Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
United States Air Force Academy
The academy's degree program lasts for four years. Graduates typically go on to serve as officers of the USAF. The curriculum focuses on areas the USAF sees as necessary to produce good Air Force officers.
The Air Force Academy is an accredited four year university offering Bachelor's degrees in a variety of subjects. Air Force officers, serving as instructors, may also pursue certain graduate course work; regardless of major, all graduates receive a Bachelor of Science, due to the technical content of the core requirements. All cadets take at least one specified class from each of the academic departments.
- Basic Sciences Division, including
- Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences and Physics
- Engineering Division, including
- Aeronautics, Astronautics, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
- Humanities Division, including
- English, Foreign Languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian), History and Philosophy
- Social Sciences Division, including
- Behavioral Science & Leadership, Economics & Geography, Law, Management and Political Science
The Air Force Academy employs a full faculty of professors, instructors, and support personnel. Active duty US military officers, who serve as professors at the Air Force Academy, are eligible to receive the Air Force Academy Professor Badge; some professors are civilian or allied military officers.
Character & Leadership Education
The USAF believes that Air Force officers need to have a solid moral foundation. To reach that goal, the Character and Leadership Education Division provides a variety of classroom, seminar, workshop and experiential-based learning programs to all cadets, beginning when they enter Basic Cadet Training (BCT), and continuing each year through their last semester at the Academy.
Each year, cadets experience a different aspect of character-based transformational leadership education. This education plan is built to fully complement the Officer Development System and presents character enrichment in a developmental fashion, beginning with personal understanding, moving to interpersonal skills development, followed by the formation of high-performance teams, and culmination in organizational improvement. This proceeds in a sequence of formal programs through which the cadets progress, each emphasizing different moral and character qualities.
The U.S. Air Force Academy defines character as: "Qualities of moral excellence which compel a person to do the right things despite pressure or temptations to the contrary." Making sure that every cadet measures up to this definition is the role of the Academyís Center for Character Development.
The Centerís mission is to facilitate programs and activities throughout all aspects of cadet life that help cadets develop this internal moral compass. Its stated objective is to graduate officers who:
- Have forthright integrity, voluntarily deciding the right thing to do and doing it.
- Are selfless in service to the country, the Air Force and their subordinates.
- Are committed to excellence in the performance of their personal and professional responsibilities.
- Respect the dignity of all human beings.
- Are decisive, even when faced with high-risk situations.
- Take full responsibility for their decisions.
- Have the self-discipline, stamina and courage to do their duty well under even the extreme and prolonged conditions of national defense.
- Appreciate the significance of spiritual values and beliefs to their own character development and that of the community.
The underlying philosophy is that such qualities are caught as well as taught and thus the Center offers programs for both cadets and staff. Staff programs are aimed at creating an overall climate of character-based education throughout all aspects of Academy life. Cadet character and leadership education follows a developmental character education plan designed to provide the fundamental knowledge early in a cadetís career, followed up with a wide variety of developmental experiences to help cadets to internalize the motivation for personal character development.
The Center for Character Development is organized into three divisions. The Honor Division administers the honor code and educates Academy personnel regarding the honor system. The Character and Leadership Education Division provides character based honor and leadership education and training. The Excellence Division organizes symposiums, conducts seminars, and offers a variety of forums for cadets to pursue their own character development.
The Honor Code: We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.
Women at the Academy and Sexual Assault
For more detail see Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal
President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation October 7, 1975, permitting women to enter the military academies. Women entered the Air Force Academy for the first time on June 28, 1976. The first class with women graduated in May 1980, and were nicknamed "80's Ladies".
Twelve percent of the women who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2003 reported that they were victims of rape or attempted rape while at the Academy. It is estimated that about 20 percent of all women students were victims; few of the alleged attackers have graduated, despite insufficient evidence for courts martial. Sexual predation was mainly directed toward freshmen and sophomores who were under 21 and blackmailed after accepting alcohol from upperclass cadets. Women who complained were generally pushed or counciled out of the academy, ostensibly for alcohol abuse and fraternization which led to the situation in which rapes occurred.
Sports at the Academy
The Air Force Academy competes in the NCAA's Division I-A. Its primary conference is the Mountain West Conference; its gymnastics (men and women) and men's soccer teams compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and its hockey team competes in College Hockey America. The sports teams are called the Falcons.
Air Force plays Colorado State in football every year for the Ram-Falcon Trophy, a travelling award that alternates between the schools. It also has traditional service academy rivalries with Navy and Army; the service academies compete for the Commander-in-Chief's trophy in football each year.
Home football games are mandatory for cadets to attend, as are occasional basketball games.
- Official website
- eDodo, a satire site popular with cadets & maintained by graduates
- Bruegmann, Robert. Modernism at Mid-Century: The Architecture of the United States Air Force Academy. University of Chicago Press: 1995. ISBN 0226076938.
- Fagan, George V. Air Force Academy: An Illustrated History. Johnson Books: 1988. ISBN 1555660320.
- Lui, 'Elizabeth Gill. Spirit and Flight: A Photographic Salute to the United States Air Force Academy. 1996. ISBN 0965258505.
- Phariss, Mark R., Class of 2003, Direct Personal Knowledge.
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