The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies graduated a record-setting 235 Fellows from Indo-Pacific Orientation Course 21-2. Administered November 15-19, 2021, IPOC 21-2 was the second course planned and executed in a HyFlex model.

Professor James Minnich, course manager, explained that “HyFlex, or Hybrid-Flexible is a course construct where some Fellows participate in-person and others participate virtually.” In this physically distanced course, 120 Fellows rotated into the Center where they spent three of the course’s five 8-hour days in three plenary sessions, three seminar sessions, and an elective lecture, and a self-study session each day with the 115 virtual participants in the course. Universally, the Fellows rated this HyFlex course as a positive learning environment that advanced critical thinking and dialogue on complex issues relevant to their work. One Fellow stated: “I’ve been working in a virtual environment since April 2020 – this HyFlex format WORKS WELL!” Another declared that “APCSS did a stellar job integrating technology to allow HyFlex participation. As a virtual student, I felt completely engaged and fully participative in the course.”

IPOC provides an executive education experience that prepares mid- and senior-grade security practitioners to knowledgeably engage in cooperative security efforts that build capacity to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific and that recognizes the linkages between good governance, rules-based order, and security.

The course provided a singular opportunity to learn from subject matter experts about the Indo-Pacific region. Fellows’ pre-course knowledge assessments revealed that 65% identified with basic or little to no understanding across a synthesized median of all plenary course topics, and thus the 15 plenary lectures, 15 plenary discussions, and 15 seminar activities offered during the five-day 40-hour course were eagerly received. Most Fellows participated in five optional sessions of 50 elective topics that broadened their understanding of a variety of security issues.

Fellows bonded through the experience, and while there was overwhelmingly high praises for the in-resident days, it was positively noted that the HyFlex learning approach advanced networking as it demonstrably closed the gap between the collaboration of traditional and online settings.

Course objectives prepared participants to apply a learned understanding of the geopolitical landscape and regional security architectures through discussions of Indo-Pacific strategic approaches, sub-regional security dynamics, and good governance dynamics.

With the graduation of this class, 445 IPOC Fellows have graduated a HyFlex IPOC in 2021, swelling the ranks to 4,865 Fellows who are alumni of an IPOC-like course.

The Center supports U.S. Indo-Pacific Command by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. The mission of DKI APCSS is to build resilient capacity, shared understanding, and networked relationships among civilian and military practitioners and institutions to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. Since opening in 1995, more than 14,000 alumni from over 136 locations have attended DKI APCSS courses and workshops.