Journal of Higher Learning for Today’s Servicemember
Warfighter Educator Col. Paul A. Ott Commander Special Warfare Education Group (Airborne) U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School
Academic Resource Centers O E-Books O Career Fairs Security Studies O Obama’s College Blueprint
Volume 7, Issue 2
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Military Advanced Education
March 2012 Volume 7 • Issue 2
Cover / Q&A E-Books: Rewriting the Way University Libraries Work
The landscape of the university library is changing—and rapidly so. If you graduated from college even just 10 years ago, you probably remember spending many a late night hunched over textbooks in the university library. Today’s students, however, may not harbor memories of such an experience due to the rising popularity and usage of e-books. By Kelly Fodel
Amidst big changes to not only the job market in general, but also how jobs are filled, on-campus career fairs still rank among the best ways for students to meet potential employers. Students transitioning into the civilian workforce would be wise to make career fairs a top priority, marking their calendars with as many of these occasions as possible. By J.B. Bissell
Securing Your Future
An instinct to serve, a desire to know that your work has meaning and a call to belong to something bigger than you are often motivators that drive the decision to join the military. When the time comes for you to separate from the service, you most likely haven’t lost those motivations, but you may wonder how to find fulfillment in a civilian career. A degree in security studies may be the answer you’re looking for. By Maura McCarthy
16 Colonel Paul A. Ott Commander, Special Warfare Education Group (Airborne) U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 3 People/Program Notes
Special Section: Academic Resource Centers Getting Centered
Regardless of how you define non-traditional—working part or full time, single parent or veteran—those who are returning to school after a long absence may have needs that are distinct from the traditional 18-year old college freshman. Colleges and universities that want to remain competitive strive to assist these students and help them meet their academic goals. By Celeste Altus
Obama’s College Blueprint
In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of American values. As an important part of keeping the American promise alive, the president called for a comprehensive approach to tackling rising college costs.
14 Class Notes 25 CCME Grapevine 26 Money Talks 27 Calendar, Directory
28 Lisa Rich Director of Military Relations EDMC Online Higher Education
Military Advanced Education Volume 7, Issue 2 March 2012
Journal of Higher Learning for Today’s Servicemember Editorial Editor Maura McCarthy email@example.com Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly firstname.lastname@example.org Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis email@example.com Copy Editor Laural Hobbes firstname.lastname@example.org Correspondents Celeste Altus • J.B. Bissell • Kelly Fodel Kenya McCullum
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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE In mid-February, over 150 exhibitors and about 1,000 representatives from the military, government and higher education convened in Orlando, Fla., for the 2012 CCME Symposium. Offering an invaluable opportunity to discuss the pressing topics in military education, the symposium also provided the time to network with new colleagues and reconnect with former ones. From the MOU to TA to state authorization to the term “military-friendly,” all topics were on the table. Based on the conversations, it was clear that military educators are nothing if not passionate. The presentations by the service chiefs, panel discussions and concurrent sessions provided me with an amazing amount of editorial Maura McCarthy fodder and I look forward to incorporating it into upcoming issues of MAE. Editor A hot topic, of course, was the MOU. At time of print, 1,931 institutions had signed the MOU; those who have not have until March 30 to do so. During her presentation, Carolyn Baker, chief of DoD Continuing Education Programs for OUSD (P&R) Military Community and Family Policy, noted the key shareholders’ major concerns and said that in light of these, revisions have been submitted. The question on many military educators’ minds remains: “What will happen to students—possibly part-way through their degree—who are enrolled in a school that does not sign the MOU?” As of now, there is no answer. There was also time to remember deployed servicemembers. CCME partnered with Operation Gratitude and through the project CCME Cares they were able to purchase, build and send 1,000 care packages to Operation Gratitude and raised over $14,000 for the organization. During the event, CCME received donations from 18 schools and organizations totaling over $22,000 and over $2,000 from individual donors. My takeaways from the week: Community colleges are perhaps the unsung heroes of our higher education system and there is incredible work being done facilitating not only the attainment of associate degrees, but bachelor’s and master’s as well. Additionally, although the budget is shrinking and everyone is competing for a slice of an ever smaller pie, cuts in TA are unacceptable. The most innovative institutions are finding ways to keep their tuition affordable and in turn, keep degrees within reach of servicemembers. Others must follow suit. The next issue of MAE will feature a more in-depth look at the symposium, including scholarship and award recipients, ESO reviews and highlights from the panel discussions and sessions.
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Departments of Defense and Treasury Team to Strengthen Military Families On January 24, 2011, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden presented Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment, a document that responded to the Presidential Study Directive calling on all cabinet secretaries and other agency heads to find better ways to provide our military families with the support they deserve. The directive was initiated to establish a coordinated and comprehensive federal approach to supporting military families, and it contains nearly 50 commitments by federal agencies in pursuit of this goal. State licensing and certification requirements are intended to ensure that practitioners meet a minimum level of competency. Each state sets its own licensing requirements, so these requirements often vary across state lines. Consequently, the lack of license portability—the ability to transfer an existing license to a new state with minimal application requirements—can impose significant administrative and financial burdens on licensed professionals when they move across state lines. Because military spouses often hold occupational licenses and often move across state lines, the patchwork set of variable and frequently time-consuming licensing requirements across states disproportionately affect these families. The result is that too many military spouses looking for jobs that require licenses are stymied in their efforts. A spouse’s employment plays a key role in the financial and personal well-being of military
families, and their job satisfaction is an important component of the retention of servicemembers. Without adequate support for military spouses and their career objectives, the military could have trouble retaining servicemembers. The Department of the Treasury and the Department of Defense have conducted an analysis to highlight the importance of state occupational licensing requirements in the lives of licensed military spouses. The report demonstrates that military spouses often work in occupations that require a license or certification and that they have a relatively high rate of interstate mobility compared to the general population. The report also examines a case study of nursing licensing requirements to illustrate the administrative and financial burdens that licensed military spouses face when they move across state lines, and highlights current DoD initiatives that address these licensing issues. Finally, the report identifies best practices that states and licensing bodies can adopt to help reduce barriers for military spouses moving across state lines. This report finds that nearly 35 percent of military spouses in the labor force require licenses or certification for their profession and that military spouses were 10 times more likely to have moved across state lines in the last year compared to their civilian counterparts. In a 2008 Defense Manpower Data Center survey of military spouses, participants were asked what would have helped them with their
employment search after their last military move. Nearly 40 percent of those respondents who had moved indicated that “easier state-to-state transfer of certification” would have helped them. This report highlights best practices that states can pursue to help licensed military spouses. These best practices to help make licenses more portable come at little cost to states, but could make a meaningful difference in the lives of many military families. These best practices include facilitating endorsement of a current license from another jurisdiction; providing a temporary or provisional license allowing the military spouse to practice while fulfilling requirements needed to qualify for endorsement in the licensing state, or awaiting verification of documentation supporting an endorsement; and expediting application procedures so that the director overseeing licensing within the state has authority to approve license applications for the boards. DoD, through the DoD-State Liaison Office (DSLO), has an on-going program to address key issues with state policymakers. This program, USA4 Military Families, covers 10 key issues, including occupational licensing and eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits. As of February 2012, 13 states have introduced bills addressing the aforementioned best practices, and DSLO is working with these legislators. Although DoD continues to work on these issues on behalf of military spouses, more work remains to be done.
PEOPLE John Blackburn, chief executive officer of Country Financial, in Illinois, has been chosen as president of Lincoln College, also in Illinois. Debra Daniels, president of San Bernardino Valley College, in California, has been chosen as president of Joliet Junior College, in Illinois.
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Peter J. Fos, professor and program director of health policy and systems management at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, has been appointed as president of the University of New Orleans. Mary A. Papazian, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Lehman College of the City University of New York, has
been named president of Southern Connecticut State University. Rodney Rogers, interim senior vice president for academic affairs at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio, has been named to the job on a permanent basis. William E. Durgin, provost and vice president for academic affairs at
California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, has been named provost at the State University of New York Institute of Technology. Michael D. Shonrock, senior vice president and associate professor of educational psychology and leadership at Texas Tech University, has been selected as president of Emporia State University, in Kansas.
MAE 7.2 | 3
Rewriting the Way University Libraries Work By Kelly Fodel MAE Correspondent The landscape of the university library is changing—and rapidly so. If you graduated from college even just 10 years ago, you probably remember spending many a late night hunched over textbooks in the university library. Today’s students, however, may not harbor memories of such an experience due to the rising popularity and usage of e-books. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there was a dramatic change in academic libraries between 2004 and 2010 regarding the number of e-books in their collections. In the 2010 Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) released in December 2011, the NCES says libraries’ e-book collections jumped from 32.8 million e-books in 2004 to 158.7 million in 2010. In contrast, the ALS report says that spending on print books fell significantly during this time frame. When accounting for inflation, the spending on print books dropped by 20 percent during the 2004 to 2010 time frame. 4 | MAE 7.2
classes with us off-campus—online and through our “The use of e-books in the library makes sense on continuing education centers—we are much better off multiple levels,” said Stacey Ludwig, associate provost of with e-books than print books.” Academic Services at Western Governors University. “For Short continued, “The fact is that it is difficult for us online universities like WGU, with students all over the to get a print book to our off-campus students in time for country and to some extent the world, providing access it to be useful for them. If students planned their research to e-books housed in a central location allows students and writing months or even weeks ahead of time it might who might otherwise not be able to perform research in a be different, but typically they don’t. This becomes even university library to do so from their home.” more difficult and complicated when it comes to many For online universities as well as traditional universiBrent Short of our military students, as there is a good chance they’re ties, e-books free up more resources for bolstering the in even more far-flung, remote areas of the world. Not digital collection without incurring the large overhead to mention that many of our students are on eight-week of building and operating a structure to house the terms now, which makes a short delivery time even more increasing collection. “Since the collection is available critical.” 24/7, it enables students to determine when and where While some libraries are still adapting to the e-book they access their learning resources, which aligns with trend, other schools have jumped in with both feet. The WGU’s mission of increasing accessibility of education. At American Public University System’s library is already WGU, we also provide access to hard-copy texts and other fully digital. According to Fred Stielow, vice president, resources through our cooperation with the University dean of Libraries, Electronic Course Materials, and APUS of Michigan’s MITS inter-library loan service,” Ludwig ePress, “We are also among those leading a drive to explained. Fred Stielow redefine the library into a dynamic classroom/research For schools that cater to the military student, e-books information system [CRIS]. Past separations from course are especially appealing. “We’ve had a bias toward buying materials make no sense in an information age. In our CRIS model, e-books whenever we could for a couple years now as their availability librarians engage in direct support of the faculty through advanced has grown,” said Brent Short, director of Library Services at Saint electronic course portals of open and deep web resources. To further Leo University. “With our particular student population consisting ensure classroom quality and currency, these are updated on variable of a large number of students, both military and civilian, who take
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MAE 7.2 | 5
schedules, but never longer than five years apart.” WGU offers digital learning resources to students as part of their nominal resource fee: $145 per term, compared to the $400 or $500 they would have to spend per term if purchasing resources through typical public retail means. “Over the past year, we have moved a majority of our hard-copy textbooks to a digital platform and made them accessible through the resource fee,” Ludwig said. “At this point, more than 80 percent of our learning resources are in digital format. As an online university, WGU is committed to offering students high-quality digital learning resources that are accessible regardless of time and place. At this time, a majority of the digital learning resources require an Inter- A Saint Leo student accesses an e-book from the Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library, at University Campus in Saint Leo, Fla. [Photo courtesy of Saint Leo University/by Benjamin Watters] net connection, but some can be used offline as well, including CourseSmart e-texts and “I think most people would agree e-books offer much quicker and TestOut LabSim.” convenient searchability than a print book,” Short said. “I would How have students and faculty dealt with the transition? Most of also say, speaking for most libraries that are pressed for space, that the research Short has read lately indicates that both students and e-books offer up the double benefit of providing patrons access to faculty are split more or less down the middle when it comes to their a book without taking up more physical space on your shelves. personal preferences regarding e-books versus print books. A good As far as how academics are likely to see the benefit beyond that, number—roughly half—of students still prefer print, even though it probably comes down to how much time, effort and focus they they’re part of a generation that has grown up with the Internet. see the individual reader or student putting into it. In that sense, I personally see no difference between an e-book and a print book. What the student gets out of it is directly related to the investment they make in the reading experience. There is no ‘deep learning’ without a significant investment on the student’s part, be it e-book or print.” Ludwig noted that a majority of students and mentors at WGU love the new e-texts and have always loved the digital resources. Their learning resource team occasionally hears from students experiencing accessibility problems, but for the most part the response is very positive. Among the feedback they commonly receive is the suggestion to make more resources available for offline use. However, they also have some students tell them that they would rather have a physical copy of a textbook, something they can hold in their hands. “There will always be students who prefer hard-copy texts, and if a course contains a textbook learning resource, it will always be an option for students to purchase a hard copy if they prefer,” Ludwig said. Your commitment to serve our country is as meaningful to Basically, everything new that is published comes with an e-book us as it is to you. CTU is proud to offer support designed option. The difficulty arises when dealing with older textbooks. Some specifically for current and veteran military personnel and of the challenges Ludwig said WGU has faced up to this point with their families. e-books are typically tied to older versions, or ones that contain additional content such as CDs. Older textbooks might pose copyright Military Advanced Education recognized CTU as one of issues when it comes to reproducing some of their content in a digital the top universities serving the educational needs of environment. If a publisher has not obtained such permission, a chart the Armed Forces from 2008 - 2012. or article may be missing from an e-text. Ludwig explained, “We manage these on a case-by-case basis and find solutions or replacements for the specific content. As time continues, newer editions of books Contact us at 877.764.1555 or will not present such issues because digital versions are integrated into visit www.coloradotech.edu/military the creation of the book from the beginning. For a while, many books to learn more. have contained CDs or additional content access codes, and we’ve run into some instances where a book we placed in digital format obviously Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at would not contain a physical CD or code. We have also managed these www.coloradotech.edu/disclosures. Not all programs are available to residents of all on a case-by-case basis and determined how to offer the students these states. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. 131-30502 0258162 02/12 additional materials, if needed at all.” Additionally, while “the e-book
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6 | MAE 7.2
movement is inevitable as it is driven by economic and popular forces beyond the control of academia, it is also retarded to a large degree by publisher uncertainties and backward-looking financial concerns,” Stielow observed. As for citations, Ludwig said they have found it to be just as easy for a student to cite digital material as it is to cite a hard-copy book. When it comes to ownership, they work closely with publishers to ensure that book offerings and delivery methods are consistent with copyright laws and regulations. At times, this has limited students’ ability to use certain e-readers or tablets for some resources. Short added, “If you happen to have single-user access only on some particular titles, that can become problematic for other patrons who are trying to access those same titles. We still have some titles that are single-user access only, but we’re in the process of trying to remedy that. Downloading, I think, will scare libraries off from single-user access arrangements.” It’s a forward-thinking approach that has led us into the e-book age. So what do our experts hope to see as institutions take this technology to the next level? “I’d love to see the day when publishers would consider changing their licensing agreements to allow us to enter into e-book lending with other universities,” said Short. “This obviously would be a huge revolution in terms of book lending as it would provide nearly immediate access for our students everywhere, but I have my doubts that will happen anytime soon, at least, I’m not holding my breath over it. Hoping, but not necessarily counting on it.” Ludwig envisions more interactive learning. “Institutions all over the world are embracing technology as a way to deliver educational
materials. E-books are fantastic, but in many cases they are just that: a digital version of a traditional book. The next wave that’s already being implemented by some institutions and providers is the interactive e-book. It’s not simply a matter of offering the reading experience in a different fashion, but of enriching the entire learning experience. The new generation of e-books can bring the text to life by offering embedded videos, flashcards and questions. The e-book is evolving and will continue to do so, and as it does, WGU will endeavor to integrate the innovations into our coursework. Placing our hard-copy texts into a digital platform was one small step in the direction of these goals. We’ve now learned that not only should we make our resources device-agnostic and available offline, but we must also move toward the next level of interactive books—not just a reading experience, but a learning experience.” Stielow concluded, “In the future, we will be revamping from our WWII-era instruction into distinct Web pedagogies with points of differentiation based on the field of study. For example, history must be taught differently than political science and, of course, STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics]. Add to that incorporation of such currently available apps as touch screens, voice recognition, and 3-D, sprinkle in Born-Web students and we have the recipe for something truly astounding.” O For more information, contact MAE Editor Maura McCarthy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.mae-kmi.com.
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MAE 7.2 | 7
Amidst big changes to not only the job market in general, but also how jobs are filled, on-campus career fairs still rank among the best ways for students to meet potential employers. By J.B. Bissell MAE Correspondent have had to work harder than ever to As senior projects are polished and final motivate students to engage in job searchexams come and go, the reality of finding a ing.” One of the best ways to initiate—and job starts to set in. Admittedly, it can be a expedite—that engagement process is to formidable task, and most graduates underhost on-campus career fairs so potential stand that they’re entering a rather difficult employers and soon-to-be-graduates can world of work, where purse strings are kept meet face to face. Even if you’ve never pretty tight and companies take their sweet attended one, you’ve certainly heard about time to fill open positions. Yet there’s a big them. If you happened to hear about career difference between a formidable task and an fairs from a college graduate who was impossible one. actively seeking employment “We have experience with any time during the mid- to students who have become so late-1990s or so, they probdiscouraged with the job marably made the experience ket, more specifically with the sound like a big job smorgasnews media constantly playing bord where candidates couldn’t the ‘no jobs’ message, that they hand out enough résumés or quit looking before they begin,” grab enough business cards, said Addie Habstritt Turkowski, and where handshakes and ondirector of the Career Services the-spot interviews produced Addie Habstritt Center at Minnesota’s St. Cloud Turkowski an answering machine full of State University. “We actually 8 | MAE 7.2
competing offers before he or she could even get home. True, it’s hard to imagine that sort of scene in today’s market, and “job fair participation by employers over the past few years had declined quite rapidly,” said Turkowski, but things are looking up. “In 2010 and 2011, we began to see a slow increase,” she continued. “Last fall, our science and engineering event had a 32 percent increase over the previous year’s.” So men and women who are ready to transition into the civilian workforce would be wise to make career fairs a top priority, marking their calendars with as many of these occasions as possible. Emma O’Neill, the assistant director for employer relations at the University of Washington’s Career Center, agrees. “They’re definitely still taking place,” she said, “and employers are still actively www.MAE-kmi.com
Two decades ago, nobody applied for work via the Internet; it was all done with hard-copy curriculum viteas and cover letters. Technology has now advanced to the point where the majority of preliminary corporate connecting does happen elecEmma O’Neill tronically. Unfortunately, some job hunters interpret this as a sign that they don’t need to attend personalized campus events. “Fewer and fewer companies are accepting paper résumés; they want seekers to go to their websites The Intangibles and upload them,” explained John Rindy, the director of Realistic career opportunithe Office of Career Services ties, of course, are the ultimate Dr. Rickey Booker Jr. at Slippery Rock University in goal, but job fairs provide stuPennsylvania. “This does not dents with a number of intanmean that the job fair is unimportant. gible—and highly beneficial—experiences It’s a place where you can make a lasting, that make attendance worthwhile even if professional impression on the recruiter they don’t lead to immediate salary nego… and a chance to bolster your networktiations. “Career fairs are a great time for ing and other professional skills while students to practice their ‘elevator speech,’” visiting with employers.” However, just explained O’Neill. “To get comfortable combecause fewer businesses are demanding municating with people from the business printed documents that highlight your world, as well as familiarizing themselves skills and achievements, it’s still crucial to with a wide variety of employers who are make them available. “It is important to interested in hiring the college population have a professional résumé that has been for entry-level roles or internships. It’s also reviewed by a career specialist,” Rindy a great benefit to have a face-to-face interadded. “Bring along a few copies, but don’t action with a potential employer since the get discouraged if you return home with application process has become an increassome still in your portfolio.” ingly online undertaking.” participating. While some events have certainly seen lower numbers, many of our annual career fairs still sell out and have full waitlists. Even in the current economy, the University of Washington campus hosts more than a dozen career fairs annually, and the majority of the employers attending are actively seeking candidates for job or internship positions. Soon-to-be-graduates can absolutely discover realistic career opportunities at these events.”
21st-Century Approach Just as Rindy and his team have helped students navigate the latest networking trends and protocol at 21st-century career fairs, they’ve also played an important role in promoting new ways to make the events more successful. “A consortium job fair is a collective effort of several colleges and universities to pool certain resources,” he explained. “The result is a much larger job fair than any one of our schools could have managed on their own. We are one of 44 institutions that make up the Western Pennsylvania Career Services Association. Twice each academic year, the consortium supports job fairs that attract well over 100 companies and agencies.” For students, this is a wonderful situation during which they can introduce themselves, learn about different corporations, and hopefully make a solid, personal first impression to some 100 organizations— all in one stop. Don’t discount the benefit to employers, either. “With shrinking human resources and recruiting staffs and budgets, companies have to pick and choose which job fairs they attend,” Rindy said. “This gives them a large captive audience of job seekers all on one day. It’s certainly an efficient way to bring students and employers together.” While the consortium approach is designed to increase attendance by including a wide range of businesses, another route to job fair success is to pare them down. The University of Arkansas in
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MAE 7.2 | 9
Career Fair Basics John Rindy, the director of the Office of Career Services at Slippery Rock University, is adamant that job seekers take advantage of the services his staff offers. “We do this stuff all day, every day,” he said. “We are experts in helping put the ‘spit and polish’ on a college education, but we need students to take the next step and come in and visit with us.” When you’re ready to take your first step into a career fair, Rindy believes there are a few things you can do to help make the experience as productive as possible. Here are some of his suggestions: •
• • •
Research the attending companies so you know ahead of time who you’ll want to approach. Consider your personal “brand;” what do you do, what do you stand for? “Saying ‘I just want a job’ doesn’t set you apart at a career fair.” Imagine what you will say to recruiters before you meet them. Be open to all opportunities. Dress sharp and conservatively—cover tattoos and remove piercings (single earrings for women are okay). “It is a shame that people would judge based on things like this, but the fact is that some do, and if they happen to be the gatekeeper to a superb opportunity, it might not make sense to pass it up.” Listen to what employers are saying, learn about the companies and their needs so you know how you might best fit in. Avoid becoming a collector: “I see too many students collecting cards, pens, stress balls and other company trinkets; use your time wisely and if you have a good conversation, ask for a business card so that you can follow up properly.”
