Ready and Able

Something that can occur over the course of the summer prior to your first semester of college is losing sight of what you need to do in preparation for school. Whether you know it or not, there is a lot of planning that needs to take place, and you would be wise to make the most of these remaining days of summer. Heading into your first semester of college, every freshman should aspire to have all of the learning tools they will need to get off on the right path. Some institutions will inform students of any learning programs they should set up on their computer. The curriculum in high school differs from that of college, and adjusting your laptop accordingly can give you a window to look out of and see what is ahead. Outside of your prerequisite educational recommended duties, making an effort to reach out to your roommate is also important. This is an individual you surely will want to have a solid relationship with. Living in small place becomes much comfortable when there is no tension cluttering up whatever free space there is. Meeting for the first time can be that much more enjoyable when you already having gotten the basic introductions out of the way

Going back to your dorm room, there will be items that you will need and others that are going to have no business being with you. Over the summer, try and make a list of all of the items you do not already own that you will need or like to have. Purchasing ahead of time will save you time and money. Do not get caught having to overpay for any items that you forgot to pack in the car. Many colleges and universities supply their students with a list of some the general products that many people enjoy having – this can range from shower sandals to desk lamps. As the summer comes closer to the end, packing will be the last thing on your mind. Allow yourself to hang out with your friends worry-free. Give yourself to clear your head before that first hectic week of college. It can be a complicated process constructing a class schedule that meets your needs. There will be temptations to avoid doing some of the necessary tasks and just interact with your new friends, however once it is time for class, no new freshman wants to feel rushed or unprepared.

Be Smart, Stay Safe on Campus

Most college campuses are relatively safe places but they're not immune from crime nor do criminals shy away from targeting students just because they're on a college campus. Even if your college is in a small town, that doesn't mean you'll automatically be safe, so its best to take precautions that can help reduce your chance of being a victim of a crime. Students, male or female, young or old, should follow these simple rules for staying safe on campus.

Stay in a group. Students walking alone are often targeted by criminals. There is strength in numbers so when you're walking home at night, try to do it with a buddy. Male students may not think that this applies to them, but they're just as likely to be a victim of a crime.

Pay attention to your surroundings. If you have your headphones blaring or are talking on your cell phone, you might not hear or see someone come up behind you. Always be aware of what's going on around you when you're walking anywhere on campus.

Know the location of police phones. Many, if not most, college campuses have emergency phone systems. Know where these phones are located on campus so you'll be able to use them if you ever have a need to.

Always let someone know where you're going. Even if you just leave a note for your roomie, make sure that at least one person knows where you are at all times. If something happens to you, this will make it much easier to trace your steps and get you to safety.

Never take a food or drink from a stranger. You do not know what their intentions may be. They may be perfectly nice, but unless you know them, pass on the hospitality.

Trust your instincts. You know in some primal place in your mind when things aren't quite right. Listen to that little voice and high tail it when things start to feel weird.

More than likely, you'll enjoy your time in college without ever becoming a victim of a crime or even knowing someone who was. Yet there is always the chance that it could happen to you and when it comes to your personal well-being it's always better to be more cautious rather than less so.

The 10 Best College Presidents of All Time

By Donna Reish

College presidents are the figureheads of college institutions. They participate in fundraising, oversee administrative procedures and make changes for the greater good of the students, faculty and staff. These men and women have dedicated their lives to educating our next generation of leaders and improving higher education. Here are the 10 best college presidents of all time:

