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"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 February, 2011

Retraining Students to Seek Education Excellence at Lower Cost

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The consensus among financial gurus is that current economic conditions spur frustrated individuals and families to seek simpler lifestyles.

‘Cash and carry’ is becoming more popular than accruing high credit card debt; and the desire to get out of debt has evolved into a movement.

Downsizing the family home is more common; and renting is regaining momentum over taking on the risk of high mortgage payments.

Yet, as students graduate from high school, they continue to seek expensive college educations that may insure hefty long-term student loan debt without the promise of well-paying jobs to retire that debt.

So along with the move toward financial simplicity, some parents are choosing to train their children to pursue a quality college education without the high price tag.

These parents are relaying basic financial wisdom that has worked for themselves and others who are either unable or unwilling to place themselves and their children in financial jeopardy. It includes:

  1. Teaching children from an early age that they should work diligently in school in order to qualify for scholarships that are based primarily upon academic excellence.
  2. Teaching children that there is more than one way to attend college. They may attend community college at a bargain price for two years, then transfer to a 4-year university, saving tens of thousands of dollars. Or they may work full-time for all 4 college years, while completing an online degree program and paying tuition bills in full along the way.
  3. Teaching children that should shop around for the highest quality college they can afford at the best price, taking into consideration the financial aid package that is offered.
  4. Teaching children that there are many private scholarships that are available to hardworking students who are willing to do the research, fill out the paperwork, write the required essays and follow up with the designated officials.
  5. Teaching children that they, as students, will bear the full responsibility for their college tuition if they choose an expensive school, rather than one that is in the family budget.

Good parents who retrain their children to think of a college education as a financial decision are instrumental in helping their children sidestep the tuition debt pothole. They may also help them succeed in their marital relationship; since financial stress is the number one cause of divorce.

So obviously, there are additional benefits to helping young people explore their financial options for earning a college degree without risky, unnecessary debt.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Wintry Weather Not a Problem for Online Students

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Record freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall have created tremendous hurdles for college students in getting to their classes this winter.

However, for one group of students, the weather offers no worries — online students.

Online students are able to view the picturesque wintry scenes without suffering the chill of attending traditional on-campus classes.

Instead, they experience inclement weather, including heavy snowfall, while studying and completing online degree assignments near the fireplace, basking under the toasty covers of their beds, or sitting warmly at their desks at home.

Even if temperatures do not dive into the -80 degree range, as they did in Northern Alaska’s Endicott Mountains in January of 1971, cold weather need not be a consideration for online students as they pursue higher education.

Online degree programs vary tremendously and include majors in engineering, criminal justice, psychology, computer science, education, information technology, health care management, business administration, accounting and finance, nursing and graphic arts.

E-learning students enjoy the benefits of a college education without having to worry about weather patterns, storm reports, wind advisories or freeze warnings.

They simply focus warmly on their studies.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Advanced Nursing Degrees are Key to Quality Patient Care

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Nurses make up the bulk of health care providers, with over 3 million of them currently employed in hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, and private homes.

Approximately half of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees; but that is not enough, according to a recent 2-year study by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The 2010 study, “The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education”, concluded that nurses with a bachelor’s degree or higher are better qualified to provide excellent patient care than those without higher degrees.

It also highlighted the need for additional practical training for new nurses to insure that they are able to successfully navigate the medical, cultural, communication and technology issues that will be a daily part of their jobs.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that the proportion of nurses with advanced degrees be increased from 50% to 80% by the year 2020.

Popular RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs allow nurses to continue working full-time jobs while pursuing an advanced nursing degree. Online schools offer them the flexibility of being able to study at home during conveniently scheduled times.

The nursing profession also needs increased diversity, according to the study. A greater number of minority and male nurses will improve the ability to effectively care for a culturally diverse patient population.

Nursing is a popular career choice for many, due to the excellent salaries and benefits, flexible hours, and sense of fulfillment. And the increase in nurses with advanced degrees will undoubtedly benefit millions of patients who depend upon their expertise.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Health care sector continues to add jobs every month

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

If you envision a health care or medical career for yourself, then there is good news.

Employment in the health care sector continues to rise during economic recovery, just as it did throughout the recession.

According to the latest Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care sector gained an average of 22,000 jobs per month for each of the last 12 months. This occurred even when other employment areas experienced massive layoffs and significant job losses.

Health care jobs are diverse, although nursing is the largest health care profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses (RNs) hold about 2.6 million jobs; and approximately 60% of RNs work in hospitals.

Other job settings for nurses include medical clinics, rehabilitation centers, private homes, primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, and colleges.

In addition to registered nurses, the health care profession includes licensed practical and vocational nurses, physicians, medical assistants, emergency medical technicians, medical equipment engineers, radiology technicians, research scientists, lab technicians, computer scientists, pharmacists, health care administrators, opticians and others.

A great advantage is that working adults are able to prepare for a new career in the health care field by completing online degree programs, or by a combination of online and hands-on studies.

Potential students may choose less expensive junior colleges for initial studies and training, before enrolling in online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. A perk of the medical profession, particularly in nursing, is that after one or two years of college-level study, students may gain work experience in entry-level health care jobs. They may then earn additional online degrees and professional certificates at times that conveniently fit their busy schedules.

As economic recovery continues and health care jobs continue to thrive, there may never be a better time to prepare for health care professions with proven track records of employing well-trained, knowledgeable and skilled individuals.

online degrees, online degree program, health care, nursing, nurses, medical assistant, college, jobs, career, work experience

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

How Employment Statistics May Help You Snag A Job

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Statistics are often both accurate and misleading at the same time; yet we tend to treat the wrong statistics as if they are the last word on a subject.

