"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 June, 2009

How Trend-Watching Can Help Land the Best Jobs

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Investors continually bet their money on whether selected stocks will yield a lucrative profit down the road. And college students bet their tuition on whether a chosen major will yield a lucrative job after graduation.

In both cases, the results may appear to be luck-of-the-draw.

Why? Because no matter how popular a particular investment or career looks today, stocks may plummet over time and today’s dream jobs may become obsolete or irrelevant in the future.

But what if there is a way to follow the yellow brick road to the best stocks or the best careers by catching a glimpse of the future?

Perhaps there is a way — by becoming a trend-watcher.

A trend is defined as “the general direction in which something tends to move”, according to The Free Dictionary. And trend-watchers find and hone in on information that helps them recognize in which direction specific societal indicators are moving.

For example, trend-watchers who recognized several years ago that official national and international health reports were pointing toward a worldwide pandemic might have invested in companies that manufactured medical masks or flu vaccines. And traditional and online degree students who picked up on this same scenario might have chosen to study for careers as epidemiologists, registered nurses or medical scientists.

Other trend-watchers may be interested in statistics concerning the graying of America.

A report in The Press Democrat, “Senior population to triple by 2050″ (6-24-09), states that 1 in 6 people in the U.S. will be over age 65 by mid-century. In this case, trend-watching investors may choose stocks that are related to the medical, housing, travel and health care needs of older adults. College students may consider this information in choosing to major in gerontology, health administration, physical therapy or geriatric nursing.

Trend-watchers follow statistics, news reports, census information, technology forecasting and other information sources. But they also pay attention to what is happening in their communities.

Diligent trend-watchers who have a penchant for transferring their mined information into an advantage in the stock market, business or career arena should enjoy tangible rewards and success that are more than just a dream.

investors, stocks, profit, college, jobs, luck, future, trends, online degrees, nursing, older adults, news, career, invest, success, graying, health care, forecast

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

High Honors Follow Amazing 11-Year Old College Graduate

Friday, June 19th, 2009

It is not every day that an 11-year old graduates from junior college — and with high honors to boot.

But that is exactly what happened last week when 11-year old Moshe Kai Cavalin graduated summa cum laude from East Los Angeles College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.

This accomplishment earned him the distinction of being the second youngest person ever in the U.S. to graduate from college.

Moshe has studied diligently at East LA College since he was 8 years old. He pulled off a 4.0 grade-point average while taking required courses — including statistics, algebra and foreign language. But he also found time to tutor his fellow classmates, win trophies in martial arts and prepare for piano recitals.

His parents discovered early on that traditional schooling would not work for their son; so they were fortunate when, after homeschooling him, they found a junior college that would accept such a young student.

Their non-traditional efforts to insure that Moshe would receive the education he needed have now paid off; and now he has moved on to other endeavors while contemplating where or how he will pursue further studies.

Like Moshe Kai Cavalin, there are students who do not fit the traditional mold. They need a college education that fits snugly into the shape of their needs and lifestyle. Fortunately, online education has done that for millions of students.

Online degree programs offer more than just the one-size-fits-all model and range from certificates to doctoral degrees. They vary widely in career focus and subject area. But their common ground revolves around the signature flexibility that allows students to maintain full-time jobs, spend quality time with their families and travel for work or pleasure while fulfilling online degree requirements.

So even though it may not work out to graduate from college at age 11, online schools make it possible to earn a college degree whenever the student decides the time is right.

Read more about Moshe Kai Cavalin as a 10-year old sophmore & an 11-year old junior college graduate.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Ten Ways to Cruise on the Cheap While Taking Online Classes

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Summer has arrived; and adult learners may be wondering how to take a cheap vacation without skipping a beat in online classes.

Thankfully, the travel industry is happy to oblige by offering great deals on just about everything. Still, cruising may be among the best ways to save money on a vacation while continuing with online degree studies.

For the price of gas, food, a couple of nights in a mid-range hotel and activities, e-learners and their families or friends could sail away on the vacation of a lifetime.

Just check out these facts about cruising to an online degree:

  1. The costs for a 4-day cruise this summer begin as low as $184 per person (before taxes and fees) from Florida, New Orleans or Long Beach, according to today’s 90-day ticker from Vacations to Go, a  website that lists the best cruise deals, especially last-minute bargains. Additional special discounts may apply for past passengers and those over age 55.
  2. Cruise costs cover a bundle – ship transportation to exotic ports, 24-hour food, some beverages, lavish entertainment for adults and children, room service, twice-daily cabin cleaning and more.
  3. For 4 people staying in the same cabin, the 3rd and 4th persons pay just a fraction of the full fare, generally between 40-60% less. This is a kid-friendly deal for families, but also works well for family gatherings, friends and co-workers.
  4. Onboard credits are free money that is offered by travel agents, credit card companies or the cruise line. These are valuable because they are applied to the onboard account and may cover tipping fees, excursions, alcoholic drinks, shopping or other additional costs. A good travel agent can help explore this option.
  5. Most ports can be explored without purchasing expensive excursions from the ship. A good guide book from the library can give excellent tips about saving money while seeing the sights on your own.
  6. Most ships offer onboard Internet cafes and designated public WiFi hotspots. Some ships, like the new Celebrity Solstice series, offer data ports for Internet access in individual cabins, which is great for online students. Some Princess ships offer the use of individual laptops for the duration of the cruise on a first-come, first served basis. Discounted Internet plans offer cheaper rates then paying by the minute.
  7. To save money on Internet rates, online students may opt to gather web research ahead of time. Then on the ship, they can work offline and connect to the Internet only to turn in assignments or email instructors.
  8. Tipping is generally not mandatory on the ship; although there are suggested amounts per day to cover cabin stewards, waiters, head waiters, and other staff. Even when the tipping fees are automatically deducted from the onboard account, passengers may raise or lower the tipping amount at their own discretion. However, after observing how diligently the staff works on their behalf, the suggested tips — totaling about $10 per adult passenger per day — often appear to be reasonable to most cruisers.
  9. The 3,634-passenger ship, Independence of the Seas, not only provides extensive Internet access, it also offers rock-climbing, a water park, a surf park, ice skating, youth clubs, a full-size boxing ring and sports court, miniature golf, a fitness center, a casino, shopping — plus a multitude of other diversions for those who need extra study time to devote to online classes while family or friends literally dive into the fun onboard.
  10. Retirees, homeschooling families and others may find deeper discounts in the fall and winter, as vacationers return to school and jobs. And most cruises that are more than 90 days off usually require only a modest down payment, with the balance due at a later date. Also, bargains extend to world cruises and, amazingly, an online student could travel the world by sea while earning an online degree.

Of course, it is important to ask questions during booking about cancellation policies, passport requirements, taxes, port fees, the minimum travel age for an infant, and what is covered or not covered in cruise fees.

Still, cruising is a wonderful opportunity for online degree students to enjoy a vacation and stay on track with online school, In fact, it may be the perfect way to enhance one’s career while making loved ones happy.

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Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted by vida

Laid Off Workers Eligible for Thousands in Scholarship Money

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Things may get a little easier for some laid-off workers, thanks to Western Governors University.

Adults who lost their jobs within the past 12 months may be eligible for up to $7,500 per person in scholarship money to return to school and work toward an accredited online bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships are based upon financial need, academic record and other criteria; and students must hurry to apply for the scholarships before the application deadline of June 30th, 2009.

The scholarship winners will be required to enroll in a Western Governors University online degree program in one of four areas: business, information technology, education or health professions (including nursing).

Western Governors University continues to rise to the top of the class in offering high quality accredited online degrees — without charging an arm and a leg in tuition.

Bargain-hunting students should be flocking to this school in droves (just as quickly as they are racing to buy the new $99 iPhone), simply because WGU offers one of the best values available today for those seeking online bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states and supported by over 20 major corporations and foundations, this competency-based online school is a model of excellence in higher education. The heartfelt mission of Western Governors University is to not only serve the greater community of adult learners, but to also insure access to higher education for first-generation college students, minorities, low-income students and those who are geographically beyond the reach of a local college or university.

Money for school is generally available through WGU’s financial aid office, even before and after these generous scholarships have been distributed. Federal grants and students loans are usually available year round to eligible students.

The WGU scholarships should fully cover the reasonable tuition for up to two and a half terms, long enough to earn an accredited online degree and to continue on the path to a new job, new career and new hope for the future.

For more information about the WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships, click here.

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Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

Are Lucrative Teacher Salaries Looming on the Education Horizon?

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The seed has been planted for the best teachers to see their salaries rise into a six-figure income.

According to the New York Times article, “Next Test: Value of $125,000 Teachers” (6-4-09), one new charter school believes so much in the value of excellent teaching that it recruited and hired a staff of well-trained, top-notch teachers at salaries of $125,000 each a year.

If this becomes a trend, many more students will pursue traditional and online degrees in education, filling up available teaching slots with highly-qualified personnel.

The charter school, known as the Equity Project, offers its teachers about twice the average salary of other public school teachers in New York. But the payoff in excellence is expected to be huge for the low-income students who were selected by a lottery to learn from this select group.

Sure, these teachers will earn their pay with long hours, larger class sizes and high expectations from their employers, but many teachers face the same scenario with much less pay.

If President Obama has his way, the best teachers in the U.S. will be rewarded in the future with higher pay and additional incentives. But opposing voices, including those of the National Teachers Association, may delay this benefit as the details of his education proposals are ironed out and reconfigured.

Still, if the Equity Project is successful, it may encourage other forward-thinking charter and public school administrators to implement the changes that insure a better learning experience for students and a pleasant job environment for teachers.

And since the Equity Project is accomplishing its goals on available public monies, similarly funded schools may be hard-pressed to find reasons to ignore its tacit challenge.

Higher pay for teachers will drive more college students toward careers in education, placing teaching high on the totem pole of lucrative professions. This will raise the bar for teaching positions, insuring that each student receives the best possible education. Accredited online degree programs allow those from other professions to switch to the education field while working to pay bills.

It may be awhile before teachers receive $125,000 across the board; but hats off to the Equity Project for highlighting those who daily pour so much into our children.

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Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Online School is Great for Alaska and Extreme Weather Conditions

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

By mid-March of 2007, almost 192 inches of snow was dumped on Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, making it the second highest snowfall recorded there since 1943.

The weather, extreme even for Alaska’s long-time residents, created a number of difficulties at airports, on slippery roads and life in general. In this home of Sarah Palin and the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier, life slowed to a crawl in anticipation of warmer days.

However, the weather is always a challenge during winters in Alaska, just as it is in a number of locales throughout the year. The presence of tornadoes, hurricanes, heavy snow, gale force winds and blinding rain create both usual and unusual hazards for many U.S. cities, as residents navigate the dangers any way they can.

Unfortunately, extreme weather creates havoc for students who must persevere through tough weather to attend classes. Yet even those who are armed with the best protective clothing and the safest transportation end up encountering difficult and unpleasant conditions in order to reach their on-campus destinations.

Fortunately, online school is an option for school children and college students who seek a way to learn without braving life-threatening weather conditions.

Online classes, online degree programs and online certificate programs are geared to provide the ultimate in flexibility and technology in order to maximize each student’s learning experience.

Whether a student is in rugged Alaska or windy Chicago, it makes perfect sense to be able to study in the comfort of one’s own home, rather than braving harsh outdoor elements in order to access a high-quality education.

Students may lounge in their warm flannel pajamas in front of the fireplace and work on their assignments. They may sip hot tea, coffee or apple cider while participating in an interactive lecture on their computer, or while listening to a podcast of the latest educational information from their professor. Classmates may chime in on real-time discussions; and once an assignment is complete, a quick email carries it off to the teacher. Any problems or concerns are addressed by emails or phone calls.

Most people do not have to worry about having almost 200 inches of snow in the winter; but no matter what the weather, e-learning stands out as a fantastic way to earn a college degree.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida