The United States Air Force Academy retains a distinguished faculty composed of leaders, professionals and officers. A dynamic mix of civilian and military faculty and a shared approach to cadet education makes the Academy stand out as a premier military facility as well as a world-class institution of higher learning.
Each faculty member at the Academy must possess a master’s degree. Half have obtained a Ph.D. Many of our faculty members hail from such outstanding colleges and universities as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Duke and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as from foreign universities such as Kings College-University of London and Oxford University in England. Members of our faculty are frequently named Colorado Professor of the Year.
This talented faculty supports an array of more than 30 majors and 18 research centers. Majors range from top-ranked engineering programs to the sciences and humanities and are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Our faculty is 100% full-time. We do not use graduate students or teaching assistants (TAs).
Dedicated, Accessible Instructors
We approach education as a partnership in discovery, maintaining an 8 to 1 student to faculty ratio at the Academy. Classes are comprised of just 15 to 20 students with an average class size of just 19 students. This allows instructors to establish a rapport with each cadet and to recognize a student’s strengths and weaknesses.
The faculty uses the seminar approach to instruction, when possible, keeping lectures to a minimum. Cadets are expected to prepare for their lessons and participate in classroom activities. The small size of most classes and a relaxed classroom atmosphere encourages free communication between the instructor and cadets.
Our instructors are committed to the education of cadets and do their best to not only teach the course material but also to help our cadets grow as leaders. Fourth-class cadets are often surprised at the unparalleled access they have to their professors. In fact, the Princeton Review has ranked the Academy in the top 1% for the category “Professors Make Themselves Available” for five years straight.
Unless teaching or in a meeting, professors are available for extra instruction. Our instructors maintain office hours Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Some of the basic sciences and engineering core classes (like chemistry and physics) maintain walk-in instruction rooms where cadets can receive help from an instructor during any class period. Additionally, most teachers will provide a contact number for after-hours questions.
Leaders and Mentors
Our instructors know they play a vital role in the shaping of our cadets and take their job seriously. As such, faculty members maintain close contact with the cadets -– and not just in the classroom. Professors sponsor extracurricular activities and athletics, frequently adopting squadrons and attending their special events.
Many instructors will talk with cadets about dilemmas they faced during previous assignments, the pros and cons of their Air Force job and are always willing to discuss things going on within the cadet wing to help cadets see the “big picture.”
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