American Public University System has focused on assessment and learning outcomes since 2004. Dr. Jennifer Stephens, our Dean of Assessment, publishes our learning outcomes on the web at http://www.apus.edu/learning-outcomes-assessment. We are committed to continuous improvement and making sure that we are providing online programs that match our students’ needs. I asked Dr. Stephens to provide me with a guest blog article summarizing the trends in accountability and our participation in the Transparency by Design initiative.
Author Archive | Wally Boston
I attended The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual Executive Leadership Forum in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussing the pros and cons of signing the Presidents Climate Commitment. David Oxtoby, President of Pomona College and former Dean of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, made a point which was similar to my thinking that he had some reservations about his and any institution’s ability to achieve carbon neutrality but thought that the process of examining efforts and pledging a commitment was important.
One of the more stimulating conversations occurred during the recent Chronicle’s Executive Leadership Forum. “Will Your College Close in 2012: Surviving the Demographic Shift” was the topic and it was moderated by Travis Reindl, Program Director of Jobs for the Future. In the future, “fewer applicants will be white and fewer will be from New England” were the lead issues for comment from the panelists who included Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education, Roger Goodman, Vice President at Moody’s Investor Services, and Dawn Terkla, Associate Provost at Tufts University.
The founder of American Military University, Major James P. Etter, was passionate about the need to provide an affordable college education to service members. We matched our tuition to the semester hour rate maximum reimbursed by the Department of Defense (DOD) which is currently $250 per semester hour. We do not charge an application or admissions fee.
It’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or magazine these days without reading an article about the affordability crisis in higher education. For the past twenty years, tuitions have increased at a rate about twice that of the consumer price index. Many institutions cite the national statistics on the value of a college degree as the justification for charging increasingly higher tuition.
Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, published The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More in 2006 after writing an article in Wired of a similar title back in 2004. This is another “must read” book that provided me with a number of insights into the scalability of businesses on the internet.
Lahinch Golf Course – County Clare, Ireland
Some friends and I recently traveled to Ireland for a week of golf. While the golf courses haven’t changed much in the four years since my previous trip, the economy has. In 2004, Ireland was in the middle of a building boom, fueled by their position in the European Union as a lower wage country.
When I was contacted about joining the Presidents Climate Commitment, I thought it was a great idea. For a number of years, we have offered a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and an M.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Management. Putting some of the theory that we teach into practice would be an interesting endeavor. I wasn’t sure that an online university would be able to generate the same impact on global warming that a land-based institution could, so I asked our Director of Facilities to review the Commitment document to determine if we would be able to comply with the guidelines.