This past weekend, American Public University System (APUS) celebrated the accomplishments of nearly 9,000 American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU) students who earned their degrees over the past 12 months. As we did last year, we held this year’s commencement ceremony at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
You can’t read a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed without seeing an article discussing the disruption that technology or MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course) are having or will have on the higher education sector. Because of the publicity, I receive questions from colleagues at conferences and other events asking me for my opinion about the potential for higher education disruption, the roadmap that it will take, and who will survive.
Last Thursday and Friday, American Public University System (APUS) hosted its annual commencement recognizing all students who graduated over the previous 12 months. While degrees and diplomas are conferred and distributed quarterly, we have held an annual commencement ceremony in the Washington, DC area for more than a decade.
Today is Veterans Day, a day designed to celebrate our nation’s armed forces, their commitment, and their ultimate sacrifices. Though this day comes only once each year, the special individuals to whom it is dedicated deserve our thanks every day. The last year has been a tumultuous one for the entire world and the men and women of the American military have been engaged in various theaters of operations beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.
The end of August, first of September represents the start of the traditional fall semester at most colleges and universities. Freshmen arrive with the excitement of attending a new school and meeting lots of new friends. Returning students arrive with tales of summer’s experiences and a spirit of renewal for their academic quest. The campus has been spruced up with summer maintenance projects, some of which have been completed just days, or even hours, before the first freshmen arrived.
One rarely has the chance to meet a bona fide visionary. While Bill Gates and Steve Jobs maybe better known, I would put our founder, James P. Etter (Major, USMC, Ret.) in their illustrious company. Almost 20 years ago, he had the vision to start a university to serve thousands of U.S. Military members with relevance, convenience, and affordability at the forefront of his vision.
From Thanksgiving to New Years Day and the following weekend, the college football schedule is filled with bowl games. After the New Year begins, college sports fans can turn their attention to the height of the college basketball season that culminates in the annual March Madness NCAA Division I tournament. College athletics is big business although perhaps only ten to twenty Division I programs make money each year.
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.