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Archive for October, 2007

New Apple Computer Operating System Debuts

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Apple Computer has announced that its newly designed operating system , Mac OS X v10.5 (code-named Leopard) will hit store shelves this week.

PC Magazine calls it “. . . by far the best operating system ever written for the vast majority of consumers, with dozens of new features that have real practical value”.

That means more bells and whistles — about 300 of them – for those who upgrade their Apple computers or purchase new ones.

And what does Apple’s Leopard have to do with online schools?

Actually, each time computer technology moves forward, online learning moves forward as well. Many of Apple’s new innovations will likely be used by millions of online students in completing their e-learning classes. In other words, upgrades to personal computers become upgrades to online learning.

One of the new features in Apple’s Leopard system, called ‘Time Machine’, is an automatic, regular back-up of everything on the computer. This feature will help students to avoid losing all of their data in hard drive crashes. In the case of a disaster, a recovery mode is available to find and retrieve lost documents.

Currently, the Mac OS  X v10.5 sells for $129.00 for a single user when ordered directly from the Apple website. The Family Pack is $199 for mutiple household computers; and shipping is free.

New Apple computers will already be configured with the new operating system.

leopard operating system, apple computer, online schools, online learning, online education, time machine, mac os x, e-learning

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

‘Men Are From Mars’ Author Holds Degree from Reputed Diploma Mill

Monday, October 29th, 2007

One of the bestselling books of the early 1990’s was “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus“. It’s author, John Gray, wrote about the psychological and emotional differences between men and women that cause a breakdown of communication in relationships.

However, his educational credentials were from a school that has since been forced to close by the State of California.

When the book was released in 1992, it seemed that everyone was talking about it - at coffee shops, on college campuses, in beauty shops, and during social gatherings. And it became a New York Times bestseller.

John Gray’s credentials as a marriage and family therapist and psychology self-help guru included a doctorate.  However, later the Ph.D. was revealed to be from Columbia Pacific University, a now-defunct school that was not accredited by a reputable accrediting body. In short, it was a diploma mill.

Millions of people devoured the Mars-Venus book and Gray’s subsequent books on communication and relationships. And though readers sought answers to relationship questions, few had a clue that the highest credential held by ”Dr.” Gray was less than desirable.

However,  a couple of years before the Mars-Venus book was published, another New York Times bestseller by Deborah TannenYou Just Don’t Understand — had included concepts similar to those that were touted in John Gray’s book. Tannen, a distinguished professor at Georgetown University, received her doctorate in linguistics from UC Berkeley and had extensively researched and lectured on the topic of communication between the sexes.

Although college degrees awarded by Columbia Pacific University before June 25, 1997 are valid in California, the State of Texas lists those degrees as fraudulent or substandard.

Many reputable websites offer information about accredited online degrees that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

men are from mars, John Gray, communication, relationships, diploma mill, Columbia Pacific University, Deborah Tannen, You Just Don’t Understand, UC Berkeley, Texas, US Department of Education, accredited online degree

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Diploma Mill Defendants Seek Evidence Suppression

Friday, October 26th, 2007

According to the Spokesman Review, the trial of four defendants indicted in 2005 for running as many as 125 online diploma mills continues with a request for suppression of evidence they claim was illegally obtained.

Lawyers for the defendants –Dixie and Steve Randock, Heidi Kae Lorhan, and Roberta Lynn Markishtum – are asking that federal criminal charges against them be dropped due to police misconduct.

The four — who hail from Colbert and Spokane, Washington –are accused of selling fake college degrees and high school diplomas to over 6,000 people. The documents were purchased by government officials, military personnel, firefighers and others.  Over half were sold to buyers outside of the U.S.

In an investigation headed by the U.S. Secret Service and code-named “Operation Gold Seal“, evidence was gathered beginning in 2005. Several boxes of documents, obtained from a hallway near the defendant’s leased office, are in question. These boxes of evidence are being challenged in the upcoming evidence-suppression hearing.

diploma mills, fake college degree

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Praises New Online Nursing Degree

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Adding to the previous post, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) praised the Tennessee Board of Nursing for approving the new online associate of applied science in nursing degree to help stave off the nursing shortage.

The RWJF has has spent over 30 years seeking to improve health care for all Americans. They have awarded grants and contracts totaling at least $430 million to support health programs in the U.S.

Founder Robert Wood Johnson, of Johnson & Johnson, was committed to public service and to running his hugely successful family business. He was considered to be recklessly generous and paid a minimum wage to his employees that was beyond what was expected by the unions. His heart went out to those less fortunate than himself; and he was known for many humble acts of philanthropy.

Johnson’s special interest was in hospitals and improving patient care; and he pressed for reforms that led to specialized training for hospital administrators. As an advocate for medical patients, he was interested in education as a means of reaching a higher degree of competence in health professionals and hospital care.

Today, the RWJF continues to support healthcare solutions, like the new online nursing degree offered in Tennessee.  And so, the legacy of Robert Wood Johnson continues.

nursing, RWJF, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tennessee Board of Nursing, online nursing degree, nursing shortage, health care, Johnson and Johnson, philanthropy, hospital care, patient care, Robert Wood Johnson, hospital reform, online degree

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Degree Alternative in Tennessee Addresses Nursing Shortage

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), at the end of December 2006, there was a shortage of 116,000 registered nurses in American hospitals. The State of Tennessee plans to help remedy that situation.

An article in the Jackson Sun Times states that the Tennessee Board of Regents has introduced a solution that may provide the necessary nursing staff for years to come.

A new online degree program has been approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing for community colleges –an associate of applied science in nursing degree (AASN).  This 2-year degree includes the flexibility of online learning for those pursuing fundamental nursing coursework.

The AHA report, entitled “The 2007 State of America’s Hospitals — Taking the Pulse“, indicates the importance of addressing staff shortages now in order to avoid even greater gaps in future patient hospital care.

At the moment, most colleges maintain waiting lists for nursing coursework; so the problem is not rooted in a lack of career interest by nurses-to-be. But instead, there are more people interested in nursing than there are spaces in colleges to accommodate them.

And current online nursing programs are limited to those who already have at least 1-2 years of medical education under their belt, as licensed vocational or licensed practical nurses, and have met the requirements to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Beginning in the spring of 2008, nine Tennessee community colleges will offer this new blended degree, which includes 360 minimum hours of online coursework in conjunction with 630 hours of hands-on clinical training and lab experience. Students who have no medical background would be eligible to enroll in the program; and 100 students per year are expected take part by 2009.

Graduates would be eligible to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing, either online or on-campus. Perhaps Tennessee’s innovative nurse’s training model will become popular at community colleges around the nation so that a trip to the hospital becomes a safe, win-win situation for John Q. Public.

nursing, nurses, hospitals, hospital care, nursing shortage, online nursing programs, bachelors degree, online degree program, associate of applied science in nursing degree, Tennessee, online learning

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

College Price Tag Rises Faster Than Inflation Rates

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

According to the figures released by the College Board and highlighted in the New York Times, the price tag on colleges rose at more than double the rate of inflation in the last year.

Interestingly, public colleges lead the pack with a 6.6% rate hike to $6,185 a year. Private colleges are close behind, with an average annual cost of $23,712.

With room and board amounts added to tuition and fees, the public and private college costs average $13,589 and $32,307 respectively.

As these costs go up, parents and students are forced to shoulder a tremendous amount of debt — including federal financial aid and private loans. If something does not change, thousands of students could find themselves priced out of a college education.

Online school students are able to save money because there are no room and board fees; and there are no costs associated with transportation to a college campus.  Also, junior colleges continue to be a great bargain for the first two years at an average annual tuition & fees cost of only $2,361.

Future college students may need to be creative in finding ways to afford the expensive cost of higher education.

online schools, college, junior college, education, higher education, private colleges, public colleges, inflation, financial aid, College Board, New York Times, college students

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Learning Still Earning High Marks . . . And High Enrollments

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

The e-learning phenomena is not going anywhere. It is here to stay.

According to the just-released Sloan Consortium report entitled Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning, computer-based learning continues to grow at a rate faster than that of traditional colleges and universities.

This fifth in a series of annual reports about the growth of distance learning signifies a slowing momentum, 9.7% growth this year compared with over 35% growth between 2004 and 2005.

Still, with traditional schools hovering around only a 1.3% enrollment increase, online learning is obviously a success story.

In the fall of 2006, 3.5 million people enrolled in at least one online class. This number is up from 3.2 million figure in the previous year’s study. Most of the increase in enrollment came from 2-year colleges.

The Sloan Consortium surveyed more than 2,500 colleges and universities to compile relevant statistics about ”the nature and extent of online education”.

online learning, distance learning, colleges and universities, online classes, classes, Sloan Consortium, online education, computer learning, e-learning

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Six Arrested in New York City for Using Fake Degrees to Seek Jobs

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Imagine being treated by an emergency medical technician (EMT) arriving on the scene of an injury-accident. And suppose you later find out that the EMT who worked on you obtained the job using a fake college degree from a known diploma mill.

Unfortunately, as the New York Times reported, that is exactly what could have happened recently in New York City.  However, the diligent efforts of the NYC Fire Department spared the populace when it detected six suspicious employment applications.

Further investigation revealed that the six used fake college degrees — two from infamous diploma mill, Belford University — to apply for jobs as EMTs, fire fighters, and a clerical position. Four of the six boldly used bogus high school diplomas as well. They were all arrested and charged with falsifying business records.

The zero-tolerance policy of the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) is to be commended and should be held high as a beacon to fire departments and law enforcement agencies across the nation.  Leniency in these matters has failed as a deterrent to those who wish to skirt the law, lower competency standards and demean the efforts of those who truly earned their accredited college degrees.

Hopefully, private businesses and other employers will follow suit by improving the detection of deceptive job applications and educational qualifications, helping to safeguard the public.

fake degrees, fake college degree, diploma mill, education, employment, jobs, New York City, EMT, bogus diploma, high school, fire fighter

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Southern States Take the Lead in Online Learning

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

The Southern United States have a love affair with online learning.

According to the Sloan Consortium in its 2006 report, Making the Grade, the sixteen states of the South represent more than one-third of total online student enrollment.  And over 99% of the largest southern colleges (with enrollments of 15,000+) offer online classes or programs.

The majority of these students are adult learners who would not have the opportunity to attend college without the distance learning alternative.  Many are busy with full-time employment and family obligations. Yet they value the flexibility of e-learning.

Online schools and classes continue to grow in popularity, especially for those who cannot devote several set hours to commute to a college campus and sit in a classroom.

In the South, online learning is growing at a rate that is double that of the rest of the country.  They have embraced this new education system and are forging ahead of the rest of the pack.

Perhaps we all need to take note.

online learning, distance learning, e-learning, online schools, education, college, classroom, Sloan Consortium, adult learners, students

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Western Governors University Offers Nursing Scholarships

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Nurses who are already employed and who wish to pursue graduate education may want to check out the Future of Nursing Scholarships that are being offered by Western Governors University (WGU).

Applicants must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and meet additional criteria in order to be eligible for up to $5,000 for graduate tuition and fees.

Western Governors University is an accredited, competency-based online school. It is one of our Top Ten Online Schools picks. Regular tuition at WGU is among the lowest among colleges in the U.S.

Read more . . .

online schools, bachelors degree, Western Governors University, nursing, colleges

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida