The APUS class of 2017 is a diverse group of nearly 11,000 men and women, with roughly 20% earning associates degrees, 50% bachelor’s degrees and 30% masters degrees. Of this total, approximately 80% are American Military University graduates and 20% American Public University graduates representing 24 countries worldwide. About one-third of our total graduates earn their degree with honors. Overall, they are amazing women and men dedicated to service, to advancing their lives and their careers, and to learning.
University commencements are always special events. Charged with emotion and excitement, there is an overwhelming feeling of growth and change, people moving from one important phase of their life to another, with new and promising challenges. This year at the American Public University System commencement, the feeling was no different.
At the 2017 annual APUS Commencement ceremonies on May 13, Dr. Karan Powell proudly announced that on July 1, 2017, APUS will begin taking applications for two new applied doctoral programs in global security and strategic intelligence. As a result, APUS moves from being a master’s-level to doctoral-granting institution, a significant milestone that furthers our continuing mission of creating high-quality programs focused on educating the nation’s military and public service communities.
Commencement has always been the most memorable workday of the year for me throughout my academic career, and especially so during the past 14 years at APUS. It is this day, this moment when years of hard work and accomplishments are acknowledged and the pride of this recognition, of being able to walk across the stage in a proclamation of personal and professional success, is celebrated with pomp and circumstance, with great dignity and joy.
I was asked recently by a fellow military spouse whether earning a graduate degree was worth the time and effort involved. The question is very broad, and the answer truly depends on you and your career path.
For some professions, a higher degree is often mandatory. In others, factors such as self-improvement, the desire for in-depth knowledge and skills, or a change in career goals are some reasons why people decide to go for a graduate degree. The most popular motivation is to open up opportunities for career advancement and earn more money.