It is the mission of the Northern California College of Commissioner Science (NCCoCS) to serve as a resource that will develop advanced skills and promote a positive attitude, and to provide a venue for the Commissioner Corps to:
- Receive the most informative, up-to-date training available.
- Learn about Scouting.
- Learn about the importance of the Commissioner to the health of the Scouting units.
- Enhance their capabilities to meet the needs of the units they serve.
The Northern California Commissioner’s College (NCCoCS) grew out of an earlier event called the Six Council Commissioner’s Conference. The Six Council Conference was a training and social event intended to allow Commissioners from a wide area to share information and improve the Commissioner Service. Energy for, and interest in, the event had been declining.
In 1999, during the planning conference for the next Commissioner’s Conference, it was decided to run a pilot track of a Commissioner’s College as part of the Conference to see if it would generate more interest and energy. The pilot track was a success and during the post Conference analysis it was decided to increase the offering the next year to be about half the Conference.
Over the next few years the College offerings grew while the non-college part of the Conference shrunk until, in 2005, all that remained of the Conference format was the opening plenary session with an invited speaker and the lunchtime session with an invited speaker.
Bachelor of Commissioner Science (BCS) degrees were offered from the beginning. In the second year, Commissioners with training from other Colleges and some with extraordinary experience earned Master of Commissioner Science (MCS) degrees. Associate of Commissioner Science (ACS) degrees, essentially for augmented Commissioner Basic Training were awarded starting in 2005. That same year we opened the DCS track and awarded our first 4 DCS degrees.
By 2007 the college was offering seven tracks. An eighth track was added in 2009 and a ninth track in 2013.
The Northern California Commissioner’s College approach to awarding degrees has been heavily influenced by the Conference form which preceded the College. We believe the purpose of the College is to enhance and improve the Commissioner Service by training and motivating Commissioners.
The Degrees only serve as a way for Commissioners to measure themselves against the requirements of good service. We, therefore, offer a very liberal policy of granting credit for training received in other parts of the Scouting program, for extraordinary service, and for achieving the awards of Arrowhead, Key, Training, and Distinguished Commissioner.
This approach seems to work and encourages our Commissioners to improve themselves and the state of the local Commissioner Service.