AU Graduate Profiles

Here’s something a little bit different this week, a graduate student profile. Tony volunteered to be interviewed at the AU Alumni Reception on June 13th, 2003 after receiving his final AU degree, a Masters in Distance Education.


Age: 45

Resides in: Edmonton, Alberta

Completed at AU
1. Bachelor of Administration, 1992
2. Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education (Technology), 1999
3. Master of Distance Education, 2002 (December)

As a full-fledged alumnus with 20 1/2 years of AU education under his belt Tony now plans to be active in AU’s Alumni Association

Years to complete
1. 13
2. 2
3. 5 1/2

Tony was a police constable when he commenced his Bachelor of Administration. He continued to work on his program as he started his own business. He then spent a number of years employed with the federal and provincial governments. He finished his master’s degree (and advanced graduate diploma) about the same time as he has started teaching in the Police and Security Program at Grant MacEwan College. Tony left his
full-time employment with the provincial government soon after, giving time for focused studies and part-time teaching. The teaching hours eventually grew, and studies slowed down. Oh, it wasn’t the courses–it was the thesis that Tony was determined to complete despite slow progress.

Tony continues to teach in the Police and Security Program at Grant MacEwan College, presently coordinating field placements. He also owns and operates a small business seeking distance education and training opportunities.

Favorite Course:
Adult Learning and Development, in the MDE program, is Tony’s favourite. It provided a good grounding for the MDE studies and a very successful outcome convinced Tony that he could handle a master’s program.

Favorite Tutor/Professor:
There were so many wonderful tutors and professors that it is too difficult for Tony to name a favourite. He remembers those that went out of their way to provide extra special attention, such as meeting personally to discuss assignments or to attend social functions. In the MDE, daily contact by email or telephone was readily available if needed. A special recognition must be given to the faculty in the MDE program who continue to contribute so much to the field of distance education, far beyond the AU programs. To the late Professor Dan
Coldeway, your contributions will always be remembered by Tony and others.

Tony thinks it is great that distance education offers flexibility and many opportunities for the programs to follow student needs and time schedules. However, he recommends that students set and abide by a
predetermined schedule. It is too easy to procrastinate. Also, Tony wants to point out that so many tutors and professors have so much to share about their subject area, so be sure to engage in conversations with them.

Other comments
Tony knew he would someday have an opportunity to poke a little fun at an administrative boo-boo đŸ™‚ He thought this question offered the chance. For Convocation 2003, assumingly wanting a little information
for the biographies to be read, one unnamed staff member in the President’s Office took it upon herself to go further and ask graduands for biological information! She admitted to Tony how red her face was when this slip was identified. Yes, we can have fun at AU–even at a distance.

Congratulations Tony Ratcliffe, B.Admin, MDE

Look for more grad profiles in upcoming Voice issues. If you are an AU grad and you were not interviewed on convocation day, contact to be a part of AU profiles. As always, we are seeking undergrads, tutors and staff for profiles as well.