Take employment statistics, for example. The latest Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rolled out a new jobless number for us: 9% of Americans are unemployed.

Of course, that is still a high number; but we are supposed to be encouraged by the fact that this figure has dropped for the 2nd month in a row.

But what that number does not tell us is that the 9% does not apply to everyone. It is an overall general average.

When you delve deeper into specifics, an entirely different story emerges.

For example, if you are Asian, forget about the 9%. Only 6.9% of Asians are jobless, according to the BLS.

And if you are Latino or African-American, the unemployment rates are 11.9% and 15.7% respectively — quite a bit higher than for other groups.

How about where you live? That also plays a part in your probability of being jobless.

If you live in North Dakota, South Dakota or Nebraska, relax a little; because your jobless rate is less than 5%.

But if you live in California, Florida or Nevada, you should be concerned about an unemployment rate that is above 12%.

Education is another variable that may affect your being able to work.

Adults who have a bachelor’s degree have only a 4.2% unemployment rate. This is less than half of the 9.4% rate for those who earned a high school diploma with no college degree.

So what does all this tell us? It tells us that we exercise some degree of control over our employment circumstances. It indicates that we can make changes that may substantially improve our chances for either landing a job or keeping the job we have. Unemployment is not necessarily a random event that strikes everyone equally.

Armed with specific information from employment statistics, you may be able to figure out a way to snag a great job. Perhaps you will need to move to another state or enroll in a traditional or online college degree program. But radical changes may be the key to finding the best possible job situation.

Statistics, once they are dissected and examined, may become invaluable assets that help you move forward in your career and into a more fulfilling life.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Couples Stay Together with the Help of a College Degree

Monday, February 14th, 2011

There is yet another reason to consider earning a college degree: It may help save your marriage.

According a recent study by the University of Virginia, the marriages of Americans who had earned college degrees fared better during the recession than those who did not.

Overall, college-educated couples have fewer financial stresses, compared to those without a college degree.

Financial difficulty is a leading cause of divorce. It often leads to arguments and marital dissatisfaction.

Financial problems may include: worry about being able to pay bills, inability to pay the mortgage, facing foreclosure, loss of a job, or involuntary reduction in job hours. According to the study, 20% of couples faced two or three of these stresses, while 31% faced at least one of them.

Couples who are college-educated tend to make more money, which helps to stabilize household finances and reduce marital friction.

The Survey of Marital Generosity, which studied 1,197 married couples aged 18-45, found that the recession placed more financial stress on couples who were not college-educated.

Even though most troubled couples held off filing for divorce during the recession, only 27% of those with significant financial stresses reported being happily married. That compares with 43% who had no financial stress and said their marriages were happy. Another 29% said that the struggles of the recession helped them to deepen their commitment to one another.

Since the nation is now in economic recovery, it is anticipated that the divorce rate will eventually increase, just as it did after the Great Depression of 1929. Financial difficulties will head the list of reasons for divorce.

Couples who are either married or considering marriage may wish to complete a traditional or online degree to improve financial stability in their household. As the job market continues to bounce back, there is still time to return to school for higher education courses that will increase earning power.

Online degrees in business, computer science, criminal justice, education, information systems, health administration, accounting and more await those who have turned their eyes to the future job market.

Online schools provide working couples with the advantage of flexibility, allowing them to spend quality time together, while earning online degrees at times convenient to their schedules.

Even though higher education credentials may help couples stay together, there are a myriad of other reasons that individuals dream of pursuing college study — personal satisfaction, improving work skills, qualifying for management positions, preparing for a career change, and gaining valuable knowledge.

Still, if a college degree enhances the chance for a successful marriage, perhaps it is well worth pursuing . . . even if for that reason alone.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Marriage of Convenience May Birth Opportunity for Students

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The proposed match between Western Governors University and the state of Washington may become a marriage of opportunity for online learners.

If approved by state lawmakers, the partnership would give birth to education opportunities for over 10,000 students who would benefit over the next five years. The new online school would be known as WGU-Washington.

A Seattle Times article, “Lawmakers debate proposed state partnership with online university”, by Joanna Nolasco, is hopeful that WGU-Washington will be signed into law.

Western Governors University is an established, non-profit, online school that has already tied the knot with the state of Indiana in a similar relationship. WGU-Indiana currently offers 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees at a flat rate tuition of less than $3,000 for six months of courses.

The state of Washington hopes to provide a similar low-cost, high-quality education to its residents, especially as budget cuts have decreased state funds for public colleges and universities.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Washington State’s Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Superintendent of Public Instruction support the proposal, SB5136, which would increase the number of students who will earn college degrees.

It is primarily adult learners who are falling through the cracks in Washington, just as they are in other states. Most are laden with jobs, family responsibilities and few options for pursuing higher education.

The appeal of accredited, flexible, inexpensive online degree programs has taken hold in Indiana and promises to do the same in the state of Washington — if the legislation passes.

Tenured faculty members are concerned that they will become anachronisms as online learning continues to gain momentum. Online schools often hire qualified faculty members who are younger, open to learning the latest distance-learning technology, and enjoy the flexibility of being able to teach online.

However, with the success of WGU-Indiana ahead of them, Washington state lawmakers are viewing this potential partnership as a solution to education budget woes and the lack of options for adult learners.

Hopefully, the benefits of a long-lasting relationship between WGU and the state of Washington are already evident and will lead legislators to a ‘happily ever after’ vote for future online students.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida