Often Neglected Factors When Selecting A College

As students and parents sift through the many college choices, they use a variety of factors and information to select a college that seems right for their needs and goals. Unfortunately, it is the college Public Relations Department that supplies most of that information. However, there are many additional factors that should be considered, when they are important to student success.

1. Job Search Preparation – Does the college both offer and explain exactly what students can do to make themselves more attractive to potential employers? (Not only grades, but books, web sites, coaching, interviewing and résumé preparation training, lectures, employer tours, campus activities, meetings with alumni in the field, internships and part-time jobs that lead to significant accomplishments, successes, experiences, examples and stories for student résumés and interviews. Each year of college should involve activities that lead to employment success.)

2. Employment Opportunities – During the senior year, does the college do things that will increase a student’s chances for employment success? (Invite employers who are interested in students with each major to conduct interviews on campus? How many actually come for each major? Do they suggest employment web sites that post jobs for students with every major? Do they expect everyone in the entire college community {on and off campus, including parents, current and former students and employees} to help identify a long list of employment opportunities for students in each major?)

Note: Colleges that delegate all of this responsibility to Career Services alone may not be all that concerned with the employment success of every student in every major.

3. Student-Friendly – Being student-friendly involves another group of factors that students and parents should consider.

a) The School Website – Is the college website comprehensive, detailed, easy to navigate and requires little effort to obtain the helpful information desired, including names, titles, locations, descriptions of services, e-mail addresses and phone numbers? (You can check this out from home by searching: Departments associated with a major, the Bookstore, Library, Career Services, Student Newspaper, Radio & TV Station and the Medical Department.)

b) Faculty, Staff & Administrators – Make themselves available and are friendly and helpful – (Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Career Services, etc.) What do current students say?

4. Graduation – What percentage of students graduate in four years? Do college seniors find that the courses they need are readily available, so they can graduate in four years, not four and a half or more?

5. College Leaders – Do college leaders make themselves available to students and demonstrate understanding and concern for student issues?

Do college leaders attend campus events, chat with students, listen to complaints and try to do something about them?

6. Campus Safety and Crime – Since crimes take place on and off every campus, colleges should make crime data, statistics and dangerous locations known to students and parents? Does the college report the sexual assaults and crimes that take place on the campus?

a. Information and Training – Is safety training, crime prevention and personal protection training offered to students? Are students made aware of who can help them, how they can get help and where they can get help, if they are robbed, assaulted, drugged or raped, etc.? During the new student orientation process, are all students made aware of the penalties for committing a crime on campus?

b. Off Campus – How safe is the local community? Does the college work with local shopping areas, parks, theaters, restaurants, bars and nightclubs to help ensure student safety? Are students made aware of the dangerous areas in the town?

c. On-Campus – Assaults including sexual assaults, drug use and drug dealing, theft of goods including money, jewelry, electronics and cars and theft of information for identity theft will exist on every campus. How does the college work to maintain the safety of students? Prevention should be an important part the college’s efforts. What safety measure exist to prevent muggings on campus? Are there plenty of lights, call boxes and escorts?

d. Dorms – Since dorm safety is critical, are there smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, fire hoses and intercom systems in the dorms? What about a variety of escape routes? How often are intruders and unauthorized visitors found in the dorms and places they do not belong. Are dorm entrances protected and secure?

e. Penalties – Is the college hard or soft on crime? Look for examples of information they communicate to students, the training that takes place and the penalties that are handed out for violations.

7. Facilities – Are the Dorms, Parking, Classrooms, Laboratories, Cafeteria, Bookstore and Library up to the standards expected? a. Consider room size, heating and air conditioning in the dorm, as well as the location, distance from classrooms, cleanliness of restrooms and showers in the dorms. If dorms are Co-Ed, how is that handled?

b. Is there enough parking? How far away? Are parking garages safe and secure?

c. Are classrooms modern and of a size that promotes learning? Will students be able to see, hear and participate?

d. Do laboratories contain the up-to-date equipment that potential employers will expect the student to utilize?

e. The quality and variety of the food offered to students should be considered. Are there other, nearby food establishments available to students? Are meal plans flexible?

f. Is the Campus Bookstore an on-line bookstore? How convenient will it be for students who need staples, pens, highlighters and other small items that often run out?

g. Is the Library an on-line library? How well will this meet student needs for quiet study areas and research? How do students get help when it is needed?

8. Current Student Opinions – After the campus tour is over, wise students and parents should re-visit the dorms, cafeteria, library, gym, bookstore, the quad, classrooms and hallways to talk with current students about the things that concern them. This may be the best way to obtain less biased opinions.

All of these factors come into play, since students will have different needs and experiences. However, the best decisions will be made when useful and credible information is obtained and evaluated.

Tips For Writing a University-Level Essay

When you take the bold step to commence a university undergraduate course you are moving into a new realm of education, which in turn requires you to deliver a new level of academic work. This will involve giving presentations, completing research and writing university level essays. In order to meet the requirements of these essays there are a number of tips that you should follow which should set you on the track to academic success.

Firstly, remember that university essays should be well researched and contain lots of supporting evidence in terms of other people’s previous findings. This supporting evidence could be in the form of a literature review or just quoting others’ work throughout your essay. Any references to other resources must be credited appropriately. Be sure to follow your university’s specific guidelines in this respect as valuable marks can potentially be lost just by not applying the correct referencing method, or by applying the right method incorrectly. It may pay to familiarise yourself with whichever style your university uses, before you even begin writing. A common referencing style is the Harvard system of referencing which has very strict rules about crediting authors, research papers and journals etcetera but your University should be able to provide you with tailored guidance.

Secondly, a university level essay should try to delve deeper than a college level essay necessarily would. It should stretch and question theories and allow you to add your own knowledge and opinions in order to draw conclusions, some of which may never have been drawn before. This means you can’t just recite your lecture notes, there must be some individual application of knowledge, and this is a challenge that many new undergraduates struggle with.

As with all essays a university level essay should have a sound introduction, a thorough research and analysis section and sound conclusions. This should then be followed by a full reference list and a bibliography. Within all of these elements you should make sure that you format your work according to your university guidelines, this is good practice for when you come to writing your dissertation, as correct formatting and adherence to style guidelines could mean the difference between a first and a 2:1, in the same way, any essay, whether written at university or college should be proofread, preferably by a third party, to ensure that it is free from any spelling or grammar mistakes. Following all of these tips will allow your university level essays to achieve the grades you deserve and give you a good foundation for when it comes to writing your dissertation.

Rethinking the College Degree

It’s sad but it’s true. The cost of a college degree is becoming increasingly unreachable, and annual cost for a degree from a public university is approaching $20,000, and private universities cost nearly $30,000 a year. Those who pursue that degree often graduate with a mountain of debt and no job prospects.

It’s true that on average a college graduate earns more, but it’s also true that the nature of computer programming has shifted since the days of cardboard punch cards. Development platforms, object-oriented programming, and formal methodologies have eliminated much of the complexity, and created an environment in which the wheel need not be re-invented for every application. While promoters of college educations hold out big promises – pumping up minds with fantastic visions of a Gatesperian rise toward fame and riches – the fact is that today, proficiency at programming, particularly in the C# environment, does not require a Baccalaureate degree. The good news is that anyone willing to work hard and learn with an open mind can absorb the material and build a good, solid career as a software systems programmer, with no degree required.

Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone…

C# is the powerful, multi-paradigm programming language for Microsoft’s.Net platform, and being able to use it skillfully will open doors of opportunity. A C# course can certainly be taken at a university, but the real key to legitimate programming opportunity lies in C# proficiency (which can be achieved with a few months of dedicated study and practice), as opposed to degree status.

The fact is that employers don’t care if you have a college degree in software development; they don’t care if you have four legs and an antenna coming out of your head…what matters is: ‘are you able to skillfully and proficiently speak the language, build enterprise solutions and solve problems?’ If you can, your chances for a career as a software systems programmer are better than good.

Programming for Success

The best way to approach gaining a full understanding of C# is quite simple. The college experience of course, has value, but if you’re looking to gain proficiency in C# and start a successful career, the degree path is no longer necessary. A single online course will not teach you everything you need to know about the language, but a great course can help build a strong foundation. Additional knowledge will be achieved in the workplace through hands-on experience and toil.

It won’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t take four years, either. It is also best to familiarize yourself with C# using a course which allows you to go at your own speed and to freely access and view materials, anytime and anywhere. The reason for the failure of education systems around the world is, in part, the failure to recognize that everyone learns differently and at a different pace. It’s going to take time to learn C#, and your success will very likely be determined by how much work you put in the front-end. That is up to you, which is why the ability to access and view the material any time is such a powerful component to developing the type of organic C# knowledge base that leads to expert proficiency.

The proof is in the pudding

Gaining a strong understanding of the fundamentals of C# should be your starting point toward a rewarding and challenging career as a software systems programmer. Understanding fundamental C# concepts and being able to apply knowledge in real-time gives you legitimate value…Memorizing phrases to receive a grade in a university-level course does not.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing a college degree in software development. But if you really want to be able, some day, to demonstrate expert proficiency then you have to build a comprehensive and deep understanding of C# when it comes to the basic concepts and fundamental structures. Diplomas look nice hanging on the wall, but – in this field – the proof is in the pudding, and a shorter-term specialized course will give you everything you need.

6 Helpful Tips on How to Choose the Best University

Deciding on a university is the first step towards becoming independent. The list of universities that you would want to go to can be random, or comprise of those institutions that you have thoroughly researched. The process of picking out a university that is best suited for you can be a little daunting. Following are some tips that can help speed up the process and minimize the pressure.

1. Opting for the Subject of Your Choice

Choosing a course that interests you holds the utmost importance. You will not only be studying it for the next few years but, it will determine your future successes. In order to first select a subject, you need to carry out research via the internet and attend as many university open houses as possible to learn, and gather information on which field of study appeals to you. In addition to that, surfing the internet for electives, or job abundance can also assist in making the right decision.

2. Looking Up University Rankings

Every known university will have a general ranking available on the internet. The best universities have separate tables for each subject, while some have calculated averages on display. For a student, comparing the ratios of one university with another, will bear fruit. For example, the student to staff ratio in different universities will determine the amount of individual attention that a teacher can give. The lower this ratio is, the better it is for a student.

3. Scaling the Library

When you are going to a university to study, it is a given that you will spend most of your time in the library. Visiting the library while on campus tour is highly recommended as it will help you judge your environment. Checking out cafes that operate 24 hours a day should also be on your list of things to consider before choosing that particular university.

4. Researching the Courses

After selecting a course, gathering information on its components will be the next step. The university website can serve to be quite useful when a student decides to delve into the details of the course that they have chosen. Moreover, universities often have several channels through which they can be contacted, should any queries arise.

5. Student Life at a University

The primary reason for attending a university is to get a degree, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy your life on campus by indulging into various other activities that the university has to offer. Student Unions can help bring you up to speed on the events held or organized by the members of the society that interests you, or any extra-curricular activities. The same information can also be looked up on the university website.

6. Location

Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a university is its accessibility. Since becoming independent is part of the university experience, you don’t want a university that’s too close to home and not one that’s too far either. The costs that you may incur when traveling to and from home and the time consumed, are also factors that will determine your choice of university.

ERPs Making Colleges, Universities Safer and Secured

Parents wish to get 100% assurance for the colleges/schools/university authorities so that their children are in safe hands. However, lapses in security are evident, raising vulnerabilities for the young students like missing and lost cases, information leaks, etc. While on one hand, maintaining and managing a strict modular attendance system is essential for the schools and colleges, on the other, there is a need for a system through which parents can know about the whereabouts of their children. ERPs became the most crucial business tool in the last few years and it gradually targeted the educational institutions to foster painless management with top-notch security. Below are listed the key features entrusted in an educational ERP which are helping management to make schools and colleges safer than ever.

Information security with RFID

Schools or colleges management cannot be expected to keep and remember every detail of each student, their guardians or parents. But, in an ERP software, they can generate and assign a unique IDs to the students that will help them to access all data of a student with just one click. In a similar way, the information about the faculty members or staff can be recorded and accessed when needed.

Automated school attendance

Chances of errors are evident while taking attendance manually. With ERP, there’s rare or no possibility of such mishaps in attendance entries as they come with a comprehensive attendance system with online imprints for students, teachers and the staff. Thus, long gone are the days of maintaining attendance registers as online impression are recording it automatically.

GPS Tracking System

Parents are more concerned when their kids’ safety when they have to avail the bus or pool car facilities of the institution. Taking account of such concerns, ERPs are employed with a GPS/location tracking system through which parents can get real-time updates of their positions using the RFID tags. Besides, such feature help the authorities too to keep a check on the vehicle locations, routes followed, vehicle speed, drivers’ name and other whereabouts. This indeed prevents any case of mishaps to happen and at the same time prepare authorities as well as parents to deal with them immediately.

Tight Data security

Earlier, teacher and faculties are worried about the safekeeping of test papers, academic reports, mark sheets, project marks, etc. The leak of such documents prior to the final events was common and plausible phenomenon owing to a few deceitful members within the institutions. However, with ERP data leakage problems are solved outright because it empowers teachers to keep crucial students documents, test papers and other records in an online database with password settings, thereby limiting their access only to some restricted members.

Inaccurate attendances, missing records, data misplace or leakages are some major issues in big educational institutions. But, now ERPs have solved it effortlessly. Who knew schools, colleges or universities, could be so much safer and secure? With the leap of technology towards digital advancements, educational institutes made a brave move to make tasks easier for them and nurture children in the safest possible ways.