An Easier Way To Getting A College Education Online
Many people in today's society do not have the time they want in order to attend a college or university in order to further their education.
How Does An Online University Course Work
Any online university course has a few prerequisites like a computer, a phone connection, and an Internet Service Provider. With these basics in place, any student anywhere in the world can enroll for the programs being offered by an online university.
After enrolling you will typically be given easy-to-use Internet access software to facilitate quick and smooth retrieval of lectures, questions, and assignments. Since there are no time schedules and frames, the instruction material can be downloaded anytime and reviewed offline at your convenience.
Online research libraries and services are available from the university to cater to the students' research requirements. The programs are designed to fit in interaction with other students and professionals from the field. This helps the students enrich their assignments before they discuss it in an academic environment with their instructors. Instructors also guide the students through the courses to avoid any learning hitches.
Although this multi-interaction offline scenario enriches the student's learning experience, the spontaneous classroom scenario is missing in an online course. For some students, the class interaction could be more invigorating than learning online.
However, an online program offers you almost unlimited flexibility. Each course is completed over five to six weeks and students can take breaks between courses. Since the interaction is asynchronous, as in email messages, there are no schedules or fixed timings for classes either. A student doesn't have to rush from work to meet a class time. Whereas this could also serve as a demotivator for certain students who perform better under strict schedules and timetables, it is advantageous for people with hectic work environments, and for people who can exert self-discipline in setting an effective timetable.
The Misplaced Academic Values
Based on endless discussions upon the usefulness of University degrees, it seems obvious that undergraduate and especially graduate students around the globe constantly wonder what the outcome of their efforts will be. Since perceptions and goals differ, so does the interpretation of the word outcome, especially when the complex issue of knowledge and academic performance is evaluated. Inside the realm of a University's environment, the outcome for most students is the actual value of their academic performance, the product of their intellectual exchange. Monetary or spiritual, the discussed value is usually interpreted as a product ready to be consumed by the private or public sector after the completion of the academic effort by the subject. But, is this interpretation a misconception, or the only outcome of contemporary Universities? Are students misusing the term or have they misplaced some of the values that used to govern the intellectual world?
In fact, making more money Hand reaching a desired social status are the main reasons that drive prospective students to pursue a degree. Future gains are considered to be the basic motivation that urges people to strive for superior academic performance. Moreover, the fierce competitive environment of every discipline forces the individual to identify new ways of excelling and increasing his/her bargaining power before facing an interested employer. This capitalistic notion of today's reality has forced institutions to recognize the power of monetary gains and has made the academic world a microcosm of this obvious shift in values. Under this social transformation and having to deal with these strong socioeconomic forces, Universities are challenged to survive as intellectual entities. In this altered environment, the academic changes that many scholars have identified have transformed modern Universities into corporate agents.
Moreover, the meaning of excellence has been altered. Nowadays, it is considered a synonym with quality of studies and is used as a basic marketing tool. Through this generic term, prospective students can be attracted and applications collected. A change has occurred to the initial intention of an application. Students do not enter an institution in order to acquire the intellectual pleasure of a degree, to elevate their knowledge, and increase their critical understanding regarding the world, but rather to acquire the intangible asset of a University's name as later this intangible asset will be translated in totally tangible outcomes. The most promising institution is the one which is most attractive to companies who wish to employ its alumni, since corporate managers have shifted their focus from what is taught inside a classroom to the physical location of that classroom. Thus, students who compete for the same corporate position tend to value differently the outcome of their studies. By evaluating their institutions' after-graduate appeal, as well as the rating scores issued by academic journals, students tend to consider their degree as a commodity rather than a reward for their intellectual struggle.
But the fact still remains that students enter a classroom ready to discuss, listen and share their beliefs. Depending on whether the existing academic environment promotes this intellectual exchange, students will shape their characters and value systems. There is no misconception of the role Universities play today. As different values penetrate an academic institution, its stakeholders integrate academic and social roles. These global citizens can give birth to the altered University's role, by accepting or rejecting the proposed changes during their time.
