Straight Talk: April 25, 2012
Straight Talk: The StraighterLine e-Newsletter Issue #35, April 25, 2012
Edited by Jeffrey Lee Simons
In this issue…
- Tell Us Your StraighterLine Success Story
- StraighterLine Reports: How International Students Can Earn College Credits in the US with AP
- Best of The StraighterLine Blog
- Online Education in The News
- Download Your Free E-Book: Start Training Today for a Career in Healthcare
- Burck’s Blast: The Latest from CEO Corner
Tell Us Your StraighterLine Success Story
Do you know Burlyce Logan? She’s a StraighterLine student, a wife, and a senior citizen! She needed Algebra to complete her bachelor’s degree, but when her husband fell ill, it seemed like she wouldn’t be able to find the time to take the remaining course. Then she found StraighterLine.
So did John Walsh, a successful investor with a master’s degree who needed to complete his second bachelor’s degree, in business, in order to teach. Now he’s one of our biggest fans.
We’re sure that each and every one of you has an interesting story to tell about how you found StraighterLine and how we helped you on your path to your college degree. We’re collecting student success stories to write about on our blog, our website, and even here in this newsletter. (In fact, Frances Smith’s Success Story is featured in this issue’s Best of the Blog below.) A positive write-up never hurt anyone when looking to get accepted to the school they want, or to land a job, or even just to show off to friends and family.
So if you’d like your moment in the sun, so to speak, please email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to include any links to your own websites, Facebook pages or blogs that you’d like us to include in your StraighterLine Success Story.
How International Students Can Earn College Credits in the US with AP
By Beth Dumbauld
If you’re an international student and you’re wondering whether it’s possible for you to take AP courses and tests in your own country before coming to the U.S., the answer is...yes! In fact, AP courses are offered in over 100 countries. And over 3,800 U.S. colleges and universities award credit or advanced placement for qualifying scores. Find out what you need to know to earn college credits here in the U.S. in this report by Beth Dumbauld, including how you can take AP courses if your school doesn’t offer them. Read Full Report
Have You Read These Other StraighterLine Reports
The StraighterLine Online Education Resource Center features dozens of useful and informative reports covering subjects from the most popular degrees and majors to the impact higher education is having on women in society. Here are just a few:
Best of The StraighterLine Blog
StraighterLine Success Story: Frances Smith
StraighterLine student Frances Smith is a woman who doesn’t let obstacles stand between her and her educational goals. She earned an associate degree using StraighterLine and CLEP exams. And even open-heart surgery couldn’t stop her from getting her bachelor’s degree... with a little help from StraighterLine and our partner school, Thomas Edison State College. If you’re looking for a little inspiration with your own college career, look no further and Read Full Post.
And remember, to send us your own success story, email it to: email@example.com.
Spring Break Over? Now’s the Time to Gear Up to Get a Summer Job
Now that spring break is over, you’ve got some work to do on several fronts. First, you need to gear up and polish off the rest of the semester. Second – and this could be the harder part – you need to nail down a summer job. You’re in luck, though, because in this post Barry Lenson offers up 5 tips that can boost your odds of lining up your summer job. Read Full Post
Knowledge through Art: What Today’s Students Can Learn from Animal House
In this surprisingly insightful post, blogger Barry Lenson takes a look back at National Lampoon’s Animal House, the classic John Belushi comedy. It turns out that much of the basic realities of college life in the early 60’s that the movie satirized in the late 70’s are still plaguing college campuses today, from racism and sexism to class divisions, lousy meal-plan food and out-of-touch college administrations. Read Full Post
Online Education in The News
Can Online Education Be Both Successful and Good for Us?
The Atlantic, Kanyi Maqubela, 4/11/12
In this encyclopedic look at the various trends in online education, Kanyi Maqubela compares new education platforms like Skillshare and Udacity to for-profit, online schools like StraighterLine Partner School University of Phoenix. He concludes that in order to create a “wildly profitable, culturally effective online education system” that reflects “the marketplace demands of an era of technology, and provide tangible resources for students to find and create opportunity” elements of both would be necessary. As part of his exploration to find this new system, the author discusses the need for new forms of credentials to allow the new systems to gain respect and acceptance. “Accreditation and appropriate credentials demonstrate that the student has successfully met those qualifications. Before the renaissance in online education becomes a reality at scale, there must be a system of legitimizing new online education programs, of holding them publicly accountable, and of measuring the outcomes as they prepare students for employment.” Read Full Article
Community Colleges’ Learning Disability
Los Angeles Times, Mark Schneider and Lu Michelle Yin, 4/11/12
According to this article, by two members of the American Institutes for Research, “Community colleges are central to the nation's higher education system, enrolling almost 30% of all postsecondary students. But their record of success is spotty. Nationally, only about a quarter of full-time community college students complete their studies within three years (the official measure of a school's graduation rate).” They propose that if schools could cut their dropouts by half, over 150,000 more students nationwide would get associate degrees annually, leading to an astonishing $1.4 billion increase in income nationwide and translating to $200 million in federal income taxes alone.
And what methods do they suggest for achieving this goal? Streamlining and speeding up remediation programs, where students take preparatory courses to better succeed at college, increasing online course offerings to reach more students and significantly lower the cost of college courses, replacing degrees based on “seat time” with certification that rewards mastery, and emulating many for-profit colleges that “are leading the way in developing innovative online learning platforms and redefining an approach to curriculum development...” (If those methods sound familiar, they should. It’s what StraighterLine and our partner schools are all about!) Read Full Article
New Education Benefits Calculator Now Online
Marine Corps Times, Karen Jowers, 4/11/12
The Marine Corps Times is reporting on a new online government “Financial Aid Comparison Shopper” tool launched this month that lets service members, veteran and their families compare the costs of higher education, while factoring in tuition assistance and GI Bill Benefits. Among other things, the tool shows:
• Estimated monthly student loan payments after graduation.
• Grant and scholarship offers.
• School-specific indicators such as graduation rates, retention rates, and federal student loan default rates.
• Estimated debt level at graduation in relationship to the average starting salary.
What surprised us most was how inclusive the tool is, with over 7,500 schools and institutions represented, including many that are exclusively for-profit and/or online. A quick glance showed us that most of our partner colleges are there, including:
Albany State University
Concordia University Chicago
Western Governors University
The article concludes with a quote from Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “Now more than ever, students and their families need to know before they owe,” said Cordray. “Our Financial Aid Comparison Shopper helps students make apples-to-apples comparisons of their offers and pick the one that works best for their financial future.” Read Full Article
(By the way, if you’re not a military serviceperson or family member, you can use the free StraighterLine College Savings Calculator.)
Download Your Free E-Book: Start Training Today for a Career in Healthcare
The demand for trained medical support professionals is booming. With the right training, one of these jobs can be yours. But what are these jobs? What is the right training? Now, thanks to StraighterLine, you can find out for yourself and take the right steps towards your future career.
This free 19-page guide, a $19.99 value, will tell you the skills you’ll need, which medical support professions are growing fastest, the salary you can expect, and much more. Download your free guide now.
Burck’s Blast: The Latest from CEO Corner
The following is an excerpt from Burck’s blog post, There Oughta Be A Law:
As the perfect storm for the accredited college business model intensifies, colleges are increasingly looking to pricing solutions to fix their financial woes. At ground zero in California, Santa Monica College pepper-sprayed students protesting differential tuition for classes with the same cost structure and the Cal State system indicated that it’s considering a comparable structure for “bottleneck” classes.
Though Cal State and Santa Monica are being criticized for differential pricing, this is the flip side of the well-worn coin where colleges charge the same price for courses with different cost structures. This week, the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on education journalism, released a report about the profitability of rapidly growing college certificate programs...
You can read the full post in CEO Corner.