Tips Online Students Need to Succeed

Pursuing a distance education, though convenient, will come with a few challenges. Before commencing any course, students should always ensure that they dive in with a disciplined mindset, otherwise it will be a waste of time and energy.

According to a study posted by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 54% of students who enrolled in college in the year 1997, graduated six years later. That's a staggering figure of non-graduates. New students will want to avoid being a part of this statistic. So, to avoid being on cruise control throughout a two-four year quest for higher education, we've listed a few tips below to help students succeed with online college degrees:

  • Practice Good Time Management - If there were thirty hours in one day, it still wouldn't be enough without a plan. To get the most productive 24 hour day, check off the time you currently work, then schedule designated times to focus solely on studies. Students that are working may prefer free times during the weekend to unload chunks of study, or others may prefer spacing it out over the week to finish course materials and assignments. One of the greatest benefits of an online college education is flexibility, so what really matters is a routine that students can fall into for completing weekly goals.

  • Do Not Procrastinate - Many of us, even non-students, fall for the ever-present trap of delay. It's up to online students to make study time a priority. Time scheduled should not be prolonged by a favorite show or game. Just get on with your studies, one page or one sentence at a time - pacing yourself as you go along.

  • Get Into Balance - Humans strive with balance. While work and school together will take up most of your time, you should also squeeze in time for relaxation too. A little me-time, even if it's a mere half an hour per day can let students recharge, which in turn increases focus.

  • Designate a Place to Study - Eliminate distractions like the television, radio and video games. When it's to study, try to do so in a designated space in your home, like at a work desk - just as how you would in a college campus. Creating a study environment will help increase the amount of work you accomplish.

  • Communication is Key - Even though you may not see your Professor face-to-face, it's important to get in touch with them if you aren't clear about an assignment. Many online colleges will have instant messaging or video conferencing systems implemented so that you are able to speak with other students and staff members. If not, a simple email message will suffice to clear up any issues.

These tips can also be applied to all areas of your life. Discipline, time management and organization are key skills that every adult should learn for their personal, professional and financial lives.

Online Education Graduate Degree

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that a person who holds a graduate or master's degree can expect to earn about $55,000 per year. People holding a bachelor's degree can expect to earn around $46,000 per year. The average benefit for holding a graduate degree can raise a person's income about $225,000 over a period of 25 years. This rate of return clearly shows that it is a solid investment to pursue a online graduate degree. Online education graduate degrees enable busy adults to attain a higher education while still maintaining employment to earn a living.

Requirements to Pursue an Online Education Graduate Degree - To earn a graduate degree online, students need to be well-organized self starters who can manage their time and review course material independently. Online students also need full access to a computer with a 56 kbps modem or better, with Internet service and virus protection. Students attending school online should be able to use email and basic Internet functions to communicate with professors and take online exams. Online education graduate degree programs are delivered in a web-based format that is available 24 hours a day for the convenience of working students seeking success.

Validity of Online Education. In the 1994 study of R. Clark, and in the Pew Learning and Technology Study 'Innovations in Online Learning' by Carol Twigg in 2001, they concluded that if the online course was designed with the same rigor as one taught in a face-to-face environment, the outcome is likely to be equivalent. Further, the standards for undergraduate education are defined by the Seven Principles developed by Chickering & Gamson (1991). These seven principles were updated to show how to implement these ideals in online education (Chickering & Ehrmann; Graham, et al. 2001). In 2002, the Ohio Learning Task Force issued a report that recommended principles derived from Chickering & Gamson were to be used to design, approve, assess and review all courses, whether in person, or online, or a blend of both. The Seven Principles a) encourage contact between students and faculty; b) encourage active learning; c) encourage cooperation between students; d) give feedback promptly; e) communicates high expectations; f) emphasizes time on task; and g) respects diverse ways of learning and talents. Therefore, online education graduate degrees follow the same criteria as those earned at a physical college campus, so they are equally viable.

Cost of Online Education. Getting an online education graduate degree can be more affordable than attending a physical college campus because there are no costs for transportation or housing. In 2004, an online resource site took a sample size of 120 online master's degree programs and found that the cost for education could range from $2,760 to $110,000 for an accredited degree. However, graduate degree students can explore several options for tuition assistance, including:

Tuition Reimbursement. The National Center for Education Statistics found that almost 20 percent of all graduate students receive aid from their employers. Potential online education graduate degree students should consult with the human resources director of their company about tuition reimbursement programs and company scholarships they may qualify for.

Labor Unions. Over 60 labor unions, through 38,000 national chapters, offer $4 million dollars in educational financial aid. If a student belongs to a union, the web site at can offer leads to Union-Sponsored Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Financial Aid. There is even state and government financial aid available for certain distance learning programs. The free government aid directory at can help students locate resource centers in their state and offer information about financial assistance to pay for college.

Loans. There are government-backed Stafford student loans that typically carry the lowest interest rate. For example, the interest rate for a Stafford education loan in 2003 was only 3.42 percent. Students seeking Stafford loans should consult the free annual publication, the Student Guide to Financial Aid. Private student loans are also offered through finance companies such as KeyBank or Citibank, but they usually charge higher interest rates and require students to pass a credit check.

Tax benefits. There are also significant tax benefits available to online education graduate degree program students. Interest on student loans may be tax deductible during the first 60 months of the period to pay them back. Eligibility for this tax benefit can be determined by checking the IRS Publication 970: Tax Credits for Higher Education. Further, under the Lifetime Learning Credit, students may be eligible to deduct up to 20 percent of the first $10,000 of graduate tuition from federal taxes. Also, some or all tuition expenses may be deducted if an employer requires additional education to maintain the student's current professional status. Students can review IRS Publication 970 for guidelines, or consult with an accountant to see what portion of tuition for college can be deducted from their taxes.

When a potential student considers the ease of earning an online education graduate degree, along with the improved financial status as a result of attaining this degree, it is clearly a wise decision to pursue virtual learning.

10 Reasons to Go to College

Life is full of options and choices. The choices we make shape our future. As we stand at the cross roads after high school we must have the right vision to make the decision to go to college.

1. A college education secures our future. The number of employment opportunities is greater and statistics reveal that most leaders are college grads.

2. If you have a college education you will make more money which in turn will enable you to have a better lifestyle. If a high school graduate earns US$ 34,303 annually, a college graduate will earn US$ 56,334, and a person with a professional qualification will net at least US$ 99,411.

3. It is not just earnings. A college education makes you a rounded person. It shapes your communication skills, expands your knowledge base, makes you methodical and organized, and exposes you to a whole new world of learning.

4. People with a college education have better value systems and are healthier. They are able to guide their family positively.

5. College can help you qualify in fields you are interested in. So if you are an innovator, inventor, or healer, or artist you can train in the specific field and qualify.

6. According to experts, college graduates are self confident, have greater knowledge of governance, are less likely to become criminals, are emotionally and financially secure, make better partners and parents, and have a deeper understanding of human nature.

7. College instills a deep sense of right and wrong and is they very essence of a democratic world.

8. Education opens the doors to many things like multiple jobs, career choices, the chance to further education at any point in life, and the option of teaching others what you have learnt. Be it a child, family member, or a poor person you meet.

9. College education is an investment in you that yields much more than Wall Street investments.

10. College educated citizens will ensure the continuing success of the "American Dream." The ability to see the right path and work for peace and prosperity.

Students according to Jose Marti a patriot are the very ramparts of a nation and the strongest advocates of freedom. Education creates a conscience and as a result a better human being. College education eventually becomes a legacy for future generations. Most succeeding generations of college educated people go to college themselves. The value of a good education becomes ingrained in their genes. Huge stones can be moved with muscle power but it is brain power that tells you how to move it and what can be done with it.

Useful Tips for a Successful College Adjustment

Obtaining a degree, based on education statistics, seems to elude majority of aspirants. In the 1960s, dropout rate was one in five; in the 1990s, it increased to one in every three. Recent studies revealed that in 2000s, the dropout rate increased to one in every two, or about fifty percent. Such astonishing statistics unveiled a growing problem, which requires immediate attention and solution. One such strategy is to present varied ways to help college students adjust successfully to college life and eventually graduate from their chosen course.

Useful Tips

To ensure success in college, consider the following useful tips:

  • Select course carefully- The most common reason for failed college life is the selection of a course not suited to one's talent, abilities and capabilities. Oftentimes, students choose the course because of recommendations from friends, parents and relatives. The best way to pick out the right course is to find out as many information about the course and determine if it fits you.
  • Keep track of the curriculum- All students need a copy of the curriculum, which lists all the required subjects, unit credit for each, pre-requisites, and the semester or trimester subjects that are offered. This allows students to plan and keep track of completed subjects.
  • Learn to Manage Your Time- Students should learn to manage the time allotted for school, home responsibilities and social life, as well as work schedule for some. The use of a digital or ordinary organizer may help. Students working 20 hours a week should not take more than nine units, while those spending 30 hours at work per week should only carry six credits per semester.
  • Practice Effective Study Habits- All college students have vacant periods-use of it for preparing assignments, completing projects and advance readings. Reading lessons immediately after class also allows students to retain more information than doing it after some time.
  • Establish Connections- Being in the right company usually helps. These people can provide the necessary information, learning materials as well as advice needed to cope with various requirements. Important connections may also include class advisers, counselors and administrative personnel.
  • Seek professional help when needed- College life may be overwhelming and may require the help of professionals. Take note that all academic institutions provide medical, psychological and other forms of support to each of their students.

Survival in college may be as simple as following the enumerated tips and soliciting the support of parents, siblings, relatives, and friends. Moreover, with self-discipline, the dream of obtaining a college degree may be within reach.

New Statistics Suggest That the Jobs Market Continues to Be Tough for New Graduates

New research in the area of graduate recruitment in the UK has revealed a worrying situation.

Figures derived from surveying 49,065 graduate responses indicate that Almost 28% of UK graduates who left university in 2007 were still not in full-time work three and a half years later. They are based on a snapshot survey taken on 29 November 2010.

While these figures include about 21 % who were working part-time or studying and 3.5% who gave their response as "other" that still leaves 3.5% who were considered to be unemployed, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The research also revealed a gender gap in the payment of men and women graduates, with 14% of men in full-time paid work who graduated in 2007 were earning between £30,000 and £34,999 three and a half years later compared with 9.3% of the women and 29.4% of women were earning £20,000 to £24,999, against 15.6% of men.

As worries about the pace of economic recovery in the UK and Europe continue with predictions of a slowdown or even a return to recession the figures are a graphic illustration of just how difficult life is for all job seekers.

The most recent monthly findings from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation also indicate a slowdown in recruitment during August 2011. While traditionally a less active period for recruitment because of the holiday period, the figures add to the worries about the economy.

They showed further moderate increases in permanent placements and temporary billings but that the growth of vacancies continued to ease. They also revealed that the rise in permanent salaries was at its weakest in 22 months and there had been the strongest rise in permanent candidate availability since January 2010.

This picture suggests that graduate job seekers may have to be willing to be innovative in getting the necessary experience that employers require even for someone newly entering the workplace.

Polishing grammar and spelling, for example, may make all the difference to whether a CV is accepted or rejected. Employers frequently identify inadequate literacy skills in the people who approach them for work.

Internships are often suggested as a way for graduates to gain experience and it is true that some of them do lead to offers of full-time employment. However, there is intense competition for places and often internships are unpaid. That means that graduates whose parents cannot afford to support them are at a distinct disadvantage.

It is also true that smaller companies that are often seen as the engine for economic growth may not be able to offer internships, either because they cannot spare the staff time to do the job properly or because they cannot afford to pay even a small amount for an intern.

Graduates looking for a job may be advised to consider signing on with a recruitment agency that can advise them on any skill gaps they may have, or any weak areas that they can improve on, but also the agency may be able to find temp or short contract positions in secretarial and administrative roles that would at least allow a candidate to get a foot in the door.

Virtual Teams in Education

The future of business is not in brick and mortar institutions as historically viewed. The proliferation and miniaturization of communications mediums, cellular telephone, fax, Internet, personal data devices, and lap top computers, make offices available where people are – not where the office is.
Carpenter (1998) wrote the internet is more versatile for communication than any medium available today. People can interact with individuals or groups, they can identify by name, pseudonym, or be anonymous. She says the internet is “…a virtual community where people meet, engage in discourse, become friends, fall in love, and develop all of the relationships that are developed in physical communities” (pg. 1).

However, the internet may not be a panacea. The internet goes beyond technology into social interaction. Organizations face a dilemma of encouraging successful interactions and community building online. Statistics suggest almost ten million people work in virtual offices and that 40 percent of large organizations have policies on telecommuting. Yet, Carpenter (1998), cited above, says virtual employment equals only seven to ten percent of the work force.

Why hasn’t the virtual office flourished? Sociologists suggest it is the need for informal interaction – office banter. Organizations are stubborn to accept virtual teams believing team projects work best carried out over conference tables and virtual workers can only participate in individual assignments. Still other organizations believe virtual workers do not receive adequate supervision. However, is the problem supervision or trust?

