How to Find an Eco-Friendly Campus

This is the time of year where universities are bombarded with high school juniors and seniors looking into the universities they want to apply to or have already been accepted to. Parents and students alike come prepared with tons of questions to ask  campus  representatives. One question that previous representatives haven’t had to prepare was the sustainability question: Is your  campus  a green  campus ?

The leaders of tomorrow have realized they’re inheriting a world that needs a major facelift in the environmental department. In fact, according to a 2006 MTV/CBS poll, most Americans aged 13-24 think environmental degradation will be the biggest challenge their generation will face. A huge chunk of that population is now looking into a collegiate career. Being an eco friendly  campus  has developed from a mere afterthought to a very important aspect in recruiting students.

The green  campuses  that are taking hold of this trend have recognized there is a difference between having recycling bins outside classrooms and a full-fledged sustainability  campus  initiative.

What are some tips that colleges have learned from readings and studies? When looking for an eco friendly  campus , take these into consideration…

* Both the visible and non-visible evidence that a  campus  is a green  campus  is essential, but not necessarily equal. Studies have shown potential students look for visual proof of an eco friendly  campus . However, it is just as important to highlight the invisible green efforts produced by the school like carbon footprint reduction measures.

* Digging below the surface of what is seen at a  campus  visitation is important – colleges have educated their staff to know all the environmental issues their school has prevented or been a part of, so make sure to ask them!

Here are some questions to ask representatives about how green their  campus  is. The following questions were put together by the research of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a group who recently published the book “Accelerating  Campus  Climate Initiatives”.

* Has the college signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment?

* Are they completing or have they completed a carbon inventory?

* Have they developed an actionable sustainability plan?

* Does the school have any achievements or recognizable qualities for environmental commitment?

Remember, if the  campus  reps for the green  campus  initiatives don’t know the answers to those questions, ask someone else! Making sure your university is a green university will not only help your generation take what they were given and turn it into something better, but make a mark for future generations to enjoy Mother Earth.

Improve Your Education with Online Learning

Imagine you are could turn back time ten years. Would anyone have thought that you could earn an accredited degree from your computer? The only way to get a diploma or degree was to physically attend the institution that is offering it. Now with the power of the internet you can learn online from the comfort of your own home.

Imagine the flexibility of earning your degree online. If you are working a full time job or have other commitments this can be a great path for you to take. Online learning is expanding rapidly because of many people in this exact situation. You can log on anywhere you have an internet connection, weather it is at work, on lunch, on vacation, traveling for business and the list goes on.

A great advantage to online learning is that you can take the classes at your own pace. If you are a hard worker you can finish a typical class in 4 to 8 weeks. Then you can get started on another one. You also have the option in many cases to take multiple classes at the same time. This can be a great way to fast track your learning process, although it’s a little more work. Procrastinators beware, these classes usually have deadlines so don’t keep saying “Ill finish the assignment tomorrow” or similar because before you know it you have 7 days left before the deadline and your so far behind its not possible to catch up.

One thing to check out before registering or while choosing a school is to make sure that the school is accredited. You can find this out by visiting the schools websites and checking what courses are registered. It’s a good idea to make sure they are because employers will judge the institution that granted the degree. More respected colleges will look better on your resume.

Online learning is also a great way to improve your previous studies. If you went to college and got a diploma its possible to find more classes to take online that will allow you to upgrade to your M.B.A or similar distinctions.

Online programs are great for teachers also. They allow teachers to track correspondence with students that would not be possible with live teaching. Usually there are message boards or similar that the teacher and student can communicate through allowing for automatic documentation of conversations. The teacher is also able to post assignments and announcements online so if the student was unable to attend they can simply check the posts and get caught up on anything they missed.

As you are probably already aware online learning can be a great way to get a new diploma or upgrade from your previous education. For someone considering this option the internet is a great place to find relevant and up to date information regarding learning online.

The Pros and Cons of Online Education

You’re thinking about furthering your career or finally getting your college degree. But with so many educational choices online, how do you know whether it’s right for you? Here are some pointers you should consider, before making your decision.

There are many perks associated with online study. Unlike traditional learning, distance learning can offer you greater flexibility, as you don’t have to waste time- and money- commuting to the   campus  and you can choose a program that truly suits your interests or professional needs, because you are not confined to the classes that are offered locally.

Another advantage to distance learning is the fact that you can continue to work, because you don’t have to worry about fitting your classes around your job schedule. This is a distinct advantage over traditional methods of learning, because this option allows you to continue earning while you study. Online programs often cost less than their traditional counterparts, so you can save money on tuition, if you pursue your degree through an online university.

Online study is also a great option for those students with physical handicaps, which may prevent them from travelling to a traditional  campus . Likewise, if you are shy, or perhaps even language-challenged, participating in an online course may be the perfect alternative to a live class.

There are some drawbacks to online education, however. For example, traditional instructors may not successfully make the transition from the classroom to the online platform and it can sometimes be difficult for them to transfer course content or offer additional support to the students.

While the technological aspects of online learning can make the courses more interesting and interactive, some students may not have the computer hardware to support the specific programs required for the class. Many courses require DSL or a high-speed internet connection in order for the student to interact effectively with the instructor or other students. Similarly, online learning can rob the student of the conventional aspects of classroom interaction, such as being able to talk to the instructor or the other students, face-to-face.

In spite of the drawbacks, however, many new and returning students are opting to study via distance learning and are finding it to be a very rewarding experience.

Distance Education Programs Vs Campus Structured Schools

The term distance education is intimidating to some students. For some time, distance learning or online learning was considered a scam. A degree from an online program was not received with as much respect as that of from a  campus  structured school. As technology has advanced, society has become much more accepting of distance education programs. In addition, distance education programs have evolved and offer high quality courses.

Location

One of the biggest difference in distance education and a traditional college is the location. Distance learning affords students the option take virtual classes. This can save students a lot of money and also presents several options when selecting a school. The flexibility of the location with distance education programs is definitely to the advantage of adult learners maintains families and full time jobs.

Scheduling

Another notable difference is the scheduling of classes. Many colleges and universities offer college courses during normal business hours. This presents a challenge to the adult student that maintains a full time job. Generally, adult students work during business hours and would need access to evening or weekend classes. Many universities and colleges offer few evening or weekend classes. Online learning offers a great amount of flexibility. Distance program students have access to courses 24/7. This is a major hurdle for many adult learners hoping to return to the classroom.

Cost

Enrolling in a distance  education  program is not as expensive as enrolling in a  campus  structured school. With the classes not being held in a physical location, the school’s administrative costs are reduced. The reduction of administration costs results in reduced tuition for students. Also, many online courses do not require students to purchase books. Many of the materials for online courses are provided electronically. There are also several miscellaneous fees (Lab see, parking fees, etc.) associated with  campus  structured schools that are eliminated with distance learning that are eliminated.

Access to the Instructor

Distance education programs encourage interaction between the student and the instructor. While students all share the attention of the instructor in a classroom setting, online learning requires each student to interact with the instructor privately.

Coursework

While there are many differences between online learning and  campus  structured schools, one thing that is consistent is the coursework. While distance learning is relaxed in several areas, the course structure mirrors that of a  campus  structured school. Students are required to work at his/her own pace; however, they are held to the same standard as traditional students. In the early stages the courses offered through distant learning were not of the same quality that is no longer true.

There are several differences in the overall structure of a distance education program. Even with all of the differences, the results are the same. Students are allowed to study and learn in the comfort of their homes, at their own pass but receive a comparable degree. The convenience of distance learning affords all students, adult and high school graduates, the same opportunities.

Online Education – Why Get One?

Everything is moving online. Shop, order food, watch television shows, stream music, and get an education while you are online. You may have heard about online courses but never taken the time to see what they are about. Many people are realizing how easy it is to get higher education online, such as bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and many are signing up.

What are the advantages of going online with education? Well, for one, it’s much cheaper than being on   campus  because it reduces fees you pay while on a university  campus . Also, most universities offer online classes at a lower rate and will become cheaper as they become more popular and spots fill. Also, the other great advantage of online classes is being able to do course work from wherever you are. If you have a laptop, then you can access your education from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. It’s revolutionizing the speed at which people become educated.

Convenience also translates to time and money. When  education  is convenient, it saves you time and hassle from finding a parking spot and attending class on a  campus  some where. Keep your valuable time by longing in to your class online and completing all necessary course work. When you save time, you save money. Not having to commute to school is a top reason to get an online education. Save money you would spend on transportation and use it to pay for the classes you take online. In every aspect, online classes save you time and money.

Most professionals who pursue master’s degrees are in the work force and don’t have time to stop working, go back to school and work for a degree. They need to continue in their field but also acquire a higher education. The only way to make this possible and convenient is to take classes online. When you leave work for the day, you can relax and regain energy and knock out assignments for class, all from the comfort of your home. In no time you will have a master’s for your field and hopefully receive a higher position and salary.

Are you starting to see the benefits of getting an online education? The numbers add up and they are all positive for you. Time, money and effort are all conserved and save for you to use in other areas of your life. Enjoy work and education at the same time.

Online Education Tips and Tricks

On a positive note, you aren’t the first student confronting this kind of decision, which means that with proper investigating you will find tons of tips and individuals who can help you. Have a discussion with your friends and family, do research online and at a library and most importantly, try to look at the actual location of the schools you might be thinking about. This isn’t as vital with an online school, but if you want a geographic location, then you will want to visit.

With online degree programs, you will want to look into the accreditation of the university. A physical college usually has achieved some kind of recognition, and you can easily determine if your degree will be respected. However, online degree programs can mask their bad standing behind an Internet wall, so to speak, so accreditation is vital.

Accreditation is extremely important with online degree programs because prospective employers will look at it to know that your schooling is recognized by the United States Department of Education. Regardless of whether you are looking at physical offline schools or web-based schools, be sure that it fits in line with your long term education ambitions. Should you ever choose to transfer, then you’ll want to ensure that your credits will transfer.

With online degree programs, you can start when you choose. Alternatively, a   campus  college has established course times and enrollment periods. This requires that you set a period of time aside to go to the  campus  and take the course. On the other hand, in an internet course, it is possible to take the class when you have a free spot of time.

Convenience may be a large factor anytime people are choosing between bricks-and-mortar institutions and internet based colleges. It’s important to think about the time it would take to go to and from the actual  campus , whether you have enough time to spend on a scheduled course schedule. Online degree programs still require you complete things on a schedule, so do not believe you can slack off and then finish whenever you choose.

No matter whether you are looking at physical  campus  schools or online degree programs, you can find what suits you the best if you take enough time to do your research. If you base your final decision exclusively on cost, you’ll end up let down with the caliber of schooling.

The choice for where you wish to go to college is definitely a time intensive one, but one with wonderful rewards and advantages. If you’re deciding between going to a web-based institution versus a physical  campus , examine your finances, your available time as well as what kind of program will benefit you the most.

Distance Learning – Post Graduate Online Education Degrees

According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, as of 2004 there was a 3.4 percent increase in doctorate degrees awarded in the United States. In June, 2004, a total of 41,155 research doctorate degrees were earned by postgraduate students. The recent increase in doctorate degrees awarded after a decade of decline can be partially attributed to the convenience of distance learning postgraduate online education degrees.

Postgraduate degree programs offer students an opportunity to explore a subject to attain the highest levels of proficiency in that area of study. Courses can be based upon a curriculum or independent study and research. A recent study released by both Penn State University Outreach Marketing and Communications and University Continuing   Education  Association revealed that distance learning is anticipated to grow ten times quicker than on-campus  education  over the next ten years. Further, about 45 percent of college enrollment are adult students who frequently prefer distance learning opportunities to classes on  campus . Sun Chairman Scott McNealy states, “Technology has to play a huge role in education. (It’s) changed commerce…publishing…banking. It’s got to change education big time.”

Distance learning postgraduate online education degrees afford busy students the opportunity to earn doctorate degrees at their convenience, without having travel to and attend traditional classes. By the time students intend to pursue distance learning postgraduate online education degrees, they are usually computer literate, self-motivated and able to manage their time properly. These are all essential elements to success in virtual classrooms. The two basic types of postgraduate degrees students may earn are professional doctorates or research doctorates.

Professional doctorates. The United States requires terminal professional doctorate degrees to perform in certain fields, such as dentistry, medicine, law, chiropractics, occupational therapy and psychology. Prior to entering these professional doctorate programs, students are required to complete a bachelors degree, preferably in a related field. Professional doctorate degrees, such as J.D. and M.D., usually do not require students to complete a thesis, although some do require an original research paper to be submitted. Doctorate degrees usually take three years to complete after postsecondary education, although distance learning postgraduate online education degrees may be earned more quickly. Because online education courses are often geared for the busy adult learner, students can progress at their own pace.

Research doctorates. The research doctorate that is most commonly earned is a Ph.D. The time is takes to complete research doctorate degree programs can vary quite a bit, depending on course pursued. It is common for students to take two to three years to complete coursework and three or more years to conduct pertinent research. The benefit of a Ph.D. is that a holder is qualified to pursue an academic career as an expert in their field. Distance learning research doctorate degrees are conveniently pursued online and can be easily worked around professional schedules.

Honorary doctorates. These degrees may be awarded for substantial contributions to a field and are not necessarily academic.

Financial Aid. Federal financial aid and loan programs may be applied to distance learning postgraduate online education degrees. Employers may offer tuition reimbursement for coursework. Private loans may also be secured to pay for higher education. Students have several options available that can help them finance their doctorates.

Thesis. Some postgraduate doctorate degrees require students to write a thesis. The learner defines their own area of research and takes years to write a detailed paper, which may be made available as pertinent information to other students in the field.

Coursework. Distance learning postgraduate online education degree programs offer students ongoing guidance through coursework, email, virtual lectures and online discussions. Students are, however, expected to work independently and use a variety of research resources to complete their course requirements.

Online Students. A recent national study entitled Degrees of Opportunity revealed some interesting facts about online students. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed felt that the benefits derived from higher education are equal to or even greater than the money, time and effort involved. Lyungai Mbilinyi, Ph.D and author of this report, stated, “Eighty-one percent associated higher education with a sense of personal accomplishment and seventy-eight percent believed education would better develop their talents or pursue their interests. Despite the assortment of obstacles many adults face when considering a return to school, the overwhelming majority believe the resulting benefits have made it worthwhile.” Finally, eighty-four percent of enrollments in higher education programs are non-traditional students such as distance learners and adults with jobs. Students who participate in distance learning postgraduate online degree programs are not only seeking better positions, but the increased knowledge and self-esteem that comes with an advanced education.

The study “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005” found that full distance learning postgraduate online education degree programs were offered by 38 percent of schools. The popularity of postgraduate online degree programs makes it clear they are a viable way to earn higher education and improve career options.

Online Education

Online education is an education system which is designed to provide the education to those students who cannot join the institutions. It is also known as distance learning and E-learning as well.

Origin

The University of London was the first institution which started this system of education in 1858. More institutions conducted online education system around the globe after the success of this system in Great Britain. In most countries, Open University is the widely used term for such institutions, which are using such sort of the education system.

Working Mechanism

Online education system uses different mediums to deliver the courses and basic syllabus of specific course to the students. Students can get all of their assignment, notes, and projects for research and lectures regarding their courses. There is no need of class room for such sort of activity.

These sources include the internet, CD’s, TV and radio channels and mail. Students can communicate with their teachers or instructors via using the internet. Special chat rooms are made for students, where they can join their other mates and instructors to obtain the help about their study. Many universities have their own TV channels by which they broadcast the lectures and programs, containing the study material. TV channels have proven significant to promote this system of education. Although, many new sources of media have been discovered yet radio is a still popular way to deliver the lectures to students, because everyone has access to the radio in any country. It’s broadcast can be heard at long distances. In many counties, Mail is used to distribute to online education courses as well.

Other new and modern mediums for the online education system are mp3 players, PDA’s and Smart Phones. After completion of the courses, exams are conducted at examination centers, or they may also be given online as well.

Benefits and Advantages

• The biggest advantage of online education is that it provides comfort to students who can’t be able to join the universities and institutions for study because of their personal reason and jobs.

• It provides the boons of education to those students who live far away from any proper institute.

• It fuels the economy by producing a skillful youth and graduates that are willing to serve the nation.

• It is cheap. So, many poor students can get the education by this system.

• It helps to produce the literate nation.

This system is emerging as a new mean to provide the student the facility of education and skills. The progress of technology is strengthening this education system. Without the shadow of doubt, we can say distance learning will be the future of education. Every new mean of communication is making it strong. According to surveys, online education will be the popular mean to get education in the entire world in the future.

College Campus Visit Must Do’s

A college visit is the single best way for you to evaluate a potential college and determine if it could be a good fit for you. Where do you begin? What should you do? Are there any must-see places?

Begin by scheduling your visit through the admissions office. Most colleges will allow you to schedule online. Often you will be given the opportunity to attend an information session, possibly presentations by particular departments or schools, and a  campus  tour.

Don’t try to skip the official visit and substitute a do-it-yourself tour instead. Some colleges track “demonstrated interest” and may consider the fact that you’ve visited  campus  when making admissions decisions. Additionally, the information presented in the session will help you decide whether admission and scholarships are likely, possible, or a reach at this school.

What you are able to see on the day of the tour will depend on your schedule. Here are some of the things I do every time I visit a  campus :

  • Ask questions. Ask your tour guides and take time to talk to people you meet – students, professors, and staff. What do they like about the school? What would they change? Every school has flaws- knowing them ahead of time helps.
  • Take time to see parts of  campus  not shown on the tour. Does it fit in with what you were shown? How long will it take you to travel from one end of  campus  to the other? Where are the freshman dorms located?
  • Pick up a copy of the student newspaper. Find out what issues have students talking. Typical student papers feature complaints. Do you see standard complaints about tuition rates and  campus  politics or are there bigger problems?
  • Eat in the student cafeteria. Ask the admissions office to let you eat in the regular cafeteria, not the fancy food court they show you on the tour. Try to experience  campus  as you would as a freshman.
  • Visit the surrounding area. You may find a beautiful  campus  situated in a bad neighborhood. Are there places to eat? Could you walk there safely at night? Is crime a problem?

If you are serious about a particular college or university, you may want to make a more comprehensive visit. These take a little more planning, but are worth it as you try to decide which school is right for you. On a more in-depth visit you may:

  • Meet with a professor in your department. The admissions office can help schedule this. Find out what undergraduates in the program experience. If possible, talk to current students and ask what they like and dislike about the department. Do their classes and requirements meet your goals?
  • Stay overnight. Some schools offer weekends for admitted students in the spring and sometimes the admissions office can help you coordinate a visit on your own. You can stay in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, visit classes, and get a better feel in 24-36 hours than you would with a traditional visit.
  • Interview or schedule time to speak to an admissions officer. Some colleges include interviews as part of the admissions process. If you interview on  campus , you often meet with someone involved in making final decisions. Even if you don’t have an official interview, take time to meet with an admissions officer. Get your questions answered and show them you are serious about the school for the right reasons.
  • Visit the financial aid office. Usually this is a top concern for mom and dad. Find out more about aid packages at this school. Will your outside scholarships be applied to “your” contribution first or will they reduce the amount of aid the school offers?
  • Explore sports teams or activities where you will spend considerable time. If you are accepting an athletic scholarship, make sure you like your future teammates and the overall feel of the program. If you intend to spend a considerable amount of time with any activity, you need to do the same. Check out the program, talk to involved students, ask a lot of questions, and view it with a critical eye. Is this the place for you?

 Campus  visits are your chance to test drive colleges. Take time, ask questions, and try to get an overall feel for each school.

So, You Say "NO" to Online Education!

The world has reached to the advanced phase of computerization and is yet pacing onto the success-ladder that everything has almost taken a new form. For an instance say the invention of the automated teller machine, if we admit it has eased and simplified the task but can’t deny that on the other hand it has unwaged some sound employees. I remember the first automated teller machine designed, the ad appeared a person punching buttons and the message read: “Get the Personal Touch at Merchant’s Bank.” The ad used a delicate message to transform a meeting with cold metal into an intimate relationship.

While self-service of this sort hasn’t yet come to higher education, inroads have clearly been made.

The first academy of higher education was established by Plato some 2,300 years ago in Athens. Students spent most of the day with the smartest people in the world. They learned by being immersed in a rich intellectual atmosphere.

When we look at today’s classes we find that our efforts to learn a particular course say sociology in 40 hours over 10 weeks would be regarded by the ancient Greeks as an effort in futility. Assuming they interacted for 12 hours a day, in 10 weeks those first academicians would have spent 840 hours learning.

In today’s educational environment students are with teachers less than 5 percent of that time. We for some obvious reasons can say that something has been lost.

Now, classes are typical of those at large commuter   campuses , with students working many hours, often exhausted, fitting their studies into already-tight schedules. By contrast, small colleges are still able to provide much more of the intensive, enriched atmosphere of the first academy. But the cost of four years of college is quickly getting out of reach for many students who then resort to the commuter  campus .

The end result is student contact hours have been reduced by 95 percent over 2,300 years. And it looks like the reduction will continue further still. The move from college  campus  to commuter  campus  was painful enough, with lots of real learning lost in the transition. On the horizon is a move from commuter  campus  to media  campus  and from there to virtual  campus .

Videoconferencing replaces classroom teaching, but the media  campus  still involves contact with people. Final liberation from humanity comes when courses on the Web dispense sheer information, untrammeled by the vagaries of class discussion, note-taking, and subjective grading.

We are on the edge of something very dangerous. In the name of improving efficiency and being technologically up-to-date, we are assuming that higher education can be dispensed in the same format as can business meetings, newspaper articles, and pictures of Mars but, we are in peril of losing yet more of the precious contact that characterizes effective education.

Today, teachers take help of audio tape to deliver lecture but some students are yet to show the required interest. What elements are missing with such audio-tape based lectures? It is purely the same lecture delivered sometime ago by an exquisite lecturer at the  campus . There it was, just as he delivered it. But it didn’t teach the way it did in person. Gone were the facial expressions, the eye contact, and the sweeping gestures. Dramatic pauses became dead air. What had been a lively, stimulating presentation had become a thought-provoking but rather dry monologue. Videotapes can capture more, of course, but not the enthusiasm and nuance of personal contact.

Technology always seems to put us once removed from the best learning atmosphere. The oldest universities have known this for centuries, and to this day, the intensive tutorial system made famous is known worldwide for the kind of minds it crafts.

Real learning takes a personal touch. Let’s at least keep the little bit we have left, lest we end up only virtually educated.