Distance Learning – Pros and Cons

According to a 2010 survey of online learning conducted by the Sloan Consortium, enrollments in online programs rose by nearly one million compared to just a year earlier, representing the largest-ever year-on-year increase. (sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differences) The fact that so many people are opting for online programs over regular classroom-based education might suggest that there's some merit to this mode of learning. And for some students, there's a great deal to be gained: Whether it's a much-wanted promotion at work or a career shift you're looking for, distance learning programs can help you achieve your goals without throwing your current lifestyle off balance.

But distance education is not for everyone. The following are some distance learning pros and cons to help you decide whether or not online education makes sense for you.

The Pros of Distance Learning

Flexibility: Since distance learning programs do not require you to be physically present in a classroom or follow a predefined timetable, you are free to set your own schedule. Distance education provides you the flexibility to complete your coursework from anywhere, at any time, and at your own pace. Have an important chore to run in the morning? No problem-log in to complete your schoolwork that afternoon or later that night.

Learn and Earn: Many students who take online classes are full-time professionals looking to get ahead in their careers by completing undergrad or graduate degree programs. But even if you're not currently working full-time, distance learning courses offer you a flexible schedule that allows you to learn and earn at the same time, so that you can attend school plus hold down a regular job and pay your way through college.

No Geographical Boundaries: Since you can complete a distance-learning course from anywhere, you are not bound by geography. You can choose any school that offers the program you want, no matter where it's located-anywhere in the country, or even internationally. Plus, if you ever relocate, you do not have to worry about transferring to another school.

Economical: There may not be a lot of difference in tuition and fees when you compare online and traditional degrees, but distance education actually turns out to be more economic. You save on costs like fuel, parking, books, child care, and more. And since so many of these programs are self-paced, they can offer you the opportunity to graduate in less time than a traditional program. Less time spent in college equals lower educational costs.

Technologically Savvy: Distance-learning programs make use of sophisticated technology to impart education. By accessing study material electronically, submitting assignments via websites, and participating on online forums to interact with professors and classmates on a day-to-day basis, distance learning students can become more technologically savvy than their classroom counterparts.

The Cons of Distance Learning

Perception of Quality: Despite its popularity and growth, the quality and validity of distance education is often questioned. The biggest reason for this prejudice against distance learning is the presence of online "diploma mills" that hand out fake degrees. …

What You Should Know When Pursuing A University Degree

Are you through with your high school education and looking to pursue a university degree? Here are a few things you should know:

Benefits of having a university degree

There are plenty of benefits that come with having a university degree. Some of these advantages include:

More money: This is a no-brainer. According to the state higher education executive officer’s association, those with bachelor degrees earn almost twice than those with high school diplomas. The higher the level of education, the more money you make. While the amount you make varies depending on the gender, the course of study and location, generally when you have a college degree you earn more.

As you know, when you earn more you afford more thus you are much comfortable than someone without a degree.

Job security: When you have a college degree you are more valuable to the employer than someone who isn’t educated. This is because you have valuable skills that the employer can use in his/her business. These skills make you more attractive thus you are less likely to be fired.

Job satisfaction: Most of the college graduates work in areas they studied in school. This gives them an opportunity to practice what they have been studying. This, in addition to the better working conditions and higher income, they are more likely to be happy and satisfied in life. The satisfaction is not only reflected in the workplace where they are more productive, but it’s also found in their lives and families where they have happy families and have all-around lives.

Life skills: College education not only trains you to be an employee. It also impacts you with valuable skills that help you in life out of college and out of the workplace. College trains you to analyze issues critically, understand complex subjects, and communicate ideas with ease. You can apply these skills in all spheres of your life thus you become a great person.

Tips to consider when pursuing a university degree

Studies show that over 75% of students leaving high school don’t know the route they want their lives to take. Due to this, they don’t know the right courses they should choose. If you are one of these people, there are tips you can use to make the right choice.

The first tip is to listen to your heart. What do you love doing? Do you love computers? Pursue a computer related course. Do you love working with people? Pursue a community development course and so on. If a secure future is of more value to you, there are plenty of resources you can use to know the best paying and more marketable courses that you can go for. For example, for decades, medicine and engineering courses have been in huge demand and are well paying. Nursing and teaching courses are also in high demand, but they aren’t well-paying.

To increase your chances of employability, pursue your course in a reputable university. for more …

Coming Up Empty In Education Reform

The recent days for public education reform from the No Child Left Behind Act, the Core Curriculum mandate, and standardize tests have all placed public education on notice that once again our policy decision makers have continued their assault on education. All they have done has directed in a educational system that continues to fail our youth. From the mainstream Republican stance of what they have done in issuing these mandates that literally shoved down the public's throats misguided attempts at education reform. This is nothing more than political expediency. What has been happening with all these mandates is a continuation of glossing over the real undering problems facing education in this country. If education was run like a business there would be far more accountability and structure in our public schools today. But, like everything else our most stupendous governmental officials have done is thrown tax dollars down the toilet. Meanwhile our youth are far worse off today in educational standards compared to the rest of the world.

Someone once said just recently that teachers alone can not change conditions in our schools. The only way to gain back the supremacy we had in educational standards that prevailed in the 1950's and early 1960's will take nothing short of a revolution. When we take a good hard look at the landscape of America today we find that the US is indeed fractured. In one hand we have the wealthiest few who control the all too powerful politicians, Those self serving bureaucrats continue to overlook the obvious distress that the majority of Americas are wallowing in. Then there is the majority of the population, those multitudes wallowing in desperation hiring that somehow someday soon things will get better. Meanwhile our youth, the future generations of Americans continue to suffer the consequences of failed educational mandates and initiatives by a political system that by its own nature fails to forgive what really is needed to reverse the effects of years of meddling in educational policies that worked for decades prior to the late 1960's.

The one key component in education reform where students in all grade levels are able to succeed is always overlooked by our illustrious bureaucrats. When we really take a close look into America today we find their are so many children just like Bob and Jane Smith. Brother and sister both are sixth graders at Roosevelt Elementary. Typical children, but what their teachers did not know until after their parents lost their home when. Smith got laid off and the bank foreclosed. For over a year the Smiths have had to live in a two bedroom apartment in a not so nice area. And, with only one income, a minimum wage job at Walmart many a night Bob and Jane do not get enough to eat let alone the proper vitamins and nutrition they both need during the day. When we really stop to think what is actually occurring all across the country today it is unconscionable …

Professors – Separate Your 'University Self' From Your 'Entrepreneurial Self' – Tips and Suggestions

If you are a professor (and I'm assuming you are since you're reading an article that starts with the word 'professors'), then you might have a question similar to this one:

I am interested in developing a line of teaching tools that come from my experience teaching graduate students and faculty. In developing teaching tools or publications that grow out of a university career, how do you carefully separate your business self from your faculty self? Can you do both at once?

This is such a wonderful question and is one that many faculty members may have pondered in one form or another as they think about various aspects of their career and how they can develop 'deliverables' from their work that could be taken to a larger market or audience. From my own experience – doing this very thing – here are some recommendations:

  1. Establish a company that is separate from your personal 'self.' You need to set up a separate entity for everything you are doing related to your teaching tools (or other ideas or products that will spin off this project). You will need a checking account that is just for your company as well as designing a credit card for this. You can start at as a DBA rather than incorporating, but I would not wait too long on that. This is definitely a tip where 'sooner rather than later' is the watch-phrase.
  2. Begin to think about yourself separately. You have your university self and you have your entrepreneurial-separate-from-the-university self. Designate times when you are working on your entrepreneurial projects – and see it as separate time and as a separate part of your life and work. Avoid working on your entrepreneurial projects while at the university (writing, making phone calls, or whatever) but rather work on it at home. It's not that university folks do not regularly work on their college work at home – we all do, however, going the other direction is what you want to avoid. People are a little testy in the academy when someone shines – let alone when someone shows an entrepreneurial sense and then, heaven-forbid, actually makes money from it.
  3. Avoid talking about your teaching tools, books, manuals, consulting, etc. with others at the university. While you may be very excited about what you're doing, others may be jealous either of what you're doing or just the fact that you're excited about it. There's no need to get others worked up unnecessarily. You want to stay under the radar – not secretive, not sneaky by any means – just under the radar. Announcing what you're doing (which tend not to be most faculty members' styles anyway) is not going to help you in any way.
  4. Find others – nearby or far away – who ARE excited and DO want to know what you're doing and talk with them about your projects. The beauty today is that we can find MasterMind members / colleagues / supporters anywhere in the

Five Tips For Teen Health, Teen Fitness, And College Health

Anyone who is concerned with teen health, teen fitness and college health, need to look no farther than your local gym floor to see why there is such a problem with teen fitness today.

Students don’t know the first thing about college health or teen health, and that is drastically affecting their expanding waistline. Students who are concerned with teen fitness need to alter their workout easier in order to become more fit.

College health is tough to regulate because of the late night parties, all you can eat buffets and drastically different lifestyle. Also, college students are much less likely to be as active as they were in high school, then teen health was much easier to come by (think 3-sport athlete).

Most teens, unfortunately, know nothing about teen health and teen fitness, and it shows in gyms across the country. Teens are showing up to the gym to workout, but we will not address the issues of teen health and teen fitness until we alter their workouts.

Here are quick tips to improve teen fitness, teen health and college fitness:

1- Rest less and workout more. It’s tough for teens to lose weight while they are resting five mintues between sets. You need to get up and workout more. Do a set of jumping jacks between sets, it’ll work! That’ll help out teen health and college health.

2- Lift weights to lose weight. Teen health is terrible because they, especially females, waste their time on the treadmills and elliptical. College health would greatly improve with shorter workouts with lifting more weights, and teen fitness wouldn’t be such an issue if teens lifted.

3- When doing cardio, do it right. Long distance running or walking will not improve teem health. In fact, there have been studies done to prove that adding aerobic training to a workout showed nothing that dieting alone wouldn’t help. Do a short run (less than a minute) followed by a shorter walk. That’ll greatly help teen fitness and college health. It’ll help lose weight!

4- Don’t isolate muscles. Teen health, teen fitness and college health will not improve unless they learn to workout right. Bicep curls will not improve teen health and teen fitness. Neither will triceps kickbacks or sit ups help out college health.

5- For college health, try to stay active. Easier said than done, but college health is just as big of a concern as teen health and teen fitness. Stay active. Go to the gym more. Remember, if you were an athlete last year, and now you do nothing, your college health will deteriorate.

Teen health, teen fitness and college health are a growing concern. But staying fit during your student years can be very simple. Lift weights, rest less, and you will melt the fat away! Remember, college health isn’t all that hard.…

Choosing Your Major and Further: First Steps to Choosing a Career

Choosing what you are going to study at university is an important first step in building the stairs to a successful career. However, it is not the end of the world once you choose a major, and do not want to get a job that is offered to the graduates of that department. There are various opportunities even after you choose your major to give your career a new direction.

First of all, keep in mind that most companies today are very flexible with the major of their potential employees especially in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. Of course, no company would like to give a Computer Engineering job to a Medicine graduate. But just because you have studied History, it does not mean you cannot work as a Public Relations Manager. The skills you have obtained from your major may seem useless once you decide to work at a relatively unrelated job, but nothing can be more deceiving. The skills that seem to be related only to your major are indeed to be used in a variety of fields, which you will discover as you work.

Let’s say you have recognized that you want to give your career a new direction in the first years of your undergraduate studies. This is good news. You can choose from a variety of alternatives depending on the options provided by your college. You may be transferred to another department, you may consider doing a Double Major, or you may add a Minor next to your Major degree. Of course, not all of these are offered at all colleges, neither are they available for all departments. However, you will definitely find an alternative that suits you, and shows you the exit out of the maze.

What if none of the alternatives above are available, or you have already finished your undergraduate studies? Then, there are still other options for you. One option is doing your Master’s in a field related to the new path you would like your career to take. You can discuss which Graduate Program would be the best with your professors at college, and also with your employers if you have had the chance to have any. If you do not have any work experience, talking to a potential employer could also benefit you in the same way. Other than looking for an appropriate Master’s Degree, you could also search for Certificate Programs. These programs are more direct and can add a lot to your existing skills. With these programs, you can have both a certificate in the hand and also a new feld of expertise, both of which will be of great use in your job applications.…

Black Excel College Scholarships And Admission Help For Students

Issac Black is the founder of one of the top college help resources called Black Excel. It is a very helpful educational resource and has been featured in Ebony and Black Enterprise. Many scholarships for new and continuing students are listed that cover a variety of minority student awards.

Some that are discussed include the Ron Brown Award, Questbridge Program and the National Society of Black Engineers. They list a variety of ways students that are freshman as well as continuing students can receive grants and other funds. The book, "The Black Excel African American Student's College Guide" goes into depth on information on college funding as well as topics including admission essays, preparatory tests like the SAT exams, performing art schools for African American students and school selection. There are also tips for those who want to attend specific schools despite having grade point averages below the recommended ones.

Black Excel is a non-profit organization and is located in New York City. At their website they have a section on Nursing Scholarships as well as over two hundred scholarships for Black student. There are also discussions on college study skills and medical school tips. An inspiring section of the site includes the schools where distinguished African-American students attended. For instance at Morgan State University has graduated Kweisi Mfume, Parren Mitchell, Zora Hurston and Earl Graves. Morehouse College has graduated Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Louis Sullivan, Edwin Moses, Julian Bond, Maynard Jackson and Spike Lee.

College admission preparations can be overwhelming and finding out about available awards is an important step of the process. …

Key Qualities And Skills A Good Career Counselor Should Have

Nowadays, a lot of young people still have a hard time finding out which career path to take. They usually have a problem with this because their interests and skills set do not match. Or the teenager’s parents or whoever will be financially supporting their college education want them to take a course that unfortunately, they do not like or have an interest in.

In such instances, teenagers can benefit greatly by talking with and seeking advice from career counselors. These counselors specialize in helping point clients, especially young ones, in the right direction of finding the appropriate career path for them. They will assess their clients using certain tests and interviews to get an idea of where their talents or interests lie. After getting the results, they will make the suitable career suggestions depending on the answers the client gave during the testing and interviews.

The right career counselor to go to though should not just be competent in giving out tests and handling interviews. He or she should have certain key qualities and traits that should include the following:

A genuine interest in others and with helping them. A good career counselor should have the drive and energy to sit with people through their best and worst. He or she should be fully present when listening to their clients’ stories, however difficult or long they are. Keep in mind that a good career counselor should always have a sustained commitment to facilitating human-to-human connection and positive transformation.

Good listening skills. Effective listening is a key skill any counselor should have. A good career counselor should not only to listen to what is being said, but how it is said, why it is being said, and what it means in the context of a particular client. The ideal career counselor should also be able to listen “between the lines,” for those things that are not being said by the client. This is because what a client omits from a session can speak just as clearly as what is communicated out loud. In addition, a good counselor should know how to listen without passing judgment or evaluation.

Authenticity and accessibility. Lastly, a counselor should not only be accessible to their clients in order to gain their trust, but he or she needs to be genuine and empathetic as well when listening and communicating with the clients. The best career counselor should be adept at developing a genuine empathetic connection with each client so that the counseling process can move forward and the counselor-client relationship can become stronger and more effective.

Read more useful articles regarding career counseling here.…

The Process of Budgeting at Many Institutions of Higher Education Needs to Change

Refinements and Enhancements to the Annual Budget Process

Due to the economic challenges many institutions of higher education are facing today, and the need to do more with less, budgeting is clearly a very critical item on the agenda. Addressing the problems associated with the budget process and having people working together towards common goals and results is a top priority. And if Budgeting is a Financial Application, why are 90% of user's non-financial people?

It is not uncommon for the faculty and staff at an institution of higher education to view the budget process as something that is being "force-fed" from Finance. In order to improve this process, an interface for the faculty and staff should be developed and utilized that "walks them through" the budget process in such a manner that will be simple and yet very powerful. What would be helpful is the flexibility to budget the way that they think about their areas of responsibility and allows them to budget on course with the strategic plan of the institution, including full disclosure and documentation of how and why they need what they are asking for in their budget.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for the Finance Department to be under staffed, or be lacking in the resource capabilities to manage all of the complex mechanical aspects of the budget process, as well as being able to provide provide analysis and decision support. The mere process of preparing budget templates, distributing them to the faculty and staff, collecting these spreadsheets, verifying their accuracy, aggregating and consolidating amounts and preparing for the budget review sessions is a cumbersome and manual process for the finance staff. Instead, the budgeting system in-place should alleviate most of those time-consuming mechanisms, and allow for the finance staff to focus their time and attention on value-added decision support and analysis.

Budgeting for Special Initiatives and Projects

Because the budget process requires identifying spending for special initiatives or projects that may "cut across" various accounts or even departments, it can become very difficult to track properly for these items in the budget process, and it presents the possibilities for human error; especially when a budget for a project is not approved and someone, presumable someone in Finance, has to accurately "strip" or remove all of the spending out of all the imputed accounts in the budget process, and then reconsolidate the results.

Having a budget system that can easily create budgets for special initiatives and projects, thereby facilitating an initiative-oriented budget review process would be an ideal process to have in place. This type of system should allow for faculty and staff to submit these initiatives and then have the budget system automatically determine the impact on the account structure. Without this type of budget system, if an initiative is not approved, someone has to go back into each of the associated accounts and try to remember how much that account was attributed to that initiative that was canceled. This can cause inaccuracies and …

Social Media Marketing Guide for Beginners

Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining attention and web traffic through the social media sites. During this process, usually creative content to reach the masses through publicity coming from a third-party trusted source needs to be created in order for people to share the content of their interest with others and create a vicious chain that would make business cover and go beyond the market audience intended. Every online marketer needs to have a goal, a product, a service and a reason to promote through the vast and overwhelming World Wide Web. If you already have those things defined in your mind, then congratulations! That Could probably be the hardest part of entering into the social media challenge, and from now now, every single effort will contribute to reach those goals efficiently and flawlessly until you put your feet on the Social Media Guru status.

The Social Media world is wide and more extensible than ever. It is a very strategic marketing platform that reaches different cultures, ages, religion, sexes, locations, interests and such, therefore it makes it the perfect vehicle to reach and target the right audience and achieve total success. The whole world will not care about video games, for example, but only the people that video games is part of their interests. If you target male audience with ads of high heels on sale, maybe some of them would go and buy a pair or 2 for their wives, but a pair or 2 is not exactly the kind of impact you want to have. Therefore, you focus on certain group ages and certain other factors that cause some services and products, videos and news to go "viral"

First, we need to know the basic social media sites

Facebook
Holding more than 900 million users, if you're already a Facebook user this might not be really new to you, but there are lots of features worth mentioning. You can create a dedicated business page and interact directly, and free, with your customers uploading free pictures, products and videos of the service you intend to provide or the product you are trying to sell. That way, you can build a data base of people that will share your posts to their friends and there before create the never ending chain. Most of these social media sites have seamlessly mobile integration so people if it is a portable PC, a desktop, tablet or mobile phone get always connected with media in a way that you should take advantage of. People log in to Facebook, in any situation, while commuting, in the park, at home, at school, at work. Then you're there, promoting your business for it to be displayed in the news feeds, and you would be there, constantly doing the mind trick game to the point that people will find something attractive and worth checking according to their interests. Many big corporations like Starbucks, Microsoft, Apple, Rockstar, Pepsi etc. are doing the same, and it works …