How to Succeed as an Online Learner

May 2nd, 2012 by admin

The biggest factor in your success as an online student may be time management. In this situation, you must make a special effort to be proactive and realize that the learning process is virtually all up to you. Then you will reach the goal of expanding your career possibilities by taking a course.

Mastering time management
To sharpen this essential skill, determine the time of day when you feel it will be easiest to concentrate on your studies. Then, decide how long that “study period” will be and act as if it is an appointment written in stone that can’t be erased.

Many people decide to take online courses because it is convenient to participate in them from their home. However, these people are also very busy, and they can tell you that balancing courses with their other obligations and interests can become the proverbial juggling act. While that is definitely true, note that one of the benefits of taking online courses is that they are flexible, and you fit them into your daily schedule as opposed to making major adjustments in order to get to night class.

Creating the right study environment
Whether you need background music when you study or prefer absolute silence, it is best to choose a spot that is both well-lit and free of distractions, and the quality of the time you spend is much more important than the quantity. With the right preparation, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can complete most of your assignments in a relatively short amount of time.

Looking for an online school?  Start your search today.

Having your questions answered
There are several ways for online students to obtain the information they need. Note that the best courses usually provide instructor support, which means that you can submit question to ensure that you should never feel alone or overwhelmed throughout the entire process.

Working with other students
Online chat rooms are another good resource for students looking for answers and those who want to discuss assignments they have been given. Very often, they discover that someone else who is taking the course has exactly the same question and they discuss the matter to their mutual benefit.

In addition, if you happen to be the first one to initiate a chat, you can share your basic thoughts to start the conversation, but if you become part of the discussion thread later on, be prepared to contribute something more substantial.

Because the group will probably be quite diversified, introduce yourself when the course begins by making appropriate comments about your personal or professional life. This will enable others in the group to see “where you are coming from” and help you establish some common ground with them.

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Surprising facts about online education

January 31st, 2012 by admin


A lot of times people have a very one-note perspective of online education, but in truth, there are a lot of different facets to it, including different types of online degree programs (100% online, web-facilitated, blended/hybrid or traditional) and a variety of outlooks on its usefulness. For example, a lot of people surveyed above believe it’s more difficult to retain students of online programs, but they also believe that there is value in online degrees and online courses are important to future education strategy. A Department of Education study in 2009 actually found that students taking all or some online classes tend to perform better than their traditional peers.

Other important notes: Beyond higher education, corporate e-learning is also growing rapidly, contributing to continuing education of the workforce. Also, the economic downturn has increased demand online courses and programs, and the vast majority of students in an online program are undergraduate students.

Ready to begin your online college search? Get started with US College Search today, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Education News Wrap-Up: Dec. 26th

December 26th, 2011 by admin

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
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
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
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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Finding the Right Forum To Speak to Your Fellow Online Students

December 14th, 2011 by James

communicating-with-other-online-students - ts-78289629Written by contributing author .

James has been looking for ways to communicate with other online college students. He has found that he can do this online through a plethora of different forums. One day while he was looking for other students to talk with, he went to his favorite search engine and typed in the keywords “talk with online college students”. He came across a bunch of different websites that gave him the opportunity to chat online with people that are also experiences the joys and difficulties of obtaining a degree online. He took his time and really searched for sites that would allow him to converse online with fellow students.

Eventually, James found a website that allowed him to talk to people that were studying online and he found that many of those students were actually in the same geographical location as he was. The online friendships continued to form, and after only a few months, James had found himself a new group of friends. Some of the students were attending Edinboro University, and others were attending other online Universities. They found that they had a unique educational connection, and that the traditional college students could never experience this great sense of community that they had found. The group continued to grow and within one semester’s time James’ social group had grown to over seven online college students.

The group continues to experience many of the same highs and lows that college students go through, but now they realize that they are not alone. They each know how important it was for online students to be socially active during the college years, and until they each reached that same online site none of them was very social at all. They continue to learn from each other, and they quickly found that they have study partners that are always accessible.

James and his online crew are all getting that much closer to graduation. They already have it planned out to meet at their favorite online website for the rest of their lives. They are also planning to meet at least twice a year at each one of their hometowns. It is simple to see how James and his new friends are making the most of their time in different online colleges and sharing their education.

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Can I get an online photography degree?

December 12th, 2011 by admin

If you are looking to earn a degree in photography but need to study online, you may be wondering what types of options are available to you. While photography can be a hands-on field, there are a number of colleges, universities and online photography schools that have developed stellar online photography degree programs to help students learn the tricks of the trade.

