"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 the ‘high school’ Category

Tuition-Free College Programs Gain Momentum

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Tuition-free college may be on the horizon for students in Racine, Wisconsin.

The program is being considered as a way to increase the education level of its community and to provide incentive for high school students to stay in school and graduate.

A similar program is already working in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where it has increased minority graduation rates by 15% and created over 5,000 new jobs.

But one of the greatest success stories is the long-standing Georgia Hope Scholarship and Grant Program, which was established in 1993 to provide tuition-free college to the state’s resident students who graduate from high school with a ‘B’ average and maintain that grade point average throughout college. The program is fully-funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education and has already poured over $3.8 billion into helping more than 1.1 million students attend its public colleges, private colleges and vocational schools.

A few online schools, like Western Governors University, also offer hefty scholarship programs that target students pursuing specialized career areas, like rural teaching.

If Racine gets its way, it will join the ranks of an elite group of education innovators.

And then the tuition-free baton can be passed on to other forward-thinking communities.

tuition-free colleges, tuition-free, college tuition, college costs, colleges, free_tuition, minority graduation, Racine, Kalamazoo, online schools

Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted by vida

Tight Economy Does World of Good for Public Colleges

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The tight economy has done a world of good for public colleges and universities across the U.S.

Although graduating high school seniors once flooded private universities in the past, that trend is changing as students choose less-expensive public colleges.

Families that were once willing to make hefty financial sacrifices for their college-bound sons and daughters are now looking long and hard at the impact that such a significant outlay will have on the family’s bottom line.

Public colleges are reaping the benefits of the doubt, fear and financial uncertainty in our nation.

According to USA Today, the California State University system reports a 15% increase in college applications over last year’s numbers. And the State University of New York system reports a 50% increase in applications since last year.

The same budget-conscious mindset that has toppled major retail stores is now impacting the private college system; and some say it will get worse before it gets better.

Online degree programs are also poised for a boom, as students realize that they can work a full-time job and take advantage of the flexibility to study when it is convenient. E-learning is popular in traditional universities; and online schools continue to grow in popularity.

For students who need to live at home and shed the high expense a college dorm, distance learning has emerged as a practical way to earn a college degree while gaining job experience and cutting costs.

Private colleges and universities must begin to beef up student financial aid and keep tuition rates from automatic rate hikes, so families will know the fixed amount that they are spending for 4 years of college.

A fixed tuition rate for the 4 years would also afford college students the ability to go “college shopping” with accurate costs in hand. Utilizing Inexpensive junior colleges for the first 2 years is also a money-saving strategy that can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Trouble in the U.S. economy is helping to redefine the way high school graduates envision their college experience.

And perhaps that is not such a bad thing at all.

world of good, colleges and universities, distance learning, e-learning, online schools, online degree program, high schools, public colleges, college costs

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

High School Dropouts Increase as GED Comes to the Rescue

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

In times past, high school dropouts had little hope of ever receiving a high school diploma. Once they left high school, they also left formal education for good — without pomp or circumstance.

But technology has brought new hope for these ex-students.

The rising exodus of teens from secondary school has alarm bells ringing all over the education community, initiating an urgent call for intervention to stop the tidal wave of students who prematurely walk down high school hallways for the last time.

In California, at least 120,000 young people a year become “high school dropouts”, with over a million students in the U.S. falling into this category annually.

According to a 2006 report for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one-third of all public high students fail to graduate from high school each year. And among Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans, that percentage rises to one-half.

These figures represent a “silent epidemic“, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She also mentions that 15% of the U.S. high schools produce over 50% of the dropouts.

And what causes dropouts to “drop out”?

  • The public high schools with the highest number of dropouts — the 15% mentioned by Secretary Spellings — are generally substandard. Buildings are run-down, hallways are littered, desks are chipped and school books are outdated. In order to receive an education, students often face obstacles like routine violence and overtaxed teachers who struggle to educate their students in an unpleasant, hostile environment.
  • Often, students do not understand the relevance of a high school diploma until they leave school. If school is unpleasant and there is little educational encouragement at home, students have no incentive to hang in there and finish their coursework. Once they are out in the real world, dropouts encounter obstacles in finding a satisfying career. Since a high school diploma is a prerequisite for most well-paying jobs, dropouts run into limitless roadblocks in their quest to make a living.
  • Teen pregnancy, apathy, and inadequate reading or math skills make it difficult for others to complete high school.

On the whole, dropouts earn significantly less money and end up with a lower standard of living than high school graduates.

However, many adult learners eventually earn the equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the General Education Development test (GED), signaling a new beginning and better life for themselves and their families.

Adult education programs and online GED preparation courses can be found at local community centers, junior colleges and private online schools. And the flexibility of computer learning makes it possible for full-time workers to study on their own schedule.

When they are ready, students must take the GED test at an approved GED test center. In fact, students should beware of GED testing offered online. There is no valid online GED test; it is a scam.

Passing the GED or receiving a high school diploma opens the doors to enrolling in college, job promotions, increased income and a sense of accomplishment.

Still, the easiest thing for current students to do is to remain in school in the first place.

adult education, adult learners, African Americans, career, high school diploma, high school dropout, jobs, new beginning, online GED, online schools, standard of living, teachers, teens

Popularity: 11% [?]

Posted by vida

Election Day: Where Civics and Politics Dare to Meet

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Civics class is millions of memories away for some; but after learning about government, the Electoral College and citizenship in high school, most of us remember the droning pleas of our civics teacher urging us to vote, Vote, and VOTE.

And now, after months of listening to presidential debates, analyzing news reports of each candidate’s position on the issues and engaging in heated ‘discussions’ with just about anyone, the far-away voice of our civics teacher is blaring.

It is time to vote, it says. It is time to pick a new president, it says. It is time to pick the candidate — either John McCain or Barack Obama — who will become the most powerful leader in the world.

But hey, no worries and no pressure — right? Wrong.

In a campaign season interspersed with the free fall of the U.S. stock market, the historical plunge of home property values, the quaking reverberations of banking industry failures, the crippling rise of gas prices and monumental job losses, most Americans are feeling both hopeful and stressful as they prepare to head to the voting polls.

But head to the polls, we must. Because the politics of this presidential campaign awakened in us not only the desire to make a difference in the leadership and future of our country; but it has stirred in us the truths of our past civics lessons and an interest in putting into practice what we learned.

And we know that our civics teacher was right. None of our high-minded opinions and discussions is worth a hill of beans if we do not cast our vote.

What really matters is each of us making our way to the polling place on Election Day, closing the curtain behind us in the voting booth, and marking our choice for president. Only then do we honestly make a difference in our government and earn the right to consider ourselves true citizens.

And only then do we quiet that far-away voice, the one we thought was our civics teacher.

As it turns out, that voice is the voice of our own conscience.

civics, civics teacher, Election Day, politics, vote, polls, high school, voting booth, civics interest, presidential campaign, cast your vote, electoral college, McCain, Obama, voting polls, polling place

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Distance Learning Earns High Marks in Alabama High Schools

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

If an Alabama high school student wants to enroll in Mandarin Chinese or Latin, or choose from a veritable smorgasbord of Advanced Placement (AP) classes, they may now do so.

 Governor Bob Riley’s announcement last month – that every Alabama high school would offer distance-learning classes beginning this fall – offers a cutting-edge solution to the problem of students being limited to their particular school’s course offerings.

Beginning this fall, whether a student attends a rural high school with limited funds or a wealthy big-city school, he or she will be able to choose from a wider choice of courses. With e-learning classes now providing equal access to a high-quality education, the option to attend the best colleges and universities is available to all Alabama high schoolers.

The program, known as ACCESS, utilizes advanced distance-learning technology to provide an enhanced learning environment for each course. Teachers and students will be able to both view and communicate with one another in real-time.

Approximately 30,000 students are expected to be served through the ACCESS program.

Although AP classes are generally limited at individual schools, students will be able to enroll in courses offered at different high schools throughout Alabama. As a result, while some students physically attend a class, others will view the class via computers, web-cams and other video-conferencing technology.

This statewide investment in the lives of young people should elevate Alabama far ahead of the pack among public education systems. Although students benefit first, the state of Alabama will reap the future rewards of its innovative foresight and willingness to designate several million dollars to insure the program’s success.

Approximately 30,000 students are expected to be served through the ACCESS program during 2009-2010.

Students who are exposed to this high-tech distance-learning solution will transition easily to accredited online degrees as an option for the years after high school. They will be able to navigate the latest computer-related innovations to avoid sacrificing jobs, apprenticeships or resume-building opportunities in order to attend college. 

Alabama’s endorsement of distance-learning as a valuable tool for education has already been embraced — to a limited degree – by numerous elementary, junior high and high schools across the country. 

Still, Alabama is an innovator and a model for other states to follow. Way to go Alabama!

accredited online degrees, advanced placement, Alabama, Bob Riley, career, colleges and universities, distance learning, distance learning software, e-learning, education, high_schools, job, online degree, teachers, technology

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Beware GED Testing Offered Online or By Mail

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

There is only one way to take the General Educational Development (GED) test — in person at an official GED testing center.

Yet the American Council on Education (ACE) is warning the public that fake GED testing services are increasingly popping up, generating complaints from a number of people who have paid hefty fees to take the bogus exams.

The GED test measures the test-takers’ knowledge of high school subjects — language arts, social studies, science and mathematics. A successful score on the test leads to a certificate which can be used in place of a high school diploma. In California and some other states, a GED certificate is sufficient for enrolling in an accredited online degree program or traditional college. It can also be used to meet the qualification for jobs with a minimum educational requirement of a high school diploma. 

In order to take the official GED test, the ACE has provided a testing center locator for potential test-takers to use to locate the nearest test center. The test is available in locations throughout the U.S. and in a number of places all over the world.

So again, watch out for those that are peddling the online and correspondence GED test; it is a scam.

GED, high school diploma, online degree

Popularity: 14% [?]

Posted by vida

Colleges Request Info About High School Students’ Past Troubles

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, colleges are paying more attention to whether applicants for the new freshman class have been troublemakers in high school.

On the heels of the Virginia Tech tragedy, college admissions officers have been forced to acknowledge that a pattern of legal troubles or disciplinary action in a applicant’s high school past could signal trouble ahead.  However, a strong candidate generally does not have to worry about occasional problems.

The Common Application used by over 300 predominantly private colleges — including Harvard, YaleStanford and Princeton — expects honest answers to  questions about “academic or behavioral misconduct” and convictions for any crime.

The student applicant’s instinct may be to omit such offenses from the application. But creative applicants have already begun to spin the unfortunate past events as “learning opportunities” in their college essays. These students are honest enough to admit that they did something wrong and that they learned life lessons that placed them on a better, more productive path.

Such honesty must certainly impress college admissions officers.

Of course, those with a previous pattern of recklessness and destructiveness in high school should consider all of their college options, including local junior colleges and accredited online schools.  Distance learning institutions, by their nature, do not require the type of scrutiny that traditional colleges are forced to address.

But the best way to handle the problem of answering uncomfortable questions on the Common Application is to simply stay out of trouble. That means no drinking and driving, no reckless driving, no fights, no disrespecting of teachers and others in authority, no skipping school, no cheating, no intimidation of other students, no illegal drug use, no stealing, etc.

Colleges care about a high school student’s past; and that is one more reason for students to be on their best behavior.

online schools, distance learning, college admissions, high school seniors, colleges, common application

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Shocked High School Grads Lose College Spots

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Imagine being accepted to your college of choice, then losing your hard-earned space in the entering freshman class. Some high school students found out the hard way that this little-known scenario is possible.

The Los Angeles Times (6-22-07) reported that a small percentage of horrified high school students received letters of rejection from elite colleges to which they had just been accepted. To make the situation doubly tragic, many of these students had already turned down other schools and were scrambling to find somewhere to enroll for the fall semester.

So how did this happen?

The answer lies in two words: conditional acceptance. Most students were either unaware or did not take seriously the fine print on their acceptance letters. The original acceptance to college was conditional and depended upon stellar final grades from the spring semester.

These now-disappointed students slacked off during their last semester of high school, following a frowned-upon tradition of “senioritis”. Some partied to the detriment of their grades, others celebrated their college acceptances by skipping homework or classes, and still others simply opted to relax from the high pressure of being a high-achiever. But when some colleges received the less-than-stellar final grades, it was all over and the axe fell.

At least four California colleges – USC, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and UC San Diego – were among schools that sent out letters revoking acceptance. Reportedly, UCLA will send out 90 such letters by the end of July. Still, schools are between a rock and a hard place as they seek to keep their admissions standards and statistics high. They are often concerned about college rankings and accreditation; and their admissions officers would rather see the coveted spots in their schools go to students who maintain excellence throughout the entire four years of high school.

But thankfully, most slacking seniors got off with either a warning from their chosen college, or an acceptance based upon successful completion of their freshman year’s coursework.

Still, copping senioritis is like playing Russian roulette: Why take the risk?

high school senior, high school graduate, education, college, school, disappointment, freshman, college acceptance, USC, UCLA, UC San Diego, Cal State Long Beach, California

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Best Age to Pursue Online Degree

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

At what age is an online degree program the best choice over traditional college classes?

Interestingly, the question is asked more often than one would imagine. And the answer is simple: the age where dreams, possibility and technology become intertwined.

The high school graduate, the employee who is ready for a change, the career-driven professional who has hit a brick wall – these are among those who are willing to see the possibilities and pursue them through a flexible, stimulating, high-quality online degree program. The above-mentioned group of people also includes those who are familiar with computers and techno-gadgets and who have incorporated technology into their lifestyles with cell phones, PDA’s, laptops and WiFi.

Online degree programs offer hope and promise for those who want it all. The new success strategy includes the usual sacrifice of time and money, but not the sacrifice of quitting a job or reducing work hours to attend school. Instead, these visionaries are ready to move up without causing their career reputation or family life to suffer.

Yet online education is also an intelligent choice for anyone who is just beginning to think about where they want to be in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years and who is determined to stretch their daily allotment of time to the max.

So what is the best age to choose e-learning? The best age is now.

online degree, online education, e-learning, career, computer learning, high school graduate, distance learning

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by admin