A Rainfall Of College Scholarship During The Fall Season
Hispanic students are presented with a number of college scholarships.
Hispanic students along with their families are greeted with a wonderful start in fall when the Hispanic organizations announce that they will be funding guidelines and plans for the entire school year.
This occasion coincide with the time where Hispanic families are conducting their searches for a means to pay the expensive amount of college education for their kids.
Mainly, only the Hispanics that are College bound will be benefited by the said program.
Now, students may go frenzy when selecting which college programs to take, plus also, the number of students who have stopped for a year that are planning to go back to school.
Really, this is not the first time this occurrence has happened. Scholarships are universally popular in providing the disadvantaged and the financially handicapped students an opportunity.
The big Corporations have established themselves in providing scholarships for hispanic students, included here are Coors, General Motors, CNN, MasterCard, Lockheed Martin, Sallie Mae, Wachovia, Office Depot and Time Warner.
But questions may arise. Why do these benevolent companies fund hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide Latino Scholarships? What will they get from these Hispanic students?
The answer is not just confided into one, they support the presented programs for Hispanic scholarship founded by the Latino organizations like the National Association of the Hispanic Journalists, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and National Hispanic Scholarship, majority of them yield from public relations and the positive society results generated by the programs.
For numerous years, the Latinos as a consumer have become progressively more acculturated into America's lifestyle mainstream. A few of them have fixed a good place in influencing the public and private sectors, while the others adds to the classy consumers.
Part of the development is rooted from the growing awareness of some Latinos who have been ignored to the point of receiving undeserved treatment from lots of companies. This fact goes though since the Census last 2000 mark them as the clients of their goods and services.
Also, the Hispanic purchasing power is rising, for this reason, the conversationalists and the marketers have started to take advantage of the prospects and escalation of the Hispanic markets.
This is because of the estimate of the Multicultural Economy on year 1900-2009 as reported by the Selig Center for Economic Growth ranges to almost $700 billion annually.
Thus, the thousands of dollars funded for Hispanic scholarship is nothing as compared to the purchasing power of these future consumers. Not just that, the scholarship beneficiaries may also join the labor force in the near future.
According to the critics, there is the rising situation wherein the scholarship provided for the Latinos are too much, as fitted to the number of students in need. However, this is countered by the theory that the Hispanic students who graduate and later joins the labor force of the Americans also produces the same program.
But anyhow, the only thing that matters is that the Hispanic students are given more chances to pursue their college education, through the rise of the benefactors and donors.
Meanwhile, the effects will be the same, the Latinos who graduates gives gratitude to the company who have helped them to finish their higher education.
The third biggest financial goal for a family is saving for a college education. Buying a house and retirement are the first two goals. With the cost of higher education on the rise, parents are beginning to try and set aside money for education as soon as a child is born. There are two popular federal and state sponsored plans that make saving for college easy: the Coverdell and the 529 plan.
The Coverdell Education Savings Account
The Coverdell is a federally sponsored plan that helps you to set aside money for higher education expenses. These expenses include tuition, fees, books and supplies, and even room and board.
The annual contributions are not tax deductible, making the withdrawals tax-free as long as they are used to pay for eligible education costs. There are limits to the amount of annual contributions that can be made each year.
The Coverdell is established as a custodial account, set up by the parent or another adult to pay for the education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The child must be under the age of 18 to establish an account. All balances must be spent within 30 days of the child's 30th birthday.
Any financial institution that handles IRAs can assist you in setting up a Coverdell, including banks, investment companies and brokerages. The Coverdell is like an IRA in that it is an account. You can put your account funds into any investment you want - stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certificates of deposit are just a few options.
You can establish as many Coverdell accounts as you want to for a child. For example, you could have one account at your local bank and one at a brokerage. Some plans have many fees associated with them. Make sure that the management fees for the multiple accounts don't cancel out your overall return.
If your child decides not to go to college, he or she will lose a great deal of money. When he turns 30, he must withdraw the balance of the account within 30 days. Any money withdrawn that isn't used for educationally eligible expenses is taxed and charged a 10 % IRS penalty.
