Archive | Education Options

Why the Digital Humanities Matter

digital-humanitiesBy Mark D. Bowles, Ph.D.
Professor of History at American Public University

Those of us who live in the humanities wing of the academic mansion constantly hear people telling us that we are “in crisis.” In June 2013, the Wall Street Journal featured the article “Humanities Fall From Favor.” Four days later, the Chronicle of Higher Education presented a counter-argument that stated “’humanities in crisis’ story is seriously overrated.” It is clear that there is a perception that a crisis exists and, in fact, this perception has existed in various degrees since the 1920s.

One of the ways that I believe we can overcome this perception is with a relatively new discipline called the Digital Humanities (DH). DH practitioners experiment in the area “born of the encounter between traditional humanities and computational methods.”

Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

What Does General Studies Prepare You For?

gen-studies-career-prepBy Dr. Kathryn A. Broyles
Associate Professor, Arts & Humanities, at American Public University

Journalist and writer H.L. Mencken insisted, “You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.” Deciding to pursue a degree in general studies and then doing something meaningful with that degree can translate into studying widely and then living deeply.

Pursuing a degree in general studies is deciding to embark on a challenging, yet flexible, college education that draws on a variety of courses from across the university. More often than not, degrees prepare students for a singular career path; pursuing a general studies degree allows students to hone the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills necessary to thrive in any professional setting.

Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk

The Ancient Origins of Mathematics

ancientmathBy Dr. Martha Stillman
Associate Professor of Mathematics at American Public University

Modern mathematics has spread into some interesting and incredibly useful areas of modern life. Highway engineers use optimization techniques and linear algebra to analyze traffic patterns and minimize travel time for commuters. Airlines, hotels, and Broadway theaters (not to mention some retailers) use complex mathematical models, so complex that only computer programs can sometimes solve them, to set prices on a dynamic basis. Physicists use group theory and tensor analysis to solve the mysteries of sub-atomic particles. There are numerous other examples, from statistics being used by the Census Bureau and research firms to predict market trends, to partial differential equations being used by brokerage houses to formulate models of where the market is going. Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Scholar's Desk

On Bridging the Education-Career Gap

education-career-bridgeBy Ryan Harding
Team Manager, Career Coaching at American Public University System

Phil Gardner was first introduced to me at a Cooperative Education and Internship Association Conference in Boston. If you’re unfamiliar with Gardner’s work, he is to collegiate employment research as Warren Buffet is to financial services (while he may reject such a characterization, I think the academics who rely on his work will thinking it fitting). Both have an apparent gift for locating future trends, and exposing fault lines in current patterns of thinking. While many analysts (whether in financial services, or other areas) may get lucky, and make a handful of forward-looking predictions that come to fruition, their predictions are often burdened by backward-looking assumptions (i.e., assumptions consistent with the current, dominant orthodoxy). Part of what makes Buffet’s, and indeed Gardner’s work impressive – prescient even – is his ability to divorce himself from those assumptions.

Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Online Learning

STEM – An Exotic Expanse of a Field

STEMexpanseBy Daniel Benjamin
Dean, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math at American Public University

STEM is a multifaceted, fascinating field with infinitely large borders. While the acronym, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), seems simple and readily understandable, it is easy to miss the magnitude of the knowledge domains that it encompasses. For example, in a nationwide classification of instructional programs (CIP), the National Center for Education Statistics dedicated several hundred CIP codes to STEM related disciplines because STEM is so broad in scope. On a similar note, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) publishes a “STEM-Designated Degree Program List” that identifies more than  400 STEM disciplines.

Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

Philosophy Goes to the Movies

philosophy-moviesBy Kurt Messick
Faculty Member, Humanities Program at American Public University

Every good story includes philosophy at some level. That is because, whether we acknowledge it or not, philosophy underpins all that we do and believe. Socrates believed we are all philosophers, but not often explicit about it. So, it should come as no surprise that philosophy shows up in movies and television shows.

One of my earliest memories of philosophical puzzles comes from Star Trek episodes. Science fiction has long been a way for exploring philosophies without seeming to overtly challenge the established order of things. Artists, musicians, writers, choreographers, and other creative people have always known that their choices can cause their audiences to reflect and perhaps reinterpret. Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Scholar's Desk

The Harmonious Aesthetics of STEM and Philosophy

philosophy-STEMBy Kurt Messick
Faculty Member, Humanities Program at American Public University

Although science and philosophy are considered to be separate disciplines in higher education today, the two have underlying connections that are invaluable to understanding each as well as the world around us. For the past few centuries, academia has lived in increasing separation of disciplines as specialization has taken hold. One result of that is that we are sometimes surprised when the underlying connections which still remain rise to the surface again.

Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

Managing Expectations: How to Make Sure You Are Ready for College

online-college-readyBy Dr. Patricia Campbell
Dean, Graduate Studies at American Public University

Attending college was not a necessary requirement to enter into or to remain part of the American middle-class in years past. Today, having an undergraduate degree alone may not be enough to secure a job that pays a middle class salary. Technological innovations, shifting global economic imperatives, and changing cultural attitudes have altered the American financial playing field. Years ago, if one did not want to go to college, there were manufacturing and trade/skilled jobs that paid well enough for a person or a family to live relatively comfortable within the middle class. Today, automation has greatly reduced the number of those types of jobs, while global competition has driven down wages for other jobs—those that can be outsourced, for example. Likewise we have seen a cultural shift that has supported a transfer of wealth to those at the top of the economic ladder. These changes have led to a shrinking middle class and increasing income disparity in the U.S.

Continue Reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Posted in Education Options, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk