"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 ‘online degrees’ Category

Why Employers Hate to Love Online Degree Applicants

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Employers are in a tough spot these days.

Every time they list a job opening, applicants flood their places of business.

And as can be expected in a high-tech world, many applicants hold accredited online degrees, which still create hiring barriers for some employers.

But these motivated graduates often had barriers of their own in earning a college degree; so they found another way — online learning.

And although this form of learning is not an easy road, they sacrificed time and money to study and learn via computer in order to strengthen job skills and earn necessary credentials.

Employers cannot deny the fortitude, perseverance and discipline that is inherent in these applicants; but a few still have difficulty with the concept of online degrees.

Yet over time, more naysayers are discovering the following about e-learning graduates:

  • A large percentage of online degree graduates are military students, who maintained their grades through graduation, while being transferred to several different duty stations — including locations in active war zones.
  • Working dads and moms, who juggle numerous responsibilities, are another admirable group.
  • Others include disadvantaged inner city grads, physically challenged grads, English as a second language grads, and single parents who transcended insurmountable odds to earn college diplomas.

Although some would love to discount their accomplishments, wise employers quickly learn that online degree graduates of accredited online schools are a valuable commodity.

And soon, employers find themselves whistling a new tune of admiration instead.

online degrees, online learning, working moms, jobs, employers, military students, war, english as a second language

Popularity: 2% [?]

Posted by vida

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

Sleep Problems? Avoid Laptops and SmartPhones at Bedtime

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

How about this instant cure for your insomnia? Stay away from your laptop, smartphone and other electronic devices before bedtime.

According to a recent CNN article, the light from these and other electronic devices may fool your brain into keeping you awake at night.

The bright light emitted by your high-tech device may signal to your body that it is still daytime and that the sun is still shining, preventing your brain from going into sleep mode.

With so many people checking e-mails just before bedtime, playing video games into the wee hours, surfing the web or working late on their computers, the problem of insomnia has skyrocketed.

But until now, the correlation between bright-screen electronic devices and lack of sleep was kept fairly hush-hush by product manufacturers. Apparently, the Amazon Kindle and similar e-reader devices are exempted; because they do not affect sleep in this way.

Consumers have been popping prescription sleeping pills and over-the-counter sleep aids, when they could have simply turned off their bright-screen devices earlier in the evening.

Perhaps manufactures feared that consumers might head for the hills if they knew their laptops, iPhones, and other devices were keeping them awake. But maybe a fraction of consumers would use these devices to stay awake for job-related or online school reasons.

Soon, an innovative engineer will likely invent a device that helps us stay awake when necessary, based on the bright-screen technology. In the meantime, sales of bright-screen devices could increase for iPads and decrease for coffee and energy drinks.

But as for now, the cat is out of the bag: Our electronic devices keep us from sleeping.

And we will find out whether this revelation transforms our behavior or falls on deaf ears.

More sleep or less technology — what will you choose?

sleep problems, insomnia, electronics, smartphone, iphone, ipad, brain, sleep, sleeplessness, lack of sleep, sleeping pills, electronic devices, bright screen, online school, sleeping, sleep better, better sleep, laptop, computer screen

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

U.S. Employers Accept Online Degrees of Foreign Workers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Do employers accept online degrees? Will they unequivocally hire individuals with an online bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree?

The answers to these questions heavily influence those who are considering an online degree program.

An article in The Economist today, A Triumph of Democracy: Should an MBA be open to anyone?, appears to bolster the notion that a rising number of employers favor online degrees, including online MBAs.

According to the article, the acceptance of online degrees by U.S. employers is particularly evident in India.

There, distance-learning is legislated as a valuable and acceptable means to gain additional credentials, training and higher degrees. According to Indian law, employers must accept accredited online degrees in hiring, promotions and pensions.

So what does this have to do with U.S. employers? Well, considering that U.S. companies are outsourcing jobs to India in droves, this is extremely relevant.

A growing number of U.S. businesses have eliminated departments and moved entire companies overseas in order to shift operations to countries, like India, where employers pay a fraction of what they previously paid to American workers.

Yet millions of highly skilled workers in India receive their training and college degrees online. So by shifting operations to these workers, U.S. employers are wholeheartedly accepting online degrees across the board.

In 2004, both Fox News and USA Today predicted that the outsourcing of high-tech and accounting jobs to India (and other nations) would increase significantly over the years. In fact, hundreds of thousands of U.S. tax returns are prepared in India each year through American accounting firms that may or may not divulge this fact to their clients.

Today’s article in The Economist confirms that India has “. . . a huge and diverse distance-learning market.”

Distance-learning continues to dominate higher education in India in order to meet the needs of 230 million potential students who cannot be served by traditional means. As these students graduate with online degrees, they are integrated into the mainstream of new jobs created by an increasing number of U.S. and foreign businesses.

So, is it possible that U.S. companies could so firmly embrace foreign workers who earned online degrees, yet question the validity of accredited online degrees earned by American job applicants?

It seems that this issue would cause quite a stir in the climate of the current job market, especially if employers attempt to use an accredited online degree as an excuse not to hire someone.

Hopefully, such a hypocritical stance is unacceptable to any honest, well-informed employer.

Instead, taking the few minutes to check the validity of online degrees through the U.S. Department of Education, as well as contacting the Admissions & Records departments of the schools in question, appears to be the best route to insure a win-win situation for all.

online degrees, online degree programs, online bachelors degree, online masters degree, online mba, accounting jobs, college degree, distance learning, employers, foreign workers, india, indian, jobs, outsourcing, profit, tax return, online degrees

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Veterans Love Online Schools, but Post-9/11 GI Bill Discriminates

Monday, November 16th, 2009

A provision in the Post-9/11 GI Bill is causing difficulties for veterans who require and love the flexibility of online schools.

The new bill took effect on August 1st, 2009. It states that “students enrolled exclusively in online training are not eligible for the housing allowance”.

Studies confirm that military personnel prefer online degrees and online classes. Yet the Post-9/11 GI Bill denies the housing stipend to those who choose e-learning over traditional colleges.

This pulls as much as $1300 of living expense monies from the income of deserving military students and veterans who count on this financial assistance while completing their studies.

Eligible students who enroll in traditional colleges and universities are rewarded with the housing allowance; so this discriminatory provision in the Post-9/11 GI Bill creates a dilemma and barrier for those who want to enroll in online schools.

Mounting pressure by those opposed to this inequity may lead Congress back to the drawing board for a legislative solution.

Military men and women have earned the right to choose online schools without being slapped with an unfair penalty. Studies by the U.S. Department of Education show that accredited online schools are equal or superior in quality to most traditional schools.

The inequity was likely an oversight by Congress in their efforts to fashion a cost-effective bill. But hopefully, Congress will move quickly to insure that our military forces will be able to continue to enjoy the benefits of online education.

accredited online schools, colleges and universities, congress, elearning, gi, housing allowance, military students, online classes, online degrees, online education, online schools, post-9/11_bill, traditional schools, veterans

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Swine Flu Cases Multiply Rapidly As Colleges Prepare for Fall Students

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

As excited college students prepare to move into campus dorms, they look forward to meeting new roommates, fitting all their belongings into half of a dorm room and registering for classes.

They are not concerned about catching the flu.

That job belongs to health officials at the Centers for Disease Control who are, indeed, concerned.

Even as students and parents prepare to lug heavy boxes into dorm rooms all over the nation, the Centers for Disease Control epidemiologists are working feverishly to head off the potentially serious consequences of a fast-moving, unpredictable — yet still mild — flu virus.

The H1N1 virus, known as the swine flu, has already struck 43,771 Americans in confirmed cases (as of 7-24-09) and continues to move rapidly throughout the population during this unusual summer season. Normally, the summer is not a part of flu season.

Some CDC officials estimate the numbers of flu cases to be closer to a million; since most people who contract the current strain of H1N1 are not tested for it and are able to recover without serious complications.

But the scenario may change in the fall, when school children and college students cluster again together in close quarters.

Although there are only 302 confirmed deaths in the U.S. from the H1N1 virus (as of 7-24-09), the strain is poised to mutate into a more dangerous flu virus that could cause tens of thousands of deaths if not averted.

However, there are preventative steps that may limit serious repercussions of the swine flu:

  • Distributing antiviral drugs as needed,
  • Students opting for online classes, online schools and online degree programs instead of on-campus classes that force them to be exposed to sick people,
  • Educating the public about what to do if they become sick with the swine flu,
  • Avoiding crowds when sick or if in a high risk category, like having asthma or a compromised immune system,
  • Washing hands frequently to help prevent becoming sick with the flu,
  • Covering the nose and mouth with a clean tissue when sneezing or coughing,
  • Contacting a doctor if experiencing high fevers or breathing difficulties.

Flu season came early this year, with a head start on the students who will soon begin their college or university studies.

But those who opt for online education may find solace in the opportunity to study in the comfort and safety of their flu-free homes.

antiviral drugs, antiviral drugs, cdc, college, epidemiologist, flu season, h1n1 virus, online degree programs, online schools, students, summer season, swine flu

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

New Education Benefits Arrive for Post 9/11 Military Veterans

Friday, July 24th, 2009

A brand new group of educational benefits arrive on August 1st, 2009, for military personnel who served a tour of duty after September 11th, 2001.

This financial windfall covers major expenses for post 9/11 soldiers and former soldiers who return to school to pursue a college degree or vocational certificate.

The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 provides financial aid and support to active-duty military personnel and veterans who enroll in accredited online schools, traditional colleges and universities, and vocational schools.

Students will receive all or a portion of the costs for tuition, housing and books if they meet the selective eligibility criteria.

For eligible military members and veterans, the benefits will cover:

  • Full tuition up to the amount of the most expensive public college in the applicant’s state,
  • $1,000 a year stipend for books & supplies (for veterans only),
  • a monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance paid to a military E5 with dependents (for veterans only),
  • Tutorial assistance or up to $2,000 for one licensing or certification test,
  • The option, for some, to transfer these educational benefits to dependents.

Eligibility requirements for the new education benefits apply to those applicants:

  • who are still serving in the military or were honorably discharged after serving at least 90 consecutive active-duty days following 9/11;
  • who were released from active duty into a branch of the military reserves following 90 consecutive days of active duty after 9/11; or
  • who were honorably discharged after 30 consecutive active-duty days following a service-connected disability.

Additional criteria may apply; but students may enroll in military-approved online degrees, online vocational and certificate programs, and traditional college, university and vocational programs.

Costs incurred before August 1st, 2009, are not eligible for these particular benefits.

Benefits remain active for 15 years following the eligible military tour of duty and are payable for up to 36 months for those who meet all of the necessary criteria.

For further information, check out the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

accredited, active duty, benefits, college, education, eligible, financial aid, military, online degree programs, online degrees, online schools, post 9/11, veteran, vocational schools

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Ten Ways to Cruise on the Cheap While Taking Online Classes

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Summer has arrived; and adult learners may be wondering how to take a cheap vacation without skipping a beat in online classes.

Thankfully, the travel industry is happy to oblige by offering great deals on just about everything. Still, cruising may be among the best ways to save money on a vacation while continuing with online degree studies.

For the price of gas, food, a couple of nights in a mid-range hotel and activities, e-learners and their families or friends could sail away on the vacation of a lifetime.

Just check out these facts about cruising to an online degree:

  1. The costs for a 4-day cruise this summer begin as low as $184 per person (before taxes and fees) from Florida, New Orleans or Long Beach, according to today’s 90-day ticker from Vacations to Go, a  website that lists the best cruise deals, especially last-minute bargains. Additional special discounts may apply for past passengers and those over age 55.
  2. Cruise costs cover a bundle – ship transportation to exotic ports, 24-hour food, some beverages, lavish entertainment for adults and children, room service, twice-daily cabin cleaning and more.
  3. For 4 people staying in the same cabin, the 3rd and 4th persons pay just a fraction of the full fare, generally between 40-60% less. This is a kid-friendly deal for families, but also works well for family gatherings, friends and co-workers.
  4. Onboard credits are free money that is offered by travel agents, credit card companies or the cruise line. These are valuable because they are applied to the onboard account and may cover tipping fees, excursions, alcoholic drinks, shopping or other additional costs. A good travel agent can help explore this option.
  5. Most ports can be explored without purchasing expensive excursions from the ship. A good guide book from the library can give excellent tips about saving money while seeing the sights on your own.
  6. Most ships offer onboard Internet cafes and designated public WiFi hotspots. Some ships, like the new Celebrity Solstice series, offer data ports for Internet access in individual cabins, which is great for online students. Some Princess ships offer the use of individual laptops for the duration of the cruise on a first-come, first served basis. Discounted Internet plans offer cheaper rates then paying by the minute.
  7. To save money on Internet rates, online students may opt to gather web research ahead of time. Then on the ship, they can work offline and connect to the Internet only to turn in assignments or email instructors.
  8. Tipping is generally not mandatory on the ship; although there are suggested amounts per day to cover cabin stewards, waiters, head waiters, and other staff. Even when the tipping fees are automatically deducted from the onboard account, passengers may raise or lower the tipping amount at their own discretion. However, after observing how diligently the staff works on their behalf, the suggested tips — totaling about $10 per adult passenger per day — often appear to be reasonable to most cruisers.
  9. The 3,634-passenger ship, Independence of the Seas, not only provides extensive Internet access, it also offers rock-climbing, a water park, a surf park, ice skating, youth clubs, a full-size boxing ring and sports court, miniature golf, a fitness center, a casino, shopping — plus a multitude of other diversions for those who need extra study time to devote to online classes while family or friends literally dive into the fun onboard.
  10. Retirees, homeschooling families and others may find deeper discounts in the fall and winter, as vacationers return to school and jobs. And most cruises that are more than 90 days off usually require only a modest down payment, with the balance due at a later date. Also, bargains extend to world cruises and, amazingly, an online student could travel the world by sea while earning an online degree.

Of course, it is important to ask questions during booking about cancellation policies, passport requirements, taxes, port fees, the minimum travel age for an infant, and what is covered or not covered in cruise fees.

Still, cruising is a wonderful opportunity for online degree students to enjoy a vacation and stay on track with online school, In fact, it may be the perfect way to enhance one’s career while making loved ones happy.

adults, career, children, cruising, elearning, free, internet, kid friendly, kids, on the cheap, online classes, online degrees, online school, save money, ship, summer, travel, vacation, wifi

Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted by vida

Laid Off Workers Eligible for Thousands in Scholarship Money

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Things may get a little easier for some laid-off workers, thanks to Western Governors University.

Adults who lost their jobs within the past 12 months may be eligible for up to $7,500 per person in scholarship money to return to school and work toward an accredited online bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships are based upon financial need, academic record and other criteria; and students must hurry to apply for the scholarships before the application deadline of June 30th, 2009.

The scholarship winners will be required to enroll in a Western Governors University online degree program in one of four areas: business, information technology, education or health professions (including nursing).

Western Governors University continues to rise to the top of the class in offering high quality accredited online degrees — without charging an arm and a leg in tuition.

Bargain-hunting students should be flocking to this school in droves (just as quickly as they are racing to buy the new $99 iPhone), simply because WGU offers one of the best values available today for those seeking online bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states and supported by over 20 major corporations and foundations, this competency-based online school is a model of excellence in higher education. The heartfelt mission of Western Governors University is to not only serve the greater community of adult learners, but to also insure access to higher education for first-generation college students, minorities, low-income students and those who are geographically beyond the reach of a local college or university.

Money for school is generally available through WGU’s financial aid office, even before and after these generous scholarships have been distributed. Federal grants and students loans are usually available year round to eligible students.

The WGU scholarships should fully cover the reasonable tuition for up to two and a half terms, long enough to earn an accredited online degree and to continue on the path to a new job, new career and new hope for the future.

For more information about the WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships, click here.

laid off, online bachelors degree, the new iphone, scholarship, money_for_school, financial aid, hope, student loans, jobs, online school, online degrees, laid off, return to school, financial need, western governors, online degree program, low income

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

Are Lucrative Teacher Salaries Looming on the Education Horizon?

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The seed has been planted for the best teachers to see their salaries rise into a six-figure income.

According to the New York Times article, “Next Test: Value of $125,000 Teachers” (6-4-09), one new charter school believes so much in the value of excellent teaching that it recruited and hired a staff of well-trained, top-notch teachers at salaries of $125,000 each a year.

If this becomes a trend, many more students will pursue traditional and online degrees in education, filling up available teaching slots with highly-qualified personnel.

The charter school, known as the Equity Project, offers its teachers about twice the average salary of other public school teachers in New York. But the payoff in excellence is expected to be huge for the low-income students who were selected by a lottery to learn from this select group.

Sure, these teachers will earn their pay with long hours, larger class sizes and high expectations from their employers, but many teachers face the same scenario with much less pay.

If President Obama has his way, the best teachers in the U.S. will be rewarded in the future with higher pay and additional incentives. But opposing voices, including those of the National Teachers Association, may delay this benefit as the details of his education proposals are ironed out and reconfigured.

Still, if the Equity Project is successful, it may encourage other forward-thinking charter and public school administrators to implement the changes that insure a better learning experience for students and a pleasant job environment for teachers.

And since the Equity Project is accomplishing its goals on available public monies, similarly funded schools may be hard-pressed to find reasons to ignore its tacit challenge.

Higher pay for teachers will drive more college students toward careers in education, placing teaching high on the totem pole of lucrative professions. This will raise the bar for teaching positions, insuring that each student receives the best possible education. Accredited online degree programs allow those from other professions to switch to the education field while working to pay bills.

It may be awhile before teachers receive $125,000 across the board; but hats off to the Equity Project for highlighting those who daily pour so much into our children.

teachers, school, online degrees, job, career, students, charter school, equity project, public school, college students, six figure, lucrative, online degree program, new york, higher pay

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida