The Dream Act – How will this affect your education?

December 16th, 2010 by admin

The US Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors act, known as the Dream Act, has been proposed as a way to help illegal immigrants who are under the age of 18 become American citizens if they meet certthe-dream-actain criteria. The Dream Act would only apply to students who came to the United States as minors. The idea of the new policy has caused students to speak out both for and against the Act in demonstrations across the United States. There is a chance that Congress will consider the Act during the lame duck session this December.

Current Policies for Illegal Immigrants

Right now, illegal minors are treated the same as illegal adults. They are arrested and imprisoned before their deportation is arranged through the US Immigration Department. Regardless of how old these kids were when they were brought into the United States, they do not have the choice to stay. An illegal minor may have spent all of his or her formative years attending United States elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools only to be deported to a foreign country when their illegal status is discovered.

What would the Dream Act Do

The Dream Act offers those illegal students an opportunity to work toward legal citizenship. If an illegal minor is willing to serve at least 2 years in the US military or spend 2 years in a US college, that student could be put on the fast track toward legalization. This new policy would only apply to illegal residents who came to the United States before the age of 16. It does not change the status of any other family members, but does offer a route to legal residency for younger illegals who have grown up in the US.

Potential Benefits for All Students

Many student organizations are embracing the Dream Act as a way to support immigrant children who often had no choice about coming to the United States. A child who has lived in the United States long enough to graduate from high school and consider military service or college has usually developed a strong sense of belonging in the US. Having these students involved in college campus life and classes could help bring a more diverse education for every college student, not just the immigrants. Offering easier citizenship for those who are willing to serve in the military could also help swell the ranks as thdream-acte United States faces a higher need for soldiers around the world.

Opposition of the Dream Act from Some Student Groups

Not all student groups support the Dream Act. Some groups worry that the immigrant students would achieve the dream of going to college without having to meet the standards that regular citizen students have to meet. The immigrant students would also take coveted positions in colleges that have limited enrollment, pushing out legal residents who earned the right to attend the college on their own merit. The opposition sees the Dream Act as a reward for illegal immigrants who break the law simply by being in the United States.

What are your thoughts on the Dream Act?  Are you for it or against it?

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Would you homeschool your child?

December 10th, 2010 by admin

Many families choose homeschooling as a viable alternative to enrolling a child in a private or public school system. Being taught at home recalls an earlier time before compulsory school enrollment laws existed, when any education most children received was only from parents or guardians. The one exception was usually the wealthy who could afford to send their children to exclusive boarding schools. The twenty-first century version of shutterstock_85783771homeschooling is a debated issue, with distinct camps of proponents and opponents. One side argues that home schooled children receive an education superior to that in the school systems, and the other side believes the home schooled miss out on too many activities that are viewed as childhood rites of passage. Whether these arguments are true depends on individual situations as well as parents’ various reasons for homeschooling.

Parents who home school cite numerous reasons for doing so. Some have religious beliefs they believe the public school curriculum contradicts or undermines; they often choose homeschooling because enrollment in parochial school is not financially practical. Others are dissatisfied with the current public school climate of “teaching to the test” at the expense of other educational aspects. A similar group remembers their own poor experiences in public school and do not want their own children to have the same. Still others use homeschooling because it is a more flexible and convenient fit with the parents’ careers.

A common protest against homeschooling is that it provides reduced opportunities for social development. Home schooled children do not interact with their same-age peers on a daily basis as they would in schools, and opponents believe they emerge from homeschooling less prepared to cope with challenges of the modern world. The counter-argument is that there are plenty of growing resources for home schoolers that provide opportunities for socialization. Group classes and community activities for homeschooling families are prevalent, and they allow home schooled students to interact in positive environments.

Homeschooling parents also seek out activity groups that give their children an alternative to traditional school athletics and other extracurricular s. Community sports leagues are popular for the home schooled athlete, and they are another outlet for these children to make friends, learn to compete with others, and work effectively as part of a team. Supporters of homeschooling maintain that problems such as peer pressure and bullying are less severe in homeschooling activity groups because parents have more control of the situss-14675587ation from the beginning. Such problems are therefore diffused before they are allowed to grow to the magnitude they often do in traditional schools, and homeschooling parents often use them as demonstrated life lessons for their children.

Whether homeschooling is more effective than traditional school depends largely on circumstances within each family. The key is to examine those circumstances beforehand to determine if homeschooling is the correct fit for any given household. Parents should consider the resources they have in terms of time, commitment, and finances if they are considering homeschooling. They should also consider their own motivations behind wanting to home school, since these can have a significant impact on the outcome for their children.

The question posed to people on Twitter was:

Taking a poll: Would you home school your child? Do they get all the childhood experiences as traditional schooling?

Some of the responses we received are below:

home-schooling-responses

A list of all of our home schooling responses are below:

@GodfreyMethod @RocketMom14: Homeschool, definitely yes, but only with phonics, phonics, phonics. No sight reading! http://ow.ly/3nnly

@BSDiva: No way! It’s important for children to have social interactions at a young age!!

@HomeschoolSue: “Hillary Clinton says it takes a village to raise a child. I’ve seen the village; & I don’t want it raising my child.” – unknown

@AntonOlsen: My kids get more socialization as homeschoolers (Karate, Swim Team, Dance, Robotics, Drama, Choir) with a wide range of ages

@Jennifance: my sister and I were both homeschooled at one point only when extracurriculars were conflicting with school schedules

@Lilmamaof2NY: I prefer to keep my kids from a lot of school socialization considering the peer pressure & violence happening in schools

@EduEverything:Nope. Social interaction is key in cognitive development for kids. Of course, it can be key in getting n2 trouble too.

@MassageRegister:Nope never, I would like a break from them and i am sure they would appreciate that too :)

@pjerky: No homeschooling for my kiddos. It shelters them too much from the real world. Gotta get some experiences earlier.

@SherylLoch: Some homeschooled kids are better socialized than public school kids. They just aren’t left in the park for 8 hours.

@SherylLoch: #Homeschooling success depends on the fam. Jus like reg school. Look @ all the reg school kids who r intraverts & shy & picd on?

@JessicaHanson: Haha I was home schooled for 2 years and I have to say, YES. <– RE: http://bit.ly/hJWYjM

@joecardillo: well, my op is that there are good lessons in social norms in school, but nothing parents can’t foster w/the right activities

@joecardillo: I was hs’d, it does shelter some, but I’m not convinced the benefits of socialization in schools are that great

@AnyCollege:  Also, you can find good info on AnyCollege.com when your student is prepping for college, whether they are home schooled or not

@brodybeck: And community sports only last so long once in HS only very good ATH able to play outside school sports.  No Freshman/JV teams

@brodybeck: No, and no. There’s only so much community socializing. Cant provide the experience of going to school w/ peers.

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Cougars Spotted on Campus!

December 3rd, 2010 by admin

shutterstock_64607965Cougars spotted prowling the student union, the library and yes, fraternity row. What’s going on, you ask? Are cougars, women in their 30s and 40s, off to college to conquest the male student body population?

Our point is, the student population on campus is no longer made up of mostly 18 to 21 year-olds. Today, we have a lot of non-traditional students. Military veterans are taking advantage of the GI Bill to go back to college. People impacted by the recession are going back to college. Many are going back to school to pick up technical skills.
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Data from 2003 study shows that women are the majority of traditional and non-traditional college-age student population, 55 and 58 percent respectively. And among non-traditional students, 35 and older, two-thirds are women.

Hence, we have cougars spotted on campus!  But contrary to the perception this gives, studying, not dating an 18 year old, is mostly on the minds of non-traditional students. They get good grades and are focused on excelling and graduating.

Have you seen any cougars on your campus??

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Shortage of physicians can be your opportunity for success as a Medical Assistant!

November 15th, 2010 by admin

ts-78466511A recent article on MDNews.com looked into a June 2010 study done by the Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies.  The study reported on the shortage of physicians in our country, which will continue to grow with the almost 30 million new patients thanks to the healthcare reform.  The study predicted our nation is short about 14,000 physicians which could grow to 130, 600 by 2025.

While a shortage of physicians is a worry for our country, it can be a great opportunity for individuals who are medical assistants or who are thinking about going to a medical assistant school.  Now more than ever, medical offices are looking to hire medical assistants to help increase the number of patients a physician can see during the day.

Medical assistants can free up a physician’s time by handling some of their responsibilities before and after the visit.  For example, a medical assistant visits with the patient about their concerns and their medical history, and performs basic procedures such as checking weight, heart rate and blood pressure.  This gives the physician the opportunity to see more patients without decreasing the quality of their visit with him or her.  After the physician has made a diagnosis or given recommendations, the medical assistant can return and talk about medications and recovery procedures.

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So, if you’re interested in training for a career in the medical field, now really is the perfect time to look at medical assistant schools.  The shortage of physician’s can be an opportunity for you to succeed in the field and allow you to enjoy working closely with patients.  You can truly make an impact on patients’ lives and help physicians’ offices maintain quality service to their clients.

Medical Assistant schools can usually be found at technical or vocational schools and can be completed in just one to two years.

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College Board releases SAT Scores for October 9th, 2010 test date

October 28th, 2010 by admin

SAT test scores are out and students are all in a mad dash to find out what their SAT score results are. Unfortunately for a larger amount of students this year they will find their scores are lower than previous years for students.

College Board SAT ScoresStudents that take the SAT test receive scores on a grading scale of 200-800. The score a student gets lets them know how many students have scored better or worse than they have on the SAT test. For example, if a student received a 500 SAT test score they would be rated at performing better on the SAT than about half of the students that took the test. If you need help understanding your SAT Scores we have a resource for you here.

The College Board website provides the scores online a little less than a month after the student takes the SAT test. The SAT scores are being released today for students that have taken their SAT test on October 9th, 2010.

The importance of the tests are imperative for students as they can make or break the acceptance of a college students application. Potential students are looked at closely for a long list of attributes but bad SAT scores can get them filtered out immediately for consideration in many Universities and Schools.

If you’re a student and you haven’t taken your SAT Test yet you’re in need of an SAT score. Don’t worry there are still test dates this year and well in 2011 to take the SAT. It’s important to not wait until the last test date as you might need to retake it to get a better score after you have a feel for how the test works. The next SAT testing dates are as follows:

November 6th, 2010
December 4th, 2010
January 22nd, 2011
March 12th, 2011
May 7th, 2011
June 4th, 2011

After you’ve taken then test you have a three week waiting period before you can rush over to CollegeBoard.com and get your test scores. After you have your scores you need to size yourself up with everyone else that’s taken the SAT test and decide whether you should take it again. If you are going to take the SAT test again there are many options to improve your score online, study packets and local SAT test prep centers.

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Can’t Find a Job? Did you Check the Healthcare Field?

October 21st, 2010 by admin

Our economy has gone through an incredible down turn, with plenty of sectors hemorrhaging jobs to keep up with the declining economy. There are a few fields that are actually managing to grow while other sectors fall flat. Healthcare is one of the major fields that are currently adding jobs and careers, as highlighted by NPRs piece on the recent job loss.

Jacob Goldstein offers a closer look at the 8 million jobs that have been lost in the American workforce. He notes that over the last 3 years, Health Care has added roughly 750,000 jobs while other sectors, including manufacturing and construction, have lost nearly 2 million jobs each. Those who are looking to get back into school should consider Health care for their education – it practically guarantees a job out of college.

medical_assistingWhen people first hear of healthcare education, they think of medical school. While medical school is the right form of healthcare education for some, it is wrong for others. Those who are going through medical assistant training are still in the healthcare field, and are still receiving a healthcare education. Medical assistant training is something easily found in small 2-year colleges, making it something that is a little more affordable. As you perform your college search, keep options like medical assistant training in mind. These are careers that do not require expensive education, but are still jobs found in the growing health care field.

If you are thinking about going back to school to try to find a better job, consider healthcare. Healthcare education is found at nearly every college and university, every junior college and technical school. Whether you aim to become a nurse or a nurse’s assistant, a radiologist or a full doctor, you can be sure that you will find jobs out of schooling.

That is the most difficult part of the current economy, as highlighted by Goldstein. America has lost 8 million jobs since the start of the recession. Those who are looking to further their education should do so in sectors, such as healthcare, that is constantly growing.

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Is America as smart as we think?

October 7th, 2010 by admin

A recent report released by College Board shows some pretty startling news about our nation’s education.  As Americans, we’ve grown accustomed to believing we’re the best at everything—from making cars to winning gold medals—but a study released Thursday July 22, shows the United States lagging behind in the number of college graduates.  Our country used to lead the world in the number of 25 to 34 year-olds that held college degrees.  An education comparison by country now shows we’ve dropped down to 12th place out of 36 developed countries.

Why did we drop to 12th place?  President of College Board, Gaston Caperton, says to increase college completion rates, our nation must put more focus on “P-16”–meaning education from preschool through the age of sixteen.  Caperton also said the subject shouldn’t be taken lightly and he compared the nation’s college completion rate deficit to the recent economic crisis.

Experts say that too much weight as been put on getting students into college but once they’re in college, they’re forgotten.

College Completion

A year ago, President Obama announced his American Graduation Initiative; which calls for five million more students to graduate in the United States by 2020.  Even Bill and Melinda Gates are in on the project.  They have vowed to donate up to $110 million dollars to improve remedial programs to help boost our nation’s college completion rates.

Right now, Canada is the world’s current leader in college completion rates with 56 percent, while the United States has 40 percent graduating from college with degrees.

The report shows that the problem begins years before a student is ready for college. College Board recently presented five recommendations to boost college completion rates in the United States, including: state-funded preschool programs, improved counseling for middle school and high school students, dropout prevention programs, alignment with international curriculum standards and improved teacher quality.

What do you think?  Are these recommendations appropriate?  Should we be concerned with our drop in college graduates?

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Top 10 Most Unusual College Degrees

September 23rd, 2010 by admin

College is a time to learn more about yourself as a person and find a career that suits a life you’d like to live. After all, we go to school to find our passions in a career that we are willing to work in for several years. So, what does that mean for the following people who choose to graduate with one of these 10 unusual college degrees? Well, maybe it just means that they’re interested in obtaining an unusual career…

#10 – Adventure Recreation
Are you an adrenaline junkie? A self-proclaimed adventure enthusiast? Well, if you are then maybe you’d like to make a living by studying – hands-on – the outdoor adventures that you love for your college major. Green Mountain College in Vermont offers a major and a minor program in Adventure Recreation hoping to place graduates into a slew of outdoor recreation activities like skiing, scuba diving, rock climbing and whitewater rafting

#9 – Blacksmithing
What was once a valuable trade in the olden days is now an unusual college blacksmith-ss2498374major offered at various schools across the United States. Considered a branch of many colleges’ design schools, blacksmithing is crucial to many artistic achievements like jewelry making, gates, furniture, tools, knives and of course swords – although those may not be as practical as they once were since smart phones have now taken the place as an individual’s key weapon. Schools like the College of Art & Design and Southern Illinois University currently offers such a trade-driven degree.

#8 – Aromatherapy
How would you like to improve the health and well-being of patients by providing a therapy purely based off scent creations and various concoctions? No, this isn’t a program in witchcraft; it’s a degree in aromatherapy. Schools like Napier University and The University of Westminster carry such degree programs for those who are scentifically inclined…get it?

#7 – Comedic writing/Comedic Studies
Would you ever think that a prerequisite to a degree program would require you to have a great sense of humor? Probably not, but some schools like Southampton University offer an innovative and fun-filled unusual college degree in comedic studies and writing. You’ll examine comedy through the ages in both production, performance and in composition. The program might sound like a joke in and of itself, especially since your degree is the punchline.

#6 – Organic Agriculture
This intriguing unusual degree program is new, but with the huge rise in organic food sales in the last few years it could be on rise in popularity. Students interested in organic agriculture can find this degree program offered in schools like Washington State University.

#5 – Retail FUnusual Degrees - Retail Floristryloristry
Although you may have never imagined needing a degree in Retail Floristry to find a career in the flower industry, that doesn’t mean that schools like Mississippi State University don’t offer it. Learn the ins and outs of the floral business – wholesaling, floristry designing and the works.

#4 – Gerontology
Ever been curious about the changes in adults as they age and the ways that society affects this aging process? If you answered yes then you might be fit for a degree in the intriguing field of Gerontology – the sociological, physical and mental study of the aging. With the baby boomer population increasing in age, this major could get even more interesting.

#3 – Family and Consumer Sciences

In a nutshell this degree is like home economics. Here you will acquire the values, knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen the functionality of your family dynamics. Sounds kind of like family therapy with a twist doesn’t it? Offered at Liberty University, a Christian University in Lynchburg, VA, you would take part in classes like Family Economic Decisions and Balancing Work and Family. Helpful information – yes, unusual – yes, degree worthy – probably not.

#2 – Equine Studies and Master Ranching

These are actually two separate degrees from two separate colleges but they’re similar enough to bUnusual-Degrees---Equine-Studiese linked together. Why? Because horses play core roles in both of these majors. If you have a love for horses and/or ranching then either one of these programs might be worth considering. The Equine Studies degree at Becker College gives students an insight into riding horses or working on the business side of the equine industry. If you love ranching and prefer wearing your spurs to class rather than your p.j.’s, then a Master Ranching degree from Texas A&M might be your calling.

#1 – Astrobiology

Do you believe that we’re not alone in the universe? Yes, no – maybe? Well, whether you’re just curious as to the thought of universal life or a die-hard government conspirator believing that little green men are in fact out there (insert random E.T. joke here), then a degree in Astrobiology will give you the opportunity to search for life beyond earth.

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College Rankings and Your Decision on Where to go to College

September 13th, 2010 by admin

It may shock some when college students say that college rankings from national magazines are no longer one of the top reasons why they choose one college over another. UCLA recently performed a national survey of 219, 864 first-year students at 297 colleges to prove college rankings were no longer important. The results were shocking to some but just as UCLA had predicted.

College rankings were still on the list of 22 reasons, but they fell from 11th place in the 2009 college rankings survey to 12th place. They have been moving out of the top-10 since 2009 and it seems other measures are becoming more and more important to students. These include the academic reputation of the school, graduate to job ratio, financial aid offers, and the cost of attending.

It seems, from this survey, that first-year students used the rankings as one of many tools in choosing the school that fit their needs. Here are the actual 22 reasons that students were offered in the UCLA survey. They are ranked in descending order, based on which factors most influenced their decision to attend their particular college:

Reasons for Picking Your College

1. College has very good academic reputation (63.6 percent)
2 .This college’s graduates get good jobs (56.5 percent)
3. I was offered financial assistance (44.7 percent)
4. The cost of attending this college (41.6 percent)
5. A visit to the campus (41.4 percent)
6. Wanted to go to a college about this size (39.8 percent)
7. College has a good reputation for social activities (39.3 percent)
8. Grads get into good grad/professional schools (34.6 percent)
9. Wanted to live near home (20.1 percent)
10. Information from a website (19.2 percent)
11. Parents wanted me to go to this school (18.8 percent)College-rankings
12. College Rankings in national magazines (18.5 percent)
13. Admitted early decision and/or early action (12.9 percent)
14. Could not afford first choice (12.2 percent)
15. High school counselor advised me (10.3 percent)
16. Not offered aid by first choice (8.9 percent)
16. Athletic department recruited me (8.9 percent)
18. Attracted by religious affiliation/orientation of college (7.8 percent)
18. My teacher advised me (7.8 percent)
20. My relatives wanted me to come here (7.3 percent)
21. Private college counselor advised me (3.6 percent)
22. Ability to take online courses (2.7 percent)

What were some of the reasons you choose the college you did?  What influenced you in your choice of college?

Citation: “Students Say College Rankings Aren’t Most Important Part of Decision”. Bob Morse, February 4, 2009.   Read the whole article here.

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Everything You Need to Know about Student Loans

August 26th, 2010 by admin

Student loans are an integral part of the education system, as many who look to gain education beyond high school must rely on them for financial aid. Student loans allow students to pay for various things in their college careers, such as tuition, room and board, and food.

It is important for all to completely understand everything that there is to know about student loans. Student loans have multiple aspects that both students and parents must consider before taking the plunge into thousands of dollars of debt. Parents and students alike must think about the process of getting a student loan, finding the best student loans available, how they can use their student loans, and the best way to pay back all of the loans that have been taken out. These tips will walk you through the entire loan process, from application to pay back.

Tip #1: Understand What Student Loans are

There are millions of students who apply for a student loan program each and every year. Many students fail to realize that there are different kinds of student undergraduate loans that they can apply for. Federal loan program loans are those that are loaned from the government, while bank loans are students loans provided by a general bank. Those seeking federal financial aid will need to fill out a FASFA form – the government decides how much money you will get based on the information on this form.

Tip #2: Consider all different Student Loan options

There are multiple loan options for those who are looking to get student loans for college. There are student federal loans that come from the government, low interest loans that work to provide necessary aid to college students. There are also basic college loans that come from banks or other third parties. These are the types of loans that often feature high interest rates, and are generally the loans that will not defer monthly payments until after graduation.

It is important for you to consider your different options before you actually decide on the loan that you are going to choose. You need to think about the pros and cons of each to understand what you will be getting yourself into before you finally decide on a student loan for your college career.

Tip #3: Use Your Student Loans with Caution

Student financial aid can be used for a myriad of things, depending on the actual loan that is handed out. Most student financial aid and student loan program monies can be used for anything connected to school, whether that be food, room and board, or tuition. College loans simply work to make college available to you, as most of the costs would be too high to pay out of pocket.

If you are thinking about the different ways for you to use your college loans and student financial aid, you need toe be cautious. You need to remember that these loans, whether they be a federal loan of a bank loan, are going to need to be paid back. Do not spend any of the student federal loan money that you do not need, as you will be able to kick that back into the loan to lower your overall total.

Tip #4: Student Loan Consolidation

Those who have multiple student loans, whether they have to pay them back within months or after they graduate, are going to want to consider consolidation. Loans consolidation simply takes all of your loans and lumps them into one student consolidation loan. Student consolidate loans make loan payments easier, as you will only be paying one monthly payment. Many will find that this helps to lower their student loan interest rate, as they are able to lock in a better rate with the student consolidation company.

Tip #5: Student Loan Repayment

Student loans can completely ruin your credit, as high amounts of debt and unpaid monthly payments are added to your credit score. The only way to slowly lower your student bad credit is to pay off your college loans promptly and on time. Simply set a reminder for yourself, as this reminder will keep you from dealing with late fees and credit score dings.

If you are looking to make a serious dent in your student bad credit you need to pay off more than the low monthly payment. Student interest rates for student loans are often high, simply adding to the amount that must be paid. The more that you can pay off, the less that you will be pay in interest over time.

Tip #6: Student Loan Budgets

There are plenty of different students that are somewhat taken aback by the incredibly large monthly payments that must be paid to keep up with student loans. They fail to realize that some intense budgeting is needed to make sure that no monetary mishaps occur.

Simply put, you must budget for your new expenses. Take the time to sit down and think about how much money you make, and how much money must go out to bills. You can then factor in basic needs, such as gas and food, to understand exactly how much money you need to save each month. It can be easy to get behind on student loan payments, making budgeting a crucial part of staying afloat. If you take the time to create a budget and stick to that budget, you will be able to pay your student loans.

The world of college loans and student loans can be difficult to understand. With different options and different consequences, students need to work to completely understand what type of loan they are getting, and how to pay that loan off. Taking the time to think about your loan, budget your expenses, and pay on time will help to make the overall college loan experience as painless as possible.

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