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Fayetteville hosts two major career fairs each semester. One caters to students from every academic discipline; the other is reserved for engineering majors. Both have been successful, but employer attendance grew by 31 percent at the fall 2011 Engineering Expo compared to the one held in fall 2010. Part of this is based on the simple fact that engineering is relatively popular and in demand right now, but this model could work for certain other lines of work, too. “The advantages of having a specialized career fair are that students meet employers specific to their field and employers have the convenience of choosing their top candidates from a large pool of students,” said Dr. Rickey Booker Jr., the associate director for career programs at Arkansas’ University Career Development Center. Obviously, this approach isn’t perfect for everybody—or every occupation— nor should graduates wait around for a focused-on-their-skills career fair. As Booker’s colleague, Erica Estes-Beard, associate director for career counseling, pointed out, “Some companies are looking to employ students from a variety of majors. For example, one company that attended this past fall was interested in candidates from the following fields: business, engineering, accounting, agriculture education, communication, technology and economics.”
The More the Merrier It’s not surprising that Arkansas and other institutions routinely host corporations such as these that are seeking men and women from all across the academic board. Career centers make a point of reaching out to the community and beyond to enhance their on-campus job fairs. “Locally, we market very diligently through two chambers of commerce, email blasts to past attendees, flyers, Arkansas job sites and our own website,” explained Booker. “We’re also members of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, where we market all of our events as well as network with employers via web blogs and conferences.” This sort of continued emphasis on career fairs is consistent with what’s happening at the majority of colleges and universities across the country. Washington’s O’Neill reported that they’ve “developed a position in our office that’s dedicated
to outreach and building relationships with employers to connect them with our career fairs and other opportunities to recruit our students and alumni.” She and her colleagues also keep track of companies that are new to the Seattle area that might be actively hiring, follow up with businesses that haven’t recently participated in Career Center activities, and “work with academic departments on campus to identify companies they are involved with or whom their students are interested in,” O’Neill added. At Slippery Rock, Rindy has sought input from the student veteran organization in order to better serve the unique needs of former soldiers who are now ready to tackle the career fair circuit. “We’ve talked about doing a professional development event with four or five employers that could talk to military students about what it takes to get a job after college,” he said. “We’ve also discussed working with members of our military students group to identify recruiters on the list of the top 100 military friendly companies to see if we could have them attend our fall job fair.”
Ready, Set, Go Attend the job fair. It’s a simple directive, and that’s where it can all start. Yes, things have changed since the ’90s, and no, a satisfying career probably won’t just fall in your lap. St. Cloud State’s Turkowski was refreshingly frank: “It does take longer to find positions, and it may be more work to gain employment than a number of years ago,” she said. Career fairs, however, remain a positive experience. “Employers continue to tell us that these events are the most effective recruiting methods when hiring new college graduates,” Turkowski added. Additionally, according to O’Neill, “over 90 percent of responding employers polled after each career fair indicate that they will be pursuing further one or more candidates that they met at the fair. We still absolutely see career fairs as a viable means for students to find employment.” O
For more information, contact MAE Editor Maura McCarthy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.mae-kmi.com.
Opening doors for careers in intelligence and cybersecurity, a degree in security studies can be the perfect complement to your military experience. By Maura McCarthy MAE Editor pursuits, but also that there is room to advance academically, and eventually professionally. From intelligence analysis to cybersecurity, graduates from security studies programs find employment throughout the federal government—in DHS, FBI, ICE, Departments of State and Defense, NCIS or the CIA—as well as in the private security sector. In response to the increased demand for qualified intelligence professionals, in 2005, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) established the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence (IC CAE) in order to “enhance recruitment of a more ethnically and culturally diverse workforce and devise a strategy to capitalize upon the unique cultural and linguistic capabilities of first generation Americans” in order to meet the increasing demand for trained and educated intelligence professionals. The University of Texas at El Paso’s Intelligence and National Security Studies (INSS) program was among the first 10 institutions selected at IC CAE’s inception. “In addition to faculty and staff hires, the grant money provided opportunities for an extensive summer Mark Gorman high school program and foreign travel to ensure lan-
An instinct to serve, a desire to know that your work has meaning and a call to belong to something bigger than you are often motivators that drive the decision to join the military. Perhaps you have an innate sense of adventure as well. When the time comes for you to separate from the service, you most likely haven’t lost those motivations, but you may wonder how to find fulfillment in a civilian career. In addition to wanting a career that meets your personal needs, you of course also aim to parlay your professional military skills into a civilian position. Given the variety of degree programs offered and the positive outlook for employment, a degree in security studies may be the answer you’re looking for.
An Intelligent Choice Under the general security studies umbrella multiple programs are offered, including undergraduate minors and certificates as well as masters and graduate certificates. This breadth of offerings means not only that active duty or veteran servicemembers can find the right fit based on their own academic résumé and professional www.MAE-kmi.com
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guage and cultural immersion. We now have approximately 280 students enrolled (175 undergraduate and 105 graduate),” explained Mark Gorman, INSS program coordinator. Students can choose from both undergraduate and graduate courses: an undergraduate minor or certificate program and a Master of Science degree or graduate certificate, which can be completed online or through resident classes that are offered mostly at night and on Saturdays. In addition to knowledge of international security issues, “With only a few exceptions, most servicemembers also receive security clearances and are exposed to information that involves diverse, sensitive data on a regular basis. These characteristics are particularly well suited to understanding matters with a regional or global scope that involve multiple players and factors that require consideration or analysis,” Gorman added. In 2006, California State University, San Bernardino received a five-year, $3.75 million grant from the ODNI to establish an IC CAE; the grant was administered by Students at CSUSB attend a security studies colloquium [Photo courtesy of CSUSB] the National Security Studies program at CSUSB and included undergraduate programs at six CSU campuses. university This emphasis on practical application is well suited to Although the grant from the ODNI officially ended in fall 2011, the military members as “they have a practical knowledge and intuitive university will retain its status as an IC CAE. The master’s in security appreciation for security issues in general. This, of course, helps them studies affords students the opportunity cover a range of topics, from relate to the more practical types of instruction provided at SHSU,” theory and history of strategy to nuclear proliferation, as well as the Young explained. “Moreover, they have life experience from serving in opportunity to acquire a regional or functional expertise. To enhance the armed forces that is usually unique to the rest of the SHSU student the program and add value to the degree, the university brings subbody. The desire to learn is also very high among military or former ject matter experts to campus to complement traditional classroom military personnel because they know their future careers depend learning with experiential skills needed in the field. “We have a unique upon successful completion of the educational process.” relationship with two senior Directorate of Intelligence analysts from For servicemembers who have experience in cyber warfare or IT the CIA who make a couple of trips to our campus each year to conduct in general, Virginia Tech’s cybersecurity program offers two attractive workshops on preparing for careers in intelligence or to conduct ‘crisis options and a campus culture steeped in military tradition. Due to the simulations’ … We also have a good working relationship with the high demand for cybersecurity professionals in the capital region, a NSA and have conducted open-source research with its Institute for few years ago VT launched a strategic growth plan for cybersecurity. Analysis, and we have an ongoing ‘continuity of operations’ relationAs a result, VT will launch an undergraduate minor in August to add ship with an office of the Defense Intelligence Agency,” explained Dr. to the master’s degree with a certificate in cybersecurity that the Mark Clark, director of the university’s National Security Program. university currently offers. Both of these programs prepare students East Carolina University’s security studies program is offered at for a career supporting the general IT security field, which is growing three different levels: an interdisciplinary minor in security studies for in importance. “It is interesting that as the counterterrorism mission undergraduate students, a graduate certificate in security studies, and winds down for the military, we’re seeing a major increase in hacking a Master of Science in security studies—all of which are designed to activity from foreign countries. There is a whole industry that is growprepare students for careers in national and international security, sciing to support the defensive needs; it’s a fundamentally new threat as ence and technology security, or occupational safety and health. While it is not only against government systems, but it’s against companies the master’s program is young and still growing, the university’s certifas well,” noted Dr. Charles Clancy, director of the Hume Center for icate program has been offered since 2004. Regardless of the program National Security and Technology and associate professor of electrical in which they enroll, “Servicemembers and veterans bring a wealth and computer engineering at VT. of experience with them to the program that cannot be compared to anything else in educational environment. Their firsthand experience enriches the discussions and dialogue among the students,” noted Dr. Securing Experience Jalil Roshandel, director of the university’s Security Studies program. Students in the Master of Science in security studies program at Gaining practical experience while still in school is important for Sam Houston State University pursue coursework in topics related every student regardless of the degree they pursue; for security studies to both national and homeland security as well as private security. To students it is invaluable as it provides them with the opportunity to complete the 36-credit-hour program, students pursue a variety of learn the trade hands on and make powerful professional connections. courses including global terrorism, security and management, crisis Moreover, schools that have strong relationships with intelligence or management, or intelligence and counterintelligence. “The emphasecurity agencies help their students get a leg up on the competition sis on SHSU’s M.S. in security studies is on practical application of following graduation. principles, not on relying on theory as a total instruction method,” UTEP considers internships an extremely valuable complement said Steve Young, coordinator for the M.S. in security studies at the to the academic program and offers credit for internships with IC 12 | MAE 7.2
well positioned to find employment in the booming field agencies and other security related organizations. “Agenof security studies. Most former or active duty military cies such as the U.S. Department of State, CIA, National members already possess a security clearance, a credenDrug Intelligence, ICE, DHS and the FBI have coorditial that renders the transition to a defense contractor nated with us to acquire students suitable for internjob, for example, much easier. Given the sensitive nature ships within their organizations. They realize that our of security work, veteran status and the experience preparation offers an ideal group of students from which acquired through service make veterans attractive job to select,” noted Gorman. At SHSU an internship is a candidates. “Particularly in an area where there are a requirement for graduation, and students have worked significant number of foreign nationals obtaining the with national security agencies such as the FBI, DEA and Jalil Roshandel degree, military members getting the advanced degrees NCIS as well with organizations in private security. in security studies are one of the biggest sources of fedAs an IC CAE, VT receives funding to hire a full-time eral citizens who go on to support the federal government in governstaffer to help students find internships and full-time jobs. “We work ment or contractor jobs,” Clancy explained. When it comes to field with federal agencies and companies to make sure that students experience, “Many times, depending on their career field, they’ve had are aware of opportunities and that they understand that these jobs operational experience in cyber battlefield,” he added. “We’re seeing require security clearances. If you want to apply for a summer internmore people who either have experience doing IT for the military or ship you can’t do it in April, you have to do it in October because it were more involved in cyber warfare hands-on who are bringing a takes six months to get a clearance.” Already possessing a security significant amount of practical experience to the program that actuclearance strategically positions students for success after graduation ally make them better job candidates than those who haven’t had that as it makes them ideal candidates for employment. operational experience.” O East Carolina State University includes an internship in their curriculum. Roshandel believes that “having a record of internships puts the students at a relatively preferential category through firsthand experience from a real work environment.” For students who are already working, the university does waive the requirement. For more information, contact MAE Editor Maura McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives Roshandel noted that the job market for students with a security studfor related stories at www.mae-kmi.com. ies degree is expanding. “Every day there are new opportunities that did not exist before. For instance, this summer for the first time the National Center for Border Security and Immigration is offering stipend summer internships and trainings. Most probably this is just the first step toward employment opportunities in the future.”
