MIS Executive Bootcamp

When was the last time you took a college course?

The MIS Executive Bootcamp was designed as an introduction to graduate academic study and in order to provide introductory training of skills desired by employers in international affairs. These skills include:

  • writing skills;
  • critical thinking;
  • cross-cultural communications;
  • formal briefing and public speaking; and
  • developing policy options and political analysis.

Mastering these resources early on will contribute to your graduate experience in every respect and allow you to transfer the knowledge and skills gained in your program to your professional lives. Therefore, be sure to check out the MIS Executive Bootcamp Course available on Blackboard. All incoming students are automatically enrolled in the course, and it is due no later than the end of your first semester. The course will continue to be available to you throughout your time in the program. If the course is not showing up on your Blackboard course list, please contact mis@american.edu.

Other Resources

In addition to the MIS Executive Bootcamp Course, the following resources are available to all students either on-campus or online.

The Academic Support and Access Center

The Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) supports the academic development and educational goals of all American University students and is committed to providing access for individuals with disabilities within the university’s diverse community.

Topics of interest to all students include time management and procrastination, effective writing, textbook reading, note taking, critical thinking, memory skills, and test taking.  At the Academic Support Center, you schedule individual appointments with the International Advisor, Ms. Shari Patillo who will talk to you about your particular needs. Tutor referrals are also available.


The Writing Center

Appointments available at the Writing Center for assistance with your writing assignments. They can assist with every stage of the writing process, including:

  • Brainstorming for your assignment
  • Writing thesis statements
  • Outlining an argument
  • Creating smooth transitions
  • Recognizing recurrent grammatical errors

Experienced counselors evaluate drafts, identify areas for improvement, and explain strategies for effective essay structure. While they do not offer proofreading or editing services, they do offer advice on time management and project management techniques and also provide encouragement to help students become better writers.

The on-campus lab also has a digital tutoring center where you can schedule up to two 50-minute appointments per week to work with a tutor. You can make the appointments online at https://american.mywconline.net or over the phone at 202-885-3360 or by emailing tutoring@american.edu.

Reading & Research

At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Graduate Studies & Research offers a series of workshops on topics ranging from reading strategies to time management. Visit the website linked above to see their current offerings and to sign up!

If you need help finding sources for your research, feel free to contact AU’s Bender Library through their online chat function! Faculty have also recommended the following sites for students seeking publicly-available datasets for their research:

  • UCLA Statistical Computing
    Provides tutorials and annotated examples for SAS, SPSS, STATA, and R, as well as, various resources for data analysis and links to data sets.
  • USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
    Collects data on virtually all aspects of U.S. agriculture such as production, prices, farm labor, wages, finances, chemical use, etc.
  • NOAA Drought Information Center
    Collects data on climate indicators and drought indices for U.S.
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Collects data on U.S. labor market activity, working conditions, and changes in price levels, e.g., consumer price index, producer price index.
  • US Bureau of Economic Analysis
    Collects data on U.S. economic activity such as consumption, personal income, trade, state and national income, investment, savings, etc. The data are usually aggregate numbers spanning over states and regions.
  • UNM Bureau of Business & Economic Research
    Provides data and links to data on New Mexico economic activity.
  • Center for Disease Control
    Collects data on health indicators in U.S. such as life expectancy, mortality, health care uses, expenditures, etc.
  • US Census Bureau
    Collects data on U.S. demographics such as age, sex, occupation, household income, etc. Data are based on household surveys (microdata).
  • DataFerrett
    DataFerrett is a data analysis and extraction tool with recoding capabilities to customize federal, state, and local data. It is a computer an application that allows you to access a variety of public use data offered by the US Census Bureau without having to visit the individual sites.
  • The World Bank
    Collects various data on countries around the world, e.g., economic activity, political environment, environmental conditions, human rights indicators, corruption, etc. For certain types of data, you may need to link via UNM libraries for access.
Economics & Statistics

Whether or not you are enrolled in a methods course, you should take advantage of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL). CTRL provides consultations for students carrying out qualitative and quantitative research. The group provides advice on research design, data collection, and data analysis. It also assists students in the use of research software for class assignments. The group can also assist with research design, data management, interpreting statistical results, and other research-related tasks.

The Virtual Computing Lab (VCL), also run by CTRL, allows students to “remote-in” to the computers in AU’s on-campus labs, all of which have STATA and SPSS (among others) installed. Use the software for free using this client, but be aware that it has limited licenses available, and you could experience higher wait times during high usage blocks throughout the year (i.e.: mid-terms, final exams, project deadlines, etc.)


See: Languages


Did you know that all American University faculty, staff, and students have access to Lynda.com for free?

To access the training, click on Lynda.com Web-Based Training, and log in to your myau.american.edu portal.

What is Lynda.com?

An extensive collection of software training includes tutorials that range from the very basic to the very advanced. Tutorial topics range from the Microsoft Office Suite to Web Design software, to SPSS, and Database & Project Management tools. Many tutorials display instructions screen by screen while a narrator also explains how to proceed.

USIP Free Courses

MIS has negotiated a partnership with the United State Institute of Peace to provide free courses to students here. USIP offers us twelve online introductory courses free of charge on a wide range of foundational topics in conflict management and peacebuilding. Students and Professionals can sharpen their skills to prevent and manage conflict while earning certificates upon completion.