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Does the American Military University (AMU) teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past? Wikileaks

Does the American Military University (AMU) teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past? Wikileaks

Before I can actually broach the question I pose above head on and submit to you the facts I have that will allow you to draw your own conclusions based on proffered evidence, authenticated documentation and testimonial correspondence, I must digress and as briefly and yet as thoroughly as possible, seat this story within the historical context that gave rise to the necessity of my interrogatories, investigations, questions and subsequent answers to the question at issue expressed in the title of this piece.  This, by necessity, must include a brief overview of my initial investigative work that then led to an understanding of the rise of the American Military University, its sources of revenue, its current student population, college curriculum and its financial business model, for it is a for-profit corporation and as such is driven by one main fiduciary and insatiable duty: profits and profit maximization.

This goal is in direct opposition to the needs of working people to receive the public benefits and affordable costs associated with pubic institutions and a public education.  Public education such as community colleges, don’t operate for profit — nor do non-profit colleges and universities.  They operate for students and the institutional stakeholders they serve, as well as the communities they assist.  For-profit universities will argue they operate for the best interests of students, but their legal and fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders and this means assuring stock prices rise.

Once as a reader you have an understanding of the nature of this proprietary college (college run for profit) coupled with the documentation I will provide, you will then be able to come to your own conclusion as to the central question at issue: Does the American Military University teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past?

Stumbling onto AMU

I hadn’t heard of the American Military University (AMU) until I wrote a piece for Counterpunch.com late last year entitled, A Neo-liberal arts education (Weil, D., Diploma Mills and Debt Peonage A Neo-Liberal Arts Education, October 15, 2009: http://www.counterpunch.org/weil10152009.html).

I was sherlocking around investigating what are called ‘proprietary universities or colleges’, meaning, they are for profit institutions and are not public institutions.  In fact, Westlake College paid a substantial fine of $7 million dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by whistleblowers for alleged illegal business practices (ibid).  This was the subject of my story.

The San Francisco Weekly (which I quoted in my article, referenced above) had mentioned the American Public University System, which I was later to learn was connected directly to the American Military University.  The SF Weekly article stated:

“Now instead of becoming a dental assistant or truck driver, you can take out federal grants and loans to obtain a $33,000 online bachelor’s degree in “Homeland Security” from the American Public University System, a for-profit college that consists largely of a Web site” (ibid).

Shortly after my article appeared in Counterpunch.com, I received an e-mail from the President and Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Board of Trustees and a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Public University System (APUS), Mr. Wally Boston.  Mr. Boston began his e-mail to me by stating:

“I read your post entitled A Neo-Liberal Arts Education.  I saw that you cited an inaccurate article from the San Francisco Weekly regarding the American Public University System (APUS).  APUS is much more than a website and it’s too bad that the writer of that article did little research about us” (e-mail).

Many corporations have ‘media sensitive’ personnel that track any mention of their organization or name and though I am not sure this was the case with APUS, my interest was piqued by the rapidity of the response by Mr. Boston to my article; so I saddled up and set out to find out just what the APUS was.  According to Mr. Boston, in the initial e-mail he sent me, he indicated that:

“The American Public University System is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the same organization that accredits Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Ohio State University and 1,000 other traditional institutions. We are in good standing with our accrediting body.  Our 1,000+ faculty members have relevant academic credentials and real-world experience in the fields in which they teach.  Many of our professors also teach at on-the-ground universities across the country and around the globe.  Of our more than 50,000 students, over 40,000 serve on active duty with the U.S. armed forces. Many more serve in law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency response, and as public K-12 teachers” (e-mail).

A quick internet search of the American Public University System (APUS) led me directly to the American Military University (AMU) site, for it was the American Military University that was the foundation and catalyst for the growth and development of what has now morphed into the American Public University System (APUS).  And thus begins the story.

Just what is the American Military University (AMU) and what is its connection to the American Public University System (APUS)?

The American Military University (AMU) is the brainchild of Jim Etter. Mr. Etter served twenty-one years in the United States Marine Corps.  In 1966 Mr. Etter enlisted in the Marines and served three years as a forward observer.  He served in Vietnam (1967-1968) and received two purple hearts during his tour.  After completing his Bachelor degree in 1973, he returned to the Marine Corps as a Naval Flight Officer, completing over 2,000 flight hours in the F-4 Phantom. Etter is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School, Top Gun and he retired from the Marine Corp in 1991.  It was at that time that he created and launched the American Military University.

The American Military University (AMU) was, according to Mr. Etter’s partial biography at (http://jamesetter.com/?page_id=2) started on a picnic table in his basement in 1991.   Etter, in an interview with Today’s Campus Online, spoke about his motivation in starting the university:

“I had seen thousands of Marine officers reading and studying on their own with no way to wrap a degree around their studying.  Discharged from the Marine Corps in 1991, I was determined to bring a college education to them.  Soldiers and sailors have limited time and money.  And they are deployed or transferred frequently.  On my basement picnic table I undertook the design project of my life” (Interview with Jim Etter, http://www.todayscampus.com/minute/load.aspx?art=1827).

AMU was initially founded as a graduate school for military studies, but the instruction and learning as it were, was delivered in a correspondence school model.  Wikpedia notes the date the college was conceived as June 11, 1991 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Public_University_System and this is verified through my correspondence with Mr. Boston.

The date is important for the timing of the birth of the university couldn’t have been better.  August 2, 1990 was the beginning of what was to be called “The Gulf War’.  This war went on officially until February 2, 1991.  In 1991, among the navy, army and marine Corp there were 1,985,555 active duty military personnel (Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004598.html).  With many veterans returning from the war while others remaining permanently deployed overseas, these facts coupled with the rise and growth of the Internet afforded entrepreneurs with ties to the military access to a market of potential students of close to 2,000,000 and substantial opportunities to open ‘for-profit’ colleges to serve them.

The ‘market’ for troops

The burgeoning market of returning veterans and thousands of active duty military personnel in 1991 provided a potential financial windfall from such an entrepreneurial venture and the profits promised to be enormous.  In fact they are and steadily growing.

In 1993 AMU officially started its operations by offering its initial classes to 18 students, who took a total of 23 courses.  Mr. Etter established the University by offering a single Masters Degree in Military Studies and then successfully guided and nurtured the school to a position where it was able to offer 50 degree programs at the Master’s and Bachelor’s level, before Etter retired from the University in 2004.

At the time of its conception, AMU had finagled itself as one of the first American degree-granting institutions operating exclusively at a distance (APUS 2008 Catalogue- Information-History) The APUS catalogue notes that the university was opened to accommodate the special needs of military students who moved often and served under uncertain conditions. AMU was initially a correspondence program that could use mail, e-mail, phone and fax and allow those in the military to have 24/7 access to their on-line classes and thus their ‘university education’ (APUS 2008 Catalogue).

Although Etter fails to mention this in any interviews I’ve read, due to the timing of the end of the Iraq War, the permanent deployment of troops and the return home of many Gulf War veterans, there can be little doubt that AMU was also increasingly interested in getting a piece of the GI Bill and Military Tuition Assistance Program being offered to returning veterans to attend college.  Both these programs are paid for with taxpayer funds and thus neo-liberal economics, the transfer of public funds to private for-profit institutions, was a necessary precondition for AMU and its future growth.

Wally Boston in his e-mail to me mentioned that:

“…… our first degree, a (sic) MA in Military Studies, was specifically tailored by the school to provide an education that would be helpful for the career of a military officer with concentrations in Air Warfare, Naval Warfare, Land Warfare, and Amphibious Warfare.  Jim Etter had been an instructor at Marine Corps University and knew instructors at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA and the Naval Postgraduate School.  These programs were residential and not offered via distance education.  Jim hired instructors from these schools as adjuncts to teach courses within their realm of expertise.  The curriculum and the reputation of the instructors attracted the initial students.  Those students spread the word about the program to others and we steadily grew.  As we expanded instructors and students, we added courses and degrees that suited their backgrounds.  Degrees were added in Strategic Intelligence, National Security, Military History, Emergency Management, etc.  Few traditional schools offer these degrees and those that do are generally not close to military bases” (E-mail, Wally Boston).

The issue of accreditation

In June of 1995, AMU became nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).  From there the university bloomed, and in January 1996 AMU introduced its first set of undergraduate programs.  By 1998, the university had transitioned from a correspondence school to an online format, or ‘distance learning’ university conducted over the internet – a “website”.

2002 saw AMU expand drastically and morphed into what is now known as the American Public University System.  Etter then established American Public University and in 2006, APUS was granted regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Public_University_System).

In order to accelerate the explosive growth of these for-profit universities that cater specifically to active duty military forces and returning veterans, the certification or accreditation of the schools becomes a large issue, for like a Wall Street rating agency, they give legitimacy to the colleges and deem what degrees are valid, what units are transferable, and what passes the smell test for potential employment of graduates.

Public institutions, such as your local community college or state college or state university are subjected to high standards by certification boards, but not so for many for-profit institutions, thanks to government deregulation, murky transparency and lax oversight.  Online for-profit schools, such as American Military University, have relocated their headquarters to specific states to obtain certification from regional boards with less demanding standards than those imposed on many public institutions – all this according to interviews with for-profit-college officials and accrediting agencies.

APUS/AMU and Neo-liberal economics: The G.I. Bill

In a recent Boomberg.com article entitled, Marine Can’t Recall His Lessons at For-Profit College, author Daniel Golden looks closely at the rise of the for-profit universities and colleges that have experienced rapid growth in the last two decades.  The article specifically looks at the for-profit colleges that target the military/industrial complex.  Golden says these colleges are raking in millions by recruiting soldiers as students.  The question he poses is: how valuable is the education they are receiving?

In the article, which was developed in Bloomberg.news and then published in Business Week in December 2009, Golden notes that due to the GI Bill:

“Since 1947 the Defense Dept. has subsidized college tuition for active-duty service members, a benefit intended to boost recruitment and retention. State universities, community colleges, and private nonprofit colleges have traditionally dominated the market. They provide classes on bases under agreements with the military services, and their programs undergo federal review” (Golden, D., For-Profit Colleges Target the Military: Online universities are raking in millions by signing up soldiers as students. But how valuable is the education they’re delivering http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_02/b4162036095366.htm).

The initial G.I. Bill (officially titled the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat. 284m) was an omnibus bill that provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s) as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It also provided many different types of loans for returning veterans to buy homes and start businesses. Since the original act, the term has come to include other veteran benefit programs created to assist veterans of subsequent wars as well as peacetime service.  The success of the 1944 G.I. Bill prompted the government to offer similar measures to later generations of veterans.

The Veterans’ Adjustment Act of 1952, signed into law on July 16, 1952 offered benefits to veterans of the Korean Conflict who served for more than 90 days and had received an “other than dishonorable discharge.”  One significant difference between the 1944 G.I. Bill and the 1952 Act was that tuition was no longer paid directly to the chosen institution of higher education. Instead, veterans received a fixed monthly sum of $110 from which they had to pay for their tuition, fees, books, and living expenses.

The 1952 decision to abort direct tuition payments to schools came after a 1950 House select committee uncovered incidents of overcharging of tuition rates by some institutions under the original G.I. Bill in an attempt to defraud the government (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill).  The new bill was a severe blow to for-profit institutions that once received their payments directly from the state.  Now they would be forced to bill G.I.’s who received stipends to go to college and this would mean far more oversight, transparency and inherent regulation.

Years later, after many legislative gyrations, the Post 911 G.I Bill was passed and its ‘benefits’ became available starting in 2009.  The US Department of Veteran Affairs states:

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay your tuition based upon the highest in-state tuition charged by an educational institution in the state where the educational institution is located. For more expensive tuition, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference. This program is called the “Yellow Ribbon Program”. For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program click on the link below” (US Department of Veteran Affairs,http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Post-911.htm).

Under the new The Post-911 GI Bill, for-profit colleges would now be paid directly, as they had been before 1952.  Neo-liberal economics had now set up a feeding tray for GI Benefits to be directly transferred to for-profit universities and colleges with a simple recipient signature.  This public policy change, of course, seemed to ignore the 1950 House select committee that uncovered incidents of overcharging of tuition rates by some institutions under the original G.I. Bill in an attempt to defraud the government – the purpose of the 1952 regulations.  In fact, The Post-911 G.I. Bill defanged government regulation and built in direct payments to proprietary military colleges as a form of deregulation, what the original 1952 bill had attempted to curb.  In one felt swoop, this neo-liberal use of government by elite policy makers allowed for the escalation and growth of for-profit military targeted institutes of “higher education”.

Profiting from decades of wrangling with the G.I. Bill, for-profit colleges specializing in online degrees are starting to make substantial inroads in eating away at the public and non-profit college market. One of the big reasons they can do this are the politics of neo-liberalism: online programs don’t require federal contracts and aren’t subject to the same regulatory scrutiny by federal regulators that community colleges are. Many of them feature “add an egg” courses and fast-food degrees, or entice service members to enroll in the institutions with freebees, like giving away textbooks or free laptops.  Another reason they can profit is that their students can take courses from a cave in Afghanistan or desk in the Green Zone in Iraq.  Then of course there is the fact that community colleges and non-profits are facing severe cut-backs due to the last thirty years of “drowning government in a bathtub.”

As I noted in my Counterpunch.com article the real story when it comes to all the military oriented for-profit colleges and universities concerns the neo-liberal public policy changes that opened up the military-education market.  In 1999, under President Bill Clinton, the Defense Department broadened eligibility for reimbursement to include more for-profit colleges in the pool. Then the Department of Defense increased funding in 2002 from 75% to 100% of tuition up to the $250-per-credit ceiling (ibid).  These public policy changes favoring relaxing entry and funding for military proprietary colleges coincided with the rise of Internet courses and the fiscal crisis’ that were beginning to come home to roost and that as a result, financially threatened many public institutions.  All of this was to be good news for AMU and APUS, and to be fair, for their for-profit competitors.

According to Business Week, today for-profit schools account for a staggering 29% of college enrollments and 40% of the half-billion-dollar annual tab in federal tuition assistance for active-duty students. These are our tax dollars that go to private for profit colleges and their CEO’s and major stockholders, not to build community based public institutions.  Because profit is the primary motive, education of course gets compromised and at a very high price.

Greg von Lehmen, chief academic officer of the University of Maryland University College, the adult-education branch of the state school and one of the oldest and biggest providers of education for military personnel, says the shift is leading to educational shortcuts and overzealous marketing on the part of the for-profit college and university segment (ibid).

von Lehman notes:

“In these schools, the rule is faster and easier. They’re characterized by increasingly compressed course lengths and low academic expectations. One has to ask: Is the Department of Defense getting what it is seeking?” (ibid).

Of the dozen colleges with the biggest active-duty enrollment, five are for-profits that conduct most or all of their courses online. Three — American Military University, Phoenix, and closely held Grantham — charge $250 a credit, or $750 a course, which allows them to receive the maximum reimbursement allowed from U.S. taxpayers without service members having to pay any out-of-pocket tuition. On the other hand, publicly funded community colleges, the target of massive budget cuts, offer classes on military bases for as little as $50 a credit (ibid).

Although the Business Week report took a skeptical look at many of the on-line, for-profit universities and colleges the author, Daniel Golden, seemed to go out of his way to consistently laud the work of APUS/AMU.  For example, Golden quoted Robert Songer, the director of lifelong learning at a military camp, Camp Lejeune as saying that AMU and APUS “do a very good job taking care of students,” but he then went on to note that several schools have become a concern on military bases because of practices that exploit soldiers and the federal subsidies they are promised.  Songer also stated:

“Several online for-profit schools have become a concern on military bases because of practices that exploit soldiers and the federal subsidies they are promised

Some of these schools prey on Marines. Day and night, they call you, they e-mail you. These servicemen get caught in that. Nobody in their families ever went to college. They don’t know about college” (ibid).

They recruitment them as kids to join the military and then once they’re out, they recruit them into military oriented for-profit colleges and universities.

Distant learning degrees at a disadvantage?

Not all employers are thrilled with the colleges either.  Mike Shields, a retired Marine Corps colonel and human resources director for U.S. field operations at Schindler Elevator Corp., said he rejects about 50 military candidates each year for the company’s management development program because their graduate degrees come from online for-profits; Schindler Elevator is the North American operating entity of Schindler Holding AG in Hergiswil, Switzerland, the world’s second-largest elevator maker.   According to Shields:

“We don’t even consider them.  For the caliber of individuals and credentials we’re looking for, we need what we feel is a more broadened and in-depth educational experience” (ibid).

He does hire service members with online degrees for jobs on non-leadership tracks, he said.

Daniel Golden noted in his article for Business Week that:

“When service members do earn degrees from online for- profits, human resources executives at Fortune 500 firms are often reluctant to hire them, said Cohen, citing three where he has placed candidates. “There are some firms that are heavily credential-oriented,” he said. “McKinsey & Co. is one of them. They might balk. Amazon might balk. Shell Oil is another one.” McKinsey, Amazon.com and Shell declined to comment.

Bradford Rand, chief executive of Techexpo Top Secret in New York, which runs job fairs for defense contractors recruiting recent veterans, said a degree from an online for- profit is a disadvantage. “You have two people of the same caliber, one has a degree from a real college, one has a degree from a computer, I’m going to favor the one from the live college,” Rand said. “It’s more verifiable, more credible.”

The Defense Department plans to subject online programs to review by the American Council on Education in Washington, which already monitors face-to-face classes on military bases, defense officials said. The new online standards, which the department began to develop in 2004, have taken longer than expected and are a year away from being implemented, Tommy Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said in an e-mail” (ibid).

Judging by the rapid response to my own article in Counterpunch.com by Wally Boston, I can only infer that the American Military University and the American Public University System monitor closely the news that comes out by the media, corporate or otherwise.  They do this, one would logically conclude, to engage in “damage control” for as we will see, they have a great deal to gain and a lot to lose if negative media is not countered directly.

The Neo-liberal economics of the American Public University System’s (APUS) business plan

What is clear is that the only thing ‘public’ about the American Public University System is that it is publicly traded in the form of stock on the NASDAQ; the rest of the ‘public’ part is little more than an oxymoron and an outright invitation to misrepresentation.  The for-profit college has managed to cobble together a neo-liberal business plan that socializes the costs of their ‘online education’ while privatizing their gains in the form of higher shareholder profits and CEO salaries.  And so far, it’s working out quite well, for investors and CEOs.

APUS has distance learners studying in 50 states and more than 100 countries.  APUS, through members American Military University and American Public University, now offers 76 degree programs and 51 certificates.  APUS has an open admissions policy and so it does not require ACT or SAT scores. At their website the company says:

“We offer an impressive curriculum, with more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including homeland security, intelligence, education, and emergency management” (APUS, about us http://www.apus.edu/about-us/).

At AMU one can get a degree or certificate in:

  • Emergency and Disaster Management-Capstone Option - (MA)
  • Homeland Security - (BA, Grad Cert, MA, Undergrad Cert)
  • Homeland Security-Capstone Option - (MA)
  • Hospitality - (AA)
  • Terrorism Studies - (Grad Cert)
  • Terrorism Studies - (Undergrad Cert)
  • Transportation and Logistics Management - (BA, MA)
  • Transportation and Logistics Management-Capstone Option - (MA)

Just to name just a few degrees and certificates offered by AMU.

APUS/AMU goes on to state that:

“We have two administrative offices – our headquarters are in Charles Town, WV and supporting administrative offices are in Manassas, VA” (Facts, http://www.apus.edu/about-us/facts.htm).

The university employs 450 staff to run its various locations.

Taking private education ‘public’

In November 2007 Etter took APUS ‘public’ on the NASDAQ in an initial public offering of the stock through William Blair & Company, L.L.C. Piper Jaffray & Co. was acting as co-lead manager, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, ThinkEquity Partners LLC, BMO Capital Markets Corp. and Signal Hill Capital Group LLC at the time were acting as co-managers for the offering. The stock, company trading symbol known as APEI, was trading at the time of the offering at $31.20 after pricing 4,687,500 shares at $20.00 per share (American Public Education (APEI) IPO Surges Higher Streetinsider.com November 9, 2007 http://www.streetinsider.com/Hot+List/American+Public+Education+(APEI)+IPO+Surges+Higher/3107170.htm).

On March 18, 2010 the stock was trading at $46.73.  This is a whopping 150% increase in three years despite the collapse of the economy.  You can thank neo-liberal economics, such as the 911 GI Bill for this hefty surge in the stock price as more and more public monies are being siphoned off by the corporation and dispersed as profits to both CEO’s and major shareholders.  The company, according to Hoovers on-line is now worth an estimated $149,000,000.

With the increase in the military budget throughout the last twenty years and the proliferation of war throughout the eight continents of the world, APUS/AMU has found a very large and attractive market in active duty military personnel and retiring veterans.  In short, war is very profitable not just for the armament industry or the Halliburton’s, KBR’s, DynCorp’s and the Blackwater’s of the world; but it has also been a boon to ancillary for-profit businesses that add to the cost of the military expenditures like APUS/AMU and similar for-profit colleges that target military personnel.  Remember, unlike during the 1950’s when returning G.I’s. took public monies and primarily went to public colleges and universities under the 1947 G.I. Bill; the for-profit university model is now a formidable player in siphoning off public monies needed to strengthen and build strong community schools. They instead are competing with public colleges and universities for taxpayer subsidies, and their getting them.

How is an education at APUS/AMU subsidized?

Wally Boston was very helpful in providing me answers with many of my questions concerning the day to day operations of the college and its economic business model.  According to Boston:

“…all of our military students utilizing tuition assistance for their undergraduate degree are able to earn a degree and not have any loans.  Between 5-7 percent of our students use benefits from their GI Bill to attend.  This number is tougher to measure because the Montgomery GI Bill pays the student who in turn pays us.  The Post 911 GI Bill pays the college directly, (emphasis mine) but we are only three months into the commencement of that program.  With both of those programs, the benefits are more than enough to cover the cost of attending our institution without incurring student loans.  As previously stated, 19 percent of our students utilize FSA.  While loans are part of their aid package, the lower cost of our tuition means that all of their loans are subsidized loans versus unsubsidized loans which are used to cover tuition at higher priced colleges that exceeds the annual federal subsidized loan limits.  The remaining 14-16 percent of our students either pay us directly or their employer pays us” (e-mail, Boston).

When I spoke to Beth LaGuardia, vice president of marketing for APUS, she verified Boston’s facts.  For a student wishing to attend APUS/AMU, 5-7% of their tuition is paid for by the GI Bill, 60% comes from what is referred to as the Military Tuition Assistance Program (MTAP, paid for through the Department of Defense), 19% is paid for by FSA student loans and 14-16% is employer or individual based payment.

Business Week, in its report on military for-profit universities noted the cost to taxpayers:

“Taxpayers picked up $474 million for college tuition for 400,000 active-duty personnel in the year ended Sept. 30, 2008, more than triple the spending a decade earlier, Defense Dept. statistics show. While degrees from any accredited college provide a boost toward military promotion, credentials from online, for-profit schools can be less helpful in getting civilian jobs, especially in a tight labor market” (Golden, D., For-Profit Colleges Target the Military: Online universities are raking in millions by signing up soldiers as students. But how valuable is the education they’re delivering http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_02/b4162036095366.htm ).

All true: but what is usually kept secret is that these subsidies are not being used for building affordable public or community colleges for working communities in their communities; they are instead underwriting the costs and profits for Wall Street publicly traded companies called ‘universities’ done on desktops, thus disinvesting in traditional public American colleges, universities and the communities they are designed to serve.  And they are doing so while at the same time graduates are finding that these ‘online’ degrees are more often than not, little more than ‘diplomas’ cut from the back of cereal packages.

Marketing and recruiting costs for APSU/AMU

Military enrollment at exclusively online for-profits of all stripes is soaring.  According to Business Week, American Military University has 36,772 active-duty students, up from 632 in 2000. It has the most Air Force and Marine Corps students of any college, profit or, non-profit or public (ibid).  When I spoke with Beth LaGuardia she told me of the 53,000 students enrolled at the APUS universities, 46,000 were from the military (phone conversation with Beth LaGuardia).

During one of our conversations I asked Ms. LaGuardia about the amount of money APUS spends in one year for marketing, recruitment and enrollment.  She indicated to me that it was between 11-14%, with the following breakdown: 20% went for print marketing such as trade publication and the Military Times, 35% went for online marketing on the internet, 20% went for radio, direct mail and TV marketing while the other 25% went for trade shows (conversation with Beth LaGuradia).

LaGuardia told me that “relationship marketing”, or the marketing of the college by word of mouth from successful graduates, was responsible for 50% of the enrollment in the college and she mentioned that the system was very proud of this type of marketing for it kept the costs of advertising down.  This is the recruitment, done in the showers, mess rooms or otherwise, that is done by veterans and active military.

Do the marketing reductions get translated into better student services and learning?  It’s doubtful.  For profit schools, whether they are military oriented or by they simply aimed at the general population, exist for one purpose: to make a profit and to increase share holder value.  They do this by minimizing the cost to the corporation of ‘delivery’ of their product, in this case the product is ‘a so-called education’.  This means charging maximum tuition, holding down the cost of teacher wages, benefits, cost of curriculum, investment in student resources, staff salaries, development and real estate costs and reducing student services to minimal internet access and an online library.

On the other hand, community colleges and non-profit institutions of higher education spend very little if anything on marketing costs.  As public institutions they don’t make profits, nor are they in the business of making them.  Their tuition is far lower, as indicated above, and their teachers and classified staff far better compensated than those similarly situated in for-profit colleges.  Community colleges also have ‘real’ classes, not simply virtual on line ‘second life’ learning.  They also employ community members like janitors, maintenance personnel, law enforcement, admission services employment, library personnel, resource centers with counselors and deans and a host of jobs within student services.  Yet perhaps more importantly, they offer a communal face to face culture where students are able to learn collaboratively and enjoy and participate in a public campus life, not simply stare into a screen.

Who runs the APUS/AMU?

The university system, both the APUS and AMU, are run by a board of trustees.  The board is a nine member board made up of military, business and academic personnel.  As the college is private and for-profit, the board is not elected by the general public.  It is elected by the shareholders.

Under the Board of Trustees is the actual senior management — the Board of Directors.  The board of directors is mostly made up of former Major Generals, many of them involved in the Vietnam and Iraq wars, among other military conflicts.  There are former capital investors and marketing, admissions, strategic planning and investor relations type of people on the board.  The Board of Directors is basically retired military and business types, which is logical.  The university system is a military business that trades on the NASDAQ with the sole intent of boosting share prices and profits.  One would not think it would have Nobel Laureates or Pulitzer Prize winners on the board.  These are skilled businessmen and military personnel.

I did not research how much the Board of Directors is paid.  However, one can assume they are paid quite handsomely and no doubt own or are entitled to stock in the company.  As the objective of this article was not a detailed forensic analysis of the financial webs within the university system, I did not research corporate pay.  Suffice to say if board compensation is like the majority of members of publicly traded companies, the members are doing quite well – especially with two illegal wars going on at one time and the stock price going through the roof.

Faculty

When I talked to Beth LaGuardia about the faculty at both APUS and AMU she told me they were adjunct faculty, mostly part-timers with no union representation and no benefits or tenure.  This is not unusual in the case of for-profit colleges and universities.  Most of them, from Strayer to The Phoenix University look to use part-time faculty and avoid any costs associated with benefits and health care.  This way they keep the cost of salary and benefits down as well as set up a labyrinth immune to unionization.  Without tenure and with only part-time work, the company knows that unionization, though not impossible, is very hard to accomplish for part-time faculty who work often in isolation, their only contact to other faculty being the internet.

A cursory glance at the AMU faculty shows some are graduates from Strayer University, another proprietary for-profit online college; others are from the University of Phoenix, still another;  while others herald from the University of Texas, Oklahoma, Webster University, Rhode Island College, The University of Albany, and even one graduate from Columbia University.  Many of the faculty are actual graduates of AMU or APUS.  This too is not unusual as many for-profit proprietary schools hire their own graduates.  Some faculty at AMU have PhD’s and some faculty have MA’s or only MS’s.

Dr. Larry Forness

One faculty member is of particular interest. His name is Larry M. Forness and is his activities as a “teacher” for AMU aim straight at the heart of this article and will go a long way to help answer the question at issue.  According to the AMU website:

“Dr. Larry Forness is a former United States Marine, with expertise in intelligence and unconventional warfare. He provides consulting services to various units of the U.S. Military. 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), and has been extremely active in planning and supporting POW/MIA missions” (http://www.amu.apus.edu/community/faculty/bio/380/larry-m-forness).

I first heard of Larry M. Forness from a whistleblower who told me I should look at Wikileaks, a website for whistleblowers.  There, I was told, I would find a lecture given by Dr. Larry M. Forness to a class while a teacher at AMU.  The whistleblower told me that the lecture was on torture and that the Forness gave it to a class he taught at American Military University online.

Does the American Military University (AMU) teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past?

So we now come full circle to the heart of this story and we ask the question as I pose above: Does the American Military University (AMU) teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past.

To answer this question, I am providing the website link that has the entire lecture by Dr. Forness so you can read it and make up your own mind.  I was told by Wikileaks that:

“…the doc is certainly legit and almost certainly a military distance education lecture” (private e-mail with Wikileaks editor).

You can find what is entitled: American Military University Torture Guide, by Sean McBride at: [political-research], Thu, 20 Dec 2007 08:56:00 -0800

http://www.mail-archive.com/political [email protected]/msg10357.htm

Here is a brief summary of the documentation:

“Summary Lecture on torture techniques by Dr. Larry Forness of the American Military University.

The document explains the rationale behind torturing prisoners, torture methods, and a justification for ignoring international law. Forness advocates the injection of truth serums, threatening to inject Muslim prisoners with pigs’ blood, and torturing detainees’ friends and family” (ibid).

The document then continues with Forness’ online ‘lecture’:

“TORTURE, INTERROGATION AND INTELLIGENCE

What I want you to keep in mind as you read this is that we are to assume the following situation: We have somebody in our custody, who we believe has knowledge of an impending terrorist attack, and we think that attack could be VERY serious, but we have less than five days to find out what this person knows about the impending attack. In this piece, I’m going to specifically address using drugs known as “truth serums” as the means by which we get the intelligence that we need. Some would call this a form of torture. I want you to know that I don’t glorify torture for its own sake. I accept it as a means to survival.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws. If you are not a United States citizen, don’t expect protection of our laws. Therefore, no terrorist — whether running free or in custody – is entitled to any protection under any international law to which we are a signatory or law of the United States.

Most of what follows is what I have learned from Israelis, South    Koreans, Russians, as well as Americans.  I want to address several fallacies of interrogation.

Fallacy #1.  Torture never works, because a prisoner will tell the    interrogators whatever they want to hear just to stop the torture. That’s based on a faulty assumption.

Fallacy #2.  Any prisoner can outwit his or her interrogators. This doesn’t work with interrogators who are members of a free society, and have very good to excellent intelligence sources to confirm and verify what a prisoner says.

Fallacy #3. Torture as a means of interrogation is generally not accepted throughout the world. In point of fact, within the last three years, more than three-quarters of all countries in the world have practiced torture as a means of interrogation.

Fallacy #4. These things called “truths serums” don’t really work.            They do work to varying degrees of success” (ibid).

Forness rebuts what he calls the ‘four’ fallacies, one by one in the document and then ads:

“What you don’t want to do is “stack” scopolamine with sodium pentathol and sodium amythal. Stacking” means adding one drug on top of another before the previous drug(s) has/have washed out of the system. You stack on somebody, you’ll kill them.

When time is not a consideration, and when used in conjunction with skilled interrogators on a prisoner who has not been trained to resist the effects, sodium pentathol and sodium amythal will get you the truth in approximately 10% to one third of the cases. When the truth absolutely positively has to be there within five days, forget them - use scopolamine injected into the spine.

I don’t honestly know if we have used any of these truth serums on Saddam Hussein. Too bad if we didn’t. My clearance doesn’t extend that high. For those of you who don’t know — and to oversimplify it — there are four different levels of security clearances. They are: secret; top-secret; top-secret/code word; beyond top-secret/code word. The words “code word” could be something like UMBRA. So if I had that level, I would be cleared top-secret/UMBRA, which means I would be allowed to see or hear anything that is secret, top-secret, and — separately — anything that a classified under the code word UMBRA (ibid).

Finally, waxing nostalgic, Forness recalls General Pershing:

“In 1909, before World War I, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, by Muslim extremists. General “Black Jack” Pershing was the appointed military governor of the Moro Province. He captured 50 terrorists and ordered them to be tied to posts for execution. Since all the prisoners were Muslim, he asked his men to bring two pigs and slaughter them in front of the prisoners. He then proceeded by dipping bullets into the pig’s blood. In the process he executed 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. Then, the soldiers dug a big hole in the ground and dumped in the terrorists’ bodies and covered them in pig’s blood and viscera. The last man was set free.

For 42 years there was not a single Muslim attack anywhere in the world. His rationale was quite simple and effective. Since a radical Muslim is willing to give his life for his religion in a Jihad war, killing him would not make much difference.

He would be seen as a martyr (shahada). But the General knew that all Muslims believe in eternal life after death with 72 virgins waiting for them in paradise. He also knew that those that embrace Jihad usually prepare themselves physically and spiritually in case they die in combat. Since the pig is considered forbidden food (haram) in Islam, Pershing introduced this variable to thwart their hopes to enter Allah’s kingdom. The pig’s blood automatically nullified any prior purification by contaminating their bodies.

My interrogation technique is quite simple. I follow General Pershing’s example and order a pig to be slaughtered near the prisoner. The blood of the animal run’s freely toward the prisoner’s feet. He will immediately lift his knees to avoid making contact with it. I fill a syringe with the pig’s blood and threaten to inject him in the arm. The prisoner will talk — and quickly. Fair? Depends on your perspective. Effective? Extremely.

What I say here are my own opinions, based upon fact. They are not to be construed as the policy or official position of APUS. As always, you are free to accept or reject anything I say, and verify it by any means you wish.

Thank you” (ibid).

I wrote Larry Forness on two occasions.  Once last year and once again this year, asking him if he would confirm the online lecture that was uncovered by Wikileaks.  I never heard from Mr. Forness.  I was not surprised; I never thought I would.

I then wrote Beth LaGuardia who had been kind enough to speak with me on two occasions about APUS.  Here is my e-mail to her from January 2010:

“Hello, Beth my name is Danny Weil and we spoke a few months ago.  I have e-mailed Larry Forness, a faculty member at AMU with a request for an interview.  Twice I e-mailed by (sic) both times he has failed to reply.

My concern is below.  Can you tell me if Mr. Forness is still using this curriculum or if this report is not true?  It appears on Wikileaks as well as in other spots on the Internet and I wish to get some clarification as to the veracity of the report and if this is still part of the curriculum” (e-mail January 2010).

I waited but did not hear from Beth so I wrote Wally Boston, the president of APUS, by e-mail on January 13th, 2010 and sent him a copy of the ‘online lecture’.  I informed him I had written on two occasions to Larry Forness and to Ms. LaGuardia and wished to confirm the veracity of the document as well as to inquire if this type of instruction was still going on at the American Military University.

Mr. Boston responded immediately and put me in touch with Ms. LaGuardia.  She sent me the following e-mail on January 15, 2010:

“Regarding the report from Dr. Forness, I have some feedback for you. The information from Wikileaks was taken out of context from a discussion posted several years ago in his classroom. Dr. Forness shares his personal opinions about current articles on a weekly basis to challenge ideas and stimulate intellectual discussion in the classroom. He notifies students that they are welcome to read/not read these opinions, as they are not opinions of the University or material that will be used or tested in the course. Dr. Forness doesn’t use this content in the classes today (nor has he for years).   As an academic institution, APUS is fully supportive of the freedom of faculty to express their opinions in the classroom regardless of their political persuasion” (e-mail, January 15, 2010, Beth LaGuardia).

Please contact me if you need anything further.”

I did contact her, by phone.  I wanted to see if I understood her position. She confirmed the documentation from Wikileaks once again.  So, I asked her, if this was an online lecture or an interpretation of an article?  I was confused.  And it was given to students in the classroom but only as an ‘opinion’ and not part of the curriculum?  And how was the ‘lecture’ out of context?  Somehow this didn’t make sense.

When I spoke with Ms. LaGuardia by phone, on January 22, 2010 over the concerns that I had and the ambiguity inherent in her e-mail, she told me that the lecture was a ‘prompt’ in an effort to engage debate and opinion among students.  She also confirmed once again it was posted online but said it was a matter of academic freedom and continued to argue that it was an opinion paper by Dr. Forness as a concept to engage class discussion.  So how was it out of context?

She also stated that it was no longer used in classes and she mentioned that she thought that “we’ve gone beyond this”, indicating to me that we were well beyond the initial phases of the war in Iraq and the controversies surrounding Guantanamo, torture and the treatment of detainees.  In other words, this was the past; we don’t do this any more.

Summary

On February 15th, 2009, Scott Horton, a reporter for Harper’s Magazine reported:

“Army Private Brandon Neely served as a prison guard at Guantánamo in the first years the facility was in operation. With the Bush Administration, and thus the threat of retaliation against him, now gone, Neely decided to step forward and tell his story. “The stuff I did and the stuff I saw was just wrong,” he told the Associated Press. Neely describes the arrival of detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, he details their sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, an isolation regime that was put in place for child-detainees, and his conversations with prisoners David Hicks and Rhuhel Ahmed. It makes for fascinating reading” (Gitmo Guard Tells All, February 15, 2009, Harpers Magazine, http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/02/hbc-90004409).

Early this year, the same Scott Horton, writing in Harper’s spoke about the three detainee deaths that miraculously were reported as suicides.

No, Ms. LaGuardia is either doing poor public relations or she doesn’t know the facts.  With the Obama administration protecting Bush era politics of detainment and torture, there is no telling how many screams are not being heard as you read this.

As to Mr. Forness, he has never contacted me.  When I shared Ms. LaGuardia’s e-mail, above with the Wikileaks editor, he simply wrote me this:

“….in no way an acceptable response” (e-mail, Wikileaks).

I think he is right.  You’ll have to make up your own minds and perhaps do your own inquiries.  The document circulated does ominously say this, though:

“Although the document was likely intended for Forness’ students, it was subsequently circulated within the US military, where it came to the attention of the Wikileaks whistleblower Peryton, who also disclosed Guantanamo Bay’s main manual Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedure (2004), which was authenticated publicly by Joint Task Force Guantanamo” (http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg10357.html).

Mr. Forness, could you please come forward?  We have some questions we would like to ask you.

Postnote

According to Ken Silverstein, writing for Harper’s Magazine, April 2010:

“For companies whose livelihood depends on military spending, the United States would seem to have entered a Golden Age.  Annual defense expenditures have reached $640 billion, almost double (adjusting for inflation) the post-Cold War low in 1998.  Over the next eight years, the ‘realists’ of the Obama administration plan to increase outlays by 5 percent over the already bountiful sums provided by George W. Bush” (Silverstein, K. Mad Men, April 2010, Harper’s Magazine).

That’s a lot of money being drained out of public coffers.  One can only wonder how much of the pie the for-profit military proprietary colleges and universities like the American Public University System and American Military University will get as military spending balloons to heights unheard of in the history of the world, decimating civilian life and laying wake to massive federal and state deficits.

I received the following from Wikileaks sometime in March of this year.

FYI:  US Intelligence planned to destroy  WikiLeaks

http://wikileaks.org/#us-intel-wikileaks

This document  is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S.counterintelligence  investigation into WikiLeaks. “The possibility that current employees or  moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing  sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out”.  It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses “trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whisteblowers”, the report recommends “The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former  insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy  this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions  from using the Wikileaks.org Web site”. [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective].

As an odd justification for  the plan, the report claims that “Several foreign countries  including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe  have denounced or blocked access to the Wikileaks.org website”.  The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks—U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S. violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay…

Julian  Assange
Editor
WikiLeaks

http://wikileaks.org/

 
 


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About The Author

Dr. Danny Weil is a public interest attorney who has practiced for more than twenty years and has been published in a case of first impression in California. He is no longer active as a lawyer but has written seven books on education, has taught second grade in South Central LA, PS 122, taught K-1 migrant children in Santa Maria, California and Guadalupe, California, taught in the California Youth Authority to first and second degree murderers and taught for seventeen years at Allan Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, CA. in the philosophy department. Dr. Weil holds a BA in Political Economics and Philosophy, a multi-subject bilingual credential in education (he is fluent in Spanish) and has a PhD in Critical Thinking. He is a writer for the Truthout Intellectual Project.

Number of Entries : 513
  • Private

    The title of this article is “Does the American Military University (AMU) teach torture to its students or has it taught torture in the past?” It took the writer forever to address the issue as the writer delves into the history of AMU and then challenges the institution’s accreditation, disadvantages of distant learners, and it’s for-profit standing.

    The writer tries to discredit the school before even answering the question of the title of the article. 75% of this article could have been omitted as it had no relevance to the topic question. Looks like Danny Weil needs to go back to college Eng Comp. 101.

    The topic of torture was presented by one professor not the whole institution. So the title of the article should be Is Dr. Forness teaching torture? For example, Ward Churchill , the former professor of the University of Colorado taught anti-Americanism. But I never saw a headline saying does the University of Colorado teach Anti-Americanism.

    The only thing I got out of this report is not the question about torture but how much Danny dislikes distant education. I get a sense that Danny feels that people who get degrees from distant ed. Universities are inferior because they didn’t experience the drunken frat parties, campus protests, or liberal education by professors.

    • Bill

      I have to agree. Was he paid by the word because by the time I got to the part about torture I had completely forgot that is what the article was about.

      • Coharie

        Glad that I am not the only one who was asking WTF? regarding the subject of Weil’s rant.  I am completing a masters in public health at AMU now and I concur with all of the above comments that AMU is not a diploma mill and the coursework is rigorous.  Weil was so off topic that I also found myself wondering WHAT the title of this blog had to do with AMU “teaching torture.”  I have a high GPA coming out of this program at AMU and I earned every point of it.  The professors are of a high caliber, for the most part, very responsive and their assignments are meant to challlenge.  BTW, I am one of those in the minority at AMU…a civilian with no previous background in anything military.  But I certainly held my own with the online discussions and the majority military in the classrooms.  Seems like Weil used “torture” to grab readers and he certainly seemed to have an axe to grind with the Apus system…maybe he was rejected as a prospective professor…just saying….

  • weilunion

    Hi, private! Certainly you are right that the article does spend the majority of its time on the fact AMU is for-profit and its business model, etc. The problem is I could have asked the question about torture, omitted the stuff on the college, its founders, the business plan, etc. and someone would ask, “What is the AMU?”

    So I felt I had to lay the ground work for the article by asking the question and then allowing readers to eventually come back to the question in the context of what AMU is.

    And we know what it is. It is a for-profit website that maintains it is a university that takes taxpayer money from poor returning vets to teach them in the degrees listed; all necessary for the burgeoning security and militarized landscape we live in. And in doing so it employs such people as Larry Forness.

    As to why the article did not ask about Larry Fornress and directed itself to the college is due to the fact Larry Forness represents the college in his fiduciary role as a professor that represents the school. The article is about Forness, sure, but it is more about an insitution that takes my tax money and yours under the auspices of educaion, and delivers up not just this lecture but also a business plan that is hardly aimed at ‘teaching’ but more aimed at generating ‘degrees’ and boosting stock value on the back of the military industrial complex. Meanwhile deficits go sky high but nobody will ever talk about cutting military spending and thus cutting off the spigot for profit-making companies.

    As to my contempt for for-profit colleges and universities, you bet. And you can see my article about posing as a student to get into one at http://www.dissidentvoice.org. It is called ‘The Impropriety of it all’. Sure, I am one who wants strong public institutions devoted to real education with sites for people to actually have face to face collaborative learning opportunities.

    Sitting alone in the Green Zone taking a ‘weapons course’ online hardly fits my school of thought. And no, it is not about frat parties and panty raids; it is about affording opportunities for young people to collaborate in learning at real college campuses in their communities, not in caves in illegal wars segregated on the video screen “learning’. It is about civilian life, not military life.

    This was a hard article to write so I appreciate your critique. Again, I felt without understanding the background of the institution I could not really address the issue.

    However now that you made it through the article, what is your judgment? Does the American Military University teach torture or has it ever or does it still?

    Danny

  • Thamelas

    I’m currently working on an MBA at AMU. I have taken both graduate and undergraduate classes at the local traditional brick and mortar University, and in comparing them to AMU’s classes there is no difference in what is taught. The only difference is that I don’t have to drive to the local university, fight for a parking space, and listen to a professors opinions about whats going on in politics. The AMU courses are just as challenging as anywhere else I have attended.

    And to the comment in the article that people “can’t remember their lessons from online school,” I can assure you that no one remembers 60% of the bull they had to learn in getting their undergrad degree. A lot of undergrad work is memorize and forget, just like anything else. Sure important and interesting stuff is retained, but most is not.

    • weilunion

      I’m currently working on an MBA at AMU. I have taken both graduate and undergraduate classes at the local traditional brick and mortar University, and in comparing them to AMU’s classes there is no difference in what is taught.

      Depens what you mean by ‘teaching’ Thamelas. You cannot learn from a video screen. People need dialaogue, face to face, a chance to probe others’ thinking, a chance to learn to think critically and yes, it is very different than brick and mortar classes if not in one way only: it is segregated isolated learning. the Go it alone America way, you are on your own buddy learning. Nothing like a real campus. Three is no comparison unless one does not know what it means to be educated, to learn, to teach. This are not colleges, they rae diploma mills and as stated, you will find the paper they are written on, other than the military industrial complex or security business, will get you a one way ticket to the bathroom.

      The only difference is that I don’t have to drive to the local university, fight for a parking space, and listen to a professors opinions about whats going on in politics.

      Yes, you do not have to attend to public life. You can avoid people and just ‘go for it girl’. What a shame that what we call modernity and what we wish to bomb the world to accept is trying to avoid civilian life and just turn on the computer and call it learning. It is ‘drive by learning’ like going to a convenience store. What does it mean to ‘learn’ Thamelas? To memorize? No, you don’t learrn what you memorize and you do not memroize what you learn.

      We used to have a civil society but now it is to be avoided at all costs so we can puruse our irrational self interests and get a job to get ‘things’, ‘stuff’, right?

      The AMU courses are just as challenging as anywhere else I have attended.

      Yes, Forness’s lecture on injecting pigs blood into muslims sounds a bit chalenging both medically and morally. I bet the armament classes are good though; some real philosophical discussions in there. Like about TV and what people saw on FOX news.

      And to the comment in the article that people “can’t remember their lessons from online school,” I can assure you that no one remembers 60% of the bull they had to learn in getting their undergrad degree.

      You can assure me? Then do so, provide evidence for unwarranted claims. This is what we learn in school if we learn to think critically. But you do not, you have no evidence for your claims, only shallow experiences to speak from and no sense of history. Besides, if you knew what learning was you would know it was not about memorizing or ‘remembering’; is is a collaborative activity designed to help people think about their lives and conincidently, the lives of others

      A lot of undergrad work is memorize and forget,

      For you it was, Thamelas for this is the anorexic bulimic model of learning you were taught and still are. You do not learn what you memorize and yopu do not memorize what you learn. You learn it. Did you memorize how to speak, to write, to talk to go to the bathroom? Not, you learned it and the shame is on the shift from learning to memorizing that leaves you bereft of legitimate comparisons.

      just like anything else. Sure important and interesting stuff is retained, but most is not.

      Interesting stuff is retained? Again, we do not go to schools to soak up official knowledge and memorize it for test taking purposes. We do now, now that learning has been dummied down to quizzes and ‘tests’ canned and sold.

      Thamelas, I am sure you wo uld have profited from a real education. You got a website and with it, you get the desktop learning that goes with it. It is like desk top ‘stuffing’ for turkey. Add an egg and boil for three minutes.

      Meanwhile, we, taxpayers are sick of paying corporate military ‘colleges’ for the education you are getting. Cut the corporations off the welfare and let us get back to building a decent civilian life instead of imposing a military one on our young people and those overseas, the victim of so many imperial wars.

      Danny

      • Bill

        Wow Danny, I have to wonder where you got your traditional education from because there are so many misspelled words and grammatical errors in your reply that it was hard to read. How about copying it into Word and pressing the F7 button? Additionally, you make so many generalizations in your rebuttals that your arguments are not credible.

        I only have one question…Where did YOU go to college? If you went to AMU/APUS then you prove your own point because you are a fool.

    • chris

      I’m an undergrad at AMU. I’m a vet, and I’m 32. AMU was, by far, the least expensive school for me to attend, including my local community college. My fiancee went to a well known school, and she actually says many of my courses are more difficult than hers. I don’t see why a school can’t have a class about interrogation, especially when many of the participants are military personnel. I’m a psych major, and not interested in any sort of government work, but was thinking about taking the class as an elective at some point. I think it’s pretty funny the writer is talking about American ideals and education, but doesn’t want certain classes taught. Can we not have classes about eugenics? War? Racism? Just because something is unethical or immoral doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be allowed to learn about it.

      • Danny Weil

        It is not surprising that some Amerricans would not mind a course in ‘torture’. Best to use the correct words, Chris and not gussy it up as if it was some ‘interesting class’. It is part of the brutal imperialist system that wrecked your economy with two illegal wars costing trillions and turned millions of people into ‘terrorists’ and haters of Americans.

        This was not a ‘history class about World interrogation’ it was an advocacy position by the professor and then seemingly used. Look at the post again and read it carefully.

        The fact you want to take an ‘elective’ about injecting pig’s blood into the bodies of Muslims as some interesting course is testimony to the lengths we have come.

        What if a class was offered in any Arab state about how to inject Americans with Christian blood, would you take that too?

        Of course not, Chris. The fact you aree a vet and now go to a military school makes you a full blown member of what Eisenhower warned us of: a military industrial complex that thrives off permanent war. This, while your civil economy collapses, unemployment rises, poverty becoes more extreme, war a feature of everday life, segregation at full throttle, and Christian fundamentalism rearing its ugly head.

        This is a for-profit predatory college funded by my tax money. If you follow any of the articles about the nature of these predatory colleges you will see they will and are becoming the next financial debacle. Of course it is cheaper for you, you either live too far from a community college (civilian life) or you get money from the government to go to school.

        Now, you wouldn’t be one of those anti-government guys, would you? You know, the ones that hate government as they put their hand out for government funds?

        Thanks for writing

        Danny

  • Thamelas

    One more note…

    You said in your comment above “it is about affording opportunities for young people to collaborate in learning at real college campuses in their communities, not in caves in illegal wars segregated on the video screen “learning’. It is about civilian life, not military life.”

    First of all, I attended college for an bachelor’s degree at the age of 27. Most of my classmates were 18 to 22. My “collaboration in learning” showed me that most college students are naive, and don’t have a clue about life in the real world. I got NO benefit out of taking classes along side them. If anything they benefit from my real life experiences, and by ME giving THEM advice. So your whole idea about education is completely out of touch.

    Furthermore, your comment “not in caves in illegal wars” pretty much reveals your true nature in this article. You are biased against the military, service members, and AMU. Therefore one can dismiss the majority of your article as the rantings of an anti-war, anti-military liberal.

    You exposed your bias, now let me expose mine. What I do remember about my undergraduate studies is that liberals taught me to hate liberals. The one defining moment was when my advisor Dr. Edward Haynes, in his office at Winthrop University, told me that “every soldier dying over in Iraq and Afghanistan deserved what they got.”

  • weilunion

    You said in your comment above “it is about affording opportunities for young people to collaborate in learning at real college campuses in their communities, not in caves in illegal wars segregated on the video screen “learning’. It is about civilian life, not military life.”

    First of all, I attended college for an bachelor’s degree at the age of 27. Most of my classmates were 18 to 22. My “collaboration in learning” showed me that most college students are naive, and don’t have a clue about life in the real world.

    Yes, I see people are clueless, they don’t know anything, you are above them then in this regard. This is little more than callousness and elitism. Campus life was a passage to adulthood, a place where people learn to see naivete and then work to overcome it with critical thinking. But alas, there are those uncritivcal feckles, naive irresonsible students and then, well you and others, right?

    I got NO benefit out of taking classes along side them. If anything they benefit from my real life experiences, and by ME giving THEM advice. So your whole idea about education is completely out of touch.

    Too bad, but this is due to your age. Reaganomics destroyed education, turned learning into profit centers and cut massively from schools. Did you know that in California UC was free to students in the 50′s, 60′s and most of the 70′S? People whose parents, many of them immigrants from Europe could proudly watch their children go on to college, have successful careers and become educated. The ‘Great Communicator’ and his social policies of hollowing out this country, turning tax money into death merchant fees for war, cutting taxes for the rich, cutting services for the poor. So you grew up corporate, not knowing what a public institution was or is I imagine. A shame. In your naivete you probably would have enjoyed campus life when there was on, before the schools became factories to ‘get diplomas’ to get jobs.

    Furthermore, your comment “not in caves in illegal wars” pretty much reveals your true nature in this article. You are biased against the military, service members, and AMU. Therefore one can dismiss the majority of your article as the rantings of an anti-war, anti-military liberal.

    Everyone is biased, if you had an education you would know this. You are biased for your point of view, I for mine, the man next store for his. Objectivity is an illusion, but they do not teach this in the Divine Law of command andd control.

    War ir organized murder and there has not been one soldier since WWII that has died for any of my freedoms. From Korea to Vietnam, for the illegal Wars in Iraq to Afghanistan. Yes, when 650 billion is transfered to death merchants each year (not counting the two million spent on the illegal wars) sure, I am very biased against the military. I do not want to pay for bombs and mass murder.

    You exposed your bias,

    Thank you. That means I did a good job for this site, http://www.dailycensored.com, is biased if you have not noticed. So is the Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post and Voice of America.

    now let me expose mine. What I do remember about my undergraduate studies is that liberals taught me to hate liberals.

    Sure, many ddo. They could not define what ‘liberal’ meant but they have been told through media and war that ‘liberals’ are bad pewople — hippies too right? How about black people or let’s say, ‘socialists’ and ‘anarchists’. Sounds like your bias fits right in with Glenn Beck, Bush and the other purveyors of hate. but at least you are honest

    The one defining moment was when my advisor Dr. Edward Haynes, in his office at Winthrop University, told me that “every soldier dying over in Iraq and Afghanistan deserved what they got.”

    No, they never deserved what they got, on the contrary they never deserved to be in illegal wars. They were drafted through the backdoor of poverty, they didn’t have a chance in the ‘liberal civilian’ life that military imperialism has caused.

    If Dwight D. Eisenhower could see his warnings of a military indutrial complex in play now, he would clutch a toilet bowl, retching. But then he was called a ‘communist’ by the John Birch Society back then.

    I am glad you wrote Thamelas, I am assuming you were led to the cite for your type of hatred and lack of critical thinking would never bring you to points of view you did not agree with so not doubt you were cattle herded here.

    Come back and visit. We love the controversy for readers and one cautionary note: when using words like ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ learn to define what you mean by what you say. Use examples, metaphors or analogies. For I, my friend, ain’t no liberal!

    Danny

  • Thatguy

    So what if online schools are allows students to be able to take out lucrative amounts of money for school (with the help of the school). That is why they’re called “for-profit”. Also, Public schools are beginning to charge more to invest in the education, where is the public, non-profit in that?

    Only because, a Retired Marine Colonel decided not hire online university does not mean all companies will not accept. In fact, Some Forbes 500 students have hired students from APUS. Employers cannot discriminate online university students unless they want to deal with discriminating lawsuits. Even brick-n-mortars like Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Harvard have turned into offering online degrees. In a couple of years, On-campus universities will begin limiting on-campus unless difficult programs like Engineering, Computer Science, and Science will only require on-campus.

    Also, let me point out, not all wars are “illegal”, we went into Afghanistan to retaliate against those jerks who attacked us on 9/11. Korea was not illegal, The U.S. went in to police and protect S. Koreans from becoming a total communist nation. Look what happened to all the countries that became communist the people decided to push for democracy. Don’t get me a “lecture” that it was for contractors, “illegal wars”. Besides, Education back in the 50′s and 60′s, approximately 30-40% were college educated. Not everyone needs to be, or should be educated. Public college institutions have also become a business. They keep adding courses that are not required, you cannot blame that online institutions offer a shorter time to complete your education in 3 years instead of 5-6 years.

    U.C. finally decided to discuss about offering 3 year programs because they finally saw it makes sense to keep students longer. Public education are heavily subsized, too much taxpayers money are also going to those schools to educated international, and students may not care about college just to party down and bearly pass with a “C”. You can’t blame for-profit schools for catering working adults and military. If on-campus schools looked at catering working adults, and servicemen, for-profit schools would not exist. The schools are legit, and i’ve read successful stories of alumni students working for consulting firms in business, academia, and of course in the government.

  • weilunion

    So what if online schools are allows students to be able to take out lucrative amounts of money for school (with the help of the school). That is why they’re called “for-profit”.

    Right using my tax money, Thatguy. And then about 15-20% goes for marketing. See, they don’t care if they sell schools or shoes, it is all about making a profit. But education is not; it is about learning how to think and live and these military resorts certainly do not teach this; they are websites, that’s all. They are more than that though, they are subsidized ‘wefare moms’ with high CEO pay and large amounts of profits

    Also, Public schools are beginning to charge more to invest in the education, where is the public, non-profit in that?

    Yes, they are for the public sector has been decimated by 30 years of Reaganomics that have left debt, budget crisis and thus schools that were once ‘free’, like UCLA or the UC system swimming in debt. So who pays? Not administration, your fees!

    Only because, a Retired Marine Colonel decided not hire online university does not mean all companies will not accept.

    Read the literature, The degrees are basically worthless. You can get a good job with on watching office builidngs, security, or cleaning up around the office, but you will not only not get a good education, you will not have the credentials to get a good job; especially when there are no jobs. Most from AMU will most probably stay with the military or go into security — you know, watching other people’s stuff. These are not colleges, they are repositories for profit and they sell canned sardines as curriculum

    In fact, Some Forbes 500 students have hired students from APUS.

    Really? How many? I’ve got ten toes and ten fingers — will the numbers go beyond that?

    Employers cannot discriminate online university students unless they want to deal with discriminating lawsuits.

    You do not understand the law, so as a lawyer let me tell you: there is no discrimination in not hiring diploma mill graduates. Nonew. They Hire whoever they want. The only discrimination is if one is not hired due to race, sex, religion, disability, etc. Most companies stay as far away as they can from the University of Phoenix, AMU and the rest. They are known to be what they are — rackets. REcruit people into the military, send them to illegal wars and exploit them, then when they get back, fit them with a prothesis and send them to AMU to learn how to do, what? Military related, security related jobs; low paying, high turnover.

    Even brick-n-mortars like Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Harvard have turned into offering online degrees.

    Sure they have, what a tragedy. See my article this week on Harvard and why it too is going broke. See, get rid of the labor, the brick and mortar, keep teachers adjuncts — no benefits, no tenure no security, low pay, no unions - and then put them online. You will find that a great deal of the Phoenix University and AMU, Walden and the like hire back their own ill educated students as adjunct teachers! Teaching is a collaborative activity done with peeople, not from a room by yourself at midnight with no one to talk to. But if you are young, not sure you are, you will not remember real campuses for as said, they have sunk into debt and crisis due to economic policies that bankrupt cities, cut needed funds, hike tuition and cut class offerings

    In a couple of years, On-campus universities will begin limiting on-campus unless difficult programs like Engineering, Computer Science, and Science will only require on-campus.

    Sad day. Well, good then college will be like watching TV. Youo can just get some cheetos and go for it! Sit all alone and have a weekly conference online and call this learning. How far we have come from education; it is now just a commodity to be bought and sold to get jobs with a certificate. Bad part: there are no kjobs, they have been shipped overseas for cheap labor. So security will be where many of the graduates go as the prisons fill with unemployed.

    Also, let me point out, not all wars are “illegal”, we went into Afghanistan to retaliate against those jerks who attacked us on 9/11.

    No we didn’t; they wre Saudis who, 19 of them, who hit 911 if you believe the ooffical version. Afghan is the graveyard of empires. We went in Afghan to set up the pipeline to service India’s energy needs. If your neighbor attacks your house do you blow up the neighborhood? Look at the civilian deaths and by the way, Osama Bin Laden is the brother of George W. Bush’s best friend, the other Bin Laden who bailed his bankrupt baseball team out of hock.

    Korea was not illegal, The U.S. went in to police and protect S. Koreans from becoming a total communist nation.

    Yes, this is what you are taught at AMU and other junk schools, that we are the best, we invade to protect the women and children from bad men. It is like an old cowboy movie. Sorry, it is imperialism; not one solier has died for my freedom since WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Afghan, Iraq, are all wars of imperialism to either steal resources or position US trops so they can control them. But you are proving the point — one does not get a very good education at these schools, they teach history from the point of view of the conquerors not the conquered.

    Look what happened to all the countries that became communist the people decided to push for democracy

    There have been no communist countries. The Soviet Union was a bureacratic socialist system hardly related to anything having to do with commmunism. China certainly is not communist, it is a tyranical dictatorship of state capitalism. But again, this is what you learn in today’s education.

    . Don’t get me a “lecture” that it was for contractors, “illegal wars”.

    No, I don’t lecture. Save that for Forness and the torture lecture at AMU. I teach. Teaching is not about lecturing. They wrere all illegal wars for one reason only: they were not called for by Congress. But at the online rat holes they do not teach the Constitution, they teach how to torture, in the case of Forness, which is anti-constitutional.

    Besides, Education back in the 50’s and 60’s, approximately 30-40% were college educated. Not everyone needs to be, or should be educated.

    No, education should be for the elite, the sons and daughters for the privileged, right? The rest of us can be greeters at Wal Mart for there is no industrial base in this country so no manufacturing jobs.

    Public college institutions have also become a business. They keep adding courses that are not required, you cannot blame that online institutions offer a shorter time to complete your education in 3 years instead of 5-6 years.

    They do? Not in CA, sixty units undergrad and then your two years in your profession. No extra courses. But again, if you want to know why public colleges are in bad shape, look at your economic policies that invest 53 cents of every tax dollar in the military — $650 billion this year alone while the country’s infrastructure, its insitutions, way of life get booted into the ground. We do not invest in this country and will not again unless we get Wall St. gone or under control. There are not jobs and look all over your country — the broken schools, the deficits, the lack of health care, the poverty of children, the burgeoning prisons (for profit too). Can’t spend half your money on handgus and then try to raise a family can you?

    U.C. finally decided to discuss about offering 3 year programs because they finally saw it makes sense to keep students longer.

    No, three year programs would be one less than four years so the math says less programs, less time in school and less classes

    Public education are heavily subsized

    Yes, as it should be. That is why we call it public. For it puts people before profits. A for profit, puts profits before people BY LAW! It is the fiduciary duty to make money for stockholders, not to educate students. They do this by canned curriculum, cheap teachers, no student services and rotten teachers and programs. They look to keep costs down, to ut costs for profit. An investment in pbulic education is an investment in the public. No marketing, no profits, just education with salaried teachers and staff.

    , too much taxpayers money are also going to those schools to educated international, and students may not care about college just to party down and bearly pass with a “C”.

    Yes, true, for many for this is the culture they see on TV. They are brought up under a culture of hdeonism, narcism, self-motivation and a terrible lack of education. So they drink, party and half do not even know why they are in school or what the hell they will do when they get out. For our country is run by the military, ther is very little civilian life and kids today will see that when they get out of college, be it the phony online ones or the real McCoys, they will face looming unemployment and be saddled with non-distinguishable debt. So they will living with debt peonage, owing for an education that could not even clean their crack!

    You can’t blame for-profit schools for catering working adults and military

    It is not about blame, it is about analysis. Working adults now work two jobs, not one when I grew up. So the drive by fast good colleges are great for them, as is the fast food. No time to educate, go to a diploma mill. No time to eat right, go to Jack in the Box. Change your society and you would never have these fortresses of fornification that seek to profit off people by either stealing tax money and providing websties as schools. You would have communities of caring, not communities of isloation and self interest locked into low paying jobs.

    . If on-campus schools looked at catering working adults, and servicemen, for-profit schools would not exist.

    They do, the problem is that peeople have no transportation to get to many of them for we do not believe in public transportaion just dlike we do not believe in public anything. Nor do they have the time, they work two three jobs, low paying and insecure. All junior colleges cater to military and working adults. Problem, that is all we have is adults working — long hours with no time for personal or social development. And the classes have been cut, as said. But we provided GI’s after WWII with a GI bill to go to community colleges and that is how they were built and why. And this was the greatest 25 years of US capitalism, when the rich paid their fair share of taxes, people had unions so they had good paying jobs and security, they could consume and thus the economy could survive for they were paid a decent wage. Not now. Now the huckster colleges found a way to capitalize on the misery of everyday life by offering phony degrees that won’t be worth the paper they are written on.

    The schools are legit, and i’ve read successful stories of alumni students working for consulting firms in business, academia, and of course in the government.

    Sure, they are legitimate all right, as my article states, they just got politicians to change the laws to get them the money faster.

    No, they are vast vessels of taxpayer subsidized profits that go to shareholders and CEO’s. Students get debt and a piece of paper and the belief America goes to war to protect women and children.

    If so, then we won”t have to inject pig’s blood into Muslims as Forness indicates in his ‘lecture’. For they, like the Iraqi’s will trhow flowers at us.

    Your generation, and I am assuming you are young, will have a standard of living much lowe than mine did. Much lower, and it is due to REganomics that created deficits, cut taxes for the rich, allowed for the greatest expenditur in mass homicide, war and the military, deregulated the economy so no one polices the CEO crooks and banks anymore and now you got what the military calls “blowbac” — the unexpected consequneces of US foreign and domestic policy.

    Dig in, you’ll be lucky if you find work that pays any decent wages in the future. This great depression has not even started. Just wait untill all the loans that students too out for college become due and they cand’t pay them. No who will? You, for you guaranteed them.

    As to the colleges being good. Go type in any in a google search and you will always see sites that tell you the truth about the college, be it Phoenix or AMU. They are like Pay Day loans and they, along with the military, will help bankrupt the country while leaving people believing they are free.

    How sad

    Danny

    • JD

      Are you serious, man?!!! I am truly laughing about how you went to such extremes to research a simple interrogation class. You certainly do have some built up anger and you have nowhere else to take it out at (which is pretty pathetic). What does your life consist of?! What was it that started this hatred for you? What are you going to do to fix it?! I know the answer is nothing. People actually do learn at AMU, and yes, they get educated by enrolling in the hard-to-find courses they want to learn about; interrogation for example. Then they get degrees for their hard work. Yes, I said hard work. But you know about that, right? You’re a supposed “lawyer.” Just realize that they move on, get their degree, find a job and support the economy. Maybe you should do that?! Get a real job, man. Don’t be a pathetic lawyer, and DEFINITELY find something other than journalism, because your articles are long, poorly structured, extreeeemely drawn out, and just plain shitty. Sorry to break the bad news to you, but I’m sure you have heard it before.

      • weilunion

        Laugh JD, for all the readers. Call it built up anger.. Use words like pathetic. Ask, “What my life consists of.”? Get a real job, as if you kow what I do.

        All of this mumbling ad hominem is just what I want readrs to see, so I can only thank you.

        If the articles are too long, then don’t read them, JD. I do not expect private for -rpfot students to do much reading. “Supposed to be a lawyer”.

        Thanks for letting readers see the level of intellectual dialogue and thinking on the part of defenders of AMU.

        Feel free to write more, readers love to see it.

        Words like ‘shitty’. You learn this in your culture, which is military and not very bright.

        My suggestion is to continue your education at AMU. And use words like ‘interrogation’ inestead of torture so that readers can see the shfity words games used to hide the fact you support torture classes and are an activie participant, or were, in two illegal wars.

        I won’t respond to your messages again, for i have no time, JD. Too busy writing long, shitty articles, JD. In the interim you be well, and thanks for the petty nationalism that poses as Patriotism.

        Danny

  • Thatguy

    “Yes, they are for the public sector has been decimated by 30 years of Reaganomics that have left debt, budget crisis and thus schools that were once ‘free’, like UCLA or the UC system swimming in debt. So who pays? Not administration, your fees”

    You cannot blame it all on Reaganomics for the budget and economic crisis. It goes back to after WWII when our began dealing with an unbalanced economy. The reason the UC’s are swimming into debt its because, again, and i repeat is because the chancellor began accepting to many students into the schools instead of certain amount. Reaganomics maintained jobs, they had numerous tax breaks, and no higher wages in order to maintain a surplus.

    Why do you think such private schools like Pepperdine, Pacific, BYU, any all other private colleges have not been suffering as bad as the public colleges because of the heavy subsidizing the state governments give to the schools.

    “They do, the problem is that peeople have no transportation to get to many of them for we do not believe in public transportaion just dlike we do not believe in public anything. Nor do they have the time, they work two three jobs, low paying and insecure. All junior colleges cater to military and working adults. Problem, that is all we have is adults working — long hours with no time for personal or social development. And the classes have been cut, as said. But we provided GI’s after WWII with a GI bill to go to community colleges and that is how they were built and why. And this was the greatest 25 years of US capitalism, when the rich paid their fair share of taxes, people had unions so they had good paying jobs and security, they could consume and thus the economy could survive for they were paid a decent wage. Not now. Now the huckster colleges found a way to capitalize on the misery of everyday life by offering phony degrees that won’t be worth the paper they are written on.”

    The rich did not pay a full share of their taxes, they always had brackets. Again, You cannot blame for-profit schools using the academia for making into a capitalistic business. I blame the public schools for being to outdated, and like i said the military is always being deployed on numerous assignments. Working Adults have a difficult time to finish at an on-campus university. So what’s the next option for a degree…how about APU, or Thomas Edison State College, or, WGU (non-profit school). I’am glad public institutions are taking a dumped so that they revise their academia plans.

    “As to the colleges being good. Go type in any in a google search and you will always see sites that tell you the truth about the college, be it Phoenix or AMU. They are like Pay Day loans and they, along with the military, will help bankrupt the country while leaving people believing they are free.”

    They will not bankrupt the country because they are PRIVATE-Sector SCHOOLS. you know what will bankrupt our country even more is offering to much public service to the community such a free education, instead of making it partially free and partially out-of-pocket. Public Education is what is bankrupting our country. Why should i pay taxes to fund public education to an American generation who doesn’t even give a crap about school. At For-Profit schools mainly make their own money in the stock exchange. The military will always be needed for the defense of our nation. In this world of age, we need a military to globally police our coasts, take immediate action against foes.

    “Yes, as it should be. That is why we call it public. For it puts people before profits. A for profit, puts profits before people BY LAW! It is the fiduciary duty to make money for stockholders, not to educate students. They do this by canned curriculum, cheap teachers, no student services and rotten teachers and programs. They look to keep costs down, to ut costs for profit. An investment in public education is an investment in the public. No marketing, no profits, just education with salaried teachers and staff.”

    It doesn’t have to be, the constitution, nor the amendments say “we should publicly fund education”, if the government wanted the entire education system would require a cover-charge in order to get that paper saying that your “educated”. What do you call always putting ballots to “raise money ” for schools on election days asking taxpayers to pay the bill? American population has grown to the point that everyone can’t get entirely educated. By the way fella, AMU does offer student services for its students and alumni and the teachers are not crappy. Have you ever looked on their faculty pages and done a little research to confirm if they’re legit professors from prestige to mediocre colleges. I know i have, and they’re not cheap professors.

    “Sure they have, what a tragedy. See my article this week on Harvard and why it too is going broke. See, get rid of the labor, the brick and mortar, keep teachers adjuncts — no benefits, no tenure no security, low pay, no unions – and then put them online. You will find that a great deal of the Phoenix University and AMU, Walden and the like hire back their own ill educated students as adjunct teachers! Teaching is a collaborative activity done with peeople, not from a room by yourself at midnight with no one to talk to.”

    Harvard is not going broke. have you seen how much their endowments are annually? more than what public state colleges offer. The way the say it, is that techonology has innovated for them to not only teach on-campus but to offer online course to get more $$$ and more enrollment for students who cannot attend on-campus all the time. I called that being smart in the business perspective. Of course you will need on-campus lectures, because not everyone is made to sit on a computer and be self-independent, that’s where hybrid courses come into play. If i’m a public state college, i want to increase enrollment by offering more online courses and cater more to older students.

    “No, education should be for the elite, the sons and daughters for the privileged, right? The rest of us can be greeters at Wal Mart for there is no industrial base in this country so no manufacturing jobs”

    Don’t blame on me, blame it on bill clinton and his NAFTA agreement he signed back in the 1990s. And yes education should only be for the elite not everyone is made to study books.

    “Read the literature, The degrees are basically worthless. You can get a good job with on watching office builidngs, security, or cleaning up around the office, but you will not only not get a good education, you will not have the credentials to get a good job; especially when there are no jobs. Most from AMU will most probably stay with the military or go into security — you know, watching other people’s stuff. These are not colleges, they are repositories for profit and they sell canned sardines as curriculum”

    Why don’t you read articles published about employers demanding that their students should at least attending online schools (which includes for-profits like AMU). The degree is not worthless, because like i said those public institutions that you’re advocating are accepting AMU alumni to pursue advanced study degrees.

    If its worthless than how come it is recognized by the Dept. of Education. SO far AMU has been one of the better schools, i can’t say much about UOP, but walden has also seen its share of successful students. So what does that tell you?

    “Yes, this is what you are taught at AMU and other junk schools, that we are the best, we invade to protect the women and children from bad men. It is like an old cowboy movie. Sorry, it is imperialism; not one solier has died for my freedom since WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Afghan, Iraq, are all wars of imperialism to either steal resources or position US trops so they can control them. But you are proving the point — one does not get a very good education at these schools, they teach history from the point of view of the conquerors not the conquered.”

    Did you paraphrase those comments from anarchists, the late-Howard Zinn? or Noam Chomsky?

    We’ve never entered Argentina, or Chile, nor Guatemala. We might have aided Guatemala government during the Central American conflict. What i’ve learned are facts and accepted by respectable historians who agree its how it happened. We saved the freedom for South Koreans who did not want any part of the fear of the red expansion.

    “Your generation, and I am assuming you are young, will have a standard of living much lowe than mine did. Much lower, and it is due to REganomics that created deficits, cut taxes for the rich, allowed for the greatest expenditur in mass homicide, war and the military, deregulated the economy so no one polices the CEO crooks and banks anymore and now you got what the military calls “blowbac” — the unexpected consequneces of US foreign and domestic policy.”

    It is due because we’re given too much freebies to everyone who lives on american soil including you and me. Like the economists say “there’s no free lunch, nothing is free”. Reaganomics did not create deficits, in fact their was a big surplus when Reagan left office.

    What mass homicides are you taking about? The country’s military is not rounding civilians in Iraq to kill them like the killing fields of Vietnam, or what Hugo Chavez did. Let’s not forget Pinochet did to the people of Chile.

    Again your seeing from one perspective which is anti-america, anti-corporations. Corporations pay taxes, rich people pay the majority of the taxes, which is used to subsidized public education, which is going bankrupt. Reason union jobs have left elsewhere is because of the Abuse-of-power they did that caused companies to allocate productions where there’s no workers comp. and lawsuits.

    ‘Dig in, you’ll be lucky if you find work that pays any decent wages in the future. This great depression has not even started. Just wait untill all the loans that students too out for college become due and they cand’t pay them. No who will? You, for you guaranteed them.”

    What we’re going through is nothing compared like THE GREAT DEPRESSION. We still have jobs, except not the ones people are willing to work for. As far as loan debt for college students the government knows and will continue to offer tax breaks and pass bills that will offer more flexibility to its college grads.

  • weilunion

    I have only one response. REad history from the voices of people who made it not those who bought and sold it. If you do not understand the invasion of the US of Latin America since Walker set foot in Nicaragua in 1850, then I cannot take the time to educate you. Latin America has been the backyard of the US and suffered on five hundred years of colonialism. It is coming to an end.

    We trained the death sqauds in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Brazil and the list goes on and on.

    The problem, Thatguy is capitalism. If you wish to live in a system that puts profits fefore people, then you get this system. Doesn’t matter if it is health care or education — either people come first or profit. Under capitalism profit comes first, by law.

    As to the Great Depresssion, if this country applied the rules of the IMF to itself, it would be told sit could get no loans, that it was bankrupt, the it must change or no credit. But of course the IMF is an American creature so the double standard goe unabated.

    No, for profit colleges are like for profit fasto food. Devoid of nutrients, incapable of preparing citizens for what it means to live in a democracy, critical thinking, and exist only for the sharehaolders and owners to make money. They don’t teach: teaching means dialgoue, discussing ideas and you cannot do that by the midnight glow of your halgen lamp, alone online.

    If you wish to see a four part series I did on the for-profits, all of them not just AMU, go to http://www.dissidentvoice.org and put in their search engine”

    “The impropriety of it all” You will find the article where I pose as a student to gain entry into various ones. There I set out in four parts the scam in its particulars. Take a look, you might find it edifying. In the interim, take a look at Honduras now that the US flew Zelaya out in his pajamas as they did Haiti. Take a look at Haiti, home of the libertarian economic policies so fashionable today.

    To all: Does our country even give a damn about what is happening in
    Honduras?? If anyone has figured out why every other hot spot in the world
    is front page news and Honduras just gets a collective yawn, I’d really like
    to know!! I mean jack boot right wingers just went in last June, made up a
    lie about Zelaya trying to change the constitution, put him on an airplane
    in his pajamas and watched while those Hondurans who stood up to this were
    murdered!! At best our local paper put in two inch pieces in the back pages.
    Ho Hum! MM

    Seven Honduran broadcasters slain since March 1 By Anne-Marie O’Connor
    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Honduran television reporter Jorge Alberto “Georgino” Orellana had just left
    the station where he hosted his own show when a man stepped from the
    shadows, shot him dead and vanished. On Tuesday, Orellana became the seventh
    Honduran broadcaster to be gunned down since March 1 in a country where
    complaints about human rights abuses have increased since a military-led
    coup in June. Most of the victims had reported on organized crime in the
    northern coastal region of Honduras, a key transshipment point for
    U.S.-bound cocaine. Reporters Without Borders recently declared Honduras
    “the world’s deadliest country for the media.” “This is unprecedented,” said
    Carlos Lauria of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
    “Journalists are being targeted, and the state is almost absent. It’s a
    green light for these people.” Lauria said the killings appeared to be “the
    work of hit men, very professional.”

    Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch said the government of President
    Porfirio Lobo has shown little willingness to solve a pattern of threats,
    harassment and attacks on grass-roots leaders, unionists and priests since
    the coup. “Lobo just recently woke up and realized this could become a
    serious obstacle on his agenda to rejoining the international community,”
    Vivanco said. “But it’s not good enough. It’s too little, too late. They
    need to investigate and prosecute those responsible for threats and abuses.
    They need to prosecute those who are in bed with organized crime.” Lobo has
    been trying to persuade the Organization of American States to reinstate
    Honduras, which was suspended after the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in
    June. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said in December that the
    reinstatement of Honduras “will only be possible when this country reaches a
    true restoration of its democratic regime and the outcome of the coup of
    June 28 has been overcome.”

    Lobo, who was elected in November, insists that democracy has been restored
    in this country of 7 million. “There is no just reason to punish Honduras,”
    Lobo said Thursday, when he announced that he had requested assistance from
    Spain, Colombia and the FBI to solve the killings. Honduran media watchdog
    groups say that finding a single motive in the killings is difficult but
    that the modus operandi in each case is similar. Two of the journalists,
    Jose Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juarez, were driving through eastern
    Honduras when assassins riddled their car with bullets on March 27 and then
    shot them at close range, according to media reports. Both men worked for a
    radio program that has reported on under-the-table logging contracts awarded
    to private enterprise in violation of national environmental codes. Mairena
    had covered organized crime and a contentious land dispute. Nahum Palacios
    Arteaga, who had reported on the same land dispute, was driving in the
    northern town of Tocoa on March 14 when gunmen in two cars fatally shot him
    with AK-47 assault rifles. Palacios had complained about death threats,
    which he believed came from the military.

    During the coup, troops raided Palacios’s office and home, confiscated his
    car and equipment, and held his children at gunpoint, according to the
    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which had urged officials to
    provide him with security. After his death, the commission lamented “that
    the state did not implement precautionary measures to protect his life.”
    David Meza, a reporter for El Patio radio station, was shot to death from a
    van March 11 as he drove in the lush seaside town of La Ceiba. Meza, who had
    reported on organized crime, had received anonymous calls warning him to be
    “careful,” according to the media groups and local reports. Joseph Hernandez
    Ochoa, 26, an entertainment show host, was shot to death as he drove home
    from work March 1. A radio show host who supported the coup, Karol Cabrera,
    was wounded in the attack and believes she was the target. Three months
    earlier, gunman had killed her 16-year-old pregnant daughter. Luis Antonio
    Chavez, 22, who hosted a children’s radio program, was shot to death April
    13. Alexis Quiroz, the executive director of the Committee for Freedom of
    Expression in Honduras, said professional killings have been used in a
    variety of disputes since Mexican organizations began recruiting Honduran
    gangs to transport drugs. “Assassins for hire are very common now,” Quiroz
    said. “What we are trying to determine is the motive.”

    © 2010 The Washington Post Company

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  • Bill

    Danny do you have a 401K? Are you going to collect social security? For someone that seems to hate capitalism and corporations, how do you plan to fund your retirment years? Just wondering.

  • weilunion

    No, no 401K hard fought deferred pensions, you might be old enough to reemember them you might not. 401K are gimmicks to get people to believe they have choices when they are herded into the market, Bill.

    Hopefully I will collect social security, depends on the right wing and if they convince people the fund is broke, which it is not.

    I fund my retirement years, if they exist, with cash I saved. I do not bet my money on anything that eats, and that goes for brokers, hedgefun operators etc. but to secure my social secuiryt, I must continue to fight capitalism for wht it wants is dog eat dog. No social security, no medicare, no child support — just a go-ilt alone fist to cuffs battle for survival

    Danny

  • weilunion

    What is below appeared so let me address it.

    Wow Danny, I have to wonder where you got your traditional education from because there are so many misspelled words and grammatical errors in your reply that it was hard to read.

    Yes, the truly educated person is a speller, not a thinker. I always wonder when the ‘spell checkers’ like yourself appear why you ddo not address my claims? forget about spelling, you can infer that, what about the clai ms I make? Notice how thew spell checker has no ammo for this. So the spell check stuff is just an ad hominem attack, a fallacy of relevance as we call it in critical thinking.

    How about copying it into Word and pressing the F7 button?

    Thanks for the advice. Spelling can be grueling but again, what about the claims? Do you have any evidence I am wrong in my claims? If so, belly up, spell check or not.

    Additionally, you make so many generalizations in your rebuttals that your arguments are not credible.

    Tell me one generalization. for you make generalizations by acccusing me of generalizations. So let us take one and go through it copiously. That is what critical thinking demands, nott ad hominem attacks.

    I only have one question…Where did YOU go to college? If you went to AMU/APUS then you prove your own point because you are a fool.

    Again another ad hominem attack, beat the messenger. Notice readers, the incomprehensibility of the human mind that knows only to attack but has no response to the arguments made?

    This is uncritical thinking and is what AMU teaches along with the predatory colleges. but I will not stoop to ad hominem attacks against this writer. I only want to know a few things:

    Whta is your point of view?
    Whta is your conclusion to the issue?
    How did you arrive at it?
    What points of view did you take into consideration?
    What assumptions have you made and do you have any evidence for them?

    but alas, the advice I get is to push a F& key.

    thanks for making the point for me!

    Danny

    • Bill

      In your rebuttals you seem very bitter. You should try to make your point without attacking the reader.

      I agree with some of your points concerning the for-profit colleges. Especially the point about how it sucks funds from the public schools and siphons it off to the private shareholder. I too would prefer that tax-payer funds are used in public schools but that is not the reality in which we find ourselves and unfortunately the public colleges have been slow to provide this option to adult learners who cannot make it to the classroom. If the feds would not have allowed the funds to be used this way or if public colleges had been forward leaning in this regard it would not have created the environment we have now with the for-profit schools.

      As for generalizations. Here is one that is often repeated by the left in describing the people who serve in the military “They were drafted through the backdoor of poverty, they didn’t have a chance in the ‘liberal civilian’ life that military imperialism has caused”. If you believe this, you have probably never spent any time around military people. Of course there are certainly a good number of people serving that had few other opportunities but that is not true of all. People serve for a variety of reasons and they are not always because of poverty. Maybe this is hard for you to comprehend, but some people actually love this country, even with all of its flaws, and feel a sense of duty. I have known many brilliant, well-educated (in traditional colleges) people who serve in the military. They had other options but chose to pursue a military career.

      You wrote “No, no 401K hard fought deferred pensions, you might be old enough to reemember them you might not.” I’m 46 so I do know what a pension is. In fact, I am vested in one with my company. But it is not enough to live on in my golden years. If your pension is unfunded then you are at the mercy of the economy . Better hope the company (or whatever it is) doesn’t go bankrupt or out of business or there won’t be anybody working to pay your pension. If it is funded then I hate to tell you, it is probably funded through investments in the corporate world.

      Well, I don’t have time to respond to the rest…I actually have a job.

      • weilunion

        Glad you have a job, Bill. Millions do not. As to being bitter, you betcha! when on is being robbed one is bitter.

        As to your Golden Years, they are for the doctors Bill. Your country is broken and two trillion on phony illegal wars is part of it. All pensions are unfunded all are being cut.

        You can read this too under Author Post, go to my name. All over the country the working class is being robbed of their pensions. And as for going out of business: America Inc. is out of business, Bill

        danny

  • weilunion

    Here is another breattaking prose from a reader:

    I have to agree. Was he paid by the word because by the time I got to the part about torture I had completely forgot that is what the article was about

    BNo, I am not paid, by the word or any other matter. The reason you forgot what the article was about is duew to the fact critical reading has to be learneed and this means one has to hold two thoughts in their mind and still function.

    Now that you know they torture, what is your reaction to the claims made in the article? for you see, as the other comment indicated,f ad hominem attacks in an effort to slink away from reasoning is a fallacy of relevance.

    Giddy up and go for the argument! Hit it hard with your thinking and let the readers know where the argument is amiss. Can you ddo this or are you so fixated on form that content escapes you?

    Danny

    • Bill

      I actually was more interested in your take on the for-profit colleges. Didn’t really care about the torture part of the story.

      The point I was making is that you could have rearranged the story to lead off with your main points about torture and then back-fill us on the problem with the for-profit schools. Instead you made the story about how much you hate for-profit colleges with a side-note about torture being taught in the classroom.

      I can tell from your responses to the readers that you don’t like to be criticized or presented with a different point of view. Obviously, if we don’t agree with you we must not be critical thinkers…well you know what? At least I can spell.

      Have a nice day!

  • weilunion

    Well, Bill you might be right on how I wrote the article, I am not sure. It is hard to write an article like this for two reasons: on, itis complicated, two one will be sued. but perhaps the torture should have come first.

    As to critique, no you are wrong and the evidence proves it. Look at my responses to writers and you will see I take critique fine. I just might not agree.

    What amazes me is that while you focus on spelling and structure, your pockets are being picked, your country being bankrupted by these practices and you have not one thing to say about any of the claims I make.

    Incredible. So, if you wish to critique the claims feel free. If you wish to talk spelling then we have not much to say. I write for content. Have no secretaries, do this all for no money and have no editors.

    What about the claims, bill? What do you say about a private for profit school teaching torture? Don’t be afraid to mis-spell. the issue is the content.

    danny

  • http://mbacorrespondencecourse.com Toney Mcwatters

    I’m continuously retaining an open mind when comparing the many correspondence MBA courses to sign on to. I always like what I read here and I’ll keep checking back for more insights.

  • weilunion

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Tony. This was a difficult article to write. But thanks for commenting and do come back. You can go to the home page and Author’s Posts, find my name and then click — you will find over one half a million words on this and more

    Best

    Danny

  • Kristina

    I went to AMU for International Relations. I graduated this past year, and got a good job at the State Department. Yes, I could have gone to a community college, but I didn’t want an A.A. degree, nor did I have any sort of desire to be medical assistant, dental hygenist, or work in some IT department. I didn’t have a luxury of going to a physical college because I was taking care of my ill mother, and the nearest non-community college is three hours away. As my mother’s sole caregiver, I couldn’t make that commute, or live closer.

    Does my AMU degree keep me from getting better job possibilities? Maybe. In this poor economy, I actually got to choose from several job offers, how many people can say that?

    • Danny Weil

      I understand that attending traditional public schools, such as state colleges or public universities is difficult now, Kristina. We have divested in our country’s education, starving colleges until they bleed. With our way of life trapped in long commutes at the end of the fossil fuel era, taking courses online at for-profit universities is now more popular.

      The problem is that one, these institutions wish to be the primary educational provider for our country, at enormous costs, and thus they love the fact ‘education is unnaccessible’ for many students. They then can move in, say they offer a service, package up curriculum like it was old cod, and sell diplomas whilew their stocks trade at enormous profits for a few charmed investors and CEO’s.

      Much like Pay Day Loan centers, these NYSE colleges and unviversities, whose only goal is profit for their investors, actually argue they do a service when in fact they are a part of the dis-assembling of US economics since Reagan.

      From NAFTA, to tax breaks for corporations and the rich, deregulation, and subsidies paid by taxpayers to corporations, to name just a few policy moves the rightwing has managed to usher in along with their bi-partisan friends, the democrats, students are often now at the mercy of these for-profit predatory institutions.

      You can see my article on Kaplan, posted today the 27th of July.

      A decent societyd is supposed to make education a universality, available to all able to qualify for admission, in the case of colleges. Now, strapped with debt and looking down the barrel of a twisted and decimated economy, more and more defaults hit the books and this means we pay for them with our bail-out money for the colleges.

      AMU is even more egregious for it poses in name as a ‘public entity’ when in fact, as the article notes, it is a for-profit NYSE college that has doubled its stock value in two yeras for its owner.

      It is also the home of a professor who teaches torture under the auspices of ‘interrogation’, advising that injecting Muslims with pigs blood might be a ‘good way to get them to talk’.

      All of this subsidized with public money — taxes. And in the case of AMU, all part of the military industrial complex that now includes for-profit colleges and a steady flow of returning vets and combat soldiers who have no other options.

      As to your job offers and current employment, good for you, Kristina. I say that with sincerity. But this is the aberration that proves the norm, for the default rate amongst these types of colleges and the business plan that is erasingg any hope for public education for all students is rising, and rapidly. This along with lay offs of both federal, state, local and private sector workers, many of whom owe thousands to such institutions and can never repay.

      This is how your economic system works, Kristina, it destroys the public sector for a chance to make a buck and estranges young students with little historical memory of free, accessible education, pushing them into the private sector where most get plucked like Sarah Palin’s turkey at Thanksgiving.

      Best

      Danny

  • Tito

    You guys are not gonna believe this…AMU, since its part of American Public Education Inc. is getting sued over fraudulent in student recruiting and false information to its shareholders.

    See for yourselves!

    http://www.ksfcounsel.com/lawsuit/american-public-education-inc-apei-lawyer-C99

    http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=199321

  • Danny Weil

    Tito, thanks for the news! Yes, this insidious for-profit school, the torture school, is hardly ‘public’ as its mendacious title wants us to assume. It is a for-profit coproation that serves as a canal for returning or fighting troops. they suc money not simply from Title IV, but also from veteran veterans.

    I am glad they are getting sued, they are nothing moer than Pentagon subsidized colleges who reap profits for shareholders while cuckholding students. They have a pipeline from the military and care little about soldiers or troops. Their interest is money, profit and greed at any cost.

    To predate soldiers and tell them you are giving an education to them is worse than sending them to war and not having a VA hospital to serve the returning wounded. But this is necrophilia and no better can we see this than in the for-profit college scam where education is reduced to point and click while tuition is banked and invested for more predation.

    $86,000 for a Homeland Securiy degree sounds great, until you realize you will make the salary of a TSA and will take a lifetime to pay off the non-dsichargeable debt.

    It is criminal. These colleges, and there are many, are criminal syndicates that operate on the surface as public servants when they are gravediggers for the rich and connected.

    Let us hope that the suit does not agree to an out of court settlement of non-dsiclosure of facts. This is often what happens.

    Thanks, Tito!

  • Tito

    You’re welcome Danny Weil. They’re getting sued by 2 other law firms over the same ordeal. I can’t wait for the Dept. of Education to place tighter rules on these damn schools from getting too much damn money off of its students.

    The reason AMU is not under so much scrutiny is because the majority of its students work for the Government, and Military. The Military offers all its servicemen and servicewoman G.I. Bill, but for those who are not in the service get jip with loans and loans.

    These schools generate so much revenue, why not offer institutional scholarships and grants to its students.

  • weilunion

    We can only hope they will place tighter rules on these institutions. but do not hold your breath, for the government has enabled them throughout the yeras but lowering regulations and oversight.

    Sure, the American Public Univ. System, which is not public at all, has a pipeline from the increased militarization and illegal wars that now leave sveterans with no civilian life. They then create a pipeline for them to go from one setting of exploitation to another. Thus, they have a vested interest in a bloated military budget for it is what feeds them.

    This college has captured a ‘market’ and thus has no interest in competition or sharing. They want money, pure and simple and as part of the military budget they get it. What they give for it is little more than debt and low paid work promises. Their degrees are surely not well received and if they are, it is within the low paid security industry. $80,000 for a Homeland Security degree? What would anyone need this for and why put oneself into non discharageable debt to get such a degree?

    Like Wall St. these colleges must manufacture new instruments to make money. Wall St. gave us derivatives, CD’s, equity loans, ARMS, and a host of other fianancial products. These schools do the same, giving us educational products that they make money on and are useless to most.

    Thanks, Tito!

    Danny

  • http://www.myspace.com/danielle82686 Danielle Ciccoli

    I just got done reading your article, wow quite long. I am not disbuting your facts and agree that teaching torture is not right! The only thing I wanted to say is that the tuition at the school made it worth my while. Its only 300 dollars per credit hour. I recently graduated from Western Michigan University and was paying more for my undergraduate- Western is a public institution. I’ve also taken classes as an undergrad at APU- so that I wouldn’t get behind in studies when I deployed. Of course, I majored in CJ. After reading your article, the first thing I did was read the bio’s on my professors. Do I agree that those with only MA’s should be teaching students? Yes and no. I was taught by students in the MA program at WMU. Let me rephrase that- they were obtaining their MA- they did not have one. So, to have professors with MA’s at AMU and APU is in my opinion better than some of the teachers I had teaching me at WMU. Of course, being enrolled as a grad student now myself, I believe that my professors should be a degree above me and I do agree with you that they should hire some more qualified professors. Life experience only gets you so far in academics. Sure, it’s fine to teach undergrads if you have a MA but I don’t believe that’s the case if you are teaching Grad students- so yes they should fix this. I also wanted to comment on the quality of education that I received at courses that I’ve taken with APU. Studying on your own is a hard thing to do- but in our globalizing and developing society- the need exists. If you are deployed to Iraq or wherever, you deserve to be able to continue your education. It is a viable option to not being able to study at a US institution- which is my case now. I am living abroad- not affilliated with the military anymore. I can’t enroll into La Sapienza’s Specialista in Criminologia until I can manage to speak at B2 level of Italian- so my option was to enter into a local language school and enroll in the MA at APU. I feel that this will be a unique oppurtunity for me to be able to study criminal justice in Italy both at APU and when I am finally able to enter into the program at La Sapienza. Beause I’ve taken classes at APU before, I am confident in their ability to deliver a comprehensive classroom environment, with plenty of teacher interaction. As a Master’s student, you are expected to conduct individual research, so it’s not really necessary to report to a classroom. I am able to get what I need and want out of APU because they exist. I can only hope that it’s the same for other students. As for the tuition, they are cheaper then John Cabot, American University of Rome and any other private, non for profits in Italy, with the average price of tuition being 9900 USD per semester. AMU is even cheaper then a public education in Michigan. I am very exited to have this oppurtunity. For the part about the teature teaching torture- we all know this is wrong and hopefully America will learn from this- but I would hope this teacher wasn’t approved to teach this by the university because I may have to change my opinion! Thanks for the interesting read.

  • weilunion

    Danielle, I am glad you wrote for you give another pov and this is good.

    As to learning on your own, this is the problem. It is a hoax, Danielle no one learns on their own.

    We used to have community colleges, state colleges and universities where any student coulds go without paying. They had a real campus life,. real interaction with students and teachers. This is how one learns.

    The business model of AMU is simple, get as many students enrolled as they can for they sell education as a product and really do not care about the quality of the product as much as the shareholderr investments.

    I am glad you think you had a good experience but too bad we do not organize our society around a civil society that can provide adequate public education to its students. This is what made America a great country in the 1950′s and 60′s and now it is all vanishing down the tube of cyber learning which is really not learning.

    These for-profit colleges exist to mug the taxpayer and leave the student in debt. Danielle, it is a crime scene and you can go to Truthout.com today and see just show bad the scene is.

    We need universal public education but of course until we stop spending money on war and the Pentagon we will have, well, war and the Pentagon and civilian life will vanish down a rat hole
    Best
    danny

    • ME2

      ME2 says:
      September 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm And WHO will pay for that? You, Weil?
      By the way, “public” universities are outrageously expensive. George Mason University charges $353 in state tuition and $982 in out-state tuition. AMU charges $300 per credit…I think the numbers speak for themselves…

      AMU has very good ratings and has received various awards for online teaching excellency. I am actually considering in doing my MA there.

      I guess Weil that if you spend all this time slaming AMU is because AMU is doing its job: train people to defend American interests and protect the security of its citizens. Obviously, that bothers you.

      On another note…what is your major? I bet you have none.

  • Me

    Really, he used wikipedia as a source, ,,,,,, solid investigation….

    • ME2

      And WHO will pay for that? You, Weil?
      By the way, “public” universities are outrageously expensive. George Mason University charges $353 in state tuition and $982 in out-state tuition. AMU charges $300 per credit…I think the numbers speak for themselves…

      AMU has very good ratings and has received various awards for online teaching excellency. I am actually considering in doing my MA there.

      I guess Weil that if you spend all this time slaming AMU is because AMU is doing its job: train people to defend American interests and protect the security of its citizens. Obviously, that bothers you.

      On another note…what is your major? I bet you have none.

      • weilunion

        Sur they are expenisve, the public universities. Did you know they were once free? But alas, the military industrial complex sucked up our country’s wealth, two trillion in illegal wars off the books. but it started in the 50′s and then Vietnam. So, you get no social services and no civilain life.

        AMU is a joke. And a bad one. Tow lawsuits pending now and selling eduation like hot dogs is the business plan.

        This is all part of the new public relations campagin to legitimize these notorious ghost schools that prey on the disenfranchised.

        Take a look at the Relight District ot such schools at http://www.truth-out.org/neoliberalism-and-for-profit-predatory-educational-industry-you-cant-regulate-a-criminal-enterprise6

        Yes, right Danielle they ‘train’ people like animals, they do not educate human beings. full spectrum indoctrination for profit.

        Mor and more disenfranchised souls will be cannibalized by the military and then thrown into the dungeons of illiteracy that is AMU.

        Ad hominem attacks do not sway me, they are fallacies of thinkinging, Danielle. My bio is at the Daily site. I got a public education, two doctorates, am a lawyer, have written seven books, worked with the California Youth Authoirty prison sysem (the prision industrial comdplex, all related), worked in South Central as a second grade teacher, with migtants in Central Coast as a first and kinder teacher. Worked high schools and junior highs. All public: so sorry you got caught up in the public relations business for AMU and its profit monger, Jim Etters. You are being used, both as a commodity for education and as a PR for the fight against regulations.

        They sure do train, don’t they. Good at it.

        Danny

  • David Martin-Lee

    “On March 18, 2010 the stock was trading at $46.73. This is a whopping 150% increase in three years despite the collapse of the economy.”

    “Another reason they can profit is that their students can take courses from a cave in Afghanistan or desk in the Green Zone in Iraq.”

    “As public institutions they don’t make profits, nor are they in the business of making them. Their tuition is far lower, as indicated above, and their teachers and classified staff far better compensated than those similarly situated in for-profit colleges.”

    As an AMU student, I have a few problems with this article. First off, these for-profit colleges are competing for a business (enrolling students) in the free market. You even said yourself that community colleges are cheaper. So then why don’t these students go to a community college? I don’t think you realize how the G.I. Bill really works because it seems to me, by way of this article, that you think the students are forced to attend AMU or that the government is imposing itself on a private institution. This is not the case. Students can choose to go to a traditional (cheaper) school if they want. So why are they choosing to go to AMU (and fill greedy CEOs pockets with lots of money)? Because these students CAN work on their education while in an Afghan cave! Education is a product. Some buy it because it’s offered dirt cheap and others because it’s convenient. And if the product is a lemon, then eventually the business fails because the word will get out, especially when it’s an internet business. So if you want to get mad at someone for making AMU’s stock rise 150% in three years, blame the students – unless they’re the innocent, naïve, ignorant pawns in this evil conspiracy. If that’s the case, then you have to own up to that analyses and say up front, “You idiots don’t know what’s good for you. You need me – or someone like me – to tell you what’s good for you”.

    “In June of 1995, AMU became nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).”

    Enough said. If you don’t think the educational quality is good enough, than take it up with the DETC. It seems like you’re mad at AMU because they’ve been given an ‘unfair’ accreditation. Ok, prove it. “Public institutions, such as your local community college or state college or state university are subjected to high standards by certification boards, but not so for many for-profit institutions, thanks to government deregulation, murky transparency and lax oversight.” Do you have a source for that? Go ahead and provide evidence for your unwarranted claim.

    As a side note about the educational quality of AMU, just know that with the amount of grammatical mistakes made in this article, you would not have received a passing grade in any of my classes. Also, in my opinion, writing a 10 page report on the similarities and differences between General George Washington during the Revolutionary war and General Fabius during the Second Punic War with Hannible is not sub-par education – especially since it was for a History 101 class.

    As for the comments made by Professor Forness, every professor is allowed to speak his/her own mind without fear of repudiation. This isn’t NPR with Juan Williams. Most professors do this because it strikes up conversations and debate which is encouraged, and in most cases required. Because of the diversity of degree programs offered, I have run into a wide range of political thought from professors. In fact, by my count (if that is valid in your court), there are more liberal/democrat professors who disagree with the wars than not. You cannot draw a broad conclusion based on a small number of cases (where 1 professor somehow represents every professor). This is an example of a fallacious argument called generalization. In fact while reading this article, along with the subsequent posts, I have found the following fallacious arguments: generalization, inflation of conflict, ad hominem by insults, reductive fallacy, selective observation, scenario, and my favorite…the straw man argument (you should know this, you’re a lawyer). You’ve also lied about the costs of attendance. You stated “$86,000 for a Homeland Securiy degree sounds great, until you realize you will make the salary of a TSA and will take a lifetime to pay off the non-dsichargeable debt”. Getting a B.A. Homeland Security costs only $30,250, roughly one-third your assessment, because the tuition rate for an undergraduate degree is only $250/credit hour. By the way, that rate covers tuition and books.

  • weilunion

    Thanks for your input, David. Go to Truthout.com and type in my name and you can see the rip off that is predatory colleges of which of course, AMU is one.

    They are being sued now: twice.

    As to fallacious arguments, I think not. AMU is a tragedy for returning vets and enlisted miliatary. Selling education like hot dogs or burgers is the game. There is no education at the for-profit colleges. They are much like the subprime loan, recruiting students like the army recriuts soldiers and then selling degrees for a population that may never work.

    had you ever gone to a ‘real’ college and had a real college experience you would be able to compare and contrast. But alas, we are dismantling civilian life for military life. thus no money for public education. That’s the plan. Shrink the public sector and throw those who want an education online.

    Good the GAO and DoJ and DoE sees this, for next week your college will not be able to sell education like hotcakes.

    Best

    danny

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  • some guy

    You have to see the incentive for attending AMU by military personnel. Being a Private in the army I’m incline to offer my perspective. First education is pushed because the higher up likes to see us involved in civilian education. It also offers 1.5 multiple by the credits which calculates into promotion points. Promotion is awarded based entirely on promotion points once you’ve attained the rank of Sergeant. Also with a bachelors degree you become eligible to go to Officer Candidate School to become an officer. Both these paths leads to increased in pay.

    Tuition Assistance at $4,500 per fiscal year is just taxpayers money waiting to be used. AMU is especially popular to attend because it offers free textbooks, accepts military training for credit, accepts credit for CLEPs, DSST, DOCNET, FEMA, has open admission, and because simply the courses are EASY. I’ve personally heard my First Sergeant and Sergeant First Class say that it’s an easy school.

    The enlisted soldiers I know don’t have inspirations to attend graduate school. AMU and schools like it are just the most feasible option in meeting their goals.

  • weilunion

    Hi, Someguy. Well the problem is exactly as you state it but more. See WITH EDUCATION boiled down to ‘training’ for a corporate culture of work, it is not education, is it? It is ‘training’ and usually obedience training for hierarchical life.

    History, culture, the arts, music, humanities, broad literature, all the symbols of both the Rennaissance man and the Enlightenment from which this nation was born are sacrificed to the needs of the ‘higher up’s the corporate elites and yes, the military commanders for this nation is really a militaristic imperialist nation.

    so education gets tossed out into the dustbin of history for a more ‘dumbing’ down to training and with it also goes humanity. for we do not just go to school to learn how to make a living but also to learn how to live.

    This is all disapperaing, as you allude to as the for-profits suck up veterans with few chances for civilian life and toss education to the wolves for profit driven greed and money.

    There are consequences of course, to all of this: the end of the age of literacy and the birth of irrationalism, loss of reason and neo-corporate serfdom.

    If the founding fathers were here now, especially Washington who stated we should have not standing army and Jefferson who warned us of the banksters they would be in Gitmo or at home on anti-depressant drugs.

    A shame, for you must no doubt be asking: what ‘freedoms’ did I fight for, other than the freedom of corporations to invade countries, suck up the general budget and reeduce civilian life to for-profit contracted out servitude?

    Thanks for writing

    Danny

  • Paul

    My friend, you simply seem bitter. You also seem to be blindly judging an institution (AMU) in which you have no legitimate, first-hand, experience with. You continually bash AMU for being an inferior source of learning simply because it is conducted online. Are you aware that almost all universities and colleges offer courses online now? You can now get an online MBA from Boston University, do you look down upon students who choose that program as well even though it is offered by one of the best brick and mortar schools in the nation?
    It should also be considered that these courses are targeted toward men and women who put their lives on hold to serve this great country. Why shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to continue their education when stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq? Professors from ivy league schools are not willing to deploy to combat areas with soldiers (I am not saying they should) to teach men and woman in uniform so it is logical to make use of technology and apply it to education. There is no reason a soldiers education should be attacked simply because they were unable to attain it on American soil because they were thousands of miles away protecting it.
    Lastly, instead of blindly criticizing the programs offered by AMU why don’t you go take a class and give your arguments some foundation? Maybe you’d discover that the courses offered actually do allow students to learn new material, interact with each other, and be challenged. The degree is what you put into it, and what you take out of it; the same can be said for a degree from any school whether it is online or brick and mortar.

    • weilunion

      No, not bitter Paul, concerned. For you see, the APUS or Kaplan or the Univesity of Phoenix, any of them are not intested in your education, Paul. They would sell you ground meat as a diploma if they could. They exist for profit. Nothing more nothing less. The only thing that is public about this APUS IS THAT IT IS publicly traded.

      What they have done is create a diploma mill of little education. You are not getting rich instruction or material. The college has a business plan and you are somply a customer, Pau. Since it is not a public university and since the public sector has been under attack for years, more and more students are told they must now borrow and turn to these corporate schools to get a degree. All good news for shareholderrs.

      One thing these colleges do is hold prices down by cutting curriculum, watering it down at best, and asuring they have adjunct faculty. Thus learning at APUS or any other of the predatory colleges is like eating at McDonalds. It tastes good, you think you are eating and getting healthy but in fact there is no nourishment. The burgers are sold at profit and the ingredients are not suitable. Same with intellectual nourishment. You are not getting it, just a coke and ‘curriculum’ like fast food.

      I am an online tacher, Paul. I know. The issue is the following:

      the for profit colleges are bankrupting the nation while putting students into debt srevitue. Read the article at http://www.truth-out.org/neoliberalism-and-for-profit-predatory-educational-industry-you-cant-regulate-a-criminal-enterprise6
      for more.

      A degree is what you put into it and what the college puts into it. An education is the same and this college and other for profitw sell dreams for profit, they do not provide education for development. All based on the ‘get the degree’ and advance reducint education to little more than memorizing, not learning.

      As to men and women who have been to war, I agree all service personnel have a human right to an education, not a quarter pounder and cheese. The fact this college and others ccand parade as educational sites shows the dept to which we have fallen and the value we place on education. A shame really, for without thinkinng democratically ther is nothing to defend excpet for corporate profits. This is what APUS does, this is what a pfor profit education is for — shareholder price increases not for you, Paul. You are a pawn in the game

      Thanks for writing

      Danny Weil

  • SGK

    I could critque this hideous screed from so many different levels, but I hardly know where to begin. Moreover, what’s the point in doing so? My critique would be longer than the verbose diatribe you (no doubt) call “journalism.”

    If you had written a critical analysis of on-line or for-profit schools as a category, it could have been meaningful — perhaps. This assumes you are capable of writing a balanced, thoughtful examination of some phemonenon. If you are, it was by no means displayed in the aforesaid invective.

    I’m sure you consider yourself a world class journalist but allow this combat veteran to give you some advice. Seek therapy. Your deep, visceral hatred of the military, traditional American values and all things conservative prevent you from viewing reality.

  • HerpDerp

    This whole article is a joke. Kudos for all the research you did but my God did you go off on a tangent. Couple that with al the spelling and grammatical mistakes and this article is just embarassing. Granted I am not a professor, but as an English major I would say that this ‘article’ would receive a ‘C’ if turned in for a class.

    Do you honestly believe that humans cannot self-study? Are you ignorant or just flat out stupid?

    The only crime I see being committed here is the blatant discouraging remarks towards adults seeking higher education and your elitest attitude.

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  • http://www.military.com DennisP

    Man, what is your PROBLEM?? Do you understand the needs of people in the military trying to get a degree? We CAN’T go to a brick and mortar full time because we’re constantly moving around, and we CAN’T afford the outrageous tuition of many other online schools. AMU is trying to help us get an accredited degree, as are others, and yes they make a buck out of it too..SO? Isn’t this a CAPITALIST society? It doesn’t mean it’s not a real degree. Have you gone there? Are you a student? I am and let me tell you it’s hard work, it’s not a degree mill. And as you said, it’s got the same accreditation as Ohio State. SAME STANDARDS. Jeez man stop being such a hater and get off their/our backs.

  • Roger Dean

    You’ve got it backwards bub, I’ve attended both traditional and online schools and by far it is the traditionals that are easiest. You sit half asleep in a classroom listening to lectures for a couple years, take some standardized tests where cheating is rampant, and you’re good. And party party party. Online however requires self-motivation, self-discipline, testing without the help of much teacher feedback or collaboration with other students. If you think it’s so easy go try it yourself, then you can speak from a more valid position. And if you think the outrageous tution of a Harvard or Penn State is not “profit”, you are delusional. Bottom line, it’s the accreditation that counts, not the delivery system or business model. Oh, and the Dean of AMU’s Technology Department is an ex-NASA Astronaut and a PhD. Go tell him what a scammer he is.

  • Buck
  • Dude

    Just another liberal rant blog. I am proud of our military and as a civilian would be proud to have a graduate degree from AMU.
    If the Afghanistan war and Iraq war are illegal then why not call for Obama to be put into jail as you liberals did for Bush and Cheney?
    Yes you are a liberal, you don’t understand that the Shiites are commanded by god to wage jihad against the western world. You don’t understand that our military loves you and the rest of the liberals they protect every day. This is the cross they bare. Let them get educated in a cost effective and efficient way with free clep and dsst tests for undergrad and affordable masters degrees like amu provides.
    Please take a course from amu before condemning it.

    God bless America.

  • http://www.wired.com Bruce Hill

    Dude: I am as liberal as they come and am a proud graduate student of AMU. Also a combat veteran. Oops, sorry to blow your mind. You are as guilty of simple-minded sterotyping as this author, just the other way. But we both agree, this guy is a jerk.

  • Dude

    Thanks for the correction Bruce. But I do know there are liberals in the military. There are liberals everywhere you go. Some of my family members are conservative and some are liberal. It’s all good. I do see a lot of liberals like this one taking a hard line stance on a few things such as capitalism, profit motives, colonialism, projecting power in other parts of the world etc. I think that all of these are necessary and can be abused if taken to the extreme. Why do kids open up lemonade stands? It’s the profit motive. There is nothing wrong with that. If a smart guy sees a problem with the education market and comes in with a solution such as AMU why is that a bad thing. The invisible hand is at work here.
    This blogger has discredited himself by allowing his emotions to overflow into his writing.

    Thank you for your service.

  • Socialist Pig

    The author admits to being an online teacher (most likely at a not for profit institution).

    The artilcal also states:

    According to Business Week, today for-profit schools account for a staggering 29% of college enrollments and 40% of the half-billion-dollar annual tab in federal tuition assistance for active-duty students. These are our tax dollars that go to private for profit colleges and their CEO’s and major stockholders, not to build community based public institutions.

    Conclusion: Author’s institution is losing money and he is very angry because the demand for his product is not as great as the demand for his competitors (APU). As a result, the author will probably have to go out on the street and make a living subsidised on his hard work and talents. The icing on this sweet cake is that if more public universities were not as hostile towards the military and allowed for ROTC and other military based programs their may not have been the demand for AMU in the first place….

    • http://www.breakuphub.com Ed The Ex Back Guy

      Totally agree… Those are some staggering numbers. Do you have a link from Business Week for more information for where I can read up on that?

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  • AJ

    I came upon this site as a former student of Forness. I’m surprised you didn’t question any of his students, past or present. To qualify, I am a proud progressive and former Army officer. I absolutely disagree with torture and the policy of the Bush Administration. I also conduct interview/interrogations for a city police department on a regular basis. The reason I was looking up Forness is because I didn’t believe his background. He was all over the place on many of his statements and would always write about his “secret” knowledge and connections to special forces and CIA (maybe…couldn’t tell what agency he was refering to) operations. His educational background just didn’t mesh with all the stories and claims. Most guys who “know things” and have “done things” don’t talk about them.

    However, with that said, except for his opinions he was a good teacher. If he stayed out of the clandestine world (I really could have cared less what he “knows” or “did”) he did have Intelligence/Homeland Security experience, as evidenced by how he stated the material. He also promoted “out of the box” thinking which few educators do anymore.

    In terms of the title of your article, I’ll confirm how his class works. The “lecture” you are refering to is a portion of the on-line platform reserved for discussion. Typically its termed the “discussion board” and student are required to post weekly comments in a scholarly format (research based) in response to the instructor’s topic. These usually are equalivent to a 2-4 page weekly research paper. These forums are usually worth 20-40% of your grade. In Forness’ class they are not graded and have no academic requirements. The idea is to just discuss openly certain hot topics. In no way are they a lecture, but more of a discussion between all the parties on an equal footing.

    Forness is certainly a conservative and holds the Bush mind-set on many issues. However your article eludes to students not being able evade the pull of Forness’ ideaological gravity. Those of us in distance-ed do have the ability to think for ourselves and aren’t just sheep. This also goes to your broader argument. We aren’t just mindless morons in the military/public service. We can, by ourselves, figure out the best way to educate ourselves and finance that cost.

    I do understand APUS is a for-profit corporation. It is doing what it is designed to do-make money. That’s what corporations do, make money for its shareholders. Yes, the business model is to make money. Its not a great conspiracy, they’ll tell you that up front! However, if their product is crap then people won’t attend and spend the money (at least not enough to support the shareholders investments). It is also 1/3 of the price of Rutgers where my wife is going now. My class requirements appear harder (at least to me!) and I know I have a good, broad-based knowledge of my subject area.

    In terms of the APUS education system I feel it is better than a traditional attendance institution. I have an AAS, BS, and two MS degrees prior to AMU. Some have been traditional, some have been on-line. For me, online has been a better learning experience. I have been in numerous traditional classes where the professor could care less. There is that 5% of everything in society; bad professors, bad guys, bad politicians, bad etc. You’re over-generalizing APUS and online ed. Online isn’t a perfect system, but its only 10 years old. The system is evolving. Give it some time.

    Is this country broken in many sectors? Yes. Is there a corporate oligarchy running the country? Yes. Are the wars absolutely useless? Yes. Were you right on many counts about the education system? Sure, but talk, especially on an internet board, is cheap. You seem to want to make a difference in the country. Well do it. Then you may see these problems aren’t so easily solved by liberal or conservative ideaology. Idealism is good, but you have to compromise. Fight for your ideals, but understand you ain’t going to get all of what you want.

    and this was brought up before, but quoting wikipedia in an academic article is the biggest no-no in education. You’re killing us progressives!

  • Kchercmech

    I too am a Marine. I too am a student at AMU. I find that AMU classes are harder than those of Strayer University for example. I was with Strayer for more than a year and the only thing I found my pockets were being fleeced for a degree. Strayer + white male student= $1700 PER CLASS. AMU + white male student = $750 a class. Like previously stated, AMU’s class work is twice as hard than Strayer. I was online, and in physical classes with Strayer. Result: I kNOW I am getting a great education free of liberal BS. If a company chooses not to hire me because I went to AMU, so be it. I will sell my labor elsewhere.

  • passerby civilian

    I had to queue in here.  I can NOT believe what I have read below and the article above.  I have 2 BA degrees one in Psychology and the other in Communication.  One from a so called NON for profit college and another from a state school.  Both of which are actually more expensive the APU.  The non for profit was so expensive it literally put me in debt for the rest of my life.  I keep hearing that state and non for profit universities don’t make any money.  What are you guys smoking because you might as well puff puff and pass it along. 

    I can NOT believe i actually read an American stating that universities do NOT make money. I can’t help but laugh.  State schools make a TON of money.  private NON for profit schools make even more.  These Online schools, (capitalizing for effect) WHO THE HELL CARES IF THEY ARE MAKING MONEY.  I am just dumbfounded by the ignorance stated all over this article and thread. 

    We talked about capital punishment in my state school.  Things we would change and things we would add if we wanted.  Does this make the professor a “bad person”?  No, it doesn’t.  And to the grammar nazis… enough.  This is reply not a paper or an article.  As for the so called article above…  You have no excuse, you shouldnt make errors when writing something like that. 

    Bottom line, how is the education at APU?  whether the school makes money or not is not an issue.  ALL UNIVERSITIES IN AMERICA MAKE MONEY.  you want an eye opener.  Universities in CHINA which happens to be communist makes money on their universities. 

    you want to talk about wasted tax payers money… lets talk about the huge student loan debt that hasnt been paid back by the general citizen.  Thats right, there are so many student loans in default in America as we speak.  Obama decided to throw them a bone and say you only need to pay for so many years.  SO, what about all those citizens who took out a Student loan for their education and wont pay most of it back. 

    you complain about a military person getting an educatioin because he is there for our country with his own life is not worth some tax dollars. Yet think its ok for a civilian to wash away tax dollars from their education and not pay it back and not do anything for America?

    Some of you talk about how some of them are bias because they are students or in the military.  Well how about you?  you are showing yours.  I am neither in the military nor in APU/AMU.  And guess what?  I am ashamed at some of you Americans to even think that an online education is bad. 

    it is no different then sitting in a class of 400 students being taught by MA students.  especailly when most of the 400 didnt understand the teacher and the teacher replied ” i cant help you.  i must finish my lecture”  which at some point, students started to leave. 

    Then i read about how some brought up the 50s and 60s and comparing it to now.  You cant do it.  And you trying to blame corporations for it being changes is also ignorant.  I only got one question why it changed. 

    How many of you actually as a family for 7 days a week, sit at the table to eat dinner? 

    if you answer, my family does then you are one of the very few families in america that do.  This is one of the major reasons for the change in America not the corporations.  family values diminishing overtime has changed america. 

    trying to lay blame on a guy who started a university is assinine.  yeah i said it.  Plus college was not readily available to everybody back in the 50s and 60s.  It wasnt that easy for the common American to go to college. 

    its much easier now.   In comparison to a communist country like China who is suppose to be for the PEOPLE, we are far ahead for availability. 

    the housewife can now actually get a degree while still doing the family things she needs to do.  Or a guy like me who doesnt have time to go to a major university to continue his education during the traditional hours.

    Oh and guess what?  one last thing before i finish here.  big time 4 year  Universities have this thing called independant study.  You basically study by yourself the entire course.  I took it and its not easy.  you really have to be disciplined and have to really rely on yourself to concentrate on the material without the teachers help. 

    SO you saying that AMU/APU is bad because it does it, might as well count in all the universities in America that ALLOW independant studies.

  • passerby civilian

    oh and one more thing to add to my post below.  If you are so dead against this university then why havent you taken it up with the Education board or the accredidation services.  I am sure they would love to hear your accusations.  And before you go make sure to buy the donkey suit so you can wear it when you leave. 

    again if you feel strongly then as any american can and should do if they feel this compelled against something, go to the poeple who care and can actually do something about it and complain. 

    I think you will find yourself hitting a brick wall. 

  • Sadrian

    I have gone to the City College here in Fresno, Fresno State University, and now APU. The funny thing is that AP is the cheapest per unit off all three, and I decided to go there because my work schedule is jsut too demanding to not be able to do school work on my time. The work I have experienced is no easier or harder than any class I have taken at any of the schools, it being online doesn’t make it easier. All classes vary in difficulty by teacher and not really by school or mode the class is taken in.

  • Dan

    I am a liberal and AMU graduate who went on to an Ivy grad school. I was very happy with my AMU education and believe it was equal to any public, traditional undergrad program. Indeed, many of my reading materials with AMU were used in my grad school program (the Ivy). I am an Iraq War vet and served in Germany and Iraq, and if it were not for AMU, I may have never been home enough to earn a traditional degree. Dr. Boston has done people like me a great service. 

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