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"Education is the most
powerful weapon which
you can use to change
the world".

-- Nelson Mandela



"Genius without education
is like silver in the mine."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Archive for April, 2007

Five Reasons to Choose an Online Degree

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Online degree programs are the next-generation, cutting-edge, tech-savvy way to go for millions of people who are seeking an efficient, economical and convenient way to acquire a college education.

And though it is easy to pick a hundred reasons to choose online education, here are just five of them.

1) “Shhh. Keep it hush-hush.”
Prepare privately for a new career or advancement in the same field while working full-time. Although the boss may be supportive of your plans, it is often wiser to keep career aspirations to yourself until ready to spread your wings or fly the coop.

2) “OK kids – grab your beach gear and head to the car!”
Spend more quality time with family and friends. Arrange a study schedule that peacefully co-exists with opportunities to build and maintain relationships with loved ones.

3) “Isn’t the Eiffel Tower beautiful at night?”
Travel or relocate while studying and completing assignments. Major cities are filled with Internet cafes, hotel Internet connections, and Wi-Fi hotspots.

4) “So, you got it? Take the #11 bus to the #29 bus to the southbound train. Exit the train at Long Street and catch a taxi to the university. Takes about 3 hours.”
Avoid a long distance commute to the nearest college campus.

5) “Sorry I missed my final. But the baby had a fever, my toddler is getting over the chicken pox, and the first-grader was home because of a teachers’ work day.”
Enjoy the flexibility of online classes while raising children.

With the advantages of online degree programs, no one needs to give up the dream of a earning a college degree. So grab your computer and go for it!

online degree, online education, distance learning, e-learning, career

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by admin

Online Degrees Transform Prison Inmates

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that college courses will no longer be offered to prison inmates in Utah after August 2007. And that is too bad for the rest of us.

Although Utah State University is the only college in the state providing degree programs to inmates, the school can no longer afford the bill for the classes, which are offered online and via satellite television.

Over 91 college degrees have been awarded to inmates via USU; and none of these graduates are known to have returned to a life of crime. Similar results regarding the power of education have been reported throughout the national prison system.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, over 2.1 million prisoners are languishing in state and federal prisons; and 97% will eventually be released into society. Many are serving long sentences and will be ill-prepared to make a successful re-entry into the general population without a college degree or vocational training. In short, a significant percentage will return to criminal activity and to correctional institutions. This disturbing fact should concern all of us.

In a 2003 Bureau of Justice report entitled Education and Correctional Populations, inmates who earn a college degree are less likely to return to prison. They are more likely to find and keep a job. And with new online degree programs being offered every day, it is easier for them to select an area of career interest. Online vocational programs and online professional certificates also increase educational choices.

In 1994, when inmates were declared ineligible for Pell Grants, which offer assistance to low-income students, enrollment in college courses began a steady decline among the prison population. In order to insure safer communities, we should support political candidates who propose comprehensive prison reform legislation that includes adequate funding for these educational programs, which are proven to be effective in the rehabilitation of inmates. This should avert the costs of caring for repeat offenders.

Out of sight should not be out of mind when it comes to those who are incarcerated. Let us support the use of education as a vehicle for change among those who are an invisible, untapped human resource.

online degrees, online education, prison reform

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by admin

Earth Day, Conservation and Online Education

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

As another Earth Day passes into history, many of us have pledged to remain alert for new ways to conserve energy. If you are like me, you have already exchanged most light bulbs for energy-saving flourescents, you recycle as much as possible, and your daily showers are not as long as they used to be. But what else can you do?

Those who are considering a return to college can help in another way: take online classes.

Online education helps to conserve energy by saving gasoline, especially in trips no longer needed to a college campus, and particularly for those trips that are a significant distance away. Imagine the positive environmental impact that would occur if hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of students decided to drive less and study online.

Give it some thought. Online classes generally require more discipline; and you will probably have more frequent personal contact with your professor. So it is not easy to ‘wing it’ in these classes. But if you are motivated to set goals and work to achieve them, you can further your education and help save the environment at the same time.

online education, conservation, Earth Day

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by admin

Virginia Tech, Our Prayers Are With You

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and others connected with Virginia Tech who lost loved ones, or who experienced trauma, in the tragic events of Monday morning.

As part of the extended educational community, we are saddened by the devastating loss of life, love and potential represented by these remarkable men and women.

Yet from the ashes of this senseless act, we are strengthened by the stories of heroes who, at great risk, acted courageously to save lives in the midst of incomprehensible mayhem. We extend our thoughts and prayers to you all.

Virginia Tech

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by admin

Online Education is Here to Stay

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

To those who are observing from the shadows of the education sidelines, online degrees are here to stay.

Just as there has been no sudden plunge in consumer interest in computers, cell phones or the World Wide Web, the fascination with becoming a portable student is expanding rapidly. Over 3.2 million students in the U.S. are enjoying the benefits of online school; and the numbers continue to grow.

The above-mentioned high-tech devices have morphed into space-age versions of themselves; yet they contribute to international interest in web-based education. In fact, the sales success of compact laptop computers, the lowering of computer costs, and the proliferation of “Wi-Fi hot spots” around the world have effectively removed the primary barriers to taking career-advancing studies on the road.

