Tag Archive | "education"

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.

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Twitter #Edu

twitter-EDUMost people think of Twitter (a social networking and microblogging service utilizing instant messaging, SMS or a web interface) as that “weird social network where everyone has an opinion and is just screaming at the top of their lungs at each other- hoping someone will listen.” I am not most people; I fell in love with Twitter in 2007, while I was living abroad. The reason I fell in love with Twitter is because I saw the learning potential in it. I used Twitter as my news source, my things to do list, and my means of communication. Now I know what you are thinking how can I use Twitter to learn?

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Find Your Motivation Away from Cliches

motivational-cliches-classWhen you’re down and stressed from life and school do you find comfort in motivational posters? Do you “keep calm and carry on,” or are you “hanging in there?” There is no shame in taking comfort in a trending motivational quote, but I find that if it doesn’t speak to you personally it’s like a leaf in the wind. In my experience the best motivation comes from experience and close friends. If you haven’t already found what works for you try some of my ideas below.

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Why You Should Join the Society for Military History

society-military-historyStudents who are interested in military history will immediately benefit from joining the Society for Military History, which is approaching its 90th anniversary. This group has a larger focus than the Society for Medieval Military History, covering topics from the ancient world to modern warfare.

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Expect to Learn on Your Own

learning-onlineAfter reviewing a slew of feedback from people taking online courses for the first time, one of the common themes was they wished they had known how much learning they would do on their own. Although it is purely anecdotal at this point, it does reinforce what many of us pursuing degrees from predominately-online universities always knew: This is a lot of work.

For people working full-time jobs, raising a family, or serving overseas, pursuing a degree online is the only option for furthering their education. It can be easy for them to envy folks living at or near a university campus, walking to class, and seemingly receiving spoon-fed information on their concentration. However, folks switching from brick and mortar to online schooling have noticed something crucial—you should expect to learn on your own.

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What Does It Take to Earn a Military History Degree?

118354323Several folks have asked me about my experience acquiring a bachelor’s in military history. While I cannot answer what goes into a military history degree at every university offering it, the following highlights what it took for me to finish the degree at American Military University.

In short, it was 121 credit hours, which translated to 41 courses and 37 research papers, covering the prehistoric period to the twenty-first-century.

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Use Google Docs to Store Notes

Google Docs is a great service, especially for students. Not only can you use it to store PDFs, but you can use it to create and store documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Students taking copious notes from classes and books can benefit greatly from Google Docs because of its ease of use, online storage, and search functionality.

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Stagger Your Online Courses to Avoid Burnout

The beauty of some online schools such as AMU and APU is that they offer accelerated courses year round. However, given the speed of the classes, it can be tempting to take several all at once. While a full-time student may find this load acceptable, anyone with a full-time job will quickly become overwhelmed. Consider that most undergrad history courses require an eight to 10 page research paper within the last few weeks of the course, as well as a final exam.

Any student taking advantage of federal loans must work within semesters, meaning the student must fit a set of courses within a 16-week chunk. You can fit two eight week courses in this period without any overlap. This is the safe approach, but it is not expedient if you want to graduate within a sensible time frame.

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