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-   -   AMU question (http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=68127)

whlkiller 11 March 2007 03:47

AMU question
 
I am looking into various Master's programs and hit across AMU (American Military University)..they have some interesting programs and I was wondering if anyone was familiar with them? Good, bad, worth the money etc...

JumpmasterK 11 March 2007 13:00

I am in the Undergrad program at AMU. I've completed 36 hours with them, and have two more classes to go for a BA. I start my next to last class next month, and should be finished by summer. I intend to continue on in the Master's program myself. I'm not sure of the differences in funding; my courses right now are 100% TA since I'm active duty.

I am quite pleased with the coursework and the instructors; I've learned a lot about military history, politics, Intelligence and world events. It takes a certain amount of self discipline to complete the work, as it's all on your own (with guidance from the University and Professors, of course). I highly recommend AMU if it meets your needs.

Viking 11 March 2007 13:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by whlkiller
I am looking into various Master's programs and hit across AMU (American Military University)..they have some interesting programs and I was wondering if anyone was familiar with them? Good, bad, worth the money etc...


Good, not great, but worth the money (especially if you have TA). Be prepared to read and write your ass off.

Online programs take a lot of self discipline. Do a search here at SOCNET, they've been discussed a good deal.

CV 11 March 2007 13:32

I love AMU. It fits me better than having to sit in class. But I agree- it is not for everyone. By Sept. 1st I will have completed 58 cr.

CAMedic 11 March 2007 13:44

I'm taking my Masters at AMU. I really enjoy it, however as posted above, you will write your butt off AND if you can't discipline yourself for classwork, you are in trouble. You can speak with the instructors, and most have some type of "classroom" participation, however it is ALL up to you.

They are really flexible with military needs. I've had to extend a few times in class due to TDY orders, so it is miles above my local college.

Good luck.

JumpmasterK 11 March 2007 14:39

I've had to take a couple of extensions, as well. What's good is that the University and professors understand the demands of military service, and are willing to work with the student to overcome conflicting demands of service and scholarship.

whlkiller 11 March 2007 21:24

Hey thanks for the info, I will take a closer look at their programs. I actually got my BA online so I am locked on in terms of what that side of the fence entails, and it does take alot of self starting..I also enjoyed the flexibility it provided. I am really interested in some of AMU's programs that seem to be tailored toward the industry..strategic intelligence..etc. A bit hard to find those types of things from the traditional university sector.

CV 15 March 2007 14:53

WhlKiller, first-- I love the name ;)

Next, keep in mind that because AMU has to follow their regional accreditation that it is not like most online collegiate communities. Although I have done it, it is not recommended to “Stack” classes thinking you can blow through coursework. It doesn’t always work that way due, again, their accreditation. Most classes, however, I have found will post most assignments in advance so you can work ahead. I hope this tid-bit helps you and any others looking at AMU. It is not like University of Phoenix Online or those other colleges you see on TV.

Look at the differences between National and Regional Accreditation. Regional seems to be the important one; one that most conventional universities have. AMU has both.

rgrdrew 15 March 2007 15:07

I like AMU as well. I started with them a while back and then went on hiatus for a bit. Recently went back so I could finish and found my particular area of study no longer existed. I got moved to something similar, but also got a couple more required courses added in for good measure. Now instead of 8 to go for my BA, I've gotta do 12 classes. My bad for waiting so long. You do a lot of writing, but as mentioned before you can work ahead if you so desire. And they tend to be very flexible if work committments affect your ability to finish on time.

Good luck, and keep us posted on what you decide. I'll be registering next week.

Drew

Sharky 15 March 2007 15:34

I looked at AMU when I was getting started but went with Troy University instead because AMU was not accredited at the time. Troy gave me 24 credit hours for my military experience, 18 of which immediately gave me a minor in Military Science, and 6 left over toward electives. I clepped 6 hours of Spanish as well. So, I went from zero to 30 hours pretty fast. After that I took 3 classes per semester, 5 (10 week) semesters per year until graduation with a BS 2.5 years later. At the end I was completely and 100% burned out. It was not for the weak or faint of heart to try that while working full time as well....lol

My only concern with AMU now would be how it is viewed by prospective employers. People who haven't tried the online program tend to think it is easier than going to school on a campus and they tend to turn their noses up at online degrees and universities like Univ of Phoenix. Those of us who have actually done it know better. But, that doesn't seem to matter. In some cases an employer wont care where your degree is from as long as you can check the block that you have one. In other cases, they will frown on degrees from online universities such as AMU and Phoenix. That was another reason that I liked Troy, as it is a "real" college with a campus, football team etc. I fully realize that it shouldn't make a difference, but the reality is that it does. They have also shown that they don't vet their professors credentials very well, as we have seen here on this site more than once.


What I do really like about AMU is the variety of non-traditional courses offered, such as the homeland security and terrorism studies.

Sharky 15 March 2007 15:36

Here's an example of one of their professors puffing up his resume....LOL


Larry M Forness

Dr. Larry Forness was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He contracted non-permanent paralysis from polio as a young child, which he overcame to excel as an all-sports athlete through the collegiate level. He is a former United States Marine. He continues to provide classified consulting to various special operations (SpecOps) units of the U.S. Military. He has fought America's enemies in many countries, on the battlefield and "in the shadows." He has also worked with special units of our allies, particularly Israel and South Korea. He was a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), American Legion China Post #1 (Operating in exile), Chief Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor with the super-secret 1st Special Operations Airborne Detachment, and has been extremely active in planning, support and operations of POW/MIA missions. His expertise is intelligence and unconventional warfare. Dr. Forness was the Founder of the National Center for Sports Medicine and it’s Director for more than ten years. While at the National Center for Sports Medicine, he developed the L.I.F.E. Test, a set of clinical tests, measurements and examinations that determine a person's true (biophysiological) age. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and holds its highest-level certification--Director of Health and Fitness; one of fewer than 250 healthcare specialists in the world to hold that distinction. Dr. Forness is a member of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology (PSRAST), American Medical Informatics Association; the American Society for Human Genetics; the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics; the Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology, the National Council for Reliable Health Information; and Mensa, as well as being a certified Healthcare Accountant and Financial Manager Dr. Forness took his first course via distance education at age 20. In the intervening years, he has earned six degrees via distance education, has been an adjunct faculty member at various universities for nearly a decade, and was a Dean of Distance Education at a major healthcare university in the southeastern United States. He possesses nine earned degrees, which include three Doctorates. He did his undergraduate training at Notre Dame and took some of his advanced degrees and training from prestigious universities such as Duke University and UCLA. He also earned two Law degrees (JD and LL.M.). His latest book, Don't Get Duped! A Consumer's Guide to Health and Fitness (about fraud and deception in the health and fitness industry), was published by Prometheus Books in January 2002 He is a former United States Marine, a sport parachutist, a licensed pilot (with Instrument Rating), and a First Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo as well as being an avid weightlifter, is single and resides near the campus of the University of Notre Dame, his undergraduate alma mater.

JCastro 15 March 2007 16:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharky
Here's an example of one of their professors puffing up his resume....LOL


Larry M Forness

Dr. Larry Forness was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He contracted non-permanent paralysis from polio as a young child, which he overcame to excel as an all-sports athlete through the collegiate level. He is a former United States Marine. He continues to provide classified consulting to various special operations (SpecOps) units of the U.S. Military. He has fought America's enemies in many countries, on the battlefield and "in the shadows." He has also worked with special units of our allies, particularly Israel and South Korea. He was a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), American Legion China Post #1 (Operating in exile), Chief Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor with the super-secret 1st Special Operations Airborne Detachment, and has been extremely active in planning, support and operations of POW/MIA missions. His expertise is intelligence and unconventional warfare. Dr. Forness was the Founder of the National Center for Sports Medicine and itís Director for more than ten years. While at the National Center for Sports Medicine, he developed the L.I.F.E. Test, a set of clinical tests, measurements and examinations that determine a person's true (biophysiological) age. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and holds its highest-level certification--Director of Health and Fitness; one of fewer than 250 healthcare specialists in the world to hold that distinction. Dr. Forness is a member of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology (PSRAST), American Medical Informatics Association; the American Society for Human Genetics; the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics; the Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology, the National Council for Reliable Health Information; and Mensa, as well as being a certified Healthcare Accountant and Financial Manager Dr. Forness took his first course via distance education at age 20. In the intervening years, he has earned six degrees via distance education, has been an adjunct faculty member at various universities for nearly a decade, and was a Dean of Distance Education at a major healthcare university in the southeastern United States. He possesses nine earned degrees, which include three Doctorates. He did his undergraduate training at Notre Dame and took some of his advanced degrees and training from prestigious universities such as Duke University and UCLA. He also earned two Law degrees (JD and LL.M.). His latest book, Don't Get Duped! A Consumer's Guide to Health and Fitness (about fraud and deception in the health and fitness industry), was published by Prometheus Books in January 2002 He is a former United States Marine, a sport parachutist, a licensed pilot (with Instrument Rating), and a First Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo as well as being an avid weightlifter, is single and resides near the campus of the University of Notre Dame, his undergraduate alma mater.

Sounds like a bio for an online dating service! :D

whlkiller 15 March 2007 19:42

LoL, that prof sounds like the hero from a Clive Cussler novel:) Thanks all for the good information I appreciate it..

Sharky, I had actually given some thought about the topic you brought up, that being a prospective employers view of an online degree. As I was planning on pursuing a Masters from jump, I didn't concern myself with that when I enrolled at the University of Phoenix..I wanted a good accredited program with flexibility to do it anywhere I may have ended up, and it worked well for that. Now that I am looking at my Masters not only do I want something that isn't going to be blown off by employers but I also want a program that thoroughly encompasses the field of study I choose. I think as your level of eductation goes up so does the expectation of your employers.

AMU sounds like a possiblity as it is fully accredited and it offers some distinct programs. I did however find that the University of Washington offers a Masters in Strategic Planning for Critical Infrastructures...so there are some options out there. My only thought is that if you get a degree in a program like this are you narrowing your scope in terms of employment....

CV 15 March 2007 20:15

bah, fuck money and employment. Go with what sounds cool :D

Sharky 15 March 2007 20:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by whlkiller
My only thought is that if you get a degree in a program like this are you narrowing your scope in terms of employment....



Possibly. The question is, what are your goals?

The Corporate Guy 15 March 2007 20:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharky
My only concern with AMU now would be how it is viewed by prospective employers.

...In some cases an employer wont care where your degree is from as long as you can check the block that you have one. In other cases, they will frown on degrees from online universities such as AMU and Phoenix.

IMHO, this is becoming less of an issue as everyone gets more comfortable with the virtual world. I agree that some employers will not care where the degree is from, but most will care that it is accredited by a reasonable accrediting body.

Reputation of a college can be a big issue in some hiring environments. Big name schools which are highly selective carry clout, and colleges with open enrollments can be second or third class citizens - and it doesn't matter much if they are virtual or traditional.

The X factor is the context in which the degree was earned. There is much to be said for a job applicant who earned a non-traditional degree (especially with high grades) while dealing with challenges that most young college kids would have difficulty comprehending. Some young Ranger/PJ/SEAL/etc. who earned a degree from AMU, between deployments, is going to be able to compete very well with graduates from even the most elite traditional institutions.

Just my .02

whlkiller 15 March 2007 21:47

All good points, and it gives me more to chew over in making the decision. As I have been doing research, I have found more and more specialized degrees in the area of homeland security, strategic intelligence that are being offered by a wide range of institutions which is good to see. I have personally been kicking around strategic intelligence with an emphasis on the middle east, I think its something that will applicable for a while yet:)

Sharky 15 March 2007 21:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Corporate Guy
IMHO, this is becoming less of an issue as everyone gets more comfortable with the virtual world.




Very true.

Sharky 15 March 2007 21:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by whlkiller
I have personally been kicking around strategic intelligence with an emphasis on the middle east, I think its something that will applicable for a while yet:)



Applicable, yes. But remember that a lot of employers have the mindset of "We're gonna teach you all of that anyway". You'll find that a lot of them look for the something extra that you bring to the table.


A very wise and very successful businessman who happens to have served in all three Ranger Battalions as well as a Tier-1 unit told me not too long ago that one of the best routes you can go right now educationally is Project Management. Something to think about.

CAMedic 15 March 2007 23:25

Sharky,

With all due respect, I have found Prof. Forness a great instructor who forces his students to excel. He is a hard teacher and doesn't play games with his students, no whining, sugar coating, give away grades, no breaks unless you earn them. I have had good experiences with ALL the instructors at AMU.


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