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Archive for June, 2007

Online Schools Offer Pre-Veterinary Studies

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Preparation and training for a career working with animals is available through the flexibility of online schools; and learning about interesting and exotic animals, like polar bears in a zoo environment, is a stimulating opportunity for those who choose this field of study.

Cute Knut, a popular polar bear cub, has drawn record crowds to the Berlin Zoo, delighting schoolchildren and putting the zoo on the global map. He was born on December 5th; and people travel from all over the world to catch a glimpse of this teddy-bear youngster who was not expected to survive. But he has not only survived, he is thriving.

Yet Knut’s trainer and caretaker, Thomas Doerflein, is the real hero in this story, along with the veterinarians and other zoo staff. Doerflein slept around the clock with Knut for months after the bear’s mother rejected him at birth. It was touch-and-go for awhile; and Knut had to be bottle-fed in the beginning. He is the first polar bear born at the Berlin Zoo in 30 years; and Thomas Doerflein is a household name in Germany.

A career working with animals does not always lead to fame, but there is immeasurable satisfaction in spending time with living, intelligent beings whose behavioral patterns can be anticipated and understood. Veterinarians, veterinary assistants, animal researchers, trainers, zoo personnel, animal shelter professionals, jockeys, mounted police officers, dog breeders and others are vital to the communiity at large.

Veterinarians are perhaps the largest group of professionals who work with animals. They are highly trained and earn the title “Doctor of Veterinary Medicine” after completing their college studies and veterinary residency. They may choose to specialize in either large or small animals and must complete at least 7 years of post-high school education.

Online degree programs can prepare candidates to meet the requirements for applying to veterinary school; and a bachelor’s degree with heavy science and math coursework is generally recommended. For those who love animals and are disciplined, diligent and have an aptitude for math and science, veterinary medicine is a worthwhile and rewarding career. But even with fewer years of training, a career in the animal world is an exciting possibility.

online school, online education, distance learning, Knut, polar bear, veterinary medicine, Germany, love animals, e-learning, college, education, animal trainer, online degree program, Berlin Zoo

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Shocked High School Grads Lose College Spots

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Imagine being accepted to your college of choice, then losing your hard-earned space in the entering freshman class. Some high school students found out the hard way that this little-known scenario is possible.

The Los Angeles Times (6-22-07) reported that a small percentage of horrified high school students received letters of rejection from elite colleges to which they had just been accepted. To make the situation doubly tragic, many of these students had already turned down other schools and were scrambling to find somewhere to enroll for the fall semester.

So how did this happen?

The answer lies in two words: conditional acceptance. Most students were either unaware or did not take seriously the fine print on their acceptance letters. The original acceptance to college was conditional and depended upon stellar final grades from the spring semester.

These now-disappointed students slacked off during their last semester of high school, following a frowned-upon tradition of “senioritis”. Some partied to the detriment of their grades, others celebrated their college acceptances by skipping homework or classes, and still others simply opted to relax from the high pressure of being a high-achiever. But when some colleges received the less-than-stellar final grades, it was all over and the axe fell.

At least four California colleges – USC, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and UC San Diego – were among schools that sent out letters revoking acceptance. Reportedly, UCLA will send out 90 such letters by the end of July. Still, schools are between a rock and a hard place as they seek to keep their admissions standards and statistics high. They are often concerned about college rankings and accreditation; and their admissions officers would rather see the coveted spots in their schools go to students who maintain excellence throughout the entire four years of high school.

But thankfully, most slacking seniors got off with either a warning from their chosen college, or an acceptance based upon successful completion of their freshman year’s coursework.

Still, copping senioritis is like playing Russian roulette: Why take the risk?

high school senior, high school graduate, education, college, school, disappointment, freshman, college acceptance, USC, UCLA, UC San Diego, Cal State Long Beach, California

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Student Loan Shake-Up Leads to New Senate Bill

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

The shake up is still not over for student loan providers, according to a news report today by CNN.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has discovered that many banking institutions charge significantly higher student loan interest rates to those attending lower-ranked colleges and universities. While students at elite colleges may pay 8% or 9% interest on their loans, less fortunate students at other schools may pay up to 14%.

Does this scenario sound familiar? It should. Banks pulled similar shenanigans in a now-illegal practice known as ‘redlining’, involving home mortgage loans. In this discriminatory practice, lenders utilized maps that outlined and rated neighborhoods based upon racial and economic factors. As a result, minorities – especially African Americans — were often either denied mortgage loans or were charged significantly higher mortgage interest rates.

Now, traditional and online degree students are being judged based upon the college or university they attend, rather than by individual credit ratings. Wealthier students appear to pay less for their loans than the middle income students who populate the mid-range to lower-ranked schools.

However, the efforts of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo have been fruitful, as his investigations have uncovered enough evidence to spur Congress to consider passing a new bill to outlaw this practice, which should encourage a fair system of determining interest rates in the $85 billion student loan industry. The House has already passed the bill; and it is expected to pass the Senate.

In the meantime, students should be careful to shop around and choose a student loan that does not unfairly cost them extra interest payments.

The new congressional bill is appropriately called the Student Loan Sunshine Act. And I say, “Let the sunshine in”.

student loan, financial aid, banks, African Americans, online education, distance learning, education, college, university, Senate, House of Representative, New York, Andrew Cuomo, discrimination, redlining, Senate, mortgage loan, interest rate

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Schools Embrace All-Seeing Eye

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Cheaters have to work a little harder these days.

And colleges offering online classes have put their heads together to thwart creative cheats who thrive during test-taking that occurs outside the classroom. Proctored tests have been beneficial in the past; but they have weaknesses, especially that of human error.

Yet the latest anti-cheating idea is a doozy: placing an all-seeing eye in the homes of those who are enrolled in online classes.Remarkably, the idea now has wings. This fall, Troy University in Alabama plans to begin using Securexam Remote Proctor, a new test-taking device, for its approximately 11,000 students who study online, including the one-third who are located on military bases throughout the world.

When taking a test, the device will:

  • Lock down the test-taker’s computer, preventing web and file-surfing to find answers,
  • Record audio and video during the tests and flag anything suspicious in its 360 degree view of the student’s room,
  • Verify that the person taking the test is the student, and not someone else, by utilizing sophisticated fingerprint authentication technology.

Consisting of a small webcam, a microphone and a round reflective ball, the device costs around $125 per student and was created by Software Secure, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

online schools, webcam, online classes, distance learning, Cambridge, Massachusetts, e-learning, Troy University, military, online students, education, cheaters, test-taking, fingerprint technology

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by admin

Financial Aid is not Rocket Science

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Before you write off going to college because you cannot afford it, consider applying for financial aid.

You may be eligible for free money to go to school; but how will you know until you fill out a financial aid application? The process is pretty simple.

As you think about earning a traditional or online degree, professional certificate or vocational school diploma,you may be surprised to find that not one dime of the tuition payments will come out of your pocket, depending on your financial profile. So move forward and think of the possibilities ahead.

For federal grants, loans, and work study, there is one form to fill out — the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It is the financial aid application that most colleges require you to file; and it can be filled out online in as little as 45 minutes, but more likely 1-2 hours. It is generally pretty easy, not rocket science.

These are a few things you should know about financial aid:

  • The FAFSA involves answering fill-in-the-blank questions and taking information directly from your federal income tax form. Most questions involve little thought, just a transfer of information.
  • Colleges and universities usually offer help in filling out financial aid forms. Accredited, for-profit online schools often provide extensive support to students; and it may be easier to access a qualified, live person on the telephone instead of phone prompts and recordings.
  • Even if you are not eligible for a grant, you may be offered a subsidized student loan, which pays the interest on the loan while you are in school. And most federal loans do not have to be repaid until several months after you have completed school, as long as you remain enrolled in the required number of units each quarter or semester.
  • Directory of Schools offers valuable financial aid information on its website, along with links to additional resources. This is a great start for those who need easy-to-digest financial aid information.
  • Millions of dollars in private scholarship money remain untouched each year; because eligible students do not apply for the funds. These applications may require essays or additional information; and deadlines must be met. But the rewards can be in the thousands of dollars. Check out your church, lodge, credit union, women’s auxiliary, employer, etc. for scholarships specifying graduating high school seniors, older adults, minorities, women, the disabled, athletes, music students and others.
  • Bookstores and libraries are great resources for private scholarships. But be careful of advertisements for ‘free college money’, especially if they want you to pay them for their services. There is enough free financial aid support in local junior colleges, online schools, on-campus schools and reputable websites.

If you want to go to college, give it a shot. Choose a college and apply for financial aid. You may be surprised at what happens for you.

financial aid, online schools, distance learning, online education, e-learning, education, career, college, online degree, student loans, FAFSA, disabled, online bachelor’s degree, free money for college, scholarships, grants, Directoryof Schools, professional certificate, university, junior college, library

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by admin

Air Force Offers Online Bachelor’s Degree

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Have you ever heard of Air University (AU)? If you are not in the U.S. Air Force, it may not ring a bell.

But apparently AU is the center of professional education for Air Force personnel and civilians, especially those who require training related to air and space power. It has been around since 1946 and is located in Alabama; where the Wright Brothers created the first U.S. civilian flying school in Montgomery in 1910.

However, Air University is in the news because beginning today, June 15th, airmen (the term includes both men and women) may earn their bachelor’s degree via distance learning by applying community college credits to a number of university and college programs that have been approved by the Air Force. The Air Force has high educational standards and encourages college aspirations; so it is a given that these approved schools are required to be accredited.

The new online degree program for airmen has several key components:

  1. Active duty Air Force, National Guard and Air Force Reserve airmen are eligible.
  2. The program focuses on those who will be able to complete their online bachelor’s degree within 60 units or less.
  3. Tuition assistance for airmen is available at 100% for up to $250 per semester hour, with a maximum cap of $4,500 per year. Text books are not covered.
  4. Eligible students can go to one website, the Air Force Virtual Education Center, for all educational needs, including choosing a school, applying for tuition assistance, and enrolling in a program.
  5. Even when the student leaves the military, he/she may continue their program until coursework is completed.
  6. Those who are deployed may study and work toward their degree even while overseas.

Distance learning is opening doors for so many who cannot attend classes in a traditional classroom. Imagine a soldier, deployed to Iraq or other locations, being able to pass the time by furthering his or her education. The additional college training will likely be valuable in the military job; and once out of the military, the college degree will be valuable in the veteran’s chosen civilian career.

The Air Force has a win-win situation happening here, don’t you think?

military school, online degree, distance learning, Air Force, bachelor degree online, e-learning, National Guard, online college, online university, college and university, aviation, Alabama

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by admin

Carnegie Mellon’s Beautiful Mind

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

John Nash, the brilliant mathematician highlighted in the movie, A Beautiful Mind, was an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University. In spite of his debilitating battle with schizophrenia, Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1994.

His distinguished, top-ranked US News & World Report alma mater, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now offers a popular — a Master of Science in Information Technology.

Carnegie Mellon is one of a sea of traditional universities offering online degrees. In seeking information about distance learning, it is important to keep in mind that traditional colleges have jumped on the bandwagon in droves to offer online education to students. Numerous for-profit online universities also offer high-quality online degrees accredited by the same accrediting organizations as the brick-and-mortar colleges.

When exploring colleges that offer distance learning, it is important to:

  • check the accreditation of the school,
  • research the college with the Department of Education,
  • find out the admissions requirements of the school, and
  • read through the required coursework needed to complete a college degree.

The educational world is moving toward increased progress; and technology is being used to create the classroom of the future. For many, that classroom exists wherever Internet access is available. Carnegie Mellon is yet another college that agrees.

online degree, MS Information Science, mathematician, career, life, John Nash, Nobel Prize, business, schizophrenia, education, college, online education, distance learning, Carnegie Mellon, e-learning, US News & World Report, Beautiful Mind

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by admin

Online Degree: How to Save a Life

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Reflections on how to save a life usually turn our thoughts to real heroes – like firemen, soldiers, police officers, and others who willingly make the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others. But there is another way lives are saved; and that is through higher education, including distance learning.

Higher education saves people from poverty, ignorance and hopelessness. It elevates the human spirit, encourages independence and inspires confidence. It offers options to those who would otherwise be limited and, in the United States, allows ‘rags to riches’ stories to become so common that they are hardly news anymore.

On the whole, those who earn a college degree make more money, have better health care and are more satisfied with their lives than those who do not attend college. And why not? College graduates have more choices about where to live, how to eat, where to go on vacation, and how often to see a doctor.

But if you did not complete a college degree, there is great news! The flexibility of online degree programs now make it easier to take college classes while remaining employed full-time.

Earning college credits is like watering your options and watching them grow. So get started with distance learning. And remember, the life you save may be your own.

how to save a life, distance learning, online degree, higher education, heroes, success, life, college, education, poverty, money, news, school

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by admin

Gain CSI Skills through Distance Learning

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The hit show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, has done more than just rack up top television ratings. It has also sparked a tremendous amount of interest in the criminal justice career fields, especially forensic science.

Many of us simply dream of solving crimes, unlike the real unsung heroes who work behind the scenes in crime labs, on police and FBI forensic teams, and in courtrooms. We respect the intelligence, mystery, skill and never-a-dull-moment activity that is highlighted in this type of work.

But what are some of these forensic science jobs? Here are a few:

  • Crime scene technician – collects and documents physical evidence at the crime scene, often working outdoors, and prepares samples and evidence for transport to the crime lab.
  • Crime lab analyst – analyzes samples from the crime scene in a lab setting, providing the results to investigators. DNA testing, firearm examination and trace evidence examination are specialties in this area.
  • Medical examiner – thoroughly examines the deceased and is a medical doctor.
  • Criminal (psychological) profiler – works with law enforcement investigators to establish a psychological profile of the perpetrator and/or victim.
  • Forensic anthropologist – works with recovered bones to determine the identity of a victim, including age, race, cause of death and time interval since death.
  • Forensic artist –creates a composite drawing, usually of a potential suspect, based upon eyewitness details. May also reconstruct facial images after decomposition, including age progression, for media or identification purposes.
  • Document Examiner – analyzes and examines documents to determine facts that can be proven and verified, and often testifies about those findings in legal proceedings.For most forensic science occupations, expect a heavy dose of science, math and English courses. Online classes are more convenient and may be found in junior colleges, on reputable education websites, in universities and in career training schools.It is encouraging to know that in as little as 2-4 years, depending upon your current level of education, you could be wearing your own CSI identification tag and working a crime scene.No more dreaming – make it real and go for it!

csi, criminal, FBI, psychology, distance learning, online degree, careers, e-learning, artist, forensic science, anthropology, police, education, legal, dream, science, math, jobs, college

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by admin