Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School Logo
525 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL  36112-6335

The Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC)

The Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC) bridges the gap between technical functions and broad financial management and leadership. The course is designed to develop critical thinking, analytical, leadership and conflict resolution skill sets. It also works to take foundational financial management skills to the next level. Successful students earn graduate credit hours and continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Students also have the option to participate in other useful electives such as the DFMC version of Toastmasters called ''Speak Easy."
 
The faculty achieves its mission through guest lectures, interactive seminars, case studies, and facilitated exercises. The students are asked to actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete homework and test requirements. Students must successfully complete several assessments during the course. Students must also successfully complete a multiple page advocacy or position paper, and will make several formal presentations during the course. The course is taught at the graduate level and offers a highly rewarding learning experience. The course is paperless (for the most part) and employs electronic media. Students should bring or will be issued laptop computers to facilitate course completion requirements. Students should have a basic knowledge of computing devices, as well as word-processing and presentation software before attending the course.

CURRICULUM

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Defense Financial Management Course focuses on developing broad comptroller skills to include critical thinking, analysis, advisory responsibilities, strategic orientation, leadership, and effective communications. This mission is achieved through presentations, interactive seminars, networking, small group discussions and facilitated exercises. The course bridges the gap between technical functions and broad financial management leadership. The students must actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete homework and test requirements. The course is challenging and taught at the graduate level.  

GOAL OF THE DEFENSE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE:
Broaden student awareness of the diverse DOD financial management framework, impact of the strategic environment on the DOD mission and prepare them to overcome challenges by improving critical thinking, analytical, leadership and conflict resolution skill sets.
 
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEFENSE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE: The faculty and staff are committed to providing a "world-class" education at the graduate level. Faculty instructors lay a solid foundation of principles and practices in each functional area. Guest lecturers then discuss the application of these principles and practices. Methodologies range from reading, questioning, individual practical exercises, role-playing, student-led discussions, and problem solving, to instructor-guided discussions and realistic case studies. The DFMC curriculum includes three focus areas: Leadership and Communications, DoD Strategic and Financial Management Environment, and Decision Support. DFMC is a "near paperless" course. As such, we provide most of your class material to include class schedule, assignments and required reading electronically to each student's online learning system account.

To be successful in the course, you must be comfortable working in this environment. Each DFMC has approximately forty students divided into small groups (seminars) of ten or less students from the different services (both military and civilian). You will complete most activities and requirements as a seminar, so dust off your group dynamics skills before you get here. This collaborative environment greatly enriches the learning experience of all students. Students will have a wide variety of opportunities to work on their communications skills. All students will provide two short presentations during the course. Selected students will also have the opportunity to meet and introduce guest speakers. For those wanting additional practice in the area of verbal communications, the school offers a "SpeakEasy" elective modeled after the Toastmasters Program. Additionally, students are required to complete multiple writing assignments during the course. Normal class hours are 0730-1630, but do not be surprised to find that some additional time outside of the class hours is required to complete your assignments/group projects.

BLOCK OF INSTRUCTION

LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION: This instruction area focuses on understanding the importance of working well with others, leading teams, and effectively communicating. Students actively participate in exercises and complete requirements relating to group dynamics, communication, team leading and conflict resolution. The importance of working well with others, properly communicating ideas and understanding basic leadership concept is crucial to the development of an efficient and effective working environment. Senior leaders present their perspectives on leadership and the FM career field through the course. Each students is expected to reflect on his/her personal beliefs about leadership and then develop a personal leadership approach. Students leave with a documented definition of leadership, enhanced personal communication skills, and a better understanding of the dynamic DoD leadership environment.
 
DoD STRATEGIC AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ENVIRONMENT: This instructional area focuses on DoD's financial processes, controls, and information. Faculty and guest speakers discuss various types of DoD funding along with fiscal law concepts and how they impact the financial manager. Students learn the purpose and the effect of key legislation on performance measurement, audit readiness, and financial operations. In addition, students increase their knowledge on the DoD resource allocation system ( Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution--PPBE) and the Defense Acquisition System process. This area also introduces the FM professional to the Department's strategic view and how it impacts financial management. Faculty and the guest speakers will present up-to-date information on how the economy, military strategy, and politics impact the budget process and how to provide decision support in a dynamic environment. The FM framework provides the students an understanding of the current challenges facing resource managers.
 
DECISION SUPPORT: This instructional area is designed to develop decision support skills sets to include critical thinking, analysis, advisory responsibilities,strategic orientation, leadership, and conflict resolution. Students achieve this mission through active participation in informal lectures, interactive seminars, small group discussions, and facilitated exercises. Students use critical thinking and analytical skills to develop, evaluate, and clearly communicate alternatives, projections, impacts, and recommendations in a concise, actionable, and timely manner to decision makers.

EVALUATION


The DFMC evaluation process has two broad objectives: (1) evaluation of student performance to measure achievement of behavioral objectives established by the faculty and (2) evaluation of the faculty, guest speakers, educational materials and other facets of the curriculum to determine if the course is meeting the needs of the comptroller community and the DoD. Students achievement of behavioral objectives is measured using several methods including exams, written and oral presentations, seminar participation and problem solving exercises. Students must actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete assignments. Exams are composed of multiple choice and essay questions related to course content. Evaluation of the course is accomplished by several means. An on-line critique system provides real-time feedback through required and voluntary student submissions. The broad use of a variety of evaluative indicators enable the school director to measure student learning, continue to improve instructional methods and update the curriculum to make the course continuously responsive to user needs. End-of-course critiques and post-course surveys are also used to continually monitor course effectiveness.

ELECTIVES AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

DFMC offers a host of other opportunities for personal growth and development. Generally, these electives occur over the lunch period, and students may bring a brown bag lunch in order to participate. These include:
 
SPEAK EASY: Are you interested in conquering your fear of public speaking? If so, Speak Easy is an elective especially made for you! Join in for 6 lunch periods and learn the art of taming your public speaking fears. This elective is designed to help participants improve their speaking abilities in a non-threatening and toastmaster-like environment. Each week, participants get an opportunity to practice various roles and speak about simple everyday topics. The excitement of learning to control anxiety and cure the tendencies to use meaningless words is contagious! You are sure to learn your personal expressions of nervousness while learning techniques to control them. During this elective, students learn the art of eye contact, body language, meeting facilitation, projection, presentation development, lectern etiquette and much more. This is a positive learning environment where students appreciate the opportunity to confidently and courageously express themselves. The optimal class size for this elective is less than 15...signup early!
 
TRUE COLORS PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT: True Colors is a personality assessment used at DFM&CS and numerous other organizations to determine the dominate personalities of team members. The goal is to educate students on communication styles, motivators and values. Together, participants learn to appreciate the roles and contributions of others. This knowledge is a true asset for interpersonal relationships and group dynamics.