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At Virginia Home of President Monroe, a Sizable Revision of History

President-James-MonroeBy T. Rees Shapiro
The Washington Post

For decades, tourists have visited the historic home of James Monroe outside of Charlottesville, Va., and have encountered the quaint — if not underwhelming — residence of the nation’s fifth president.

Situated in the Blue Ridge, the plantation known as Highland, where Monroe lived from 1799 to 1823, has stood in contrast to another presidential estate on the outskirts of Charlottesville — Monticello, the palatial manse of President Thomas Jefferson.

A 1985 Washington Post article aptly opined that Monroe’s home “bears about the relation to Jefferson’s mansion as does a cottage to a country club.” Monroe himself even described his humble abode as a “cabin castle,” and historians interpreted his modesty as a latent expression of his roots as the son of a wood craftsman.

But an archaeological discovery on the property is rewriting the legacy of Monroe and the place he called home.

It turns out that the home preserved on the estate — and marketed for years as the residence where the president laid his head — is in fact a guest quarters. Instead, an archaeological dig on the grounds has revealed a sizable home more than twice the size of the small cottage.

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Posted in Education Options

How To Land a Job Before Graduation

job-before-graduationBy William Arruda

According to the New York Federal Reserve, 86% of students choose to go to college to improve their job prospects, but 44% of graduates are underemployed. And student debt makes the need to get a job upon graduation even more important. According to Student Loan Hero, Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 43 million borrowers. The average 2015 graduate had over $35,000 in student debt. That puts a lot of pressure on students in their final year of school. And the pressure mounts as graduation day approaches. Here are some activities that will help you land that ideal job faster. In fact, if you take action before graduation, you’ll be ahead of the pack. Students who wait until June to start applying face more competition from all the other May grads.

1. Get clear on your goals. Don’t seek a job, pursue the right job for you. If you aren’t focused and clear, you will seem almost good enough for a lot of potential roles but perfect for none. Although it seems counterintuitive, the more you focus, the more opportunities you will have and the easier it will be to search for and find that perfect gig. Put strategy before action! Continue Reading

Posted in Editor's Pick, Education Options

Student Profile: Preserving the Environment One Park at a Time

American Public University Alumna, Heather Groen

American Public University Alumna, Heather Groen

Interview with APU Alumna, Heather Groen

The following profile is the eighth in a series of student profiles of our students and alumni at the university.

Job title: Biological Science Technician, National Park Service

Degree earned: M.S. Environmental Policy and Management, 2012, American Public University

What have you been up to since earning your degree at APU?

Receiving my master’s degree from APU was a pinnacle in my life. This degree enabled me to work for several land management agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. To assist the USFWS motto in conservation management, I served at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center as a training technician and delivered content on resource management, sustainability and conservation. From there, I began working for the state side of fish and wildlife management for the Management Assistance Team in Shepherdstown, WV.

Presently, I am a park ranger working for the National Park Service as a Biological Science Technician. The knowledge and resources I obtained from earning my degree at APU gave me the ability to work for land management agencies and focus on resource management and conservation in a field I am passionate about.

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Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning

STEMulating Women’s Interest in the STEM Field

Female-Engineer-wSTEM-APUBy Melanie Dougherty
Academic Advisor at American Public University

Once they enroll in college, approximately 29 percent of all male freshmen plan to major in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field, and only 15 percent of female freshmen plan to major in the same field. At the end of their four-year program, only 20 percent of women earn a bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, or computer science (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010).

At APU, we offer a variety of STEM programs, including environmental science, information technology, mathematics, natural sciences, and electrical engineering. These programs interest both men and women alike.

We take into consideration that women are underrepresented in the STEM field and have explored different avenues to support women and keep women interested in STEM. What are we doing to help stemulate women’s interest in the STEM field?  We have two major areas of accomplishment: student involvement and role models.

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Posted in Ask an Advisor, Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning

Why Taking Courses in the Right Order Matters

course-order-importanceBy Erin Kelley-Bannister
Academic Advisor at American Public University

One of the first bits of information you receive from the university is the course progression for your program. Taking courses in the recommended order helps you build a strong academic foundation, so you progress through your program with the academic knowledge you need to succeed in your classes.

Why Foundations of Online Learning Should Be Your First Course

The reason COLL100 (Foundations of Online Learning) is recommended first is because it provides necessary information about how to interact and succeed in our online environment. You’re introduced to the classroom, library, and other basic university information that you’ll need to know as a university student.

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Posted in Ask an Advisor, Education Options, Online Learning

Commencement Lottery: Will You Be the 2016 Winner?

Commencement-with-APUSBy J. Stasiw
Editor, Online Learning Tips

Walking across the stage at graduation is a time-honored tradition, even for online learners. At APUS, we take our commencement very seriously.

Each year, we dedicate an entire weekend to the event. This year, students, alumni, faculty and staff can expect the same great event as in past years.

But what if you don’t have a ticket to attend? We have a way for a couple of graduates to attend at no cost.


Receive a Trip to Commencement 2016 on Us!

We are looking for two graduates (one undergraduate and one graduate) to wear action cameras as they walk across the stage. Your ‘walk’ will be shared live with fellow graduates who are not able to attend, so that everyone can experience the thrill of walking across the stage.

To be considered for this unique and important role, simply create and submit a video by April 22, 2016 that:

  • Is less than one minute long and recorded at the highest possible resolution.
  • Includes your name, degree program and current location.
  • Includes a congratulatory message to the Class of 2016.

The two graduates we select will receive two nights of accommodation at The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland and up to $500 toward airfare!

A panel of university staff reviews every video submitted and selects the two videos that are the most engaging and creative. The panel will make their selections by April 30, 2016. Even if we don’t select your video, we may include it in a special big-screen presentation during the commencement ceremony.

Contact with any questions. For submissions graduates can go through the buttons below.

I’m an AMU Grad
I’m an APU Grad


What Happens at Commencement?

Commencement team member Krystle Gladu gives a sneak peek of what you can expect during commencement weekend at American Public University System (APUS). Our graduates are encouraged to involve their family in commencement weekend.

What Does Commencement Weekend Look Like?

Graduates can expect a number of activities, such as a community service event, welcome rally, welcome reception, and of course the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies. Whether you’re starting your academic journey, you’re a seasoned student working hard toward the finish line, or if you’re about to take that walk across the stage, this video will be sure to get you pumped for commencement!

Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning

Is Nursing a STEM Field? Experts Disagree

nursing-field-STEMBy Sarah Hedgecock

13 Most Important STEM Universities For Women

While pulling together the America’s Best Value Colleges list, we hit upon a surprisingly contentious question: Would a nursing program fall under the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) umbrella? Or are nursing and similar fields kind of their own thing?

All over the internet there are message boards where people at all stages of nursing programs–prospective and current students as well as practicing graduates and longtime practitioners–argue over whether they work in a STEM field or something else. To make it worse, the answers are about evenly split.

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Posted in Editor's Pick, Education Options, Email Newsletter

5 Ways to Support National Public Health Week in 2016

Public-Health-Week-2016-getting-involvedBy Samer Koutoubi, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director and Faculty Member, Public Health at American Public University

Let’s make America the healthiest nation in one generation.

To celebrate National Public Health Week (NPHW) from April 4 – 10, 2016, join the American Public Health Association (APHA) in championing the goal of creating the healthiest nation. The NPHW brings together communities across the country to recognize public health contributions and highlight issues important to improving our nation’s health. This year’s theme, “Healthiest Nation 2030,” defines one central challenge for Americans: to make the U.S. the healthiest nation in one generation — that is, within the next 15 years.

Here’s how you can get involved and help support public health initiatives during National Public Health Week.

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Posted in Education Options, Healthcare Education, Scholar's Desk


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