The Academy's core curriculum offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to learning for NASA's technical workforce. The sequence of materials is designed to help participants expand their thinking—to make connections among many systems engineering and project management principles and concepts, see the "big picture," and understand the context and interrelationships of the topics.
This framework promotes the timely transfer of knowledge and skills into the work environment. Core courses range from the foundations of aerospace to advanced project management and systems engineering topics.
A brief summary of each Core course is provided below. Click each course title or click a building block in the image for a detailed course description.
See Schedule and Registration for training dates, locations, and registration instructions.
"The APPEL Foundations course equipped me with a top-level understanding of flight and the many aspects of aeronautics. I am now more educated in aeronautics and feel comfortable discussing the subject."
Learn about NASA's strategic direction, missions, governance structures, technical guidelines, mission directorates, and programs, as well as NASA's past accomplishments and current and future missions. Receive intensive instruction in technical communication skills, and benefit from insights shared by key NASA leaders and technical experts.
Enhance your proficiency in applying PM&SE processes and practices over the project life cycle. Course focus: Defining and implementing projects; managing and leading projects and technical teams. Additional topics: Requirements definition and management, system definition and realization, risk management, acquisition, and earned value management. Hear from senior leaders about relevant NASA PM&SE procedural requirements critical to mission success.
Develop the capabilities to manage complex high-impact, high-risk and high-visibility projects. Course focus: Advanced PM&SE concepts and their integration in the management of all phases and facets of the project lifecycle; techniques for managing multiple stakeholders in the NASA environment. Critical Topics: System architecting, performance, risk, cost, schedule, reliability and operability, and acquisition strategies. Identify and complete a minimum of three personal learning objectives, which promote future learning and capabilities. Methodology: Participant-driven; case study approach.
This course provides project practitioners with an understanding of cultural challenges, legal concerns, and teaming issues that are likely to be encountered when working with international partners. Two distinct facets of successful international project management are addressed: technical knowledge and cultural understanding. Participants gain insights into the characteristics of international teaming that have the potential to make or break a project through the use of lectures, small group discussion, hands-on practical exercises, and case studies.