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Ninety-Seven Percent of Seniors at American Public University System Would Choose the Online Institution Again

November 20, 2008

Results of the National Survey of Student Engagement Indicate Students Have a Very Favorable View of APUS

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Findings recently released from the 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicate students studying with American Public University System (APUS) (http://www.apus.edu/index.htm) have an extremely favorable view of the online learning system and would overwhelmingly attend again if they could start their college career over. APUS, with member institutions, American Public University (http://www.apu.apus.edu/index.htm) and American Military University (http://www.amu.apus.edu/index.htm), offers 73 accredited online degree programs to more than 40,000 adult learners studying in 50 states and more than 100 countries.

The 2008 report from the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) is based on information from nearly 380,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students at 722 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. APUS findings were based on 1149 randomly selected APUS first year and senior students on the 2008 NSSE Survey. The survey was administered in spring 2008 by Indiana University's Center for Postsecondary Research in cooperation with the Indiana University Center for Survey Research.

Other findings indicate a considerable amount of student-faculty interaction. Ninety percent of senior students indicate that they frequently get prompt verbal or written feedback from faculty members. A key finding from the broader survey indicated that students taking most of their classes online report more deep approaches to learning in their classes, relative to classroom-based learners. Additionally, a large share of online learners reported very often participating in intellectually challenging course activities.

Alexander C. McCormick, NSSE director and associate professor of education at Indiana University says that NSSE survey findings related to online learning indicate that "those who teach classes online may be making special efforts to engage their students. It may also be the case that online classes appeal to students who are more academically motivated and self-directed."

Other findings indicate that 97 percent of APUS seniors said their educational experience was excellent or good, and 86 percent of seniors felt that APUS provided the academic support they needed to succeed.

"APUS continues its efforts to better engage students in the online learning environment," said Dr. Jennifer Stephens, dean of assessment for APUS. "We continue our work with the Higher Learning Commission's Assessment Academy and the Transparency by Design Initiative to learn better ways to ensure student success, both academically and professionally."

APUS is enhancing the online learning environment by using video as a class participation tool in speech classes and testing new interactive video components in the classroom. Professors are beginning to use video introductions for classes and are developing applications that will involve simulation exercises with students in the Emergency and Disaster Management program.

Dr. Philip Ice, director of course design, research and development at APUS, is highly involved in research related to the formation of learning communities as a necessary prerequisite for meaningful learning in online environments. His research with colleagues at seven other institutions in the United States and Canada, has led to the development of the Community of Inquiry Framework (CoI). Using tenants of the Col leads to higher degrees of student engagement, learning and rapport with instructors. Starting in January of 2009, the CoI will be used as part of the framework for course development and evaluation at APUS.

The NSSE 2008 Report, Promoting Engagement for all Students: The Imperative to Look Within, is sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Findings can be downloaded from the NSSE Web site (www.nsse.iub.edu) or it can be ordered for $20 from the National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, 1990 E. 10th Street, Suite 419, Bloomington, IN, 47406-7512.

About Public University System

American Public University System includes American Public University and American Military University and educates more than 40,000 adult learners worldwide. APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility allows working adults to pursue degrees that will help them advance in a variety of career fields, including business, information technology, education and management. APUS also provides specialized education in homeland security, national security and emergency and disaster management. A university book grant provides textbooks at no cost for eligible undergraduate students. American Public University System is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Public Education, Inc. (Nasdaq: APEI). For more information, please visit http://www.AmericanPublicEducation.com.

SOURCE American Public University System

CONTACT:
Renee Hockaday
of American Public University System
+1-703-334-3868
rhockaday@apus.edu

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