Tag Archive | "education"

ClearPath Mentoring is Here: Explore and Expand Your Network

mentoring-APUS-ClearPathBy Ryan Parks and Kimberly Smith
Student Affairs Liaisons, American Public University

ClearPath Mentoring Launches for Students

When you are debating a date night outfit or seeking consolation after your team loses the big game, you turn to a friend. Who do you turn to when you need guidance and motivation in your academic and professional life? A mentor. The right mentor can challenge and coach you to the next level as you move towards your educational goals. At American Public University and American Military University, we encourage students to expand their networks and become involved in mentoring. With quite an impressive community at your fingertips, the potential for a meaningful mentoring relationship is an opportunity worth exploring.

The Office of Student Affairs is excited to announce the launch of ClearPath Mentoring! ClearPath Mentoring provides tools for students seeking professional and academic insight from their peers. Using the virtual ClearPath forum, students may search for mentors and mentees, start mentoring relationships, and explore group mentoring options for mentoring resources and group networking based on various areas of interest.

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How to Pick and Stick to Career Goals

career-goals-online-studentsBy Susan Adams

It’s not easy to become a medical school professor, especially if you’re a woman. Only 38% of full-time faculty members at accredited med schools are female, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). That daunting statistic is one of the reasons Nadine Katz, a professor of clinical ob-gyn and women’s health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and vice president and medical director at  Montefiore Medical Center’s Einstein campus, got interested in helping aspiring female med school professors achieve their goals.

Katz taught a leadership course at AAMC for  ten years. One of the themes she covered: how to pick and stick to career goals. Her strategy has proved effective in the medical realm, but she has also found that it applies to any profession and to men and women alike.

The first step, according to Katz: Take full responsibility for your career. You may be sailing along with tons of support from your colleagues, your family and your boss. But you need to take hold of your future. “Your success and your promotion should be your focus,” she says. “When you choose projects and you get involved in service work or committees, there should be a strategy to that,” she adds. Too many of us get swept up entirely in day-to-day matters, she observes.

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Why Being Good at Language Arts Means That You Can Do Math

language-arts-math-literateBy Grammarly
Special to Online Learning Tips

“Math class is tough!” said Mattel’s controversial and later recalled Teen Talk Barbie in the early 1990s. Appalled, women’s organizations criticized Teen Talk Barbie for delivering a message that math should be difficult for young girls. This oversight by Mattel was a symptom of what would become a national conversation, which led to a platform for education reform in the 2000s. Our current national educational policy aims to increase the number of qualified candidates for highly technical positions and shrink the educational gaps of college graduates entering the workforce. Educational reformers, ed-tech startups, and nonprofits have focused on educating the population in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). But there’s a simple answer to the question ‘How do I become better at math?’ which might surprise you: become better at reading.

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How to Smash Your Bad Habits in Online Learning

social-distraction-online-studentBy J. Mason
Editor, Online Learning Tips

Sitting behind a computer screen gives you the power to do multiple things at once. You can pay your bills, chat with friends, read up on the latest news, and watch the latest Star Wars trailer. If you’re doing all of these things during your classwork time then it sounds like you have a lot of bad habits to overcome.

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Lifelong Learning: In Marketing It’s A Must!

BLOG_LIFELONG_LEARNING.jpg-e1443659009795By Joyce Turner-Gionet

“On the Journey of Learning.”

I saw this tagline (above) on a big yellow school bus passing me on the highway through Toronto. It’s a beautiful line.

Learning is a journey. If we’re open to it and up for the adventure, it can be a tremendously satisfying lifelong learning journey, with plenty of personal benefits, besides the knowledge we gain.

…when’s the last time you went out of your way to learn something?

The kids have been back in school almost a month now, but what about the rest of us? Are we still on the journey of lifelong learning or did we hop off the bus somewhere en route? When’s the last time you learned something new? More precisely, when’s the last time you went out of your way to learn something?

I’m not talking strictly about job-related learning here, although that’s a wise pursuit that can pay off in spades. I’m also talking about lifelong learning for the sheer joy of it.

Some of us embrace learning? For others, it’s a chore! As kids, we naturally love to learn. Think of the number of times you’ve heard a child ask the question: “Why?” Why are there no more dinosaurs? How big is the tooth fairy, why can’t I see her and what does she do with all the teeth? Why are the neighbours’ kids allowed to stay up later than me? Why? Why? Why? Somewhere along the way, many of us lose this ravenous curiosity. Obviously, it’s not because we know everything. Mostly it’s because we get busy. Other, equally important things take up our time: our families, our friends, our jobs, our outside commitments, keeping up with the demands of the day-to-day, our health, even our worries. In our quiet times, learning something new is not often high on the priority list.

Many creative types embrace lifelong learning; it’s part of their nature…

If you’re from a family of learners, it helps. If, as a child, your curiosity was encouraged and your questions respected and answered, it sets you up to be eternally curious and lifelong learning follows naturally. Many creative types embrace lifelong learning; it’s part of their nature — they’re open to new experiences, they think outside of the box, they ask questions, they’re naturally curious.

If you work in the marketing field, you will fully appreciate just how critical it is for you to be open to lifelong learning. Take a year, 6 months or even a few weeks off and something changes, updates, evolves or a completely new social media platform arrives on the scene! Blink and you miss it! Look at the rapid evolution that has taken place in digital marketing alone. Once upon a time, in the olden days (ooh, maybe 5 years ago) digital marketing and social medi were considered specialist areas. Now ‘digital’ is a key element in any marketing and communications strategy. It’s our professional responsibility to keep ourselves up to date and relevant as much as we can in order to provide informed, educated guidance to our clients.

We’re never too old to learn and it’s never too late.

My father never touched a computer, but he read the paper, front to back, daily, until just before he died at 89. A world traveller as a young man, he continued to scour the atlas, look up facts in his beloved Pears’ Cyclopaedia and was always up for the challenge of a cryptic crossword. A few years ago, a good friend of mine was in the late stages of cancer. She too was a seasoned traveller and the most committed and eclectic lifelong learner I’ve ever met. She researched constantly for pleasure, taught herself a number of languages and like my dad, could hold an intelligent, thoughtful conversation on a great many subjects. She called me late one night from the palliative care ward in Sunnybrook Hospital: “I feel out of touch with the world. I need to research. Can you bring me a laptop.” That conversation has stayed with me; it remains inspirational. We’re never too old to learn and it’s never too late.

It’s not important what we learn. It’s not important how we learn because we all learn differently.

What’s important is that we continue to learn. It helps to surround yourself with people who like to learn. Lifelong learning is intensely, personally satisfying. It increases our confidence. It makes us more interesting as people; we become better conversationalists. It keeps us in touch with what’s going on in the world. It helps sharpen our thought process. Studies reveal that learning can keep us healthier; it can elevate our mood and make us happier and help stave off illness, particularly age-related illness like Alzheimer’s.

The greatest thinkers, people whose ideas change the world, embrace lifelong learning.

A little ‘lifelong learning’ inspiration:

“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer (American moral and social philosopher)

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Mahatma Gandhi (Leader of the Indian Independence movement)

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.”
– Richard Branson (Humanitarian and founder of the Virgin Group. Interesting fact: Battled with dyslexia, a reading disability.)

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin (A founding father of The United States of America; helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.)

This one is a particularly interesting comment on learning: “It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.”
– Claude Bernard (French physiologist, responsible for the concept of homeostasis.)

It’s the start of a new school year for the kids. What about the rest of us? What are we going to learn this year? I’m a foodie. On a personal level, I’ve promised myself I’ll learn more about herbs and spices and which ones work best with which foods!

Tell me what you’re learning. #SharedWisdom

This article was written by Joyce Turner-Gionet from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Students Think They're Ready For The Real World; Employers, Not So Much

college-to-career-prepBy Capital Flows

Many of today’s college students are stunningly ill-prepared for the professional world. What’s worse, they don’t even realize it.

A survey from the Association of American Colleges and Universities finds that about 70% of college students think they possess the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Employers, on the other hand, are far less optimistic. Less than a third think newly minted college grads are ready for the real world.

There’s good reason for this divide. Employers increasingly value skills that often aren’t taught on the average college campus. And most students are completely unaware of employer demands because they fail to plan for life outside the academic bubble.

Many employers have stopped putting so much stock in academic achievements alone

Colleges need to repair this disconnect. The global job market is only getting more competitive. Faculty and administrators must make sure students develop the aptitudes that can actually secure them long-term, satisfying employment.

Consider soft skills like teamwork and collaboration. While 60% of college students think they excel here, just 40% of employers agree. When it comes to the quality and speed of their decision-making, student confidence is twice as high as employers’.

At the same time, many employers have stopped putting so much stock in academic achievements alone. In fact, a recent survey from the research firm Millennial Branding found that only 2% of employers consider GPA the most important factor when evaluating job applications.

These discrepancies are exacerbated by the fact that many students fail to take advantage of the opportunities provided by school administrators to acquire professional skills.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve student career readiness.

Colleges can adjust their curricula to better simulate real-world working conditions

For starters, colleges can adjust their curricula to better simulate real-world working conditions. For example, most jobs don’t require the sort of sustained, independent work it takes to finish a term paper; collaboration is quite common. That’s why Purdue University lends some of its business students out to local small businesses to act as consultants. Professors in all academic programs should look for similar opportunities.

Leadership matters, too. Only micromanagers provide employees with minute-by-minute orders. At most offices, workers are expected to identify employer needs on their own, adapt accordingly, and guide colleagues when appropriate. Given that, American University has launched a public affairs leadership program, which challenges students to identify a social ill and try to resolve it.

Career service programs also have a role to play in prepping students for life after college. Administrators should focus on increasing the number of internships available, expanding the variety of participating employers, and allowing students to accrue credit from all manner of part-time professional opportunities.

Notably, Alma College in Michigan has installed a forward-looking careers services program that provides students $2,500 grants toward off-campus internships, fellowships or research.

Narrowing the gap between what the average student learns and what the average employer demands

Here at New York Institute of Technology, we provide extensive professional development opportunities. And the skills our students acquire translate into real job opportunities. Fully 87% of our graduates are employed in their chosen field within six months of commencement. Nationally, only around 55% of college grads secure full-time jobs before the six-month mark.

Most recently, we started an urban administration course that introduces students to the inner-workings of city governments and non-profits through traditional classroom instruction–and then empowers them to see those dynamics first-hand with a local community service project. This program isn’t simply aimed at exposing students to these fields. It also actively cultivates the problem-solving skills relevant employers demand.

American institutions of higher education need to narrow the gap between what the average student learns and what the average employer demands. If not, future generations of graduates are going to find themselves locked out of the job market and deprived of the chance to find meaning and purpose in work.

Watch on Forbes:

This article was written by Capital Flows from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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How This Hackathon is Inspiring Students to Better Education

hackathon-2015By Matt Hunckler

HackingEDU is inspiring college students to hack their way to a better educational future. The organization’s inaugural Hackathon is coming up on October 23-25th at the San Mateo Event Center in San Francisco and is set to be the largest educational hackathon event in the world, bringing over 1,000 young and ambitious hackers from all over the country together to improve the landscape of higher education, while competing for over $100,000 in prizes.

Their aim: to change the world.

Starting a Movement

The Hackathon is the brainchild of founders Alex Cory, Kirill Satanovsky, and Jackie Chang, who were all part of the Google Summit during the summer of 2014. The summit tasked eleven students from various universities on the west coast to go back to their schools and put on small hacking events there. Cory, Satanovsky, and Chang knew this could be more than just a series of individual, isolated events. They envisioned something bigger, better, and world changing.

They decided to work together with the other ambassadors and put on one large event rather than several small ones, and thus the idea for HackingEDU was born.

Let’s face it, the higher education system in the United States has some flaws. It is slow to adapt to changes that are plainly needed. That’s why Cory, Satanovsky, and Chang banded together to form HackingEDU to organize the Hackathon; they realized they are part of the university system, as all three of them are either students or consult in the higher education environment, and they and others like them have as much right to make a difference as anyone else.

They saw that they and other students are in a unique position to make a direct difference, because they are currently involved in the system. Their motto became, “If not them, then who? If not now, then when?” Now was the time to make a difference as far as they were concerned, which is why the Hackathon was put together so quickly after the Google Summit that inspired it.

What Makes This Hackathon Different from Other, Similar Events Across the Country?

By bringing the brightest minds together from all of the major universities in California and other west coast states and the country, HackingEDU is creating the opportunity for these minds to change higher education for the better through the use of technology. While the Hackathon is geared toward college students and marketed for them, it is actually open for anyone to attend. Any person who has good ideas for how to use technology to improve the higher education system is welcome, which makes it different from other events that are for students only.

Another thing that sets the Hackathon apart is that it is completely free. The founders want passionate people participating, regardless of their financial status. It is unusual for events like these to be free, but HackingEDU’s founders have taken that idea and moved it a step forward, with not only admission being free, but with transportation from schools in California (and flights for a select few from outside the state), and even food being provided to participants at no charge.

The training day that gives participants opportunities to learn new technologies. It also allows participants the opporunity to gain direct experience with the technologies the event sponsors are using. This preparation lets participants be better prepared to demonstrate what they learned at the Hackathon when they present their ideas to leaders in the higher education community.

Hacking into the Future of Higher Education

As far as Cory, Satanovsky, and Chang are concerned, this is just the beginning for the HackingEDU Hackathon. The organization is building a dynamic community of people from all walks of life…students, education professionals and businesses…who are passionate about transforming higher education for the better. These are people who will continue working together into the future to bring their innovative ideas to life and make them a reality for the world of higher education in this country.

If you ask HackingEDU’s founders why growing the Hackathon is so important to them, they aren’t shy about sharing. They know higher education is our nation’s future, and they and a few other enterprising individuals want to make it the best it can be. Hackathon provides the platform for them to transform it in an environment where the best ideas can be incubated and implemented, benefiting generations of university students and instructors.

This article was written by Matt Hunckler from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Prepare For College With This Simple Prep For Success Plan

digital-learnerBy William Arruda

It’s that time of year again, when parents and students are preparing for a new academic year. This is the perfect time to develop a mindset for career success, starting with your reputation on campus and in internships, leading to the moment you land that ideal job after graduation. It all begins before you set foot on campus. Here’s the easy prep guide for college students.

Set goals. You aren’t going to be able to do everything, and you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself from the start. Set realistic goals that are achievable but challenging, spurring growth. Visualize the differences you want to see in yourself by the end of the semester. What do you want to learn? What skills do you want to strengthen? Where do you want to expend your effort? What’s your ultimate goal? Answer these questions and stay focused by frequently reminding yourself of your goals.

Prepare for stress. As Stress Coach Jordan Friedman explains in this video, going off to university can be extremely stressful. Develop a plan to manage and minimize stress. Friedman provides a quick stress relief technique – and it’s particularly popular with students. Use it before exams, when you are feeling homesick or when you just want to get focused.

Build your brand. Finding your ideal job upon graduation starts on day 1 when you begin school. Think about the activities you pursue, class projects you undertake, social causes for which you volunteer and the many other roles you take on. How do you deliver value to those around you? Align your choices with what you want to be known for, and with your ultimate first-job goal. These are important steps to building your personal brand.

Get your digital house in order. Let’s face it. People are using Google to learn about you. In this new world where many first impressions are formed online, you need to make sure the virtual you is congruent with the real you. Here’s the four-step process to make sure your digital brand will work for you and not against you:

  1. Egosurf (Google yourself). Find out how you show up online. Check your profiles at your preferred social media. Take time to sweep away the digital dirt – content that muddies up what you want people to know about you. Start your college experience with a clean, authentic virtual picture of you.
  2. Determine how you want to connect as you build your professional network. Will you send Facebook friend requests, LinkedIn connection requests, or follow them on Twitter? Something else? Your classmates, university friends, professors, guest speakers, and career-services staff will all become valuable networking contacts throughout your entire career. Get in the habit of virtually connecting – and staying connected with them.
  3. Build professional content. If you are a freshman, an online search of you likely turns up mostly personal information with little professional content. You want to get a head start with professional information that will be attractive as you seek internships as well as volunteer opportunities on campus. The best place to start is with LinkedIn. Build your LinkedIn profile baseline with a professional headshot, and a compelling headline and summary. Then it’s easy to add to it as you get more experience. And remember to use your college projects (presentations, reports, mock marketing campaigns, etc.) as content for your profile. Think of your profile as a repository of all your successes, and update it regularly.
  4. Make a plan. The best way to keep your content up-to-date is to regularly engage. Egosurf at least every other month and commit to modifying your online profiles regularly so your online ID is both accurate and compelling to people who are making decisions about you.

Have fun! Fun is an important part of school and an important part of the learning process. Choosing a major should be an expression of your idea of fun, delivering activities that continually amplify your personal brand. In addition, we learn more and better when we inject play into the equation. In fact, in a recent Washington Post article, educational leadership expert Sean Slade reminds us that “brain research suggests that fun is not just beneficial to learning but, by many reports, required for authentic learning and long-term memory.” If you think of college as grueling and stressful and put too much pressure on yourself, you could actually undermine your success. What’s more, discovering how to enjoy college is great preparation for finding joy in the world of work – and that’s the ultimate definition of career success.

Learn more about building your personal brand. Download my complete list of 50 eye-opening questions to ask yourself when uncovering your brand here.

Also on Forbes:

The Best Jobs For College Students

This article was written by William Arruda from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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