"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 March, 2010

Hope Rises Even After College Rejection Letters

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

As college acceptance and rejection letters reach their destinations, many high school seniors are opening their mailboxes, and their hearts, to disappointment and heartache.

They did not get into their first, second, or even third choice colleges or universities.

In California, the situation with college admissions is even worse. Due to severe budget cuts in public colleges and universities, schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Davis may accept even fewer students than usual.

But all is not lost.

Seniors and their parents should take a deep breath, look at their options and begin planning in a more creative direction.

With a new plan, students may be able to turn disappointment into joy by graduating from their first-choice colleges and universities after all.

The plan is simple and is based upon a little-know fact:  It is easier to be accepted into most top colleges as transfer students rather than as freshmen.

So, to get around the freshman acceptance process, disappointed high school seniors should enroll in local community colleges, in less-competitive public or private 4-year colleges, or in accredited online schools. They should then follow the transfer program set up by their guidance counselor.

After completing the 2-year program, students should be able to transfer into one of their desired colleges or universities.

For example, when students enroll at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, and enter the 2-year transfer program, they generally choose an academic program that is compatible with UC Berkeley, Cal State East Bay, or other local colleges.

After successful completion of the transfer program, students are usually guaranteed a spot as a junior in the designated school.

At Santa Rosa Junior College, the transfer college choices include UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and others.

Accredited online degree programs enable students to gain valuable work experience and earn money while completing college studies. Students may also travel while completing their associate’s degree or transfer program.

The bottom line is that hope is not lost when a college rejection letter arrives in the mail.

In fact, another path may save tuition dollars, allow extensive travel opportunities, or lead to greater career and work experience.

And best of all, it may still take students to the same graduation podium.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Fastest Internet Service in Nation Coming to California Town

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

When I opened my newspaper a couple of days ago, I became one of the delighted locals who discovered that our small town was chosen to become the first in the nation to receive super-fast, high-speed Internet service.

Surprisingly, Google is not building it; Sonic.net is doing the honors.

Apparently, while Google publicly declared its intentions to lead in providing extensive fiber optic service directly to American homes, Sonic.net quietly laid the groundwork and moved ahead with its plans to do the same.

Ultimately, those plans brought Sonic.net to the small, farming community of Sebastopol — where Gravenstein apples historically basked in the spotlight for a couple of late summer months and where Charles Schulz, of ‘Peanuts’ fame, is buried.

Sebastopol may be an unlikely choice for high tech innovation, given local protests over proposals to allow new cell phone sites in town. Yet somehow, Sonic.net’s market analysis determined that this is the place to successfully expand their horizons.

Soon, 600 homes are slated to be connected to shiny, new fiber optic cables, allowing faster Internet speeds of between 50 megabits per second (mbps) and 1 gigabit per second — at best, approximately 100 times faster than current speeds offered by AT&T and other companies. Sonic.net is still determining the exact speed that will be offered; but work should be completed by the end of 2010.

Sonic.net’s bold steps are expected to pay off, big time, with a greater share of the wireless market. Surrounding communities — including Santa Rosa and Petaluma — are potentially next on the list for technology upgrades.

These upgrades are hooked into a larger plan, the National Broadband Plan, which hopes to connect 100 million people in the U.S. to the latest fiber optic technology. This national expansion of Internet infrastructure should result in a boon for online education — particularly online degree programs and online schools.

Online degrees are rapidly replacing traditional degrees as a first-choice for busy, adult learners and those who have no access to local colleges and universities. The Sloan Consortium reports, based upon data from 2500 colleges and universities, continue to confirm the rapid growth of online education.  Ultra-fast Internet service will only serve to increase this growth.

Sebastopol is an easy-going town that is about to experience a turbo boost to its wireless technology.

All I can say is: “Thanks, Sonic.net.”

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Education Is a Wise Strategy for Millions

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Much like a boxing match, opponents and proponents of online schools continue to take jabs at each other.

Fortunately, this sparring is often healthy, informative and advantageous to those still deciding what to do about their own education.

But after all is said and done, online degree programs remain standing as the only chance millions of people have to earn a college education.

This fact is spurring technology innovations in distance learning that continue to improve and expand the learning experiences of those who choose higher education on their own terms.

University of Phoenix was among the first of the accredited online schools to offer hope to adult learners who thought they missed their chance for a college diploma.

Since then, hundreds of high quality online schools have emerged to accommodate the increasing demand for a flexible education.

Traditional colleges and universities scrambled to keep up when they realized that distance learning had already carved its own seat at the higher education table. As a result, almost every accredited university in the U.S. offers online classes, with many offering full-fledged online degree programs.

According to the Sloan Consortium, online education enrollments rose 17% in the year ending in the fall 2009, while traditional education enrollments rose only 1.2%.

Young students are already experiencing online learning in their elementary, junior high, and high schools.

School districts mainstreamed distance learning into the classroom to save money, provide expanded learning options, and accommodate the needs of gifted, advanced placement, special needs, and other students.

Down the road, these tech-savvy students will easily transition to online degree programs for college. After all, they could simultaneously gain work experience, take advantage of travel opportunities, and get a head start on their careers.

Also, the expensive and rising costs of a traditional college education unwittingly point students toward online degree options.

Online education is a wise, workable strategy for career growth for millions of students today.

It could easily go the distance to become the first choice for students of tomorrow.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Accounting Outshines and Outlasts a Host of other Careers

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Accounting is a broad profession that is on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of fastest growing career fields.

Employment in accounting jobs is expected to grow at a rate of 22% in the 10-year period between 2008 and 2018.

To illustrate the possibilities of an accounting career, the experiences of a family friend come to mind.

Years ago, this friend told me that her mom encouraged her to major in accounting in college. And although accounting was not her first choice of a career, she listened to her mother.

After graduation, the friend moved from her home state of Hawaii to California, where she quickly found an accounting position working for an East Bay county. The job paid well and offered excellent benefits.

A few years later, she chose to return to Hawaii to be closer to her family. Her California supervisor offered her a management position with pay raise to entice her to stay; but she decided to proceed with her moving plans.

Yet before she left, she already had another accounting job lined up in Hawaii, with greater responsibility and higher pay. She has continued to fare well in the accounting field — even during the recession.

Her story is not unique, even taking into account that she is diligent, detail-oriented, and dependable.

But that said, her choice to earn an accounting degree has contributed greatly to her career success.

Some potential students avoid accounting, because they think it involves a lot of complicated math. They remember that they disliked math in school and assume that they would not enjoy accounting.

However, accounting falls under business schools, not math departments, and usually requires one math course — business math or its equivalent. It is essentially the same math class that other business students are required to take.

Accounting coursework covers not only the fundamentals of business, but also the specifics of how to record financial transactions, compile financial information, and generate financial documents.

And since most financial information is now stored on computers, accounting software programs handle the bulk of the compilation, calculation and generation of financial data.

Accredited online degree programs have made it easier for working adults to pursue a career in accounting. Some students enroll in online accounting classes to enhance managerial skills, while others seek a new profession that appeals to their logical and analytical minds.

Accounting continues to offer opportunity and hope to many who currently seek stable employment. Online degrees allow flexibility for the precious few hours that are available in busy schedules.

Jobs available to those with online accounting degrees and certificates include accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, accounts payable clerks, accounts receivable clerks, bank loan officers, and financial advisers.

Perhaps this is the best time to pursue a online degree in a field that outshines and outlasts most others.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Successful Medical Physicist Does Prison Time for Fake Degree

Friday, March 5th, 2010

A medical physicist, who spent 25 years building an excellent reputation in the medical equipment inspection business, is in prison for fake degree fraud.

According to the New York Times, Norman Fenton’s clients included at least 24 hospitals, 51 dentists, 33 doctors and other medical facilities.

Yet he had no real credentials for his job of inspecting radiological medical equipment and training others in his career field.

Instead, he had purchased a fake college degree and never took the time to complete a legitimate one during the long span of his career.

Also, to top it all off, he aided in the prosecution of another medical physicist for a similar crime. Ironically, both received the same sentence — 4 years in prison.

In the end, it did not matter that Fenton was highly respected in his field, that his colleagues acknowledged his expertise as a medical physicist, and that he performed outstanding service to his clients. It did not matter that he was intelligent, diligent and personable.

All that ultimately mattered was that he lied about his credentials and perpetrated a fraud.

Diploma mills are a multimillion dollar business; so it is likely that thousands of people are using fake degrees to either deceive hiring personnel and employers, or to accept promotions that should go to more deserving co-workers.

It would be wise for those individuals to do damage control by enrolling in an accredited online degree program to earn a genuine college diploma.

The completion of an accredited online degree does not right all wrongs. But it may help to reduce or eliminate jail time for those whose deceptions are uncovered in U.S. states that prosecute those using fake degrees to gain employment or job promotions.

The hope is that many will learn from the missteps of Norman Fenton and others like him.

In the words of an old proverb, “a word to the wise is sufficient”.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida