Like most Americans, I was both saddened and disturbed by the recent tragedy in Charlottesville. While these events left me feeling aghast and somewhat speechless, I nonetheless felt compelled to write in solidarity with college, university presidents and leaders nationwide, and especially with President Teresa Sullivan and our nearby neighbors at the University of Virginia and greater Charlottesville. The violence and atrocities, including the death of an innocent bystander, are reprehensible. There is no place for hatred and violence of any kind on our campuses or in our communities and, in fact, these actions are contrary to the core values we value and uphold as both educators and as citizens.
I was an over-the-road truck driver for 12 years, mainly traveling from Minneapolis to Detroit on a dedicated run. Sometimes, I would finish my day at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon with nothing else to do. While other drivers would go watch TV or play video games in their truck, I decided to go back to school. Since I could download the books onto either my iPad or laptop, I always had something to read while waiting for customers to load or unload me. When I would get home on weekends, I would already have all of the research done for the classes and was able to knock out the classwork in nothing flat.
I was able to finish both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in transportation and logistics this way in about 3 ½ years. It took me only 14 months to complete my master’s degree, all while driving trucks. My hope was to be able to come off the road and have a college degree to fall back on.
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?
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.
American Military University participated as a strategic partner and sponsor of Ravens Challenge 2017 ASEAN in Bangkok and Hau Hin, Thailand, July 10 – 21. Ravens Challenge hosted a dynamic, multinational Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) event with realistic Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training and complete testing for local, regional, and national agencies. Participants joined from the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
Summer is halfway over! Leaders and team members across the nation are finding and creating time for vacations, for staycations, and/or just time for rest and relaxation. Throughout my lifetime, I have made time for a week or a few days here or there. Rarely do I recall being away for more than one workweek plus the ensuing weekends. This summer was different.