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Even though federal spending projections are down, the fields of intelligence and security are still hot, with a variety of federal agencies looking to fill positions with qualified candidates. “The intelligence community and associated security organizations expanded tremendously after 9/11, and they needed qualified personnel, which explained ODNI’s motivation to fund the start up of the IC CAE initiative. The INSS program has been well received among the agencies aware of our program. They regularly send recruiters to UTEP and specifically want to speak with our students,” noted Gorman. In the past, INSS has taken their program on the road, visiting agencies’ headquarters in Washington, D.C. Agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA and DIA “realize that our graduates don’t have to be taught from the ground up. Although we don’t teach specific tradecraft, our students have a solid foundation in current security issues, intelligence and analysis that is not generally found in traditional political science or international affairs programs.” Young from SHSU agrees with the promise a degree in security studies holds. “As with our internship choices, the range of employment opportunities is limited only by the students’ capabilities and imagination. We have placed students in private industry and within the national security and homeland security structure. Examples include G4S Security Solutions, JC Penney, CIA, FBI, NCIS, DIA, ICE and USBP.” In the Washington, D.C., region alone there are currently 7,500 job vacancies, ranging from positions in IT administration to advanced engineering, according to Clancy, and military students are uniquely www.MAE-kmi.com
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CLASS NOTES Bloomsburg University Partners with Community Colleges for New B.A. in Technical Leadership The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education approved a new major for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania: the Bachelor of Applied Science in technical leadership. The program is the first of its kind in the 14 PASSHE institutions and only the second in the commonwealth. Approved last fall by BU’s Council of Trustees, the Bachelor of Applied Science in technical leadership addresses the growing demand for technical skills combined with professional skills, according to Tim Phillips, chair of instructional technology at BU. A student who has earned an associate degree in applied science from a community college will build upon that degree with courses in information technology, communications studies, accounting, business education, information and technology management and general education. The program also will be open to those already in the workforce. The new BU program is a partnership with Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) and the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI), both located in Schnecksville, Pa. All bachelor’s degree requirements may be completed at LCCC and students enrolled at LCTI can enter the program at the high school level. The first class will enroll in fall 2012. The Bachelor of Applied Science in technical leadership program requires a total of 120 course credits. BU faculty will offer the final 60 credits of bachelor’s degree program at the Schnecksville campus of Lehigh Carbon Community College, building on an associate of applied science from LCCC. Students at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute can enter the program at the high school level. The program also is open to those currently in the workforce who want to advance in their careers. Courses will be offered in information technology, communications studies, accounting, business education, information and technology management and general education. Students will pay LCCC tuition for the first 60 credits and BU tuition for the last 60 credits. The Bachelor of Science in technical leadership project began with an Advanced Technological Education grant, “Innovative 2+2+2 Model for the B.A.T. Degree with Service Management Certification,” awarded to LCCC by the National Science Foundation. LCCC approached BU to provide the final two years of the bachelor’s degree program.
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Sacred Heart to Launch M.S. in Health Care Information Sacred Heart University will introduce a new graduate program in Health Care Information Systems during the 2012-2013 academic year. The program will target health professionals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least two years of practical experience in the health care or information technology fields. Applicants will include individuals seeking to complement their clinical expertise with technology skills in order to pursue a career change or career advancement in ambulatory and acute care settings. Applicants may also include information technology professionals without a background in health care who seek employment and/or advancement in a health care setting. The Master of Science in health care information systems will prepare graduates to work in a variety of health
care settings and will provide knowledge of emerging health care information technologies and policies, administrative and clinical software applications, electronic health records, research methods, communication and financial skills. Alexis Haakonsen, executive director of Graduate Admissions, said the program will include two different introductory paths, depending on whether the applicant comes from the health care or technology industry. Admission requirements for the new program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above and a course in statistics. Applicants will also demonstrate a level of technical proficiency required for success in core and elective courses. A total of 36 credits is required for the program.
NY State Approves New Environmental Science Associate Degree The New York State Department of Education has approved the offering of an associate degree in environmental science at Jamestown Community College’s Jamestown Campus. The 60-credit hour degree program prepares students to comprehend, evaluate and analyze contemporary environmental problems at the interface of nature, human institutions and scientific study. Interdisciplinary explorations and scientific tools and technologies essential for addressing emerging environmental challenges and opportunities are featured. Students will explore the ethical dimensions of decisions and actions associated with being responsible local and global citizens and gain a better understanding that a more
sustainable world will nurture healthier ecosystems, vibrant human communities and stronger economies. The program prepares students for transfer into numerous baccalaureate programs such as environmental science, environmental biology, natural resource management, conservation science, forest ecosystem science, fisheries and wildlife biology, natural history, ecology and others. JCC’s environmental science degree provides critical foundations for well-trained environmental scientists and citizen scientists to meet the urgent and growing environmental challenges of the 21st century and beyond, noted JCC biology professor Becky Nystrom.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Health Information Technology Programs Supplement IT & Health Care Professions Adelphi University is pleased to announce that it will begin offering a Master of Science and an Advanced Certificate in health information technology (HIT) in the spring 2012 semester designed for IT professionals pursuing health information management and/or health care professionals seeking information technology certification. In 2004, President Bush called for the implementation of completely paperless, electronic health records nationwide by 2014. Adelphi’s HIT degrees seek to fulfill the need for related education programming created by this federal mandate as well as the developing trend of rapidly-expanding data and the need for systems to effectively manage it. Both degrees will prepare graduates for careers in health and medical informatics in academic, health care, or industrial settings, where a working knowledge of both the technological and practical applications of health care data is required.
The master’s program is a total of 42 credits and combines classes in nursing, management, technology and business culminating in a capstone research course. The advanced certificate is 21 credits and centers on the technology-related classes only. Credits earned in the advanced certificate program can be used towards the master’s degree. The programs are offered through Adelphi’s University College and have been created with working professionals in mind. An HIT master’s degree can be completed in three years and the advanced certificate in two years by taking two evening courses per semester and one course each summer. HIT falls under the auspices of Adelphi’s recently created Center for Health Innovation, which provides a single reference point for all health care-related programs of study.
Valley City State University Expands Health Care Offerings Valley City State University announced two new major programs of study that increase the university’s offerings in health-related fields. “Like many states, North Dakota is facing a shortage of health care professionals, particularly in rural areas,” said Dr. Steve Shirley, president of VCSU. “This is one reason we have been investing in our health-related programs for some time now. In the last 10 years, the number of VCSU students expressing interest and majoring in health-related fields has increased considerably.” The new Medical Laboratory Science major is designed for students who are interested in any of several careers in clinical laboratory science. The program is offered through collaboration with the University of North Dakota; students pursuing this course of study will complete their first three years on the VCSU campus in a curriculum aligned with the UND Clinical Laboratory Science program. A summer program at the UND campus and one year of clinical experience at a medical laboratory in North Dakota complete the program. The program is accredited
by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. VCSU’s Bachelor of Science in athletic training is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in athletic training or related fields. The program is unique in that it involves five semesters of clinical experiences to give students substantial on-field experience prior to graduation. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to become a certified athletic trainer by completing the Board of Certification Exam (in addition to meeting national, district and state requirements). VCSU is currently in the process of seeking accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Both programs are offered through VCSU’s Division of Mathematics, Science and Health & Physical Education and are well-suited to students who intend to pursue additional study in graduate or professional programs. Currently, the University’s Rhoades Science Center is undergoing a major $10.3 million expansion and renovation that will be complete by the fall semester of 2013.
Bard Creates M.B.A. in Sustainability Bard College announced the creation of a Master of Business Administration in sustainability. Based in New York City, the new M.B.A. in sustainability responds to the surge in demand for training in sustainable business practices being created by green start-up businesses and major corporate efforts. The twoyear program, which will start in fall 2012, is being developed as a partnership between the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (Bard CEP), which grants M.S. degrees in environmental policy and in climate science and policy, and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, a leading nonpartisan economic policy research organization. The Bard M.B.A. in sustainability provides a rigorous education in core business principles as well as sustainable business practices, with a focus throughout on economics, environment and social equity. Green companies must achieve quality production and performance, efficient operations, sound financial management, deep employee engagement, responsible and effective marketing, creative responses to changing economic conditions, flexible strategies and continuous innovation. In courses on leadership, operations, marketing, finance, economics and strategy, students will be constantly challenged to integrate three goals: profit, continuous reduction in ecological impact and stakeholder engagement. The Bard M.B.A. is structured around five weekend intensives every term, with additional instruction between intensives. The program’s innovative residency structure—with classes held over long weekends once a month—will enable students and professionals from across the East Coast to attend and will allow regional and national leaders in business sustainability to engage students in the classroom. The New York City campus will become a laboratory for first-year students, who will participate in yearlong consultancies with New York-area businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Bard M.B.A. faculty and guest lecturers will include leading scholars in business, economics and environmental policy from Bard’s full-time faculty as well as cuttingedge practitioners in business sustainability, corporate and nonprofit leaders, journalists and consultants. MAE 7.2 | 15
Developing ARSOF Scholar-Practitioners Colonel Paul A. Ott Commander, Special Warfare Education Group (Airborne) U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Colonel Paul A. Ott was commissioned as an infantry officer in May 1987 at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln). Following the Infantry Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader, company executive officer and assistant S3. He then transitioned to military intelligence in 1992 and served as the Battalion S2 in 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne) at Fort Chaffee, Ark., and Fort Polk, La. Following completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course and language training in 1995, he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), where he served as the detachment commander of SFODA 571 and the battalion adjutant. He was then reassigned to the Joint Readiness Training Center, where he served as an observer/controller and a plans officer. After attending the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) and the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Ott returned to 5th Special Forces Group in June 2002. He served as the company commander of C Company, 1st Battalion in Western Iraq during OIF I, and then served as the 1st Battalion XO for an OIF rotation in Baghdad, Iraq and the Group S3/CJSOTF J3 during two subsequent OIF rotations in Balad, Iraq. Ott commanded 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) from June 2006 to June 2008, followed by a year as the USASOC G35 (Chief of Plans). In April 2009, Ott deployed to Iraq as the CJSOTF LNO to MNC-I and later the MNC-I LNO to the Kurdistan Regional Government. In September 2009, Ott was assigned as the deputy commander, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). In August 2010, Ott served as deputy director, Directorate of Regional Studies and Education, and in April 2011 he assumed his current duties as the commander of the Special Warfare Education Group (Airborne). Ott’s professional schooling includes the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer’s Advanced Course, Combined Arms Staff and Services School, Command and General Staff Officer’s Course, and the Advanced Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He holds a master’s degree in human resources development from Webster University and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from SAMS. Ott’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert 16 | MAE 7.2
Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutists Badge, Air Assault Badge, Special Forces Tab and Ranger Tab. He is also authorized to wear the Jordanian and Kenyan parachutist badges. Q: Could you please describe your primary responsibilities as commander, Special Warfare Education Group? A: The Special Warfare Education Group’s mission is to educate Army Special Operations soldiers to enable them to work through, with and by indigenous populations in any region of the world. The majority of our effort is in support of our qualification courses, where we provide our soldiers with their initial language, regional studies, culture and human dynamics instruction. We lay the educational foundation and set our soldiers on a pathway to lifelong learning and development in these areas that are absolutely fundamental to Army Special Operations. One of my primary responsibilities is to provide professional instructors and relevant, regionally-focused curriculum. One of the most important things we do in addition to education is to run the ARSOF Assessment and Selection program, which assesses and selects soldiers before they enter training in any of our qualification courses. Selecting the right soldiers for Army Special Operations is a critical first step; after that we go to work to train, educate and develop these soldiers to maximize their potential during their career in SOF. www.MAE-kmi.com
Q: How does your background help inform the decisions you make in your current position? A: As a Special Forces officer, I have served in a variety of operational and institutional assignments that have shaped my views on training and education. Nearly all of my non-operational assignments have been in working in training and education, which has provided me with a good balance to know what is important and how to implement strategies in our institutional environment. My experience at Fort Leavenworth from 2000-2002 certainly shaped my thoughts on education. In 2000, while at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, getting a master’s degree was common, but optional, and there were few specific programs established to educate ARSOF officers. Like many officers, I recognized that getting a master’s degree was important, but was basically left to my own judgement to filter through the options. I decided to attend night school and work on a master’s degree. During that year, I also decided to apply to the School of Advanced Military Studies [SAMS] and stay another year for the Advanced Military Studies Program. SAMS was much more than a second master’s degree; it did more to shape my views on education than anything prior to that. SAMS focused on how to think—how to analyze a problem and develop innovative solutions. In 2010, while serving as the deputy commander, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, Major General Bennet Sacolick, the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School commanding general, offered to assign me to the Directorate of Regional Studies and Education, and I immediately recognized that this was something that I really wanted to do—a real opportunity to do something that will benefit the force long term. Q: What was the motivation behind the emphasis on a more holistic development of ARSOF that included the opportunity for higher education? A: We have always assessed and selected our soldiers using a whole man construct, meaning we look at many aspects of a candidate’s physical, mental and emotional strength, including their intelligence. However, we did not have a systematic approach to developing their intellectual capacity. Career professional development schooling, such as the Senior Leader Course for NCOs or ILE [intermediate level education] for officers, although very important, just doesn’t do this completely. Career-long professional development must consist of the right balance of training, operational experience and education. Quite frankly, we were falling short on the education—as opposed to training—part, which becomes even more important later in a career, when our personnel may be working in operational and strategic positions. Education is going to play an increasingly important role in preparing our soldiers for the uncertain environments that they will operate in the future—and you can’t wait until that time to start. Another factor is the recognition that we have been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade and have a tremendously welltrained and operationally experienced force. However, we haven’t been operating in other regions of the world to the same level that we once were, and will in the future. Education can help prepare our soldiers to return to these regions. Q: What were SWCS’s priorities when developing the plan to address the education gap for ARSOF? www.MAE-kmi.com
A: Our first priority was developing education programs for our non-commissioned officers. The primary objective was to establish the educational foundation of our NCO corps by developing a program to enable every ARSOF NCO to earn an associate degree in conjunction with the qualification course, then providing them a pathway to continuing their civilian education throughout their career. We have the most talented and well-trained NCOs in the world, but they are incredibly busy with operational requirements. We had to provide them with tailored educational opportunities that allow them to continue their lifelong learning and development, without taking them away from the fight for lengthy periods of time. These opportunities are tailored to suit the lifestyle of a special operations soldier and account for their previous training; at the end of the day, however, these soldiers have met all of the same criteria to earn their degrees as any civilian graduate. Q: What role does education play in the professional development of ARSOF? How does a degree enhance a soldier’s effectiveness? A: You train for certainty, but educate for uncertainty. We expect our officers and NCOs to operate independently across a broad spectrum of missions and environments. Developing creative, adaptive problem solvers with the cognitive abilities to work in ambiguous scenarios will enable our soldiers to operate more effectively in situations for which they were not specifically trained. In many cases, their written and oral communications skills, regional and cultural understanding, critical thinking and problem solving skills may be as important to mission accomplishment as their specific military occupational specialty skills—such as a Special Forces weapons sergeant or civil affairs specialist. Additionally, degree programs give our soldiers the knowledge and background to sit at the table during operations with our civilian and interagency partners, where education is also valuable. Bottom line: We are developing scholar-practitioners, not just scholars. Q: The partnership with the National Defense University seems like a truly unique program; could you discuss it? A: In 2010, SWCS partnered with the College of International Security Affairs at NDU to establish a master’s degree open to all of our ranks—officers, warrant officers and NCOs. The Master of Arts in strategic security studies, or MASSS, is a 10-month program that allows us to educate select personnel at the graduate level and further enable them to serve in operational and strategic assignments. This is the only program of its kind that allows us to educate our NCOs at that level, as full-time students, while keeping them away from the force for less than a year. We are currently in the second academic year, with 16 NCOs and 23 officers in the class. The first class graduated on June 3, 2011, with seven NCOs and 13 officers— the top graduate was an NCO! Q: Could you please discuss the nature and importance of the relationships and agreements SWCS has developed with other colleges and universities? A: SWCS recognizes that we can educate our soldiers better by partnering with institutions that do that for a living, rather than trying to become an accredited institution for areas outside of our expertise. Although we have no formal agreements with any MAE 7.2 | 17
civilian colleges or universities, we have established some terrific relationships in support of our undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The foundation of our education program is the associate degree. For this, we have partnered with the Fayetteville Technical Community College [FTCC] to enable our soldiers to earn their AA degree in conjunction with the qualification course. FTCC awards our soldiers 48 credits for attending the Special Forces Qualification Course, based on the course’s existing curriculum, and they have to complete 17 credits to complete their degree, such as core math and English classes. In support of their continued education in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, SWCS has developed relationships with numerous colleges and universities. Ultimately, we are seeking degrees that are appropriate for the professional development of our soldiers in their specialty and ARSOF in general. Some baseline criteria that we use for degree options are: regional accreditation, complete distance learning program, and full articulation of the soldier’s associate degree. The U.S. Army Special Operations Command has a memorandum of agreement with the University of North Carolina system and we continue to develop superb degree options with UNC schools. At the graduate level, our programs are much more limited, but we have established a great relationship with the University of Kansas for select officers to earn a master’s degree while attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Q: How many ARSOF are currently pursuing their A.A., B.A., M.A., or Ph.D.? How is the command supporting and encouraging soldiers’ educational pursuits? A: I don’t have a solid number, because there are a lot of personnel pursuing degrees through existing Army options, using tuition assistance [TA]. Based on our records, there are roughly 2,000 personnel in programs that we control or facilitate, including over 1,700 enrolled in FTCC. The entire chain of command has been supportive of education opportunities. SWCS has made it a priority to enable cadre to earn their associate degree during their tour here, and the operational force has followed suit. We have made a concerted effort to communicate education opportunities throughout the command, to include education briefings at all newcomer briefs, the senior leader’s course and to operational units. Q: What initiatives or programs are you most encouraged by? A: I am most encouraged by the momentum of the undergraduate programs for our enlisted and warrant officers. More than 10 colleges and universities have established articulation agreements with FTCC, including more than 30 degree options for our soldiers. Q: In your opinion, where is there room for improvement in military education in general and in ARSOF specifically? A: The Army clearly recognizes the value of education and is implementing these very same strategies for all soldiers. I am concerned about the potential reduction of TA. I think this would be a significant setback, and believe there are other options to consider in times of shrinking resources; for example, TA could continue to cover 100 percent, but have the annual cap per soldier reduced. For ARSOF specifically, we have work to do to codify education requirements for all ranks, and then fully develop the system to meet these requirements. 18 | MAE 7.2
Graduates of the National Defense University’s College of International Affairs stand and face the audience at the college’s graduation ceremony on Fort Bragg, N.C. Each of the graduates are assigned to an Army special operations unit. [Photo courtesy of SWCS]
Q: Where do you see the education level of ARSOF in 10 years? A: In 10 years, we will have a mature education system for all ranks. By then, every ARSOF qualification course graduate will have an associate degree, NCOs will have a bachelor’s degree before they make E-8, all warrant officers will have an associate degree upon commissioning and every officer will earn a master’s degree by the time he completes intermediate level education. In addition to this, we will have an established doctorate program to educate select personnel for assignments that require the ability perform at the highest academic standards. I am very optimistic that we are developing enduring programs that will have a long-term impact on the capabilities within our force. Q: What have been the most significant lessons you’ve learned in your position? A: First of all, I understand that training and education are not mutually exclusive—they both involve learning. The difference is mainly at what level on Bloom’s taxonomy. I have reinforced my belief that quality instructors and curriculum are imperative to effective learning. Q: Do you have any closing thoughts? A: Investment in education may be the most important investment in human capital that we make. We must have confidence in the value of education and understand the benefits may not be immediate or easily measured. In a time of shrinking resources, education could easily become a target. We must guard ourselves from this, and should seriously consider placing even more emphasis on education. There will always be competing demands for resources, but what we put in a soldier’s head may better prepare him than what we put on his back. It is important that we harness the intellectual capacity of our force. Through continued education, we will develop the innovative, creative problem solvers necessary to face complex problems in the future. Fortunately, I have a chain of command that recognizes the value of education and has been very supportive to establish enduring programs. O www.MAE-kmi.com
Special Section: Academic Resource Centers
Academic resource centers are staffed with dedicated professionals who strive to help students achieve academic success.
By Celeste Altus MAE Correspondent Take a look around any typical college campus and the mix of students is remarkable. Young, old, parents, grandparents, teenagers, professionals: Anyone is likely to be your classmate in the 21st century. With the Iraq war officially over, the number of veterans returning home means an increase in non-traditional students on college campuses. Regardless of how you define non-traditional— working part or full time, single parent, or veteran—those who are returning to school after a long absence may have needs that are distinct from the traditional 18-year-old college freshman. Colleges and universities that want to remain competitive strive to assist these students and help them meet their academic goals.
Raising Awareness Although students learn of most on-campus resource center services during registration and orientation, organized outreach is critical as well. Glendale Community College (GCC) in Maricopa www.MAE-kmi.com
County, Ariz., has a very high veteran and active duty student population; in 2010, its veterans’ center served more than 1,400 veterans, their dependents and their spouses. The 2010 veteran population represented an increase of 44 percent over fall 2009 enrollment, said Chuck Pierce, coordinator of Veterans Service at Glendale. The numbers have risen for a variety of reasons, one being that many veterans are now using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, said Allen Hancock, a business major who is studying to transfer to Arizona State University. “The increase was primarily due to the closing down of operations overseas; a lot of our reserve and guard are returning to school … and the dependents and spouses of military members having their benefits transferred,” he said. In order to raise awareness of the center, the staff at Glendale engage in outreach, which is necessary to draw in military students. “For me, I didn’t even expect to have the help that actually was here,” said Glendale student Mitch Wheeler, an Air Force veteran. “I had been looking around for a long time and was going to MAE 7.2 | 19
Special Section: Academic Resource Centers school here. I didn’t know the center existed until I was enrolling and gave my military ID, and the woman in enrollment sent me over here.” Wheeler said he had gone through the usual channels such as the VA but continued to struggle to get the information he wanted. “When I came here it was such a relief. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been searching for years.’ It’s an invaluable resource.” Charity Torres, who has been an academic adviser and recruiter for two years on the Glendale campus, reflected that there is no one way to advise a veteran student. “Every veteran is unique. Every veteran is different, depending on what kind of benefits they have to use and from what chapter they are under. We are able to take the time necessary—not just speed them up to get in and out. We’re able to take an hour, two, or whatever is needed to help that veteran from start to finish.” Just as each veteran is different, so too are the programs they may choose to pursue; while some enroll in occupational degrees, others are working toward transferring to universities. “Everyone is diverse in what they are choosing, from education to engineering,” Torres said. Academic adviser Stephen Zubia alluded to a certain level of job satisfaction. “Being able to help veterans as soon as they come in, it’s an honor. For what they have done it is the least we can do to help them achieve their goals and also develop an understanding of how to get there.” Moreover, as an adviser, Zubia finds it highly rewarding to be able to explain the process: to empower veterans to understand the system rather than just telling them what to do. From a student’s perspective, one should not undervalue the benefit of advising, said Larry Knauf, a Marine special operator in Afghanistan and Iraq, who graduated from GCC. “One thing is that it is a little difficult to adjust. I was in the Marine Corps for 10 years and everything was very structured. When I got to school, it was a very much more relaxed environment. There was a transition there. Coming in to the veterans’ center and talking with other veterans, seeing that they had similar issues and discussing with them how they coped with things like that really helped out. I think it was the facility itself that afforded that opportunity.” The staff at a resource center can make a world of difference. Dr. Maria Sanchez heads the Office of Veterans Services at University of Northern Colorado, a school of more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students in Greeley, and that has a number of services offered to servicemen and women to get and stay enrolled in its programs. In 2010, the university opened a veterans’ center as a “one-stop shop” with a student lounge, study space, computers and wireless Internet. There, the veteran and military-related benefit processing is conducted. The goal at Northern Colorado was the same as many others: to create a community for veteran students by having regular social events, study groups, counseling and recreation opportunities. The center was created with the goal of bridging the gap between these students and the traditional student body. An additional component of advising is leading by example. Military students need to see they can succeed. Daniel Gross is a military student at Northern Colorado who works with other veteran students. “For us on campus, what we usually end up doing is just helping the veteran kind of make that transition from the military to the academic lifestyle,” Gross said. “In the military, when you start you are told what to do on a 24-hour basis, but in the academic field it’s your own motivation.” Gross said sometimes veterans don’t know the direction to go for 20 | MAE 7.2
different information or how to get their GI Bill or other benefits. “We are here to point them in the right direction to get their benefits as well as help them throughout the academic year. Our main priority here is to help veterans get their benefits and graduate,” Gross said. “The transition from military to civilian life is difficult, and we want to make that go as smoothly as possible … We try to build camaraderie, because on campus, we are a minority.”
Online But Not Alone With the exponential increase in distance learning, many active duty servicemembers, veterans and military spouses have chosen to enroll online. However, this doesn’t mean that academic advisJoshua Rider ing services are limited. Since online students can’t simply drop into a campus student resource center, what resources are available to them? At Kent State, there is a specific program to assist disabled students who are working toward studying alongside their classmates. “These are post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injured students who are transitioning from a comfortable online environment to an increasingly comfortable classroom environment,” said Joshua Rider of the university’s communications office. Kent provides benefits processing and academic advising for the first 30 credit hours. Kaplan University has a wide variety of support services for its online students, ranging from an orientation class to an online student portal to academic advisers in the Military Student Support Center. During orientation, a student is informed of general policies and practices as well as the resources available to them, including how to navigate the student portal. “The portal really acts as their control center where everything is organized for them. It tracks all their assignments, provides an online syllabus, and monitors all the activities within the various classrooms. It also allows them to explore student groups, including our Kaplan University Student Military Association, and other clubs, honor societies and professional organizations. They also have access to financial aid, student accounts and career services,” explained Betty Vandenbosh, Ph.D., the dean of students at Kaplan. Students also benefit from the services and advisers provided through the university’s Military Student Support Center. These academic advisers foster a relationship with their advisee throughout the student’s academic career at Kaplan. “In essence, they are ‘buddies’ to the student, making sure that any issues students have are addressed quickly, reaching out to students if they see they’ve missed assignments or classes, and counseling them to ensure that their course load fits their current life circumstances so that they do not become overwhelmed by their educational obligations,” Vandenbosh noted. Students who know that a degree should be in their future but who are reticent to make the jump back into learning can have their concerns assuaged thanks to the Kaplan Commitment. www.MAE-kmi.com
Special Section: Academic Resource Centers During an introductory period, the program allows students to “try before they buy”; they can enroll in classes to see if the university is a fit for them—without having to pay tuition. “If they decide for any reason that they want to leave, they may do so without incurring any education-related debt. This is particularly beneficial to our military students who have been away from school for some time and who have unique circumstances that may create obstacles to completing their education,” Vandenbosh emphasized.
The Fog of Benefits and Credits It doesn’t get much more daunting than examining a 120-credit bachelor’s degree requirement when your total credits stand at zero. No matter the goal—vocational licenses, associate degrees, all the way to a Ph.D.—military students can make use of their valuable leadership and experiential learning gained from their time in the service. Often, occupations from Navy corpsman to Air Force crew chief can translate into college credit, either through evaluation or challenging courses by taking exams. Every institution is different, so it never hurts to challenge institutional requirements. All branches provide transcripts of military training and qualifications that are ready to be evaluated by professional academic advisers. Academic advising is not limited to assistance in choosing a2839 major or ad_Feb2012_ArtInstitutes_Layout planning out semesters. In some instances, veterans MAE 1 2/22/12 4:12 PM Page 1
and active duty students are unaware of the host of educational benefits available to them; after they become aware though, collecting those benefits can become a full-time job and an exercise in patience. Learning how much money is available through scholarships, loans and the GI Bill is a big part of returning to school for military students. Kent State University’s veterans’ center serves 550 GI Bill recipients, and Rider said he has a built-in system to keep track of military students, because in order to get their GI Bill benefits processed, they must contact him or stop by the office. “I then put them into a listserv and send out a weekly newsletter with reminders and events,” Rider said. As is customary with the majority of advising centers at the nation, everything is offered free of charge. When it comes down to it, knowledge is power, and the best way to learn about the resources available to you as a student is to visit your school’s resource center early on in your college career. The center’s dedicated staff can help you create an academic game plan tailored to your needs and professional goals. O
For more information, contact MAE Editor Maura McCarthy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.mae-kmi.com.
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See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info. The Art Institutes is a system of over 45 schools across North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. A range of online course opportunities is available at select schools. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University. OH Registration # 04-01-1698B, AC0165, AC0080, Licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 1287, 3427, 3110, 2581. Administrative office: 210 Sixth Avenue, 33rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 ©2012 The Art Institutes International LLC 2839 02/12
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“of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid … states also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. and colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.”
In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of American values. As an important part of keeping the American promise alive, the president called for a comprehensive approach to tackling rising college costs. In today’s global economy, a college education is no longer just a privilege for some, but rather a prerequisite for all. To reach a national goal of leading the world with the highest share of college graduates by 2020, we must make college more affordable. President Obama has emphasized the responsibility shared by the federal government, states, colleges and universities to promote access and affordability in higher education, by reining in college costs, providing value for American families, and preparing students with a solid education to succeed in their
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President Barack Obama State of the Union, January 24, 2012
careers. Over the past three years, the Obama administration has taken historic steps to help students afford college, including reforming our student aid system to become more efficient and reliable and by expanding grant aid and college tax credits. This year, President Obama is calling on Congress to advance new reforms that will promote shared responsibility to address the college affordability challenge. If these proposals are passed, this will be the first time in history that the federal government has tied federal campus aid to responsible campus tuition policies. President Obama began the third day of his post-State of the Union travels with an event at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, focusing on the importance of tackling rising college costs to ensure America’s students and workers can obtain the education and training they need so that we have a workforce prepared for the jobs of the 21st century.
