Tag Archive | "online education"

Understanding Different Types of Loans

student-loan-questionsBy Ryan Laspina
Compliance and Default Prevent Specialist at American Public University System

For most college students, federal student loans are necessary to cover the costs of attending college. Taking out student loans is a decision that takes a lot of planning, thought, and responsibility. Before taking out any student loans, you should decide if they are really necessary to cover educational expenses.

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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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The Adult Learner: How to Blend Life, Learning, and Family Successfully

adult-learner-tipsThe concept of online learning scares many people and it’s a good idea to try it on for size before committing. Some people only want to be online to surf the Internet, update their Twitter feed, or catch up on emails—not to earn a degree. To them, universities are big buildings with massive lecture halls and a good bar nearby. However, that tide is turning with more and more adult learners looking for affordable and convenient online universities.

Perhaps you’re in that phase of your life that was once labeled “middle aged.” I’m almost there myself, although I steadfastly adhere to the modern adage that 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40. Maybe when I turn 100, I will be told that it’s the new 70.

You’re never too old to go back to school to earn a degree or certificate. With a wealth of online schools out there to choose from, a person with a full-time job, a big family, a busy lifestyle—or someone with all (or none) of the above—can achieve greatness. It just takes sacrifice, patience, understanding and time management.

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Working Through the Post-Dinner Productivity Slump

productivity-school-tipsFor those who work full-time you’re likely to be familiar with the productivity slide after lunch. Through a combination of blood sugar dropping, social obligations, and social media notifications it’s no wonder why your to do list flounders after a mid-day meal. So what about students that work all day and come home to a family, responsibilities, and online classwork? Instead of sitting down at the computer after the meal is over what you really want is some quality time with your family, your favorite TV show, or just some disconnected R&R. Here are some of my suggestions for staying motivated for your school work after dinner.

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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.

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Determining Your Prior Learning Credit Balance

balance-prior-learning-creditsSome students do not consider prior learning assessment programs because they do not realize they have acquired college-level knowledge, skills, or abilities for which they could earn credit. They forget life is a learning experience.  While learning can occur in any setting, the workplace is a good place to start discovering what you really know.

Workplace learning may result from formal training programs or on-the-job training.  Determining what you learned from formal training is easy. There was likely a brochure or announcement describing the class and its focus.  Learning on the job is not quite so easy to isolate.

In order to determine the knowledge, skills, and abilities you have attained, start with your position description or perhaps the entries on your resume. These will not necessarily indicate what you have learned, but they will identify what you have done or are currently doing on the job. Then, dissect the job and determine what you have really learned. While colleges will not award credit for experience, they may award credit for learning via experience.

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A Liberal Arts Education for the 21st Century

liberal-arts-education-21st-centuryBy Dr. Everett Corum
Director of Humanities, Philosophy, Religion, and World Languages Programs at
American Public University

“No man ever steps into the same river twice,” is one of the more famous statements of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Let the idea of a university, John Henry Newman’s “school of universal learning,” be that river and one suddenly becomes aware of the reason for the upheaval and challenges facing the academy in the 21st Century.

Technology will change all schools, including the liberal arts school, but this should not be a cause for worry, as technology is simply tools, and we have been dealing with tools since the first proto-human picked up two stones and chipped a cutting tool out of flint. People today still use their hands to shape their lives, but unlike our ancestors, we use smart phones instead of flint tools; we are, so to speak, old hands at it.  Read the full story

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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.

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