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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 9, 2021

Virtual learning gains traction at TRACEN Yorktown

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Training Center Yorktown has created an educational environment without a single classroom, as they launch virtual, and self-paced, and facilitated remote learning environments to meet the needs of a busy workforce. Part of the Coast Guard’s ongoing efforts to improve training options. 

Capt. Tim Hammond, Training Center (TRACEN) Yorktown commanding officer sees value in moving to flexible approaches to workforce education. “Training will no longer be limited to in-person training center courses; on-line and hybrid learning will be used to increase learning effectiveness and efficiency.”

As members learn from anywhere, professional development may now include completing a course on a tablet on the comfort of their own couch; take a refresher training from your mobile device while you are in the waiting room of the clinic, or even on the mess-deck of a cutter deployed on an Eastern Pacific patrol—live-streamed from instructors at Yorktown. This approach will transform classroom training events into seamless and continuous learning sessions.

“One of our interests is how we can improve our use of time during training, whether here at the TRACEN or at the home unit. I think that if we try, we can gain efficiency in every single module of every course,” said Cmdr. Randy Chong, training director at Training Center Yorktown.

Under the advisement of workforce advisors, 100 “A” and “C” School courses delivered at TRACEN Yorktown are slated to incorporate modernized learning options. 

Master Chief Petty Officer Dan Schlangen is a member of the workgroup that advocated for the changes.  “The future of performance support and training in the U.S. Coast Guard is at a tipping point, we either grow and support our members where they work with the tools they need at exactly the right time, or go back to the drawing board. Our current 1960s-era training system approach has to adjust.”