If you are interested in earning an online photography degree, you will most likely end up earning a two-year associate degree in photography. While there are bachelors degree programs for photography, many times colleges and universities require students to attend campus-based classes to earn credits toward a four-year degree. In some cases, students may be able to take a few courses online, but generally, bachelor’s students will meet in a traditional classroom setting.

Depending on your educational institution and degree program, students may be able to obtain a photography degree via an online degree program or through their university or college’s distance learning office. Some distance learning programs and require students to appear in a classroom setting two or three times a semester to take tests or to submit a photography project. Other online photography courses can be completed solely online. Students will need to review the requirements of each degree program to determine if they will be required to attend occasional on-campus meetings.

In most cases, online photography courses require students to use a variety of multi-media such as books, video, audio or CD instruction, webinars and web-lectures. Like with most web-based courses, students will need to have regular access to a computer in order to log onto their school’s virtual learning environment where they can access course materials and submit assignments. Generally, students are required to submit an end-of-the-year digital photo project for a final grade.

In some cases, students may be required to meet with the instructor in person or via video conferencing to discuss various aspects of the class. The typical courses students will need to take in order to earn an online photography degree include general photography and camera operation classes, digital photography and photo editing as well as a general fundamentals of photography course.

If you are a student who is dependent on federal financial aid to help you pay for classes, you may need to enroll in a distance learning program and also take campus-based courses. Some colleges, universities and online photography schools require students receiving federal financial aid to take one campus-based course in addition to a distance learning or online course.


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How to Make Thumbprint Cookies

December 10th, 2011 by Clifford by featured guest author .

If you are using store-bought dough, either the kind that comes in rolls or in tubs, follow the package directions for setting up the cookies on the baking sheet. Although any kind of cookie works for this, keep in mind your thumbprint augmentation, as some flavors work better together than others. Some great combinations include:

– Chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s kiss
– Oatmeal cookies with jam
– Sugar cookies with broken Jolly Ranchers or other hard candies
– Snickerdoodles with a dab of apple butter

After setting up the cookies on the sheet, let your kids go to town! Have the kids use their thumbs to press a depression into the center of every cookie. Don’t add your special ingredients yet, though. If you add them now, they will melt during the cooking time.

Bake the cookies according the package directions. If you’d like to try the variation using broken Jolly Ranchers, pull the cookies about five minutes before the cooking time completes. Carefully place a few candy pieces in each cookie’s depression, and return the pan to the oven. The candy will melt, creating a beautiful stained glass effect. If you choose this filling, you should do this part yourself, so your kids don’t risk getting burned by the oven.

Once the cookies finish baking, pull them out and set them on a cooling rack. When they are still slightly warm, add the filling to the cookies. Older kids can do this on their own, but younger kids will need a little help with this part. Once the cookies have completely cooled, dig in!

US College Search has many tools and resources to make your going back to school decision easier. Feel free to look over our college search page to give you more options or follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to become part of the conversation.

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Top Online MBA Programs

December 9th, 2011 by Clifford

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

There are a large number of colleges out there that have an online MBA programs and these days finding an online college that will work within your schedule is half of the hassle of beginning your college search. It has been said that 45 percent of graduates say that they receive at least one promotion within three years of earning their MBA degree. Here we have looked at some general rankings and popularity of online MBA schools, to give you a deeper idea of different factors that may make your online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) school decision easier.

US College Search has many tools and resources to make your decision easier. Feel free to look over our Online MBA Colleges page to give you more options or follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to become part of the conversation.

Keller Graduate School of Management


From the Keller Graduate School of Management Website: Designed to provide proven management concepts and techniques that you can use immediately, Keller’s Master’s in Business Administration (MBA program) curriculum, with a choice of 16 concentrations, will prepare you to meet the demands of today’s competitive global business environment and give you a critical career advantage. As a student in one of our onsite or online MBA programs, you will be developing the mental agility to entertain new ideas and take quick advantage of them, enabling you to positively impact your current organization or position yourself for a career change. If you seek a professional, career-oriented Business Administration master’s degree program – including an online learning option – that can be customized to your professional needs and interests, Keller can give you the advantage.

DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation.

Walden University


From the Walden University Website: Connect to success with a Master of Business Administration from Walden University, recognized by such national publications as U.S. News & World Report and Latin Trade magazine. Through Walden’s membership in the Laureate International Universities network—one of the world’s largest international learning communities—you will have access to exclusive opportunities and resources. Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to address challenges within your own business so that what you learn in class has an immediate impact on your organization’s bottom line.

Walden University’s M.B.A. program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Ottawa University

ottawa online mba colleges

From the Ottawa University Website: Ottawa University’s Master of Business Administration has been developed to serve the needs of adult learners and organizations with a high quality professional preparation in business within which the importance of personal values and professional ethics are incorporated. The Master of Business Administration emphasizes a global perspective on business, communication skills and direct application to students’ current and future career goals. The program is intended for individuals who want to increase their knowledge of essential business functions and develop leadership skills and expertise in strategic management. Students have the option of completing courses in an evening classroom setting, online or a combination of both. The MBA degree consists of no less than 36 semester credit hours of formal coursework designed to help the adult learner acquire subject matter mastery and apply knowledge within the field of business administration.

Ottawa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.



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Remember Your Manners When Communicating with Other Students Online

December 7th, 2011 by Lisa

ts-76037407Written by contributing author .

When I first started my online degree program earlier this year, I had a lot to learn about communicating with my instructors and fellow students over the Internet. Over the past few months, I have learned several important things about communicating with instructors and classmates online. I hope these are helpful to you and that your learning curve is shorter than mine was.

You’re not on Facebook Anymore

The most important thing for all online college students to learn is that virtual classrooms, discussion boards and email with instructors and other students is not the place to use the same informal tone you use when texting or on Facebook. The academic setting is a more formal one, so make sure that your word choices match that. If growing up in the electronic age has left you with the inability to spell out words in full, now is a great time to put those habits behind you. No student of professor will take any message seriously that begins with “U R” or “b4.”

Observe Grammar and Formatting Rules

Perhaps just as distracting as reading a message in texted code is a paragraph written entirely in lower case. Without the first word of each sentence being capitalized, it all runs together and your readers will probably not take you seriously. The same goes for frequent spelling and punctuation errors and not putting proper spacing between paragraphs. Personally, when I look at a page that is practically an entire essay with no paragraphs breaks or one that has spelling or punctuation errors in the first sentence, I don’t bother to read any further.

Don’t Be a Bully Behind a Computer Screen

Unfortunately, the Internet can bring out the worst in some people. Some use it as an opportunity to be abusive to others and say things they would never say in person. You should never say anything online to a classmate or instructor that you would not say if he or she were sitting across the table from you. College students are expected to display a level of maturity when addressing others. This means that you can respectfully disagree with someone without resorting to a personal attack.

If you feel passionately about certain issues, it is best to step back from the screen before you type something you will later regret. Responding while upset may lead you to post things others view as abusive, which may in turn get you kicked out of the online class, or even your choice of online colleges. Also, keep in mind that it is considered bad manners to type a full sentence using all capital letters. This is the Internet equivalent of shouting at someone.

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Why is Information Technology Important?

December 2nd, 2011 by Clifford

information-technology-collegesWritten by featured author .

Computer-based technologies have transformed the global marketplace in a thousand different ways. For people who have an aptitude for computers, information technology (IT) can be the key to a rewarding and successful career. Aspects of IT, like database programming and software applications development, are fascinating in their own right, but nowadays, almost every industry uses digital technology and the IT specialist plays a critical role within a variety of companies.

Which industries use information technology? The list would be much shorter if you asked which don’t. To name just a few: Healthcare has been changed by recent reform legislation to effect the transition from paper to electronic medical records by 2013. The online colleges model of distance learning grew 21% between 2009 and 2010, utterly transforming the field of education. Modern manufacturing relies upon as many digital as physical distribution channels.

What do IT professionals do?

IT professionals analyze the hardware and software needs of the companies they work for and oversee installation. They are responsible for ensuring that all digital processes are carried out efficiently and securely. Their interpersonal and management skills are every bit as important as their technical skills since they will be interacting with practically every individual within the company.

If IT is for you, your college search begins by finding every computer information systems school you can, reviewing their offerings and seeing whether their curriculum is the right track for your goals. One computer information systems college may be oriented toward business analysis, for example, while another one might emphasize the fundamentals of healthcare technology. Choose the computer information systems school that’s right for you.

The top IT jobs

What kinds of jobs will be available to you when you graduate from a computer information systems school? Begin your college search by taking a look at the list of IT jobs generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the principal fact-finding agency for the Department of Labor, to see just what your career choice entails.

  • Computer and information research scientists are the theoreticians who push the new technology to its limits. Their work frequently leads to breakthroughs in new product lines and systems of management. These scientists work in a variety of environments, from schools to the R&D divisions of private companies to government agencies.
  • Computer and information systems managers are the digital technology gatekeepers at their companies, charged with overseeing the hardware, software and staff who utilize and maintain technology.
  • Computer hardware engineers design and develop the machines and equipment that run our modern world, from ever more efficient routers to faster computers to smart phones with more memory and more apps.
  • Computer software engineers write and compile the computer programs, from spreadsheets to the SIMs, that we use for business and entertainment.
  • Database administrators oversee the vast amount of information a company accumulates and references over the course of its business cycles. They are responsible for ensuring that only people with the right credentials have access to this information.
  • Network systems and data communications analysts design, maintain and perform quality assurance on the sophisticated communication relays through which computers “talk” with one another.
  • Computer systems analysts determine what kinds of computers will best suit a company’s specific needs.
  • Network and computer systems administrators oversee the design, maintenance and installation of a company’s computer communication systems, from local area networks (LANs) to intranet and Internet systems.
  • Computer support specialists are the hand holders and troubleshooters who get your computer up and running smoothly when it runs into an occasional problem.

Once you find a job description that appeals to you, tailor your college search toward finding a computer information systems college that has a solid curriculum geared toward teaching you the necessary skill set. As an IT professional in today’s workforce, you’re expected to hit the ground running, and with a degree from any computer information systems colleges, you will.

Get started in your IT career with US College Search today, or follow us on Twitter or Google+.

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Your checklist for choosing an online college

September 9th, 2011 by Brendon

Finding an Online School ss_13703017Considering online college? That’s a good thing. Online learning is becoming more common as more and more schools are getting onboard, and the stigma of an online degree is fading fast. But, you want to be sure that you’re getting more than a piece of paper. While there’s no perfect method for choosing an online college, here are some important factors that you should take into consideration before making a decision:

Class size – You might not think it matters how many people are in your class because you’re sitting in your living room. But, class size definitely makes a difference. Some universities already cram 200 students into large lecture halls, so why wouldn’t they do the same with their online courses? Make sure that you will have a teacher you can get in touch with and the level of attention you need in order to succeed.

Cost – This seems like a no-brainer, but many students don’t do their due diligence by comparing school costs. The price of online learning can be very affordable, but some schools charge much more than others and some have hidden fees, like activity fees to support on-campus events. Make sure you’re also comparing the price of any books you might have to get.

Accreditation – Investigate whether the schools you’re interested in are accredited by agencies approved by the Department of Education (DOE). That’s the simplest way to check the validity of your education as accredited online schools will have met certain standards in their education and training. Not all training requires the DOE’s stamp of approval – but some employers require their workers to have an education that is accredited by the DOE. Schools generally list accreditation information right on their website, so if you can’t find it, you might want to contact the school or check the websites of the agencies themselves.

Transfering credits – If you plan on going to another school after you complete your online degree, make sure that your credits will transfer. You don’t want to earn your Associate degree online and then realize that you can’t transfer your credits to the school where you want to earn your Bachelor’s. It never hurts to think ahead.

Flexible doesn’t always equal convenience – Just because you can attend class from your couch, doesn’t mean you can choose the time that you attend class. Some courses require that you chime in on instant message conversations at specific times. If you have to work from 9-5 but your professor expects you to participate at 2 o’clock, then online learning won’t work to your advantage in that scenario. Make sure you check the class schedule and find out your professor’s expectations.

Find out who hires their graduates – The bottom line is that you should never be afraid to ask lots of questions before you enroll. If an admissions rep gets annoyed with you, then they probably care more about your money than your future. One question you should definitely ask is: “What companies have hired your graduates recently?” If this question is hard for them to answer, then it’s safe to assume that they don’t spend a lot of time following up on their graduates’ success or fostering strong relationships with reputable employers.

So now that you have a solid approach to finding a good online school, nothing should stop you from getting a good online education. If you are still wary of learning online, then first seek out a reputable school that offers online programs in addition to their campus-based programs. Set up a meeting with an admissions representative and ask them lots of questions. You’ll probably find out what a lot of other students are quickly learning: that you can find a good online education that can help you pursue a great career!

Interested in finding an online college? Ready to begin your college search? Start at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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