Christian Community for Adult Learners at ACU

When I was finishing my bachelor’s degree as a young wife and soon-to-be mother, I remember that feeling of fear and nervousness in my stomach every time I started a new class. A new class meant sitting in a room of strangers who, though close to my age at the time, held a very different lifestyle. Even if I became friends with one or two of the students around me, I usually never saw them again after the semester ended. One of the things I love about the Degree Completion Program (DCP) at Arizona Christian University is that our adult students do not need to experience that sense of anxiety at the beginning of each semester. Instead of being in a room of strangers, they remain in a cohort and continue on in their classes with the same students they met from the first night of orientation. Not only are the fellow students familiar, they form friendships and a tight networking group as everyone in the class shares common goals and life responsibilities. All of the courses in the DCP are geared toward adults and are taught within a Christian community. I’ve often found the students refreshed by the sense of encouragement they gain by their fellow students as well as the staff and faculty. The cohorts learn that they can count on each other for prayer and support. It is so encouraging for me to see our adult students thrive in this form of Christian education. Not only are they learning from the instructors the necessary skills and aptitudes they need for success in their chosen vocation, their...

WORDS…like “Andragogy”

Now there’s a fancy word, if I ever saw one.   The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines andragogy as “the art or science of teaching adults.” Andragogy is what ACU trains your instructors to do.   We want them to teach adults the way adults learn rather than the way children learn. Words are the building blocks of knowledge in every field. We should never stop learning new words. Adding to our vocabulary is an essential aspect of life-long learning for adults. I have the privilege of watching my grandson every Wednesday. He is 18 months old and I am amazed at his language development. He is a sponge when is comes to learning new words and using them properly. I also sense his frustration when he can’t find a word he needs to communicate. Aren’t adults just the same? Our vocabulary will either increase our capacity to speak and write well or frustrate us because we can’t find the word we need to communicate effectively. Without a wide breadth and depth of vocabulary, adults lack a critical tool for success. So, what should you do to increase your vocabulary? Below is the 4-step process I use to add to my vocabulary. You might find it helpful for your own use. 1. MARK IT: Never read anything without a pen in hand. Identify words you don’t know by underlining them or writing them down. If you are reading something in electronic format, underline or highlight unknown words. Never just skip over a word you don’t know. 2. LOOK IT UP: Preferably while you are reading, stop and look up the word you have...

“Enlightening Educational and Spiritual Experience”

The best way to find out what the Degree Completion Program (DCP) courses are like at Arizona Christian University is to ask our students. Rachel is a young entrepreneur and mother that is currently in the DCP earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Health. Read what she has to say about her experience as an adult student at ACU: ACU is the definition of an enlightening educational and spiritual experience. As I approach my second semester as an adult cohort student at ACU, I can’t thank Lisa Beaman and Dr. Ellis enough for their ongoing support and dedication to adult learning. Going back to school in your late twenties or early thirties may cause one to think they will need to successfully relate to being eighteen years old again if they want to thrive in an undergraduate program. Please note that is not the case at ACU. I will be thirty in five days and all of my class peers are either as YOUNG as I am or older. We are a diversified group that brings a strong desire to learn and grow both spiritually and academically. We all poses multiple years of work experience in various fields, and have families at home that depend on us. My cohort group is an extension of me and I look forward to graduation in May, 2016 when I will look to my right and left and thank them for their support and encouragement. We truly are a family that lives by faith, strives to be servant leaders, and will go and make disciples as God commands.  What about you?...
Degree Completion Program Impact

Degree Completion Program Impact

I knew coming to a Christian University would great, but I really did not think that in such a short amount of time I would learn so much about my faith, people and serving God. Having been retired now for three and half years from the Marine Corps, I have had a desire to earn a degree.  I visited several other campuses but was not happy with the environment, time schedules and classes.  I heard about ACU in passing and checked it out.  At the time, I asked God to lead me to a learning institution where his spirit would be allowed to move and I would not be corralled around, or jammed into a mold for younger students just coming out of High School. After attending only three classes: Christian World View, Interpersonal-Conflict and Servant-Leadership, I am amazed at the amount I have learned. My view of Christianity has been strengthened, providing confidence when questioned about it.  My personal, work and married life has become more fulfilling, as I have learned how to better deal with all the different conflicts that arise in day-to-day struggles. Lastly, I have been able to significantly help and assist my wife deal with conflict situation at her new job.  We both have a different outlook, connecting work and worship as one integrated form of life, with little to no separation between. What a true blessing this program has been.  I am amazed at what I have learned so far and thinking to the future I cannot wait to see all I will know and be able to perform in 20 short months....

Succeeding as an Adult Student

Succeeding as a student when you’ve gone back to college to finish your degree may seem like an overwhelming goal. Like all goals, however, it’s important to break down the steps into something that is achievable and measurable. If thinking about the program, or all of the credits you still need to fill, is too daunting or discouraging, try focusing on one semester – or even one class at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way! Each semester and course can also be broken down to several smaller, attainable objectives. Ask yourself what you can do to make each portion of your goal a success. Can I attend each of my classes? Can I read for one hour a day? Two hours? Can I complete all of my assignments? Can I complete them on time? Try using the same place each time you work on your reading or assignments. Pick a quiet place where you can spread out your work and focus on the subject. However, you should also take your text book everywhere. You never know when you’ll be stuck waiting somewhere and will have some extra time to read. If you find yourself in a tough class, talk with your instructor to figure out the root of the problem. Most likely, they will help you take steps to catch up with your studies. Ask yourself: What can I do to move forward and not lose momentum? Don’t forget to reward yourself when you accomplish the various pieces of your goal. (Personally, I like chocolate!) Treat yourself to something special when you finish...
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