Blog Blog Copyright by en Tue, 12 Nov 2019 03:36:50 -0500 Get the Most From Your Education With These 10 Smart Strategies

Do you have a university degree? When you attended college, you invested in an education that can benefit you the rest of your life. Getting the most out of your college experience can make a big difference in your future.

You can ignore that you ever went to college or turn that experience into something valuable. It’s your choice.

Take advantage of these ideas to make the most of your education:

  1. Work in the field in which you were educated. If it’s not possible to work in your particular field, consider working in a closely related field or teaching a class in it.
  1. Keep your textbooks. Make a place in your home for your personal library. You can use these for reference over the years. Highlight important sections in the books so you can go right to this information quickly whenever you might need it.
  1. Hang your degree certificate in your home or office. Seeing your degree can remind you of the efforts that you put forth in order to get it and bring you positive feelings of pride in a job well done.
  1. Attend alumni functions. By attending these events, you’ll be around others who have gone through what you have and are proud of it. You’ll get to see old classmates and teachers. You can network to discover career opportunities, as many alumni are happy to help fellow alumni in the business world.
  1. Use your multi-tasking skills on a daily basis. When you work hard enough to receive your degree, you did many things at one time to achieve it. Use these multi-tasking abilities in your daily life to stay organized and get things done.
  1. Save your papers for future reference. Saving your research papers is smart. You can use them in the future for reference material when you work in your field.
  1. Join groups or clubs in your field. You can sign up at your local library or discover groups on the internet. There are forums or Facebook groups on almost every topic. Meet others who earned the same degree as yours, discuss ideas, and even form business alliances.
  1. Consider pursuing a higher degree or certifications in your field. Further education may help you achieve promotions or become qualified for additional career opportunities.
  1. Use your motivation in all areas of your life. In order to have finished your degree, you must have discovered something that motivates you. In times of trouble, look inward and find that motivation again to help you persevere.
  1. Remember that your degree shows dedication and determination. Never forget the amount of work you did to get your education. It shows great character to start and finish something as important as a degree.

These tips can help you to better utilize your education. Avoid taking your degree for granted and remember all the work and effort that you put into achieving it. You can be proud of your accomplishment! Benefit all you can from it by putting it to work for you.

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 28 Oct 2018 05:03:40 -0400
5 College Degrees with Above Average Salaries  

Attaining a college education increases your chances of earning a healthy compensation for your time. The truth is, you do not have to be a doctor or a lawyer to earn a healthy living. As expected in this age of technology, the computer "geeks" seem to be taking home the biggest paychecks.

Consider pursuing a degree in one of these fields:

1. Petroleum engineering. Engineering is well known for being a high paying industry, and the growing sector of petroleum engineering is no different. With just five to nine years of experience, you can earn a satisfying six-figure salary of $120,000.

  • According to, the average entry-level salary for graduates that hold a degree in petroleum engineering falls in the range of $66,000 to $91,000. And, after just 10 years of experience, an annual salary of $100,000 to $152,000 is common.
  • Petroleum engineers employed by private organizations earn between $99,000 and $205,000 per year, while the earnings of federal government employees are capped at $106,000 regardless of experience.

2. Statistics. If you have a love for analyzing data and you're good with numbers, you could find a handsomely paying career in Statistics. With five to nine years of experience under your belt, you can earn $93,000.

  • As a fresh college grad, you can expect to take home in the range of $42,000 to $66,000. And, after gaining 10 years of experience, the average salary is between $77,000 and $112,000.
  • Company employees earn between $62,000 and $100,000, while government employees earn on average $10,000 less per year.

3. Computer science. With technology being one of today's most popular career fields, it's no wonder computer science majors take home over $53,000 during their first year in the workforce.

  • According to, those with five to nine years of experience can expect to earn $73,000. And, after 10 years on the job, an annual salary of over $90,000 is considered to be standard practice.
  • Company employees are compensated the greatest at an average salary of about $73,000, while employees of the federal government usually average $71,000.

4 Geology. When it comes to making the big bucks as a geologist, location is the most crucial factor. While some states, such as Florida and Georgia, often pay an average salary of less than $40,000 for an experienced geologist, states such as California and Texas are willing to pay a premium.

  • Texas geologists earn in the range of $49,000 and $92,000. California also offers a healthy salary, ranging from $46,000 to $65,000. Salary is proportionate with experience.
  • Nationally, geologists with less than a year of experience earn between $35,000 and $52,000. However, after five to nine years on the job, a $62,000 salary can be attained. A geologist with over 10 years of experience can expect to earn an annual salary between $52,000 and $73,000.
  • Self-employed geologists have the highest earning potential tiptoeing in around $35,000 and upwards of $93,000.
  • The highest earning potential for government employees is around $64,000.

5. Economics. Though the current economy may be undeniably depressed, those with a degree in economics can safely expect to earn a sizeable salary, even throughout the beginning years of their careers.

  • According to, fresh college graduates take home $36,000 to $58,000 in their first year on the job. After just five to nine years of experience, the average salary boosts to between $63,000 and $100,000. Highly experienced economists earn a respectable $82,000 to $122,000 annual salary.
  • Government employees are compensated at a higher level than company employees. On average, the government pays between $60,000 and $110,000, as opposed to the average $44,000 to $88,000 offered to company employees.

As you can see, even with a sour economy, it's still possible to earn an impressive salary with a standard Bachelor's degree. If you can focus in on a time-tested profitable degree, you'll be able to live large, whether the economy is sinking or thriving.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 18 Sep 2018 04:54:45 -0400
Finding Success After College

Graduating students would like to find the key to success, as they enter the world of work. Since most have a limited amount of work experience and do not really know what is expected of them, they would like to find a proven path they can follow. Here it is:

1. Job Offers - Seek job offers in your areas of strength. Employers want you to contribute to the success of the company. You stand a greater chance of doing that when you start out in a job that takes advantage of your strengths.

2. Company Culture - Investigate the culture in which you will be working. What environment makes you feel comfortable? Every company and every department has an operating style. Do some online research and try to talk with employees, former employees, customers and competitors.

3. Co-workers - Meet and make a judgement about the people you will work with. If you hate your boss and the people you will be working with, it will show. That is not something that will lead you to success.

4. Getting Started - Remember, you are the new employee, "the college kid," and you don't yet know how things work around there. You may be book smart, but there is a lot to learn about the people, the products and services and the methods of operation. Your first job is to 'fit in.'

5. The Work - Accept assignments and responsibility willingly. If you want to progress into the management ranks, you must first show others that you can get the job done as an individual. Later you must get the job done in groups or on teams and when leading a group.

6. Ask Questions - Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Show others that you are interested in the job, the company and want to learn as much as possible. The faster you gather the information and learn the ropes the faster you will become a member of the team.

7. Your Attitude - Offer everyone a positive attitude, a great smile and a kind word. This acronym will help you remember that making a good impression starts with your attitude: A Tiny Thing Inside That Ultimately Determines Everything.

8. Preparation - Obtain the information, tools, skills and assistance you will need. Doing any job well requires forethought and preparation.

9. Be Helpful - Be willing to help others. Your willingness to help your fellow employees will go a long way toward gaining their support when it is needed.

10. Relationships - Build positive relationships with the people you encounter. If the people in the company like you, your chances for success increase. When they do not like you, there is little chance for you to survive.

11. Work Quality - Do your best work. Employers want people who perform at a high level with consistent quality and a high degree of reliability. They must believe that they can count on you.

12. Determination - Persevere in the face of obstacles and difficulties. Few assignments will be easy or go smoothly. Employers need people who can find acceptable ways to overcome the challenges they encounter.

13. Deadlines - Beat any deadlines. Oftentimes, you must get your job done first, so someone else can use your results to get their job done. Missing a deadline will harm your reputation and hinder the success of your employer.

14. Results - Strive to achieve results that are greater than expected. Employers reward results. Your reputation is built on the results you achieve and the way you achieve them. Pay attention to your results. Note: Working hard is not results.

15. Credit - Give credit to the people who help you. Successful employees do not operate in a vacuum. You must show appreciation for any help you receive or nobody will help you again.

16. Assignments - When you finish one assignment, ask for another. Learn from each one. Successful people expect to work hard and be counted on over and over again. One success does not make you successful.

17. Respect - You do not earn respect by treating people poorly. Treat 'everyone' with respect. Employees who perform even the most the menial jobs are important to the company. Gain their respect and friendship and they will try to help you succeed.

18. Politics - Recognize that politics exists in the company. Don't offend the people in power. Determine the pecking order and operate with care.

19. Trust - Prove that you can be trusted. Keep confidential information confidential. Make other employees look good. Don't gossip, put anyone down or speak poorly of them.

20. You Are Being Judged - Understand that you are being judged. Your supervisor, co-workers and management all want to know who you are. Over time, your words, actions, results and attitude will make that clear to everyone.

When new employees follow these guidelines, they will be moving forward, enhancing their reputations and helping their employers. That is the key to success after graduation.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: OMG, The Things I Learned In College, A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob's web site [].

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 28 Aug 2018 01:58:18 -0400
Did My School Prepare Me for My Society?

Whenever I hear a student or any graduate asking this question, I always think that the right question they should or ought to ask themselves in place of this is 'Did I allow my school to prepare me for society?'

School is described as an organized environment for the purpose of adding values to the lives of members of a society through teaching and learning. What society does through schools is educating, that is, making known to the people of the society something that is previously unknown to them. So, knowing the unknown is what we call 'knowledge', and that is the essence of going to school - to possess knowledge, skills, minds and virtues which one needs to survive in the society, (and which hitherto going to school is completely unknown to them). If you say, 'did your school prepare you for society?' my question for you is, 'everything you know today, do they come to you by chance, without ever going to school, without any contribution from your schoolmates? Your teachers?' if your answer is NO, then it means your school has performed or is performing its duty of making know to you; the problem might probably lies with you.

Whatever is credited to your brain are those things that you know - your knowledge; whether you like it or not, society rates you based on your knowledge, and your chances of getting job or you creating jobs yourself is based and determined by that knowledge of yours. This is because all about school is society! Whatever you have come to discover about your society from school, whether good or bad, are all knowledge. Knowledge can be the discovery of a problem and it can also be the discovery of a solution to a particular problem. But whether problem or solution, all is called knowledge - and both are still parts of the same society and both can become money for you.

Schools are not there to help us discover only solutions to problem, they are also meant to help us discover problems as there might have been. There must be problem before solution. Your participation in learning age - whether through formal or informal means - is to know and discover something about something; what you want to know and discover something about is in the society. Society is the inspiration behind all its schools; it is the foundation for all of them and the reality of their existence and the reason for their establishment.

