By Andrew Welch | Director, Strategic Planning
This fall semester will be the most exciting in recent memory for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program (AUP). Do you know that we had a 70-percent acceptance rate to active duty officer programs this summer?
We’ve also set out to rethink our academic program in a way that:
- Support local flotillas, stations, and AUP units providing on-campus instruction;
- Allow students and alumni to ask and answer questions, discuss topics, and share experiences;
- Is more flexible for students at different schools and in different timezones.
We’re moving away from rigid online courses that require a semester-long commitment, and we’re opening up our course content so that students, flotillas, and stations can download it, mix it up, and use it to teach classes in person. We hope that this will help students learn what they need, the way they work best.
Access course material on our new website. We’ve organized the new Academics webpage by course, with everything in one place, so that you can download material for self study or on-campus classes, watch videos, and take tests without a CGAUXNET login. Visit www.cgauxedu.us/academics.
Question, discuss, and share experiences in one of our Facebook Groups. We’ve created groups for Response, Prevention, and Public Affairs (and of course have our main AUP Facebook Group for general discussion). Students and alumni should join the groups that interest them. Take advantage of Facebook Groups smartphone app, and don’t worry about keeping a separate account in another service. You can find links to the groups on our Academics webpage, but remember you have to be a registered AUP student, alumnus, or instructor to join.
Register for individual classes covering topics that interest you. We’re breaking up our online courses into single-session classes. This means that you can register for what you need without having to make a semester-long commitment on top of your existing school academics, jobs, and extra-curriculars. If you’re studying boat operations and know you need to learn more about first aid, then sign up for the session that covers that. If you already learned about navigation in your flotilla, then feel free to skip over that online class. We’ll bring in subject-matter experts to teach, try to keep things discussion-oriented, and constantly be adding new opportunities to the class catalog throughout the year.
Finally, we count class time outside of AUP (in your flotilla, at a station, skills weekend, DTRAIN, etc) toward students’ graduation requirements. Remember to submit a Verification of Outside Class time form to get those hours counted. You can do that online now as well.
I’m really excited about how these changes will improve our academic experience for students, alumni, and instructors. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve, though, so keep your ideas coming. Best of luck getting started with the fall semester. Thank you for your service!
Director, Strategic Planning