Choosing a Top Business School

December 30th, 2011 by Clifford

ts-71080625Written by featured author Clifford Blodgett. Check out his Google+ profile to learn more.

Unfortunately, when many people think about what they want to do with their lives, they think about the short-term and not about lifelong pursuits. High school graduates are a perfect example of this. They are encouraged to go to college, oftentimes without a clear idea of what they really want to do. They just hope to find a field that they can advance in. The mistake commonly made is to choose the college first – you need a place to go after all, right? While going back to school is a vital step, a college search should be done only after considering your end goal.

When you are planning on a new career path, begin by first considering what field you would like to enter. What would be fun to do? A field, or specialty, is a broad category encompassing many jobs and careers. For example, within the field of accounting, there are public accountants, auditors and bookkeepers, along with all of the faculty at a business college who train these people. Once you choose your future field, you can begin to consider the career path appropriate for you personally within that industry. To find out what you might like, consider the big picture. What are you good at? What do you like to do?

Richard Nellson-Bolles authored a book, What Color is My Parachute, which helps translate abstract concepts concerning career fields into tangible, concrete skills that are useful for careers. He suggests prioritizing your skills into a list. At the top, list those you most enjoy. The ones least liked, place toward the bottom. Alongside this, make a similar list of industries, issues and interests you are passionate about. Finally, combine these lists to find out what you are good at and enjoy.

By keeping your thoughts in the abstract, you are able to stay flexible throughout this process. Rather than performing a college search using the criteria of where you would like to live for the next few years, fit your college search into where you would like to be in life for the next few decades. Instead of going to a specific business school because you like the facilities, choose a business college based on whether it will help you hone those skills you prioritized. Keep your focus long-term, and make the short-term flexible.

If you are having trouble making your those abstract concepts more concrete, try listing your favorite activities and interests. Under each, list why you like each one and what parts of it you are good at. Take a look at these lists. Are there commonalities? What are they? For example, do you consistently enjoy working with numbers, thinking analytically and forming relationships? In which case, maybe business is an appropriate field. Then, armed with this information, you should be able to find a business college ideal for you.

Taking the time to do your research now can save you a lot of trouble in the future. Narrow down your field and career to help you find some great business schools. By knowing where you want to go in life, you will be able to tailor your business school education to your specific needs and desires.

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Looking for a Rewarding Career in 2012? Consider Being a Paralegal

December 29th, 2011 by Clifford

shutterstock_10986541Looking forward to new year and 2012 with the economy developing rapidly, many jobs that are not only lucrative are also turning out to be more satisfying. And in 2012, being a paralegal looks to be one of these jobs, so when performing a college search, consider the law profession.

Going to paralegal school can help make this job come true, especially for those who wish to take part in a legal profession but who do not have a law degree. When you are a paralegal, you qualify for a great number of the duties that a lawyer does, except for actually fighting cases in the courtroom. A paralegal is closely involved with many legal cases and can observe the action closely, which makes this type of career extremely satisfactory. Going to a paralegal school gives you a lot of exposure which can help if you plan on one day becoming a lawyer. When you add in the growing opportunities in the legal field, many people opt for paralegal college when they are deciding on their future.

There are a lot of different reasons why paralegal jobs are increasing, such as the state that the economy is in. Many law firms are doing what they can to cut costs, including cutting down on the number of lawyers and compensating by adding employees to the paralegal team. This same thing goes for clients. Many clients, looking to lessen their lawyer’s fee, support the decision to increase the number of paralegals in order to keep their costs low. A legal assistant school will put those who want to enjoy this boom in jobs in the right place.

The advantage of studying at a paralegal school is that students can get a job without having a traditional degree. However, you must take the proper steps to enjoy success in your career, and a college search to find a good legal assistant school can help. There are many programs out there that can effectively train you for a great paralegal job.

When you perform a college search, keep these tips in mind:

• If you are certain that being a paralegal is the right fit for you, you will want to enroll yourself in a paralegal college that specializes in this line of training, so look for a legal assistant school or college that offers a certificate or diploma in this field. You will also want to find a school that has been accredited by the American Bar Association, which allows you to be eligible for the best paralegal jobs.

• When you have finished your training, you can improve your credentials by seeking certificates from paralegal associations. Choose from the American Alliance of Paralegals (AAPI), the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA).

• Apply to be an intern so that you can experience the profession firsthand.

• Even when you have completed paralegal college, keep your skills sharp by studying writing and personal skills, which can complement your legal training.

• Update your resume to include all of your qualifications and any other relevant skills. Make sure to include a cover letter.

Becoming a paralegal can be one of the brightest steps you can take to ensure a lucrative and interesting career. Finding right paralegal schools can be difficult. But the prospect of becoming a legal assistant with a rewarding job will be right around the corner.

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A Classic American Family Favorite – Mac and Cheese

December 28th, 2011 by Christina

Photo by fritishWritten by featured guest author .

If you are looking for the perfect quick and easy dish that everyone can enjoy, why not check out the classic macaroni and cheese? Everyone can get in on making this all time favorite dish. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are because almost everyone loves macaroni and cheese, especially when it is homemade. Also, when you are trying to find extra time from balancing college and family time, this recipe is one the kids will love helping to make it as much as they love eating it.

You don’t need any special cooking skills or loads of classes to help you know how to cook up this simple dish. All it takes is about a half hour to prepare and then 20 minutes in the oven and you are cooking up a great quick meal. You may have some ingredients already in your home but, if not here is what you are going to need to prepare this entree: 2 cans of cheddar cheese soup, 1 pound box of macaroni noodles, townhouse crackers, butter, milk, and sharp cheddar cheese in a block.

You can begin by heating your oven to 350 degrees. Next, you are going to boil your macaroni noodles for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender. While you are cooking your macaroni noodles you can begin cutting the block cheese into small pieces. You need to use at least half of the block but, it is best if you use the entire block to make it nice and cheesy. After you noodles are done cooking you can drain them and put them into a big baking dish or roaster, whatever one you have in your home.

Now, you need to take your two cans of cheddar cheese soup and place it into a saucepan to cook. Add in 2 cans of milk and whisk into the soup until they are blended nicely. Bring the soup mixture to a boil. Once it has reached a boil remove from heat and stir into the macaroni. Then you need to add in all of your pieces of block cheese that you have cut up. Make sure you mix everything together thoroughly.

Once everything is mixed you top it off with crushed townhouse crackers. How little or how much you add is completely up to you. Your finishing touch is sliced butter over the crackers so they brown while cooking. Place it in the oven for about 20 minutes and you are good to go. The perfect family meal that everyone will enjoy!

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Best Education Sites and Schools That Rule the Web

December 27th, 2011 by admin

Schools That Rule the Web
Created by: Best Education Sites

How close is the correlation between a good education and a strong online presence? Pretty darn close.

The above infographic from Best Education Sites cites recent studies that show that increased engagement between educators and students via email and social media has a positive impact on learning and that a college’s web presence is often an indicator of the institution’s overall quality.

Statistics show that the percentage of college students who regularly use the Internet is a whopping 99 percent, compared to the 75 percent of adults nationwide. Out of this 99 percent, almost all use wireless Internet or home broadband access. Because of the high percentage of college student web users, many top-ranked schools prioritize the web and social media and have been for years now. For example, Harvard University ranks number one among Ivy League schools in Facebook likes, YouTube channel views, Twitter followers, and the Alexa Rank — a browser add-on that tracks Internet surfing and usage.

Best Education Sites also reports that all of the top 50 schools featured on U.S. News & World Report are also featured in Best Education Sites Top 400. They analyzed all aspects of university websites, from the colors that dominate (gray is the most popular, followed by black and yellow) to the fonts that are used (modern, sans-serif typesets like Arial, Helvetica and Verdana lead the pack) to which of the top engineering schools has the most web coding errors (California Institute of Technology with 51 errors).

There’s a lot of interesting information in this infographic, but more than that, we’re interested to see how it changes in the coming years as more and more colleges pay attention to their Internet presence and boost their engagement.

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Weekly Education News Wrap-Up: Dec. 26th

December 26th, 2011 by admin

education-news-headlines-ts71086696
MCTI part of Penn College NOW initiative
Pocono Record
Pennsylvania College of Technology recently honored its partners in the Penn College NOW program, an initiative enabling high school students to earn college credits through dual enrollment in college-level courses, including Monroe Career and Technical Institute. The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships has granted accreditation to Penn College for its Penn College NOW program, which is administered by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. Penn College is the first higher-education institution in Pennsylvania to receive accreditation from NACEP, which supports a network of more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide.

M.I.T. Expands Its Free Online Courses
New York Times
While students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pay thousands of dollars for courses, the university will announce a new program on Monday allowing anyone anywhere to take M.I.T. courses online free of charge — and for the first time earn official certificates for demonstrating mastery of the subjects taught.“There are many people who would love to augment their education by having access to M.I.T. content, people who are very capable to earn a certificate from M.I.T.,” said L. Rafael Reif, the provost, in a conference call with reporters Friday.

State community colleges set to ration classes

SFGate.com
During World War II, there was food rationing. In 2012, California’s community college leaders are poised to approve education rationing for thousands of students. The proposal is controversial, with many students and educators critical of a shakeout that could end free courses offered for generations, including classes such as music appreciation and memoir writing. Also squeezed out would be students who linger at college for years, sampling one class after another.

New HD Technology Means Enriched Education for Kids
Technorati.com
While most of us salivate over the stunning high definition image on our home television screens, the use of HD image is also changing the way our kids are educated in the classroom. Due to the influx of HD technology in primary and secondary school classrooms, kids today are seeing nature, history and even biology in ways their parents couldn’t even imagine. Thanks to the new affordability of both HD televisions and projectors, HD is hitting the classroom bigger than ever before. Students are now enjoying the views of the pyramids in Egypt, the Inca ruins, the Taj Mahal, and even the Grand Canyon in stunning 1080p HD making feel like they’re right there.

‘No better gift’: College student wakes from coma
MSNBC.com
After Sam Schmid, a business major at Arizona State University, was critically injured in a five-car crash in October he was given a slim chance of recovering. He was unresponsive after suffering a traumatic brain aneurism and his family considered taking him off life support, reported NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren. But his doctor decided to do one more brain scan before declaring the 21-year-old brain dead – and based on what he saw, asked the family to give it one more week. That very day, Schmid was able to respond to a command and raised two fingers – and not long after opened his eyes. He’s even recovered enough that he was allowed to leave the hospital for one day to spend Christmas at home with his family.

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Happy Holidays From US College Search

December 25th, 2011 by Clifford

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Happy Holidays From US College Search!


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Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

December 24th, 2011 by Clifford

3075075127_b71ea93eba from Elin BWritten by featured author Clifford Blodgett. Check out his Google+ profile to learn more.

With the holidays coming up, it’s important to me to create dishes that appeal to everyone in my family. I love getting kids involved in the process of making food, so I usually make a few holiday dishes that are kid-friendly and easy-to-assemble.

One of the easiest holiday dishes I make is my Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole. This dish can be made completely from scratch or you can use canned sweet potatoes to make the process quick and simple. Usually, I let kids assemble the crumble topping, since it does not involve the stove and does not require carefully measured ingredients!

To make sweet potato casserole filling, you will need:

    2 cans of halved or mashed sweet potatoes 2 eggs

    3 tablespoons of salted butter

    4 tablespoons of light brown sugar

    1 teaspoon of cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

    1/2 cup of pecans (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Open the cans of sweet potatoes and put the contents in a large mixing bowl. If you use halved sweet potatoes in a can, drain the syrup out before you add them to the bowl.

Add the two eggs to a separate bowl and whisk them together slightly. Pour the eggs into the bowl with the sweet potatoes, along with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At this time you can also add the pecans. Mix the ingredients until the texture is smooth. This is a job I often give to an older child. It takes a little muscle, but it can be done with a whisk or a heavy fork.

Pour the mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Typically, I use an 8X8 dish or a 9X9 dish. Spread the mixture out evenly in the dish.

Now you need to make the crumble topping. This can be done by a smaller child because it is easy to assemble and does not require exact measurements.

To make the crumble topping you need:

    1/2 stick of chilled, unsalted butter

    1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar

    1/2 cup of flour

    1/2 cup of pecans

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

Chop your pecans into fine pieces.

Add the flour, cinnamon and sugar to a mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together until mixed well.

Cube the chilled butter. Cut the butter into the mixture to create a crumbly mixture.

Add in the pecans and slightly mix.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the sweet potato casserole.

Place the casserole in your oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

You can add more ingredients to this casserole or omit ingredients that you do not like. Marshmallows can also be added on top, if you do not like the crumble.

If you want this dish to be more sweet than savory, serve it with freshly-made whipped cream. Simply combine 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl. Blend until fluffy and serve on top of the casserole!

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Holiday Dessert Favorites – White Chocolate Chex Mix

December 23rd, 2011 by Clifford

Holiday-Dessert-mix-recipes -  6464873631_e8501acffcWritten by featured guest author .

As a working mother with two small children I understand the importance of spending as much quality time together as possible. Activities that fit within a tight budget are always greatly appreciated around our home. Holidays can prove to be especially challenging with the children being out of school for their winter break and trying to combat their boredom.

It is during this time that I enjoy preparing special family recipes together. One of our favorite recipes is a Holiday White Chocolate Chex Mix that has been a family favorite for several generations. This is a very easy recipe that can be completed within thirty minutes and calls for ingredients most people have in their home pantries. For this recipe you will need eight cups of original Cheerios, eight cups of corn or rice Chex cereal, one jar of plain peanuts, a small bag of miniature pretzel twists or rods, one bag of candy coated milk chocolate pieces, two bags of white vanilla chocolate chips and three tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil.

You will start by placing the Cheerios cereal, Chex cereal, peanuts, pretzels and milk chocolate candy pieces in a large bowl. Place the white vanilla chocolate chips and oil in a microwavable safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave for approximately forty-five to sixty seconds. This time varies depending on the wattage of your microwave. You will want to stop every fifteen seconds to stir the melted chocolate. If extra time is necessary to melt the remaining chocolate only increase at intervals of fifteen seconds each.

When you have your dry ingredients thoroughly mixed up you can begin pouring your melted chocolate over this mixture. Use a spoon to stir the dry ingredients as the chocolate is being poured to guarantee the chocolate is mixed in well. Pour your snack mixture onto wax paper and allow the chocolate to set. For a more festive look, you can drizzle red or green chocolate over your snack mix. Sprinkles can also be added if you want. This may take about an hour to harden into a state that will be easy to work with. When you are sure the chocolate has set enough you can break about the snack mix and begin to enjoy the sweet treat you and your children have created together.

This Holiday White Chocolate Chex Mix is a fun gift giving idea. You and your children can package this sweet snack mix into decorative tins or other containers to give to grandparents, teachers, co-workers and other friends or family that are on your holiday gift giving list. You will have the memories of time spent with your children and your children will have the ability to give the ones they care about gifts created with pride and satisfaction.

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Why Gift Cards Aren’t Such a Bad Christmas Gift Idea

December 22nd, 2011 by Clifford

give gift cards for the holiday - ts-89446053Written by featured author Clifford Blodgett. Check out his Google+ profile to learn more.

In these final days before December 25th, millions of people will pack department stores and malls to the rafters, fighting like wolves for the right to purchase merchandise for their loved ones. Up until a few decades ago, there was virtually no way to ensure that your friends and family could get the exact gifts they wanted without having to do battle with holiday traffic and loud crowds. Fortunately for the giving person who doesn’t like to rub shoulders with strangers, gift cards have completely changed the playing field for holiday shoppers. Here are a few reasons that giving gift cards as Christmas presents is the way to go.

Save Time and Hassle
If you’re like many folks, you absolutely dread being confronted with the task of heading out to the malls to fight the crowds. Purchasing gift cards as presents can eliminate the need to sift through the often-grumpy masses entirely by allowing you to make a quick one-stop purchase without having to enter the fray. It’s a pretty simple equation – buying a gift card means less time spent shopping and waiting in lines and more time to tend to other matters.

Give Freedom of Purchase
Receiving a gift card as a gift is actually a wonderful feeling of empowerment, as it allows you the freedom to spend the money whenever and however you want. Buying and giving gift cards will not only ease your potentially stressful holiday burdens, it will let the recipient know that you value their decision making and discretion enough to essentially give them your cash to spend in any way they so choose.

Easy Access to What’s Hot
When you buy gift cards to give as holiday presents, you don’t have to play the potentially scary guessing game of making a specific selection. Instead, you can simply buy gift cards from companies and brands that you know are loved by your loved ones. Going with gift cards instead of specific items will also help you to stay within a specific budget, as you can decide on the dollar amount upfront and avoid the sinking feeling of walking out of the store while peering down at a receipt and asking yourself what in the heck you just did.

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Best Christmas Tree Theme Ideas

December 21st, 2011 by Clifford

christmas-tree-decorating - ts-200486778-001Written by featured author Clifford Blodgett. Check out his Google+ profile to learn more.

Decorating for Christmas is a fun way for families, friends, co-workers and loved ones to spend time together creating a beautiful home or business environment for the winter holidays. Regardless of the faith or practices held dear by the participants, decorating for Christmas presents many opportunities to create fun and interesting decorative themes as a group, resulting in a cheerful holiday atmosphere.

Many Christmas decorations combine together to create a jumble of mismatched and thematically different sensations. While this jumble is typically what is considered to be the norm for holiday decorating, choosing fun Christmas tree theme ideas and creating a unified presentation can add a little spice and flavor to the holiday decorations.

For many Christmas trees, sports themes can be fun to create. Many decorations exist for every sport imaginable, although creating a lacrosse-themed Christmas tree may present more challenges than creating one centered around football, baseball or international football. For many major sports franchises, Christmas trees can be festooned with a great variety of ornaments and decorations, and even less popular sporting franchises tend to offer a wide array of ornaments and decorations. Combined with understated and more common ornamentation, such as tinsel and Christmas lights, in team colors, ideally, the result can be a Christmas tree that both celebrates the season and serves to announce something akin to sports fanaticism as well.

Another Christmas tree theme idea is to create a Christmas tree that appears to be a lightly-decorated natural tree. Using canned or fake snow to frost branches, using ornaments that resemble pine cones, berries, gorgeous leaves and the light application of tinsel can create a beautiful and serene Christmas tree around which the holiday festivities are centered. Using naturally colored lights accentuates this theme, primarily white and pale yellows instead of the ubiquitous riot of blues, greens and reds that decorate many Christmas trees.

A musically themed Christmas tree can be a beautiful addition to the home or office as well. For music lovers, both traditional ornaments and more contemporary decorations exist, and can look nice side by side. Small ornaments in the shape of instruments, with printed song lyrics or musical notation, or even ornaments that play Christmas themed musical pieces are all great additions to any Christmas tree, and taken together can create a great and engaging Christmas tree.

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