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The Accelerated Learning Style: Is it Right for You?
(Continued from 1)

The ALS is geared toward the working professional, and most ALS students are adults with families and jobs that make demands on their time. They must uphold those responsibilities as well as their commitment to the large quantities of reading and writing required. Class usually meets one night a week and sometimes on the weekends. The ALS requires a substantial adjustment to your lifestyle, learning style, and time management priorities. A higher priority must be given to studies and preparation than recreation and social activities. It is a fast paced and highly stressful learning style, not suited for the learner who is more comfortable in the less stressful, slower paced traditional learning atmosphere.

The ALS employs a variety of learning tools, including experimentation and application through roll-playing, demonstrations and presentations that
reinforce concepts. As an ALS student, you are expected to voice ideas and thoughts and justify them with supportive reasoning.

“The program is definitely fast paced, you hit the ground running from the first day,” says ASL student Linda Rupp. “I had to restructure my entire living schedule including the little things like grocery shopping. Trying to fit it in between my work schedule, home chores, class work, and sleep took some doing. At first the accelerated pace seem overwhelming and confusing, a ton of information coming at you fast and furious; however, after awhile you begin to realize how the system work s and everything just falls into place. The stress factor levels out and you become more comfortable.”

This student successfully readjusted priorities and established a workable system that allowed her level of stress to subside. Although most students
adapt, some do not. In his book First things First, Steven Covey points out that
one of the top stress producers is urgency addiction: doing what we think needs to be done - right now. However, what we must do to overcome this addiction and lower our stress is re-evaluate our values according to our principles and prioritize our time using the resultant values. If you are a motivated person who is responsible, has the determination to endure the heightened stress, and are willing to do what it takes to achieve your objectives, then an accelerated learning style program may be right for you.

Learn Your Preferred Learning Style

Everyone is different. These differences have an effect on how we learn.
Some prefer active concrete hands-on learning while others prefer a more reflective contemplative approach.

According to Thomas O'Conner in Learning Styles in Higher Education, those who do best with this style of learning tend to be students who learn best when they can address knowledge in ways that they trust. If their orientation to the world draws theory from concrete experience, then they will learn best through doing rather than reflecting. If their personal style is oriented around abstraction, then their best learning will be abstract. In fact, an individual may not ultimately confirm knowledge until they have handled it in modalities they strongly trust.

All students should evaluate his or her preferred learning style and the learning program’s teaching methods for the best match, to achieve the
best learning outcome. Tools such as the Introduction to Type by Isabel Briggs Myers and The Kolb Learning Style Inventory by David A. Kolb are excellent for self-evaluation. The better the match between students preferred learning style and the learning program’s methods, the more beneficial the outcome will be: the best bang for the buck, so to speak.

Because of the recent economic downtrend, Tony is currently attending Spring Arbor University's accelerated learning program, working toward a master’s degree in organizational development. He is an active SCUBA diver for the local search and recovery association, and has been married to his wonderful wife Judy for eighteen years.

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