Department Head School, in Newport, RI, was a 20 week school for senior lieutenants. It was the only school in the surface navy that was considered to be a permanent change of duty station for the students, which meant that the Navy moved the families. (All other schools were temporary duty; the students stayed in the BOQ and the families stayed home.) Department Head School, formerly known as Destroyer School, was even longer in the 1970s, but then they stopped teaching everyone calculus, Morse code and semaphore signals.
Much of the school was the Tactical Action Officer course, where the students had to learn everything about the US and Soviet navy's warships. You had to know the difference between a Brooke and Garcia FF and a Krivak and a Kashin, as well as all of the weapon systems in both navies. It was important stuff, for as a TAO, you wouldn't have the time to look it up in a book when you got the word that a flock of Badgers were inbound or someone had detected a Vampire. There were lessons in ASW, AAW, ASUW, landing force operations, navigation refreshers and basic engineering concepts.
Once everyone had their orders, the classes would split into job specifics: Operations, Weapons, Steam Engineering, Diesel Engineering and Gas-Turbine Engineering. Most of the steam engineers-to-be also went to Philadelphia for advanced fire-fighting and to the Great Lakes Training Center for "hot-plant" classes (they had working engineering plants in buildings, the engine shafts drove huge water brakes). Diesel and
What made the school the worst to teach is no matter what subject the particular class was about, there was almost always one student in the classroom who was certain to know far more about the subject than the instructor. There was always one student who had lived that subject as a division officer for two or three years. And if the instructor was way off base on the material, he or she could expect to get hammered.
One time, a chief petty officer was teaching a class on corrosion control and when he turned to cathodic protection systems, he said the purpose of cathodic protection was "to keep the cathods off the ship." One student warned him that he could expect to see that answer on test papers, but the chief stuck to it. And sure enough, out of the 25 students in the class, 22 gave that answer on the exam. The chief had to give them all credit and the commander who ran the instruction staff had a cow over it.