Society doesn't establish school without having reason for it. The need must be for it. Society needs people for some specialized services for its people's sake; it needs those that will be managing its technological services; it needs people who will be protecting the lives and properties of its people and its territory; it needs people that will be helping it managing the financial issues - the cash flow, so that there won't be inflation or the other; it needs those who will be teaching its people how to access instruction and information, and the help of those who can stand between its people and the spiritual entities. And for these people to be qualified to handle such services, there must be a means of training them - and that training centres are schools of all kinds. That is the essence of establishing schools - training people to serve people for a benefit. And to ensure that the people to be trained are well equipped before their training period (learning age) elapsed, society arranges and organizes the last step of the period (university and other higher institutions) to look just as the society itself - that's why there are different kinds of religious bodies, organizations and associations within higher institutions with lots of chances and time for students to participate in some activities, such as doing student-based businesses, rendering volunteering services, watching educational movies, having time for group discussions, etc.

Then let me answer the question with Malcolm London's statement in his 2013 Tedtalk which he gave while he was still an undergraduate. He said, "I hear education systems are failing, but I believe they're succeeding at what they're built to do - to train you, to keep you on track... "

The truth, dear, is that your school is succeeding in its purpose of establishment. I don't believe there is any school that is failing in that aspect. If you have been seeing graduates out there who say their schools fail to prepare them for society ask them these questions as I'm asking you, now, 'How do you study while school?' 'Do you study both theoretically and technically?' 'How often do you put into practice on your own, aside assignment, all that you are being taught in classroom?' 'Are you only exploring the library or exploring the whole school in totality?' 'In your exploration of the school, do you explore it consciously or unconsciously, with aim of learning or with aim of flexing?' 'What can you confidently say you have allowed the school to change in you?' etc.

The reason for these questions is that while schools prepare for students both academically and practically, most students (larger percent) only prepare for schools academically. Only few prepare for schools in both studies and these are the students society celebrates in truth.

I don't know how you've been going through your school or how you did while still there, but I do know that exploration of classrooms, library and lesson-notes only can give you as much as course or discipline knowledge, while it's only your self-teaching and school totality exploration that can give you elements of education such as outspokenness, confidence, inner strength, ability to decision, taking risks, knowledgeability, creativity or ability to improvised, etc which society needs. If your discipline knowledge gives you job; elements of education help you stay and grow in the job.

The only reason society allows the features of real society in higher institutions is to give you the elements of education. It is their exhibitions that will tell society and its people that you have really been to school because those elements will activate your knowledge, lift it up, direct it, sharpen it, position it, protect it, expand it, sustain it, advertise it and most importantly make you happy that you have acquired such discipline knowledge.

One of the reasons most graduates consider their course or discipline knowledge irrelevant and not useful in their society is because they lack those elements of education which can help them position it to the right place. As a matter of fact, these elements of education are what make a difference between two personalities of the same academic qualifications, and they are what most employers want to be sure of first in their prospective employees before considering their academic standard.

Friend, all schools make move to prepare students for society, but most students refuse to welcome the gesture. They won't explore the chance; they won't allow school to prepare. School is more than the teachers, the classrooms, the library, the textbooks, the assignment and the exams; school is all that contributes to your knowledge and these may include your friends, your association, your thinking and reasons, where you often go to, what you often do and say, etc. Along with the primary features of a school, those are secondary, but imperatively important to your mastery of what the primary features are teaching

Visit: for orientation articles and post on education, school and society. Follow us on Facebook at Life Pyramids Orientation Centre. Google+ at Life Pyramids Orientation Centre.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 18 Jun 2018 01:57:12 -0400
Ineffective Colleges & Universities: Go Green and Gold

The following combines information from government and standardized testing company resources, years of experience with college fairs/marketing, working with, through, against and in spite of school administrations, direct consumer-query challenges to college admissions teams, and that acquired via numerous other strategies employed to understand the business of college education.

The school colors are green and gold. The pom-poms shake and free gifts are offered generously at the Fall college fairs. Prospective students and their families are offered free tickets to home football games with one hand, and marketing or application materials with the other. The high school counselors scurry around the gym, their faces glowing, proud of the events they coordinated.

Two days later, the newspaper reports the contents of an interview with a local university President. The President quite reluctantly responded to queries about the school's very poor graduation rates, the high percentage of students they allow to matriculate into remedial courses (paying full tuition to take non-college credit classes), and regarding their apparent failure to work with the regional high school systems so that their incoming students would be better prepared to start college work.

Interestingly, if you look at historical student performance statistics, for the vast majority of schools these findings are not new (good or bad). What may be new is that increasing numbers of prospective applicants are looking at graduation rates, the average number of years taken to graduate, as well as average post-graduation student debt, and school-assisted job placement effectiveness. Unfortunately, under duress, college administrations are casting blame upon the students.

Of course, too many students reach campuses believing that every week should include sports entertainment and elements of contemporary "Animal House" experiences, with a modicum of adjustments for the schools' specific missions, the local environments, and reflecting the student bodies. However, most incoming students actually understand the true objectives of their attendance. That said, the admissions committees are professionals, as are those employed to teach, counsel, perform research, manage finances, and provide all other administrative support. By history, the institutions know exactly who they recruit and accept; their student body profile. They know the student body strengths as well as the distribution of academic, social and financial challenges they will face with their students. As such, by accepting the students and their money, they are saying "We are able [in every manner] to successfully instruct, develop, graduate and deliver these student-customers to quality positions in the market."

But, colleges and universities have not been effective. The average school graduates only fifty percent of its students in six (6) years, and most cannot afford to spend more than six years in college, thereby never graduating. Schools do not want to be accountable to "helicopter parents" who wish to kept in the "progress loop" regarding more than unpaid bills. Additionally, as many senior leaders are unwilling or unable to explain the shortcomings of their business models, educational institutions simply blame the failures on the students and all those associated with them (family, guardians, associates, prior educational systems, and so on). Who needs colleges and universities with such attitudes as those?... Not you!!

We have professional degrees, years of experience and have siccessfully counseled and guided many parents, students and others regarding college opportunity assessments and selections.



Uncategorized Editor Mon, 28 May 2018 01:56:17 -0400
How Do You Help a Student Who Feels Hopeless?

The start of a new class always carries with it a sense of hope for students and their instructor. This is a time when students are the most likely to listen, read the assigned materials, and make an attempt to complete the required learning activities. From an instructor's perspective, there is an expectation that students are ready to learn and want to learn the course topics. For the most part, students will begin the class by making an effort, at least initially. After the first week of class, reality settles in and this is the time when students will either continue to try, or their effort will wane.

When students make an attempt to understand the course materials, and for some reason they cannot comprehend what they are reading, or they do not understand how to complete an assignment, these challenges can create a turning point for them. If they do not know how to ask for help, or they feel the need to express their frustrations in an unproductive manner, it may just be easier to give up.

Students who are enrolled in an online class find it even more challenging as they may feel as if they are working on their own. Their instructors may not know of their struggles until after the end of the class week, when the due date for an assignment has passed and a student has not submitted anything. By that point it may be too late to get the student back on track, especially with an accelerated degree program.

What makes getting behind even more challenging are the negative feelings associated with it. In my experience as an educator, the longer students feel frustrated, the more hopeless they are likely to become in the long term. Their attitude may shift from "I'm not sure" to "I don't know" to "I can't" as a final disposition. When students reach that point, rehabilitation becomes very challenging for instructors.

What I ask myself, and I ask other educators as well, is this: What are you willing to do to help prepare your students ahead of time to avoid this situation from occurring? How do you encourage your students as they make an attempt to be involved in the learning process? Do you recognize their struggles? More importantly, when you know they have given up, what do you do or what are you willing to do to help them get back on track?

The Hopeful Student

Every student starts out hopeful to some degree when they begin a class. A new class represents an opportunity to continue to make progress, or make improvements if the last class did not result in a positive outcome. Even if students are apprehensive about their new instructor, or what might be expected for their performance in class, rarely do they feel hopeless when the class begins. Some students may lose their sense of determination after the first week, and they find out what the reality of the class will be like. However, the initial willingness to participate and be involved is there.

The hopeful student has outward signs which include being actively engaged and present in class, along with submitting their assignments on time. This is also a time when they are likely to be the most responsive to their instructor, as to listening and/or responding to feedback provided. This is when initial impressions are made and new working relationships are formed. Students will remain in this state until the first challenge is experienced, which may be as early as the first week, when they attempt to read the assigned materials or complete the required learning activities.

When looking at the many qualities a student needs to be successful, hope may not be the first one every educator puts on their list. However, I have discovered that it is hope which motivates students in the first place to begin a degree program, whether they hope to make a change in their job, career, or life. If a student has hope, they likely believe it is possible to make the change they are seeking or want. If I can nurture that feeling, and connect it to the effort they are making, it can serve as a powerful source of motivation for them and sustain them when they are faced with challenges. This is especially important as the reality of weekly course expectations settles in and students work to complete the required learning activities.

The Hopeless Student

As a student experiences the learning process, and interacts with the instructor and class, there are going to be emotions experienced. For example, a student may feel as if this is a productive environment and one in which they can learn, and be supported while they attempt to complete what is expected. That is one of many potential positive emotions a student may experience. There may also be negative emotions felt and those feelings can have a direct impact on the sense of hope a student has about their ability to succeed, or at least complete what is expected of them.

Also consider how a student interacts with the classroom environment and the potential triggers which cause emotional reactions. The learning process is sensory by nature. Students read, listen, write, think, process, understand, and comprehend information while they are actively involved in their studies. For an online class, the hands-on aspect of learning is missing and yet the overall experience is still the same. This is a process of mental engagement and through engagement of the mind, there can be emotional trigger points experienced.

As an example, questions from a student are an indicator something has been triggered. In contrast, an aggressive tone within something a student has communicated indicates a different type of emotional trigger. Triggers are often related to sticking points and conflict. Students may not understand something they are reading, they cannot complete a required task, they may lack a specific skill, or anything else related.

If students can manage the resulting feelings triggered, and find help or answers, the problem or issue experienced becomes resolved. However, if they cannot receive assistance when needed, or find answers on their own, the negative emotions felt may continue to build. This is when frustration can turn to aggression, or feeling stuck can lead to a sense of defeat. If left unchecked long enough, students may be left with a feeling of hopelessness regarding their ability to learn.

The Helpful Instructor

Can these negative feelings experienced by students be avoided or prevented? It is likely an instructor cannot always state with certainty every student will feel happy at all times; however, there are steps which can be taken to minimize the impact of negative feelings and prevent those feelings from escalating into long term issues.

Become an Active Participant: An instructor sets the tone of the class, and this includes how accessible and responsible he/she will be for students. If a class is to be student-centered, instructors must be involved as active participants. Students need to see their instructors as someone who teaches, manages the class, and has empathy for the student experience.

Help Students Prepare: An instructor must also be looking ahead and try to foresee potential issues and problems which may be experienced, and help students prepare. For example, there may be a challenging assignment due at the end of the week and an instructor knows from prior classes the areas in which students have struggled. One method of preparing students could include posting tips and suggestions, to help them plan ahead.

Watch for Signs of a Struggle: Instructors need to also be alert for signs of a struggle within students and intervene with a caring attitude. These signs can be evident in discussion responses, missed deadlines, or the tone of communication. A challenge for instructors is upholding school policies while helping students who are in need. Whenever exceptions need to be made, and it goes beyond the authority provided as a faculty member, this is the time to contact the school and explain the situation. Acting as an authoritarian does not build relationships, but demonstrating warmth while coaching and guiding students does.

Classroom management is a matter of providing controlled guidance and maintaining active involvement in your class. When students know their instructors are available, active, and present, they are more likely to feel hopeful about the class, their role in the process of learning, and their ability to succeed. If you can nurture positive feelings within your students, they are going to be much more willing to try to complete their required tasks, participate in discussions, and even make mistakes along the way, as they know someone is there to help them. This is one of the most positive aspects of adult learning, when students feel hopeful and engaged in class.

Dr. J's mission is to teach, write, and inspire others as an academic educator, leader, author, writer, and mentor.

Dr. J writes blog posts, articles, and books to inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about resources that are available for educators, along with career and professional development, please visit:

To learn about Dr. J's work about Law of Attraction and Laws of the Universe, and the free resources available, please visit:

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 23 Apr 2018 01:55:29 -0400
What Is the Real Value of a Doctorate Degree?

Completing a doctorate degree is a significant accomplishment. This achievement represents the culmination of hard work, extensive critical thinking and research about the chosen field of interest, and the result is a contribution made in the form of new ideas, thoughts, plans, methodologies, and/or actionable recommendations.

Consider in contrast, the number of individuals who complete their coursework but not the dissertation portion of the doctorate program. Current research shows there is an unprecedented number of individuals who are at the "all but dissertation" or ABD phase, and it is unknown what weight or influence a doctorate degree with the initials ABD in the title may have, if any at all.

Also consider that a doctorate degree, in academia, is the highest level of academic achievement. As those of you know, it is also the costliest of academic degrees as well. In fact, the total number of people within the United States who possess a doctorate degree is less than 10%. Within academia, doctoral candidates are generally told they will become scholar practitioners, and they are encouraged to continue their research and practice what they have studied.

For those individuals who complete a doctorate degree, there is an expectation that their careers will change in some manner, especially given their new status as a scholar practitioner. I remember completing my Ph.D. approximately seven years ago. I chose Postsecondary and Adult Education as my major, since I worked in both the corporate world and academia, and I believed I could easily find an advanced career in either environment. Unfortunately I have learned, like many others, earning a doctorate degree does not always change a person's career and that leads to my important question: What is the real value of a doctorate degree?

The Journey of a Doctoral Graduate

I have worked in the field of higher education now for over 12 years. Prior to working in academia, I worked in corporate America for approximately 20 years. However, I have not remained exclusively in academia as I have also accepted consulting and contract positions that have allowed me to work with organizational development and instructional design projects. As to my work in academia, most of my positions have been online teaching and online leadership roles, working with for-profit institutions.

I am certain most of you may know about the state of the for-profit industry and how most of these institutions have had significant enrollment drops. Some institutions have even been forced to close. There are new non-profit institutions taking over the market; however, the leader in this market is known for low pay and a reputation for offering correspondence-style courses, which will lead to accreditation issues at some point.

What all of this indicates is that adjunct online teaching jobs are becoming fewer year by year, and full-time positions are almost non-existent. When I began in 2005 there were more jobs than instructors and the "gold rush" began. Now that has been reversed and those of us with doctorate degrees are competing with thousands of adjuncts who have master's degrees for just a few jobs. If you believe a doctorate degree gives you a competitive advantage, you would be just as disappointed as I am on a daily basis.

Finding Employment in Higher Education

The online application format has taken away the human element from the application process and being a scholar practitioner no longer matters when filling out online forms. The fact I have a degree that less than 10% of the United States population has makes no difference to an automated online application system, and I am talking about positions in the field of academia.

Can you imagine having a doctorate degree (Ph.D. Postsecondary Adult Education), with 11 years of experience in higher education (including roles such as Chief Academic Officer and Dean), and not having a competitive advantage with institutions of higher education? Sure, we could blame the automated online application system; however, that is only part of the issue since it is the institutions who are implementing these systems.

More importantly, do you believe that someone with my education and experience is treated any differently as to how my application is handled? Now let me clarify, I do not expect white glove treatment. However, I earned a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) and that is a degree which is supposed to be the most respected and highly positioned degree in academia. Yet I receive the dreaded automated human resources emails that do not even have the courtesy to address me by my name.

What is even worse? The changing nature of jobs within academia. Here is an example. There is a newer non-profit institution, which is operating as a for-profit. This institution advertises hundreds of jobs and if you look on salary review websites you will be shocked with how low the pay is for these positions. However, what is even more shocking are the qualifications for senior leadership positions. One senior leadership position was advertised with the following requirements: master's degree, three years experience, and some higher education experience preferred but not required.

I should clarify that the positions I am referring to above are remote or online based positions. I have also looked into employment with traditional colleges and universities; however, my doctorate degree was obtained from an online university and traditional schools tend to reject anyone with degrees from online schools. In addition, I would not qualify for a teaching position which requires earning tenure and other positions within traditional schools are also few and rarely advertised.

Finding Employment in Corporate America

The next option for me to explore is Corporate America as I have over 20 years of experience in this field and I have continued to work contract positions involving organizational development, along with training and development. I also have experience as a Manager of Training and Development.

How do you believe Corporate America responds to someone with a doctorate degree in Postsecondary and Adult Education? The answer is: not very well. I am either viewed as someone who may be too academic, too over-qualified, or a variety of other factors I have yet to ascertain. I have yet to find a training and development department that is open to the idea of having someone with a doctorate degree help lead their employees.

I also have the same hurdles to face with Corporate America as I do with academia and it is the online application forms. If you cannot obtain a name of someone to contact, such as a hiring manager or even a recruiter, you are left to the mercy of an algorithm to determine your future fate with that company.

So where does that leave me now with a doctorate degree, seven years after obtaining a Ph.D.? I am definitely not where I thought I would be. I am writing articles and blog posts, conducting research, and picking up contract positions as I can find them. Job searching has become a full-time job, and I thought that making a financial investment in a degree to work in a field I love would have brought me further along than this and I know there are not guarantees in life.

However, I am still left wondering about the value of a doctorate degree if institutions of higher education cannot support it through employment opportunities and do not value persons holding these degrees when they apply for positions. I understand there are economic factors, and there always will be, yet what has happened to the field of academia? Institutions of higher education continue to enroll students into doctorate programs and tell them they are scholar practitioners. Will the value of the doctorate degree eventually become so diluted that it only looks good on paper, or have we already reached that point? It seems I cannot answer my own question yet and perhaps one day I will, as I continue on my doctoral journey.

Dr. J has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles that have included Chief Academic Officer, online instructor, college instructor, and online faculty development specialist. Dr. J has also acquired significant experience with instructional design and curriculum development, having developed hundreds of online courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is a professional writer, resume writer, learning and development consultant, social media strategist, and career coach. Dr. J founded Afforded Quality Writing in 2003 and has written hundreds of resumes every year in most industries, utilizing a skill set based approach to highlight the best of each person's career.

Dr. J writes blog posts and articles to help inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about the resources that are available for career and professional development from Dr. J please visit:

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 28 Mar 2018 01:54:36 -0400
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 options, pursue a combined degree.

Whether you are looking to  pursue bachelor of nursing  or  dual degree graduate programs  we have all of the courses on our website. Visit the given links to know more.

Uncategorized Editor Sat, 17 Feb 2018 01:53:22 -0500
Do Your Students Look Up to You?

When you are actively involved in the classroom and working with your adult students, classroom management and what you need to teach are the order of the day. As the class progresses, you may consider the perspective of your students; along with what motivates them, how they persist when faced with challenges, and what it is like for them to interact with the classroom environment. But have you ever considered how your students view you as an educator? Does it matter to you or influence how you teach when you are planning your class or considering future professional development?

Most educators choose this type of work or career, even when the pay or working conditions are less than ideal. What if you decide to function from this point forward in a manner that is transformative for your students, so that they are somehow better for having been enrolled in your classes? In other words, what if you could teach in a way that will have a long-term impact on your students? If you do influence them in this manner now or decide that you want to change how you teach, they will likely look up to you. This means they will remember you and your class, and more importantly, they will be transformed in some way, whether academically, professionally, or personally.

A Question for Educators

As an educator, consider this question: is functioning in a transformative manner a matter of making consciousness choices in how you act while you are teaching, or is it a result of every interaction you have with your students? Not every student is going to have a positive experience while they interact with you, despite the best of intentions you may have set, yet when students know their instructors care they are more willing to put in the time and make an effort to try when it comes to being involved in the learning process. That extra effort on their part is sometimes all a student needs to get past potential barriers or hurdles.

My experience as an educator has taught me that I always know where I stand with my students by the way they are responding to me, whether in class or through some form of communication such as email. More importantly, I know I have made a long-term impact when I receive unsolicited emails from students and they share special moments from class, lessons learned, challenges they have overcome, lightbulb or "aha" moments, or growth they have experienced; even after class has concluded, as many do not realize the impact of what they have learned until some time later.

What Does It Mean for Students to Look Up to You?

When students have a positive experience and look up to an instructor, what do they "see" in some manner? They usually "see" someone who cares about their students and that does not mean they will bend the rules or give away grades. They can empathize with their students and listen. Students are also inspired by this instructor, as this instructor usually provides ideas, suggestions, and tips that are individual in nature and meant to address specific developmental needs. More importantly, this instructor makes time to offer assistance and demonstrates their engagement and presence in class.

When students look up to an instructor, they also have a feeling response. They will usually feel respect for this instructor, along with trust and appreciation. There is a sense of having a working relationship with this instructor, which is challenging when an instructor is viewed as an authority figure in traditional classes or not visibly present in online classes. What I have learned overall about students who develop positive feelings is that it does not depend upon the class conditions, which I may or may not be able to fully control. The primary factor is the extraordinary steps an instructor takes to inspire their students within the best, and even the worst, of circumstances.

Does It Matter to You?

It is easy to see why teaching in a transformative manner would matter greatly for students. Yet I know from my own experience, and having worked with hundreds of online faculty as a mentor and trainer, that this approach to teaching requires an investment of time and energy. The question I know some educators would raise is this: yes, it matters for students, but what value does the instructor receive from functioning in this manner? The answer is that a transformative approach to teaching transforms both the educator and student. It is about the fulfillment of your mission as an educator, going beyond the function of what you do and even more than knowing the subject of what you teach; it is about the connection you establish, cultivate, and nurture during the time you have with your students - whether it is a few weeks or an entire term.

Teaching in a transformative manner is about changing the focus of your instructional strategies from being teacher-centered to student-centered, with meeting the needs of your students as the primary focus, and any educator is likely to find this to be very fulfilling. As educators hone their instructional strategies or their teaching craft, and refine how they communicate, interact, and address the developmental needs of students, the more meaningful their work becomes. Sometimes this is a product of time and practice, along with trial and error. It also involves being responsive to your students and listening to them, receiving feedback from them and being willing to adapt your instructional practice to meet their needs. An educator should also make a commitment to being a lifelong learner, with a willingness to grow and adapt.

What Do You Do to Become Someone Students Look Up To?

My own goal is to be a role model, mentor, and coach to students. A role model is someone who will lead by example, which means setting a bar and meeting students at that point. For example, when I have established my own standards or expectations for writing or class discussions, I show students what academic writing and substantive posts are like when I am engaged with them in class. Being an example for students is becoming someone they want to emulate in some manner. A mentor is someone students need to work with on a regular basis, not just someone who gives them the answers or tells them to review the course syllabus. When students view an instructor as a mentor, they believe this instructor has the knowledge and wisdom necessary to help them. More importantly, a mentor will take time to help guide them as they learn.

To be a transformative educator, focus on your students and becoming your best as an educator. You can ask yourself these questions: How can you grow as an educator? How can you connect with your students? How can you create an experiential learning experience? What professional development plans can you put into place now to continue to grow? Don't be concerned with how quickly students look up to you as that will occur naturally when you become the best version of yourself as an educator that you can be. Instead, focus your time and energy on how you can transform the student experience, and by doing so you will naturally transform how you teach. What you will experience will similar to your students. It will be a memorable, experiential, and transformational journey.

Dr. J has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles that have included Chief Academic Officer, online instructor, college instructor, and online faculty development specialist. Dr. J has also acquired significant experience with instructional design and curriculum development, having developed hundreds of online courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is a professional writer, resume writer, learning and development consultant, social media strategist, and career coach. Dr. J founded Afforded Quality Writing in 2003 and has written hundreds of resumes every year in most industries, utilizing a skill set based approach to highlight the best of each person's career.

Dr. J writes blog posts and articles to help inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about the resources that are available for career and professional development from Dr. J please visit:

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 28 Jan 2018 01:52:33 -0500
Questions First-Year College Students Should Ask

Either before or early in the first year of college, students should ask and answer some important questions. Getting off to a good start in college is important to success after college. These questions will help with that.

1. What is it that I expect when I graduate? (My personal wants)

a. A job in my field of interest with advancement potential

b. A job that pays well

c. The ability to live on my own

d. The ability to pay off my loans

e. The ability to have an active social life

2. What jobs are available in my field of interest? (Research)

a. Are these jobs (job duties) of interest to me?

b. Do these jobs have career potential?

c. Do these jobs pay enough to satisfy my personal wants?

d. Will I be happy in one of these jobs? Which ones? Why?

e. Can I select a job or group of jobs to serve as my target?

3. Does my chosen field take advantage of my interests and strengths?

a. Have I demonstrated an interest and aptitude in this area?

b. Do I have strong talents and skills in this area?

c. Have I previously performed well in this area?

d. Have others said that I would be good in this area?

e. Does this career direction excite and inspire me?

Spending a few hours investigating these specifics will help to ensure that students have a desirable target. That is important.

It doesn't make much sense to spend four years in college at the cost of $100,000+ only to find that you can't find a job that will satisfy most of your personal wants. The time to do the investigation is before or immediately after you start college. That way you can select a directly related major and minor, perform the activities that will support your career objectives and make you more attractive to the most desirable employers in your field.

Waiting until you begin your job search in the senior year of college to discover that the jobs that are available to you do not stack up well with your career direction and personal wants is not an effective strategy. However, doing some research and realistic thinking before or during your first year of college will help you accomplish your graduation goals.

By researching, thinking about and answering a few questions, students can help to ensure that they are not wasting their time and money.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: OMG, The Things I Learned In College, A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob's web site [].

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 28 Dec 2017 01:51:44 -0500
Re-Thinking The Pathway To Higher Education

We have finished another school year with over 3 million high school graduates. Congratulations! Seventy percent will go on to a four-year college, even though according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 27% of the jobs created through 2022 will require a four-year degree and 70% of all new Wisconsin jobs being created will only require a high school degree, according to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Skills Gap Report. Based on the BLS data, National Public Radio (NPR) makes the "tongue in cheek" analogy that you could close every two and four-year College for 10 years and still meet the industry demand for college graduates.

Nineteen percent of these new high school graduates will finish their four-year degree in four years. Congratulations! Thirty-nine percent more will complete that four-year degree in six years. For the rest, life just goes on. Of those who do graduate, only about 30% will find jobs in their field do to a job market saturated with previous college graduates. Are we over-educated? Are we just choosing degrees that do not equate to a job after graduation? Or, do we just not understand our options?

College graduates will have an average student loan debt of $30-50,000 depending on which completion plan they were on, with many having student loan balances in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Total student loan debt is $1.3 trillion today and rising $3.300 every second. Congratulations! Did you know that higher education was a one-half trillion dollar industry? Paying back your federal student loan starts six months after graduation and has two options: 1) monthly payments over 10-25 years or 2) death.

There were over two million college graduates this year. Congratulations! Twenty one percent had jobs when they graduated with an average salary of $40,000, or about $20 per hour. Congratulations? That is until the minimum wage moves to $15.00 per hour, then the whole return on investment college argument becomes suspect. Thirty nine percent took jobs that did not require a college degree even though they just spent four to six years of their lives and $30-50,000 getting one. Can you spell barista? For the other 40%, life just goes on.

Today, in the United States, there are more 18-34 year olds living at home than at any time since 1880. Congratulations! This makes perfect sense. A college graduate earns $40,000, Uncle Sam takes 25%, and the average monthly expenses for a 20-something living alone is about $2,600. Ouch, we are in negative territory. Let us look at all millennials. The average salary is $27,000, Uncle Sam takes 15%, and the expenses are still about $2,600. Even more negative! Pretty tough to stay out of the red being a single college graduate or millennial. Note to parents: make sure you save a room at the inn.

The PayScale Website points out that many careers we assume require a four-year college degree can actually be started with a two-year degree. The break-even earnings point for students pursuing this career pathway is about 10 years. You say sure, but after 10 years the four-year college grad will earn more, right? Nope. I forgot to mention that after two years on the job the two-year graduate went back to college using tuition reimbursement from the employer and earned a four-year degree. With the gained experience, four-year degree, and no student loan debt, the two-year career pathway choice was the best value with greater lifetime earnings.

The Over Educated Generation is a new organization founded by Steve Burleson in 2016. As a Technical College educator for 17 years and parent, Steve saw and experienced the mixed messages that confront our students, children, parents and educators, as they navigate the confusing, false promise ridden pathway to higher education.

Our goal is to: "Educate everyone who needs to know the truth about academic & career pathways, the options available and where to find the "value" in the system. We will push for reforms and accountability so our students will not have to mortgage their futures to have fulfilling careers. " EDUCATION IS OUR MAIN PURPOSE!

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 28 Nov 2017 01:51:04 -0500
Do Students Benefit From Hand-Holding or Strict Discipline?

I expect you to listen during my class lectures.

Here, let me help you. I can provide you with the answer.

As an educator, are you someone who is tough on students because you believe strict discipline is essential to their growth and development? Or do you believe in an approach that is kinder, much more easy-going and laidback when it comes to helping students - even to the point of being willing to give students the answers they need?

A disciplinarian is the traditional educator who upholds policies, processes, and procedures without exceptions. Those instructors are usually not counted among the favorites by students; except for those students who are excelling and find that strict discipline is necessary for them to continue to do well.

The educator who is more willing to bend the rules on occasion for students, when there is a reason or justification for the long-term benefit of the students, is the one viewed as easier to get along with and as a result - this educator is usually included on the list of favorite instructors. This instructor will also provide answers and "make it easier" for students to complete the required tasks, believing this helps students in the long term.

This is not to state that teaching students, especially adult students, must be a popularity contest by any means. What this does involve is a matter of perception. Consider how willing a student might be to receive and implement coaching and feedback from a strict instructor in comparison to an instructor who is willing to work with them. In other words, it is not about bending the rules but working with students. It is not about passing students along or giving away grades. It is about providing support and assistance.

This goes against the beliefs of many educators as there is a perception in higher education that maintaining anything other than a strict approach to teaching means you believe in handholding and coddling students. I believe there needs to be an instructional balance between the two methods and in my own practice, I have found an approach that provides this type of balance.

How Do You Focus Your Attention?

I've worked with hundreds of online faculty members over the past ten years in the role of faculty development specialist. I have also been an online educator during this time and understand the lived experience of the faculty members I have observed. What this means is that I can relate to the time it takes to manage a class, especially as an adjunct instructor. I have also worked full time during the day and taught online at night, and I make this point not as an excuse but as a reminder of the reality that many adjunct instructors face. When an instructor is running short on time, not all of the required duties and responsibilities may be met. This can even extend to working with students as they may find it challenging at times to receive assistance when needed.

Whether or not an instructor is working full time and teaching as an adjunct, teaching a class takes time - and the more students there are, the more tasks and responsibilities are vying for the instructor's attention. When there are high achieving students in a class, it almost lessens the amount of instructional work required as those students are usually the ones who do not require a lot of time and attention. The students who are under-performing are the ones who require more effort. These are the students who either benefit from receiving additional assistance, or handholding as some educators view it, or a constant reminder that they must comply with strict requirements as stated by the school and other in documents such as the course syllabus.

Is One Approach More Effective Than Another?

I know that every educator has a distinct view of how students must be addressed or managed, and it is usually based upon personal preferences and past experiences. When instructors are provided with training, it is usually procedural in nature to begin with and then expands into instructional practices. What I have not seen provided in faculty training are direct instructions that state how an instructor must manage students in the classroom. In other words, instructors are not told they must be lenient or strict. They are provided with policies and processes, and methods of instruction. Sometimes they are taught methods of interacting with students, similar to customer service training methods. The general expectation is that instructors must uphold academic policies and create an environment that is conducive to learning.