Kohrell (2005), an adjunct professor at Bellevue University, is president of Technology As Promised. He is a specialist in developing virtual teams and addresses developing trust on virtual teams. He explains virtual trust in simple terms. Virtual trust is getting on an airplane, not knowing the air traffic controllers, yet trusting they are doing their jobs correctly. He explains building virtual trust through communication – frequently, with integrity, with certainty and predictability.

Other data, taken with Kohrell’s, also supports the economics of the virtual office. Verma (2005) offers some information that shows senior executives from Europe, Asia, and the Unites States report cost savings (69 percent) and increased productivity (64 percent) when using telecommuting. Verma cites comments of Joe Roitz, AT&T. Roitz said, “Telework alone generates over $150 million annually in productivity increases, real estate savings, and enhanced retention for AT&T.” These statistics suggest business recognize change and develop strategies for successful change.

Tucker, Kao, and Verma (2005) write there are trends in employment that organizations cannot ignore. One point they make is the work force globally is getting smaller. They also recognize that cultural norms are different now, more loose. Adding to the mix is more freedom for people to move globally. They point out there are personnel trends that organizations can count on
1. Smaller and less sufficiently skilled

2. Increasingly global

3. Highly virtual

4. Vastly diverse, and

5. Autonomous and empowered

They conclude that leadership focus within these trends “demand a new generation of talent management.” This new talent management has to take some strategic steps to manage the new work force in future oriented organizations. Those steps are:

1. Predictive Workforce Monitoring and Strategic Talent Decision Making

2. Flexible and Anticipatory Talent Sourcing

3. Customized and Personalized Rewards and Communications

4. Distributed and Influential Leadership

5. Unified and Compassionate Cultures

Computer-mediated Communication (CMC)

It is important to discuss CMC as virtual workers depend on – rely on – computer-mediated communication. Jones (1998) cites Patton (1986) in discussion about highway building as a means to connect people to one another. Patton observed that highways have not connected us rather increased our sense of separateness. Cities are divided, neighborhoods split, city intimacy destroyed. From this negative view, Jones concludes the internet may actually do what highways failed to do
Computer-mediated communication, it seams, will do by way of electronic pathways what cement roads were unable to do, namely, connect us rather than atomize us, put us at the controls of a “vehicle” and yet not detach us from the rest of the world. (pg. 3)

CMC offers new realms for social scientists to study. Traditionally, social scientists observed communities within certain identified boundary. However, new cyber societies exist without bounds and determination of membership in cyber society does not satisfy traditional categories given community.

Education in Cyber Society

What does this mean in terms of education? The United States Department of Education (US-DOE) provides a look into higher education statistics for twelve months 2000 to 2001. US-DOE figures from that period show 56 percent (2320) post-secondary two- and four-year schools had online courses. Another twelve percent desire to go online within the next three years. Finally, 31 percent said they would not go online. Clearly, two-thirds of colleges and universities have or want online educational opportunities for students. What does this mean for faculty? The following paragraph addresses that question.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits Bellevue University in Nebraska. It has an online presence offering 17 undergraduate degree completion programs online and 7 graduate degree programs online. The College of Professional Studies (CPS) of Bellevue University administers all of the undergraduate degree programs. CPS administers three of the seven graduate degrees, MBA and Master of Arts in Management reside in the College of Business, and MS Computer Information Systems and MS Management of Information Systems reside in the College of Information Technology. Although the College of Arts and Sciences administers no online degrees, it does administer several course clusters and individual online courses. Therefore, Bellevue University is an example of an institution highly oriented to the online student.

Online, mostly adult learner, students equal approximately 40 percent of the University population. Bellevue University also has both traditional four-year campus students and non-traditional in class adult learners making up the rest of the University student population. A boast made during the 2004/2005 academic year was that Bellevue University has students in all 24 time zones around the world and the North and South Poles.

CPS accounts for the largest number of faculty members. Of CPS faculty, about 150 are adjunct and one-third of those are faculty members at distant locations teaching online (information provided the Assistant College Administrator).

However, this is not unique to Bellevue University. A web search of colleges with online offerings returns dozens of institutions. Narrowing a web search to fully accredited schools with online offerings returns numerous hits. Well known in the online arena are University of Phoenix, Capella, Nova Southeastern, and Walden. Among these, University of Phoenix is very aggressive in both student and faculty recruitment. It is not unusual for students to transfer between online schools searching for lower tuition rates and/or more liberal credit transfer policies. In addition, it is likely an adjunct professor may instruct in multiple universities.
Online Faculty Interviews

Of the about 50 online distant faculty members at Bellevue University, five responded to invitations for phone or email interviews. Another interview with an online adjunct that lives in the Omaha metro area serves to validate other faculty comments. One distant faculty member does teach at two other institutions, one online, and one face to face. Finally, I will submit personal observations, my experiences, as an online adjunct, face-to-face instructor and one that taught in multiple institutions.

All those interviewed were unanimous in answering why they are adjunct college professors, they like teaching. The responses varied from “I like sharing what I’ve learned,” to “It is fun to see, through their postings, how they (students) grow and change over the year period of a degree program.” To follow up, they answered teaching online is new to them, an interesting way to link students, and a way to connect people geographically separate for a common goal (education).

One interviewee, a medical doctor in Indiana teaches healthcare administration at Bellevue University to “stay connected with nurses and other medical administrators. A hard lesson for doctors to learn is they don’t run anything.” In addition to teaching at Bellevue University, he developed a course adopted into the Master of Healthcare Administration in CPS. He shared that he also is a mentor for third and fourth year medical residents working to pass their medical boards. He does not teach in this role, rather facilitates medical residents’ leaning and board preparation. He related that this role requires developing a trust and trusting relationship between him and his mentored doctor. He said he always begins the mentoring relationship in a face-to-face environment before moving it to telephone or email. He told that teaching online and handling student problems and misunderstandings is much less trying than mentoring new doctors.

The local interview, conducted in person, was with the executive assistant to the university president. He used to teach in the classroom; however, schedule demands took him out of class. Teaching online lets him keep his connection to students while maintaining a busy travel schedule.

When asked why they applied to teach at Bellevue University, the answers ranged widely. One instructor, an Army retired Chief Warrant Officer, began teaching a year after graduating with a master degree from Bellevue. The university approached him rather than him initiating an application. Another, now teaching at the Atlanta campus of the University of Georgia, and previously at the U.S. Air Force Academy, applied to Bellevue because of the University’s close ties to military students. One respondent is an empty nester, disabled from her nursing profession, and wanted to stay active pre-retirement. There was not a consistent answer to this question except when tying it to their enjoyment of teaching.

All those interviewed are online instructors, therefore, virtual to their students. All reported using email and telephone as primary communication devices with their students. Additionally, they all use the Bellevue University Cyberactive® learning environment powered by Blackboard to conduct classes. They reported highs of 40 percent and lows of ten percent use of email for student communication. All reported using the telephone to contact students; however, telephone use was a low five to ten percent. Low telephone use is not unexpected considering the worldwide locations of BU students.

Probing deeper, email use is actually higher from instructor to student. Within the Cyberactice® environment there is a tab titled “Communication.” Within this link is an option to send an email to all or select users. All adjuncts confirmed this option is the choice they use to send messages to individuals, select groups, or an entire class. When probed, instructors agreed they use this email option regularly. After another query into percentage of communication by email using the Cyberactive® email option, instructors replied their email communication is higher, up to 50 percent. It is important to clarify that instructors did not directly associate email in the Cyberactive® environment with other email engines.

There were very broad concerns expressed by the interviewees and all were technical, from needing more technical support to wanting less technical support. This question needed more clarification. The respondents confirmed their meaning of technical support as surrounding the electronic classroom. Although all online instructors must complete the Online Facilitators Course, four of the five realized their attention to it was not the best possible. Challenged for why the four did not participate more in the facilitator course, they admitted to “filling a square” to teach online. All replied there are times when they all call or email the Cyberactive® Help Desk for assistance.

Another unanimous concern was how well prepared students are to enter an electronic classroom. Each respondent related at least one story of a student ill prepared to study online. Instructor receives a profile of each student in class, therefore a follow up question on student age suggested age was less a concern than students’ career and regular use of computers for email, topic research, and understanding of inter- versus intra-net.
Feeling as Part of a Team

The adjuncts all feel they are part of a work team. Specifically, they felt part of their work team, part of the Cyberactive® classroom group, but not closely connected to the University. The reason given is distance from the physical location – Bellevue, Nebraska. They did report steps taken by the College of Professional Studies as helping them become more connected. One example they all like is the weekly email of the campus bulletin, another is periodic email messages of faculty development seminars. Faculty development seminars are now video taped, converted to digital media, and available in streaming video online or DVD format mailed.

Supporting some of the research reported earlier, the respondents felt disconnected from the University and more connected if they could make trips to the campus, meet with program directors, deans, and fellow faculty members. Clarifying this point, they did not feel under supervised, rather did not feel a personal (personally) connected. An expectation was that those now adjuncts who were Bellevue University students would feel more connected. While the former students felt more connected, they too did not feel a close bond.

The discussion moved to questions of leadership. Specifically asked was how well do they know (know of) the University leadership team. All knew names and positions of the president, provost, deans, and program directors. They did not know any of the names associated with positions of senior administrative people and senior people outside their particular college. Asked if they knew any names of board members, each knew U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel is a board member. Others knew names of benefactors thinking they were board members.

Tying the interviews together, the discussion turned to specifics of communication. The focus at this stage was the level of interdepartmental communication compared to intradepartmental communication. Those interviewed commented that intradepartmental communication was good. Adjuncts knew, through email and/or telephone communication, their program director, some or all the department faculty. All reported a lack of knowledge outside their program area. An adjunct in healthcare administration is unlikely to cross-communicate with faculty from management or leadership. An instructor in business administration will not know anyone teaching in human resources or security management. Distant adjuncts in the College of Professional Studies seem isolated from faculty members of other colleges. Generally, faculty members in one college do not teach in other colleges.

The interviewees made recommendations to improve communication ranging from more email communication to making trips to the campus to meet the staff. Trips to campus from distant locations seemed impractical from a cost aspect because such a trip would not be at university expense. Asked how to improve electronic communication, all agreed more is better. Citing an example of missed opportunity, they said the university produces a faculty roster and places it on the server “shared drive.” However, distant locations do not have access to the internal system.
Personal Experience

Stated early in this paper, I am an online adjunct but live in the community the university calls home. This gives me a different perspective because I can personally interact with instructors from different colleges and programs. After five years in administration as a graduate enrollment counselor, I developed personal networks with many senior program directors and deans. For nearly the same period, I was an adjunct, first in the College of Arts and Sciences and now in CPS. I taught Organizational Communication in a face-to-face classroom and Leadership online.

Validating the interviewees’ comments, communication to adjuncts has been limited. One limiting factor was the capability of the university email server to support several hundred email addresses. This problem is resolved with the installation of a new larger email server. Another limiting factor was not all adjuncts had a “(name) @” university email address. An initiative of the Quality Council was requiring all adjuncts have an internal email address and remote access to the email server. This initiative is now complete with separate distributions for “all campus,” “all adjuncts,” and “all (college specific) adjuncts.”

An advantage to being an online adjunct in the same community where the university is located is proximity. With proximity, there is access to many in leadership positions and interaction with peers. A closer connection with faculty peers allows a support system to develop face-to-face that a distant adjunct cannot as easily develop. Proximity allows faster communication and reaction to communication. Closeness permits attendance to faculty development live rather than streaming video or DVD.

While the advantages of proximity seem favorable, there are some downsides. There are greater expectations that a local adjunct spends time on campus when there primary job allows. The faculty resource center offers an adjunct an office environment where one can have the office time expected. College meeting attendance by local adjuncts is not mandated; however, it is more favorable to attend. Those operating at a distance desire to attend meetings and cannot have it.

The interview process with adjunct instructors working at a distance offer supporting data to the statistics reported earlier in this paper. The adjuncts interviewed are part time virtual employees who feel less a part of the University team than someone local. They reported incomplete communication with and knowledge of many key leadership people.

Communication seems the center of disconnect. The Academic Quality Improvement Process also recognized this problem and implemented institutional change to tie all members to campus life. Although more effort is underway for broader communication, distant employees do not have access to local systems through remote means.

Considering these elements and considering the U. S. Department of Education’s statistics, online education is likely to flourish. Bellevue University attracts students from around the world with many of them earning degrees online from their home countries.

Despite the drawbacks, virtual professors as virtual team members are successful at Bellevue University because of the expressed desire to teach and watch their students grow and learn. The professionalism and expertise these professors exhibit in the online community of students supports the data from industry executives indicating improved productivity and cost savings.

Pfeffer (1998) identifies the use of sub-contractors in the work force. Adjuncts are sub-contractors. The adjuncts serve in non-traditional ways contrary to how professors previously served. It is apparent that education is no different from other industries using virtual workers. Virtual workers, like temporary workers, feel less connected – not given the same level of training.

In interview, establishing trust was critical to two adjuncts. In-person trust is much easier to develop than in virtual relationships. Bell (2002) says trust is a leap of faith and places trust below truth, “… caringly frank and compassionately straightforward… in pursuit of clean communication” (pg. 9).

An indirect conclusion from the interviews highlights that mentoring a virtual adjunct may help develop a sense of team participation through greater knowledge and understanding of the institutions vision and values. By developing greater emersion into the vision and values of the system, adjuncts may want to be more aware of those people filling leadership roles. Successful virtual workers need the same assistance and opportunity for growth as the worker inside the brick and mortar institution..

Why Improving Reading Comprehension Is Critical - Frightening Educational Statistics

The educational statistics in the United States are frightening. Most worst than most people imagine in their worst case scenario. If we are to improve these numbers improving reading comprehension will play a critical role. As unpleasant as the following statistics might appear, you need to know these facts so you don't become the next dismal statistic.

Did you know that 40% of all high school students fail to graduate? This is the national average. In many areas the statistics are much worst. In New York City, there were many high schools that had 1-2% of their students graduating. Although these schools were shut down, these are still very disturbing numbers. Unfortunately, it gets much worst.

Let's look at the 60% of high school students who do not drop out. Did you know that 28% of high school seniors can't read? The national reading test that the government proudly touts, is in fact an 8th grade reading exam. That right-an 8th grade reading exam. In order to graduate the 12th grade in the United States you need to be able to read at the 8th grade level. Yet 28% of the seniors can even do this!!! Poor reading comprehension skills account for much of this failure.

If you thought reading statistics were bad, wait till you look at the math statistics. They are even worst! Did you know that 38% of high school seniors can't count? That is correct. Even worst, I am not talking about algebra, geometry, or calculus. I am referring to decimals, fractions, and percentages. Isn't it frightening that 38% of our seniors do not have these elementary math skills? When you consider that in Europe students in the 7th grade are learning Calculus are you still surprised that we are losing jobs? Right now the United States has the lowest science and math scores in the industrialized world. Since science and math drive technology, and technology drives the economy, can you now see why our economic problems are directly linked to these statistics? Yes these are terrible statistics, but it gets even worst in college.

Did you know that 50% of students in four year colleges fail to graduate? Did you know that the average four year college student who does graduate now takes on average six years to complete their studies? And the Federal Education Department is projecting it will take an average four year college student eight years to complete their studies in another three years from now. Many of these drop outs left college because of the difficulties they experienced with college level reading comprehension.

Finally, did you know that 70% of students in two year colleges fail to graduate? That's right only 30% of two year college students actually graduate. If you were a parent and you thought getting your student into college was a challenge, then guess what? You were wrong. Getting your student a diploma is far more challenging. If you are student and you thought getting into college was the real challenge. Then you were wrong too!

Statistics of Divorce

Divorce has become a common occurrence both in the United States and around the world. According to divorce statistics, it is estimated that between 40 percent and 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the United States. In some countries, divorce rates for first marriages exceed 50 percent. Second and third marriages in the United States have even higher divorce rates. According to statistics, second marriages fail at a rate of 60-67 percent, and third marriages fail at a rate of 73-74 percent.

Divorce statistics show that there are number of reasons why marriages fail. According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. The second most cited reason for divorce is martial conflicts and arguments. Thirdly, many divorced couples say infidelity led to divorce. While these are the primary reasons cited for divorce, statistics show that there are several underlying factors that contribute to these trends. These factors include, but are not limited to: age, education, income, religion, and cohabitation.


Statistics show that those who get married in their mid to late-twenties are less likely to get divorced that those who marry at a younger age, and that this age group tends to be more satisfied in marriage than those couple who marry later in life. For divorced couples under the age of 20, the women are more likely to initiate the divorce; whereas for divorced couples over the age of 20, the men are more likely to initiate the divorce.

Education and Income

Education and income both play a role in divorce statistics. Data shows that a married couple with a higher education and a higher income is less likely to divorce than a couple with lower education and lower income.


While several religious denominations show a slightly lower divorce rate of 21-34 percent, other data suggests that those with no religious affiliation have a lower divorce rate than those with reported religious affiliations. It has also been suggested that pastors of local congregations, for various reasons, may not be aware of how many divorced couples are actually in, or have been part of, their congregations.


Reports suggest that between 40 percent and 85 percent of couples who lived together before getting married had the marriage end in divorce.

Divorce statistics indicate that about one-fourth of adults in the United States have been divorced at least once in their lifetime. Characteristics of individuals that have a higher probability of divorce include:

o younger age at time of marriage
o lower education
o has children from a previous relationship
o cohabitation prior to marriage
o sexual activity prior to marriage

According to divorce statistics, it does not appear that only one factor contributes to a couple's decision to divorce. Although three primary reasons have been identified by divorced couples as the leading causes of divorce, it seems that underlying factors may contribute to these issues as well.

Statistics Of Bachelor's Degrees

If college were a one-size-fits-all operation, it would have long ago become ineffective. Degrees must be as unique as students and their objectives. To serve this need, institutions have created course objectives and disciplines for students to identify, major in, and master. It is these field-of-study distinctions that are often instrumental to beginning a career after college.

Bachelor's degrees are conferred as part of undergraduate study programs in which students take both general education courses and field-related studies. Majors are as diverse as the population, and four specific fields encompass the majority of them.

There were almost 1.6 million Bachelor's degrees conferred in the 2007-08 school year, which is the most recent school year available for such statistics from the U.S. Department of Education. They were issued in greatest abundance in the following concentrations: business, social sciences and history, health sciences, and education.

A Bachelor's degree in business is typically earned in three to four years and usually, though not always, requires a major in a business-related field. These majors can include accounting, management, marketing and more. There were 335,000 business degrees issued in 2007-08. Most of these business students earned a Bachelor's degree with a Business Administration designation, but many elected for the Bachelor of Management Studies or Bachelor of Administrative Studies, a choice typically dependent on an intended career path.

Social sciences and history, to some extent involve the academic study of society. These degrees also extend colloquially to sciences that fall outside the natural sciences of biology, chemistry and earth science. Bachelor's degrees in social science include degrees in obvious fields of communication, political science, anthropology and sociology, but also extend to criminology, economics, linguistics, and in some regard, psychology. History is very much a social academic study, but encompasses such a vast spectrum that it is often referred to as its own class of Bachelor 's degree programs. Of the 1.6 million conferred Bachelor's degrees in 2007-08, about 167,000 were designated in social sciences and history.

A Bachelor's in Health Science (or B.H.S.) encompasses health-associated study aimed at medically driven students. This degree is usually earned over four to five years and can lead to two different kinds of careers. Administrative jobs are usually earned with health science degrees in health care management, while nursing and radiography students go on to jobs in the field. These students combined represented 111,000 of Bachelor's degree graduates in 2007-08.

The fourth largest group of Bachelor's degree earners in 2007-08 were those with degrees in education. An undergrad education degree is usually issued in the U.S. as a B.S.E. or B.S. in Ed, a Bachelor's of Science in Education. These take four to five years of collegiate study, and prepare students to become educators. In most cases, an education degree does not grant the student permission to be a teacher, but rather permission to seek certification to do so; much like a lawyer cannot use his/her degree to practice law but must pass the Bar in his/her state. There were 103,000 graduates that earned education degrees in 2007-08.

A Look at Teen Parenting Statistics

Teen parenting statistics will show that teen parenting is still a rising occurrence in today's society despite widely available sex education and numerous birth control methods. Teen parenting statistics also indicate that teenage parents and their child are both at a disadvantage in terms of health, education, and finances.

Teenage mothers face higher health risks than mothers at an older age. Such heath risks include anemia, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, underweight birth, premature delivery, and even death. Majority of these risks result from the fact that most teenage mothers lack prenatal care and not because of immature physical development. According to teenage parenting statistics, about forty percent of teenage mothers did not receive quality or adequate care during pregnancy, resulting in their children born with poor health.

In terms of education, teen parenting statistics show that while it has become socially accepted for teenage mothers to stay in school, unfortunately, an alarming 80 percent of them either choose or feel the need to drop out and only fifty percent of teenage parents who had their first child during the early teenage years will finish high school before they reach thirty. Additionally, teen parenting statistics indicate that it is more likely for someone who has had a child between twenty to twenty four years old to finish college than someone who becomes a parent before the age of nineteen.

The result of this situation is that the child or children of these teenage parents generally exhibit lower cognitive development compared to their peers. These children have the tendency to become underachievers academically and are more likely to become school drop outs, too. Teen parenting statistics also point out that these kids start to engage in sex earlier than most of their peers and have a higher tendency to repeat their parent's past and become teenage parents also.

Economically, teenage parents who are not able to achieve a high school diploma or finish a GED program generally will experience more difficulty in finding a secure and well-paying job. This is evident in teen parenting statistics showing women who had children after the age of 20 earn twice as much as women who were teenage mothers. In addition, ten percent of teenage mothers are not receiving child support from the child's father and forty percent rely on various government assistance programs such as food stamps in order to get by.

If you are a teen parent, the present and future challenges of raising your child may be too much for you to bear. If family, friends or your supposed partner is not offering help, keep in mind that you are not alone and that there are many organizations willing to help you.

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