In what might be described as a surprise announcement, the U.S. Army is opening its own University. Up until now the Army has spent its considerable budget, $275-$300 million, on Tuition Assistance (TA) for active duty, veteran, National Guard and reserve soldiers attending colleges and universities across the country. Edventures, the “Advisory Service for Higher Education” provides more detail in a post on their “Wake Up” blog entitled “Welcome to the New Army University (AU).”
Stressing that the details of the proposed university are still “evolving,” the article does offer additional information, including a link to the Army’s White Paper. While not a brick and mortar university, the Army is modeling its offering after a “regionally accredited civilian university” with the goal of consolidating separate instruction offered currently at over 70 Army school and training facilities.
Quoting Army Colonel Michael Harlan, the new Vice President for learning systems at AU, “By bringing the curriculum under one roof, the Army hopes, among many outcomes, to enhance critical-thinking skills and problem solving for its future soldiers.” AU will “increase academic rigor,” issue “universal transcripts” and award credits toward both graduate and undergraduate degrees. AU will also recognize previous student achievements such as college courses already completed, or life experience in the form of “competencies acquired on the job.”
This move by the Army is not unprecedented. The Air Force has had its own Air University since the early 1940’s and the Marines established Marie Corps University in 1989. So, what effect will AU have on the many civilian universities receiving TA for the more than 115,000 soldiers attending their schools?
In addition to the article, you’ll also find some useful recommendations for colleges and universities who may be “interested in enrolling and graduating soldiers through TA.”
To learn more read the full article here.