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Archive for July, 2010

E-learners May Live Longer by Increasing Social Interactions

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Horses, wolves, bees — they all have something in common. They crave the company of their own kind.

Now, it appears that human beings need multiple social interactions with one another in order to thrive physically and emotionally.

According to the Time Magazine article, “Recipe for Longevity: No Smoking, Lots of Friends”, a new study proves this to be true. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Brigham Young University collaborated on a research project involving 300,000 people; and the results were remarkable.

They discovered that having a healthy network of social relationships may significantly prolong life, strengthen the immune system, prevent illness, and stave off depression.

Those who live in isolation, with few or no social ties to others, are 50% more likely to die earlier. They also catch more colds and suffer from harmful stresses that negatively affect their physical health.

Those who are considering the switch from a traditional school to an online school often believe that distance-learning may be too isolating and, therefore, more difficult. They picture themselves sequestered in a room, hovering over a desk for hours at a time.

However, isolated study is usually a part of any higher education program of study. In traditional colleges and universities, students may attend classes together; but they generally study and complete assignments in isolation. Time spent in classes often focuses upon listening attentively to a professor present a lecture. Social interactions are not normally part of the equation.

Online students, however, may have an advantage with respect to cultivating relationships. They are able to access online lectures, study for tests, and complete assignments when it is convenient. This allows much more time and flexibility to develop and maintain a network of social relationships.

E-learners are able to schedule study times around the social engagements that enhance and bring joy to their lives. Many person-to-person interactions spring from work, family and religious gatherings. Studying online allows more of these social opportunities to spontaneously occur.

Horses run wild together, wolves play together, and bees work together. But people really need each other in order to live long and prosper.

online schools, health, higher education, distance learning, online students, elearners, people need people, social interactions, relationship, horse

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Online School Experience Enhances Future Employment Skills

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Most people do not grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth. And although parents generally love their children, most cannot afford to pay $150,000 or more for four years at a private college or university.

As a result, many students hold jobs to help pay for tuition, housing, books and supplies.

Unfortunately, working students at traditional higher education institutions find it difficult to maintain a successful balance between work and school. The requirement to be on-campus during specific hours often causes one or the other to suffer.

Online schools help level the playing field for working students by enabling them to give 100% at their jobs and their academic pursuits. Neither has to suffer. Students gain valuable employment experience, while earning acceptable grades in their online classes.

After graduation, wise employers are happy to snatch up these unique individuals for the following reasons:

  • Graduates of online degree programs often juggle full-time jobs, college coursework, and family obligations to reach their academic goals.
  • Online degree graduates have proven themselves to be self-motivated, independent learners by completing a full program of challenging academic studies.
  • Online degree graduates are goal-oriented. They set clear academic goals and tasks, then finished each one on the path to a college degree.
  • Online degree graduates are adept with high tech tools, having become proficient in using computers and course-related software, online bulletin boards, e-mail, and research websites to complete, upload and send in their assignments.
  • Online degree graduates have excellent communication skills, tweaked over time in online interactions with numerous teachers and fellow online students.

Online schools cater to individuals who have real-world responsibilities, but who are willing to work diligently and consistently to reach career possibilities.

It is to an employer’s advantage to recognize that online degree graduates offer multiple skills to the job environment and are likely to be versatile employees.

Wise employers will continue to covet and hire these amazing individuals.

career, college, employers, goals, jobs, online schools, employment, online degree, college or university, online classes

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Texas Colleges Consider Online Education as a Budget Strategy

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Lone Star State is contemplating the use of online education as a money-saving strategy for its colleges and universities.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board plans to offer budget recommendations this month that may include a requirement that all public college and university students take some online classes.

Texas, a state with a population of almost 25 million people, could provide an unexpected boost for online education as its higher education officials recognize the economic benefits of virtual classrooms.

As part of a growing number of schools in the U.S. that are facing budget challenges, Texas colleges are discovering that online classes may help save money and bring in additional revenue. After an initial monetary outlay for the implementation of distance-learning software and the training of faculty, the costs of offering online classes drop considerably.

With online class offerings, more students can be accommodated with fewer physical resources. Less land is needed for parking spaces and classrooms. Faculty members are able to manage their virtual classrooms from home, negating the need for an office or lecture facility — if they teach solely online. Online students also save higher education institutions from having to pay more for support services — including grounds maintenance, security, cafeterias, and dorms.

Online degrees and classes reach students who cannot travel to a campus, due to work schedules, geographical location, or physical limitations.

Proper planning and management of an online education component offers traditional colleges and universities an option for maintaining a high-quality education for both online and on-campus students, with a minimum of financial investment for a maximum of benefits.

Administrators of Texas public colleges and universities join California, Florida, Minnesota and other states in exploring online education as a long-term strategy for economic survival.

And as a bonus, they will undoubtedly be able to extend education opportunities to many more deserving students who are currently left out of the higher education equation.

online degrees, online class, online students, online, college, college or university, higher education, texas, california, budget

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Why Undocumented College Students Deserve a Tuition Break

Friday, July 16th, 2010

As the heated battle over illegal immigration continues, a few states have tossed a tuition lifeline to undocumented, primarily Latino, college students.

According to today’s Los Angeles Times:

Ten states have passed laws to allow undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition, and several have expanded access to state-funded health benefits and improved enforcement of wage and hour laws.

Perhaps these states are not just being generous, but are securing and improving their own futures by taking into consideration a few facts:

  • College graduates are far less likely to commit crimes.
  • College graduates earn more money and have a higher standard of living than non-graduates.
  • College graduates help to fill higher-level job vacancies throughout the state.
  • Children of college graduates are more likely to attend college.
  • College graduates are positive role models for children and others in their communities.

So, by extending a helping hand to undocumented college students, forward-thinking leaders are making a down payment on a more prosperous future for their states.

They are investing in lower crime rates, a well-educated work force, and an overall higher standard of living for the state’s population. They are also insuring better cooperation and coexistence between the people of their state.

Some state leaders may believe they cannot afford to give undocumented college students this type of break.

But perhaps they can’t afford not to do it.

college, college students, tuition, latino, latino students, college graduates, jobs, undocumented, illegal immigrant, less crime

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

UC Berkeley Faculty Threatened by Plan to Offer Online Degrees

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Administrators at UC Berkeley are excited about their proposal to offer high-quality online bachelor’s degrees to qualified applicants.

According to the SF Gate news, this is a mission of excellence:

“We want to do a highly selective, fully online, credit-bearing program on a large scale - and that has not been done,” said UC Berkeley law school Dean Christopher Edley, who is leading the effort.

But enthusiasm over this proposal is not shared by tenured faculty members of the school.

Rather than being open to a move that would involve cutting-edge distance learning technology and learning models, some professors have couched their own fears in statements that imply that an online education is an inferior education.

According to the professors in an MSN article, “. . . the university runs the risk of destroying its reputation and excellence in the name of marketing a brand.”

This is unfortunate and unfair to millions of online degree students and graduates who have benefited from the instruction of dedicated, competent teachers.

Although both Stanford and USC offer online graduate degrees, for some reason, UC Berkeley professors appear to feel inadequate about sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience in an online environment.

Perhaps, if the tenured professors become willing to expand their horizons and become learners themselves, they can offer valuable guidance to an eager crop of well-chosen online students. Then, those professors would become innovators, creating a new path and opening education doors to motivated students who are qualified for entrance into UC Berkeley, but who cannot attend classes on campus.

Of course, this all involves effort — stepping out of the comfortable status quo into something bold, new and unfamiliar.

Maybe this is too much to ask of tenured faculty members after all.

However, UC Berkeley administrators may be able to find, among their staff, a malleable, high-tech generation of excited new teachers to carry the online education torch.

Then the old guard could remain in comfortable surroundings, without halting UC Berkeley’s journey into an important area that is critical to the future of higher education: online degrees.

online degrees, online education, higher education, uc berkeley, berkeley faculty, distance learning, online students, stanford, teachers, professors

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Will Bad Press Bring Down Online Schools?

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A slew of bad press has brought negative attention to for-profit online schools.

Will online schools weather this storm, or will they close up shop and head for the hills?

When USC, my alma mater, was recently penalized for major NCAA violations, did fans and others abandon the Trojans, vowing never again to watch their football games?

Of course not.

Yet news stories regarding aggressive recruiting practices by a few accredited online schools led some short-sighted individuals to call for the end of online higher education.

That is both unrealistic and foolish.

While reasonable operating guidelines should be followed by all college and universities, only stone-age mentality seeks to exterminate the most innovative, high-tech education alternative available today.

In fact, distance learning will likely become the rule, rather than the exception, in the future.

This is not as outrageous as it sounds. People once laughed at the suggestion that a personal computer would one day be found in almost every U.S. home, or that you would be able to talk on the telephone while driving. Others balked at rumors that cell phones might replace land line phones.

And let’s not overlook the prediction that people would one day pay bills, shop, do research and connect socially with people online. These possibilities were far too revolutionary to believe even fifteen years ago.

Online education is not a fad; it is a trend that has exploded around the world. It is becoming so mainstream that traditional school administrators are nervous about its popularity. Forward-thinking traditional colleges and universities already offer their own online degree programs. Other on-campus schools have taken a wait-and-see approach, hoping that interest in online schools will wane.

But they should not count on that outcome.

One research association surveyed 2,500 colleges and universities to get the scoop on the demand for online education.

According to the Sloan Consortium, in its latest online education report, “Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009“:

“Online enrollments have continued to grow at rates far in excess of the total higher education student population, with the most recent data demonstrating no signs of slowing . . . The 17 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2 percent growth of the overall higher education student population”.

News headlines eagerly tout the misbehavior of a few accredited online schools. Yet the recent Sloan C report shows that online education is growing substantially every year.

It is not a stretch to imagine that the future will lead a majority of high school graduates to choose the unparalleled flexibility of online schools. Why should they settle for attending campus classes at an   unyielding designated time when they could travel extensively, gain work experience in their career field, save money on dorms and commuting, snag coveted internships, or work full time to pay off student loans before graduating?

Also, online students use the latest high-tech gadgets to access and complete online school assignments.

In a society where AT&T recently pre-sold 600,000 iPhones, will students really turn their back on a high-tech education?

I think not.

Online schools, whether non-profit or for-profit, are here for the long haul and are gaining ground once held by on-campus schools.

And just like USC, online schools have a growing contingent of loyal fans.

So, to those who are campaigning to pull the plug on online schools, I say, “Give it a rest — you can’t stop progress.”

online degree programs, online degrees, online education, online classes, career, accredited online school, online higher education, distance learning, online school, football games

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Ten Reasons Your Job Promotion Remains Elusive

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

When job promotions arrive for co-workers, but not for you, it is time to assess the situation by asking yourself some tough questions.

Instead of assuming that you are being unfairly overlooked and that others are getting all the breaks, find out whether you are actually cheating yourself out of a promotion.

Here are ten questions you should ask yourself to help discover whether your job performance is lacking:

  1. Are you competently and diligently performing the duties for which you have been hired?
  2. Do you always follow through on tasks assigned to you, keeping managers and relevant co-workers abreast of any problems that may keep you from completing your work in a timely manner?
  3. Do you consistently work toward improving job skills by taking continuing education classes, pursuing professional certificates, or working toward completion of a higher college degree?
  4. Do you communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of job situations, either orally or in writing?
  5. Do you consistently display flexibility, with a positive and willing attitude, when managers or supervisors ask you to perform additional job-related tasks for which you are qualified?
  6. Do you treat clients and co-workers with respect, even if they are difficult people; and do you seek to always maintain a professional and peaceful work environment?
  7. Do you report to work on time; and do stay the full number of hours for which you are paid?
  8. Are you careful not to abuse break times, sick days, and personal use of job computers, phones and supplies?
  9. Do you dress appropriately for your specific work environment, including maintaining acceptable personal and job-related cleanliness and neatness?
  10. Do you take initiative, exemplify professionalism, and seek to represent your employer well in every situation?

If you answered yes to all of these, pat yourself on the back, because it is likely that you are not the reason a job promotion has eluded you. It may be that you are in line for a promotion that is on its way. However, inform supervisors of your interest in a promotion. Otherwise, they may assume that you are happy where you are.

If one or more of these questions found you lacking on the job, then there is obviously room for you to improve. Make the appropriate changes to become a model employee, which may take some time. Then, when you feel the time is right, discuss your career aspirations with your employer.

Also, if you are harboring resentment, bitterness, discontent, hatred, or contempt for the job, co-workers, or managers, it may be time for you to pursue a new job. Your negative feelings are likely being reflected in your attitude and work; and it may be difficult for an employer to promote you.

But before seeking a new job, make sure depression is not the culprit in your attitudes. Depression can cause discontentment and a negative outlook on life. So, rule it out by seeing a doctor before making a drastic career change.

When a job promotion remains elusive, there may be a good reason. So ask yourself these tough questions and take the necessary steps to insure your spot on the ladder of career success.

jobs, career, college, certificate, continuing education, job skills, employee, employer, depression, promotion jobs

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida