Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Fight the Urge to Be a Slob

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Staying clean can have a positive impact on your social situation. Let’s say you have come close with a member of the opposite sex. Your relationship in class continues to grow over the semester and when it is time for you to take things to the next level and socialize outside of an academic environment, the first impression you will want to have is that you are an organized individual. If you were to walk into the room of another for the first time and found that you could barely see the floor as it is covered in various articles of clothing and trash, you may be hesitant to even take on step further. Even if the person you are inviting over is not someone you are looking to know and perhaps is just a friend, they are going to feel uncomfortable, not knowing where to walk or sit. You want to make your dorm room inviting not only to others but to yourself. The habits you have now can easily become stable in your life. Meaning that if your practices being a slob now, chances are you are going to continue this bad tradition later on. Now is the time to steer the ship in the right direction, and make a positive change in your lifestyle.

Maybe you are looking for that DVD to watch with your new friend, but because it appears that a twister has recently come through your room, you are unable to find the cinematic adventure that you covet. Staying organized can do more than just help you find extracurricular items, but can also items you need to help you with your studies. However when it comes right down to it, your room is a place for you to get away from the stresses of college and relax. Give yourself the room to spread out by constructing designated areas for all of those loose items that seem to just pile up so quickly. Too many times can you be running late to class, and then be delayed further by not being able to find that specific folder or notepad you need. But going back to the example of having over someone special in your life, when you remain clean you are sending them a message that they are important to you. You are able to display your respect for them by creating an arena for he or she to feel safe and secure.

10 Things the Class of 2014 Hasn’t Experienced

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Every once in a while, it hits you – "Man, I’m old." Many of us are having the same experience as we realize the incoming class of college freshmen was born in 1991 and 1992, when Clinton was in the process of becoming the 42nd president, the first Iraq War was a resounding success and you were slow jamming to Boyz II Men. Today, we have our first African American president, we’re mired in a now seven-and-a-half year war in Iraq, and Lady Gaga is making us forget about Madonna. Other aspects of our lives have changed as well, making our day-to-day activities easier to accomplish. Below is a list of the 10 things the class of 2014 hasn’t experienced, or more accurately, the 10 things a majority of 18-year-olds haven’t experienced firsthand.

  1. A world without the internet
    Not only do new college students not know a world without the internet, but many also haven’t endured the screaming modem connecting through a telephone landline. A dropped connection or the fear of it limited your enjoyment and inhibited you from accomplishing much. But as the internet has evolved, connections have become faster and almost everything has become available with the click of a mouse. Teenagers are able to sign up for SATs, apply for college, apply for financial aid, select their classes, find a dorm, find a roommate and join a club all before they set foot on campus. The legwork that came with making such a life transition two decades ago has been eliminated.
  2. Consistent email correspondences
    It’s tragically unhip to use an email for anything other than formal correspondence. It has become an archaic form of internet communication and it has been supplanted by social networking sites. Email is rarely used to facilitate conversations by young people because it’s too slow and too impersonal. Instead, it’s used for formal messages with bosses and professors, and as a tool for signing up for websites.
  3. Life without cell phones
    College freshmen now are connected to their friends every minute of every day thanks to their smartphones. They can maintain constant contact with each other by texting and Facebooking – the latter of which has made high school reunions less anticipated because graduates from the last several years already know what their classmates are doing with their lives. Many college students have never used a payphone, which was the main communication device to use when you were out and about in years past, though you couldn’t make the call if you didn’t remember the number.
  4. Cameras with film
    The class of 2014 will be taking plenty of pictures in the coming years, capturing the memorable and not-so-memorable moments that occur during college. But before the advent of Facebook, when picture-taking was less of a priority to young people, a camera was only as good as the film that accompanied it. There was no immediate gratification after taking a round of photos because you couldn’t upload them onto your computer. Instead, you dropped the roll off at the drugstore and waited until the photos were developed – it was the only way you would see the photos.
  5. Using a paper map
    Now, commuters are less likely to get lost with the presence of a GPS. The only time a paper map is unfolded, trial and error is used or verbal directions are requested during a trip is when the GPS hasn’t been updated in a while, and it steers you to an empty field. So when students from the class of 2014 embark on their first college roadtrips, the absence of wrong turns and unexpected detours will result in more time to have fun.
  6. Driving manual transmission cars
    Although cars with manual transmissions are still manufactured, few young people bother to learn how to drive them. The phase-out began a couple of decades ago, but for a while, many parents took it upon themselves to teach their kids how to drive a stick shift because it was still considered a useful skill. Cars with manual transmissions are usually cheaper, and car enthusiasts will tell you they’re more fun to drive. But driving has become a chore, and young and old people alike prefer to keep it as easy as possible.
  7. Thumbing through an encyclopedia, dictionary or thesaurus
    The time-consuming activity of thumbing through an encyclopedia, dictionary or thesaurus made research papers a dreaded part of the college experience during the pre-internet era. It was a given that you would spend hours upon hours in the library, and if you didn’t, your GPA would suffer. For home use, Encyclopedia Britannica and Webster’s Dictionary were reliable options. Now, definitions can be easily found by googling the term, and Wikipedia has become an informal source of information despite its inaccuracy. Library time is spent surfing the internet, unless a professor gives an assignment that requires for certain books to be cited.
  8. Returning videotapes
    Through the ’80s and ’90s, college students would spend late nights perusing the aisles of video stores, looking for the latest and greatest hits to view during their downtime. It was imperative they returned the videotapes in a timely manner; otherwise they would face late fees, which would put a dent their nearly empty bank accounts. And, of course, the tapes had to be rewound. Students today use torrents and sites like Netflix, and they never have to leave their dorm suites.
  9. Cash only
    No longer are trips to the ATM a necessary weekly occurrence. There are very few situations in which cash is needed, so few people carry bills in their wallets. Everyone with a bank account owns a debit card, so wads of cash aren’t needed by college students for activities like barhopping. Instead, they use their debit cards for everything, including bar tabs, which grow as more beer and shots are downed, causing future meals to be sacrificed due to the limited funds that remain.
  10. Reliance on a wristwatch
    Cell phones have ensured that people no longer uses wristwatches for time-telling purposes. Watches are no different than any piece of jewelry – they’re aesthetically-pleasing items that are worn fashionably. But it doesn’t seem to be a trend for 18-year-olds to own one, and with their cell phones always in their palms, they always know the time.

Online Colleges and the Changing Education Community

Monday, August 9th, 2010

By Olivia Coleman

Online education has brought with it many new changes to the education system, stemming from the first days of the internet.  Teachers were at first unaware how to handle the change in technology although lately many educators believe that students do not need to learn as many minute details because of the easy access to Google and Wikipedia.  Online education only threw a new hammer into this mixture by allowing students to not only research online, but in fact take all their courses through the internet and communicate with their classes entirely online.  

Online colleges have spent millions of dollars advertising their programs, vastly different from the quieter tactics traditional schools use to attract students.  For-profit universities do not have the advantage of having a steady matriculation rate and a lengthy history of success like so many traditional universities hold.  Rather, it basis its entire profit on the effectiveness of its advertisements and recruiters, a process which has become highly criticized by educators and politicians alike.  However, online colleges now play a vital role in the education world as they continue to attract students who otherwise would never have attempted college courses.  We are slowly moving toward a better education population solely as a result of these changes in the online industry.

Online education has carved out a niche for itself within education and seems to be in no danger of  vanishing anytime soon.  Education processes have changed as well, as teachers have slowly accepted the fact that their students now resort to Google to find many of their research assignments.  Many of us are now left with the question as to whether our years of education are still necessary in a world that has become highly dependent on knowledge at the stroke of a button.  Many people argue that there is no point in learning every battle of the Civil War when you can easily research it on Wikipedia.  However, online education does not spend too much time squabbling over these issues, but instead remains focused on its goal to attract new students every year.

Online colleges have managed to get over the initial hump in the education world and remain highly ranked even through all the bad press they have received.  The education community has slowly accepted the spread of online classes, even though many scholars still consider online colleges to be a lesser form of education.  Regardless of these lone opinions, online colleges and universities remain a highly profitable industry and continue to reward students with degrees every year.  

A New Generation of Online Colleges and Universities

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

By Olivia Coleman

Many critics are scared of the future that has begun to unfold before our eyes: the current generation of students beginning to unpack their college dorms being the last generation to move away from home for college.  This fear began with the implementation of online education and has increased over the past years as the industry has taken off with congressional and educator support.  College 2.0, as it has been called, is enough to scare anybody, with its possible future of learning separate from the classroom and solely online textbooks.  While online education is nowhere near a fully implemental industry, online colleges have been sprouting up more rapidly than expected, but offer a new opportunity to students rather than the fear so many anticipated it would cause. 

Online colleges and universities began simply enough, with a few for-profit institutions that sought to encourage working adults to earn supplemental degrees.  Since this point, most schools have ballooned into expanding entities that continue to attract thousands of students every year, of all shapes and sizes.  Even more surprising is the fact that many traditional schools now offer specific online courses and degree programs which attract more students than they anticipated.  This has led more educators to support the online community because of the Ivy League schools that offer classes and the support Congress gave to for-profit schools several years ago.  This reigning support helps make the industry more reputable to many people who are still wary of the process.

The new generation of students who have completed their degree through online colleges and universities is expanding every year and provides a beacon of hope for those students who do not have the time or money to enroll in traditional colleges.  Online schools have therefore opened doors to students who would not have taken the time to earn a degree without the invention of online classes.  We really have become a society that is dependent on the internet, but as these students have proven, it is not entirely a bad thing.  Our new generation of internet-users has indicated to the technology community that social media sites have become a part of everyday life and online colleges have simply added to this community.

Many critics site numerous differences of online education including the separation of student and professor, the lack of interaction, and the inability to grasp concepts through sole research, but these critics have slowly drifted away over the years.  Online education has conquered many of these problems and continues to attract new groups of students every year and grants thousands of degrees to online students every year as well.  While the “doomsday” predictions of critics will probably never come true (online education will not replace traditional classes entirely), the industry will continue to attract new students every year and will more than likely come to a balancing point with traditional college campuses. 


How to Earn Scholarships for Online Degree Programs

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

By Olivia Coleman

Online scholarships have become easier to earn in recent years largely due to the 2006 Congressional bill that allowed online schools to receive federal funding.  Since this point, many more schools have opened up and many students have been able to receive federal Pell Grants and student loans through the government.  This has opened up vast opportunities for students in the online education world and has in turn opened up many opportunities for online scholarships as well.

Scholarships are a direct representation of the amount of funding any type of school receives, both from the government and private donors.  For-profit institutions, however, have difficulties in accruing money for scholarships since their endowment comes solely from their students.  However, the Congressional bill which was passed allowed for-profit institutions to receive a larger amount of funding, and therefore the means to expand their degree programs and their student base.  This has had an enormous affect on the amount of students who have enrolled in online institutions and their ability to earn a degree.

Online scholarships have thus become a direct result of federal funding to for-profit educational organizations and have slowly emerged in the past years.  Many range according to the school’s degree programs and acceptance rates, and are still hesitantly growing.  Online schools which have the most scholarships are typically traditional schools that have ventured into the online education community.  These schools offer many scholarships to any student who enrolls in their degree programs and many of these schools have been able to influence other online schools in their own financial aid areas.

Earning online scholarships for different degree programs is pretty similar to scholarships in traditional schools.  Most scholarships are based on good academic standing and other types of educational involvement in high school, which is what online universities consider as well.  Federal types of student aid additionally offer another type of monetary buffer for most students and help cover what other scholarships may not reach.  These federal funds normally look at students’ backgrounds, their financial situations, and their academic outlook.  As long as you are taking more than three hours of courses, you will qualify for most federal funds.  Most scholarships, however, require that you be enrolled at least full time (the amount of hours varies according to the school, but traditionally is over twelve hours).  Depending on what grades you have made throughout your academic career and your goals in your academic future, you will be able to secure many scholarships and federal funds for a further education. 

Why are Online Colleges and Universities More Popular than Ever?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

By Olivia Coleman

Online colleges and universities have experienced a jump in the past few years, largely due to the congressional bill which allowed federal funds to be handed over to online universities, but also due to the economic situation many of us have found ourselves in.  The economy has been the biggest influence for many students to attend online colleges, because many of them have found themselves in a lurch which they cannot easily get out of.  Online education offers many of them the option to gain a further education without paying thousands of dollars for the costs.

Online colleges and universities are for-profit institutions, which means they are able to charge less in their tuition and offer a greater selection of degree programs than most state schools.  Because of this aspect, online colleges have attracted a large amount of students from across the nation, many of whom would never have previously considered earning a college degree.  It is amazing what a few wires can do in the long run.  However, the economy has had a large influence on students of online education, mainly because it offers a cost-efficient alternative to earning MBAs and simple Bachelor’s Degrees, most of which would require four years of education which would result in outrageous loan payments.

Online education has the flexible alternative of allowing students to take classes when they want, and nearly pay what they want to pay.  The cost of online colleges is ridiculous compared to the cost of most state schools, and especially private schools, but the degree is exactly the same.  While you are not able to receive the same face to face interaction that traditional classroom education serves you, you will earn the same degree which will be able to earn you a further career option.

Online education has rapidly gained steam with many educators as it has procured a new option for students who otherwise would never have considered college.  A better education nation will inevitably lead to a better career-oriented nation, one which will be able to meet any challenges which may befall us in the coming years.  Education is more than simply earning a degree, but about learning the steps to grow more educated about certain topics.  Online colleges and universities have these resources available to their students and offer so much more in the future.  This is the new world for college for so many students and as soon as we realize the massive benefits that have occurred, the better off we all will be. 


Online Colleges and Universities Continue their Exponential Growth

Friday, February 26th, 2010

By Olivia Coleman

Online education has only begun its foray into the educational field as new online courses are being offered every semester and new colleges open their theoretical doors every year as they attract online students.  Online colleges and universities have paved the way for a large technological shift in which we are no longer confined to the traditional classroom education, but now have choices of how we learn. 

The growth that has occurred as the result of the new popularity in online education is largely due to the easy accessibility which online colleges offer to their students, as well as the enticing possibility of earning a college degree from home.  We have long passed the days of the commercials that offered associate’s degrees from home through certain programs and have entered the days in which students can now earn anything from associates to doctoral degrees through online classes.  Previous programs could not offer higher degrees because they did not have the resources to allow students the flexibility to communicate with their professors through email. 

More than a technological feat, online education has been an educational miracle for many online college students who otherwise would not have received a degree in their lives.  The lower cost of online education coupled with the flexible class schedule have allowed many students to experience a higher level of education and improve their future career search.  Additionally, online colleges have now expanded their programs and now offer degree programs in nearly every type of imaginable field.  They offer the course offerings of a major public university for the price of a community college, all from the comfort of your home.

While online colleges and universities had a shaky start in the beginning of the new century, they have now received praise around the nation as a tool which promotes a further education.  There are still problems here and there with accreditation and “diploma mill” institutions, but thoroughly researching the school before signing up will protect you against any unwanted issues.  Online education has reached even higher goals in the past year and has attracted students from around the world to online classes, sure to boost education rates in the international sector.  The industry is continuing to grow, sure to reach great heights from its modest beginnings only a decade ago.