If your child decides not to go to college, that doesn't mean that his or her child won't. The child can roll the full balance into another Coverdell plan for another family member, including siblings, nieces and nephews and sons and daughters.
529 College Savings Plans
These state sponsored 529 plans are named after the federal tax code section that provides for their use. All 50 states and the District of Columbia offer 529 plans. The contributions to the plan are not tax deductible, but your withdrawals are tax-free when you use the money for a qualified educational expense.
529 plans fall under two categories: prepaid tuition and savings/investment plans.
The prepaid tuition plan allows you to purchase units of tuition for any state college or university under today's price. You are buying a semester of attendance for a child. What you buy today will be good for any future date, no matter how tuition rates rise. With private and out-of-state colleges, the child's prepaid tuition does not include the rise in tuition costs. For example, if you buy two years of college tuition for an out-of-state tuition, you may only receive a single semester in ten years.
Either the beneficiary or the contributor must reside in the state that the 529 is formed in.
With savings plans, an account is opened and investments are chosen within the account. If you start the plan when a child is young, you can choose some aggressive investments for long term growth. As the child ages, you can move your investments into more conservative options.
The withdrawals are tax-free if they are used to pay for college expenses. These expenses can include tuition, books and room and board. An easy way to think about a 529 savings plan is as a 401(k) dedicated to educational expenses. As with a 401(k), there are many different investment choices. Many states programs are open to nonresidents, so look around for the best plans.
If your child decides not to go to college you have three options. You can hang on to the savings plan in case your child decides to attend college at a later date. The account can be transferred to another family member for college expenses. You could also cash out the account and just take the loss. Most states will charge a penalty of 10% of the earnings for any withdrawal not used for education. On top of this, a federal penalty of 10% will be charged also. There is no penalty for withdrawals due to death or disabled status.
The tax-free advantages of a college savings plan makes 529 plans beneficial, but they aren't right for everyone. If you have a 529 prepaid tuition plan, applying for financial aid is affected by reducing your financial aid on a dollar per dollar basis. Low income families, who are often eligible for large amounts of financial aid, are advised not to participate in 529 plans.
Coverdell plans will also decrease the amount of financial aid available, but only by about 5 to 6% of the account's value. College savings plans are great for families that will not qualify for financial aid or only qualify for loans. Many times a family doesn't have enough money to pay for college, but has too much money to get help.
The tax-free status on 529 plans will end in 2010, but many advisors expect that Congress will extend it.
The Importance Of A College Admissions Letter
The admissions letter or essay is often weighed just as heavily as the other elements of your application, if not more so. Why? The admissions letter allows admissions officers to learn more about you and your personality than is shown through your test scores. Additionally, the admissions letter shows your critical thinking and writing skills, which are important for college.
When selecting a topic, it is important that you choose one that will allow you to show your personality, why you are a good candidate for the college, allow you to demonstrate your writing abilities, and answer the questions put forth on the application. Simple, right? It's not an easy process, but it can feel more manageable if you break it into smaller steps.
Choose a topic that you are familiar and comfortable with. This is not the time to research a new subject. Examples of topics that might work include an experience from your past, a hobby, or an issue of personal importance. Choosing a topic that you're comfortable with is particularly important if you're feeling unsure of your writing skills or find writing the admissions letter to be particularly challenging. This will help build your overall confidence.
Develop an Outline
When writing the admissions letter, you need to accomplish two things. First, write a letter that demonstrates an understanding of writing basics. This means your admissions letter will have an introduction, body, and conclusion, and will follow a logical path from one section to the next. The other essential thing you letter must do is answer the questions set forth by the school.
Create an outline for your admissions letter using the basics of writing an essay. You'll need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion for the letter. Open the admissions letter with something interesting, such as a quote, intriguing fact, or question. If you can engage your reader immediately, he or she will want to continue reading.
The body of your college admissions letter will cover the most important parts of the letter, showing your uniqueness as an applicant and answering questions. This part will require careful planning. Finally, the conclusion will bring your admissions letter to a logical close.
To ensure that all the important parts of the letter are included and to help you organize your thoughts, create an outline of your admissions letter. Ensure that everything is included that you need and wish to highlight.
Draft and Rewrite
Very rarely will a first draft of an admissions letter be the version that you use for your college application. Good writing is a process of writing and rewriting. Allow yourself plenty of time to outline, draft, and rewrite your admissions letter.
Your college admissions letter is an important piece of the college application, and could mean the difference between an acceptance and a rejection. By following a few simple steps and allowing yourself enough time to work on the letter, you can greatly increase your chances of earning that acceptance.
Junior Faculty Balancing Act Teaching Part I
My website poll of 96 junior faculty members has an unequivocal winner. The poll asks, "What is the hardest part about being a junior faculty member?" Over a third of the respondents chose "Teaching takes up so much time" as their response.
Exactly How Time Consuming is Teaching? Surveys of how professors spend their time indicate that professors as a group, from junior to full professors, spend 29-30 hours a week at a minimum on activities related to teaching. Obviously, new faculty, who tend to have a higher teaching load than do full professors, and who are often teaching classes that they have never taught before, probably spend more than 30 hours a week. At some colleges with more of a teaching emphasis, it has been estimated that new professors may spend 50-60 hours a week on teaching.
What Can You Do To Lighten Your Teaching Burden? Robert Boice, the author of Advice to New Faculty Members, devotes the first 100 pages of his book to teaching. His advice can be boiled down to "moderation in all things." When it comes to teaching, there are specific actions you can take. Here are some of his recommendations that I believe are the easiest to implement.
1. Don't try to fit too much into each class
2. You don't have to know everything
3. Simplify and make things more clear
4. Allow pauses during class
5. Do the "hardest work before it seems like work"
Don't Try to Fit Too Much Into Each Class - Many new professors make the mistake of equating quantity with quality. The truth is that it is easy to overwhelm and bore your students. Do you want them walking out of your class with pages of poor notes, not having taken in most of what you've said? Or do you want them to leave energized, excited, and clear about your most important points?
You Don't Have to Know Everything - Students are relieved and, ironically, will like and trust you more if they find out that you're NOT perfect. Studies show that students prefer hearing their professors reason things out. Showing the process of your thinking is excellent modeling. You don't earn their respect by being the smartest, most knowledgeable person in the world. You earn it by respecting them. If you don't know the answer to something, model a scholar's attitude of curiosity. Compliment them on the excellent question, say you'll look into it and that you'll answer it in the next class.
Simplify and Make Things More Clear - The information is often already in the assigned readings. If classes function only as information dumps, students will be resentful. On the other hand, if you can simplify, clarify and help them see the information in a new way, you will be making the class time valuable to them. Do you notice how this interacts with the idea of not fitting too much into the class? In order to clarify and simplify, you can't complicate things by forcing too much information into their heads.
Allow Pauses During Class - Racing through the material will leave you and the class breathless. It's not only OK, it's preferable to let there be some spaces where you collect your thoughts, find the next page of your notes, or ask if there are questions and allow a silence for students to digest the material. These pauses will allow you to gauge audience reaction and shape your subsequent remarks accordingly.
Do "The Hardest Work Before it Seems Like Work" - I used quotes because this concept is directly from Boyce's book. As you go about your day, make notes of thoughts about future classes that crop up in your mind. Expand on those during little breaks of a few minutes in your day, making mini-outlines or taking notes on further thoughts. Continue to expand on these ideas, imagining student reactions, metaphors or examples you might use, questions you might ask, discussion points, etc. Thus you are not preparing in one painful session, but slowly building to a preparation that will be partly complete.
My Recommendation - I suggest that you choose at least one of these ideas to try out in your teaching preparation or in your classes this week. You might find the transition a little scary, but you also might find that it helps your teaching. What have you got to lose?
An Environmental Science Degree An Investment In The Future
The world is changing faster now than at any time since the last ice-age 10,000 years ago and the major cause of that change is man. To allow the changes to continue unchecked is reckless at the least. Monitoring those changes and being able to convince others that we have to do or not do activities that affect the environment will take well qualified people with the relevant environmental science degree.
It has often been said that the education offered in colleges and universities are a direct response to the job market and the trends therein. If this is so then the future for professionals with an environmental science degree could not be much brighter.
After the industrial and the informational age, we are quickly entering the environmental age, where the environment and its characteristics are of paramount importance.
Never before, as a society, have we paid real attention to the environment and many would argue we still do not pay enough attention. Continuous exploitation of the earths natural resources and constant generation of heat and waste products have caused significant damage to the environment.
We live in an age where knowing, understanding and adapting to the environment is no longer a choice - it is the only way ahead. This age demands qualified professionals, especially those with professional environmental science degrees.
A number of allied degrees find their place alongside conventional environmental science degrees. Big business has, for a long time, been required to comply with safety and industrial security requirements. In industries like biotechnology, due to the nature of the products, there are numerous opportunities for disaster.
Disaster management and hazardous material management are fields of study that are very much in demand by today's high technology industries. While often these studies are not comprehensive enough to be offered as science degrees by themselves, these courses are more often than not partnered with environmental science degrees as part of a package deal.
For the environmental science degree student, it can be an advantage. While pursuing their main course of study, they can get qualifications in a number of allied fields. This makes them thorough professionals and capable of entering a wide range of industries when they graduate with their environmental science degree.
As a result of the long-standing lobbying activities, the United States is home to some of the worlds largest and best funded environmental groups and many professionals, working for these groups, have environmental science degrees.
Jobs exist with government bodies, lobbying positions with political groups and corporate organizations, research positions with foundations and other research organizations. More opportunities exist in the environmental safety departments of leading oil majors and even faculty positions at colleges offering environmental science degrees. They all offer lucrative positions that professionals with an environmental science degree can hope to secure.
An environmental science degree does not deal with environmental topics alone. Due to the very nature of their work, professionals who acquire an environmental science degree need to be equipped with allied subjects like compliance, law, criminal justice, and public communication.
The courses of study that ultimately lead to a environmental science degree are varied and interesting. Someone with an environmental science degree is likely to be tasked with protecting our environment as a result we need the very best!
If you have a concern about the World we live in or a desire and determination to do something to improve a steadily deteriorating habitat, then an environmental science degree would be an excellent place to start.
Anyone aspiring to be an environmental professional would typically need to go in for a BS Environmental Science Degree before going for an MS or a PhD in Environmental Studies.
Environment science degrees are offered in all major colleges and universities across the United States and the Western World. An environmental science degree can be taken full-time, part-time or by distance learning so whatever your circumstances you can contribute.
Are Sat Prep Courses Worth It
SAT importance has changed dramatically over the past few years. Many students strive to score as high as possible, because a high SAT score may translate into acceptance, and in some cases, scholarship money.
The basics of testing can be learnt quite easily; however the focus of this article is whether spending several thousand dollars for a prep course is ideal. At some private schools, more than half the students don't think twice about spending thousands on a good coaching company.
Do you need a prep course? It depends on how you learn best, and what is your motive for taking up such a course. Most of the techniques in prep courses are already mentioned in prep books that are sold in bookstores for thirty dollars.
Top students seldom gain much from coaching. The effortless insight that marks the best standardized test-takers cannot be taught. On the other hand, a student who lacks motivation may not benefit from a SAT prep course either. For diligent students, the benefits from a prep course will vary. If you are the type who is well-organized and initiative, you'd probably do as well with self-coaching software and books.
If you are enthusiastic about a prep course, by all means, take up one. If you believe that a prep course will raise your score, chances are that it will. Other types of students who may benefit from a prep course include students who learn best with adult direction. They often need help in staying focused, so a prep course will be a good idea. It depends on how you learn.
Before you sign up for a test prep course, be sure you research thoroughly what exactly you will be taught. Meet the instructor firsthand. Don't pay too much attention to guarantees; they are not reliable indicator of how effective a particular course is. It's always a good idea to try to take up a prep course BEFORE the first time you take the SAT. That way you'll avoid a sudden spike in your score - an event likely to raise suspicions in the admissions offices - which is the result of a cram course.
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