After attending many multiple credit hour courses in the Army I have come to expect the following:
- Students will be in class and ready to go thirty minutes before the class starts.
- The instructor(s) will be in class and ready to go an hour before class starts.
- Administrative tasks (sign-in sheets, contact info, rules, regulations, special cases and expectations) are completed within the first hour.
- The instructor spends no more than five minutes introducing themselves before starting the first learning module.
- By the end of the first week you've covered a lot of material, used the equipment, broke the equipment and fixed it again in some way or another and uou have a general feeling that you are accomplishing something.
It took me most of the first week of the MSSA class to remember that these rules generally do not apply when you go to college.
In college the instructors spend more time getting to know their students before they slowly start to introduce the learning material. A professor will generally lecture one class for two or three hours a day - on a topic you should have read about prior to the start of class. They give you some assignments and go about their business. I don't think any of the students in my cohort who are currently in the Uniformed Services were expecting this.
Professional development and career seeking skills are taught concurrently in the MSSA. Nobody was expecting that either. We have already gone through the mandatory exit programs administered by our respective branches of the military. The scope and content of the professional development courses are generally along the same lines as the official exit programs, however they appear to be more comprehensive in depth and scope. The longer time lines will allow for a better refined product - provided we apply the efforts required.
By week's end the transition away from our respective units and into a formal learning environment was beginning to sink in. I'm hoping next week continues to pick up the pace a little bit, and at the same time I'm hoping it doesn't run me over within the next two.