A question that often comes up is this: Why are there such diverse types of instructors? From my perspective working with faculty, a better question might be: Is one approach more effective than another?

Consider first the instructor who is a strict disciplinarian. This is someone who upholds the policies as defined by the school, such as academic writing standards and policies in place for the degree program level. This instructor makes no exceptions to the rules.

Consider next the instructor who seems very strict but in a different sense. This is the instructor who has established high personal expectations of students and their performance in class. This instructor expects all students will strive for an "A" grade and they will submit high quality papers.

The last instructor to consider is the seemingly easy going instructor who is very popular and has a flexible approach to school policies. This instructor is more willing to listen and adapt when needed, especially if a student needs a "break" or a second chance. This type of instructor is one who is willing to provide extra time and attention for students. I have worked with a few instructors who go so far as to give their students the answers or information they need, rather than help students find it. This is where the idea of handholding has become associated with an easy going instructor.

Finding a Balance Between Discipline and Handholding

Are one of the three methods described above better than the other? I do not put myself in a position to judge others; however, I can speak from my own experience to answer the question. When I began my work as an educator, I was very strict. The most effective method of learning school policies and processes was to follow them as strictly as I could. Over time, I learned what flexibility I had as an instructor and I also gained experience as an educator. From this experience, I learned how to find a balance between these strategies to become effective with upholding disciplinary processes while providing additional care, concern, and assistance.


    • Establishing Discipline: What I have learned is that the manner in which discipline is administered matters for my relationship with students. I can uphold every school policy and procedure just as effectively, and perhaps even more so, as someone who demonstrates empathy when compared to someone who demands complete compliance to everything I state. Students already know that there are school policies in place and their instructors are expected to uphold those policies. As an instructor, my reinforcement of the rules happens whenever there is an occurrence or a request made by a student. That is a time to listen and effectively administer the rules, or implement disciplinary action as required. I should also be familiar with my level of authority or flexibility available, with regards to making any exceptions.

    • Establishing Expectations: There is nothing wrong with having expectations of my students, unless I have established something unrealistic of every student. For example, it would be unrealistic for me to expect that every student will submit a well-researched and written paper that demonstrates critical thinking - even at the graduate level. A more realistic expectation might be for students to the best of their capabilities and ask for assistance when needed. The most important expectations I can establish are those concerning student performance. Students experience a great deal of anxiety about grading, especially written assignments. That is when the use of a rubric is very helpful for establishing uniform expectations with students. It becomes even more effective if I provide a rubric before the assignment due date so that students can utilize it as a guideline when editing and revising their papers. The most important aspect of establishing expectations is that they are realistic and communicated to students.

  • Offer Handholding: When students need assistance or extra attention and you provide it, do you consider that to be handholding? I dislike that word itself as I believe it does a disservice to the work of an educator. I understand the general idea of the concept and over time I have tried to help students without giving them information or answers. For example, when students cannot find a particular answer or resource I will provide instructions on how to find it without actually giving it to them. In other words, I teach them how to be independent and find it on their own so the next time they remember how to do it. I would never be one to tell them to "go and see the course syllabus" as a pat answer. I will find a way to help, even if it involves providing a different set of instructions that offers clarity and better directions. My roles as an educator is to instruct and to teach.
I have seen a number of discussions in the field of higher education over the past few months about working with students and more specifically, addressing the idea of coddling college students. From my experience as an online educator and online student I find there is nothing detrimental about having a lot of contact time between an instructor and the students. However, it seems there is a trend now in higher education that finds courses being delivered without instructor to student interaction. I know that MOOCs have been very popular and those students receive very little direct instructor contact. There is also a competency-based online university that is gaining traction, one without instructors that allows students to study at their own pace - and one of the primary concerns being raised is that these are correspondence-style courses.


My preference is to provide instructor to student interactions. I want to be available and accessible for my students. The following is my approach to teaching adult students that seeks a balance between strict discipline and handholding.

I will be happy to assist you and I will help you find the answers you need.

For courses that have been established in a traditional manner, with instructor to student contact, the nature of that contact is relational. An instructor can uphold academic policies and all appropriate disciplinary procedures, while still maintaining an attitude of care and concern, when an appropriate balance has been found. Students understand that instructors must uphold the rules established by the school. What this means is that a productive working relationship may be more effective than demanding compliance from students at all times. And while it is important to establish a strong working bond with students, that does not mean you need to try to become the most popular instructor either by being willing to bend the rules or give away answers. The most important job you have is to teach and the most effective approach you can embrace is one of knowing your level of authority, understanding your responsibilities, and being willing and available to assist your students.

Dr. J has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles that have included Chief Academic Officer, online instructor, college instructor, and online faculty development specialist. Dr. J has also acquired significant experience with instructional design and curriculum development, having developed hundreds of online courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is a professional writer, resume writer, learning and development consultant, social media strategist, and career coach. Dr. J founded Afforded Quality Writing in 2003 and has written hundreds of resumes every year in most industries, utilizing a skill set based approach to highlight the best of each person's career.

Dr. J writes blog posts and articles to help inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about the resources that are available for career and professional development from Dr. J please visit:


Uncategorized Editor Sat, 28 Oct 2017 01:50:20 -0400
What Can Instructors Do to Promote Learning?

If you were to ask your students at the end of a course week, or at the end of a course, what they learned - what do you believe their answer would be? Would it be something they have read, a memorable class lecture, an engaging class discussion, or insight gained as a result of all of these classroom elements combined? As an educator, do you believe that learning is an ongoing process throughout the duration of the course, or do you find that it occurs at specific points and as a result of specific prompts?

It is assumed that a classroom, an instructor, a textbook, and assigned learning activities will ensure that learning occurs when students are enrolled. Consider the purpose of learning objectives or outcomes when the course is developed. The objectives establish a purpose for the course and measurement for assessments so that students can demonstrate learning has occurred. All learning activities are designed specifically for the purpose of ensuring that learning objectives are met.

Yet learning does not occur in a linear manner, within the prescribed number of course weeks, or with the assigned learning activities. Even the established course objectives do not guarantee that students will learn according to what has been planned. What is the critical element? The classroom instructor. The instructor's role is essential not only to classroom management, but to creating conditions within the classroom and the minds of the students that are conducive to learning. These are conditions the course objectives and learning activities alone cannot create.

Additional Questions About Learning in the Classroom

As I have been thinking about the process of learning, I have developed a list of additional questions that I would like to pose to help other educators also consider how students learn.

How do you define learning? Is it a matter of students acquiring information, completing assignments, earning a grade, participating in class discussions, completing a course, or something else? Do you consider outcomes measured by the learning objectives to be temporary in nature or do those goals indicate that something long-term has occurred when students are able to demonstrate mastery or completion of each one?

Does every student learn something in your class? This is important to consider as it is almost assumed that learning is going to happen, as if there is a guarantee it will take place for every student who makes an attempt. You can also consider the amount of effort a student puts in and whether or not that will influence their ability to learn.

Do some learning activities promote learning better than others? For example, when a student answers a discussion question, has this student demonstrated learning or is a response to an instructor's follow up question a better indicator? Are written assignments as effective, or more effective, than class discussions for helping students demonstrate what they have learned? Are some types of assignments more effective than others for serving this purpose?

My Perspective as a Student and an Educator

I obtained two of my degrees in a traditional college classroom environment. What I remember most are some of the class projects I had to complete, along with some of the written projects - especially the culminating project for my MBA program. I wrote a business plan and I was required to conduct the research necessary to launch the new business, which really put to use everything I had studied. As a result of this project, there are concepts and an application of theories that I never forgot and this helped to inform my work as an educator.

I obtained the remainder of my degrees in a non-traditional or online college classroom environment. The most challenging degree was my doctorate degree as there was nothing for me to memorize and no tests for me to pass. I earned my grades by conducting research and completing projects, especially written projects that applied the information I gained in a manner that I was creating long term knowledge. I remember those projects very well, especially my research study, and the work I began during that doctoral program I continue today. The knowledge I gained has been applied to my career, along with the books, blog posts, and articles I have written.

When I taught at the community college, I was different than many of the other instructors as I did not want to teach for a test. I knew that most of the lectures I heard while in my traditional programs were long forgotten, as were the tests I had taken. I wanted to be different and I incorporated interesting elements into my instruction. Many students were taken by surprise as they expected the same two hour stand-and-lecture approach, followed by a mid-term and final exam.

Most of my work as an educator has been in the field of distance learning. I know that the for-profit online school industry has been under scrutiny. However, distance learning can be effective if there is an instructor who has been trained not only in the subject matter but the principles of adult education. When students are provided with discussions and meaningful papers to write, and there is an instructor to guide them, they are likely to gain something of value from the class. This has always been my goal. I know as a faculty development specialist that instructors who do not understand adult education principles are the ones who often struggle to relate to students and that can leave students on their own, which can have an adverse impact on the learning process.

I have also watched a non-profit online school become prominent in the field of distance learning and it has caused many accreditors and educators like myself great concern as there are no instructors involved. It is advertised as being competency-based, but that is just a fancy phrase (for this school) for correspondence-style courses. Students can study (or not if they choose) and take assessments (three or four times if needed) until they pass - often with a score as low as 51%. There are no grades issued on transcripts, only pass or fail indicators. It will be interesting to see if this fad is accepted in the long run, or if accreditors will demand instructor to student interactions.

What Can Instructors Do to Promote Learning?

As I have studied adult education, I have come to understand learning from the perspective of how the mind takes and processes information. When students read something in the textbook or listen to a lecture, that is information and some of it will be stored in short term memory. The same is true for memorizing information for a test. That information is stored in short term memory. In order for educators to state that learning has occurred, students need to make a connection with that information in some manner or apply it in some way so that it will move into long-term memory. Long-term memory is a storage center and arranged by connections and associations. With this understanding of how information is stored, it can help an instructor prepare to help students in the classroom.

Classroom Contributions: As an instructor, you need to have a dual perspective of your classroom. One perspective is classroom management and ensuring that your contractual obligations have been met. The other is from an educational perspective and what you can do to prompt conditions conductive to adult education - even if you did not control the design of the course itself. The most important addition you can make is your intellectual contribution. As an educator, you have a unique ability to see the course concepts from multiple perspectives and you can share these views during discussions, as follow up replies and prompts. You can also share additional resources, overviews, wrap-ups, summaries, and guides - anything that will provide additional value for your students.

Student Readiness and Preparedness: The two issues that can help students, or hinder their performance at any given time, are academic readiness and preparedness. This may be beyond your immediate control at first; however, as you get to know your students and provide feedback, you will be able to address their developmental needs. What you can do is consider methods and strategies that will help their ability to learn each class week. For example, can you provide a rubric for a written assignment to help them self-check their work? Can you provide strategies and resources as tips to help them? For example, I have shared note-taking strategies and this has helped some students who struggled with reading comprehension.

Instructional Approach: As an educator, I want to focus on stimulating their intellectual interest and engaging their mind. If I provide a canned answer to a discussion question, or I do not take time to read the content of a paper, I am missing out on an opportunity to engage them in the learning process. I want to ask questions that cause students to think further and to look for additional information and answers. For the subject matter I am teaching, I am always reading to stay current in this field and looking for additional resources, case studies, and current issues I can share with students as a means of bringing the course materials to life.

Can students learn without an instructor? Yes, it is possible as we all learn informally every day. But in a formal classroom environment it is a different matter and regardless of the trends and fads that come and go in higher education, nothing can replace the value that a highly experienced and educated instructor brings to the classroom - especially one who truly cares about students and the value they receive from the class. Instructors promote learning when they are actively engaged in the class and more importantly, actively engaging the minds of their students. While this does not mean that every student will pass the class, it does indicate that students who are making an effort to be involved in the class will likely retain something in long-term memory that will be recalled later, and that is the ultimate goal of adult education.

Dr. J has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles that have included Chief Academic Officer, online instructor, college instructor, and online faculty development specialist. Dr. J has also acquired significant experience with instructional design and curriculum development, having developed hundreds of online courses for bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is a professional writer, resume writer, learning and development consultant, social media strategist, and career coach. Dr. J founded Afforded Quality Writing in 2003 and has written hundreds of resumes every year in most industries, utilizing a skill set based approach to highlight the best of each person's career.

Dr. J writes blog posts and articles to help inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about the resources that are available for career and professional development from Dr. J please visit:


Uncategorized Editor Thu, 28 Sep 2017 01:48:53 -0400
Top 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a College

Importance of Accreditation

An accredited college implies that the concerned college is recognized by the official, state and other educational authorities for being an institution that provides high quality education. This is very important as if the college is not accredited, the degree will not hold merit value in job placements, as well as for further studies.

Use of up-dated syllabus

Colleges whose vision is to instill a deep sense of foundation learning will ensure that their syllabus is up-to-date with the latest trends. With the speed at which new developments are occurring in every field, it's important that colleges keep up and revise the syllabus of their program regularly. This will work wonders for the students in the long run, and reduce the cost and effort of firms in training them.

College Location

This important factor requires you to do some soul searching on your own, and decide if you want pick a college that is close to your own home, or you are comfortable re-locating to another place for the purpose of your education. We assert that you take a balanced call and if a good program allows for accommodation and stay, it's a worthy investment.

Student - Professor Ratio

This refers to average class size a professor would take when delivering lectures. Some colleges have larger classes, where the Professor will not be able to give personal attention to each student thus leading to a dilution of study. Opting for college where is student - professor ratio is optimal allows you to interact with the professor well and learn efficiently.

Check the scholarship provisioning of the college

Students have to think about the over-all cost overheads before joining any institute. Pursuing a program from a reputed institute can sometimes be expensive, in such cases students must check for scholarship provisioning by the institute. Some Universities offer Scholarships as high up to 5 crore for the eligible students.

Transfer rate of Students: Transfer rate of students refers to the rate of percentage of incoming students who want to leave; if it is very high, it implies that students are not happy with college.

Safety: An important criterion that at times gets overlooked is 'Safety'. Students must check if the college has adequate measures to ensure the safety inside its campus. If you are taking full time accommodation in the college, you must ensure that there are necessary alarms to prevent intruders out of the dorms at night. Also, if it's a vast campus do check if the college has a patrolling security service so that you feel self-assured when studying at college.

Internship and Placement

Checking out where prior students of the college have got their internship done, as well as the recruiters who picked the students will give you an idea of the overall quality of students graduating from the institute. Some colleges have comprehensive programs of study which allow them to get good placements.

Emergence of New Universities

Currently, there are a number of new universities that have come up in India. These through their innovative and modern methodologies of teaching have managed to carve a niche for themselves as being excellent centers of higher education in India.

Sandip University situated in Trimbak, Nashik is among them, and in a short period of time is today considered amongst the Top-10 centers of higher education in India, by a Times-B-School survey. By far the leading university in Nasik, the institute has grown from strength to strength from the day of its inception.

Completely self-financed Sandip University has brought about a revolution of sorts with its novel methodology of teaching that centers on the growth of its students. Having 13 schools under its umbrella, it today is a preferred choice for many aspirants of higher education. Not only have we found Sandip University, matching all the 8 factors above, it also has excellent faculties that makes it at par with some of the best Universities in the world.

India's leading online education portal with a user base of 7 million+ students and young professionals across 250 cities in India. It is the preferred destination of the multitudes of students in India seeking information on higher education. Minglebox offers best content on colleges, courses, test preps, exams, scholarships and admission news.


Uncategorized Editor Mon, 28 Aug 2017 01:48:11 -0400
Attend A College That Has Your Back

More than two million students enter college each year with the expectation that the colleges they attend will take care of them when problems and emergencies pop up. Some students will be pleased with the way their college responds to their issues while others will be disappointed, some may even be outraged.

So many things happen on college campuses today that incoming students never anticipate. To make better comparisons, include these factors when evaluating colleges to attend.

College Comparison Factors

1. Credible Information - Does the college do a good job of informing students about the good, the bad and the ugly?

2. Environment - Are Administrators and Professors student- oriented? Are they concerned about student learning and success?

3. Students - Are fellow students happy, friendly and helpful? Be sure to speak with as many students as possible. Try to talk to some students in your field of study.

4. Crime - Are the campus and surrounding areas safe? How many thefts take place on campus each year? Does the college provide students with statistics and safety advice? How effective is the Security Force? How many students were robbed or assaulted last year?

5. Rape and Sexual Assaults - Does your college report and publish statistics on rapes? Is rape prevention training provided to students? Are rapists dealt with quickly and firmly? How many rapes have taken place during the past five years?

6. Drug Usage - How prevalent are drugs at this college? When was the last drug raid? What kind of help do addicted students receive? How many deaths have resulted from the use of drugs?

7. Alcohol - Is this a party school? Is alcohol allowed on campus?

8. Hazing - Do Sororities, Fraternities, Clubs, Organizations and Honor Societies use Hazing, as part of their initiation process?

9. Deaths - On average, how many students die each year? What is the five-year history of deaths?

10. Emergency Notification Procedures - Keeping students safe when there is a dangerous person on campus is critical. What is the procedure? How effective has it been in the past?

11. Medical Help - How responsive and effective is the Campus Medical Department? How far is the hospital? Do students know how to get help, when there is a medical emergency?

12. Tutoring - Is tutoring available to students in your field of study? Is help available from your Professors?

13. Diversity - Are there Students, Administrators and Professors of many different races, religions and cultures on your campus, in the dorms and the classrooms?

14. Harassment - How does your college deal with students who consistently harass others? Are the students being harassed informed of their options and rights?

15. Dispute Resolution - Is there a dispute resolution process in place and communicated to students? Does it work?

16. Employment Assistance - Since Job Search Preparation is an ongoing process that begins in the first year of college and ends when the student accepts a job, does the college put enough time, people and resources into helping students get prepared?

17. Clubs, Organizations and Activities - Colleges that offer an enjoyable college experience provide a variety of ways for students to learn, participate, contribute and succeed. Does the college meet your needs in this area?

18. Parking - Students with automobiles should investigate the availability, fees, rules and penalties regarding parking on campus. Is the parking situation acceptable to you?

19. On-time Graduation Rates - The availability of required classes can be a problem for students, as they near graduation. Does the college give preference to upper class students who must get into a class, in order to graduate? Paying for another semester is an expensive solution.

20. Counseling Services - Large numbers of students receive counseling. What is the availability and effectiveness of the counselors you may need?

21. Cost / Reputation - Does the college have a good reputation in your field of study? How many employers visit the college to recruit students in your field? Should you consider going to a more expensive college, one that attracts employers in your field?

As students and their parents research, visit and evaluate the colleges on their list, they should dig in deeply to uncover the information necessary to make a decision that is right for them. Since this list is not all-inclusive, students and parents can add to it, before they start to make comparisons. Students should make certain that they identify the colleges that will have their backs.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob's web site []

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 28 Jul 2017 01:47:15 -0400
The Challenges Faced By Students During Research For Their Final Year Projects

It is common knowledge in Nigeria as a nation that every first degree seeking individual (undergraduates) at the tail end (final year) of his/her stay in the tertiary institution of learning, must as a matter of fact undergo one of the must "dreaded" and strenuous part of schooling (some students go ahead to hire a writer to carry on their research(es) for them, popular known among the educational populace as project or Final Year Project.

Many things come together to form the criteria for setting apart who was successful in his stay in school and otherwise. Continuous Assessment, Test, group work(s) and at times personal research then the mother of all, exams. All these are more or less, the yardstick for weighing the "bright" students from the "dull" ones.

Where do final year projects come into the picture and why? We will take a close look at it below.

Tertiary institutions are structured to be the last point of training of professionals (undergraduates) who will duly fill in the vacuums, if there are any and they make up the manpower industry. None can be a lawyer, doctor, sociologist, engineer, architect without proper training in the University.

That being said and done, let's take a quick look at one of the most vital and important part of this aforementioned training.


What entails a final year project topic or research?

The definition of the word project as provided by the Oxford advanced learners dictionary will not serve our purpose for this article.

The final year project is the culmination of the degree - it gives students a chance to demonstrate all they have learned. The project module is very different from other modules. The project tests students' ability to: design, engineer and evaluate quality systems, research their chosen subject area.

This final year project research works, just like every other part of schooling has in its own stead some difficulties attached to it.

One of which is the nature of the final year project topics.

The difficulties attached to this is not far fetched as, even though every project topic is important but we cannot deny the fact that there are some very difficult phenomenon that will serve as a bone in one's research.

For instance if one's final year project topic has a lot to do with the menaces of cultism and it's effects on the student population in Nigerian tertiary institutions, we cannot dispute the obvious fact that it is a very important topic but the process and research will perhaps be a herculean one. How to go about this topic may not be the problem, but getting first hand information will seriously be an issue.

Another difficulty faced by students is accessibility to important (undergraduate) research materials. It is a bitter truth to state that some tertiary institutions in Nigeria have substandard libraries and old books. Where students cannot get access to updated books, they will by extension find difficulties in getting adequate information vital for the undertaking of their final year project.

Another difficulty faced by students is the nature of some of their project supervisors.

Supervisors are meant to supervise, support, advice and aid students in the course of their research but some of this supervisors only frustrate the work of the students. Some students pray fervently they escape some particular lecturers as supervisors when they finally get to the promise land.

A lecturer's strict nature coupled with their high taste of judgmental nature may scare students in the course of their project. I've seen situations where supervisors cancel the first submissions made by their students for very trivial reasons which could be easily corrected.

Another difficulty faced by students is the approval of final year project topics.

This should normally take effect as soon as possible so that students can have enough time to make research, conduct interviews and make questionnaires so that they can catch the early worm but at times, for no concrete reasons the approval gets delayed for way too long and when it finally gets approved students may not get enough time to execute the projects judicially.

Another difficulty faced by students to be honest is the procrastination on the students part.

Time management is one of the most imperative factors to be duly considered by students in school but some of the students procrastinate and when it's almost time for submissions then they rush, rush and rush their work. No it won't work well that way. It won't.

In a situation where ones final year project requires oral communication, relating with people who may not be learned or literate per-say, may be little bit of a problem. I know of a lady whose final year project was to be executed in a remote village and she was to conduct an interview with a faction of the villagers. Communicating with the women was a serious problem for her.

Just like every other phenomenon in life generally, difficulties are sure to come our way. Even roses have thorns.

It's only a matter of hard work and dedication that can ease the stress that comes along with projects. Being in the know of the challenges and the very importance of projects in molding students and preparing them for what to expect in the wider world and to be specific their field of professionalism, tertiary institutions may want to go back to the drawing board and conjure up ways to ease the stress students face during projects and also find means of getting the best out of students in the course of this important exercise.

Nobody loves low grades and the heavy credit load a final year project carries alone scares students into doing virtually everything in their power to make sure they pass and pass very well.

Nigerian students hardly get marred by difficult situations, they always find a way to make things happen.

Tough times don't last but tough people do, and this by no means is justifying the neglect on the part of both students and teachers in this situation.

When we all do what we have to do, then we can bring into reality that which we've always dreamt of.

For further enquiry, reach me via email nensamuel[at]gmail[dot]com


Uncategorized Editor Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:46:15 -0400
Lessons College Students Need To Learn

When students enter college they will be expected to behave like adults. That means that they will do their own work, solve their own problems and interact with others in an adult or professional manner. That is just the beginning.

To live their lives as graduates who are happy, highly respected and paid well enough to achieve their goals, they should be building the platform on which to launch their careers while they are in college. The best career launch platforms are made up of Accomplishments, Successes, Positive Results and Strong Relationships in the areas they wish to pursue.

Students who learn five lessons and apply them to their daily lives will give themselves a greater chance for college and career success.

1. Perform To The Best of Their Ability, Even When They Don't Feel Like It - Their effort, perseverance, timeliness, attitude and results all matter to employers. Employers have little choice but to use past performance as a way to predict future performance. Therefore, student performance throughout the college years (In the Classroom, During Campus Activities, In Part-Time and Summer Jobs, In the Community and During Leisure Activities) will determine how much interest employers have in any candidate. Only students with the best reputations and the best performance will command the best job offers.

2. Make Something Better - If students want a good job when they graduate, they cannot wait until the second semester of their senior year to get started. In college, students have 2, 4 or 6 years to prove themselves. Employers believe that it is plenty of time for students to demonstrate their capabilities. If students choose to coast during the college years, it is likely that they will still be coasting (and waiting) after they graduate.

3. Accept Responsibility And Demonstrate Their Capabilities - Mature, highly respected students seek opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities and expect to be held accountable for their words, actions, performance and results. They are reliable and can be counted on to get the tough things done on time and with a high degree of quality.

These students do not blame others when things go wrong and don't make excuses for their own mistakes and failures. Rather, they admit their mistakes, apologize for the problems they caused and set about making things right.

4. Show Others They Deserve Respect - The most respected students do the right things, perform well, are quick to give credit to others and always express their appreciation to everyone who has helped. They demonstrate good manners and resist the urge to overreact or behave as an immature child might in a stressful situation. Respected students sometimes lead, but regularly support their friends and other students who are getting important things done. Importantly, they keep their promises and can be trusted.

5. Build Relationships With High Performing and Influential People - For students to be successful, other people must want them to be successful. True success seldom comes to people who are self-centered loners. We all need and depend on others to help us. Students build solid relationships when they put others first, build them up and look out for their best interests.

It is important for students to realize that solid relationships can only be built slowly over time with consistent behavior, so people can determine if they can trust them. Respect, trust and likability form the foundation of solid relationships.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob's web site []

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 28 May 2017 01:45:29 -0400
Five Reasons Your Humanities Degree Was a Great Idea

In 2014, President Obama offhandedly dismissed art history, and by extension, the humanities, as irrelevant in the job market. He wisely apologized. His remark is indicative of a widespread sentiment: The humanities are useless in a technology-driven economy. This view is wrong, and here are five reasons why.

1. Humanities majors are taught to innovate

Innovation comes from putting together ideas that have no business being together. Steve Jobs famously combined ideas from Chinese calligraphy with ideas from computer science to create Apple's aesthetics. Amazon was born by mashing together bookselling and algorithms. Sticky notes were invented when engineers at 3M screwed up trying to make a new adhesive and later realized they could use the botched result to stick pieces of paper together, and then separate them without leaving a residue. In order to innovate, you have to see how things can go together in a way nobody else has thought of.

Humanities majors are singularly equipped to do this. The basis of a humanities education is exposure to the breadth of human knowledge. From literature, philosophy, and art to social sciences, hard sciences, and mathematics, the liberal arts curriculum has exposed humanities students to ideas from wildly different fields. They are in a position to take two disparate concepts - say, ideas from evolutionary biology and ideas from economics - and make them work together. Businesses, government, and the social sector need this kind of thinking to tackle the increasingly complex problems they face.

2. People who study the humanities are the best communicators

Organizations want employees who can communicate in a way that furthers the organization's interests. For global businesses operating in multicultural societies, unambiguous cross-cultural communication with customers, colleagues, and business partners is essential for success. It is also ridiculously hard. A humanities education makes it easier.

Research has shown that reading serious fiction increases your ability to empathize with others. Those English or world literature courses humanities majors take in college make them better able to relate to people who are not like them. That means they are invaluable when their companies move into foreign markets, or they are sent to other parts of the country to rake in sales. People do business with people they like, and people will like those who can easily, and authentically, empathize with them.

Studying the humanities also hones means of expression. Someone who spent years reading the best literature our civilization has to offer, and writing cogently about it, can get an organization or cause's message across eloquently and succinctly, orally or in writing. Humanities majors who studied the best visual, kinesthetic, and musical culture on offer can craft social media campaigns with impact and style, in a way students of marketing, whose apprehension of visual culture begins with soda advertisements, simply can't.

3. Analysis is second nature for people who studied the humanities

Analysis is central to studying the humanities. Whether learning a philosopher's ethical system, the aims of a cubist artist, or the economics of Tudor England, humanities majors routinely imbibe vast amounts of information, make sense of it, and then critique what they've learned. People who have studied the humanities understand arguments, discern their strengths and weaknesses, and formulate responses. They practice looking at data and using it to craft an argument. Whether the raw data are examples of symbolism in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or consumer demographics in a potential new market, the skill is the same: Finding meaning in the data, and convincing others your interpretation is correct. This works in the seminar room and in the board room.

Studying the humanities inculcates an open mind and penchant for asking questions. These are valuable weapons against conformist thinking, and aid in the critical evaluation of new ideas. In a constantly changing economy, old thinking simply won't work. Being open to new ideas, helping generate them, and helping refine them by asking penetrating questions will make an employee valuable to his or her organization.

4. Humanities majors see the big picture

Many people see only the work in front of them. Accounts to reconcile, reports to write, widgets to sell. Leaders see the big picture. They see where the organization is headed, and what it needs to do to get there. This is the quality that separates leaders from the rest. They ask and answer the big questions.

Studying the humanities trains you to ask and attempt to answer the big questions about society, politics, life, and art. You figure out how the pieces go together. You argue about how things should be. These experiences are analogous to what goes on in the upper echelons of any organization, where arguments about how the pieces of an organization will work together, what the future of the organization should be, and what impact the organization will have play out. Someone versed in debates about the best way to organize society politically will have no problem joining a conversation about how a company should organize its operations.

5. The humanities are our moral compass

Art, literature, and philosophy are the arenas in which societies debate who they are, what is acceptable and what isn't. It is impossible to read great works of literature and not ponder moral dilemmas. Judging or pardoning characters in a work of literature exercises our moral judgment. Recent events (the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Gov. Christie's Bridge-Gate) suggest that the private and public sectors need ethical thinkers.

Humanities majors are people who have wrestled with ethical issues and know them when they see them. They are more likely to speak up when they see wrongdoing occurring, because they are free of the blinders and acceptance of the status quo that come with specializing in a vocation. Organizations would do well to hire humanities majors if they want to avoid harmful ethical lapses.

A critic of the humanities may concede that humanities majors possess these soft skills, yet assert that they simply lack the technical skills required for most jobs, i.e. understanding particular technologies, markets, or regulatory regimes. This is true, to an extent. To be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or computer scientists, you need certain knowledge and skills. These jobs are and should be closed to humanities majors unless they pursue formal education for them. However, jobs in management, sales, human resources, marketing, consulting, and many others fields do not rely on technical skills that cannot be learned on the job, despite protestations to the contrary from those who wish to aggrandize their professions. The details of any of these professions can be learned quickly if you are a fast learner, which studying the humanities helps you become.

For those of you who currently hold humanities degrees, be confident in the worth of your degree and skills. Convince employers that you have the skills they need to accomplish their goals. For those of you currently studying for a humanities degree, stay upbeat in the face of that perennial question, "So what will you do with that degree?" You have a great answer.

Stephen Seaward is a writer and editor specializing in bringing scholarship to wide audiences. To get in touch and see more work, visit

Article Source:

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:44:18 -0400
What Is the Secret to Student Success?

Within the field of higher education, one of the important metrics for gauging the effectiveness of programs is student retention. Retention measures the number of students that a school has been able to keep in their programs and in contrast, attrition measures the number of students who have withdrawn - either voluntarily or involuntarily. Another important word for this field is persistence, and that is meant as a student measurement. While retention and persistence may seem to measure the same criteria, I have made a distinction based upon the actions taken. For example, a school may have retention programs in place; whereas, helping students succeed in their programs bolsters their ability to persist and continue to make progress.

The sector of higher education that I have the most experience in is the for-profit online college, with roles ranging from online educator to faculty development specialist, Chief Academic Officer, and Dean. For this industry, the typical retention rate is 50% or less. Retention initiatives that have been implemented in many of the schools I've worked with included changing feedback requirements, grading requirements, and the curriculum itself to make it easier for students to pass their classes. While these initiatives may provide some help for the bottom line, I have found that it has little impact on the student experience. What matters most for students is their ability to persist and be successful in their attempt to be involved in the learning process. Is there a secret to student success? In my experience, I have learned there is and it has to do with the support and resources students receive from the school and their instructors.

Growth of the Non-Traditional Student

When I entered the field of higher education over ten years ago, the phrase "non-traditional student" was becoming popular and I have watched it become prominent now - especially with regards to how courses and curriculum are designed for students. The essence of this phrase is meant to describe new types of students, other than those who are starting college right out of high school, who are enrolling in college level courses and programs. This one of the important factors that drove the growth of the for-profit online college industry. It is not uncommon to see online programs being offered for what is called the "working adult" - with promises made that the degrees obtained will help them advance within their chosen career.

As a general rule, the non-traditional student can be a mix of someone who is older, part of a minority group, speaks English as a second language, attends school part-time, is employed, and has prior life experience. I have had non-traditional students in my online classes with a range in ages from their 30s to 60s, with many who were also working full time. What this means for these students is that their school work is not their only responsibility and that can create periodic time management challenges for them. In addition, by having life experience these students cannot be treated like blank slates, which is someone waiting to receive knowledge being dispensed.

The Role of an Educator

Within traditional colleges and universities, the role of the educator has remained largely unchanged. This means they are at the front of the class and the center of attention during each scheduled session. It is a teacher-centered approach to instruction that is utilized in primary education. This educator typically provides a lecture and students are expected to study for quizzes and exams. In contrast, an educator who is teaching online courses is finding that their role is evolving. The very nature of a virtual learning environment puts the primary responsibility for learning on the students.

I have coached many traditional educators who have tried to make the transition to online teaching and found it to be difficult to adapt to as traditional teaching methods do not translate well. I can empathize with them as educators devote time and effort into developing their career and becoming a teaching expert - and then having to learn new methods may produce a lot of natural resistance. Online teaching requires changing the focus from teacher-led to student-centered instruction. Does this have a direct impact on student success? The answer is absolutely yes, as an educator must be comfortable in their role and understand the needs of the students they are charged with teaching.

Advisor vs. Success Initiatives

The traditional responsibility for working with students has been part of the role of the academic advisor. The advisor is someone who may assist students with a wide range of tasks that includes registration, enrollment, course selection, and the list continues. Often this was a reactive role and that means an advisor could address a wide range of questions but only when initiated by the students. Within the for-profit online college industry, I have seen the advisor's role evolve and include responsibility for conducting follow up for those students who were at risk for failing and/or dropping their courses.

There have been other initiatives taken by online schools to help students persist and one that I was part of was a success coach program. I was responsible for conducting a periodic check-in with students, and these were students outside of the classes I was assigned to teach. Unfortunately, the project was short-lived and to this day I am not sure of the reason why it was disbanded. I have also watched an increase in the number of resources that are made available to students as a means of helping them succeed, and one of the most common resources provided is through the use of a writing center.

There is a newer non-profit online school that has been hiring mentors, who are meant to take the place of faculty. Students do not have regular classes and instead, they study to take an assessment - usually with a very low or minimal required passing score. It is similar to correspondence courses that preceded the online for-profit industry. There isn't clear evidence yet to support that someone calling students every week, without having course specific knowledge, subject matter expertise, or higher education experience, has an impact on student persistence rates.

How to Support Student Success as an Educator

What I can state with certainty, based upon my experience and my work with hundreds of educators, is that students need an instructor - and just as important, they need ongoing support. I realize this statement goes against the foundational concept of a massive open online course or MOOC; however, I know that an educator serves as the front line for helping to implement retention strategies put into place by the school and being able to work with students to help them persist or succeed. This is where the secret to student success can be found and it is within the relationship that is established with students. An instructor is in a position to develop a relationship with students because they are working with them through learning activities, feedback, and discussions - and all of these tasks prompt learning. In other words, learning is relational. Below are strategies that any educator can use to help support student success, regardless of the class or subject matter being taught.

#1. Provide Ongoing Support: Are you keeping track of the progress of your students? Every student has developmental needs, even those who are doing exceptionally well in your class. When you are familiar with their needs you will know what resources to recommend - whether those are sources provided by the school or supplemental resources. Even recommending additional materials to review, along with subject matter related videos, can help to enhance the learning experience and encourage engagement in the course. Why? The more interested a student is in the course, and the more they are able to develop their areas of weakness, the more they are going to be able to persist.

#2. Provide Engaging Feedback: I have heard many instructors state that students do not read the feedback provided and if they do, those students never seem to implement the suggestions provided. What I have discovered is that students develop a perception about feedback based upon their experiences. As an instructor, I have tried to provide engaging feedback by taking time to insert comments directly into student papers and ask questions, offer insight, share my expertise, and relate the topics to the real world. Again, if students find that you have taken time to do more than provide a grade, they are going to take time to at least consider what you have written. The more engaging your feedback becomes, the more likely they are going to maintain an interest in performing their best.

#3. Develop a High Level of Responsiveness: For some students, the thought of asking a question or making a request for help can be intimidating - especially at the beginning of a class when there isn't a relationship established with their instructor. When students approach you, and seek your assistance, your ability to demonstrate responsiveness is going to make a difference for them. If you can demonstrate a genuine concern for their request, and make it a point to help them in a meaningful manner, they will develop a perception that you care and become more willing to work with you in the future. They will also be more receptive to your coaching and feedback.

#4. Always Be Aware of Your Disposition and Tone: As an educator, you must be mindful of how you feel and the emotions you are experiencing as you work with students, as this will have a direct impact on your disposition. It will extend further into the tone of your communication and for an online class, you are represented by the words you use and you must consider how those words will be interpreted. While you need to remain professional, it will be helpful to add some warmth to your messages to help develop a connection with your students. For example, consider the difference between the following two options for responding to a student's email: #1) "Student: This is my response to your email," or, #2) "Hello Student: It is good to hear from you. Here is a suggestion to help answer your question." Do you see how the second option communicates professionalism, warmth, and a genuine concern for helping?

#5. Provide Follow-Up and Follow-Through: This probably one of the most important elements for student success and that involves going beyond answering questions or providing feedback. It means you are paying attention to your students, all of your students, and you make it a point to maintain coaching and mentoring attempts at all times. If a student asks a question via email, and it involves something complex or may not be easily resolved, a simple follow-up email or call can support their success. When a student is struggling, has performed poorly, or is not active in a class discussion - don't wait to see if they improve. Contact that student right away and offer assistance. In addition, consider the value of a phone call and how a personal touch could influence their well-being. As another example, if you tell students you don't have an answer to a question, be sure you find an answer and then follow up with them.

With all of these strategies, you are working to bring out the best in your students and nurture their ability to succeed. This leads to another question: If learning is relational, can someone other than an educator work with students to help them succeed? From my experience, the answer is yes. If there are individuals who are tasked with helping students succeed, and are trained to do more than ask "how are you doing" types of questions - they can also develop a productive working relationship. It then becomes a matter of training those individuals to understand the many factors that make up student success and persistence, including self-motivation, grit, determination, and resilience - along with academic habits such as time management and study habits.

The role of someone who serves as a success coach needs to support both the students and instructors. For example, an instructor can utilize an early alert system and notify the success coach when a student is at risk. The coach can also support the students by devoting time and attention to all of them, checking in with them- even when it may seem that they are doing well in their classes. While adding a role like this to online degree programs requires a financial investment, the ultimate goal is to improve student success or their persistence rate. This in turn can have a positive impact on student retention overall. Student success is not a one-time event or something that occurs because a school changes its courses or curriculum. The secret to student success is the relationships that are established, nurtured, and maintained at all times with students.

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has expertise in higher education administration, adult education, distance learning, online teaching, faculty development, curriculum development, instructional design, organizational learning and development, career coaching, and resume writing.

Dr. J writes blog posts and articles to help inform, inspire, and empower readers. To learn more about the resources that are available for career and professional development from Dr. J please visit:

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:35:35 -0400
Difference Between a College and a University

While looking at your post-secondary education options, you may be wondering if you should go to a college or a university. If have these thoughts on your mind, you need to understand the difference between a college and a university. According to most people, college is an institute run by someone in the private sector. On the other hand, a university is funded by the government. The reality is different. It's not that easy to draw a differentiating line between the two institutes. Read on.

What is a College?

Usually, a college is a not-so-big institute and doesn't offer post-graduate degrees. In fact, some colleges may offer some two-year degrees. At the majority of colleges students can earn only bachelor's degrees. At very few colleges, students can pursue associate degrees. (If you want a deep insight into the difference between the two institutes, you may want to refer to the Federal Student Aid of the US Department of Education.)

What is a University?

A university, on the other hand, offers both graduate and undergraduate study programs. In other words, universities allow students to sign up for graduate programs. With these programs, students can pursue master's degrees or higher with tons of other students.

As a matter of fact, these institutes may have law or medical schools for students. At some universities, students can avail special programs to earn a graduate as well as an undergraduate degree in a short period of time. Usually, universities offer a lot of programs and classes unlike a college.

Do Colleges Offer Graduate Degrees?

At times, the difference between the two institutes is not clear at all. For instance, some colleges offer graduate degrees in law, business, marine science, education, and creative writing, just to name a few. Why are the institutes that offer these degrees called colleges? Well, the answer is that they are called colleges because of the tradition. Some universities are called colleges and their name can't be changed because the modification may cause confusion among students.

Choosing the Right Institute

So, after all this explanation, you may be wondering if you should go to a college or university. In simple words, it won't matter if you sign up with a college or a university since both of the institutes are the same as far as academics is concerned. Based on the needs of students, they can go to either a college or a university. For instance, if you want to go to a school offering different classes and programs, we suggest that you opt for a university. On the other hand, if you want to attend small classes and have a closer relationship with your teachers, you should go to a college.

Moreover, if you want to pursue a bachelor's degree, the name of the school doesn't matter. Actually, it is based on your personal preference and you should choose an institute that will meet your expectations.

Hopefully, this article explains the difference between a college and a university. Hope you will find this article helpful enough.

Are you trying to understand the difference between college and university []? If so, we suggest that you check out website for more information.

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:34:55 -0500