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May 18 2011

college-text-books

Source: OnlineSchools.org

With the rising costs of tuition and textbooks at Universities and Colleges, a new movement of open source text books has begun. Which is great for students who may have to drop out of school because they cannot cover all of their expenses. The bad news is that the open source books may never be widely available thanks to old-school publishers trying to squash the idea.

By Career Explorer

Oct 14 2009

The problem?
Deep budget cuts are forcing colleges to lay off instructors and eliminate basic classes.  Less teachers and classes, but more returning students is making it harder to get into the courses so they can graduate on time.

More time in college doesn’t necessarily mean “more fun” to some students. It literally can mean “time is money.” And they’re losing a lot of both. In some schools, wait-listed students actually take turns standing closest to a lecture hall door so they could hear the lesson and not fall too far behind. That is, if there was any way they could get in the class in the first place.

Tough times means plenty of tough lessons
College budget cuts are becoming a bigger problem, because they hit core entry-level courses hardest, first. Students struggle to reserve seats in the core entry-level classes such as math 101 because the part-time instructors who typically teach those courses are the first to be laid off when budgets run low. Other students are shut out of crowded core courses in their majors by upperclassmen, which are usually preferred for first spots.

A perfect example of this would be the 23-campus California State higher education system. In response to a 20% budget cut, officials have raised tuition more than 30%, increased class sizes by up to a third, and quickly laid off hundreds of teachers, while slashing curriculum.

It’s about more than just money
Money isn’t necessarily the only problem. Some experts argue that traditional colleges and universities focus too much on prestigious but unessential graduate programs at the expense of the undergrad basics. Because many schools have now pushed their professors to their working limits and every class spot has been taken, some students say they are out of choices.

Sherrie Canedo, a fifth-year senior at Cal State-East Bay, was recently told she could finish her ethnic studies degree through independent study because most of the courses she needs were eliminated.

“I don’t feel that’s an acceptable way to learn,” Canedo told Terence Chea of the Associated Press, and added that she’s working two jobs and trying to string together enough financial aid to finish her education. “I’m paying to be taught in a classroom.”

Is your local college enduring budget cuts that make it harder for you to get an education? Use the powerful search engine at Career Explorer to find local career colleges that may accept your transfer credits. We’re here to help!

By Career Explorer

Oct 8 2009

Many of us don’t place a postsecondary education in the same category as our other monthly bills: rent, electricity, cable, car payments, or credit card bills. Typically, expenses allotted for “education” are notably much pricier than those other monthly bills. But a company called StraighterLine is now offering an online college education at a flat rate of $99 per month – a cost that fits right in with the rest of those ordinary monthly bills. But is it the real deal? Students who have used StraighterLine say, “yes!”

Earning an advanced education can feel overwhelming in today’s economic climate. As job losses occur across almost every business sector, making serious time and financial commitments to an education might seem out of the question.

But today’s students now have a new option. StraighterLine was established to give students a new option for earning required college credits, and for making a college education more accessible. Burck Smith is StraighterLine’s founder and he’s serious about helping out today’s college student. Like many other educational experts, he recognized early on the power of technology to change the face of higher learning. With advances that are constantly being made in the online world, colleges can now provide an online education at almost no cost. In fact, the financial cost to most institutions may only be the cost of labor – paying the instructor who passes his or her expertise on to students.

So, are these institutions passing their savings on to the students? Most of the time, the answer is no. This is where Burck Smith saw an opening for StraighterLine. With a flat charge of only $99 a month, students can take online classes through StraighterLine to fulfill their college course requirements. As most college students will tell you, that $99 monthly rate is significantly cheaper than a typical university’s asking price.

Know anyone who’s used StraighterLine to earn their college credits? How do you feel about such dramatically increased accessibility and affordability in the education world?

By Career Explorer

Sep 8 2009

A recent report conducted by SRI International for the U.S. Department of Education seems to indicate that it might be.

This report compared online and traditional classroom students and their academic performance levels between the years of 1996 and 2008. Its conclusion? “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” This means an average percentile rank of 59th for online learners compared to 50th for traditional classroom learners.

While this report followed some students at the K-12 level, most of the subjects were college-level students. Could this be the end of classroom learning as we know it? Educational experts don’t think so. But they do think our country’s educational institutions will need to keep up with the online learning trend in the coming years. Today’s online learning environment is especially tailored to meet the student’s needs, and technologies such as email, video messaging, instant messaging and collaboration mean that many students will find unique chances to be engaged in their learning. Schools who stay hip to new technological trends can attract some of the best and brightest students.

Education experts see the exciting potential for learning communities and student collaborations that online education can create. They predict that more and more universities and colleges will offer online programs to their students.

Think learning online is the right choice for you? Search for online colleges and universities on Career Explorer today!

By Career Explorer

May 6 2009

Right after you add The White House to your Facebook or Myspace social network (assuming that someone who works there is interested in your terrible band or latest Mobsters acquisition), have a look at how Obama is stepping up the funding related to education. You might like what you see.

On the Organizing America page of his website, Obama outlines his plan for a return to civic responsibility and volunteerism. But it’s also civic service with something in it for you! Here’s how Obama’s plan features a way for high school students who need a head start on education funds to make a positive impact in their communities.

Integrate service into learning
Obama will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year. But there is more offered for kids who show a little more ambition. He will establish a new tax credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year. That’s a big head start on your tuition for college or career training.

The tax credit opportunity is continued once the student reaches their college or training center of choice. It is also another $4,000 based on 100 hours of community service. Since it’s a tax credit and not a school loan, you aren’t confined to spending it only on education. It can be used for whatever you need. For some people, this could mean anything from a new laptop, to babysitting service money, to car repairs. It can be for whatever you need to make a better change in your life.

Another option – College Serve-Study
Obama wants to ensure that at least 25% of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries. This means they are trying to open up private and public sector roles so you can gain valuable work experience while in school. You can even choose to contribute your service to emerging energy technicians or green collar job corps to get practical experience in fast-growing career fields.

It’s up to you. Will you take this opportunity to make your communities a better place to live, in exchange for a leg up on your dreams? How will you spend your tax credit? Let us know!

By Andy Schiller