Reforming student aid to promote affordability and value: To keep tuition from spiraling too high and drive greater value, the president will propose reforms to federal campus-based air programs to shift aid away from colleges that fail to keep net tuition down, and toward those colleges and universities that do their fair share to keep tuition affordable, provide good value and serve needy students well. These changes in federal aid to campuses will leverage $10 billion annually to keep tuition down. Creating a race to the top: The president will create incentives for states and colleges to keep costs under control through a $1 billion investment in a new challenge to states to spur higher education reform focused on affordability and improved outcomes across state colleges and universities. The Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion will reward states who are willing to drive systemic change in their higher education policies and practices, while doing more to contain their tuition and make it easier for students to earn a college degree. A First in the World competition to model innovation and quality on college campuses: The president will invest $55 million in a new First in the World competition to support public and private colleges and nonprofit organizations as they work to develop and test the next breakthrough strategy that will boost higher education attainment and student outcomes. The new program will also help scale-up those innovative and effective practices that have been proven to boost productivity and enhance teaching and learning on college campuses. Better data for families to choose the right college for them: The president will call for a College Scorecard for all degree-granting institutions, designed to provide the essential information about college costs, graduation rates and potential earnings, all in an easyto-read format that will help students and families choose a college that is well suited to their needs, priced affordably and consistent with their career and educational goals. Federal support to tackle college costs: The president has already made the biggest investments in student aid since the GI Bill through increases to the Pell grant, and by shoring up the direct loan and income-based repayment programs. In his State on the Union Address, the president called on Congress to: keep interest rates low for 7.4 million student loan borrowers to reduce future debt, make the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent and double the number of work-study jobs over the next five years to better assist college students who are working their way through school.
Shared Responsibility to Tackle Rising College Costs Rewarding Schools that Keep College Affordable The president’s proposal to reform student aid to keep tuition from spiraling too high and drive greater value will improve distribution of federal financial aid and increase campus-based aid. This reform will reward colleges that are succeeding in meeting the following principles: 1. Setting responsible tuition policy, offering relatively lower net tuition prices and/or restraining tuition growth. 2. Providing good value to students and families, offering quality education and training that prepares graduates to obtain employment and repay their loans. 3. Serving low-income students, enrolling and graduating relatively higher numbers of Pell-eligible students. The campus-based aid that the federal government provides to colleges through Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins Loans and Work Study is distributed under an antiquated formula that rewards colleges for longevity in the program and provides no incentive to keep tuition costs low. The president is proposing to change how those funds are distributed by implementing an improved formula that shifts aid from schools with rising tuition to those acting responsibly, focused on setting responsible tuition policy, providing good value in education, and ensuring that higher numbers of low-income students complete their education. He is also proposing to increase the amount of campus-based aid to $10 billion annually. The increase is primarily driven by an expansion of loans in the federal Perkins program— which comes at no additional taxpayer cost. Colleges that can show that they are providing students with good long-term value will be rewarded with additional dollars to help students attend. Those that show poor value, or who don’t act responsibly in setting tuition, will receive less federal campus-based
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aid. Students will receive the greatest government grant and loan support at colleges where they are likely to be best served, and little or no campus aid will flow to colleges that fail to meet affordability and value standards. Creating New Incentives to Promote Affordability and Quality The Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion will promote change in state systems of higher education. The president is proposing a program that would spur systemic state reforms to reduce costs for students and promote success in our higher education system at public colleges. This $1 billion investment would incentivize states to: • • •
Revamp the structure of state financing for higher education. Align entry and exit standards with K-12 education and colleges to facilitate on-time completion. Maintain adequate levels of funding for higher education in order to address important long-term causes of cost growth at the public institutions that serve two-thirds of four-year college students.
The Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion would incentivize governors and state legislatures around the nation to act on spurring this innovative reform. Through costsaving measures like redesigning courses and making better use of education technology, institutions can keep costs down to provide greater affordability for students. The First in the World competition will improve long-term productivity in higher education by investing $55 million to enable individual colleges (including minority-serving institutions) and nonprofit organizations to develop, validate, or scale up innovative and effective strategies for boosting productivity and enhancing quality on campuses. This initiative would provide modest start-up funding for individual colleges, including private colleges, for projects that could lead to longer-term and larger productivity improvements among colleges and universities—such as course redesign through the improved use of technology, early college preparation activities to lessen the need for remediation, competency-based approaches to gaining college credit and other ideas aimed at spurring changes in the culture of higher education.
The administration will also make an updated version of the ‘Financial Aid Shopping Sheet,’ announced in October, a required template for all colleges, rather than a voluntary tool, to make it easier for families to compare college financial aid packages. The president is also proposing to begin collecting earnings and employment information for colleges, so that students can have an even better sense of the post post-graduation outcomes they can expect.
Redoubling Federal Support to Tackle College Costs As highlighted by the president in his State of the Union address, we are calling on Congress to: •
Keep student loan interest rates low: This summer, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent—a significant burden at a time when the economy is still fragile and students are taking on increasing amounts of debt to earn a degree. The president is asking Congress to prevent that hike from taking place for a year to keep student debt down, a proposal that will keep interest rates low for 7.4 million student loan borrowers and save the average student over a thousand dollars. Double the number of work-study jobs available: The president also proposes to double the number of careerrelated work-study opportunities so that students are able to gain valuable work-related experience while in school. Maintain our commitment to college affordability: Over 9 million students and families per year take advantage of the Obama administration’s American Opportunity Tax Credit—supporting up to $10,000 over four years of college. In his State of the Union address, the president called on Congress to make this tax credit permanent and prevent it from expiring in 2012.
Building on Progress President Obama has worked throughout his administration to expand access to college and provide greater resources and support so that more students graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workforce:
Empowering Families and Students to be Informed Consumers • New actions to provide consumers with clearer information about college costs and quality will improve the decision-making process in higher education for American students and allow families to hold schools accountable for their tuition and outcomes. President Obama is proposing new tools to provide students and families with information on higher education, presented in a comparable and easy-to-understand format: •
The administration will create a College Scorecard for all degree-granting institutions, making it easier for students and families to choose a college that is best suited to their needs, priced affordably and consistent with their career and educational goals.
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Helping students and families pay for college: The Obama administration has raised the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 next year–a $905 increase since 2008. Making college loans more affordable: The Obama administration’s “Pay as You Earn” plan will enable 1.6 million students to take advantage of a new option to cap student loan repayments at 10 percent of monthly income as soon as this year. Borrowers looking to determine whether or not income-based repayment is the right option for them should visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/ibr. O For more information, contact MAE Editor Maura McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.mae-kmi.com.
Unintended Consequences for Military Education
Every state has some type of regulation governing the operation of educational institutions within its borders; this is not really anything new. Up until the recent activity by the Department of Education, these regulations were for the most part trivial, unenforced or archaic. To the extent that State Authorization regulations existed, they were almost exclusively directed at schools physically located within the state. In fact, most of these state regulations were put on the books before the rapid growth of online education. So the authorizing of schools outside of the state was never, or rarely, a consideration. This all changed when the Department of Education went after the for-profit schools as a result of charges relating to unethical activity in their recruitment and financial aid practices. In an effort to rein in the abuses of the for-profits, the Department of Education proposed the “State Authorization” rule. Title IV-eligible schools had to be able to demonstrate that they had, or were actively seeking, approval in every state in which they operated. This included online education.
Punishment of the Innocent? On June 18, 2010, the Education Department released a number of proposed rules including “State Authorization,” with the start date of July 1, 2011. While these rules were primarily intended to catch just for-profits, the Education Department was using a very large net that would ensnare all schools: forprofit, not-for-profit and public schools alike. This set off a firestorm within the academic community. In March 2011, the American Council on Education and 59 higher education and accrediting organizations sent a letter to the Education Department asking it to rescind its State Authorization rule. The letter expressed “grave concerns about how the federal effort will substantially complicate the process, chiefly for private, non-profit institutions. Religious institutions are particularly concerned that the rule could lead to the imposition of new state requirements that would be inconsistent with or contrary to their missions.” The letter went on to say “… this new rule could force campuses to pull back on legitimate and creative distance education programs, leaving the students most in need behind. In addition, these changes could have a particularly negative impact on members of the military and their families …” The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities took the Department of Education to www.MAE-kmi.com
court over this issue. On July 12, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the provision of the rule that applied to distance education. Before breathing a collective sigh of relief, everyone needs to understand that the court’s decision was based on the Education Department’s procedural failure to allow comment on the regulations when they were being proposed and not on an objection to the rule itself. This decision should simply be viewed as a reprieve. It behooves all schools to continue to make a “good faith effort” to obtain the needed state authorizations before the previously established due date of July 1, 2014. The fact remains that all states have the right to require State Authorization regardless of what happens with the Department of Education. Given that we just marked the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the following quotation attributed to Admiral Yamamoto seems appropriate: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.” As a result of the Department of Education’s “stirring things up,” all the states are waking up and revisiting their own existing authorization regulations with a far more activist bent. Schools should not be surprised if some states start to impose fees (given state budget woes), ratchet up the red tape, or take on a protectionist stance to favor their own in-state schools.
Need for an American Education “NAFTA” Agreement In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) removed most of the barriers to trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is quite ironic that 18 years later, we need a NAFTA-like agreement within the United States in order to break down the barriers in post-secondary education among the 50 states (plus the territories) and the federal government. The Council of Higher Education Accreditation represents 3,000 schools. If each school were to have an online program, it could potentially have one student in any state. To be proactive, this would warrant having 50 unique state authorizations. This results in 150,000 potential state authorization agreements that will vary depending on whether the school is public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit, or religiously affiliated. Unfortunately, it becomes even more complicated if you factor in the non-student variable of “presence” into the equation. Does the school have marketing offices or faculty (part time and full time) physically located in another state?
There are two ways to achieve an “Education NAFTA Agreement.” The first is through the use of a “reciprocity agreement” between the states. Unless a national generic agreement is quickly developed and adopted, we are looking at needing 2,500 separate reciprocity agreements between all the states. The other solution is to simply have each state automatically authorize all schools that have regional accreditation.
