The aim of the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JGCSC) is to provide professional military education focused on the operational level to prepare senior officers and selected civil servants for multi-service and international joint environments to meet the complex security challenges from Baltic and Euro-Atlantic perspectives.
The multinational course, bringing together many different nations each year, focuses on the operational level with a strong emphasis on Allied Joint Operations across the full spectrum of operations. The curriculum of JCGSC consists of two semesters (August-December; January-June), including 13 modules and 12 possible electives among which the students will choose 2. To prepare the students to a common standard, an Initial Unit is completed providing an introduction and review of knowledge for the residential modules. The culmination of the course is a major exercise focused on NATO Article 5 operational planning and execution. In addition, there are two study trips complementing the main modules and volunteer staff rides offered as a professional development opportunity. The students will also participate in a number of conferences, round-table seminars, and other academic events.
The course is designed for self-motivated, competitive, and experienced professionals who have the requisite language skills in English to engage with their peers and who want to excel during their time in Tartu. Students are expected to actively participate in lectures, syndicate, and other educational activities, successfully pass oral and written exams, prepare essays and participate in study trips throughout Europe.
The most academically motivated students are afforded the opportunity to achieve an advanced degree. JCGSC is recognized by the National Defence Academy of Latvia (NDAL) counting for the first two semesters of a three-semester Master of Arts in Military Leadership and Security. After graduating from College, the students enrolled in the Master’s program need to write a research dissertation.
During the course, the students have several individual study days as well as Christmas and Easter holidays.
The Course is built upon a combined educational approach, including lectures, seminars, and small group (syndicate) activities, exercises, and study trips, to facilitate adult learning. JCGSC is constructed so that it will maximize the experience and knowledge already found at the College and is bolstered with specific additional skills from outside experts. Thus, active learning and full participation and contribution of all students is heavily encouraged - this allows students to share their knowledge, experience, and learning with others in an open and positive environment.
Students are expected to spend around 32 hours preparing for the course by completing an ADL online module and reading mandatory material prior to their arrival and during the course. The typical working day at the College comprises an average of six academic hours of classroom activities (1 academic hour = 45 minutes). Students are also expected to spend an average of three hours per day and five hours per weekend on individual and preparatory work.
Students attending the Course should:
The College provides all students with excellent accommodation which allows them to focus on their academic studies. During the study period, all students have access to Estonian National Defence College’s canteen.
During the first semester, team-building athletics is organized to foster cooperation and develop officers in syndicates. This is a mandatory activity offering various sports events. There are also possibilities to be involved in sports and other activities in Tartu.
The JCGSC students will be invited to participate in BALTDEFCOL’s International Night event. The International night is a special social and cultural event organized at the College where students and staff present their national culture, music, and food.
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