements in comprehension and retention. The referenced-based instruction that our UCT-B students are receiving now is far better than anything we have taught in the past.”
The CSFE team of SWCS (SCW/DV) M. Brian Oliver, UCT learning program manager, and William Horstick, UCT curriculum developer, expertly coordinated the schedules of multiple stakeholders, including CEODD course directors, naval instructors and NDSTC personnel.
“The Seabees stationed at NDSTC were tasked with the cumbersome project of aiding in a detailed course overhaul,” said CE1 Daniel Luberto. “There were many speed bumps along the way, but in the end, the outcome was an entirely new and clean-cut underwater construction technician [UCT] course.
“I feel as though the new course will continue to enhance and output the finest future underwater construction technicians,” Luberto said.
The CSFE team was on hand to support Navy, Army and Coast Guard instructors and students to teach from the newly reformatted curriculum. Horstick worked closely with CEODD Learning Standards Officer (LSO) Melanie Hinson to ensure both learning centers’ requirements were met. He also coordinated with the NDSTC Learning Management Division and Testing Office to ensure all critical student evaluative material met or exceeded expectations and requirements.
“I have only been on board NDSTC for a short time so I don’t have much experience with the old curriculum,” said CM1 Chauncey Hofacker, UCT instructor. “I can say, however, due to the hard work of both the CSFE and NDSTC Seabee staff, the information that today’s students are leaving the school house with is relevant, up to date and second to none.”
This course revision is one of many that CSFE is spearheading as part of the Seabee Technical Training Reset Initiative which promises to deliver updated training to all Seabees over the next two years.
The UCT-B course curriculum conversion and update project was the culmination of formal course review findings from the Human Performance Requirements Review (HPRR) and Job Duty Task Analysis (JDTA) conferences for Navy Diver core and UCT strand courses conducted in January 2011. This project encompassed four volumes, 37 topics and more than 704 hours (12 weeks) of instructional curriculum, and required almost 14,000 man-hours to complete.