Effect on Military Students Of all the student demographic groups in the country, a case can be made that the military student has the potential to be the most negatively impacted by State Authorization rules. Why? This just happens to be a function of the transient nature of serving in the armed forces. Today, a military student can begin a degree program in one state and finish with the same school even with one or more permanent change of station moves. This has been made possible through online education. But what happens if the military student moves to another state that does not authorize the previous school? Must the military student transfer to another school and potentially lose credits in the process? When military students are stationed overseas, which state does the military student belong to as far as State Authorization is concerned? Military students are hassled enough as it is. They don’t need to be a pawn in the bureaucratic struggle between post-secondary schools, the states, the accrediting bodies and the Department of Education. A simple solution is: All military students and their dependents should be exempt from State Authorization Regulations. Period. O
Note from Joycelyn Groot, president of the Council of College and Military Educators: This month I’d like to thank Dr. Michael Heberling, CCME vice president, for the article on the hot topic of state authorization. MAE 7.2 | 25
MONEY TALKS Pat Tillman Military Scholars Application Open The Pat Tillman Foundation has opened the fourth annual Tillman Military Scholars application process. The Tillman Military Scholars program provides educational scholarships for veterans, active servicemembers and their spouses. For specific details on eligibility and to apply online please visit: www.pattillmanfoundation.org/ tillman-military-scholars/apply. The application will close on Friday, March 16, 2012, at 11:59:59 p.m. PDT. All applicants will receive notification of selection results via email no later than June 21, 2012. All scholarships will be granted for the 2012-2013 academic year. In 2008, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program to support educational opportunities for servicemembers and their families by filling the financial gaps in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The Tillman Military Scholars program covers direct study-related expenses such as tuition and books as well as other basic needs such as housing and childcare. Over the past three years, the Pat Tillman Foundation has awarded over $2.2 million in scholarship funds to 171 Tillman Military Scholars pursuing education at every level from freshmen undergraduates to Ph.D. candidates. Overall, Tillman Military Scholars represent 59 different universities across 32 states. The scholarship funds awarded are just a portion of the Tillman Military Scholar experience, which also focuses on guiding an engaged community and providing essential resources that empower scholars to serve and lead in their local communities and ease the transition from military to civilian life. To date, the Foundation has provided over $2.2 million in scholarships to 171 active servicemembers, veterans and spouses.
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Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Grant Supports Educators in Texas The College of Education at Texas Tech University announced a gift of $75,000 from The Meadows Foundation, which assisted in the college receiving a $3.44 million grant. This gift completes the required 15 percent match in private donations needed to support the U.S. Department of Education’s “Investing in Innovation” or i3 grant, awarded to the College of Education in October 2011. The college had to match the funds it was seeking before the proposal was submitted. Dean Scott Ridley, Elizabeth Haley and Karen Jacobsen, development officers, raised the needed $450,000, which was contributed by six public/private entities, including The Meadows Foundation. The College of Education, Lubbock Independent School District, Teachscape, Texas Instruments and the Haberman Educational Foundation will pilot a university-based teacher preparation program that integrates technology
and in-depth observation/feedback to improve teacher impact on student achievement in mathematics. This gift from The Meadows Foundation will help support this program. “This project is just the type of grant making in which The Meadows Foundation engages,” Ridley said. “While it has supported education as well as other areas since its inception in 1949, its current initiatives in support of public education are particularly in the areas of early child development, enhanced reading and math instruction, teacher and administrator preparation.” According to Ridley, this contribution by The Meadows Foundation enables the college to establish the type of reforms called for by “Our Future, Our Teachers,” the Obama administration’s plan for teacher education reform, which will lead it to become a national model of how schools should prepare educators to influence the students and schools of the future.
Student Veterans of America Supports STEM Students and Internships Student Veterans of America (SVA) announced a new partnership with Google that will provide eight student veterans pursuing computer science or related degrees with a $10,000 scholarship each for the 2012-2013 academic year. Google’s support of SVA and student veterans is one of the first of its kind and comes on the heels of their Google for Veterans and Families program. “Student Veterans of America is excited to offer these scholarships to student veterans nationwide that are pursuing some of America’s most in-demand degrees,” said Michael Dakduk, SVA’s executive director. “These scholarships are a huge financial boost and will encourage student veterans to excel in a very challenging STEM program.” Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2012, and finalists will be notified by the end of April. Recipients will also be invited to attend a scholars’ retreat at Google Headquarters during the summer. Visit studentveterans.org to apply. Additionally, SVA has re-opened the Internship Support Program (ISP), which provides student veterans with a monthly stipend to offset the financial burden of an unpaid internship. SVA
recognizes that student veterans are nontraditional students with financial obligations and some use their GI Bill benefits as a primary source of income. This often forces student veterans to take maximum course loads to receive maximum benefits and thus miss out on the valuable experience of an internship. The Internship Support Program was originally sponsored by the Call of Duty Endowment, an organization focused on combating veteran unemployment, in the fall semester of 2011. Since the majority of unpaid internships occur in the summer, SVA is now opening the program for summer interns. SVA will award up to 50 ISP stipends. For every four weeks of an individual’s internship, SVA will provide a $500 allowance. “Since internships are an invaluable way to get an inside look at a potential career and quite often lead to a job offer, we are excited to provide this financial support as an incentive to gain additional real-world experience,” said Michael Dakduk, SVA’s executive director. The SVA Internship Support Program application closes on April 15, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. EST. The recipients will be notified by May 1, 2012.
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MAE CALENDAR & DIRECTORY Advertisers Index
The Art Institutes...................................................................... 21
March 10-13, 2012 The American Council on Education’s 94th Annual Meeting Los Angeles, Calif. www.aceannualmeeting.org
April 12, 2012 Council on Military Education in Texas and the South Fort Worth, Texas www.cometsmilitaryed.org
March 14, 2012 Military Education & Training Blackboard User Group Norfolk, Va. www.metbug.org/conferences.php
April 25-27, 2012 Florida ACME 2012 Conference St. Augustine, Fla. www.fla-acme.org/conference
www.veterans.artinstitutes.edu Ashford University....................................................................... 7 www.military.ashford.edu/mae Baker College Online................................................................. C2 www.bakercollegeonline.com Colorado Technical University...................................................... 6 www.coloradotech.edu/military Northeastern University............................................................... 5 www.northeastern.edu/discovercps Thomas Edison State College........................................................ 9 http://military.tesc.edu University of Maryland University College.................................... C4 http://military.umuc.edu/learnmore Upper Iowa University............................................................... 13 www.uiu.edu/mae
March 27-29, 2012 VA ACME Conference Virginia Beach, Va. www.vaacme.org/conference/ March 28, 2012 U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Hiring Fair Fort Hood, Texas www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/fort%20hood-tx
July 23-27, 2012 DoD Worldwide Education Symposium 2012 Las Vegas, Nev. www.ww2012.com September 9-12, 2012 NGAUS 134th General Conference Reno, Nev. www.ngaus.org/content. asp?bid=20256
MAE 7.2 | 27
Military Advanced Education
Lisa Rich Director of Military Relations EDMC Online Higher Education College and Military Educators [CCME] and state Advisory Council Military Education [ACMEs] and participate in their meetings/ conferences so we can learn how we can better serve our military students. Additionally, our schools offer tuition scholarships reducing the cost of tuition to active-duty military and veteran students.
Q: What is your school’s background in military education? A: For more than 40 years, EDMC schools, including The Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie Colleges and South University, have been dedicated to delivering quality education that builds careers for students across every walk of life. Our institutions are uniquely suited to serve the needs of members of our nation’s military. The broad array of programs that we offer provides active duty personnel and veterans the quality, flexibility and convenience they seek through courses both on campus and online. The online university environment, offered by both traditional and proprietary schools, provides students the flexibility of not having to be physically located on a campus, if they choose. This has proven to be a more convenient option for those with family, career, or other obligations, since they do not have to relocate or make lifestyle changes to pursue an education. Our schools are the schools of choice for more than 150,000 students nationwide and are especially appealing to full-time professionals and other nontraditional student populations. These features have made our schools the preference for many current and former members of the U.S. armed forces as well. Education Management Corporation Online Higher Education provides the online component for The Art Institutes, Argosy University and South University. Q: What online degree and certificate programs do you offer and how do these distance learning programs fit in with the lives of active duty and transitioning military personnel? A: We recognize the challenges faced by military students and we’ve created online programs that provide a flexible and convenient way for them to earn their degree while serving their country. We find that our students choose our institutions because we are uniquely suited to serve the needs of members of our nation’s military, providing them an opportunity to earn their degree aboard ship, from abroad, or stationed stateside. The broad array of programs offered—in 28 | MAE 7.2
disciplines ranging from business, psychology, education, the creative arts and law and health care fields—provides active duty personnel and veterans the quality and variety they may be seeking. All our students have a team of dedicated military admissions, financial aid and advising representatives, all focused on meeting the unique needs of our military students. In addition, we evaluate military experience and training for university credit toward the student’s degree program and they have access to resources to assist with their transition from active duty to the civilian workforce, such as the Worldwide Professionals Network, Virtual Student Community and Career Services. Eventually our military students will transition into the workforce, and the military skills acquired while serving, combined with their education, will make them highly desirable candidates in the civilian job market. Q: How has your school positioned itself to serve military students? A: We realize the pledge of service and commitment that members of the armed forces made to our country and the citizens of the United States. Our goal is to be not only military/veteran friendly but also military/veteran supportive. Our schools proudly participate in military benefit programs such as the Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Educational Assistance Program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Dependents Educational Assistance, the Reserve GI Bill and Reservists Activated After Sept. 11, 2001, and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts. We are affiliated with GoArmyEd, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support [DANTES], American Council on Education [ACE], and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges [SOC]. We belong to military education related entities such as the Council of
Q: What is your school doing to keep up with growing technologies and opportunities related to distance learning? A: We strive to enhance the student experience by making our online programs as rich as possible through initiatives such as launching a new online library at South University to offer an easier and more efficient way to access academic resources and access to one-on-one, personalized assistance from a school librarian, or providing social networking communities for our military students to connect, find out information about upcoming events, school announcements, and other updates. We offer self directed tutorials for live interactive support. The school makes every effort to provide students who may be struggling academically and who have been identified by a qualified medical professional as possessing a disability with reasonable accommodations who may be struggling academically. With a focus on more than 50 software programs, including but not limited to Adobe Creative Suite 4 & 5, Office 2003 & 2007, and three different year level AutoCads, each of the programs has as many as 100 different tutorials, most in Flash or a recorded WebEx, easily accessed from the campus commons and located in the online tutoring center. We also provide tutoring learning centers. Available in the online classroom, students are referred to an appropriate course-based learning center—covering a full spectrum of coursework, from writing to Dreamweaver— based on classes in which they are enrolled. For example, a student taking a first time math class will be referred to a specialized math learning center. The learning centers afford students an opportunity to post problems or request information and teachers will respond within 24 hours. O www.MAE-kmi.com
April 2012 Vol. 7, Issue 3
Journal of Higher Learning for Todayâ€™s Servicemember
Cover and in-Depth Interview with:
Dr. Mary Redd-Clary Director of Navy Voluntary Education
Special Section: Academic Minors Some students may enter college not even knowing what they want to major in, let alone choose for a minor. While many students select a minor that complements their major field of study, a minor may also allow a student to have a creative outlet from their major.
Features: Financial Aid Embarking on a college education is a significant commitment in time and treasure. How can students position themselves so as not to break the bank with student loan burdens when they graduate?
Summer School Forgoing the traditional summer break from classes can offer students greater flexibility, help them to spend fewer years in school and may even save them money.
From Troops to Teachers Servicemembers preparing to hang up their uniform may want to consider picking up a piece of chalk in its place. Many of the attributes that make a person an excellent servicemember stand to make him or her a valuable teacher as well.
Insertion Order Deadline: March 9, 2012 | Ad Materials Deadline: March 16, 2012
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