Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More funding available for students interested in studying abroad

Each year, the Telluride R-1 School District sends a handful of high school students to exchange programs in countries such as Italy, Hungary, Japan and Sweden. And now more funding is available to help kids afford studying abroad next year.Since 1996 the Carstens Family Fund at the Denver Foundation has offered Telluride students need-based scholarships to study abroad through AFS Intercultural Programs, a worldwide organization offering exchange programs in more than 50 countries. The foundation recently added a merit-based scholarship to further encourage students to apply for exchange programs.

The scholarship was created when Bill Carstens a land developer who passed away six years ago saw the transformative experience studying abroad provided to Swiss students he hosted.The confidence and the growth in that two weeks really impressed him,said Cheryl Miller, Carstens’ daughter, who serves as the foundation’s adviser.My dad wanted to support exchanges because it’s such a life changing experience.Miller said the foundation has provided needs-based scholarships for AFS in the past, but now they will also offer a merit-based scholarship. They’re still in the process of figuring out the exact dollar amount.The foundation will give $10,000 to the Telluride AFS program: $2,000 to cover the cost of hosting students and the remaining $8,000 for student scholarships.

Enrollment for AFS opened this fall and will extend through the beginning of April. Miller encouraged interested students to apply sooner rather than later because host countries have a limit to how many students they will take. The most popular countries will fill up first.When a country is full for applicants, then the country is closed,she said.But you can still apply for countries that are not yet full.AFS programs typically last a year, and students spend that time with one family. Other programs, such as the Rotary Exchange, place students with multiple families throughout the year.In 2001, Stephen Allen studied abroad in Santiago, Chile during his junior year at Telluride High School through AFS.It was great,Allen said.The family that I got placed with was absolutely amazing. It was a pretty rich family life. I call them and speak with them on the phone once every six months or so.

Allen said he applied through AFS because it seemed to take care of all the details for his trip.There was a great support network, he said.We had regular check-ins with advisors in Chile. They really bent over backwards.Miller said that the foundation recommends students to study abroad their sophomore or junior year of high school. She also said that previous knowledge of a language is not required.For example, her son went to Hungary, and the program assumes that students don’t know Hungarian.AFS provides language classes while you’re there,Miller said.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The first grading of MBA course launched by CARE Ratings

CARE Ratings has launched ‘CARE EDU GRADE’, a grading product for Educational Institutes. There are numerous institutions offering courses in higher education across India. Every year, the student community grapples with a large number of educational institutes to choose from for professional education.CARE EDU GRADE’ is, therefore, being launched to assess the quality of the courses offered based on effectiveness of resources provided and processes followed in achieving the objective of the course.

With a large clientele of Educational Institutions, CARE Ratings is one of the leading rating agencies in the education sector. CARE Ratings undertakes credit rating of all the debt and related obligations in the education sector. In the realm of grading of educational courses, CARE Ratings has been undertaking grading of Maritime courses for Maritime Training Institutes, under the aegis of Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) for quite some time. ‘CARE EDU GRADE’ is the latest offering from CARE Ratings catering to the specific need of the education sector.

‘CARE EDU GRADE’ is course specific grading. Presently CARE is grading management courses. CARE also has a product for grading of courses offered by Engineering colleges, which is unique in the industry. The grading measures the quality of a course based on various factors including quality of infrastructure, faculty, academic & non-academic activities, management, student mix and teaching methodology & assessment. For Management courses, CARE assigns grading both at state and national scale and it ranges from ‘A Triple Star’ to ‘B’, with ‘A Triple Star’ being the highest.Speaking at the launch of ‘CARE EDU GRADE’, Shri D.R. Dogra, Managing Director & CEO, CARE Ratings, said With mushrooming of large number of institutions across India, both parents and students face difficulties in choosing a particular institute for pursuing higher education. Further, prospective employers are also spending vast resources on selection and recruitment of a right candidate. To help the student and parent community, CARE Ratings has launched ‘CARE EDU GRADE’, a course specific grading which can be relied upon as a quality benchmark.

Besides student and parent community and indeed the Institute being rated, CARE EDU GRADE would be beneficial to various stakeholders such as financial institutions, banks, corporates and government/regulatory authorities. Grading enables the Institute to attract good quality students, faculty and recruiters. Grading can be relied upon as quality benchmark while assessing the funding requirements of colleges and while designing/pricing its loan products depending on the grade of institute. Grading also will help the government to design schemes to promote quality higher education, identify good quality institutions and ultimately channelize flow of funds to the sector.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hill College begin job training program in the new year

Residents out of work or underemployed have good news to look forward to in the new year.In January, Hill College will roll out its new job training program, the Hill College Community Stimulus Program. Available at both the Hillsboro and Cleburne campuses, the program aims to help those who are unemployed or not using their professional skills in their field of choice.The cost of the program is free to those who qualify.We all feel so bad about what’s going on in the world and this is something concrete that we can do,said Hill President Dr. Sheryl Kappus.Our taxpayers have invested in us, and we want to invest in them.According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the unemployment in Johnson County hit 8.5 percent in June, and has since hovered around that mark. Hill County saw unemployment rates as high as 9.3 percent this summer. The majority of people seeking unemployment benefits range from 30-50 years old, with an average duration of eight months and two years.

This program seeks to aid workers in and around the area in learning a new skill or trade to get back into the workforce or even to become self-employed,Kappus said.Kappus said unemployment data is hard to come by, but has found that those who are unemployed longer are less likely to find a job.And then, your skills are out of date,Kappus said.The courses range from welding, supervision, professional organization, workplace professionalism, job search and employment skills and how to start your own business. Programs throughout the courses ­which last from several days to a couple of weeks include seminars, individual courses, marketable skills awards and certificates of completion.A mandatory orientation will get participants up to speed with what they’re asked to do.

The board the difficult economic times our nation is experiencing, and we feel Hill College is in a unique position to help those hurting the most the jobless, by retraining them for viable jobs,said David Teel, Hill College board president.We are very excited about this new and innovative program and welcome the opportunity to give back to the people of our service area by providing this valuable training.Kappus mentioned that the program is only available to seasoned workers, or those who are not seeking their first job. Underemployed participants, such as those who have had to take on fast food jobs or other employment outside of their certifications can explain their situation and receive skills-renewal classes.

Even if you’ve been sitting on the couch for a year, we can help you,Kappus said.We are just really pleased we are able to do this and appreciate the support from the community.To qualify for this program, you must live in the Hill or Johnson County taxing districts, be a seasoned worker and:Have been unable to find employment or are underemployed and wish to gain new skills and knowledge to make you competitive for employment.Have been unable to find employment or are underemployed and wish to gain knew skills and knowledge to become your own boss.Have been unable to find employment or are underemployed, and wish to polish your interview and presentation skills.

Friday, November 25, 2011

EPUC admits fresh students

The Honorary Chancellor of the EPUC, the Very Rev. Dr. Livingstone Komla Buama, says education is a business venture, and must therefore, be seen in that context.Speaking at the 5th Matriculation ceremony to admit 535 fresh students to offer courses in the various disciplines at the EPUC in Ho over the weekend, Dr. Buama pointed out that the university did not intend to become a photocopy of others in the country.

He said the Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC) was unique, because it dares students and lecturers to be different, in order to help bring qualitative change to the world through hard work, because it was through innovative educational activities that institutions of higher learning could make positive impacts that would promote development.Dr. Buama stressed that the youth who are admitted to universities, particularly the EPUC, should see their status as an opportunity, as well as a privilege, and urged them to be law-abiding, so as to observe the rules and regulations of the university at all times.

'Students of universities should not go through the university, but rather the university should go through them, so that they can become real instruments of change in society upon the completion of their courses,' he stressed.The President of the EPUC, Rev. Dr. Cyril G.K. Fayose, congratulated the new students for successfully going through the matriculation process, and assured them that they had made a good choice, because the university had so far not turned out students who had become unemployed graduates, as they always get employment in the formal sector or self-employed.Rev. Dr. Fayose pointed out that even though the university had turned out qualified human resources who are contributing to national development efforts, the students must still be focused and work hard to enable them remain in the university, because laziness would not be tolerated from them.

The EPUC President said what made the university a unique institution was that it did not only concentrate on the academic aspect of education, but also practical learning, blended with sound moral discipline.A representative from the University of Cape Coast, the affiliate university of the EPUC, Mr. Nicholas Kuteh urged the EP Church to continue offering the needed support to Linkthe university, and gave the assurance that the University of Cape Cost would continue to assist, to ensure that the young university was properly nurtured to a matured university that could be on its own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scholarships for postgraduate medicine courses

The government has decided to double the number of scholarships for postgraduate medicine courses, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.Disclosing this yesterday, he said the initiative was part of the government’s long term measure to produce more specialist doctors towards uplifting health services in the country.From this year, the number of scholarships for postgraduate medicine courses had been doubled from 400 to 800, he said when he officially launched the Health Carnival at the hospital here yesterday.

According to him, the shortage of medical officers or doctors was no longer a major problem these days as the country had been able to produce between 3,500 and 4,000 doctors annually, adding that most of the doctors graduated from local universities.With a steady increase in the number of doctors, he believed by 2015 the country would achieve a doctor to population ratio of 1:600 which will be improved to 1:400 by 2020.In the case ofSarawak, doctor to population ration stood at 1: 2,000, he disclosed, assuring that the situation would be accorded due consideration to make it on par with the Peninsular states.Though the country’s standard of health services had been acknowledged as among the world’s best, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had kept on striving to improve medical services to a higher level, he said, stressing that focus would be directed at training more specialist doctors in order to achieve the target.

As for now, he said the government had to engage foreign specialist doctors as a temporary measure.He said another initiative adopted by the BN government to extend specialist doctors’ services to the rural folks was to reduce the minimum attachment period in rural hospitals to six months from 12 months previously.Believing that the shortened attachment period was acceptable to the specialist doctors, he said this would allow more rural hospitals to enjoy high quality health care.On top of that, the government offered various incentives to motivate the medical officers and staff to give their utmost in extending quality services to the people, Liow said, citing better promotional opportunities, allowances and study scholarships as among them.

On the two-week health carnival which started last Monday, Liow said its main objective was basically to extend health services to the rural areas.He said some 285 cases had been identified to undergo surgery by a team of specialist doctors/surgeons specially flown from Peninsular Malaysia.Among the elective surgeries are Hernia (Inguinal, Oincisional, Umbilical); breast (Fibroadenoma, Ca Breast); thyroid (Ca thyroid, MNG or Hemithyroidectomy); Gall Bladder (Cholecystectomy); Cataract Operation and OGDS and Colonoscopy.During the function, Liow also launched the `Ubat Melalui Pos 1Malaysia’ service.Among those present were Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Jerip Susil, Sarikei MP Ding Kuong Hiing, deputy director-general of Health Dr Nor Hisham Abdullah, state health director Dr Zulkifli Jantan, Sarikei Resident Michael Dawi Alli, divisional health officer Dr Hasrina Hassan andSarikeiHospitaldirector Dr Tey Siew Chang.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Study Abroad in Germany on a full scholarship for the 2012-2013

Imagine being offered a chance to study abroad in Germany, live with a local family, attend a local school, and learn German for free.Thanks to a U.S.-German scholarship program being offered by the U.S. government and Ayusa, this dream is about to become a reality for 50 American high school students.Ayusa, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based full scholarships for fifty American high school students to study abroad in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program, or CBYX. Ayusa is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 academic year program. Ayusa invites all interested high school students from Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah to apply for this remarkable opportunity. The application deadline is December 16, 2011. No prior German language skills are necessary to apply.

Thanks to the CBYX program, I figured out that my calling is international affairs, said Jennifer Hamel-Merkel, an Ayusa student from Texas who participated in the 2010-11 CBYX program. Before, I always had problems finding my niche in regular high school classes. But after studying abroad, I've become a more confident young adult who's ready to go out and change the world. Thanks to the CBYX program, I'll be focusing on improving relations between countries.The CBYX scholarship program was designed by the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag (Parliament) in 1983 to strengthen ties and share cultural insights between German and American youth. Ayusa is proud to be one of only five organizations selected by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor the CBYX program since 1993. Each organization facilitates the selection of the students in their specific states, so students in every state are eligible. Each year, 250 American students are selected to participate in the program.

The CBYX program allows motivated high school students regardless of socio-economic background the chance to fully immerse themselves in a new culture and language and see a slice of the world they might not otherwise visit,said David Beiser, director of grants at Ayusa. This unique learning experience is something they will never forget and puts them at a competitive advantage when it comes to continuing education, a career, and community life.The CBYX scholarship includes orientations, meetings with government officials in Germany and the United States, a 4-week language camp in Germany, a 10-month home stay with a volunteer German host family, travel excursions throughout Germany, and international round trip airfare.

About Ayusa
Ayusa International is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to promote global learning and leadership through foreign exchange, study abroad and leadership programs for high school students from the U.S. and around the world. In addition, Ayusa administers multiple high profile grant programs funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Monday, November 21, 2011

College of William and Mary undergrads are more likely to study abroad

The College of William and Mary has a greater percentage of undergraduates who participate in study-abroad programs than any other public institution offering doctoral degrees in the United States, according to a recent study by the Institute of International Education.The IIE's Open Doors 2011 Report on International Educational Exchange ranks William & Mary first at 43.9 percent, followed by Miami of Ohio (40.7 percent), Georgia Institute of Technology (39.2 percent) and the University of Delaware (38.1 percent). The College also ranks above all other Virginia institutions public and private listed in the report.

More than 40 percent of William & Mary students study abroad in their undergraduate careers, last year in 41 countries. The Reves Center provides more than $150,000 in study abroad scholarships each year.The Open Doors report is published annually by the IIE with funding from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The numbers contained in the 2011 report reflect study abroad conducted in the 2009-10 academic year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parents are encouraging their children to enrol in foreign universities to avoid soaring tuition fees in England

Universities across the world report unprecedented levels of interest from UK sixth formers in the run up to the introduction of £9,000 a year tuition fees in England.Applications are being driven by parents who want to avoid paying £27,000 for a three year degree or having their teenagers saddled with years of debt.Families are prepared to spend hundreds of pounds on visits to overseas campuses to persuade children to look for courses that as well as being cheaper might give them a competitive edge in the dire UK job market.Early indications are that thousands of sixth formers are considering opting out of the UK system or applying abroad as a backup in case they fail to get offers from UK institutions.The Fulbright Commission, which helps to co-ordinate transatlantic study, said more than 4,000 students and parents attended its US college information day last month 50 per cent more than last year. More than 120 teenagers from the UK, many with their parents, travelled to the Netherlands this weekend to an open day at Maastricht University.

Half of its undergraduate courses are taught entirely in English, from lectures to exams. Fees at the European institution, which is highly regarded, are just £1,500 a year.Some 130 British students enrolled in the university last year five times the number in 2009. Applications from the UK for 2012 places are expected to exceed 600.Scott Clothier, 17, a student at Holy Cross College, Bury, is considering studying international business at Maastricht.His mother, Catherine Clothier, said the rise in tuition fees provided the initial impetus to look at foreign universities.
When I realised that some degrees abroad are taught in English, that sparked my interest, she said. "The fees had a lot to do with it.

It's so much cheaper over there and you're getting an internationally recognised degree.The employment market is so competitive. Someone who has gone overseas to get a comparable degree to one available in the UK might have a bit of an edge.It might show that you are independent and that you have broadened you horizons.UK students can qualify for a non-repayable grant from the Dutch government worth £228 per month and a tuition fee loan, if they work part-time while studying.The city is five hours from London by train. Budget airlines fly to Brussels and Eindhoven which are just over an hour away. Tuition fee rises in the UK were an issue for Mary Lander, who is researching overseas universities with her daughter Samantha, 17, a pupil at Holy Cross School, in New Malden, Surrey.

She wants to study econometrics and operations research or economics and business economics.
Maastricht looks very suitable in a number of ways,said Mrs Lander.The cost makes it very interesting and I'm not worried about the distance.It only takes a few hours to get there. If she was going to a UK university, it could take just as long.Universities outside Europe have also reported increased parental demand. Dozens of students at a recent University of South Florida recruitment day in London were accompanied by keen parents.Its $14,900 fees are similar to the £9,000 a year that many English universities will charge but living costs are considerably lower than in much of the UK.The university, in Tampa Bay, has an international reputation on a par with the UK's Russell Group of leading institutions.

Katherine Beasley, 17, a pupil at Clifton College, Bristol, is considering South Florida.I want to study marine biology so Florida would have a lot of advantages,said the teenager.The common view used to be that US universities were very costly but since the rise in UK tuition fees, they don't look so expensive any more.From that point of view my parents have been very encouraging and think it's a very good opportunity.Anthony Seldon, the high master of Wellington College, in Berkshire, warned that British universities had to address the challenge now posed by international competition.Half of our 16-year-olds said they would be interested in studying abroad when we talked to them last term, that's a huge leap up,he said.I had a visit last month from the University of Hong Kong. Fees there are about £9,000 a year but the cost of living is a third of the price of London. British universities have to start to wake up to it.Their attitude has been that it is a trickle of students, so nothing to worry about but I don't think they can carry on citing that.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

University adds more law courses

Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law has added six new courses designed to expand the scope of its newly formed Law & Informatics Institute.The first three courses Information Privacy Law, Introduction to CyberLaw, and Drafting & Negotiating Intellectual Property Licenses will be offered on Tuesday evenings beginning in January.Three additional new courses Copyright Law, Trademark Law, and International Intellectual Property Law will be offered beginning the following semester.

Tuition ranges from $607 per credit hour for in-state students to $1,290 for non-residents. A metro rate of $981 is available for area residents who live in Ohio or Indiana.Chase’s intellectual property curriculum previously focused on patent law, entertainment and telecommunications.The NKU Chase Law & Informatics Institute held an opening reception on Nov. 4 in the university’s new LEED-certified Griffin Hall, home of NKU’s College of Informatics. The event included a screening of a new video, now posted on YouTube, that was directed by College of Informatics undergraduate Kyle Breitenstein.The video reflects two exciting aspects of our partnerships, said the institute’s director, Jon Garon, a professor at Chase.The partnership highlights the close collaboration between the College of Law and the College of Informatics.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Online Courses for High School Students

In an effort to accommodate students with varying levels of advancement and in reaction to state budgetary cuts, at least 30 states in the US now let elementary and high school students take all their courses online.According to Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm that works with online schools, an estimated 250,000 students nationwide are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, a 40 percent increase in the last three years. And the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a trade group, says two million kids take at least one class online.

Advocates say online schooling can save states money, offer curricula customized to each student and give parents more choice in education.I don’t think learning has to happen at school, in a classroom with 30 other kids and a teacher corralling all children into learning the same thing at the same pace,Allison Brown, a Georgia mother of three, says. We should rethink the environment we set up for education.But others point to data in some states showing students enrolled full-time in virtual schools score significantly lower on standardized tests, and make less academic progress from year to year, than their peers. Detractors also worry kids aren’t learning to interact with each other or how to participate in group discussions.

This reinvention of education also has teachers worried.Schools teach people the skills of citizenship how to get along with others, how to reason and deliberate, how to tolerate differences, says Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor of educational history at New York University.And while Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, says that his organization opposes full-time online schools, it does support integrating virtual lessons into classrooms.Obviously, we all want to save money, he says.But to replace teachers with online learning is a mistake.Overall, virtual schooling comes down to what you make of it,says Rosie Lowndes, social-studies teacher at Georgia Cyber Academy. She also says that kids who work closely with parents or teachers do well, but computer learning alone isn’t sufficient.Letting a child educate himself, that’s not going to be a good educational experience, she says.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The UK remains the top destination for students from the US looking to study abroad

The Open Doors 2011 survey, published today by the Institute of International Education, reveals that there was a 4.3 per cent increase in the number of students opting to study in the UK in 2010-11, above the average overall increase of 3.9 per cent.Europe retained its position as the most popular destination: 54.5 per cent of all Americans studying abroad were at a European institution, with 12.1 per cent in the UK.

However, the biggest percentage increases were in more exotic locations, including Israel, which saw a 60.7 per cent rise, and India, up 44.4 per cent year on year.The Open Doors survey also shows an increase in the number of overseas students opting to study in the US, up 5.7 per cent from the previous year.However, although this number has increased 32 per cent over the last 10 years, the proportion of international students compared to domestic students has actually dipped slightly, from 3.57 percent in 2000-01 to 3.51 percent in 2010-11.

The data show that over half of the international students in the US come from just five countries: China, India, Korea, Canada and Taiwan.The biggest percentage increases in 2010-11 were from Saudi Arabia, up 43.6 per cent, and China (23.3 per cent).California has the most international students, according to the report, with the University of Southern California hosting more than any other institution in the country.The report also shows that over two-fifths of international students in the US are either pursuing degrees in business and management or engineering.

Meanwhile Nafsa, the association of international educators, has released an annual report partially based on the findings of the Open Door study showing the financial contributions of international students to the US economy.Overall, it finds, international students contribute $20.23 billion (£12.59 billion) to the US economy in tuition fees and living expenses.The top five states benefiting financially from international students are: California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.Despite Nafsa’s findings, the Open Doors survey shows that government and institutional support for encouraging international students to attend US institutions has declined.Fewer students in 2010-11 were sponsored by US universities, the US government or a US-based private sponsor than in the previous year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

University to introduce 11 PG diploma courses in medical sciences for 2011-12

The Madras High Court has held unconstitutional the proposal of the TN Dr MGR Medical University to introduce 11 PG diploma courses in medical sciences for 2011-12.Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar gave the declaration while allowing a batch of five writ petitions from Dr M Ramesh and 24 others. Petritioners’ senior counsel KM Vijayan contended that the university’s proposal to introduce/commence the courses without any approval from the central government/Medical Council of India (MCI) was unconstitutional and contrary to the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act.

These 11 courses including HIV medicine were part of the existing courses approved by the MCI/central government, which were being conducted through different colleges and the examinations were conducted by the university. It had just splitted and carved out the syllabus framed by the MCI and was introducing the new courses without any approval from the MCI. The MCI and the central government supported the contentions of the petitioners.

Allowing the petitions, Justice Vasanthakumar observed that the university was not empowered to grant permission to any institution or medical college to conduct any PG diploma course in medical sciences without the previous approval of the central government as required under Sec 10A(1) of the MCI Act.As rightly contended by Vijayan, all the PG diploma courses in medical sciences now permitted by the university were available in the MCI Regulations either as Post Graduate diploma course or part of the degree courses or both.Thus it is evident that the university is seeking to introduce courses in different names on the same subjects,the judge said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Internet education not good for everyone

Online learning is nothing new for Blaine County schools. Students in the county's three high schools are already taking English, math and even foreign language courses online, and some are taking classes they would never be able to take with the limited staff available marine biology at the Carey School, for example.But while school officials say they are happy with the increased opportunities that online learning provides for their students, most say they worry about the state's new requirement that all high school students take and pass two online courses before graduation.

Pete Jurovich, principal at Wood River High School in Hailey, said many of his students take classes through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy and NovaNet, a program that allows students who have failed a traditional class to make up those credits online. Jurovich said that with so many students involved in the ski team or other sports that take them away from the classroom, online courses are a way for them to keep up with schoolwork.It's certainly the way of the future,he said.If we want to talk about 21st-century learning, I think working through an electronic medium is important.John Peck, principal at the Carey School, said he tried to implement a requirement last year that all his students take one online course before graduation.

Everyone realizes that sometime in the future, those kids will have to learn online somehow, he said, adding that many professional and technical schools require students to take classes online.
But at a school as small as the Carey School, with an enrollment of about 70 students, Peck said requiring too many online courses could be a disaster and result in the loss of teachers.In a small school, if kids are taking online classes, that's taking students out of those teachers' classes,he said. "Pretty soon, you're looking at classes with no one in them.Mike Chatterton, business manager for the Blaine County School District, said online course requirements would probably not result in the loss of teachers in much of the district.

Instead of having 24 or 25 students in a class, we may have 20, he said, adding that the loss of four students would not justify elimination of a class, and therefore a teacher.However, he said online classes could cause a loss of funding to schools. Schools receive funding based on average daily attendance. That number could drop if online courses are not included in that figure.If those students are not attending our classes but are attending an online class, the attendance revenue follows the student,he said, meaning the funding that would otherwise go to the school would go to the online provider instead.Peck said his main concern was that the passage rates at Carey School for online courses are much lower than for traditional classes. In the 2010-11 school year, Peck said, only seven traditional classes total were failed by Carey students. However, 40 percent of the online courses taken by Carey students were failed, which Peck said was due to the fact that online courses don't work for everyone.

It takes a lot of self-motivation to be able to do it,he said.The traditional way is to have the teacher in the front and have the students do the work. In a class like these, [the students] have to be self-disciplined.Lynn Seifert, principal at Silver Creek High School, said she has solved that problem by having her students take all online courses on school grounds, under the supervision of a computer lab teacher who keeps track of deadlines and assignments.We feel like we need to be there to prod them, to keep them going,she said.Our experience has been that the majority need someone to keep them focused.But sometimes a supervisor just isn't enough, Seifert said, agreeing with Peck.Some students need a real, live, human teacher,she said.How will the schools deal with the requirements? They aren't sure, principals agreed, but they would have to make it work somehow.It is what it is, and we'll deal with it,Peck said.The more they require, the tougher it will be on little schools.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

UNC has 10th most 2010-2011 Fulbright award winners

The Chronicle of Higher Education has UNC tied for 10th most students and recent graduates receiving Fulbright awards for the 2010-2011 year.The University is tied for 10th with Arizona State University, which each had 18 grant recipients. Seventeen of the UNC Fulbright winners are listed here, and the 18th has not been announced. The winners come from nine different North Carolina counties and five different states.
The Fulbright program gives grants to students to improve U.S. relations abroad at the grassroots level. The program, established in 1946, operates in more than 135 countries, and students are chosen by academic merit and leadership potential. While abroad, students study, teach and research solutions to international problems. The Fulbright is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and also gives grants to American teachers for projects abroad.

A total of 1700 students received the grants from 600 different colleges and universities. UNC had the third most recipients from a public university behind the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with 29 awards and the University of Washington with 24 students who received the grant.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Free course for veterans

To recognize and thank veterans for their honorable service and dedication to our country, the AARP Driver Safety Program is proud to offer a free classroom course to them and their spouses during November.All military personnel active duty, retired, guard or reserve are eligible. So are spouses, widows and widowers. That’s a savings of $12 to $14 for a course that could help drivers save as much as $100 on auto insurance and help refresh driving skills.

The offer is good for veterans of any age, but could be particularly valuable for older drivers. That’s because state law mandates discounts for drivers ages 55 and older who complete courses such as the AARP Driver Safety Program. Those discounts typically range from $25 to $100.AARP has about 40 Driver Safety classroom courses scheduled throughout Tennessee during November. Spots must be reserved.

This offer does not apply to the online AARP Driver Safety Program courses that are available online. Those are still a good deal $15.95 for AARP members/$19.95 for non-members. And if you can’t find a free classroom course in your area during November, please consider paying for one $12 for AARP members/$14 for non-members.Veterans include those who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard/Reserves or Coast Guard. To receive a free classroom course, provide some form of military identification, including but not limited to: military ID, discharge papers DD Form 214, American Legion card, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) card, dependent ID card, etc., to the host organization and or instructor.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Student organization travels to Dominican to bring health consciousness

FGCU has several student organizations that offer different purposes and missions for students who want to be involved, experience personal growth, develop leadership and help the community while earning service learning hours.Community Health Aid Development is a club that focuses on educating and helping local and foreign communities where health-based education and guidance is needed.Lis Chimaras, president of the club, who started the organization last fall and currently has 15 dedicated members who enjoy devoting their time to help less fortunate populations.

CHAD went on their first mission trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer.We mainly started in the Dominican Republic because of the current need there is for health awareness, Chimaras said.The main goal of the trip is to provide items to communities with items that they may not have access to as well as to educate children.On the past trip, students personally worked with children in schools by teaching them basic health sanitation practices and also launched a campaign on STD/HIV awareness.I love the small group atmosphere, because of last year's trip to Dominican Republic we all became a family in reach of a common goal. It is a great feeling to know you caused an impact in those children's lives,Spencer Klepper, a sophomore majoring in biology, said about his experience.

Chimaras says that they are working on another mission trip to the Dominican Republic for health awareness. The theme for the coming project, La Salud Cotidianaevery day health will focus on raising awareness of sanitation, nutrition and sexual health.The club gets financial support for the trips through fundraisers, contributions, donations and FGCU's Student Government.SG is the main reason why this trip was even financially possible in the first place, Chimaras said.I like the fact that we members of CHAD create our own lesson plans for the mission trip; we decide what is important to teach the children as well as our teaching methods, said Brad Sifrig, treasurer of the club.

We are free to educate them on what we believe it is necessary for them to know, in a relaxed and fun environment, Sifrig said.For the future, Chimaras says that CHAD's main goal is to be an organization established enough to have health awareness outreach trips in various parts of the world.CHAD is a great option for those passionate about doing good actions.Any FGCU students and staff member are welcome to attend the club's meetings and be a part of the organization.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Online education and courses

JUST as the University of California prepares to announce its first group of fully online courses for its undergraduates, the California State University announced this week that it, too, will begin to expand its computer based options for its 412,000 students.It already offers degrees in 63 disciplines entirely online most of them in master's degree programs.

For years now, especially early adopters have been calling what's sometimes known as distance learning the future of education. And certainly, in some as yet unknown way, it is or a big part of it.The situation is mainly technology-driven. Fifteen years ago, when the Web was younger and broadband access far more limited, it would have been extremely hard logistically to have anything like a real classroom experience online.Now, with high-speed Internet access commonplace, with laptops and smart phones and iPads, with users more at ease with the kinds of video images

we see on Skype, it's not just early adopters who are comfortable with the idea.Just as companies and organizations that formerly sent a lot of staff members to meetings have begun to see the cost- and time-saving abilities of video conferencing, so educators are right to explore all the online possi-bilities.And yet educators are also right to be skeptical. There is simply no replacing or overestimating the importance of traditional social interaction on a college campus. By no means should cyber-ed ever fully replace college or graduate-school education.

And professors have very specific fears. San Francisco Chronicle education writer Nanette Asimov reported this week on a war of words between a Cal State Long Beach prof and CSU Vice Chancellor Ben Quillian.Teri Yamada, an Asian Studies professor at CSU Long Beach, wanted to get involved in the process early on.Too early, they were told.I respectfully ask for your patience,Quillian said.I deeply understand the importance of patience,Yamada replied. Unfortunately, I believe that our concern is more the issue of trust.Cheating is one concern of professors. So is what they call the Walmartization of CSU, citing concerns that some classes would be purchased off the shelf in pre-packaged form, as some community colleges are doing.

At the UCs, the administration has guaranteed faculty that won't happen. Even so, UC Berkeley profs showed their skepticism about online education earlier this year when very few of them even bothered to submit proposals for online courses even though they were eligible for grants in the tens of thousands of dollars if they did so.Twenty-six UC courses were originally expected to be available this coming January. Instead, six will debut.Change is rough. Academia is as hidebound in its resistance to change as other organizations or more so. Online learning is definitely part of the mix for oureducational future. But we have to keep the humans in the humanities. And the sciences. And everything else. A mixture of online lectures and seminars with all hands on deck sounds to us like the best mix for higher education in the online age.