Time is valuable in our society; and we constantly look for innovative ways to increase efficiency and improve flexibility. This one is a gem; so don’t hold your breath waiting for online education to disappear. It isn’t going anywhere.

online degrees, online education, e-learning, career, online school, computers, World Wide Web, Wi-Fi hotspots

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by admin

Fake Degrees: Return of the Snake Oil Salesmen

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

In the days of the Old West, snake oil salesmen traveled through dusty towns peddling useless concoctions to the locals. Plain hard-working folks, predominantly uneducated, gathered around the wagons of these charismatic schemers to hear about the product “guaranteed to improve your life”.

After being regaled with tales of these miraculous healing potions, many purchased a bottle of the impressive-sounding elixir and accepted the financial sacrifice as an investment in a healthier future. By the time the victims discovered that they had been duped, the “grifters” were long gone.

Today, we have sophisticated versions of the snake oil peddler in those who sell fake degrees over the Internet, in popular magazines and in newspaper ads. These slick thieves tantalize the gullible with claims of the better life ahead with a purchased college degree. No classes, no assignments and no tests are necessary.

Some of these diploma mills claim that life experiences qualify the candidate for an “expedited” degree, while others blatantly offer college degrees for a few hundred dollars or more. Online, these may appear to be legitimate educational websites; but the prominent advertising on each page listing “Degrees for Sale” is a dead giveaway. Legitimate sites do no contain such advertising.

Some may wonder who is hurt by these bogus degrees. The obvious answer is that we all are. The trusting patients of doctors, dentists, and other medical practitioners who have purchased a college degree without the required training may be most at risk. But more commonly, those with fake bachelors, masters, or Ph.D. degrees move stealthily through our society, rising to positions of leadership, influence, power, and expertise. Some are victims of the deceptive claims of bogus colleges; while others choose this deceptive shortcut to higher pay, promotion and prestige.

Either way, it is time for these diploma mills to shut down, pack up and disappear into the sunset. And it will take the efforts of more than a few good men and women to make that happen.

fake degrees, diploma mill, online degree, Old West, snake oil, hard-working folks, healing potions, college degree, degrees for sale

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by admin

The College Search: How to Begin

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Roughly one out of ten applicants was accepted into Harvard’s freshman class this year. That means nine out of ten graduating high school seniors did not make the cut. Similar numbers prevailed at Stanford, Yale, Princeton and other top tier schools.

As a result, rejection letters arrived at the homes of high school valedictorians, those with perfect SAT scores, those with greater than a 4.0 grade point average and other high achievers.

However, the average acceptance rate of the remaining 2,500 or so colleges and universities is seven out of ten, a significantly better ratio. So what are some important considerations for students in the early stages of searching for a college?

  • Start early so there will be no rush to meet application deadlines.
  • Decide whether to attend a traditional or online school. Each option has its advantages and potential disadvantages; so make a list of the pros and cons. If you are working full-time, have a family or intend to travel during the school term, then an e-learning environment with greater flexibility may be the best option.
  • Determine your area of educational interest. This will help in deciding whether to pursue a bachelor’s degree, a professional certificate, or another specialized credential.
  • Consider your educational background. Have you completed your high school diploma or GED? Have you taken transferable college coursework? Different colleges have different requirements.
  • Research accredited colleges, including academic quality and ratings, at the library, high school guidance office or on the Internet. The research librarian at the public library is generally a valuable resource. Accredited online schools may be found by using a search engine like Google; and accreditation for a specific school should be double-checked on the website for the U.S. Department of Education.  
  • Decide what you can afford; and determine your available financial aid resources – like scholarships, loans, savings, and employment income. The range of costs between colleges may vary widely. Figure out what you can afford.
  • Find out if you are eligible for any special programs that may lower tuition costs. For example, Harvard offers free tuition to accepted freshman students whose families make less than $60,000 a year.
  • Consider the location of the college. If the school is not online, housing costs may significantly raise the price tag of attending college. Is the college in a safe neighborhood? Is a car necessary or recommended? Is extreme weather a common occurrence?
  • Consider the size of the campus. Is the campus overwhelming and difficult to navigate? Or is the campus smaller and perhaps more conducive to meeting and interacting with other students? What is the average number of students per class?
  • If it is important to you, check into which extracurricular activities or sports are offered and what the qualifications are for participation.

By answering a few questions like these, and narrowing the list of possibilities, the process of finding a college can flow much easier. Once the field is narrowed to one or more schools, fill out an online application before the deadline and pay the application fees. Then await the yea or nay.

online degrees, college search, education, online school, e-learning

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by admin

Guidelines for Blog Comments

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

We welcome comments to our blog and want to provide a few guidelines for your posts.

1) Please keep comments respectful and polite. Enough said . . .

2) Please try to remain somewhere in the ballpark of the topic being discussed.

3) Questions may be asked; but they will not necessarily be answered, due to time limitations.

4) Posts may not show up immediately, especially for first-timers. We moderate the comments; and that may cause occasional delays.

5) These guidelines are subject to change.

Thanks for your interest in our blog!

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by admin

About Our Blog

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

The growing popularity of online degrees has prompted us to add a blog to our online education website.

It seems that we are consistently flooded with news items that impact online degrees, online schools, online classes and online students. We are excited about being able to comment on some of these matters; and we look forward to reading the posts of others who will weigh in with their opinions as well.

We welcome you to our blog; and we hope you will find a reliable, relaxed place to gather and discuss relevant issues regarding the online education community.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by admin