Month: January 2018

Things Before Going College

Are you through with your high school education and looking to pursue a university degree? Here are a few things you should know:

Benefits of having a university degree

There are plenty of benefits that come with having a university degree. Some of these advantages include:

More money: This is a no-brainer. According to the state higher education executive officer’s association, those with bachelor degrees earn almost twice than those with high school diplomas. The higher the level of education, the more money you make. While the amount you make varies depending on the gender, the course of study and location, generally when you have a college degree you earn more.

As you know, when you earn more you afford more thus you are much comfortable than someone without a degree.

Job security: When you have a college degree you are more valuable to the employer than someone who isn’t educated. This is because you have valuable skills that the employer can use in his/her business. These skills make you more attractive thus you are less likely to be fired.

Job satisfaction: Most of the college graduates work in areas they studied in school. This gives them an opportunity to practice what they have been studying. This, in addition to the better working conditions and higher income, they are more likely to be happy and satisfied in life. The satisfaction is not only reflected in the workplace where they are more productive, but it’s also found in their lives and families where they have happy families and have all-around lives.

Life skills: College education not only trains you to be an employee. It also impacts you with valuable skills that help you in life out of college and out of the workplace. College trains you to analyze issues critically, understand complex subjects, and communicate ideas with ease. You can apply these skills in all spheres of your life thus you become a great person.

Tips to consider when pursuing a university degree

Studies show that over 75% of students leaving high school don’t know the route they want their lives to take. Due to this, they don’t know the right courses they should choose. If you are one of these people, there are tips you can use to make the right choice.

The first tip is to listen to your heart. What do you love doing? Do you love computers? Pursue a computer related course. Do you love working with people? Pursue a community development course and so on. If a secure future is of more value to you, there are plenty of resources you can use to know the best paying and more marketable courses that you can go for. For example, for decades, medicine and engineering courses have been in huge demand and are well paying. Nursing and teaching courses are also in high demand, but they aren’t well-paying.

To increase your chances of employability, pursue your course in a reputable university. for more options, pursue a combined degree.

Categories: Education

Signs About Our Education System Is Failing

Recently, today actually, I saw a post of a video on Facebook that detailed simple questions posed to university students regarding BASIC social and historic facts, events and the people who govern our country. The results were astounding to say the least! Abject failure and an inability to name or identify ANY of the people, places and events. Let me repeat… NONE.

The formal education system in the U.S. was designed to meet the demands of the industrial revolution by providing basic education to the masses. Pretty simple right? So why is it that we fail to recognize or refuse to acknowledge that the demands are different today? There has not been a calculable redefinition or evolution of the educational system since. This is scary as it will define the failure of our country step-by-step and bit-by-bit until we are reduced to a social collection of ignorance.

Let’s examine the cause and solutions.

1. Closed for Business!

Schools find their existence tied to community standards and financial restraints based on the community support… or lack of. The result is that schools are closing at an alarming rate across the country. The decision to close a school rarely reflects the needs of a community or, more importantly, the needs of the students!

There seems to be less concern for the needs of the communities children’s education than the economic demands of the location of the school or the resources available. Where is the federal government when this happens? Well, they are partially to blame. The government rhetoric details the need for affordable, quality education while they demand that school systems adhere to specific federal mandates that tie the school administration’s hands to comply with political wants. So much for federal support.

2. Two-Gallons of milk in a one-gallon jug!

So, how many kids can you cram into a classroom and still teach effectively? That depends on whether you are looking to teach the children or be a daycare service. I know, pretty harsh but look at the function of schools today. They take your children and house them and feed them for about 6-7 hours a day. Mostly providing them with basic discipline and food that they rarely get a t home! Oh yes, admin it. Teachers are required to discipline your children in a crowded atmosphere where safety is no longer guaranteed and education takes a back seat to providing basic needs that parents are unwilling to, uneducated to or unable to provide. Wait, what about education? Well, there is so little time for that that caring for them takes priority over teaching them.

Secondarily, because of the constraints of federally-mandated guidelines, the children are taught in a cookie-cutter style standard of personality-limiting, creative-minimizing and individually-restrictive processes to get them to their adulthood. Basic education with basic performance that aligns children to basic standards that align with everyone else’s basic needs. Sad because it is done in crowded classrooms where teachers are forced to “teach” more children than one person could attend to. How effective is that?

3. If You Do What You’ve Always Done… You’ll Get What You’ve Always Gotten!

How can we expect our children to excel when their parents are minimally educated. One must understand that this cycle of poor education will produce more poorly educated children who will produce more poorly-educated children and so on and so on. Parents are so busy struggling to make a living today because of a poor economy or a lack of opportunity that there is little time to attend to their children’s education at home let alone at school. Involvement is also critical especially when the parents are minimally educated because they lack the foresight and experience to guide a young person to the right path. The result is a continually-repeated system that fails students and undermines this country’s future. It matters not whether you are poor and struggling to make a living that doesn’t allow for time to teach your kids at home OR whether your well off and struggle to maintain a career that doesn’t allow for time to attend to your kids at home. Either way, the education suffers.

4. Once Stated Always Abated!

I was once told that I was stupid. I was told that I could never learn because I lacked the basic ability to understand or comprehend anything that a normal person was expected to know. Can you imagine? Well, today I am in pursuit of a doctorate in education. Highly educated holding several degrees and formally recognized for my teaching abilities and performance as an educator. So there, take that!

If a child is to be challenged then the child has to recognize their worth and value as an individual. EVERY child is talented and gifted in something and should be recognized for it immediately and consistently. Oh yes, failure happens but that is part of the lesson as well. Individualized learning platforms and initiatives are crucial to the support and future of educational success. The talented and gifted programs require that a child be recognized and advanced because of their special gift instead of the initiative being available to ALL students. I believe that EVERY child has the opportunity to reveal their gift if given the opportunity to allow it to reveal itself. Why limit other children’s opportunity to excel because someone didn’t recognize their talents? Beyond me.

This lack of diversity in basic education is driven by personal prejudices and the nuances of social conformity and economic availability in a school district. Shameful that every student doesn’t have the same opportunity to be recognized for their inevitable contribution to society.

5. There’s a Step to the Prep!

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Education Department, 80% of all high school students graduate and student graduation rates are at an all-time high. This sounds great doesn’t it? Well, no it doesn’t because about 80% of high school seniors cannot pass basic proficiency exams or read at a basic level. The fundamental and core foundation for a successful future lies in their ability to read and comprehend and it is failing miserably. Because of a politically-correct mindset and an unwillingness to admit that we are failing we are passing kids without prejudice. What is the dynamic here? Money, acknowledgment, standards, social constraint?

With fewer than 40% of graduating students able to perform basic reading and math skills, what will their future look like? Poor at best because they are set up for failure and aren’t educated enough to know it. They are not prepared for any part of life let alone future education without the basic skills to learn. It seems a path to socialism.

6. Teacher to Preacher!

With the lack of people who are willing to sacrifice their future for low-paying academic careers there is little to choose from in the way of well-educated teachers. Enter teachers. As student education becomes more technology-supported so must teacher innovation education. A once-proud career, teachers are opting for more industrial careers using their basic educational achievements because it pays more and is less restricting. A lack of qualified teachers translates to a lack of quality education from under qualified teachers. The cultural shift in classrooms demands an academic shift in recognizing and utilizing qualified teachers who must meet higher-level standards before being allowed to teach.

Alas, distance learning take the personalization from the process, individualism from the practice and allows for lesser-educated teachers to perform office-like academics instead of teaching-like practices. Poorly educated teachers who are not held to the highest standards will produce poorly-educated students who will perpetuate the same. Pay teachers better and demand more from them and we will produce quality educated people. There is something askew when ball players make millions and teachers make nothing! Time to rethink this one.

7. Girls Will Be Girls and Boys Will Be Boys!

Or will they? There is a huge nationwide divide in the gender makeup of the student population today in schools. The STEM program is experiencing a narrowing range of student diversity as of recent examinations of student diversity in education. Formerly male student dominated academics and careers are changing to a more female dominated academic showing. Women are now able to perform as well or better than their male counterparts in science, technology engineering and math… previously neglected and they have always had the ability but unrecognized or acknowledged.

A globally competitive market demands equal and qualified individuals to perform and defend the right of opportunity regardless of gender, race, creed or social standing. As we develop our more-diverse communities, so should we develop our academically-driven future with better-educated people… no matter what!

Categories: Education

Tags:

Tips For Teaching Adults

Teaching adult students can be a transformative experience, for educators and students alike, when both immerse themselves in the learning experience through the exchange of ideas and discourse which sparks critical thinking. Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some persons choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom.

But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice? I have found there are persons who are good with the delivery of information, effective facilitating a learning process, or excel as public speakers, and those are often the underlying reasons for being in a classroom and holding a job related to some form of instruction. Other persons are subject matter experts or effective researchers, and they enjoy sharing their knowledge with students in the classroom.

Those reasons provide the basis for a teacher or instructor to be effective with the process of teaching or instruction, deliver a lecture in an engaging manner, or have the knowledge necessary to teach; however, what can further transform an instructor if he or she should seek to become a mentor and coach? More importantly, how does someone infuse their heart and soul into their teaching practice? Is it necessary for every instructor to care that much about their role? Is it important for the students to interact with someone who exhibits that type of passion? These are the questions I will explore further, based upon my work as an educator.

Influence of the Academic Environment

There are two types of academic environments, the traditional classroom and online environment. Most of my experience has been teaching adult students and faculty as students in non-traditional online classes. This is an important distinction to make as I have not been assigned the title of professor and I have not been assigned to teach in a traditional classroom, except for a few community college classes that were taught as an adjunct. Instead of preparing for weekly lectures, I have worked in an industry that requires classroom engagement and interactions during weekdays, weeknights, and on the weekends as well. In other words, there may not be stated hours; however, there is an expectation the students will be a top priority regardless of the day of week.

Also consider that in this environment I do not see my students, unless they have uploaded a photo or I hold a live seminar. I have no idea what most of my students often look like and that did take some getting used to as I came to the higher education field from a corporate training field, which means I have always interacted one-on-one with students. In a virtual environment, I am in constant communication with students as they need assistance or I complete my required facilitation tasks. This means I have learned how to take static, written communication and use it in a manner that can still convey a sense of warmth through the choice of words and tone used.

Consider the Adult Student’s Perspective

Now consider what the adult student might experience or feel when they enter the classroom. Based upon my experience in the non-traditional academic field, most students are working adults, whether they were my undergraduate or graduate students. This means their school work may not always be their only demand each week as they may have other responsibilities that includes a career and a family. These students usually seek out a degree for specific needs, often related to their career. When they interact with others in the classroom they are not always open-minded to begin with as they have their own beliefs, opinions, established patterns of thought, and habitual ways of thinking. They see the world in a particular manner and point of view.

Students also hold expectations, whether they express those expectations or not to their instructors. They expect the class, and others, to conform to what they want or need, confirm what they already believe, meet their personal and professional needs, and operate according to how they have experienced the world. Sometimes those expectations are met, and other times there is a clash of ideals, beliefs, and opinions. When expectations are not met, there can be a disconnect and that is when the instructor’s disposition and assistance matters most. Regardless of what students expect, they are interacting with an environment that is going to make demands of them, present ideas and information that may conflict with what they know or think or believe, and it is their instructor who is going to influence them and matter the most.

What is Heart and Soul for Teaching?

If the instructor matters so much for students, can an instructor simply adopt a caring and supportive attitude to help them engage in the learning process? From my experience, a caring instructor is more effective than someone who demands strict compliance and cannot empathize with students. What I am referring to though goes beyond caring and I refer to it as the heart and soul of teaching. For me, it has occurred as a product of time, along with a process of trial and error. When you put your heart and soul into a career, you stick with it during the times when you feel alive and are fully engaged in it, along with the times when it challenges you and teaches you new life lessons. When you put your heart and soul into something, and then you feel you have lost it, the joy seems to go out of your job and then it is time for a change of some kind.

Teaching has always been second nature for me. It is one of the first memories I had as a child, even before I knew what I was really doing, and throughout my career I found myself in a classroom no matter what my job titles might have been at the time. It was a natural progression for me to move into corporate training and then into higher education. Working as an online adjunct for many years did challenge the heart and soul I put into my career and I reached a point where the stressful conditions overcame me and I allowed it to create a negative mindset. I finally had to stop the excuses, unplug from technology, and take a sabbatical. I used that time to go back and remember who I am, why I love my career, and I came back renewed and reinvigorated. It was a matter of changing my focus from the conditions to the control I have over my thoughts.

For anyone who cares about their career, and believes they have put their heart and soul into their job or work, your students will notice it. They will be influenced by it, especially during the times when they feel challenged by something they have read, something they have heard, or something they are required to do. Your ability to care and empathize, while being a coach, mentor, and teacher, will serve you and them well. You are going to also feel challenged at times by circumstances, situations, conditions, and expectations. If you can stay focused on your ability to empower your students, and how much they depend upon your consistent attitude and disposition, perhaps you can maintain your balance during the challenging moments that do eventually subside.

Categories: Education

Tags:

The Advantage of Studying Abroad

The option to study abroad can present a wide range of beneficial experiences for the young person. One of the most appealing aspects is the ability to learn and appreciate the culture of a different country and really see how other people live. Plus, it can really help to bring out a person’s independent nature. Let’s take a look at four of the key benefits:

Discover a new country

A great reason to apply to study abroad is the opportunity to experience life in a brand-new country. This makes it possible to appreciate different activities, customs, and outlooks. In addition to studying, the time in your host country can include exploring the local landmarks, museums, natural wonders and new terrains. Also, there may be plenty of opportunities to visit neighboring countries. For instance, if you are studying in a European country, it can be very easy to reach other major cities like Rome, Barcelona, Paris and London.

Great education

The ability to study aboard makes it possible to learn a qualification or experience a different style of education that isn’t an option at home. Also, when you are away from home with fewer distractions, there is a greater chance that you will fully immerse yourself in your education.

Also, this has the potential to enhance your future career opportunities because the option to study abroad will show you have a willingness to learn, a great education, the likelihood of better language skills, and a new perspective on culture.

Experience a new culture

For many young students, this could be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. This makes it a great time to learn many new life experiences, including the local culture of the host country. Even after a short period of time in a new country, you can soon learn to appreciate and understand the local people, social atmospheres, traditions, customs, and history.

Discover new interests

A further wonderful reason to look elsewhere to study is the ability to discover new interests and activities. Many of the new things picked up in a host country may not even be possible at home. After trying out new things, there is a chance that you will find you have a talent for a local activity or sport like golf, snow skiing, water sports or hiking. Also, there will likely be plenty of fun and exciting ways to stay entertained, such as going to concerts, nightclubs, movies, or plays.

Categories: Education

Tags: