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.
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.
This day represents a milestone as I write my first official post on this blog. I have weighed the merits and detriments of blogging for months. Our communications staff suggested the idea of having a President’s blog. The first source that I consulted was my class from the Harvard New Presidents seminar. Nearly half of my classmates responded and the majority weighed in against the blog.