Home Accountability APUS Participates in the United States Army’s First Higher Education Symposium
APUS Participates in the United States Army’s First Higher Education Symposium

APUS Participates in the United States Army’s First Higher Education Symposium

APUS Participates in the United States Army’s First Higher Education Symposium
Photo provided by: www.army.mil

By: Dr. Christopher M Reynolds, CEM, MEMS, CFO and Lt. Col., USAF (Ret), Dean, Academic Outreach and Program Development at American Public University System

Military educational institutions, from the Army and Air Force War Colleges, and civilian institutions, from American Public University System (APUS) and Kansas State to the University of Alabama, recently spent two days together at the Army University’s first higher education symposium at Ft. Leavenworth.   The main purpose of the symposium was to bring together both military and civilian higher education executives to discuss strategies to better support active-duty, Guard and Reserve US Army members, veterans, and Army civilian employees seeking a college degree.

The Army and APUS share the common goal of providing career-relevant, affordable higher education. Just as institutions of higher education are concerned with retention, so, too, is the Army. They realize that by providing avenues that bridge the military training realm to higher education opportunities will increase the likelihood a soldier will want to remain in uniform. If soldiers can continue to work on a degree in higher education while serving, they prepare themselves for growth not only in the Army, but also for opportunities when they retire.

APUS Provost Dr. Karan Powell participated in the “Producing Relevant Curriculum” panel that discussed the importance of weaving critical and measurable learning outcomes into curricula, from training programs to more advanced professional military education. Dr. Powell discussed our work with the Lumina Foundation and its degree qualification profiles, relating the tough and introspective look we accomplished across our educational programs.

“All of us recognize the Army possesses men and women with specialized knowledge and unique intellectual skillsets”, Dr. Powell said. “We should map these special skills and relate them to applied and collaborative learning processes that will provide soldiers with the optimal higher education opportunity at civilian institutions of higher learning.” Dr. Powell concluded her discussion by emphasizing the importance of industry advisory councils, comprised of industry -specific professionals, and their impact on ensuring that curricula is relevant to the professional communities they serve.

I participated in the “Adopting Nationally Recognized Standards” panel, along with two other panelists representing Army credentialing, policy and governance, noting that the vocational and experiential skills that soldiers possess demonstrate a measurable competency that can translate to experiential college credit. Indeed, a number of Army professional military education courses meet the same academic rigor as any traditional college course. There has also been a convergence of special board certifications and professional standards with training as well. Whether one wears Army green or business attire, special skillsets requiring certain certifications are not mutually exclusive to either the civilian or military communities.

The future is bright for the Army’s higher education initiative, and I applaud their efforts to bring higher education leaders together to help increase opportunities for our nation’s service members.



Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.


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