3, 2, 1… New Career!

December 23rd, 2008 by admin

2008 is almost over and there have been significant changes… first African-American president, first woman vice presidential candidate, government scandals, faltering economy, stocks crashing, government bailouts and the comeback of  Britney Spears. Can 2009 be your year to change your life? We at USCS think so!

As the economy slows and jobs grow more scarce – what can you celebrate when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? Well, for one thing, 2008 is over and you can only hope that 2009 will be better. But, what are your resolutions going to look like this year? It seems unfitting to go with the regular lose weight or get a new hobby. Why not really make a resolution and go back to school?

Challenge yourself to become better in life and in your career. Whether it’s continue your education or learn a new trade, 2009 is the year for you to go back to school. Learn more about our programs and going back with USCS. 

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Find your purpose – and maybe a better job

December 18th, 2008 by admin

So, you’re looking for some direction in your life. Well, you’re definitely not alone there. Whether you’re getting ready to graduate, or if you’re just looking for a lifestyle or career change, the number of choices out there can be overwhelming.We’re all well-aware that the economy is not super hot right now. But here’s a piece of advice I’ve heard some career experts recommend to people who are having a tough time snagging a job right now:

They say that volunteering can be a great way to gain experience that employers will appreciate. But best of all, many volunteer opportunities can give you the chance to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Today, I was reading about an organization called City Year. It’s affiliated with AmeriCorps (the domestic version of the Peace Corps), and it gives young people between the ages of 17 and 24 the chance to spend one year volunteering with kids from urban areas all across the country.

Though helping others is a great incentive, City Year can also help its members prepare for life after their year of service has ended. They offer education awards and scholarships, in addition to a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. Plus, you could experience life in a new place, while meeting new people.

A friend of mine who lives in New York City told me about how she sees City Year volunteers all over the place. She said she always recognizes them by their trademark red uniforms and their cheerful attitudes. Apparently, these folks really love what they’re doing!

The benefits of volunteering seem almost endless. And it might even open career or education doors in ways you weren’t expecting.

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Getting ready for the new G.I. Bill

December 5th, 2008 by AbbeyR

Most of us are familiar with advertisements created by the United States armed forces. A major selling point in a lot of these ads is the military’s promise to help servicemen and women pay for their college education.

To me, this idea seems pretty fair. Our country owes a lot to the men and women who defend the United States through military service at home and abroad. Offering our veterans a quality education when they return home is probably the least we can do to repay them.

Since the end of World War II – and the first version of the G.I. Bill – veterans’ circumstances have changed. Due to inflation, today’s Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ benefits just don’t go as far as they used to.

This coming August, the new G.I. Bill will take effect. This version of the bill offers benefits to those who have served at least 90 continuous days of active military duty since September 11, 2001, or those who served at least 30 days and were discharged with a service-connected disability.

What does this mean for veterans and civilians?

Most likely, it means more veterans around college and university campuses. The new bill has been updated to accommodate rising education costs, so more veterans can pursue a higher-quality education.

The college experience can be daunting for some veterans who have grown used to a military-style daily routine. Civilian students should be welcoming and respectful to veterans they meet. Some veterans don’t mind answering questions about military life, but some would prefer more privacy.

If you want to get involved, many colleges have student veteran organizations. These groups can help veterans join a community, and can allow civilian students to reach out to veterans who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.

 Sounds like a good thing to me!

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Want To Get One of America’s Hottest Jobs? Go Green.

December 2nd, 2008 by admin

For some people, going green is about doing more than instituting a recycling plan; it’s about a new way of life. If you’re interested in devoting more of your energy to protecting our natural resources, you’re in luck.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that environmental science and protection technicians, including health technicians is among the fastest growing of all occupations.

Environmental science and protection technicians perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment. They investigate the sources of pollution, including those that can affect health. Under the direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, they use the data they collect to help take steps toward correcting any issues.

As the regulations and monitoring surrounding the environment continue to increase, the need for these workers is expected to grow at a faster than average rate. More than 80 percent of this growth is expected to be in professional, scientific, and technical services.

You can help meet this need after completing an industry-relevant training program. Most environmental science and protection technicians hold an Associate’s degree – which you could probably earn in less time than you think.

The mean annual wage for environmental science and protection technicians is $42,190. That means you could enjoy all the benefits of working in one of today’s fastest growing occupations – all while experiencing the personal satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to preserve the earth for future generations.

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Obama Education Plan

November 26th, 2008 by admin

With the election is done and over, what does an Obama administration mean for present and future students? The President Elect has made several policies and speeches about education during his campaigning. But, what will be some of the changes and how will that affect you?  

Here are some of the changes that Obama proposed throughout the campaign:

  • Implementing additional early childhood education programs that will cost $10 billion. The Early Head Start program entails increased accessibility to preschool, provide affordable and quality child care and increase coordination across federal, state and local levels. Proposes to increase the child and dependent care tax credit.
  • Improving the No Child Left Behind policy by addressing some of the flaws.
  • Proposes scholarships that will cover 4 years of undergraduate or 2 years of graduate teacher education.
  • Alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least 4 years in a high-need field or location.
  • Provide $1 billion in funding to create mentoring programs for teachers.
  • Proposes an annual $4,000 tuition credit that will cover 2/3 of the tuition of an average public college.
  • Proposes to make community college completely free in America.
  • Proposes to expand the Pell Grant and lower interest rates on the existing federal student loan programs.
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Make Money for College by Blogging

October 23rd, 2008 by admin

What would be easier than winning a scholarship for school? Blogging to earn money for school. We’ve discovered a great way to earn money for school and doing something almost anyone can start up: a blog.

With the forefront of technology, blogging has become trend that everyone has jumped on. No longer the case that you need an English or Journalism degree to write and have it published with the Wide World Web, getting your thoughts out there is easy.

CollegeScholarships.org is about rewarding those who share their thoughts, opinions and perspectives. Every year since 2006, Collegescholarships.org has held a blogging contest for people to win money for college.

The criteria isn’t too difficult, you just have to be enrolled in post-secondary education, have a blog that you are passionate about (no spam), be a United States citizen or permanent resident, and have your name and blog published on the website if you win. The scholarship awards a first prize of $10,000, and 2 runner-ups with $1,000 each. 

So, what are you waiting for? Explore your hidden talents of writing and put them to the test for a chance to win money for college. The deadline hasn’t passed if you already have a blog up and running. The submission date is October 15-30.  

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Want Federal Funds For College?

October 23rd, 2008 by LaciW

Need money to fund your education? Join the club. This year, the United States Federal Government will provide more than $83 billion for students just like you. And they make this cash available through a few Federal Student Aid Programs.

You’ll probably want to start looking at the programs that DON’T require repayment when you’re researching financial aid. This blog will talk a bit about the Federal Student Aid Programs that don’t come along with a payment plan

Federal Pell Grant
This is a monetary grant given to qualified undergraduate students. Eligibility based on financial need and you can qualify for more than $4,000.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This is a monetary grant awarded to undergraduate students. Eligibility based on financial need and priority is given to applicants who qualify for Federal Pell Grants.

You can receive up to $4,000 a year or more – if you’re enrolled in a study abroad program

Federal Work-Study (FWS)
This program allows students to work part-time to earn money for college expenses. The school coordinates the job. You’ll earn at least minimum wage as an employee.

I’d also suggest that you research as many scholarships as possible. Even if you weren’t a straight-A student in high school with tons of community service – there’s tons of cash for people from every walk of life – you just have to be willing to do the leg work.

Free money for college is good, but most of us have to take out some loans. Because the Federal loans can be a bit trickier, and because you have to repay them, I’ll provide a bit more in-depth info on them in future blog posts. So, check back soon!

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An Ear for an Ear

October 14th, 2008 by SarahE

I think it’s great when people charged with crimes are sentenced with unusual punishments. It reminds you that you don’t have to be a 3rd grade art teacher to have a career allowing for creative expression. These days, judges are making the most of their artistic licenses.

For example, AP Press just published an article about this young man named Andrew Vactor who was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loud. The judge offered to reduce the fine to $35 if he spent 20 hours listening to classical music.

At first, Vactor agreed. But, his excursion into the classical realm didn’t last long. According to a probation officer, he only listened for 15 minutes.

Vactor said Bach didn’t drive him off – he was just late for basketball practice. “I didn’t have the time to deal with that,” he said. “I just decided to pay the fine.”

The judge offered to reduce the fine in exchange for this punishment to show Vactor what it was like to be forced to listen to music – much like the people who were forced to listen to the music he was playing.

I love it! Creative justice! It kind of makes me want to go into the legal profession. I bet court reporters get to hear it all.

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Overcoming the Fear of Success

October 7th, 2008 by admin

Jonathan Liebman, the CEO of Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, wrote in the September/October 2008 issue of Career College Central  about the fear many students have of success. He points out that many students are the first in their families to graduate from college. Naturally, these students often second guess themselves. What will life be like in this new career? What will change? Do I deserve to be more successful than my parents? Will success cause resentment and pull me away from my childhood friends?

The opportunities an education gives you will introduce you to new people and new experiences. Venturing into uncharted waters can be intimidating but, with a little bravery, you can create a better life for yourself. There is no easy answer to make it through the tough times. Each situation has its own complexities and needs to be addressed in a unique way. But there are some tips that can help you through tough times.

  1. Be confident – People trust and react positively to those who are confident, but not cocky. Hold your head high and take pride in what you’ve accomplished. Not feeling very confident in your new role? Fake it. Soon enough, you’ll find that your confidence is sincere.
  2. Think of your kids – If your parents did not go to college, it can feel like you are rejecting the life they worked hard to provide. Pretend that you decide that, out of respect for your parents, you decide to not go to school. Fifteen or twenty years from now, your children would be in the same position you are in now. What would you want them to do – have the same challenges you faced without an education, or would you like them to go to college and have a successful career? Most parents strive to provide a better life for their children than they had. It is honoring their sacrifices to take advantage of the opportunities you have.
  3. Let go – In order to get what you want out of life, sometimes you need to cut ties with things that are holding you back. If a loved one is not encouraging you to be successful and talking to them about the situation doesn’t help, consider cutting back on the time you spend with them. That can be very tough to do, but if they truly have your best interest at heart, they’d want to help you succeed.

Change can be scary, but success shouldn’t be. Be brave, and don’t let temporary setbacks keep you from the life you want for you and your family.

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Roadmap to College: Made by Students for Students

October 2nd, 2008 by ErinS

Are you questioning whether or not college is for you? Do you have concerns or doubts?  When I made the decision to attend college, finance was my number one concern. Other fears included wondering if I could handle the the college workload, if I was choosing the right program or the right school, if my family would support my decision and and many more. 

This kind of fear and self-doubt can prohibit many people from going to a college which can vastly improve their lives.  A new website, www.college.gov identifies these common concerns and shows ways to overcome them. There are testimonials from students across the country that have triumphed over challenges such as peer pressure, lack of family support, and financial barriers. Against the odds, these students made college a reality.

More features of the website:

  • Create your own roadmap.  No matter what year you are in high school, www.college.gov can create a personalized road map that will layout detailed steps necessary for getting to college.  You can keep the roadmap on your computer, or print it out and put it on your wall or in you locker.  Either way, this roadmap can put you on the path towards college!
  • Find the school for you.  Universities, community colleges, or vocational schools, whatever you are looking for, this website can help you find a school to fit your lifestyle.
  • Why go? What to do? How to pay?  www.college.gov  helps you realize reasons for going to school such as, increasing your income, finding your passion, proving your potential, growing with help and support, and lifting your family.  It also shows you the step for getting into college and payment options.
  • Information for everyone. The website is geared towards high school students but also gives information to parents, families, teachers and counselors.

What sets this website apart from other education sites is that it was made by students for students.  The creators of this website have pinpointed real concerns that high school students have about going to college.  Through their college roadmap, they give us the tools to overcome those obstacles. 

Anyone can make their dream of attending college a reality.  www.college.gov is one tool that can help.

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