For a long time, Distance Education [DE] was considered inferior to traditional learning. That stigma is slowly being eroded, and AU has played a large role in legitimizing DE. For the next Sounding Off, tell me about your experiences as an AU student. How do people react to when they hear that you are attending AU? Have those reactions changed over time? I’ll go first:
Some people still think that AU is that certificate-mill that Sally Struthers hawks on TV. In the first couple of years I was repeatedly refused student discounts when I tried to use my lame cardboard AU ID card. Once I got a plastic photo ID from AUSU, things improved a lot. My bank, however, refused me student rates because they “don’t count community colleges.” I asked, “How many community colleges give out master’s degrees?” In the last couple of years, however, people have been responding with more interest when I mention AU. The worst bias used to come from students of other universities, but just last month the editor of an eastern Canadian university newspaper asked me for more info about taking courses at AU. It felt great! Each year, more people know what AU is, and I get more respect for working toward my degree, and less flak for going to a ‘correspondence’ school.
What have your experiences been like?
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