Posts published in July, 2016
By David Gutierrez
With the summer break in full swing, the question of how to best prepare for the next college year is getting more and more urgent with every passing day. If you want to be ahead of the game come September, you’d better start using your time more responsibly right now. Here are five tips on how to be in top shape when college starts.
1. Start Browsing Your Textbooks
Try to get the necessary textbooks as early as possible. Thus you won’t have to scurry around looking for a crucial textbook when the next term starts and, what’s more important, will be able to start reading up for at least some of your subjects. Reading textbooks in summer may sound hardcore, but it will give you a head start on your studies – you will be better prepared and have less to read during the college year.
2. Have a Proper Vacation
A lot can be said about the benefits of learning in your spare time, but too much of a good thing can sometimes be, well, too much. You may cram all summer and even learn something, but if you suffer from burnout the first week of September, it will hardly do your studies much good. Therefore, having a good rest is as important for your long-term success as reading up. If possible, make sure it is a proper vacation – go somewhere for a change of place, book vacation rentals on the Outer Banks with your friends, for example, and spend some time actively enjoying yourself.
3. Learn Touch-Typing
If you cannot touch-type yet, set aside some time to learn it. You are going to do a lot of typing in college and, most likely, later in life, and knowing how to type without looking at your hands can seriously improve your productivity. Summer is the best time to do it – the first weeks after transitioning to touch-typing you are going to type excruciatingly slow, so it is better done when you don’t have any urgent work.
4. Get a Job
College costs a lot of money, and every little bit helps. Nobody expects you to sweat blood, but a reasonable amount of paid work done in summer and fall will go a long way in paying your college debt and, in addition to that, teaching you some important lessons about discipline.
5. Do a Financial Check
Do you have a financial plan for the year ahead? Do you have sources of income? How much debt do you have? How much are you going to spend and on what? Are you going to rely on credit cards? Decide all these matters in advance so that you don’t suddenly find yourself completely broke.
Preparing to the next academic year is much more complicated than simply cramming and reading the assigned materials. You should create a proper mindset, put your finances in order, restore your physical and mental well-being. The next year isn’t going to be easier than the previous one – prepare for it well.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.
State Higher Education Performance Funding for Community Colleges: Diverse Effects and Policy Implications
by David A. Tandberg, Nicholas Hillman & Mohamed Barakat
Performance-based funding programs have become a popular state policy strategy for increasing college completions, among other things. This study asks, To what extent does the introduction of performance funding programs impact two-year degree completion among participating states? Using a difference-in-differences technique, we find that the program had no effect on average and mixed results for the individual states. We conclude that the policy is not a “silver bullet” for improving community college completions.
BY MELISSA BURNS
The absence of bad habits and physical activity have become an integral part of the personality of young, modern and purposeful person in many countries.
It’s not surprise that numerous kinds of sport have become increasingly popular pastime among young people. Athletic achievements influence on the demand, popularity and reputation of students inside and outside the university. In short, sport is useful, popular and cool! There are different kinds of sport in different countries. Let’s see how sport helps students in their studying all over the world.
How students improve their studying skills with the help of sport
- With the ball for life. Sport has always been honored in USA. Team ball games are the most popular. Today the top-3 of most popular sport games among students includes football, baseball, and basketball. Sometimes, such kinds of sport can be very traumatic. That’s why it’s better to address to injury lawyer.
As a result thanks to students from Yale, Columbia, Princeton and Rutgers Universities active games with the ball became known and loved by all Americans. Today, a lot of students from different colleges and universities in the USA represent the American sporting tradition with dignity. They’re joining in sport clubs and hold many competitions at the regional, national and international levels. Such activity develops strength and quickness in decisions. These skills help in studying and make it much easier.
- Sport conservatism. Like in the USA, in the UK there are stable sport traditions, which are pretty conservative. Football and cricket are popular kinds of sport among British students. That’s why they have moderation and can pursue their ambition; suck skills are very useful in studying.
- Sea, sun and sport. Sunny Australia is known as a location for a huge number of world sports championships. Sports activities are the favorite pastime for Australians, and especially for students of the local universities.
There is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, so many students are surfing, swimming, diving, playing water polo, etc. Such activity develops moral flexibility and ability to find a way out of difficult situations.
- Well-worn track. If you prefer winter sports, then you will like training in Sweden, the Czech Republic and Canada. Hockey, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, skating are popular among European students. That’s why in their studying they know how to deal with a lecturer if they have already missed several classes because of training.
- Asian persistence. Asian countries have markedly stepped forward in the development of sport over the last years. Ping pong and badminton are very popular among students in Asia nowadays. A lot of them are also involved in gymnastics and athletics at the amateur level.
How it helps in studying? Students have both physical and mental flexibility. It helps to do several tasks at the same time with equally good results.
Sport can be not only a way of health promoting, but also a significant factor to influence on other aspects of student life: career, moral and intellectual qualities.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented.
BY JANE HURST
Sometimes, you just don’t want to go out and get a summer job while you are on break from college. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t want to do something. There are all kinds of things you can do in the summer other than take boring jobs, and you can really get creative and do some things that are totally outside of the box. Check out these seven creative ways that you can make the most of the rest of your summer break.
- Get Involved in Your Community – There are so many rewards to volunteer work. You get the opportunity to get involved in your community and meet new people. You also get to help others, which makes them, and you, feel great. By getting involved, you will start to get into the habit of helping others, and this will extend into all parts of your life. The rewards you get out of this type of work more than outweigh the salary you don’t get.
- Conduct Experiments and Blog – Try conducting social or self-improvements. They are entertaining, and you can really learn a lot about yourself and the world around you this way. After you conduct these experiments, blog about them to let others know what you have discovered. Here is a cool experiment to try. Stand in the middle of a crowded area, and look up at the sky. Keep looking up. After a while, look around, and see how many other people are now looking to see what you were looking at.
- Take a Vacation – This is a great time to get out there and do some traveling. Not only is it loads of fun, it is a wonderful way to learn about other areas, cultures, etc. Try visiting other college campuses to see what life is like there. In fact, you can plan a theme vacation that is based around checking out other campuses. It is going to be fun and educational, and you are likely going to meet all kinds of great new friends.
- Improve Your Home -There are plenty of things you can do around your home or apartment while you are on summer break. You can take steps to make yours a smart home, which will allow you to save money and the environment at the same time. Just doing little things like updating electronics or cleaning air vents will help to make your home more efficient, and it will give you something to do all summer.
- Start Your Own Small Business – If you want to make extra money, but you don’t want the typical summer job, try starting your own business. There are all kinds of things you can do, from mowing lawns to selling lemonade to tutoring summer school students. More and more students are starting their own small businesses, and many are extremely successful with their ventures. This is also another great way to learn new skills that will be useful in the future.
- Sign Up for an Internship – There are many paid and unpaid internships you can get involved in for the summer that will help to prepare you for your future. Look for internships that really interest you, and that will give you a leg up on the courses you plan to take next year. You will gain a lot of experience that may not be available to you in any other way.
- Be a Camp Counselor – If you do want a job, but you want something different, you may want to consider becoming a camp counselor. You could be doing any number of things, from teaching kids how to swim to being in charge of arts and crafts programs, and a whole lot more.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter!
BY GLORIA KOPP
You’ve done it! After days of slaving away at your laptop, you’ve finally finished your paper. Instead of instantly submitting it, proofread it first. Try these tips to make sure you get top grades, every time.
Work on a print out version of your text
Even if you’ll be submitting your work electronically, print out a copy to proofread. Errors often jump out at you more on paper, and it’s a lot easier to mark it up, ready for you to correct any mistakes on screen.
Use writing tools
There are plenty of writing tools available online that can help you in your proofreading efforts, why not try some out?
Pro Writing Aid: Another readability tool, paste your work in and get suggestions on how to edit it to make it great. It’s clean interface can help those who get easily distracted and helps you focus on the task at hand.
Boom Essay service: An online writing company staffed by competent writers, that offers writing, editing and proofreading assistance for students. It’s a great service if you’re looking for an expert opinion of what you’ve written.
Readability Score: Paste your text in here to get a ‘readability score’, based on what education level a reader will need to be at to understand your work. It’s a great way to check whether you’re going over your intended reader’s head, or speaking down to them by accident!
X Essays: A constantly evolving writing service, the writers here keep on top of the latest topics and trends so their advice will stay relevant to you and your work. They offer many free features, great for cash strapped students.
Hemingway App: Paste in your work and the app will highlight any issues for you, including run on sentences, overused words and use of the passive voice. It’s highly visible nature will help you spot errors almost straight away.
Smart Edit: Located directly in Microsoft Word, this tools helps you edit within the program itself. This is great if you’re trying to stay offline to avoid distraction.
EssayRoo: An Australian writing company that provides editing and proofreading consulting for students. The service hires professional tutors and PhD writers and suggests assistance to both aussie and international college students.
Make several passes
Every time you read through your paper, look for different types of errors. On the first pass look for spelling and grammatical errors, on the second look for incorrect references, and so on. It’s a lot easier if you’re only focusing on one thing at a time.
Read out loud
The quickest way to find out if a phrase in your paper doesn’t make sense is to read it out loud. Sometimes errors don’t show up in a paper until you hear them read aloud.
Invite someone else to read your work
If a friend can read your work and pick up on the main themes, then you know you’re doing it right. Plus, you can then offer to read their papers too and help each other out.
Double check your references
On one of your passes, check that all the factual data you’ve included is correct. This may mean poring back over books and online journals to make sure you’ve put in the right date or name, but the time spent now is worth it to avoid losing marks over simple errors.
Take your time
Instead of a simple read through, take your time over your work. Read it through carefully, and make a point of examining every word for errors. It may feel tiresome, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Now, you have the tools and know how to make your paper the polished piece you know it can be. Set the time aside to proofread, and you’ll have top grades in no time.
Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of creative writer. At present time she works as a freelance writer and editor. Besides, she is working on online writing course project that is going to be launched this autumn.
BY RICK RIDDLE
This is not your father’s workplace, and it will not be his resume. And it won’t even be Generation X’s resume either. Things are changing that fast.
If you are in the process of crafting your first career resume, then you have no doubt been online, and you have looked at templates and formats; you have spent some time making lists of experience, achievements, honors/awards, and a number of other things that may or may not make it into the final documents. Note, the word “document” is plural, not singular. This should be your first important clue. As you look to this critical task, and the application journey itself, here are six tips and a few “no-no’s” that should help.
- Accept the Fact that a “Robot” Will Probably be the First to See Your Materials
Not really a robot, of course, but something quite close. Your resume, which of course you will be submitting online these days, will be scanned electronically. That scan is looking for very specific elements, especially keywords and phrases that were used in the position posting or the job description or for the hard and/or soft skills critical to the position. This is just one reason why you will be crafting different versions of your resume.
- Your Resume will Get 6 Human Seconds
If you make it through the screening to human eyes, those eyes will “size you up” within 6 seconds, and the person behind those eyes will make a decision whether to move on or to read your entire resume. In order to make it easier to “size you up,” be certain that you have made good use of bold headings and sub-headings and bullet points. Putting a good amount of white space in between each section also helps. The key is to make your resume “scannable and snackable.”
- Open With the Briefest of Summaries, Not a Career Objective
Opening with a career objective used to be recommended. Over time, however, that has become less and less important to employers. What they are really interested in is what value you can bring to their organizations. They want to see you as the solution to a need.
If you have never heard of an “elevator speech,” do some research on the term. Basically, it is the briefest description of who you are professionally and what you can accomplish – a statement that can be made in less than 30 seconds. Read some examples. These will give you an idea of what you want to say in your opening summary. And, the more progressive the organization to which you are applying, the more creative you can be with that summary.
Depending upon the position and the organization, you may need different versions of your “elevator speech.”
- Place Emphasis on the Future Not the Past
You have probably had work experience. Some of it may be related to your career; much of it may not have been. As you list your work experience, spend more time on the career-related stuff and be very brief with the unrelated. But be careful about how you define related” and “unrelated.”
Let’s suppose you were a bit of an entrepreneur during school. The business you had was totally unrelated to your career, but you dealt with customers, or you may have had others working with or for you. You developed some “soft skills” that are valuable and that will be of benefit to an organization. This activity is related, so give it a bit more time than the one sentence you will provide for that year you bussed tables.
- Contact Information
You don’t need to put it at the top. Lots of applicants prefer only to put their names and then their summaries. Contact information can go along the side, on a rail, or at the end. You need your email address (many open a new Gmail account with a professional sounding user name just for their job searches or use their school email), and your cell phone – that’s all you need.
Now, you may have a website; you may have an online portfolio; and hopefully you have a LinkedIn page (if not, get a profile together now). You can link to these within your resume or add them as a part of your contact information – the blue color will make them stand out.
- Put Yourself on a Tight Word Budget
If you can get our resume down to one-page, you will make a reader very happy. Obviously, if it’s a CV, you’re in a different ball game, but resumes should not have full sentences in them, except perhaps for the opening summary.
- Bullet point everything
- Use phrases and dump terms like “task responsibilities” – no one really cares about the tasks. They care about what you accomplished
- Use action verbs: “Lead a team of 4;” “increased revenue by 30% over two years.” If your work experience was as a TA, what % of your students achieved 80% mastery or better? Think in terms of what you accomplished, not what you did. And quantify everything as much as possible.
- Do not create sections such as “Strengths” or “Skills.” These should be included in your achievements. Employers are smart – they can pick these out for themselves. And it is during the interview that you can expound on them.
- Use “Call Out” Boxes for a Huge Achievement
If there is something in your experience or background that so totally relates to the position you seek, you need to highlight it as much as possible, so that it attracts the attention of the reader. Put it in a box. This has been shown to be really effective.
- Think Very Carefully about Design
Every organization has a “culture.” When you walk into a bank, for example, you see people at least in professional dress, even though it may be “business casual.” The higher up on the “food chain,” however, the more formal the dress becomes. Banks are conservative institutions. Contrast that with the “culture” of a company like “Google,” where everyone is in jeans, shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops. You get the difference.
The design of your resume will have to be a match for the culture of the organization to which you are applying, and, again, this may mean several versions of that resume. You want to stand out, but your design cannot be “counter” to the culture.
There are lots of templates out there that will give you examples of resume designs based upon whether an organization is conservative, moderately conservative, moderately progressive, or wholly progressive. Determine the culture of the organization and craft a design that fits.
And Now – the “No-No’s”
- Absolutely NO Typos or Grammatical Errors.
Have someone else review and edit your resume. You are too “close” to it, and spelling and grammar checkers will not catch everything. While this may seem a minor thing, to hiring managers it denotes sloppiness and lack of attention to detail.
- Don’t Exaggerate or Lie
Big mistake. Calling references and checking online presences can catch these. Don’t give yourself a title because it sounds better than the one you had; don’t exaggerate your accomplishments. Employment managers have sneaky ways of getting to the truth – it’s a risk you don’t want to take.
- Don’t Try a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
From the information above, you know that you will probably need several different versions of your resume, depending on the position. You will need to change keywords, possibly your summary and also emphasize different parts of your experience and background. The same goes for your cover letters.
- Don’t focus on Tasks – Focus on What You Accomplished
Employers want to see your achievements. Just listing your task responsibilities does not tell anyone whether you met those responsibilities successfully.
- Don’t Focus on What You Want – Focus on What You Can Offer
Yes, a resume is all about you, but as you create it, keep in mind always what you can bring to the table that an employer will find valuable. If you maintain this mindset, and put yourself in a potential employer’s shoes as they read it, your emphasis will be correct.
People believe that formula for the perfect resume exists, but if you take into account the unique characteristics of each position and the unique culture of each organization, you will design and write much better resumes.
About the author: Rick Riddle is an up-and-coming blogger whose articles can help you with self-development, career, entrepreneurship
What Everybody Thinks About Student Debt is Wrong
By Robert Parmer
Summer break is in full swing. July heat is being soaked up all over the world. For students, it’s a time to decompress after a long school year, and finally relax.
But that doesn’t mean that our well-being shouldn’t remain at the forefront of our minds, even during summer vacations, or better yet staycations. And what about retention of the knowledge learned over the semesters and keeping our minds actively pushing the endeavors we study?
These tips are all encompassing whether you are a current or future college student, you’ll find them useful. They’ll help you stay on track for the remainder of your summer, both mentally and physically.
Focus on Relaxation and Education Instead of Overworking
It’s a dog eat dog world out there and life can feel like one exponential expense. However delegating as much time and energy into school as possible is ultimately the best decision a student can make. Working a job on top of attending school might seem ideal but it’s a delicate balancing act.
And while free time is amplified during the summer, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should all be spent working. You’ve got the rest of your life for that! If it’s at all possible, consider attending summer programs that are relevant to your field of study.
If you must work when school is back in session, try to get an on campus job. It is often times possible to multitask working and homework in those types of jobs. Or consider finding a tutoring job or consider working at your campus rec center.
Keep Yourself Fed
Most people burn more calories and do more physical activity in the summer time–it’s the nature of the warm season. We literally sweat the energy out of our bodies, so when it comes time to refuel why not eat in a more affordable way?
You should learn how to cook if you don’t know how to. Cooking is an evergreen skill that will get you far in life. Financially, it makes sense to cook meals for yourself. It’s also much healthier than eating out all the time and gives you more control and insight into the meals you consume. Both your wallet and your body will thank you for cooking healthy meals on the regular if you don’t already do so.
Recently, I wrote a College Puzzle article titled How to Break the “College Kids Can’t Cook” Mold. It offers several suggestions for college students learning to cook, and presents a handful of useful cooking resources. If you are trying to weed out sporadic spending habits like eating at restaurants all the time, be sure to check out all of the tips in my previous article.
Seek Counseling If Feeling Overwhelmed or Unsure
Whether it’s school related or something else entirely, mental health should always remain a priority for college students. Don’t allow your levels of self-care deteriorate just because there is oftentimes less structure during the summer months. Self-care is always important and counseling can help relieve mental strain and stress.
If you are feeling unsure about any part of your education, advisors are a great starting point, or an experienced peer or family member. They are typically willing to help offer direction which can help shape your future.
Always remember, there’s no shame in professional counseling of any form. While cultural stigmas exist, they are not entitled to any credibility. A resource by Bradley University Online gives this important bit of advice:
“Counseling is a useful tool that can help people develop coping skills and process emotions and feelings. But for some, the negative stigma that surrounds therapy sessions is a major deterrent to seeking help
Whether you are seeking professional help to address a mental illness, or simply to sort through an overwhelming number of emotions and thoughts, you should start by recognizing that you are not “crazy” or whatever other pejorative you may be tempted to use to describe yourself.”
Create Some Form of Workout Regime
Getting into a work out rhythm doesn’t mean you have to run out and get a gym membership.
Instead experiment with free alternatives.
Try in home workouts, using your own bodyweight in resistance training, or bicycle riding, just to name a few. If you don’t want to commit a lot of time, try quicker, more intense exercises that only take 20 minutes or less out of your day.
Above all, make attempts to be active everyday. Whether that’s a lengthy workout or a casual hike or jog in the morning just be sure to get out there and be active!
Avoid Excessive Binge Drinking
This is probably easier said than done for a lot of college students. While cutting loose and having a good time is important there is always a threshold to keep in mind. Experiment and party every once in awhile if you desire to but keep yourself in check. If drinking becomes a problem, it’s important to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Certainly have a great time this summer, but if your level of drinking becomes problematic to your health or the health of anyone around you, it’s time to get help.
Stay healthy this summer, and most importantly recuperate and relax for the upcoming semester.
BY VICTORIA KLOCHKOVA
Student years are the happiest period of life. This time is meant to be your golden age because you may meet the first real love and find tried-and-true friends. Most students aspire to enjoy adult self-dependent life, but in a reality growing up is followed by numerous problems.
We know the 5 most common problems of student life and its solutions. Here is the list.
5 student problems no matter where you live
- There is no TV in a dormitory. You are a football fan and don’t want to miss a game of your favorite team or you want to spend an evening with friends watching the latest movies. In such situations the presence of TV in a dorm room is necessary. But if there is no TV, what to do? Take it easy and download any relevant app in playstore by simply searching for “online TV”. You’ll get access to free movies around the clock.
- Lack of sleep.And the reason for this is not always the study. Students spend all night at the computer, in social networks, in the noisy company with groupmates and in the morning they are totally exhausted for lectures. Each student swears that today he’ll go to bed early after a hard day and have a good sleep. But if you live in a student dormitory, it is absolutely impossible. It’s ever repeated! But you can sleep off at home on weekends or make a wake-up workout. It will pick you up.
- Where to find food?Even if you know how to cook, it’s hard to find the energy to cook after a difficult day in university. Lots of students prefer fast food in such cases, but you will not last long on such diet. What to do? You can invite your dormitory neighbor to visit you and hope that he will take some food. The most effective way is to organize a cooking party. Invite your friends, tell them what to buy and make a competition in cooking. The secret is all meals will be yours when they go home! Then you will need only to heat meal after the day in university. Also, you can make arrangements on duty in the kitchen with roommates.
- Cool and cheap entertainment.Student life means complete freedom and everybody manages it as wish because at the first sight student leisure is full of entertainment. There are clubs, bars, cinemas, billiards, etc. The choice depends on the financial possibilities and personal interests of each student. But take it clear: you may need to find a job to have fun with your friends.
- White crow.Doesn’t everybody like your hobby in student dormitory? Don’t pay attention, continue to do what you like. Very soon you will see how quickly the attitude of fellow students will change in a better way. Be yourself!
Everyone has own way of life, but those people who are lucky to be a student, have to face with a number of challenges. No matter what difficulties will appear on our way, each of us will remember a time when were students!
About the author:
Victoria is a passionate entrepreneur and marketer. She runs a digital agency and writes for several blogs on the web. She loves sharing knowledge about innovation and technology!
From Insider higher ED
The commissioners of the five wealthiest National Collegiate Athletic Association conferences announced Thursday that they had agreed on a new proposal that would lessen time demands on college athletes. The so-called Power Five conferences — the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12 and the Southeastern Conference — were set to vote on similar rule changes at the NCAA’s annual meeting in January, but the proposals were tabled, frustrating many of the athletes in attendance.
The new proposal is more expansive than what was discussed earlier this year. Once adopted, travel days will no longer be counted as days off; coaches must provide 14 additional days off, either during or outside the season; coaches must allow for an 8-hour block of free time at any time between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; and there must be at least seven days of recovery time during the postseason.
The results of a national survey of 30,000 Division I athletes, released by the NCAA in January, found that many athletes want to spend less time on athletics. More than 40 percent of football and basketball players said they wanted an additional day off per week beyond the one they have now, and most athletes indicated they would appreciate two weeks off at the end of a season.
According to data also released by the NCAA in January, as part of its ongoing GOALS study, football players in the Football Bowl Subdivision — the association’s most competitive level — report spending 42 hours per week on their sport. Two-thirds of Division I athletes reported spending as much or more time on athletics during the off-season as during the season. Nearly one in three FBS football players said their sport prevented them from enrolling in a course they wanted to take.
Soccer players, swimmers and divers reported spending the least amount of time on their sports, though at 29 hours, even they still surpassed the amount of required athletic activity allowed by the NCAA. Subsequent NCAA surveys have shown even more support among both athletes and coaches for lessening time demands.
“We believe we have found the right balance between helping students participate in sports while also providing them with more downtime,” the commissioners of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC said in a joint statement. “Different sports have different demands and we think the concepts we’ve agreed to will help tens of thousands of students achieve more balance as they pursue their academic and athletic commitments.”
Last month, the Ivy League’s athletic directors adopted similar rules aimed at lessening time demand