Archive | Academic Quality

charlottesville imperative Karan Powell

What Is the Solution to the High Cost of a College Degree?

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured a new venture that will offer free courses for college credit as part of a “freshman year for free” initiative. Last April, the state of New York announced that it would make college “tuition-free” for the middle-class at both two- and four-year colleges. In early August, Rhode Island, in turn, announced free community college. US News and World Report in 2012 reported on 12 colleges who exchange tuition for some sort of service and were cited as “tuition- free” institutions. And lastly, BestColleges.com recently reported the top 10 best colleges with free tuition. 

In a time of increased focus on affordability and completion, the questions that need to be addressed include: Is college really free? Who will pay for it? What is the value of college to students? To society?

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charlottesville imperative Karan Powell

What Is the Value of a College Degree Today?

Tis the season for traditional colleges to begin their fall terms. Students across the country and around the world will begin college for the first time. Some will be returning for yet another time, hoping to complete a program of study or degree after time away or following prior, incomplete attempts for personal and/or professional reasons. This consideration notwithstanding, the question remains among those deciding whether or not to attend college: What is the value of a college degree today? In this post and the subsequent one, I will further explore and pose an answer to this question.

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charlottesville imperative Karan Powell

Customers and Service First: Customer Service Lessons Learned from Disney

Having just returned from a Disney cruise, I am intimately aware of Disney care and the experience of being “their guest,” as Lumière sings in a song from Beauty and the Beast. My recent Disney cruise is the experience I will focus on in this post and since this is not my first cruise with Disney, I am confident in these reflections as every cruise has provided the same quality experience. I am reflecting on this experience not so much to tell a Disney story, but rather in an effort to identify what contributes to this experience and discuss how/whether this experience can that be translated to higher education and our experience in serving students.

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CEPH Accreditation: The Benefits for Our Graduate Public Health Students and APUS

I am pleased to announce that the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) has accredited our Master of Public Health (MPH) program, making APUS the first fully-online institution to have its program so recognized.

Who is CEPH and what does this specialized accreditation mean to our public health program? CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit both schools of public health and programs offered by other academic institutions.

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How APUS is Breaking the Iron Triangle of Access, Quality and Cost

In June, I attended the annual WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Summit in Salt Lake City. Thought leaders and luminaries in both higher education and technology gathered to share ideas and reflect upon the future, especially in regard to how to develop a content strategy to sustain innovation in teaching and learning while aligning human capital and technology. I participated in a related panel, Do you fail at scale or do you pilot to tell? with Stacey VanderHeiden Guney from Aims Community College, Kara Monroe from Ivy Tech Community College, and Paul Thayer from Colorado State University, which was facilitated by Luke Dowden from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Reflections on the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education Annual Conference

Teamwork, professional development, assessment. What links these concepts? The APUS assessment team recently attended the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Participating in this event as a group allowed us to build and enhance team connections and share daily feedback on new ideas, alternate processes and innovative methods and how we might apply those learnings to our ongoing initiatives at APUS. With our assessment initiatives in mind (e.g., rubric integration into our classrooms using iRubric, rebuilding and reshaping the university assessment committee, continuous improvement through triennial program reviews, and several others) we went forth to attend the daily sessions.

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