I Can’t Has Cheezburger

Monday, January 11th, 2010

I Can't Has Cheezburger

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What is the Best Online College for You

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

There are many, many lists and rankings that provide what the highest ranking online colleges are, dividing each by cost, degree-type, and future career options.  However, determining what school is best for you is an important part of researching for college.  Rankings which may pertain to one person do not necessarily relate as well to the next person, which is why these lists should be purely supplemental in beginning your online college search.

One of the most important factors to consider in choosing an online college is their accreditation status.  Many online schools resemble traditional online universities, but are sham operations and give out “fake” degrees all while boasting a “fake” accreditation.  There are a few tips to look at when researching whether a school is one of these diploma mills: their accreditation rests on claims of affiliation with different organizations that are not related to school accreditation or they use words such as “state-approved” to suggest the equivalence of accreditation.  Additionally, many schools that only offer postal box addresses or offers little interaction with professors is a clear sign that something is not right with the school.  Many times, the name of the school is also a dead giveaway if it resembles a highly reputable university.  Finally, if schools only offer tuition on a per-degree basis rather than on a per-course basis, it is clear that something is awry with the terms of enrollment.

After this step, you have undoubtedly performed much research regarding online colleges and have begun to look into degree programs.  Schools that offer extensive degree problems for your specific degree are the schools you should begin to seriously look at.  Many schools that are not built-up enough offer simple general degrees without delving too far into a specialty.  However, schools that have been around for years longer are more apt to have an extensive degree program which offers a multitude of smaller degrees that can be just what you are looking for.  While broad degree programs may be perfect for some students, others require a more specialized degree, especially if they are searching for a supplemental graduate degree in a certain field.

Finally, reading former students’ remarks may help you decide whether you want to pursue a degree in the institution.  While the school typically will not publish unfavorable remarks, these comments do tend to provide insight into specific degree programs and professor schedules.  Additionally, seeing the manner in which they are written (as well as the subsequent career these students earned) is an important part of the college application process.  Treating online colleges like traditional colleges makes a big difference between ending up with a diploma mill degree and an accredited highly-ranked degree.  While the best online college for you may be vastly different from the best online college for your neighbor, the easy accessibility which the distance learning process offers ensures that there will always be a specific niche for everyone. 

The History of Online Colleges and Universities

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Online education seemed to come out of nowhere, nearly booming overnight (perhaps reminiscent of the craze), but online colleges and universities have been in the works for nearly two decades, thriving on technological advances in the internet to increase their student-base.  The internet began to be something businesses took notice of in the 80s, and with that, many businesses used software through the internet to better train their employees, the very first hints at online education. 

As the 90s ended, internet and technology truly took off and online courses began to emerge at many traditional universities, offering students a way to take alternate classes from different schools that may not have been available at their school.  This process then began to expand from single classes to entire online colleges and universities, making it easier for students to earn degrees despite working full-time and raising a family.  Advances with digital streaming and online video availability helped spur on this transition to online education as it became a readily available option for many students throughout the country. 

Since this point, online education has expanded rapidly, as more and more technological advancements have occurred which have only led to greater developments within the online community.  Furthermore, we have now reached a point in which professors are specifically hired to teach online classes in which they are simply only video-taped for classes.  Additionally, larger businesses have begun to use online colleges as a way for their employees to earn additionally degrees which are beneficial for the company.  Many businesses now require this type of enrollment.  This is a beneficial option for many employees because instead of learning a packet of information on their own, they are in fact getting a new degree paid for by the company and are still able to prepare for class at home, rather than have late nights at the office. 

Multimedia and video conferencing have evolved to such a point that online colleges and universities now seem as ordinary as traditional schools.  Additionally, nearly every type of degree is now available online, meaning that students of any genre can now take online courses from any part of the country!  Furthermore, technology is always evolving, which leads us to wonder what the future of online education will hold.