July 2012 Facilitator of the Month – Phil McNair
July 2012 Facilitator of the Month – Phil McNair
Our Facilitator of the Month is Phil McNair. In June, Phil facilitated Atten-Shun! How to Better Serve Military Students and this month he is facilitating The Mindful Classroom: Identifying, Understanding, and Managing Student Stressors.
Phil served 26 years as an Army officer, retiring at the rank of Colonel in 2002. During his military career he served in various positions around the world primarily in personnel management and systems automation. He taught Military Science and Military History at the University of Texas at El Paso, and was instrumental in implementing many of the Army manning policies established by the Army Chief of Staff. In his final assignment he was the Executive Officer to the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the ranking personnel officer in the Army.
During his retirement at the Pentagon in 2002, (Colonel) McNair was presented the Army’s highest award for military service, the Distinguished Service Medal. His numerous other awards and decorations include the Soldier’s Medal for heroism during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on 9/11, the Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart.
Following his retirement from the Army Phil joined American Military University, a fledgling online, for-profit, nationally accredited institution focused on educating military officers who were pursuing masters degrees. Over the past 8 and a-half years AMU, its sister institution American Public University (APU), and its parent organization, the American Public University System (APUS), have achieved regional accreditation, conducted a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO), and grown to more than 120,000 students. It is now the largest provider of voluntary education to the U.S. military and offers more than 70 degree programs at the Associates, Bachelors and Masters levels to members of the military, public service professionals, first responders, and other interested students.
Phil has served in several vice-presidential positions at APUS and has been responsible for developing many of the processes and structures that have facilitated its phenomenal growth and its academic excellence, including serving on two Self-Study Steering Committees that resulted in initial regional accreditation in 2006 and re-accreditation in 2011 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member since 2003 and introduced many innovative ideas into online classrooms while designing and enhancing courses.
He was a key architect of the institution’s required foundation course for new undergraduate students which attracts more than 1500 registrations every month and is considered a critical element of the institution’s student success program. He established the Center for Teaching and Learning to provide resources for faculty members and students, as well as train new faculty members and offer professional development opportunities to current faculty. He designed and launched the Instructional Design and Development team to facilitate incorporation of best practices into APUS classrooms and assist faculty members with course improvement efforts and also established the military outreach team that routinely visits military bases to help current and prospective military students.
Phil has extensive experience in supervisory and managerial positions in a wide variety of organizations, both governmental and private. He holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University. In addition, he has done graduate work at the University of Texas at El Paso and Central Michigan University, and completed the prestigious Management and Leadership in Education program at Harvard University.
Mr. McNair has been certified as an online teacher through the Sloan-C Certificate program, serves as a mentor for the faculty currently earning the certificate, and in 2009 won the Wagner Award for Distance Learning Leadership presented by the Distance Learning Administration, sponsored by the University of West Georgia.
Phil and his colleague Dr. Fred Stielow recently co-authored a book published by Pearson titled Finding Success as a Returning Veteran or Military Student which is designed to help veterans and military students find their way to college and achieve their academic goals.
A participant in Phil's Atten-Shun! workshop highlights his contribution to the Sloan-C Institute: "Phil is great. He made military culture accessible and really made a great case for why institutions need to be aware of military students and how to help them."
Phil McNair is an exceptional resource to the Sloan-C Community. In 2011 he was a guest editor for JALN 15.3, Military Leadership, Faculty Practices, and Cultural Perspectives in Online Education available at http://sloanconsortium.org/JALN_15.3_Military_Leadership_Faculty_Practices_and_Cultural_Perspectives
Thank you, (Ret.) Col. Phil McNair for your service, dedication and hard work at the Sloan-C Institute. We salute you!