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Cyber-school students: Pentagon snubs our service

Military Authority Member
Admin Admin May 9th, 2011

High school students who attend online schools are being turned away from military service. But the military encourages online education for its service members. Does this double-standard make sense to you or should the law be changed?


Replies

Military Authority Member
Randall Faulkner May 17th, 2011

As an educator and former S-1, it makes perfect sense. Research shows that there is a higher first time attrition rate for non-traditional diploma/GED holders than for traditional. The non-traditional graduates are totally snubbed, they are limited in the percentage the Army will enlist. This is due to the fact that they typically require more one-on-one while in BT and AIT - they tend to have less discipline in their studies. This group tends to have problems with classes that are, for lack of a better term, lock-step, having come from programs that are more self-paced and in many cases, student specific design. They are more likely to become recycles and/or require after class tutoring. So, the sentence about there being a double-standard is misleading - there is a standard for enlisting AND there is a standard for additional education for soldiers already in the service.


Military Authority Member
Admin Admin May 19th, 2011

Thank you for your thoughts, Randall.

There is anecdotal evidence that current online students are actually more disciplined and require less help precisely because they had self-directed studies and had to learn self-discipline and problem-solving skills to succeed in their studies. It seems the research was from a time when most non-traditional and GED holders were those who had dropped out of school and had to complete a different program to enlist at all. With more students being home schooled or completing regular public school curriculum through an online medium as a choice to avoid social pressures or work through more advanced curriculum, it will be interesting to watch over time if research is able to back up the anecdotal data.

Why do you think there should be a different standard for education before and after joining the service? Is it military-taught discipline, maturity that comes with age, or a different level of pressure? What qualities do you, as an educator, think are most important for someone to succeed with any sort of online learning?

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