2024 College of Commissioner Science

Page updated: May 5, 2024

Join us for our 37th consecutive annual college on 

Saturday November 2, 2024
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

in the Great Trail Council 

Plan to join us for an exciting and rewarding Commissioner College in the Great Trail Council, with plenty of hotels nearby so you can make the drive and not worry about heading back on the same day. We will meet at 

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

Stow, OH

Prices:

$25 participant
$30 walk-in

$10 Staff

2024 Great Trail Council
College of Commissioner Science

The college on November 2, 2024,  will be a live in-person training event for all commissioners hosted by the Great Trail Council. This page has your links to online registration, prices, directions, hotel accommodations, college and dean contacts, program reciprocity, course listings with abstracts and learning objectives. Courses offered in the years before this college are listed at the bottom. 

Saturday, November 2, 2024

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Doors open with continental breakfast at 7:15 am.  

The GTC Commissioner College in 2024will be organized with an all-new national curriculum as recently revised for our Bachelors and Masters, Doctoral and Continuing Education program. Our curriculum is organized in each college by our deans. Because of all of the pending changes some of our courses this year will be locally produced based on the best information that we have as the these soming changes.  If you have a question please contact the appropriate Dean below. 

What is the College of Commissioner Science

It is a continuing education experience in a college environment designed to help commissioners keep up to date with the newest training materials and problem-solving techniques to help units deliver a quality Scouting program. All Commissioners should attend this nationally recognized program annually. This program has a four-year cycle; Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate Degrees can be earned. Those with their doctorate or taking a break in the process will benefit from courses offered by the continuing education college. 

Why do Commissioners Need the College?

The mission of the commissioner is to help the unit succeed and the way to accomplish this mission is through education and practical learning experiences. Just as every Scout deserves a trained leader, every unit deserves a trained commissioner!

A trained commissioner is an effective commissioner. Nationally-created training and resources are being updated on a routine basis. Therefore, to stay up to date, commissioners should view continual learning as an important part of their entire scouting lives.

Even though updated training materials are available on the BSA Commissioner Training web page, holding a college gives commissioners the opportunity for interaction with other commissioners, and a better understanding of the material during a group discussion.

The college provides an in-depth knowledge of the essential aspects of the commissioner’s duties and responsibilities. The final result is a stronger and more knowledgeable commissioner corps serving units.

What opportunities does the the College offer?

See you on Saturday, November 2, 2024


NEW! Track your College Program

Worksheet for the Doctorate of Commissioner Science Knot Personal Progress Record

3 pages pdf  (direct link download here)

DCS 503 - DCS Knot Personal Tracking Record.pdf

Program for the 2023 College 

COCS2023-Program-Landscape-11112023.pdf

Reciprocity Statement

You may register for one of the following four college tracks: Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate I and II, and Continuing Education.  The document below shows the prerequisites and requirements for each degree. and includes information on earning the Doctor of Commissioner Science Knot award. This is a national standard to which we adhere. 


Click to reveal document details

Statement of Course Work Reciprocity:

The College of Commissioner Science accepts a Commissioner's course work from any Boy Scouts of America College of Commissioner Science provided that an official transcript is made available.

The College of Commissioner Science will credit courses from another Council to be applied towards a College of Commissioner Science Degree if prior approval has been obtained from the current Dean of the College of Commissioner Science.

Classes taken at a University of Scouting that are not listed in the B.S.A. National Curriculum (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/commissioners/training.aspx) will not be accepted for credit.

The college will also honor Commissioner courses taken at the Philmont Training Center. (Please submit a transcript to the College of Commissioner Science Registrar.)

Degree Recognition:

The College of Commissioner Science will continue to recognize degrees earned from other Boy Scouts of America College of Commissioner Science and Philmont Training Center College of Commissioner Science degrees provided that an official transcript is made available.

Award Recognition:

The College of Commissioner Science will honor all Commissioner Arrowhead, Commissioner Key, Distinguished Commissioner, and the Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service, and the Doctor of Commissioner Science Awards.

Degree Requirements and Reciprocity Guide.pdf

Who may attend the college?

Prerequisite: Basic Commissioner Training. You may access this training online at my.scouting.org or contact our trainer David Rice. 

Anyone from any Council is welcome to attend this college. 

This year’s college curricula are the latest updated courses more aligned with current commissioner service functions. These courses include the integration of Commissioner Tools and place more emphasis on the five commissioner objectives. Course reciprocity will allow credits to transfer to your home council.  Directions and nearby hotels will be listed below.

The COCS Bachelor Program

Dean Mark Messerly, Great Trail Council (MarkMesserly@hotmail.com)

The Bachelor Program consists of courses numbered between 100 and 299, that will augment your commissioner basic training. Basic training should be completed before beginning the bachelor program. The courses cover some of the same topics but they are all covered more in depth and with more student interaction. All courses are newly revised in 2021.

Click to reveal 2023 course details, 2024 Courses will be added when the Dean makes his selection.

Prerequisites:

Course Requirements: Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least five of the courses at the Bachelor's program level.

Courses Offered:

The courses below and faculty are subject to change. 


BCS 114 Understanding and Communicating with Today’s Leaders (updated 4/15/2022)

Faculty: Bryan Roubanes

Course Description: National Course

We, as commissioners, need to understand the differences in relating to the generations involved in scouting and inclusiveness. As commissioners, we can embrace the differences and similarities to make the scouting program stronger. A lack of understanding across generations can have detrimental effects on communication and relationships. In this session, we are going to focus on how these new generations are affecting the BSA and how the BSA can target Gen Xers and Millennials.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 

BCS 107 Journey to Excellence

Faculty:  Terry Polzin

Course description:  National Course

JTE is the BSA’s tool for helping leaders plan their program, monitor progress, and assess their Scouting success. Scouting success takes many forms, and JTE success employs a “balanced scorecard” as a result. The standards enable both large Scout units and small ones to succeed — as long as they provide good Scouting to youth. In addition, The JTE scorecard provides commissioners with information that enables them to give the greatest possible help and support to the unit.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


BCS 109 The Essential Element (A Servant’s Heart) updated 10/1/2021.

Faculty: Fritz Coombs

Course Description: National Course

In 1970, Robert Greenleaf introduced the term “servant leadership.” He wrote an essay titled “The Servant as Leader” that was later expanded into a book. That book is a very influential management text that launched the servant leadership movement. However, the concept is thousands of years old and stems, at least partly, from religious teachings on leadership.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


BCS 201 The Commissioner and Cub Scouting

Faculty:  Greg Upole, Canal District Chairman

Course Description: Local course

The purpose of The Commissioner and Cub Scouting is to focus on retention. It is designed for new and seasoned Commissioners to learn more about and understand Pack-level challenges and have an in-depth knowledge of the program's ins and outs. Section content will include Recruiting, Membership, Program, and relating/teaching information to the Pack Leaders.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 



BCS 202 How Do Unit Commissioners Assess Unit Health?

 

Faculty: David Rice

Course Description: Local Course


Course Objectives:



BCS 203 The Unit Dashboard

 

Faculty: Steve Myers

Course Description: Local Course


Course Objectives:





The COCS Master Program

Dean Stephanie Ricketts, Lake Erie Council (skricketts1@gmail.com

Dean Bill Lovell, Great Trail Council (crabbybill@hotmail.com)  

The Master Program offers more advanced courses, numbered from 300 to 499.  These courses will be most beneficial to an experienced or an administrative commissioner. Again many of the topics are familiar but are explained in more detail with more student interaction. All courses are newly revised in 2021.

Click to reveal prerequisites, course requirements, 2024 Courses will be added when the Deans makes their selections.

Prerequisites: 

Course Requirements: Completion of seven (7) additional courses of instruction (total of 14), at least seven of the courses at the Master's level.

Courses Offered


MCS 309 – Good Commissioners Need Both Head and Heart

Faculty: Bill Lovell

Course Description: National course.


Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


MCS 305 Resolving Critical Unit Issues

Faculty: Patty Payne

Course Description:  National Course

The purpose of this course is to hone the commissioner’s skills in assessing units, determining their strengths and weaknesses, and in developing plans to improve the functioning of the unit. When collaborating with the unit Key 3, the commissioner may be able to help identify critical issues and keep the unit from becoming an “At-Risk” unit

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 

Identify when a unit has a critical issue

Work thru process to develop action

Provide practical experience in solving issues


MCS 358 Addressing Unit Challenges Through Roundtable

Faculty:  John Hogan and Ray Bartlett

Course Description: National Course

Roundtable is the one place, virtual or in person, where every unit leader and volunteer should be each month. It is an event where many district and council resources will be accessible, and as a commissioner, you know your district’s operating committees and are well-positioned to provide much needed linkages.

The “big picture” is that effective roundtables help units become more successful and efficient.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 

Recognize when units may need additional resources.

Discuss resources that are available to support unit service.

Understand how to help units resolve their challenges and roadblocks.


MCS 460 - Scouts with Special Needs - The Commissioner's Role

Faculty:  Chris Scott

Course Description: Local Course

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


MCS 350 – Unit & Roundtable Commissioners Working Together

Faculty: Chip Reed

Course Description: National Course

While unit commissioners and roundtable commissioners wear distinct position patches, denoting their field of expertise, both patches feature the wreath of service and for good reason! Unit commissioners and roundtable commissioners work together to ensure unit leaders have the support they need to succeed. Remember: “Roundtable is unit service.” This course will show how all commissioners in a district help units identify and address their needs.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


MCS 312 Recruiting the 21st Century Volunteer (updated 4/15/2022)

Faculty:  Stephanie Rickets

Course Description: National Course

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


MCS 401 Unit Assessments, Questions and Answers

Faculty: David Rice

Course Description: Local Course

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


The Doctorate Program

Dean David Rice, Great Trail Council (david.m.rice73@icloud.com

The Doctorate Program consists of the courses, numbered from 500 to 699, that are required to write an approved thesis or complete an approved project.  In addition, there are some advanced courses available for the very experienced commissioner. All courses are newly revised in 2021. 

Click to reveal  prerequisites, course requirements, and 2023 course details, 2024 Courses will be added when the Dean makes his selection.

Prerequisites: 

Course Requirements: Completion of 10 additional courses of instruction (total of 24) at least five of the courses at the Doctorate or Continuing Education program level. Courses may not have previously been counted toward other college degrees.

Thesis or Project: It is recommended that the topic of a project or thesis be directly related to unit service. There may be specific circumstances under which a topic related to another area of Scouting would be appropriate. Local councils have the authority to approve topics related to another area of Scouting when selecting one directly related to unit service isn't appropriate or practical. The council commissioner or designee may authorize an alternate topic. This can be on any topic related to Commissioner Service.

Commissioner Performance: Serve for at least one year on the college of commissioner science staff (instructor or support staff), or work with training support for commissioners for at least one year.

Courses Offered

Courses Offered

DCS-501     Selecting Your Project or Thesis Topic (new 10/31/2022)

Faculty: David Rice

Course Description:

This session assists doctoral candidates in selecting their project or thesis concept.

Course objectives:


DCS-503     Developing Your Project or Thesis (new 10/31/2022)

Faculty: David Rice

Course Description:

This session covers the project or thesis outline and a variety of suggestions for writing and revising the report.

Course objectives:

DCS-509     Legacy of Servant Leadership (new, 12/31/2022)

Faculty: Bruce Boyle

Course Description:


Course objectives:




The COCS Continuing Education Program

Dean Steven Myers, Great Trail Council (myers@uakron.edu

The Continuing Education curriculum was created to encourage those with a doctorate to continue to learn new topics, and for those who hold a master degree but do not aspire to complete their doctorate. Students in the Doctoral 2 Track typically attend the Continuing Education Courses. Courses are numbered from 700 to 899. Courses from the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate levels may be utilized. Courses are updated in 2021.

Click to reveal prerequisites, course requirements, and  2023 course details, 2024 Courses will be added when the Dean makes his selection.

Courses Offered

CED 751 - Role of the Administrative Commissioner in the Roundtable Program (new 12/31/2021)

Faculty: Vinnie Close, Assistant Council Commissioner for Roundtable Planning and Support, Great Trail Council

Course Description: National Course

Roundtable IS Unit Service! Roundtables provide unit leaders with the skill to do and the will to do what is needed to ensure that every member of every unit has a great Scouting experience. They build upon the foundation provided by position-specific basic training and each leader’s commitment to serving youth through Scouting. Roundtable provides program support and supplements unit commissioner efforts to build solid youth programs. Developing a strong, engaged team is critical to roundtable success.

We’ll discuss how developing a team with a unit service mindset starts with establishing relationships and talk about how administrative commissioners such as the Assistant Council Commissioner for Roundtable and the Assistant District Commissioners for Roundtable can be reliable resources for units at the district and council level. We’ll also learn how building an effective roundtable commissioner team is vital to the success of all roundtables and how Commissioner Tools, recognition and using available resources help strengthen the roundtable program.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


DCS 514 Building Meaningful Relationships

Faculty: Patrick Scherer, Great Trail Council Scout Executive

Course Description: National Course

Commissioner service is all about relationships. In this course we will discuss how commissioners may go about building and maintaining positive relationships with those they serve. We’ll also explore possible pitfalls that can undermine relationships.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 

DCS 509 – Legacy of Servant Leadership (NEW!! 12/31/2022 )

Faculty: Bruce Boyle

Course Description:  National Course

In one of your first CCS experiences, you more than likely participated in a class called The Essential Element (A Servant’s Heart). That Bachelor’s level class introduced the concept of servant leadership and established the expectation that commissioners served units and other volunteers. Simply put, servant leadership is people-centered, unselfish and an investment in the lives of others. It is a sincere desire to help rather than control. It reflects an inward sense of morality – right vs. wrong rather than what’s in it for me. That is the difference between leadership that works and leadership that endures.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 

Guest Speaker

CED 8xx Making a Positive Impact Using Commissioner Technology, Online by video conference. 

Faculty: Mike Weber, Technology Chair National Commissioner Service Team 


Open Forum:

Faculty: Bruce Boyle and Sherri Buck. 

Course Description: Open discussion after Mike Weber's presentation. 


CED 712 – Roster Mining for Recruiting

Faculty: 

Course Description:  National Course


Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 


CES 8xx – Unit Assessments, Questions and Answers

Faculty:  David Rice

Course Description: Local Course


Course Objectives:

By the end of this session, each participant should be able to 



Courses offered 2017 to 2023

2023 course schedule.pdf

2023

2022 course schedule November 8 2022.pdf

2022

2021 course schedule_10062021.pdf

2021

2020 course schedule.pdf

2020

2019 final course schedule.pdf

2019

2018 course schedule.pdf

2018

2017 College Courses.pdf

2017

These pages are maintained for the Council Commissioner's Service Team by ACC and Webmaster Steve Myers. Please report errors and corrections to him at commissioners@gtcbsa.org