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Juggling Work, Family And Your Education

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Many people attend college directly after graduating high school. For others, they wait until later in their lives to attend college, or attend graduate school later in life. Attending school at this time in life can be challenging as their lives have many different responsibilities. Some of these professional students also have families at home including children, work and hobbies that they are involved with. This results in professional students facing the challenge of balancing work and family while finding time to complete their education.

Scheduling is Key

Creating a schedule is critical to be able to balance these items in your life. If you think that you can do things “on the fly”, you will find that one or several areas of your life will not get the time they deserve. Work with your family, employer and others when crating your calendar. Let them know what your schedule is. That way they can work around your schedule instead of you having to adjust to theirs. Over time you may find you can make slight adjustments, but during the first few months, stick to your schedule. If you don’t respect your schedule, nobody else will. For that schedule, include time for class, studying and school projects.

If you are completing your schooling to improve your performance in the office, work with your employer for accommodations. Your office might be willing to let you set aside a half hour or hour a day of your workday to complete school assignments if they can see the benefits of your classes for them. If they won’t set aside time at work to let you complete your school work, they might be willing to allow you to work a more flexible schedule.

Set Aside a Location

Set aside a specific area to complete your school work. Isolate yourself from distractions when you are completing your school work. This is important for you to establish a time when others will not approach you with potential distractions. A small office in your home or even a bedroom are appropriate locations to use for your school work completion.

Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrate your accomplishments with your family. Your family may feel that they are losing time with you, and they are probably correct. Make them feel that their flexibility is appreciated. When you complete your courses for the semester, plan a special night out with your family. This might include a nice expensive dinner at one of their favourite restaurants.

This article was written by the team at the Engineering Institute of Technology, specialists in online engineering courses including hazardous area training certification and more.

 

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Online or On Campus Learning: Which One Is Best for You?

The choices in online education have exponentially grown over the last decade. In the beginning, there were only a handful of colleges offering a few majors through convoluted and difficult interfaces. At that time, the choice between attending an online school and a brick-and-mortar institution was a clearer choice. Today, however, the field has broadened tremendously, and with it has come an increase in opportunity and resources. Online education is being taken seriously by institutions of higher learning, and students are flocking to the opportunity to achieve their academic goals while continuing to meet their current obligations to family and career. Here are some points to consider when choosing between online and in-class attendance.

Convenience

The biggest advantage that persuades many to choose an online degree program is the element of convenience. The opportunity to be free of rigid class schedules means that many who are attending classes to enhance their current career path are able to do so after work. For parents, online class work and attendance can be scheduled around the obligations of child rearing. The advantage for many students that are recently graduated from high school is that attending online opens up the availability of far away colleges without requiring an expensive and often traumatic relocation.

Degree Choice

Information technology is one of the fastest growing job fields in the world, and online schools offer a wide variety of college degree programs for those interested in joining that market. However, there are still many degrees in the sciences and liberal arts that are not available online. Choosing a major was once a difficult choice that students could put off while fulfilling their core class requirements, but now it has become more critical to make that decision prior to enrollment. Prospective students must make the choice of schools based on the degree they desire, but the reality is that some professions can only be pursued through brick-and-mortar attendance. This is most relevant at the undergraduate level. If you are not sure what major you want to study, it may be best to attend a campus-based university, where you have the time and ability to gain exposure to a greater variety of fields of study.

School Prestige

There are two major opinions related to school prestige that differ on their views of its necessity. Some believe that the content of an education determines its value, while others associate college degree value with the name of the institution one has attended. This is a matter of opinion that has evidence on both sides of the argument, but it is a realistic consequence of one’s school choice. The advantages of a brick-and-mortar institution can most frequently be associated with the alumni support services and the networking that is achieved while in attendance. When physically attending a school, one’s interaction with peers and professors is much more personal and valuable to the future support of one’s academic and professional endeavors. In the online environment, everyone is geographically isolated and there is rarely any additional interaction, which means there is little chance of building friendships and professional contacts.

Deciding to attend college online or at a physical campus can be a difficult choice. Selecting between the two options should be made based on which is most complimentary to one’s individual goals and needs.

Janet Snyder is a freelance blogger, who writes about options in higher education. Herself a student, Janet recommends getting a masters degree in strategic management to help you on your career path.

 

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Get Everything Done Today: Be More Productive

College can be either the best years of your life or the worst, depending upon your outlook and attitude. Many college students, especially freshmen, feel so overwhelmed that they are walking around like zombies, merely surviving instead of living. One of the best ways to ensure that you are not among the walking dead is to be as productive as possible during your college career. This is much easier than it sounds. All it takes is a solid plan and the motivation to stick to the plan at all times. By following these simple guidelines, you will be more productive, more successful, and much happier during your college years, making it truly one of the best times of your life.

Wake up earlier. Yes, this sounds like a very, very bad thing to many college students, but the truth is that sleeping in regularly robs you of energy and time. Getting in the habit of waking up early will allow you precious extra hours each day to get work done, to hang out with friends, or simply to take a minute to relax. It also helps you to get into a routine that will leave you feeling more alert and energized EVERY day.

Minimize distractions. The college environment can be a minefield of distraction. Friends coming and going, constant activity, video games, television, social networking, and more can easily pull your attention away from your studies. When you sit down to study, turn off your cell phone, avoid using the computer for anything other than the task at hand, and make it known that you are unavailable.

Take advantage of technology. Today’s college students have advantages that were unavailable to past generations. Use your smartphone and a laptop to take advantage of any down time during, or between, classes. By utilizing any available down time to get a head start on assignments, you will have much more time to have fun later on.

Take time for yourself. Regardless of how busy you are, take time for yourself every single day. Meet friends for dinner, to sneak in a workout, to catch a movie, or to play games. This lets you relax and unwind and will make your mind sharper when you get back to business, allowing you to accomplish more.

Stay organized. One of the main ways to increase your productivity and to reduce stress is to stay organized. Keep your study area tidy and develop a paper system for keeping up with deadlines, syllabi, work in progress, and more. Digital systems are not recommended for college students because they often require you to double-handle many documents, thus losing time.

Following these guidelines to productivity will take a great deal of the stress out of going to college. Although it may seem that some of these ideas are counterintuitive to what you want to do, there is no doubt that they will allow you to use your time more efficiently, which in turn allows you to have more free time for fun.

About the Author

Tammi Jenkins is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers is a great site for you to help you decide if you need to go back to school and get enrolled in online MBA programs.

 

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Signs of Cyber-Plagiarism

For as long as schools have educated young minds, the practice of plagiarism has been a problem and a dirty little secret of otherwise sanctimonious institutions. Adding to the frequency and breadth of plagiarized work submitted by students, however, is the internet. As web access and amount of tech savvy students has increased, so too has the ease with which pupils gain access to and submit work that is not their own. Often referred to as “cyber-plagiarism” this practice is like the plagiarism of yesteryear on steroids. Students copy content and concepts found online without providing any attribution to a source. Cyber-plagiarism also involves attaining already completed papers (research, theses, whole DISSERTATIONS—whatever a student needs there is probably a way to download or buy it online) and handing them over to an unsuspecting teacher or professor as original work. This widespread cyber problem is especially affecting colleges and Universities and without the proper attention could lead to dire implications.

When initially reading a student’s work keep your eye out for the following “tells” of cyber-plagiarism:

1.         False sources-Students may make up sources to give the appearance that the information they are regurgitating verbatim is actually paraphrased content from a legitimate source. If a source looks suspect or you have never heard of it, a simple Google search will reveal if it is an actual book/scholarly article/etc.

2.         Changes in writing-If the writing style of a paper changes drastically during the course of reading it, it is possible that it came from multiple sources OR the student wrote parts of it and copied other parts. In this same vein, changes in the quality of the writing throughout the paper could be a red flag.

3.         Knowledge base-As the instructor, you know what information the student had access to as a result of your class and reading assignments. If the paper far exceeds this knowledge base it could be cause for concern.

4.         Not quite on point-The paper is quite good, well-supported and well-written, but not EXACTLY on the topic or question you assigned. It is possible in this case that the student found something online that was a “best fit” to their assignment and went with it.

5.         Strange sources-Their sources may be actual books and journals but if those books are extremely outdated or the journals are not accessible through your library or library’s online database, then it is highly unlikely that the student referenced them.

6.         Anachronisms-References to past politicians as “current”, outdated electronics as “brand new” or celebrity has-beens as “popular” could be cause for a more thorough examination.

7.         Format discrepancies-Just LOOKING at a student’s work can sometimes reveal questions. Varied fonts, different styles between pages, multiple bibliographic styles (Chicago, MLA, APA), American AND British spelling, could all raise suspicion before ever reading the actual text.

If one or more of these telling signs is present in a student’s work, NEVER FEAR—cyber-plagiarism can be combated through the very technology that ushered it in. Hop on the internet; go to a search engine and type in a key phrase from the assignment. When using this approach make sure to find a distinctive phrase, perhaps with multiple uncommon words in one sentence. Another option is to resort to a grammar checker, while the main objective of these tools is to check for grammatical correctness you will find that most feature a plagiarism filter.

This means of combating the issue, however, can be time consuming and many students take content from multiple sources to piece together a final product—so pin pointing ALL the plagiarized source material can be difficult. As such, plagiarism detection electronic programs and software have become a valuable resource for colleges and Universities. These programs allow the instructor to identify borrowed text from websites, online content and paper-mill databases.

If you or your organization is in charge of large amounts of content where originality and quality are imperative consider using Grammarly the best resource to remain in compliance with all grammar rules.

 

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The Advice of Steve

With the death of Steve Jobs came the end of an era. He was the CEO and visionary of Apple. He inspired many people to do great things. He will not be forgotten, but will always be remembered as an extremely intelligent, and passionate, man. He left behind words of advice that we should all ponder as we find our place in this world.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it…”

Jobs said this when he spoke for the Stanford graduation ceremony on June 12, 2005. Jobs was right when he said our time was limited. We may think we have time for everything. We don’t, and we need to make time for the most important things. Follow your heart in everything that you do. That is the best way to ensure long-term happiness.

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”

This is so true. If you are a college student right now, don’t just go through school doing the minimum requirements. Make sure you do quality work in order to get all that you can out of your education. Don’t slack off.

“…saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters to me.”

Spoken to the Wall Street Journal in 1993, Jobs inspired people not to only think about money. Doing what is great for the world is what really matters. Success does not only come in the form of money although many think it does.

“I think if you do something and it turns out…then you should go do something else…”

Many people will do something great and then stop there. This makes them failures, I think. Jobs says it best with this quote. After you do something great, go out and do something else that’s great. Don’t quit while you’re ahead.

“There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Don’t be scared of anything. Steve Jobs was innovative and if people didn’t like his ideas, he did it himself. Being scared will only limit what you can do. College is hard sometimes but it is doable. There is nothing to lose in this world. Like Jobs says, just follow your heart. If you do that, you will have no regrets. Jobs once said, “I want to put a ding in the universe.” He did. You can too.

About the Author

Meagan Hollman writes pieces MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers puts people on the right path for career, and higher education, exploration. The site helps people find online mba programs that are tailored to their exact needs.

 

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It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late

“Mom! Wake up, it’s time for you to go to school!” Wait, what? That doesn’t sound quite right. Or does it? In today’s world, older people who did not graduate college are finding ways to go back to school and finish their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. This is the case with Kristine Timson-Bates and Linda Timson, a mother and daughter pair who are getting their Bachelor’s degree together at Rasmussen College in Fort Myers.

Kristine and Linda”s Story

It all began at a local car club. Kristine, the 26-year-old daughter of Linda, had what seemed to be a random conversation with the Dean of Admissions at Rasmussen. The Dean told her that she should go enroll on campus. Linda went and took a look at the campus and enrolled fairly quickly. Linda noticed how easy it could be and followed her daughter’s footsteps. Kristine said this about the situation, “We were both thrilled and a little nervous putting ourselves in the same environment.” Kristine has decided to major in Digital Design and Animation while Linda is getting her degree in Business Management.

