Understanding and Using the Commissioner’s College


The Commissioner’s College exists to improve the Commissioner Service in Northern California.  It is our objective to provide education and training that allows our Commissioners to provide the highest level of unit service possible.  To get the most out of the College, it is important for you to understand how the College is organized.


The Northern California Commissioner’s College is organized around one hour long segments which are referred to as classes.  Typically there will be five to seven such segments in a day.  Related segments are grouped together into tracks.  Oversimplifying slightly, all the classes held in one room during one day are referred to as a track.  Each track has an Assistant Dean who coordinates the instructors.  Typically there will be five to nine tracks on a given day.  Students may move freely between tracks to meet their individual training objectives.

New Commissioners

For new Commissioners, the most important thing to know is that there are two tracks which are devoted to getting you trained and functioning as soon as possible.  One of these tracks is directed at the new Unit Commissioner; the other track is for Roundtable Commissioners.

Veteran Commissioners

The other tracks are devoted to training for more experienced Commissioners.  Typically these will be tracks devoted to Unit Commissioners, Administrative Commissioners, Advanced Topics, and preparing people for Doctoral work.  Other subjects are added as requested and required.

Course Numbering

All courses are numbered and named.  Like most colleges, introductory courses have lower numbers.  Our courses also have letter designators which show the level they are most appropriate to.  BCS courses are primarily designed for people at the Bachelors level, MCS for Masters level and DCS for Doctoral level.


Commissioner’s College degrees are designed to help insure that you develop a comprehensive training plan for yourself.  Associates Degrees are essentially augmented Basic Training.  Bachelors Degrees focus on additional material which could prove useful to the Commissioner in their role of providing direct service to the Scouting Community.  The Masters is designed to better prepare the Commissioner to be of assistance to his fellow Commissioners as an Administrator or Mentor.  The Doctoral Degree should be sought by those who want to move the Commissioner Service to a higher level by first understanding deeply how the service is supposed to work and second training others in what they have learned.  See Degree Requirements.


An Associates Degree can be essentially earned by attending the Commissioner’s College once and doing a small number of outside activities.  Most people need to attend the College at least twice to earn a Bachelors.  Most Masters candidates have attended at least three Colleges.  Most Doctoral candidates have attended five or more.  Credit is freely given, in consultation with the Deans, for courses, experience and recognition achieved outside the formal classroom setting.  Our objective in granting degrees is to recognize those who have achieved a certain level of knowledge and experience.  We are not particularly concerned about the path taken to that level, except to insure that the required knowledge has been attained.


Although there is a core of courses that is always offered by the College, various courses are rotated in and out of the curriculum to allow us to offer the complete set of nationally designed courses as well as a selection of locally designed courses tailored to meet the needs of our attendees.  There is almost always something new being offered.