Tag Archive | "APU"

College Tips for Nontraditional Students

tips-nontraditional-studentYoung traditional college students are not the only scholars who have to worry about the possibility of mounting college debt. Nontraditional students are usually people from older generations who are starting or returning to school years after graduating high school. Since you are never too old to pursue a college degree, nontraditional students can make up a significant portion of the student body, especially in graduate level programs. While older students are usually wiser, there are still numerous tips that can benefit them.

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A Tale of Two Papers…

writing-class-onlineBy Helen “Beth” Driver
Faculty Member, School of Arts and Humanities at APU

With apologies to Charles Dickens, I have seen the best of papers, and I have seen the worst of papers. I read essays that exhibited wisdom, and, unfortunately, I read essays that appeared rather uninformed. And then there are the papers I’ve read that reflect a much higher purpose.

The authors of those papers clearly want to expand their knowledge about a topic and develop their critical thinking skills. These authors even want to earn an A grade. These authors knew that research takes time. However, they also knew that the more time they spend researching a topic upfront, the stronger that essay will be. Although many of authors know and are interested in their chosen topic, they don’t solely depend on that knowledge when writing their essays. Instead, they find out what academicians have to say, and they know that the best way to do this is through actively using the APUS library peer-reviewed journals. The best researchers and writers also make use of Search Summon, for this library resource pulls in academic articles throughout the library like a magnet. When these authors get stuck, they take advantage of the APUS librarians and tutoring resources that APU offers through Tutor.com. Some of the best papers are the result of students who closely read peer-reviewed articles, which help to expand and form their arguments.

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What’s in a Name? The Naming of Our University Mascots


AMU’s Golden Eagle (left) and APU’s Volunteer (right)

By Cindy Aitken
Senior Manager, Community Engagement at American Public University System

American Public University System’s commencement celebration this past June was special for many reasons – but what many new graduates were buzzing about was the debut of their mascots: American Public University’s Volunteer and American Military University’s Golden Eagle.

The mascots were greeted with smiles, hugs, and high-fives during the unveiling. During commencement activities the mascots mingled, posed for photos, and helped to make the celebration of our graduates and their families even more memorable. Even through the jovial atmosphere one question was asked repeatedly—what are their names?

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How to Handle the Most Difficult Engineering Classes

difficult-engineering-class-tipsBy James Carmichael
Faculty Member, Electrical Engineering at American Public University

Imagine signing up for what you anticipate to be a difficult engineering course. You get your textbook before class starts and find that even though you recognize some of the symbols being used, you feel like you will soon be lost with this subject. There a few steps you should take to ensure you get the most out of your studies that I sum up with the phrase, “break down and build back up.”

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How Program Changes Affect the 150% Rule for FSA Subsidized Loans

fsa-subsidized-loansRecently, the Department of Education (ED) instituted a new 150% Rule that will affect all new Federal Student Aid (FSA) Subsidized loan borrowers from July 1, 2013 on. According to the ED, “you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program.” For example, if you were in a four year bachelor’s program, you could not receive subsidized loans for more than six years (4 X 150% = 6). It is important to understand this rule because your eligibility for subsidized loans can change if your program changes.

Generally speaking, your loan usage is determined by how many semesters you receive a subsidized loan. In addition, your campus-level enrollment status will affect your eligibility. If you receive a subsidized loan for two semesters in a year at full-time enrollment status, then you have used one year of your maximum eligibility period. If you were to receive a subsidized loan for two semesters in a year at half time enrollment, then you have used one half year of your maximum eligibility period. Remember, you can only receive subsidized loans for 150% of your published program length.

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Big Data and Your Degree

big-data-your-degreeBy Dr. Deanne Larson
Faculty Member, Information Technology at American Public University               

The consistent evolution of technology has produced the need for new IT skills over the last two decades. Couple this with the explosion of data, and it shouldn’t be surprising to see a demand for IT resources that support business analytics and the processing of what is known as Big Data.

Big Data categorizes extremely large data sets produced by website traffic, social media, machine-to-machine communications, equipment sensors, and documents; this is not an exhaustive list; but you get the picture. Why is this data any different from data captured by traditional organizational information systems? The volume, variety, and velocity of the data distinguishes Big Data from other data sets. Unstructured data, level of detail, and overall amount generated challenges what we know about data management.

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NASA Takes 3D Printing into Space

satellite-3d-printingBy C. Tod Pingrey
Faculty Member, Space Studies at American Public University

The latest printing technology—3D printing—has gone out of this world. NASA will soon take printing to a whole new level. On Sept. 23, the first 3D printer arrived at the the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon capsule. .

3D printing is the process of building an object, layer by layer, out of many different types of material including metal, plastic, and composite material. There are high hopes that this new printing technology will expand the station’s manufacturing capabilities. Although having replacement parts sent to the ISS is costly and time consuming, this new capability is expected to decrease resupply efforts from Earth while cutting costs by creating the possibility of fixing station issues with just a switch of a button.

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Overcoming the Shock of Being a New College Student

shock-online-student-survivalNew students often arrive with the idea that earning a bachelor’s degree will be relatively easy because they have already earned a high school diploma. Some new students view earning a college degree to be much the same as their high school experience. However, once in a college program, the student realizes the commitment needed for an online course and the student goes through a series of shocks about undergraduate education. The first shock is about how much work must be done; the second shock is about the quality required of the work.

The first shock is about the amount of work required. College work is more than just attendance. Professors are going to expect work on time, week after week for four long years. After the initial shock, of the quantity of reading and work, they realize that college needs to be a priority in their life.  A standard week for an online university student would be to read multiple articles or chapters in the book, respond to one discussion question, complete one assignment, and to make two to four substantial participation posts in the forums.

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