"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 February, 2008

Hot Career as Real Estate Appraiser Expected to Sizzle in Future

Friday, February 29th, 2008

There may be a perfect job for someone who loves real estate and enjoys walking through homes. And the best part is that training for this vocation only takes about 150 hours of required study that can all be accomplished online through distance learning.

It is the career of a real estate appraiser.  

Although the real estate market is depressed in most of the country, it is interesting that employment for real estate appraisers is expected to increase at a rate faster than the average of all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And average annual salaries range between $32,000 and $64,000; though top appraisers earn more than $86,000.

Once the appropriate courses are taken through a reputable, high-quality online school – like Allied Appraisal School – students are required to obtain a minimum number of on-the-job training hours. And in order to become fully certified, appraisers must pass a state licensing exam.

Prior to 2008, those studying to become appraisers were not required to have a bachelor’s degree. However, that has changed; and beginnng this year, a bachelor’s degree has been added to the requirements.  It is also important for potential students to check the specific requirements for their state; since licensing requirements vary from state to state.

Approximately 70% of appraisers are employed by real estate firms and banks; and about 30% are self-employed. There is a great deal of research and writing that is part of the job; but computers have made this part easier. In fact, documents that once required a drive to city hall or the court house are easily obtained from the comfort of home via the Internet. Also, appraisers may choose to specialize in residential, commercial or other areas of real estate.

The field of real estate appraisal is expected to be among the hottest jobs of the future; and those who plan ahead will be happily prepared to fill the growing demand. 

online school, online schools, appraiser, real estate, distance learning, hot career, real estate appraiser

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Another Reason Employers Should Care About Fake College Degrees

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Fake college degrees seem to be in the news every day; and the public is hopefully getting the message that it is risky to purchase a fraudulent degree from a diploma mill.

But there is another reason that employers should be concerned about the credentials of the people they hire: the possibility of the theft of merchandise, intellectual property and cash from the business.

A college degree generally opens the door for hirees to become trusted employees. Some may be given a key to the business, may be signers on the business account or may have access to business secrets and unreleased product information.

Remember, the employee with a bogus college degree has already:

  • deceptively put down false information on their employment application and resume,
  • dishonestly purchased a college degree without fulfilling the degree requirements,
  • accepted a promotion and pay compensation based upon a lie.

Is this the type of person that an employer would want to trust with the assets of the business? Obviously not.

Employers should be diligent about checking the credentials of anyone they hire. The safety of other employees and the financial well-being of the business may be at stake.

Hire only those who have earned their college degrees through diligence and discipline in a traditional or online degree program. It is the safest thing to do.

online degree program, online degrees, college degree, fake college degree, diploma mill, fraudulent degree, employers, resume

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Hefty College Tuition Costs Can Be Avoided

Monday, February 25th, 2008

As college tuition rates continue to rise beyond the comfort zone of most parents and their students, the search for ways to reduce this hefty expense has become a mission for many families.  According to US News and World Report, students are paying an average of $35,000 a year at private colleges and universities this year. Public university costs are close to $17,000 annually.

The problem is that these numbers continue to go up each year, rising faster than the rate of inflation. Parents with young children need to figure out how they plan to deal with this major cost linked to their child’s future.

Technology Can Help

Not long ago, the price of a long-distance phone call was pricey. Like international calls now, they had a per-minute rate and had to be carefully planned. But new technologies (and deregulation) have lowered these costs tremendously; and those who are tech-savvy can even use their computers to call long-distance for free.

College costs can also be high; but ever-changing technology offers solutions that were not available before this age of personal computers, MP3 players and YouTube.

Low-Cost Online Degree Programs

Although online degree programs can be just as expensive as a traditional college education, there are some that still charge a reasonable tuition. For example, Western Governors University, which is based in Utah, offers a high-quality, low-priced college education at a non-profit school. The cost is just $2,790 for each 6-month term for an undergraduate program and $3,250 for graduate programs.

The financial advantage of an online degree program is that the student can work a full-time or part-time job while earning a college degree.  Also, there are no costs tied to educational housing or transportation. In addition, accredited online schools usually offer the same federal financial aid and scholarship options as brick-and-mortar schools.

Financial Aid

Financial aid options are available to qualified students who are accepted into accredited online degree programs. Western Governor’s University, for example, offers their own private scholarships to teachers, military personnel and others. Students and parents should research the availability of similar private scholarships to decrease education costs.

Each year, tens of thousands of dollars in private scholarship money remains unused, simply because students did not apply for the monies. Private scholarship applications can be lengthy and often involve writing an essay; however the pay-off can be sweet for those who make the effort to fill them out and meet the deadlines.

