"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 October, 2010

Colleges, Universities Help Struggling Minorities Earn Degrees

Friday, October 29th, 2010

In light of ongoing statistics illustrating that Latino, African-American and Native American students lag far behind Asians and whites with respect to college graduation rates, both traditional and online schools are revamping efforts to improve academic success for non-Asian minority groups.

A number of colleges and universities currently offer support programs, such as pre-college remedial courses, personalized counseling, multi-subject tutoring, peer mentoring, and early academic intervention for students who need help.

The struggles of non-Asian minority students in attaining higher education degrees are well-documented.

An American Council on Education (ACE) report entitled, “Gender Equity in Higher Education: 2010″, reports that Latino males have the lowest college graduation rates, constituting a mere 10% of students aged 24 and younger who have received a bachelor’s degree.

These disturbing statistics regarding the largest minority group in the U.S. have not escaped the attention of the federal government. Just a few days ago, President Obama signed an executive order to help increase Latino college enrollments and find solutions for the unique challenges faced by the Latino community.

Data from 2008 U.S. Census figures showed that graduation rates were 19.6% for African American males, 29.8%, for Caucasian males, and 52.6% for male Asians and Pacific Islanders. The Christian Science Monitor reports that only 15% of Native Americans eventually graduate from college. Females of all races graduate at a much higher rate than their male counterparts.

According to Newsweek, minority students are heavily recruited into public, private and online colleges and universities. However, with the exception of Ivy League colleges (i.e. Yale, Harvard, Princeton), where non-Asian minorities graduate at the same rates as Asians and whites, their graduation rates are discouraging.

Yet, with President Obama’s emphasis on improving America’s college graduation rates to 60% by 2020, the hope is that whatever needs to be done will be done to help every racial demographic reach their educational goals.

After all, a college diploma is a pathway to higher income, a better lifestyle, lower crime rates and a greater sense of personal fulfillment. Everyone wins when enrolled students successfully navigate the maze of academic obstacles to earn their college degrees.

Colleges and universities deserve thanks for recognizing these truths and being willing to invest in this valuable and growing segment of our nation’s human resources.

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Popularity: 6% [?]

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For-profit colleges face new rules from Department of Education

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education just released a package of new rules, including some that may adversely affect for-profit online schools.

The new rules require for-profit online colleges to divulge both job placement rates and graduation rates to potential students. In addition, recruiters’ compensation cannot be tied to the number of new enrollments.

Also, for-profit online schools face new restrictions concerning allowing students to carry more financial aid debt than they are able to handle. This rule stems from statistics that show student loan default rates to be among the highest at for-profit colleges and universities.

Some parts of the new legislation will not go into effect until next year; so online schools have time to make the necessary changes.

Online schools were particularly targeted for new oversight when statistics showed that their students were the largest group of defaulters on government loans.

The new rules are expected to help protect students from predatory recruiter practices and to make sure they are well-informed about their chances for finding ‘gainful employment’ following graduation.

online schools, for profit schools, new rules, education department, us department of education, colleges, online colleges, student loan default, gainful employment,

Popularity: 5% [?]

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Online Learning Tested as a Solution for Snow Days

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Students love it when snow storms hit, especially when heavy snowfall leads to days off from school.

And every year in snow-laden states, education officials have no other choice than closing schools for too many days during the most inclement weather.

The problem with days off is that schools are usually paid federal dollars, per student, for each day those students receive instruction. So snow days are bad for school district coffers.

Now, according to the Washington Post, one Ohio school district is testing a possible solution for this dilemma: online learning.

This school year, the Mississinawa Valley Schools in Darke County will use online learning to continue to instruct students during weather-related school closures. The Ohio Department of Education is allowing the trial period as a possible ongoing solution that could extend to other Ohio school districts.

Online learning is already popular for students of all ages. It enhances education for students ranging in age from kindergarten through high school and college.

Once students graduate from high school and enroll in higher education, they are choosing online degree programs in increasing numbers. The Sloan Foundation reports that at least 4.6 million college students were enrolled in online classes in the fall of 2008; and that number reflected a 17% increase from the previous year.

Snow days were once for staying home, fun and snowball fights; but soon, some students in Ohio will find out just how flexible, convenient and high-tech it can be to learn their lessons at home via computer.

And once again, everybody wins with online education.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

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California K-12 Students Set to Benefit from Online Marketplace

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

California just edged forward a notch in improving and personalizing the education of its K-12 students through an “out of the box” solution.

As the first state in the nation to do so, California implemented a central digital education marketplace in partnership with IQity, an online learning pioneer and education technology innovator.

Through a web page called “K-12 High Speed Network”, teachers and students will be able to to access and browse numerous online learning resources, including online classes, curricula and learning management systems.

Students will be able to take classes not offered within their school districts; and teachers can use the website to find ways to increase efficiency and innovation in their classrooms.

The partnership between the state of California and IQity offers affordable solutions that are expected to revolutionize the outcome of student test results, improve high school graduation rates, and increase student satisfaction.

The move toward increased online learning solutions for K-12 will, in the years to come, undoubtedly lead to a greater number of high school graduates seeking the flexibility and convenience of online degree programs in college.

Other states will hopefully want to follow California in providing the best possible education to their own students through similar education technology partnerships.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

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Gift of $20 Million Given by Gates to Aid Online Education

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Bill Gates believes in the ability of online education to help increase college graduation rates in the United States.

Therefore, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a $20 million grant to advance online learning technology. This is in line with the foundation’s goal of creating more effective education methods, according to PC Magazine.

According to Gates, online education is a viable solution for many of society’s ills.

“Gates said he envisioned a future where a very motivated student could complete nearly all of her coursework online, while another might require a blend of face-to-face and online interaction. Schools will also need to balance the online coursework with in-person coursework, all against a backdrop of rising tuition.” — PC Magazine, October 11, 2010

Online classes and online degree programs offer an ease of access to higher education that is important and necessary for a large segment of the population that includes working adults.

The Gates Foundation hopes to enhance the online learning experience for all of those who choose to study online.

The popularity of online education has breathed fresh air into the higher education system; this new grant hopes to open up new opportunities for growth in the online education and distance-learning field.

Bill and Melinda Gates consider education to be the primary focus of their foundation. Their grant will undoubtedly hit its mark in helping more people to earn their online degrees.

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Popularity: 6% [?]

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Google’s Robotic Self-Driving Car May Offer Education Benefits

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Google is getting a lot of press about their ongoing research into cars that drive themselves.

Online degree students are among those who may benefit from this new technology.

Google’s foray into this potentially lucrative field of autonomous cars appears to offend many who feel that Google should remain focused upon its expertise in Internet search engine technology.

But there is money to be made. And Google anticipates that in the relatively near future, we will be able to get into our cars and not drive them to our destinations.

In other words, there will be no visible driver operating these vehicles. We will just sit there and let our robotic cars maneuver through traffic, using sophisticated systems of video cameras, specialized sensors and other engineering feats.

With the driving out of the way, non-drivers may legally send texts, eat, put on makeup, read, check maps and change clothing — things that people are already unsafely doing behind the wheel of a car.

Maybe autonomous cars will even provide e-learners with more time to complete their online degree programs.

Imagine, online students could potentially complete all of their homework assignments while heading to and from the job. Those with the longest commutes would benefit most from the extra time to get things done.

According to Google, autonomous cars are already being developed and tested. Within 10-15 years, we may find ourselves living out this futuristic scenario.

The possibilities are endless: parents helping children with last minute homework, safely watching virtual lectures on our multimedia phones, uploading assignments, e-mailing instructors — all while traveling down the highway, the freeway, or local roads.

Workers and students will particularly enjoy those extra hours of productivity.

In the meantime, while Google and its competitors race toward the autonomous cars finish line, we’ll keep our hands on the wheel and our pulse on the future.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

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U.S. Marine Ironman competitor attends college, battles cancer

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Marine staff sergeant Clayton Treska has a lot on his plate with intense preparations for the 2010 Ironman competition.

Before sunrise, the 30-year engages in a few hours of intense running, weight-lifting, and swimming. He returns to a similar regimen in the afternoon, along with bicycling, after attending classes at San Diego State to earn his college degree.

However, Treska is no ordinary college student or Ironman competitor. He has stage 4 testicular cancer and is battling a grim prognosis. Doctors delivered the bad news when he returned from his military tour of duty in Iraq in 2007.

Yet a diagnosis of terminal cancer has not deterred Treska from pursuing his dreams — even with overwhelming odds. Unfortunately, cancer treatments, including stem cell transplants and chemotherapy, have not stopped the cancer from recurring.

Still, Treska is heroically fighting for his life. He has already overcome tremendous adversity as he counts his daily successes. He is optimistic that he will overcome this illness and complete his college diploma.

According to the National Cancer Institute, testicular cancer is the leading cause of cancer in young men aged 20 to 35. If it is discovered early and is non-aggressive, the chance for complete recovery is excellent with proper medical care.

Clayton Treska intends to take along his college textbooks when he heads off to the Ironman competition. After all, there are assignments to complete; and upcoming exams require study.

The Ford Ironman World Championship is a one day endurance event that includes swimming 2.4 miles, bicycling 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles. It takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 9th of this year, with an international cadre of about 1800 participants, including men and women, aged 20 to 80.

Against all odds, Clayton Treska will be one of them.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida