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Course Description

Course: NWS Foundations Course

Type of Course: Blended course integrating online course prerequisites, webinars, and 3 days in residence at the NWSTC.

Target Audience: NWS employees of all series and grade levels hired into the NWS for the first time.

Eligible Agencies: NWS-only

Course Start/End Times: Tuesday 8:00 am - Thursday 5:00 pm

Travel Information: Travel to the course occurs the Monday before the start of the course. Return travel can begin Thursday evening, but participants should not schedule return flights departing before 6:30 pm. More specific instructions will be sent to students and supervisors six to eight weeks before the start of the course.

Course Description: It is critical for a new employee to develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes as they begin their careers in the NWS and that they are oriented to the culture the NWS is continuing to build.

This course is designed to lay a foundation of positive attitudes, effective teamwork, every level leadership, effective communication, and lifelong learning for each new employee as well as for the future of the entire agency. Additionally, this program will allow new hires to start building a wide-reaching professional network across the NWS early in their careers.

Course Goals: To improve the culture of the NWS by strengthening new employee:
(1) knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding the agency, our customers, and the work environment,
(2) tendencies towards teamwork and networking,
(3) abilities to communicate, lead, and commit to lifelong learning.

Course Outcomes: Upon completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Describe our agency and how their roles impact it.
  • Identify how attitudes, awareness, and communication impact our personnel and the agency.
  • Perform multiple self-reflection and self-awareness exercises.
  • Learn multiple techniques to facilitate success within the agency.
  • Develop multiple strategies for improving teamwork.
  • Demonstrate every-level leadership skills.
  • Network with a diverse spectrum of NWS employees.
  • Identify resources for professional development.

Required Prerequisites: Specific course schedule, requirements and materials will be provided to participants with the selection letter and welcome packet approximately six to eight weeks before the course.

The non-residence segment of this course begins after receiving the welcome letter. Non-residence prerequisite work requires the completion of (time estimate in parenthesis):

  • Welcome to NOAA: A Journey of Discovery (1 hour)
  • Welcome to the National Weather Service (45 minutes)
  • NWS Directives (10 minutes)
  • NWS Governance Overview (20 minutes)
  • Developing a Plan to Further Your Career (30 minutes)

Note: A single New Hire Learning Path will be assigned to you on the NWS Learning Center after enrollment, so there is no need to enroll in these courses separately.


  • Jeff Zeltwanger

Class dates:

    US Dept of Commerce
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Weather Service Training Center
    7220 N.W. 101st Terr.
    Kansas City, M0 64153
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     Page last Modified: 19 October, 2018 8:38 AM