Advantages of Community Colleges

Community colleges have grown to be a staple of several places offering quality college level classes for individuals unable to attend a conventional four-year association. Unfortunately some consider these colleges as simply a place for the average and “not good enough.” to go and study.

You will find many positives, although there are a number of drawbacks to attending community college.

1.) That means Intro is not unlike, credit shrewd, at the prestigious university that bills more than double for the exact same class as well as the local community school.

2.) The truth is, there is many pupils are applying a favorite strategy attending a community college for a couple of years, gaining their associate’s degree, and after that transferring into a four-year school. This can be an incredibly cost effective method to get a college degree (harkening back to favorable #1 recorded previously) since pupils may finish their General Education requirements all in community college and finish their major classes in the four-year university. So essentially, you will end up having a while saving a boatload of money.

3.) More easy transition: Many pupils become overwhelmed from high school. This is credited to being independent and leaving home or the extreme coursework included can only be a bit too much. Community college provides an excellent equilibrium. Pupils are subjected to the tougher coursework which is trivial in four-year schools, however they’re able to remain close to home and transition into a more independent lifestyle. And so, when the students choose to follow the two-year transport course, they will be a lot more than effective at heading off to some university, being on their very own, and getting the experience of finishing college level coursework that is extreme.

Most community colleges now have all the latest technology and utilize it as well as many traditional colleges.   Many are also taking advantages of the internet, to allow students to take online courses from other education centers and even let their students access resources and tools which allow you to watch the BBC iPlayer in the USA, this is done by using remote servers which hide your real location.

Technical Source – http://dnsproxy.co.uk/using-american-dns-for-netflix/

 

A Disciplined Approach to Learning

There is not much that can beat taking a disciplined approach to the learning process when obtaining an education in the subject you intend to excel in. The way in which a person tackles their particular topic of study certainly has a big influence on how well they will do when it comes to getting grades.

If this strategy is so powerful and successful then, why is it that so few students actually adopt that style of self discipline in their own studies? I think a big part of the problem lies in the failure of the education system to place a great enough emphasis on discipline, especially since it is seen by many as outdated, overly restrictive or even unnecessary.

Where Did Discipline Go?

Back in the mid 20th century, a big movement rose up and pushed itself away from the establishment and the “old ways” of educating people. People demanded more freedom and fewer limitations placed on their time.

A whole generation caused big changes to occur, believing they were right and the established and traditional teaching methods were too restrictive, stifling creativity and even ambition. That way of thinking continued to drive subsequent generations to the point where even healthy competition was viewed as contrary to the freedom movement’s beliefs.

With all these changes went the traditional teacher enforced disciplines and schools became freer and less restrictive, which was seen by many as a good thing. Unfortunately, self discipline, which is the most important kind, began to die out with it.

Self Sacrifice

Fortunately, there is a contra-flow of thinking that believes personal self sacrifice and self discipline are the true ways to personal success and when you stop and consider it, you’ll see it is the only viable way. It all boils down to how the true meaning of the terms sacrifice and discipline are interpreted.

Many feel that to make a sacrifice means giving up something they like to do. That’s something most people do not want to do. But in truth sacrifice really means giving up something of a lower nature to gain something of a higher nature, in some way like sacrificing a low ranking chess piece to gain a better strategic position to win the game.

Self sacrifice and disciplined thinking (see: disciplinedthinking.com) and action can bring incredible results when applied to study and learning. It doesn’t mean giving up anything other than trivialities that would stand in the way of success.

But it does mean focusing on the things that matter to the exclusion of the things that do not matter in order to achieve the kind of success that is only possible through this approach. In the end, it really depends on how much success means to the individual.

US College Funding Gap Grows

In the UK, the stories of debt and huge overdrafts for students is something we’ve come to expect. Of course, these have grown since tuition fees have been introduced so how do students in the US cope, after all they’ve always had tuition fees to pay.  Well it turns out the story is relatively similar, and although Americans are saving more than ever for their further education it isn’t nearly enough.

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Most Americans save into something called the ‘529’ plan, so named because of the tax code it is associated with.   Although this isn’t the only way to fund a college degree, it is one of the most popular routes.  In a recent survey it was discovered that the average value of this fund was approximately $20,000 a sizable amount and up considerably over the last few years.  The problem is that in the US this isn’t nearly enough to fund a college education in the vast majority of states.

The rise is of course good news, and is largely due to some increase in tax benefits – the fund is tax free if it’s used for tuition fees.  The improvement in the economy has also helped with values of stocks and shares linked to these funds starting to grow more significantly over the recovery.  These increases have softened the blow slightly but it still represents a huge shortfall in the real cost of college.

The costs for a college education of course vary significantly depending on where you go and where you study.  However even the cheapest costs, tuition fees charged to in-state students, combined with room and board come to $18,000 nearly enough to wipe out the whole fund in less than a year.  If you choose an out of state private school then this figure is even higher and a figure double that cost is required.

Most experts consider the costs to be worth the future employment benefits and the fact that funds are rising is good news.  Any amount that can be saved reduces the overall costs and means that interest will not be payable on any further debt.  It still represents a huge financial risk for students and their parents though which many are having second thoughts about.  The problem is that students need to think carefully about their future employment prospects before moving into study.  Many courses and skills don’t offer the increased reward that graduates expect.

Lots of people are also starting to consider distance learning, where a degree can still be taken in large reputable universities all over the world.   For many you don’t need to change your IP address like this or sign up from specific locations anymore, the courses are truly global.  The main advantage is that of cost, they are normally much cheaper for students and they can be taken from home saving on boarding and accommodation costs.  There are drawbacks of course, the ‘social element’ is reduced somewhat but many of these courses offer weekends throughout the term when students can get together.

James Hallows

The NInja Surfer

 

Opting for a Musical Education

Getting an education in one of the many musical fields is a lot more commonplace these days as the scope for training continues to widen to encompass ever more subjects. There are more and more musical scholarships for the taking than ever before too, so for anyone looking to take this subject up as a major study option now is a great time.

There are so many different areas to choose from in music that it can almost become something of a headache for students trying to decide which path to take. It’s not just about studying the classical side of music either, as there are now bona fide courses in just about any flavour of musical direction you wish to pursue.

Musical Performer or Player

That means you can study a certain musical instrument such as guitar, piano or even drums and there is a place for a student to get into. With the many different styles of music from rock to jazz to country to opera, there is really something for just about everyone to get into.

There are many web-based musical training programs that can be used as a starting point for budding musicians and singers with WebMusicStar.com being a useful place to start researching this aspect of the tuition process. Many of these courses are aimed at people with little or no training or experience, making them excellent bases to springboard from into higher educational levels.

Sound Recording and Production

If it’s not physically playing or performing a branch of music that interests you, there are options in music recording and production that are available and can lead to great opportunities later on. The music industry is always on the lookout for qualified sound engineers, digital recording software experts and producers to fill the multitude of jobs that are always being made available in the industry.

Then there is the art of song writing itself, which is another aspect of this enormous industry that is constantly on the lookout for new exciting talent. Learning the ropes in this area can be both very productive and highly lucrative for a person with the right ideas and a solid college education in musical writing and production is an excellent starting point.

No matter which area of music interests you, a good, self motivated and college educated student stands a far greater chance of entering the industry and moving upward fast than does someone without that important foundation. It often pays to take advantage of the facilities that higher education offers if stepping up the ladder as quickly as possible is your aim.

Some Useful Suggestions on How Parents Can Pay For College

If you’re a parent wondering how you’re going to be able to afford to send your child to college, this article will provide you with some useful suggestions. For most parents, though, college is considered a necessity, which is why you want to find some way to make it feasible. It’s essential, though, to be as thorough as possible when thinking of ways to make college more affordable.

Anyone that has children in high school, at some point, needs to get them ready for college. All of this preparation will help them qualify for scholarships and grants, plus the college that they want to attend in order to get their degree. You should impress upon them how important it is that they prepare for the ACT or SAT tests and do as well as possible on them. They could be eligible for more scholarships if they can get a high enough score. Any extracurricular activities that they can participate in will look good on scholarship applications they put in. The things that they look for our school activities such as vice president of the student body or involvement with clubs of any sort.

The availability of grants and scholarships is quite plentiful even though people are not aware of most of them. Criteria for qualifying for scholarships and grants may vary, but need and merit top the list in regard to accessibility factors. Perhaps you were going after a particular career, or maybe you have the right last name. These are all qualifiers for certain forms of funding for school. Some books on scholarships are available. You can also go online to discover what your child may qualify for in terms of this type of funding. By researching little-known scholarships, your children can apply for them and more than likely be awarded the funding. Remember also that even smaller grants and scholarships are worth applying for, as they can add up.

Teaching your kids the skill of budgeting money is something that you should impart with them before they leave for college on their own. Some kids learn how to manage money at an early age. Most kids like Mom and Dad to do this for them as budgeting money is not their forte. It is important to teach your children about budgeting – the sooner the better! You need to be able to stick to a reasonable budget during their time in college. It really depends on their spending habits, and there are some parts of the budget that are simply going to be there until they graduate. Make sure they keep track and are able to access their balance online, for those studying abroad there are some good proxy sites which can allow access. The budget that they have should be curtailed to conform with what you can afford to provide.

College is something that is going to be very expensive for any parent, but it can be made affordable to some degree. Parents need to play a role in helping their children choose the appropriate college by doing research early on. You are investing into your child’s future, not just paying a bill, so keep that in mind. This article has shown you some ways to make college affordable which will, hopefully, help you keep money in your bank account.

Keith Devlin

Citation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzwP5Y2tyms

How Colleges can Use Digital Technology

For smaller colleges without the reach of bigger educational establishments like Universities, the digital age offers both a challenge and an opportunity.  There are a variety of methods that it can be used to improve both teaching and the marketing of the college across a wider market.

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It might seem one of the less obvious advantages for colleges, but the simple fact is that there is increasing pressure to attract students and using the internet is essential.  A well designed website and a strong brand is crucial, for the majority of students – a website is that vital first impression.  Before any marketing takes place – it must ensure that the website represents it’s brand and message effectively.  Only then can the college consider using marketing techniques like SEO and advertising on social sites like YouTube and Facebook for example.  The costs can be very low compared to traditional forms of advertising and it can effectively spread word of your brand internationally.

For students then it’s the learning experience that is of course, paramount.  There are many ways in which digital technology can allow students and staff to collaborate  Technology like Google apps can extend the learning experience far beyond the classroom and let information, research and findings be shared with all concerned.  Using video, portals and document management systems can greatly increase the efficiency and the value of the learning process. Of course using such technology is an education in itself and will add additional experience for the students which they will probably find useful in their later careers.  Using video sharing equipment, online resources for research and even tools like Smart DNS will be of value whatever career path  they pursue.

It’s not all about learning either, many digital applications are perfect for simply communicating and creating an engaging environment for both students and teachers.  The most effective colleges often have the most tight knit communities including social interaction and links to businesses particularly in the local areas.  There are a host of these applications like Popplet and Piktocart which are available for tasks like these. Most are free or inexpensive, they can even be used remotely or over the internet without requiring a fast vpn to be able to use properly.

To really see the benefits that technology can add to a college’s success perhaps the best area is to look at is customer relations.  You can use some wonderful applications like Microsoft Dynamics to manage relationships from their initial enquiry to the time they receive their certification.   It also means that colleges can keep in touch with their previous students, maintaining this link after graduation is very useful to both the student and the college in many ways.

 

 

Is America Saving for College?

If you have children and any sort of aspiration for them, then you’ve probably thought you should be saving towards paying for college for them. But the facts are showing that people are doing little about it or perhaps just trying to avoid the issue.

It’s not really surprising, in the current economic climate, many feel fairly lucky simply by just paying their bills and keeping a roof over their family’s head. Investing money for the possibility that your children would like to go to college ten years from now is something that’s easily put off.

Unfortunately in order to make building a college fund affordable then it’s important you start as early as possible. It’s not as if the value of a college education is diminishing, most reports and surveys show that it’s still one of the best investments you can make for your child.

So are Americans saving for their children’s education? Well at the moment the average saving fund for a US citizen for the dreaded college fund is about $15,000 which is certainly up from a few years back when the recession cut levels to around $11,000. Unfortunately this is not enough to finance most college courses.

The problem is that many parents don’t really do the sums, they just try and save. However when you start adding up the costs of tuition, room and board, vpns, books and supplies the total cost can be extremely surprising. Which is why that the reality for most students is leaving their college and graduating with some level of student debt. But the reality is the more you save the lower that debt is likely to be, which can make a huge impact on your children’s future.

Graduating with a few thousand dollars in debt is much more manageable than the thirty thousand dollars plus that many students find themselves having to borrow to complete college. Many students are additionally considering completing their education abroad, with technology available today you can invest and the best vpn software products can help kids to keep in touch and often the cost of education can be significantly lower in some countries.

The Importance of Education and Skills in Workforce Capability

The world of work is changing. The dynamism of the new economy means that education and skills are essential to the UK’s continuing competitiveness in the global marketplace. Individuals and organisations need to make informed decisions about what the changes mean learning and development opportunities in order that UK business can manage the capability through its people.

There is no single answer, no one right way to build a workforce that is motivated, well led, recognises and develops hidden talent resulting in the changes required to deliver organisational effectiveness.

The uncertainty that organisation face means that planning of personal development if vital and valuable to develop effective workforce engagement and foster a strategy which is flexible and adaptable to the changing demands of the marketplace.

Developing an understanding of current workforce capability and how they are aligned to current business drivers and the strategic purpose of the organisation will ensure that the organisation is able to identify gaps in workforce knowledge, skills and capacity needed to be responsive, and begin building an education, learning and development programme to ensure that the workforce capability is fit for purpose.

The analysis of the workforce capability must result in an agreed outcome that builds a strategic plan for meeting the development needs of the workforce in both the short and the long term. In addition a strategy to continuously improve and develop employee knowledge, skills and capability must be developed to ensure that capability does not become stagnant and be found wanting by sudden changes in direction in the marketplace.

Monitoring, review and evaluation of the strategic workforce capability plan are essential to progress, and provide the opportunity to quickly address limitations of workforce capability. For many organisations this is easily done but others will need additional help. Take for instance and organisation that is made up primarily of home or ‘on the road’ workers, it’s difficult for them to keep in touch with central policies and they often lack HR support. Technically a lot can be done to help them keep in touch by using technology, e’g investing in individual VPN clients like this set up – http://iplayerusa.org/ let’s them safely access the home network and watch the news on the BBC from the USA or wherever they happen to be.

The importance of a high skilled, knowledge, flexible and adaptable workforce cannot be under estimated in the coming years. Technology can assist but the reality is that there needs to be more support emotionally too, but a high speed vpn certainly won’t do any harm for those travelling or working remotely!

Students Should Begin Investing If They Can

Going to a community college can cost a lot less than going to a 4 year traditional college. With education costs so high, many students are finding that a 2 year degree from a CC will do just fine and it won’t leave them with tons of debt like the other option would.

Jobs are tough and many students are struggling to find ways to keep their heads above water with their finances. That being said, any college student who is fortunate enough to be able to save any extra money should think seriously about learning how to invest it. Don’t buy more beer….buy stocks instead!

Studies show that putting money away every year from a young age will get you way ahead when it comes to retiring. The statistics are amazing and that is one of the problems with families today: they wait too long to start saving and investing and end up relying on the government’s small Social Security pay out in their later years.

College students today who have the ability to save should slowly stick that money into the stock market. They have the longest time horizon to invest and can withstand any bear markets. Stocks are best for patient investors who have years and years of time ahead of them. Students today might wait for the Apple split and then buy some stock in the $70 to $90 range that it will cost. Apple stock now pays a great dividend and the company is doing billions in stock buybacks to support the stock price. The stock is splitting 7 to 1 and it is a good way to get started in the stock market. From there a young student should continue putting money in a basket of stocks in different industries in an effort to diversify.

Obviously, most students can’t invest money they don’t have and that is the situation most find themselves in. But for those that are fortunate to have a little extra, they should invest smartly and not waste it.

Studying in Russia – Admission Rules Change

There’s sweeping changes planned to academic requirements for foreigners wanting to study in a Russian college. The Education and Science Ministry are dew to publish these new requirements by the end of 2014. All international students (i.e from outside Russia) will need to spend an additional year learning Russian, Mathematics and a selection of key subjects in their chosen fields. This will only then give the students the right to take the entrance exam of their chosen university.

The applicants will have to choose between four sets or subject areas for their studies initially – humanities, computer science, maths, sciences or economics. These sets will have three individual subjects and one specialist subject for study. This foundation phase will also cover some general knowledge and Russian language basics.

The Russian course will also include Russian authors and literature like Pushkin, Turgenev and others. The foundation course will covers two or three pieces of work from about 8 famous Russian authors.

There are actually a lot of Foreign students studying in Russia, latest estimates suggest about 250,000. Many are heavily subsidized by the Russian Government – some 40,000 pay no fees at all.

The reasons these changes are being implemented are simply because of the very diverse source of these students. Many have varying levels of education which makes it difficult to teach in a group or class format. It is expected that the measures will not only improve the standard of Russian education but increase the profiles of Russian education abroad.

It is no doubt though that the changes make studying in Russia a much bigger commitment especially those who have to pay their own fees. An extra 12 months living and studying costs can be significant especially in expensive Cities like Moscow. You should consider carefully any application and make sure it is the right thing to do. Many prospective students spend a lot of time in preparation, learning Russian before they go and trying to get involved in the culture. One hady tip is to invest in a short term service of a Russian proxy so you can access Russian only sites like this –

Obviously it’s not quite the same as being there, but it does help soften the culture shock that students may have from different backgrounds. Although there are many foreign students studying in Russia, many are from the old Soviet Union or Poland and so cultural differences will not be as pronounced as if you are coming from London or Chicago!