Linda who was previously working at Walmart now takes general education classes with her daughter. They meet up on campus to discuss their classes and their schedules. Many college students may be petrified thinking of going to school with their mothers. Kristine, on the other hand, has found that she enjoys the new time spent together. “It’s great because we are both very competitive at heart and both have the desire to learn…We are not only each other’s cheerleaders but toughest critics as well. It really makes me happy seeing my mom succeed in something she didn’t think was an option for her and seeing her make new friends,” Kristine says.

How can I do that?

Linda is not the only mother who has gone back to college after so many years. People are doing it all across the nation. With today’s programs and opportunities, anyone and everyone can go and get their degree. You may be thinking you can’t because you are too old, you have too many kids, there is not enough time, or you don’t have any money. These reasons are all just excuses. There are online programs where you can take classes from home, in your own time frame. There are also lots of scholarships that you can qualify for. In order to go back to college like Linda you need to go through these steps:

1. Decide that you want to go back to school. Once you make the decision don’t go back on it.

2. Choose what you want to major in. Find something you love and that you could see yourself doing for a long time.

3. Meet with a career counselor. These professionals have been trained in colleges and helping people. They can really help you answer any questions you may have.

4. Choose what type of school. For example, decide whether you want to do an online program or go to a physical college campus.

5. Choose your school. After you research your options and have a look around, make a choice that you love and make sure it fits with your schedule.

6. Find a way to get the money you need. Start applying to those scholarships!

7. Start remembering what it’s like to study. Make sure you get yourself into the mindset of a student again. It has probably been a while. This is one of those times when it is acceptable and even encouraged to go to your children for help.

Now that you have all the steps you need. Follow Linda’s example. Don’t let anything scare you out of doing it, or you may always regret it.

About the Author

Meagan Hollman composes pieces for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers gets people to start an online education. Once you’ve figured out an online education is right for you, we will help you understand which online colleges and online courses you can choose from to reach your goals.

 

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The Case for Online Education

Over the past few decades, online education has emerged as a form of secondary education that for many people has replaced actual attendance in physical classrooms. However, this change didn’t occur over night. Below is a brief overview of the rise of online education.

The Beginning

The seeds that would later grow into online universities were actually planted well before the internet was even available to the public. This goes all the way back to the 60’s. During the 1960’s, the very first experiments using computers to teach were performed at Stanford University. Psychology professors, Richard Atkisnon and Patrick Suppes, used the very modest computer technology available at the time to teach reading and math to elementary school students.

These experiments were very successful, and the result was that a focus on combining computers with teaching would continue as the technology itself slowly evolved and became more available to more instructors.

The Digital Revolution of the 1990’s

However, the use of computers and the internet as teaching tools really didn’t take off until the 1990’s. In 1993, a man named William Graziadei developed the first curriculum using an online model. He used e-mail, which still had rather limited use outside of the government, to send students lectures and assignments. Over the next four years, he finely tuned his online teaching strategies. In 1997, he published an influential article outlining his strategy for developing and managing a course using the capabilities of the internet.

However, it was one year prior to this article that the first online university was officially launched. The first university to exist completely online was Jones International University. This university had in fact been implementing distance learning techniques via cable television networks since the late 80’s. This business plan helped them transition easily to using the internet as a replacement distance learning platform. The online version of this school received its accreditation in 1996.

Online Education Today

Today, online education has become part of the foundation of both pedagogy and the secondary education marketplace. Nearly every highschool student now uses online teaching tools inside and outside of the classroom.

Secondary education will also never be the same. Almost every major college has adapted to include the internet as part of courses in nearly every field. Most large colleges also now offer online courses in addition to courses completed on campus.

However, the biggest change has been the explosion of schools and learning programs that only exist online. A plethora of accredited online universities are now available to students in every single state. By 2006, it was estimated that 3.2 million students were taking a course online. That number has surely risen since and will probably continue to rise well off into the future.

Britney Baker is a freelance writer who normally writes feature articles for carinsurancecompanies.org.

 

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