Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Six Reasons To Consider Doing Your College Degree Online

Many students want to get their college degree from the school in which they are studying or about to study. However, many other students who cannot avail the facility of getting their college degree by going to some particular or their specific college can earn it online. Nowadays it is becoming very popular to earn a particular degree online by having a total understanding of the subjects. Sloan Consortium did research in which he concluded and focused on the students who enrolled in different institutions just by getting online lectures and degree in a specific program. This research also showed the number of people that were enrolled in different colleges. According to the research, about five to six million students got their degree by being enrolled into a specific program. This procedure of getting online lectures, submitting online assignments and quizzes and after all the online degree in the specific program is growing as a popular trend.

It is also important that you should have a proper knowledge for getting an online degree. First, you need to know more and more about an institution in which you want to be enrolled. The information should contain details of specific areas or programs that can be completed online. For sure, almost every admired college, institution and university has its own guidelines to earn a degree in a specific program from that institution by participating online programs and lectures.

Numerous students stay confused for how to get an online degree in a specific program of their choice? If you are one of them, then for sure you would have to know the tactics and proper guidance for how to earn an online degree. Given below are the six important reasons to complete your degree online:

Learning online is much appropriate. It is observed that excluding a small proportion of students who enjoy taking their lectures at their colleges, there are many other students who don't even want to go to their colleges. This is because they don't feel the environment of the college much flexible for themselves. Online lectures and learning is very flexible for all students and especially for these students.

Online learning is much inexpensive. Today, the institutions are somehow framed to earn money from students as well. Besides the tuition fee, college administration also charge fees for many other things that you don't want to pay. This is somehow a great disadvantage for poor students and parents. With having your learning online, ynu can save a lot of your money that you waste in paying different charges of the colleges.

Online learning is a way to get great education. Many profit-based schools and colleges are seen that are structured just to earn profit instead of focusing on student's education and internal grooming. Online education system can provide you with the best resource to get your degree in a professional environment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Essential Education Skills for All Student

Have you ever taken a moment to watch a honeybee in action? Did you marvel at the way she methodically drifts from flower to flower collecting her "basketfuls" of pollen, only to navigate unerringly back to the hive? Did you ever wonder where she learned to do her job so well and to navigate so precisely? The answer lies with Mother Nature, herself. Honeybees are born with all of the necessary skills to do their specific jobs in a precise, prescribed manner. Honeybees never need to be trained; they go right to work the moment they are born. This remarkable system works beautifully, indeed... for honeybees! The downside of this "hardwired" arrangement, however, is that each honeybee is capable of performing only a limited number of specific tasks. She neither ponders nor analyzes her situation; she simply responds to cues from her environment and her genetic programming.

Fortunately for us, Mother Nature has neglected to outfit human beings with such a predisposed pattern of behavior. I say "fortunately," because humans possess the genetic freedom to be creative, innovative, and adaptive. As a result, our children are blessed with the ability learn many different skills, but these skills must be taught (and reinforced) if students are to process information in an efficient manner. Never forget, however, that human beings are capable of assimilating inefficient processing and organizational behaviors just as easily as they can efficient ones!

To understand the importance of proper training, let's consider an employment scenario for just a moment. Anyone who has worked for a living is certainly familiar with the phrase "job description." This phrase refers, of course, to the specific duties that a particular job entails. Naturally, if an employee is unaware of these duties or lacks the skills necessary to carry them out, his or her employment is in serious peril. Furthermore, if an employee has not been properly trained, an employer would be unreasonable to expect exceptional job-performance.

What, you may ask, has any of this to do with scholastic performance? The answer is simple... everythhng. Students can be thought of as employees of a sort. They have specific jobs to do and, if they do them well, they are well compensated. This compensation comes in the form of education, grades, grade point averages and, most importantly, opportunities.

I realize, of course, that many students, especially those in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, find it difficult to perceive, let alone appreciate, the non-material, deferred rewards of a successful academic career. But, this phenomenon comes under the heading of motivation and is not what I am referring to by my employment analogy. I am, instead, simply acknowledging the sad truth that school systems (both public and private) across the nation routinely give children explicit job descriptions, but fail to train those children to do the jobs!

Let us examine, for a moment, the fundamental duties of the average student. From the day the student begins his or her "job," a student is presented with a certain amount of new information. In turn, he or she is expected to process that information in a specific, efficient manner. This "processing" includes organizing, note taking, studying, test taking... the student's "job description." But who teaches the student to perform that job in an efficient manner? Not the schools, I am sad to say! The schools seem to believe that our "honeybees" are born with the ability to learn efficiently and to organize themselves appropriately.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Perfectionist and the Jack of All Trades

I've been called a perfectionist, and until recently, I've always accepted that description as a compliment. However as a leader, one of my primary responsibilities is to help prioritize the work of the departments that report to me, and in doing so, it is very important to understand that most nonprofits are under resourced. In a world where there is never enough, either in terms of money or human time, where and how nonprofits commit their limited resources becomes very important. Perfectionists struggle in these environments because by nature, when we start something, it's hard to walk away with even the slightest flaw remaining. On the other hand, marketers routinely leave projects behind when a greater return on one's resources can be found in other places, bowing to the law of diminishing returns. To be both a marketer and a perfectionist has caused a few schizophrenic debates for me over the years, but I've come to learn to focus on core competencies, and to strive for excellence, rather than perfection, in those areas.

I've chosen to write about this today because I've recently worked with two very well respected marketers that I observed struggling with the same issue. The first was a technology specialist who was known for making even the most complicated systems work. He was part of a team that over time found their marketing costs rising while their returns fell (not a good place for anyone). I was brought in to conduct a marketing audit. In my first week with them, I observed this marketer spending 25 hours working on a fix for a technology enhancement that this organization was hoping to roll out to their members. After inquiring, I learned that he had been working on this fix for over a month, and had put in well over 100 hours on it. When I asked him if this particular technology enhancement was worth so much effort, he replied that it was to him because he had never failed to deliver before. From an outsider's perspective, it was easy for me to see that he was chasing perfection to the detriment of the organization. After looking at the demographics of their members, and the usage statistics from the previous technology enhancements the organization had launched, it was easy to project that less than one half of one percent of their membership base would likely use this new feature. So why focus so many resources on it?

At almost the same time, I was advising an organization who had hired a strategic planning and market research firm to audit marketing and membership operations. The organization had selected one of the best firms in the business, but was experiencing cost overruns on projected labor expenses in the early stages of the project. The organization in question was large and complex, and one of the first things the firm did was request financial information in a variety of formats. Once delivered, a new junior member of the firm started analyzing the data sent, but in doing so, she couldn't get the financials to match perfectly between the various formats. She continued to work on the financials in an effort to get them to match to the penny, and in doing so, soared past the projected work hours set aside for the initial phase of the project. When I discovered the issue, I asked her how far off the financials were, and the gap was less than $1,000 on a $40 million operating budget. Even if she had found a way to reconcile the remaining funds, the conclusions from her analysis wouldn't have changed in the slightest. Her fear was that if this data was shown to the board of the directors, she would be held at fault because they didn't balance perfectly.

Perfectionists sometimes lose their way in an attempt to achieve something that might not be achievable, or if achievable, probably isn't worth the cost of the achievement. Perfectionists struggle with concentrating too much on one task, while others (I'll call them Jack of All Trades) struggle with just the opposite - not being able to decide where to focus their attention. During times of strife, marketers can find themselves getting friendly advice from a wide-range of well meaning others - board members, executive directors, senior staff members, artists and even spouses. People love to brainstorm, and send all their ideas to the marketing department. This isn't to say that ideas should be ignored. Great ideas can come from anyone, but the same can be said of poor ideas.

A couple of years ago, I spent some time with a new managing director of a mid-size regional theater. It was his first time leading a company, and he wanted to get it right. The company was known to have serious challenges, and when he started, everyone started sending him helpful hints on how to solve the issues. When I visited, he confided he didn't know where to start, and most important to him was pleasing the board that just recently hired him. So he vigorously pursued each idea that was sent to him from board members, and hadn't achieved much except exhausting himself. Over lunch one day, I asked him what the theater's most important challenge was; the one that if left unaddressed, would result in catastrophy. His answer was quick and clear - the theater's debt. I asked him what would happen if he focused all his energies on eliminating the theater's debt. He was afraid the general operations of the company would falter. He feared that the board would be upset because he wouldn't have time to focus on each issue they brought to his attention. And he was afraid of failure, so he tried to be a jack of all trades in an attempt to be everything to everyone. In the end, he decided to concentrate on dealing with the debt issue, and six months later, had identified a foundation that was willing not only to eliminate the theater's debt, but also wanted to establish a working capital fund for future operations.

Deciding what to focus on and more importantly what not to focus on takes courage of conviction. Perfectionists get lost in single projects, and Jacks of All Trades try to address everything at the same time. I've been both in my career, and over time, have become better at prioritizing. Below is a basic matrix that may help:

In priority, concentrate on solutions that provide the following:
High Impact on Critical Issues/High Revenue Line Items - these should be few in number but receive the most amount of your attention.
Low Impact on Critical Issues/High Revenue Line Items - even a small improvement on a critical issue can result in an excellent return on investment.
High Impact on Minor Issues/Low Revenue Line Items - only spend time on these projects if all critical issues and high revenue areas are performing well.

If you are in a nonprofit, and have the time to concentrate on solutions that will provide a low impact on a minor issue/low revenue line item, then perhaps you are overstaffed (or have reached the holy grail of the nonprofit sector).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Latest Trends in Online Education and Distance Learning Courses

Present age is the computer age and in this computer age internet has brought a revolution thereby gained huge popularity. It is now being used not only for personal purposes but also for commercial purposes and social networking. Further, it has also been introduced in education which has made education accessible through internet. Thus, Online Education offers a wide variety of courses in different fields through online mode in almost every country all over the world.

There are large numbers of students who cannot pursue their education due to varied reasnns which prevent them from attending regular schools or college. The reasons for not attending regular schools or college can be peer pressure for some, whereas some have financial problem. There are others who had to drop out of school or college due to some unwanted circumstances. But now with the help of Online Education they can complete their education and make their dreams come true. Online mode of education is like a boon to those people who are already working and cannot afford to quit their job for gaining a degree through regular education. However, now they can easily continue their studies along with their job through online mode of education.

There are large numbers of Distance Learning Courses offered in a wide variety of subjects through distance learning mode of education. You can obtain degrees, certificates or diplomas at various levels such as elementary high school, graduation, post graduation and even doctorate. You can also opt for management courses through distance mode of education because they are hdavily in demand.

Distance Learning Courses provide various flexibilities such as they allow you to study from anywhere and at anytime. Moreover you can study according to your learning abilities. This helps is reducing a lot of tension and will enable to focus on studies without any disturbance. They also provide complete class like environment with the use of virtual classroom teaching where you can discuss your problems with your instructors as well as other fellow students. Many institutions or universities offering distance learning courses also provide doubt clearing sessions as well for the students. However, before enrolling for any course through distance learning mode you must check whether the institution is accredited or not because there are many universities which make promises but do not fulfill them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tips To Develop Successful Study Habits

Study tips and test taking strategies would be of great help in excelling in your studies or academics and in passing your examinations as well. As quoted in the famous movie, Three Idiots, "Follow excellence and success will chase you". This is a way of saying, excel in your study habits and test taking strategies as it will make your dreams come true.

In doing so, you have to work on some tips to avoid procrastination. In the succeeding paragraphs, you will be able to check out the tips which could help you in developing a study method and study habits that would be helpful throughout your years of studying.

The first tip is the identification of the place where you will be studying. You should look for a place in your home that has good lighting conditions and enough space in order to cater to your needs. Make sure to maintain the place as organized as possible. Well, most of the students are using their bedroom as the study area. But make sure that you do not lie down while studying as you will only fall asleep.

The second tip is to concentrate in the lecture hall or when you are inside the classroom. Enhance your concentration by taking down notes. There are students who have an auditory learning style. They are the ones good in recalling what the teachers have told them. Jotting down notes is a great way of studying your lessons as it reinforces the points made. With this, you will always be ready for exams and recitations.

The third tip is finding good ways of memorizing and retaining the work covered. The most popular technique that is widely used is the SQ3R method which stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. Make sure that you follow these steps as these will take you to a more organized way of studying.

The fourth tip is sticking to a certain study method. Most experts say that high school students as well as college students are spending about 40 hours every week on their studies. Look at your weekly schedule and do not spend too much time on things that you do not really need to do. At just one look, you can see the number of hours you can allot for studying.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Higher Education Challenge Grants Program

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, more commonly known as NIFA, is a United States federal government agency operating under the Department of Agriculture that's primarily answerable for consolidating all federally-funded agricultural studies.

The founding of NIFA was mandated under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 in an attempt to initiate and enable technological innovations that have the potential to enhance American agriculture, thus make it more productive, environmentally tolerable, and economically viable.

In accordance with this mission, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has recently constituted the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program in an effort to boost and enhance the standard of formal, postsecondary-level agricultural sciences education.

The projects that will be funded under this programme are those that mean to work towards ensuring a competent, admissible, and varied system that will be favourable to the food and agricultural sciences industry.

In that context, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture also wants the suggested projects to achieve the following goals:

a) Significantly increase the quantity of students who are ready to pursue and finish a postsecondary degree in the food and agricultural sciences.

b) Stimulate and inspire studies in areas that will contribute to any of the NIFA Priority Areas.

c) Improve the quality of secondary and postsecondary instruction in an effort to help achieve the present and future needs of national food and agricultural sciences offices.

In addition, NIFA has stipulated that all of the projects that'll be funded under this programme should focus on improving the standard of educational instruction in the postsecondary education system, which may hopefully result in the recruitment of a larger number of qualified and diverse graduates.

In order to financially support these projects, NIFA is set to administer a total funding amount of $4,770,000 to multiple grant awardees.

The institutions and setups who will be judged eligible to submit an application under the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program are the following:

a) US public or private nonprofit colleges and universities that are providing a baccalaureate or first professional degree in one discipline or area of the food and agricultural sciences;

b) Land-grant schools and universities

c) Universities and schools who are having significant minority enrollments as well as sufficient capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences;

d) Any other college & university who manifest a credible capacity to do the teaching of food and agricultural sciences.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nurture Your Professionalism With Distance MBA

Over the last few years, due to the growth in the world economy the demand for the management professionals has grown by almost leaps and bounds. With the growth of the developing countries reaching a new high, there is an increasing demand for various types of professionals. In order to professionally manage a large number of people, there is a need of some good managerial staff. This can be easily done with the training of some existing professional employees. Since these employees will hardly have any time for attending regular classes and earn their choice of degree, but they can go for distance learning to fulfill their wish.

Hereby, I would like to share a personal story with the readers, which they may find quite interesting. It may sound enticing on their part to go for the Distance MBA course. A few days ago, I met one of my closest college friends, who have been struggling with a call center job. His dreams were in the doldrums and his family was also suffering for it. I suggested him to seek admission in a good Management course, which could prove to be helpful for him to chart out a new career. He heeded my suggestion and within a few days, he got himself admitted at a good management course. After office, he would rush towards home and study late hours at night. Within a few years he became a manager in a reputed company with a princely salary.

Management education is said to be one of the most preferred field for the working professionals. This qualification not only helps them to earn a professional degree but also helps them to chart out a progressive career for the future. The only option before them is to seek admission in any distance learning MBA course and complete the management education. Some of the most popular Management degrees are,

    * MBA in Marketing
    * Hotel & Hospitality Management
    * MBA in Finance
    * MBA in Travel and Tourism
    * MBA in HRD
    * MBA in Information Technology

Apart from the above a Distance MBA degree has some certain advantages, like the ability to study from the comforts of their home. With the proliferation of both the internet and the computers, technology is helping people to chart a glorious path. This can be only achieved with the help of the distance learning MBA course, since there is no need to attend classes and always remain hooked up to complete their study. Professional students can carry on with it as they wish to.