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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

AECT - You've Got to be Kidding Me!

A few days ago I was asking the question Having to Pick and Choose - or - What Does AECT Have to Offer? Well, tonight I'm sitting at my computer minding my own business and I get this message for David Winograd, the Distance Learning Division representative to the AECT executive board. His message contain the notes from the latest meeting, nothing too bad I suppose.

I open up the attachment to actually read the minutes and I find this:

2006 Convention Registration Costs (Wes/Phil) - Early Bird rates

Grad/Retired/International - $195 (up $5)
Volunteer rate - $ 95 (up from 50)
Regular member - $390 (same as Orlando)
One Day Member - $165 (same as Orlando)

non member adds membership cost

Regular Registration Rates adds $50
I mean you have got to be kidding me! Two hundred bucks for student registration, one hundred bucks to volunteer for twelve hours during a two and a half day conference, you have got to be kidding me!

Let's do a little comparison...
  • AERA - student rate $50 (add $35 for non-member)
  • SITE - student rate $155 (add $20 for non-member) / volunteer rate $0 with eight hours over three days
  • e-Learn - student rate $155 (add $20 for non-member) / volunteer rate $0 with eight hours over three days
  • ED-Media - student rate $155 (add $20 for non-member) / volunteer rate $0 with eight hours over three days

Now if I'm not mistaken, the graduate students make up a significant chuck of the membership of AECT and about the same percentage of conference goers. What is AECT thinking? Let's screw the students once again so that even fewer of them will stay members once they graduate?

In response to the question I asked earlier Having to Pick and Choose - or - What Does AECT Have to Offer? My answer right now is starting to come back to the same answer that I had when I first became involved with AECT. Absolutely nothing!

Don't they see that they are pushing those people that the organization needs the most away from participation? I have always said that if I had a choice between AECT and AACE that I would choose AACE because it is a more student friendly organization that has a lot more to offer than AECT. Unfortunately AECT continues to prove this point to me more and more each year.

Over the past year and a bit, since I have first gotten involved with Nate and AECT, I have tried to keep an open mind about AECT and tried to work on its shortcomings as an organization. But the problem is that those who manage AECT don't appear to be interested in addressing these and, in fact, continue to create more problems for the organization.

I'm not even sure where to start or whether it is even worth the time to try and start somewhere. Maybe Nate is right when he talks about AECT and its current structure not serving its membership at all. If this is the case, you have to start asking yourself is membership even worth it?

I wonder what would happen to AECT if all of the graduate student members decided for two years to boycott both their membership and attending the annual meeting? Would AECT be able to continue to exist without this constituency? If not, why do they continue to make it a less and less student friendly organization?

This entry has been cross-posted to The Program and The Overlay.

Tags: AECT, , , blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education


Blogger idarknight said...

It's a significant problem with conferences it seems. They don't understand that without the grad students, they will be gone in about 10 years. AACE is doing better than most it seems on that (not that I'm biased).

See you at SITE.

6:00 PM


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