"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 November, 2008

UC Application Deadline Looms, But No Worries for E-learners

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

As high school seniors scramble to meet the November 30th deadline for UC and CSU applications, those who plan to enroll in online schools can relax and enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner and the ‘Black Friday’ holiday sales.

However, the early college application deadlines of many public colleges, like the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) colleges, wreak havoc with students who are also frantically preparing for final exams and research papers that must be completed before the Christmas holiday break.

And although most private college application deadlines fall after the holidays, a number of high school students take advantage of ‘early decision and early action’ opportunities.

These students apply to college earlier than necessary, usually in November, then are notified by their college of choice by December or January as to whether they have been accepted. Students may usually only apply to one college for early decision and must agree to attend that college if they are accepted and if they receive sufficient financial aid.

However, students who choose distance learning instead of traditional schools may apply year-round to most online colleges and universities.

The unique flexibility of online degree programs makes it possible for students to maintain full-time work schedules, even if those jobs require significant travel. Easy access to the Internet in hotels, WiFi hotspots, libraries and businesses allows students to turn in homework and take exams wherever in the world they might be located.   

However, students who opt for online degrees that are offered by traditional schools must meet the application deadlines set by those schools. Still, there may be wiggle room if distance learning students have a separate admissions office along with flexible application deadlines.

Hopefully most high schools seniors will be free of college applications this week by the time the turkey and its trimmings are set on the Thanksgiving table.

If not, then later they may be able to join the e-learners and others for a slice of holiday pie.

UC applications, CSU applications, UC apps, CSU apps, e-learners, online schools, Thanksgiving, Christmas, colleges and universities, distance learning, online degree programs, Black Friday, holiday sales, online degrees, turkey

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Savannah State University Shooting Fuels Campus Safety Fears

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The shooting this morning of a Savannah State University student quickly raised fears about the safety of U.S. college campuses. However, by days end, those fears were lessened by the college’s swift actions to insure student safety.

Early reports on the shooting indicated that a wounded student was transported to an area hospital for surgery after being shot. Campus safety directives were quickly implemented to guarantee the safety of the remaining 3,400 students — including the 2,000 students who live in the dorms.

Savannah State was immediately locked down after the shooting, with students being asked to remain at their current locations.

Police SWAT teams arrived quickly; and entrance to the campus was denied to all (except emergency-response personnel) while the gunman was still at large. An automated e-mail and text-message alert system notified students of the dangerous situation, with regular updates provided for those who had signed up for the safety feature.

Those who did not sign up for emergency alerts were in the dark about what was happening, but most were quickly informed by fellow students.

Once the gunman was caught, the campus reopened and classes resumed.

College campus shootings are relatively uncommon. However the worst school shooting in U.S. history occurred just last year at Virginia Tech, with 32 people killed by one gunman. Since then, U.S. colleges have revamped their safety measures to improve student safety and alleviate parental and student concerns.

At Savannah State, it appears that these measures were helpful in preventing widespread harm. Yet the shooting of even one student is one too many. So hopefully, colleges will continue their efforts to provide the safest possible campus environments.

Online degree programs, which are usually offered through online schools and traditional schools, are a safe and flexible alternative for students who would rather skip the whole on-campus scene. E-learning puts students into the driver’s seat as far as when, where and with whom to study.

Thankfully, Savannah State’s swift actions today may help to give college students a better assurance that they are safer now than ever.  And perhaps students will consider doing their part by signing up for the critical e-mail/text-message alerts on their respective college campuses.

Savannah State University,  campus shooting, campus safety, college, online schools, online degree program, Savannah State shooting, Georgia, e-learning

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

Five Things To Know When Job Losses Hit Home

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

As layoffs rise and unemployment rates hit a high of 6.5%, workers across the nation wait in nervous anticipation to learn the fate of their jobs. And although most will find their jobs shaken, but ultimately safe, others will face the stark reality of sudden job loss. If a layoff happens, there are several things to consider:

  1. Losing a job is not the end of the world; no matter how it feels at the moment. Remember, better opportunities could be just around the corner. Keep an open, optimistic mind.
  2. Losing a job is, however, a major stressful event; and depression could follow. Do not hesitate to see a health professional if sadness or depression symptoms last more than two weeks. Temporary treatment may be helpful.
  3. Losing a job may provide the time and motivation to pursue additional education that could lead to a new career or an improvement in job qualifications. Adult education classes, online degree programs, GED preparation and vocational training are paths to reach these goals.
  4. Losing a job may open the door to a wealth of benefits — including unemployment payments, free career training, alternative health care benefits, help finding another job, financial counseling to keep creditors at bay and low-cost babysitting while job-hunting. Check with individual state offices of employment, similar to California’s Employment Development Department.
  5. Losing a job could be an opportunity to assess whether it is time to relocate to a place with higher-paying jobs, better weather, lower housing costs or better schools. However, it is important to make sure any eligibility for benefits will transfer to the new location.
  6. Although no one wants to go to work and discover that they no longer have a job, the situation can be a catalyst for change. Keeping a cool head after a layoff is key to making a “return to work” plan and coming out ahead.

    layoffs, unemployment rate, workers, jobs, online degree programs, job losses, vocational training, stress, health care, GED

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Berkeley College: Accelerated Degrees & High Employment Rate

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Few colleges offer free lifetime career assistance. But that is one of the perks offered to students who graduate from Berkeley College

With unemployment rates in the U.S. hovering around 6.5% and monthly job losses climbing into the hundreds of thousands, it is no wonder that students are finding their way to Berkeley College — a school that is committed to seeking and maintaining employment contacts for the benefit of its graduating and alumni students.

In fact, a staff of 20 career specialists is dedicated to the task of locating job opportunities and matching them to each graduate in their particular field of study. This personalized service continues to enhance Berkeley College’s high employment rate.

Students also benefit from on-the-job internships that are incorporated into each program of study. So when it is time to fill out job applications, questions concerning work experience may be answered ‘yes’ with confidence. 

And Berkeley College is not a new kid on the block. It has been around since 1931 and boasts 7 campuses in the New York and New Jersey area. Ten years ago, its offerings expanded to include distance learning through Berkeley College Online, offering accredited online degree programs in the fields of business, criminal justice, information technology and health administration. 

In addition to lifetime career counseling, Berkeley College also freezes tuition costs for students who remain continuously enrolled in classes, unlike the practice of most colleges and universities that raise tuition costs every year. So when students enroll, they know the price tag of their tuition bill through graduation. There is also at least $17 million a year in scholarships and grants available for eligible students. 

Another bonus that entices students from all over the world is the possibility of being able to complete one’s program of study in less time - earning an associate’s degree in 18 months instead of 2 years, or a bachelor’s degree in 3 years instead of 4. This accelerated degree option may also save money and increase potential earnings by earlier entrance into the job market. 

The U.S. Department of Education includes Berkeley College among its accredited postsecondary institutions, listing the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools as the accrediting body.

In tough economic times, the choice of a college can be crucial.  And Berkeley College, with its unique set of student-oriented perks, is certainly worthy of serious consideration.

high employment, job losses, distance learning, online degree programs, accelerated degrees, tuition freeze, career counseling, scholarships, grants, job market, Berkeley College, colleges and universities, tough economic times 

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

From Armistice Day to Veterans Day: A Celebration of Soldiers

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Our soldiers — past and present — are a national treasure. They serve and fight in places where the majority of American citizens would never dare to tread.

They are our heroes.

The history of Veterans Day is simple, but profound. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th, 1919, as the first Armistice Day — one year after an armistice, or cease-fire, ended the hostilities during World War I.

November 11th was set aside each year to honor the soldiers who fought against Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey in that ’Great War’, also known as the “war to end all wars”.

In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday. But when World War II came along and involved such a massive effort of manpower — approximately 100 million Allies and Axis soldiers, it was time for a change. So in 1954, during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s term, Congresss passed an amendment changing the word “Armistice” to the word “Veterans”.

Armistice Day then became Veterans Day, which honors the U.S. veterans of all wars.

The debt of gratitude owed to the members of the nation’s military service members can never be repaid; but the debt owed to those who fought and still fight on foreign soil is a priceless gift of sacrifice.

President Eisenhower once said: “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” He was right.

May we always honor and remember those who stood strong and courageous and to whom we owe our precious freedoms.

military, Veterans Day, soldiers, veterans, heroes, World War I, World War II, freedom, Armistice Day, Americans, U.S., United States

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Tuition-Free College Programs Gain Momentum

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Tuition-free college may be on the horizon for students in Racine, Wisconsin.

The program is being considered as a way to increase the education level of its community and to provide incentive for high school students to stay in school and graduate.

A similar program is already working in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where it has increased minority graduation rates by 15% and created over 5,000 new jobs.

But one of the greatest success stories is the long-standing Georgia Hope Scholarship and Grant Program, which was established in 1993 to provide tuition-free college to the state’s resident students who graduate from high school with a ‘B’ average and maintain that grade point average throughout college. The program is fully-funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education and has already poured over $3.8 billion into helping more than 1.1 million students attend its public colleges, private colleges and vocational schools.

A few online schools, like Western Governors University, also offer hefty scholarship programs that target students pursuing specialized career areas, like rural teaching.

If Racine gets its way, it will join the ranks of an elite group of education innovators.

And then the tuition-free baton can be passed on to other forward-thinking communities.

tuition-free colleges, tuition-free, college tuition, college costs, colleges, free_tuition, minority graduation, Racine, Kalamazoo, online schools

Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted by vida

Tight Economy Does World of Good for Public Colleges

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The tight economy has done a world of good for public colleges and universities across the U.S.

Although graduating high school seniors once flooded private universities in the past, that trend is changing as students choose less-expensive public colleges.

Families that were once willing to make hefty financial sacrifices for their college-bound sons and daughters are now looking long and hard at the impact that such a significant outlay will have on the family’s bottom line.

Public colleges are reaping the benefits of the doubt, fear and financial uncertainty in our nation.

According to USA Today, the California State University system reports a 15% increase in college applications over last year’s numbers. And the State University of New York system reports a 50% increase in applications since last year.

The same budget-conscious mindset that has toppled major retail stores is now impacting the private college system; and some say it will get worse before it gets better.

Online degree programs are also poised for a boom, as students realize that they can work a full-time job and take advantage of the flexibility to study when it is convenient. E-learning is popular in traditional universities; and online schools continue to grow in popularity.

For students who need to live at home and shed the high expense a college dorm, distance learning has emerged as a practical way to earn a college degree while gaining job experience and cutting costs.

Private colleges and universities must begin to beef up student financial aid and keep tuition rates from automatic rate hikes, so families will know the fixed amount that they are spending for 4 years of college.

A fixed tuition rate for the 4 years would also afford college students the ability to go “college shopping” with accurate costs in hand. Utilizing Inexpensive junior colleges for the first 2 years is also a money-saving strategy that can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Trouble in the U.S. economy is helping to redefine the way high school graduates envision their college experience.

And perhaps that is not such a bad thing at all.

world of good, colleges and universities, distance learning, e-learning, online schools, online degree program, high schools, public colleges, college costs

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

High School Dropouts Increase as GED Comes to the Rescue

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

In times past, high school dropouts had little hope of ever receiving a high school diploma. Once they left high school, they also left formal education for good — without pomp or circumstance.

But technology has brought new hope for these ex-students.

The rising exodus of teens from secondary school has alarm bells ringing all over the education community, initiating an urgent call for intervention to stop the tidal wave of students who prematurely walk down high school hallways for the last time.

In California, at least 120,000 young people a year become “high school dropouts”, with over a million students in the U.S. falling into this category annually.

According to a 2006 report for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one-third of all public high students fail to graduate from high school each year. And among Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans, that percentage rises to one-half.

These figures represent a “silent epidemic“, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She also mentions that 15% of the U.S. high schools produce over 50% of the dropouts.

And what causes dropouts to “drop out”?

  • The public high schools with the highest number of dropouts — the 15% mentioned by Secretary Spellings — are generally substandard. Buildings are run-down, hallways are littered, desks are chipped and school books are outdated. In order to receive an education, students often face obstacles like routine violence and overtaxed teachers who struggle to educate their students in an unpleasant, hostile environment.
  • Often, students do not understand the relevance of a high school diploma until they leave school. If school is unpleasant and there is little educational encouragement at home, students have no incentive to hang in there and finish their coursework. Once they are out in the real world, dropouts encounter obstacles in finding a satisfying career. Since a high school diploma is a prerequisite for most well-paying jobs, dropouts run into limitless roadblocks in their quest to make a living.
  • Teen pregnancy, apathy, and inadequate reading or math skills make it difficult for others to complete high school.

On the whole, dropouts earn significantly less money and end up with a lower standard of living than high school graduates.

However, many adult learners eventually earn the equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the General Education Development test (GED), signaling a new beginning and better life for themselves and their families.

Adult education programs and online GED preparation courses can be found at local community centers, junior colleges and private online schools. And the flexibility of computer learning makes it possible for full-time workers to study on their own schedule.

When they are ready, students must take the GED test at an approved GED test center. In fact, students should beware of GED testing offered online. There is no valid online GED test; it is a scam.

Passing the GED or receiving a high school diploma opens the doors to enrolling in college, job promotions, increased income and a sense of accomplishment.

Still, the easiest thing for current students to do is to remain in school in the first place.

adult education, adult learners, African Americans, career, high school diploma, high school dropout, jobs, new beginning, online GED, online schools, standard of living, teachers, teens

Popularity: 11% [?]

Posted by vida