Tag Archive | "APU"

The Ultimate Pi Day

Pi-Day-2015By Liz Hutchings
Faculty Member, Mathematics at American Public University

As a college math instructor and a homeschooling mom, Pi Day is one of my favorite holidays. Whether it is a real holiday or not is up for debate, but in my home this year’s Pi Day will definitely be one to celebrate.

In case you haven’t heard, this Pi Day is special because it will not only be March 14 (3.14), but we can get as accurate as 3/14/15, 9:26 and 53 seconds = 3.141592653. That is just incredible and will never happen again in our lifetime.

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Below the Border, Under the Radar

Puerto-Rico-statehoodBy Dr. Stephen Schwalbe
Faculty Member, Political Science at American Public University

Puerto Rico could soon gain statehood and become the 51st state – and, few Americans are aware of this. The last time this happened was in 1959 with the accession of both Alaska and Hawaii.

In 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico became a possession of the United States. The Foraker Act of 1900 established a civil government, and the Jones Act of 1917 gave U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. In 1952, Puerto Rico approved its constitution, although it has no representation in Congress, much like Washington, DC. It is represented in Congress by a resident commissioner, who is elected to four-year terms, but has no voting authority. On the other hand, residents of Puerto Rico do not pay federal income taxes.

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Yes, You Can! Committing to Being a Better Online Student

surviving-school-onlineBy Dr. Angela Gibson
Professor in the School of Arts and Humanities at American Public University

At the beginning of each new year, new season, or even new month it seems that television shows and magazines create lists to help you become the new you. One topic that doesn’t seem to make headlines is how to be a better student.

It doesn’t take a new year’s resolution to become a better online college student; it can happen any time. What is needed is commitment to the focus and dedication needed to become a better you academically.

Starting is often the hardest part. Finding just one or two things to do to improve is a great first step.

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Balancing Major Purchases and Student Loan Debt

financial-literacy-online-studentImagine (or realize, if you are fortunate enough) the situation where you have completed education goals and have obtained either the degree or certificate of your choice. Assuming you have a full-time job in your field, you may be ready to start thinking about major purchases. The two major purchases that you may start to think about are a first (or new) house or car. Both are obviously major investments that take planning and thought. If you are an independent person, having your own house and car are essential to your survival. But what if you have student loan debt? Can you really take on a mortgage or a car payment?

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Pay it Forward With an Education Compliment

pay-it-forward-in-educationRarely do we think of going back to school as directly benefiting strangers; unless you’re going into teaching. It’s a way to better your life, your family, and your future. Since we’re not yet out of the charitable season it’s important to think about how your education can benefit those around you. Think about your fellow students who may be struggling to get through their program. Or what about your peer in class that can’t seem to manage their time efficiently and feels like giving up? While you have no obligation to reach out and help these individuals, there should be nothing stopping you from extending a hand through a compliment or an inspiring story.

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How Online Learners Can Boost Average Class Assignments

improving-boring-classworkBy Dr. Bruce A. Johnson
Online Learning Tips, Guest Contributor

This content was previously run on Bruce’s profile in LinkedIn Pulse.

As an online student it is very likely that you care about the grade you have earned as it is an indicator of your progress in the class. You may have a general idea of what is required to earn the best grade possible but not always understand what it will take to improve your performance both in class discussions and with your written assignments. A common phrase that is used in online schools is substantive – and yet this concept may not be clear as to what it means. Students are also told that they need to demonstrate critical thinking and that may also seem to be vague, unless there is an explanation and format or example provided for you to use. I have been an online educator and worked with students about these very issues. While grading standards may vary among instructors and schools, there is a general standard that all college students should strive for with all of their work in the classroom.

Begin with the Assigned Reading

Whether you are preparing to answer a discussion question or write a paper, you should always start by familiarizing yourself with the required topic or subjects. Every learning activity is meant for you to consider the subject from a particular perspective or point of view. Even if you know something about the topic you can consider the assigned reading to be a refresher, which every student can benefit from. Too often students begin to write a response based upon what they know or believe, rather than create something that has been well-researched. As you review the assigned reading be sure that you are taking notes. There are several different note-taking methods and the most popular methods are Cornell and mind-mapping. The purpose of documenting notes as you read is to acknowledge any information you use in any of your writings, which will help you to avoid plagiarism. The purpose of reading is to develop or strengthen your knowledge base. It is not meant for you to fill in your paper or create a discussion question response. And while new students usually stop here there are still more steps to take.

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How to Combat Overpriced Textbooks

buying-books-for-schoolAs you work your way through college, you already know that your tuition and fees are going to continue to mount. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that it is expensive to attend college. Some students are able to earn scholarships and use other kinds of Federal Student Aid (FSA) to cover costs of tuition and fees. However, one cost associated with college can continue to pile up without you realizing just how much money you are spending: textbooks. Textbooks are a necessity for nearly every college course you will take. Publishers have their own tricks for making students pay an inordinate amount of money on their textbooks. If you adhere to the following advice, you may be able to cut your textbook costs drastically.

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Understanding your Student Ledger

ledger-questionsFor any college student, regardless of the university, it is important to understand the expenses and credits on your student account. Tuition and fees make up a majority of your expenses, while Federal Student Aid (FSA), private aid, and personal payments make up a majority of your credits. It is important to understand that any payment types (i.e. credits) will first cover your tuition and the rest of your cost of attendance. Only after all of your cost of attendance is paid for will you actually receive a credit balance, if you happen to have one.

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