Junior Colleges

Parents and students who are looking for ways to save on college costs will find a wealth of opportunity at junior colleges. It is possible to attend a low-cost junior college for 2 years, then transfer to a college of choice. Students should talk to a counselor and express their degree objective so that the best plan of coursework can be mapped out and pursued. This step is vital for students who wish to either earn an associate’s degree or tranfer to a 4-year institution.

Local 2-year colleges have been adding online classes to their on-campus offerings; and many are beginning to include online associate’s degrees and online certificate programs. But often, students will discover that junior colleges generally offer a mixture of online and on-campus classes for degree completion.

However, at less than $50 a unit, junior college classes are a bargain for local students. Out-of-state students will need to establish a period of residency before taking advantage of low tuition rates.

Students can finish a 2-year degree for next-to-nothing, then apply to the 4-year college of their choice. Highly selective schools that had no room for the student as a freshman will often welcome the same student as a 3rd-year transfer student. It is important, of course, for students to do well in junior college if the plan is to transfer later.

Junior college/Online School Combo

Another option for bargain-hunting students involves taking as many online courses as possible at the junior college, then transferring to an online school to finish the bachelor’s degree.

Accredited online schools have a wealth of resources for students who do not have the time or inclination to step foot on a college campus. Whether for reasons of work, distance from the school, health challenges, or travel, many students find distance learning to be the best possible way to earn a college degree at a reasonable cost.

But the bottom line is that it is important to explore the different options. By planning ahead, any student should be financially able to afford a college education without spending future years in debt.

And parents who desire the best schooling for their children can make choices that prevent mortgaging their own futures.

online degrees, distance learning, military personnel, teachers, college_degree, parents, colleges and universities, college education, financial aid, paying for college, high tuition, college tuition, online associates degree, online bachelors_degree, online certificate program, junior college, children, students

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Washington Bill Promotes Online Degree Programs

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Washington State high school students will know about online degree programs if Rep. Joe Schmick has anything to say about it. 

State Representative Schmick has proposed a bill to promote distance learning as an excellent option for earning college credit or an e-learning diploma. The legislation, 2SHB 3129, has already passed the state House.

In rural towns, for example, students will be able to access information about online learning and how to choose and enroll in online schools. This information would be available on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website and through teachers and counselors in the high schools.

Currently, Rep. Schmick’s district is composed mainly of rural areas with few community colleges and technical schools; and the bill — if it passes the Senate — would help in preparing all Washington high school students for college options that require use of the latest education technology.

Rep. Schmick believes that everyone should have the chance to take advantage of higher education; and the passing of this bill would help to broaden opportunities for those who need it most.

“Being separated by geographic distance from a conventional classroom should not be a barrier to pursuing higher-education coursework. Thanks to emerging technology, the Internet is removing those boundaries and online classes are accessible just about anywhere. Our bill would help us do a better job of closing the gap between where people live and where educational resources exist”, he concluded.   Read more 

online degree program, distance learning, college, e-learning, online learning, online schools, education, higher education, education technology, Internet, high school students, Washington

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Ex-U.S. Marshal Prosecuted for Using Diploma Mill

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Last week, a retired deputy U.S. marshal was prosecuted for using a fake college degree from a diploma mill, St. Regis University, to gain a promotion and a $16,000-a-year pay raise. 

He admitted to lying on his federal job promotion form and was fined $500, given 2 years probation and sentenced to 80 hours of public service. 

Still, he kept the pay raise and the subsequent retirement benefits because his supervisors were aware of the deception before he was promoted.

Diploma mills continue to be a major problem; and they often lure potential clients by calling their product ‘life experience degrees’ or ‘novelty degrees’. Proposed legislation by Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota is currently being reviewed by Congress to enact stiffer penalties for those who sell the fake diplomas.  The House of Representatives voted on February 7th to pass the legislation, which will now move into the Senate for a vote.

HR4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act, is championed as a valuable tool in fighting the scourge of diploma mill fraud.  But it is also important for potential students to learn the difference between accredited online schools and diploma mills. The U.S. Department of Education continues to provide a database of accredited colleges and universities along with information about how to spot fraudulent, scam businesses masquerading as colleges.

The retired U.S. marshal got off easy; but the laws are changing. And it’s about time.

diploma mill, fake college degrees, fake diploma, life experience degrees, novelty degrees, colleges and universities, accredited online schools, online schools

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Schools and Doctors Online: Computers Go the Distance

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Years ago, when computers took up entire temperature-controlled rooms, no one could have imagined that computers would one day be small enough to carry in a briefcase. 

And no one could have imagined that one day most people in the U.S. would have a personal computer in their homes.

But these things and more have already happened as computers have become extremely valuable in our society.

Even so, there are still those who question whether online schools are valid or helpful. And even as statistics show that enrollment in online schools is growing at a rate faster than that of traditional schools, naysayers are still unable to see the value and convenience of e-learning. However, anyone who is paying attention to how quickly new technology is used to streamline, increase efficiency and improve productivity will see that distance learning via computer is here to stay. 

Online degree programs have made it easier for college students to take classes without sacrificing time at work, time with their families, evening and weekends at home, or travel opportunities.  

If doctors can use technology to practice medicine online and have it paid for by insurers, then students can certainly benefit from educational technology that is designed to bring the classroom to the student. 

online schools, online degree programs, distance learning, e-learning, online degrees,

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Show Your Love on Valentine’s Day Without Spending a Dime

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

On Valentine’s Day, couples generally show their love for one another by giving cards, flowers, candy and other gifts. But if your budget is tight, there are still ways to romance your love without breaking the bank.

These gifts do require that you have some idea what your Valentine really wants from you. And the cost to you may be more than money in the long run. But choosing one of these gifts may also ensure that you have many more Valentine’s Days ahead with the one you love.

Consider one of these gifts:

  • Give the gift of your support for your Valentine’s dreams. For example, if your loved one has expressed a desire to enroll in an online degree program or to finish a college degree, write an encouraging note saying that you love him or her enough to support their dream. Then ask how you can help while they are studying and taking classes.
  • Give the gift of your time, especially if you have been busy, distracted or traveling. Write your Valentine an invitation to spend an evening together at a later date doing something your loved one enjoys — like taking a walk, a bike ride, a drive in the country, or even an evening at the ballet or opera. Set a date and keep it.
  • Give the gift of communicating your feelings. As mushy as you might think this is, it could really positively impact your Valentine. If your loved one has been concerned that you don’t care and you really do care, write a love letter expressing your true feelings. Let him or her know how much they mean to you. It may not seem like much; but it could mean the world to the person who loves you.
  • Give the gift of becoming a better husband, wife, parent, significant other. Write a card, note, letter expressing your love and your desire to help strengthen and improve the relationship. Pick out one thing you do that continues to cause a rift; and express your intention to work on that problem. Maybe you have a short temper; or you do not show any emotions at all. Or you never like to talk or communicate. This is an opportunity to not only improve your relationship, but to change something aout you that needs changing.

These are just a few ways to show your Valentine that you love him or her. And if you choose to give one of these gifts, you may find that you receive the best gift of all — a stronger, more satisfying and more loving relationship.

Valentine’s Day, online degree programs, relationships, romance, love, love letter, express your love, improve your relationship

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Harsh Weather Doesn’t Shut Down Classes for Online Students

Monday, February 11th, 2008

The city of Chicago is chilled to the bone today with a steady stream of snowfall and temperatures as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  But some students are not concerned about that.

As states across the Midwest, South and East are battered by snow and icy roadways, one group of students has the luxury of being relatively nonchalant about it all.

And who are they? Of course – they are the online students.

While others walk or drive to school in harsh weather, online students are able to study at home, nice and toasty.

And it is no wonder, with thousands of online degree programs and hundreds of online schools from which to choose. The largest of these schools, the University of Phoenix, pioneered the concept of student-centered education. Career-oriented students needed a flexible and creative way to attend higher education classes while remaining employed full-time. Rather than students being forced to fit into traditional school schedules, the University of Phoenix believed that college classes should fit comfortably into the life of the student.

Now, the University of Phoenix is the largest private university in North America, a distinction it has earned primarily through its distance-learning innovations.

Before the University of Phoenix opened its doors in 1976, working students struggled to race to the admissions office, the guidance counselor, and the bookstore before the usual 5pm closing time. Often, it was necessary to take off early from work just to take care of business and purchase books. Little was done to accommodate the full-time working student.

After the University of Phoenix came along, a new education model became popular — online degree programs. Even employers embraced this new marriage of technology and education, because it allowed students to maintain their job schedule while improving their career skills on their own time.

Now, it is possible to find almost every field of study in an online format. With sophisticated video technology, web cams and more, even hands-on subjects like art and medicine have begun to test new uses for educational software. But the most popular online degree programs – MBA, computer science, health care, information technology, criminal justice, psychology, accounting, education, etc. – are available at a number of accredited online schools.

And maybe the best part is that neither rain, snow, sleet or hail will keep e-learning students from attending their classes. As long as there is a working computer, modem and Internet connection,  weather worries don’t mean a thing.

online students, online school, online schools, online degree programs, higher education, e-learning, distance_learning, University of Phoenix, college, employers, Chicago

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Online School: A Time Management Oasis in A Busy Life

Monday, February 11th, 2008

A picturesque photograph of the calm white-sand beaches of the Caribbean Islands easily evokes in us the desire for an unhurried, peaceful existence. However, our career, ambition and family priorities pull us in another direction. 

Yet today’s rich vein of higher technology offers us unique options for streamlining our lives. Online school is one of these time-saving, flexible, flowing palm trees beckoning in the distance learning landscape. It is a time-management strategy that is tailor made for those who are heading back to school. 

So Really, What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Online Schools?

Accredited colleges, whether they are traditional or online, both offer a great education. However, the difference lies in the convenience factor. For example, in traditional colleges and universities:

  • you apply for acceptance into the school via regular mail or online,
  • once accepted, you make an appointment to see a guidance counselor in person,
  • you usually purchase your books in person at the bookstore,
  • you attend classes on the campus for several hours each week (usually 1-3 days each week per class),
  • you normally turn in your homework in class,
  • you take your quizzes and tests in class,
  • you use the on-campus college library for research and resources,
  • your class discussions take place in the classroom,
  • you meet other students in person for group projects (if required),
  • your may visit your teacher in person during scheduled office hours.

In an online school ( not a traditional school that offers online classes):

  • you apply to the school online,
  • you ‘meet’ with your counselor by phone and follow-up online by e-mail
  • you purchase your books at a 24-hour online university bookstore,
  • you are provided access to a 24-hour online library,
  • you may ‘attend’ lectures online through special educational software, like ’Elluminate‘,
  • you turn in assignments online by e-mail,
  • you generally take quizzes and exams online, using a password and with a time limit,
  • you ‘meet’ your classmates through message boards,
  • discussions and projects may take place online through chat rooms, message boards, or real-time exchanges made possible through the latest software technologies,
  • the teacher is available and accessible online through message boards and e-mail.

Does Online School Really Save Me Time?

Oh, yes — not only time, but transportation costs as well. Driving to a campus, searching for parking, walking to class and sitting in a classroom for several hours involves quite a large chunk of time. Add to that the purchase of books, trips to the library, and in-person consultations with the teacher. By switching to an online degree program or online class, you can actually add time back to your schedule.

And the best part is, you can take your class at home. You can change into comfortable loungewear after work, have dinner, spend time with the family, grab an evening snack and find a quiet space to work on homework assignments.

So if you are considering a return to college, give your schedule a break and try e-learning. It may just be the time management oasis for which you have been searching. 

online school, distance learning,career, family life, e-learning, college, college and university, homework, caribbean, time management

Popularity: 11% [?]

Posted by vida

Five Ways that E-learning Lowers Stress and Simplifies Your Life

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Let’s face it, the hectic pace of our lives has forced many of us to seek ways to lessen stress and slow down.

The recent emphasis of feng shui in designing public spaces is a testament to our need for tranquility. Most of us are in earnest pursuit of peace, harmony and simplicity in all areas of our lives, including higher education.

It is encouraging to know that right under our noses, a major opportunity exists to embrace a method of learning — distance learning — that has spread rapidly to schools across the country. And why is distance learning, or e-learning,  so popular? One reason is that it simplifies our lives.

These are five ways that e-learning, rather than on-campus learning, offers a chance for more balance and less stress:

  1. You do not have to travel anywhere to take an online class. Students may remain at home in their bathrobe, sipping a cup of coffee or tea,  while the computer acts as liason between the teacher and fellow classmates. Lectures may be available to watch live or archived on the computer, homework is sent by e-mail and message boards offer a sense of community. Taking classes this way saves both time and gas money. 
  2. E-learning can be scheduled so that it does not interfere with family time. Time set aside for spouses, children and significant others is preserved. This enhances and maintains the opportunity for healthy, harmonious relationships and a peaceful home environment.
  3. Online classes are portable and can be completed while on vacation. This opens the door to get away more often, without having to schedule vacations around the on-campus schedule. The Internet is available all over the world, including on cruise ships. So you can refresh yourself while away and study at the same time.
  4. Studying at home reduces unsafe, uncomfortable or unhealthy encounters with other people. Some traditional campuses are open to the general public, and people with less than pure motives may be roaming the campus. Also, some students tend to attend class even when they are sick and contagious which, in a classroom setting, is a health risk for others. Online classes avoid these risks and stressors.
  5. Online degree programs open a door for motivated, employed individuals to get out of a dead-end, low-paying or high-stress career by training for a new one. A new career can offer:
    1. more money for less hours spent at work,
    2. the choice to do something that you love,
    3. a job that involves travel to exotic places, or
    4. the personal satisfaction of doing work that makes the world a better place for others.

Balance and harmony may appear to be elusive; but taking a few small steps may yield a rich harvest of positive attributes in our lives.  

And choosing online schools over traditional schools is just one possible pathway to lessen stress and attain desired career and educational goals.

e-learning, online schools, online degree program, simplify your life, achieve harmony, feng shui, careers, jobs, employment

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida