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U.S. Naval Community College Embarks with New Online Leadership Certificate

The Navy’s community college launches first-of-its kind online certificate designed in partnership with iDesign to provide leadership training and continuing education for enlisted personnel

TYSONS, VA. (FEB. 9, 2021) — The United States Naval Community College today announced the successful launch of the first online course in a series of online credentials designed to provide targeted continuing education and training opportunities for the Navy’s 500,000 enlisted personnel. The new course, Naval Leadership, will form the first of five online offerings for USNCC’s Naval Core Certificate, which will focus on naval heritage, history, ethics, and other advanced subjects aligned with naval sciences.

“At a time when U.S. armed forces are facing new and global threats and ascendant challenges, military and civilian leadership have recognized the imperative of developing a more unified approach and making leadership education and training opportunities more accessible across today’s Navy,” said Randi Cosentino, president of the United States Naval Community College. “This work is an important step in the modern Navy’s transformation into a learning organization that constantly strives to develop our people and deploys lifelong learning to support combat operations and our peacetime mission alike.”

Launched in 2020 at the direction of the United States Department of the Navy, the primary mission of the U.S. Naval Community College (USNCC) is to provide college-level instruction and credentials applicable to active-duty military jobs and transferable to civilian, degree-granting institutions.

To build the new certificate, USNCC has selected independent instructional design firm iDesign, which has worked with more than 100 institutions to design, build and support award-winning online courses, to support creation of the online courses beginning with Naval Ethics and Leadership, the courses will offer students flexible, self-paced, online options taught at a college-level in critical subjects, available to the entire enlisted workforce and completed in the span of 8-12 weeks.

A team of technology and instructional design experts affiliated with iDesign and USNCC are working to identify student learning outcomes, design curriculum and assessment, and engage Naval military and civilian instructors and subject matter experts. The pedagogy, design process and structure of the courses will create the foundation for the entire Naval Core Certificate and future courses to be offered by the Navy to its workforce.

“In addition to the countless everyday sacrifices of uniformed service, we understood that active-duty personnel must balance complex schedules and family and personal commitments, so we are particularly proud to deliver these offerings in a highly-engaging and interactive format that will be convenient, flexible and responsive to the Navy’s enlisted workforce,” said Paxton Riter, co-founder and chief executive officer of iDesign. “Our entire team is deeply honored to play our part in helping USNCC meet the education and training needs of the Navy—and in turn, serve our men and women in uniform. We owe them nothing less and so much more.”

In addition to the Naval Core Certificate, the USNCC is already offering accredited courses in a pilot program through a network of public and non-profit accredited universities that will ultimately stack into an Associate of Science degree. Over time, the USNCC plans to create and launch new concentrations and certificates in other skills and competencies aligned with the organizational needs of the Navy and Marine Corps and civilian workforce, such as Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Logistics, and Organizational Leadership.

About iDesign:

iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit