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The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is an academic institution dedicated to providing training and continuous learning courses for the United States's Department of Defense professionals. These professionals are typically assigned to the Department of Defense's Acquisition, Technology and Logistics division (AT&L). The university's headquarters is located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, but distance learning courses are available online.
With the four purposes of training, continuous learning, mission assistance, and knowledge sharing, the Defense Acquisition University is committed to teaching America's military personnel and civilian professionals associated with defense operations. Training encompasses 14 career fields and three certification levels. Career fields include the following: Business, Cost Estimating, and Financial Management; Software Acquisition Management; and Systems Planning, Research, Development, and Engineering. Certification levels correspond to years of experience and course completion.
Rapid-deployment training is also available. Military professionals are often called to serve immediately and within a moment's notice. New initiatives appear regularly, and policy changes can happen at anytime. This sort of training prepares Department of Defense employees to handle any situation.
The Continuous Learning Center allows defense professionals to take courses whenever and wherever they want. DAU workforce members must earn at least 80 continuous learning points every two years. There are 236 different learning modules available to Defense Acquisition University students to help them earn these points.
Not only does this academic institution offer for-credit courses, it also offers support for business and military endeavors. Mission assistance specifically intends to provide the right people and the right products at the right time. With over 150 consulting projects a year, the DAU ensures that acquisition groups are well-equipped to tackle a variety of problems.
Using specialized computer software, facilitated web-based problem solving is available. This skill is very important to the DAU workforce, as members continuously face challenges where group work is critical. The collaborative problem solving workshops help students assess problems, consider alternative solutions, and more effectively implement new programs.
Knowledge sharing at the Defense Acquisition University includes specific methods to aid students. The Defense Acquisition Portal and the Acquisition Community Connection account for the bulk of the university's knowledge sharing assets. Students also learn about acquisition best practices through the university's resources.
Although the main headquarters are in Virginia, there are four other locations for the Defense Acquisition University. These locations include Huntsville, Alabama, San Diego, California, California, Maryland, and Kettering, Ohio. Moreover, the DAU has a wide presence through its partnerships with over 130 colleges and universities around the United States.