  1. E. Gordon Gee: E. Gordon Gee ,The Ohio State University President, has graced the number one spot on Time's best college presidents list in 2009. Under Gee's guidance, The Ohio State University has become one of the largest research campuses in the world, with an operating budget greater than the state of Delaware. The success of the University is a reflection o the tireless efforts of this extremely interesting personality. Gee is an Eagle Scout from Utah, received his JD from Columbia, clerked for United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger, and once faked his own death! A colorful character indeed, Gee has helped establish The Ohio State University's reputation as a preeminent university, and seeing as though he is the highest paid university president in the United States, it's likely that he'll continue to do so well into the future.
  2. Richard C. Levin: Richard C. Levin has served as the President of Yale University since 1993 and holds the title as the longest-serving Ivy League president of all time. Under Levin's guidance, Yale has seen a revitalization in both the overall number of applicants to the university and the level of qualification of applicants. In fact, Yale's most recent admissions cycle featured the highest standardized testing scores of all time. Yale's prestige, infrastructure and endowment have all grown extensively under Levin's control and all of his Provosts have gone on to head other universities. Mr. Levin's work at Yale is one of the reasons why this university is one of the most celebrated academic institutions in the world.
  3. Ruth Simmons: Ruth Simmons is currently the president of Brown University and is the first African-American president of any Ivy League university in history. She was named best president by Time in 2001 and is the first female to serve as the president of Brown University. These accomplishments are incredible achievements for any person, let alone one of 12 children from the small Texas town of Grapeland. Ruth's achievements as president of Brown are just as remarkable, having secured the largest single donation in Brown University history and dramatically expanding Brown's medical school. Brown University is lucky to have such an accomplished and dedicated individual leading the university into the future.
  4. John Sexton: John Sexton began is the president of New York University. He began his long career with NYU as the dean of the school of law, and in this position he authored many publications, from books to scholarly articles, regarding the Supreme Court. Under his guidance, the school of law rose to prominence in the U.S. News Rankings, a prestigious symbol of competitive faculty and student body. When he was named president, his ability to bring NYU into the same category as Ivy League universities solidified his reputation as one of the best university presidents in the nation.
  5. William G. Durden: William G. Durden is the president of Dickinson College, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the world. He received his bachelor's degree at Dickinson and went on to become a Fulbright scholar before returning to the university with both a master's and a PhD form John's Hopkins University. Since his tenure as president has begun, he has championed many educational initiatives designed to make liberal arts education more practical. He has also advocated for alternative measures of collegiate prowess besides the U.S. News rankings, which he has passionately argued should be checked by an alternative measure of status that allows education in the arts to weigh more heavily in determining the best schools.
  6. Juliet Garcia: Juliet Garcia is the president of the University of Texas at Brownsville and is the first female Hispanic university president in the nation's history. The University of Texas at Brownsville sits only a few blocks from the U.S./Mexico border and has an enrollment of predominately Hispanic, bilingual and first generation college students. Juliet believes that this is the blueprint for the future of Texas universities and could represent the landscape of Southern universities in the near future. Juliet's passionate advocacy on behalf of Hispanics nationwide has earned her a spot as one of the nation's best university presidents.
  7. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg was the 15th president of The George Washington University for nearly 20 years and currently holds the title of President Emeritus and university professor of public service. Before his historic role at GWU, Trachtenberg served as president of the University of Hartford for 11 years and as vice president for academic services and academic dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Stephen has created five new schools within George Washington University since beginning his tenure there and he has also played an instrumental role in growing the University's reputation around the country.
  8. Scott Cowen: Scott Cowen is the president of Tulane University and is one of the most renowned business scholars in the world. He has written over 100 scholarly articles on various business topics. Scott was recruited to play football at the University of Connecticut after high school by the great Lou Holtz. He also served in the military in Turkey before returning to embark on an incredibly successful career as a businessman and educator. After Hurricane Katrina devastated Tulane's New Orleans campus, Cowen was critical of FEMA's response to the disaster and advocated strongly for Tulane to receive emergency funding to improve its hospital and medical center in the event of another catastrophe. This advocacy and his incredible success in business make shim one of the best university presidents in the nation.
  9. Mary Sue Coleman: Mary Sue Coleman is the president of the University of Michigan, one of the most prestigious public universities in the United States. Under her guidance, the University raised more than $3 billion for scholarship, construction of new facilities and faculty incentives. This is the largest amount ever raised by a public university. Dr. Coleman has built her career on the foundations of scientific research and holds a PhD in biochemistry teaching positions in the college of chemistry and biology. She is formerly the president of the University of Iowa and has distinguished herself throughout her career as one of the best university presidents in the United States.
  10. Freeman Hrabowski: Freeman Hrabowski has been the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992. Freeman received his doctorate at the age of 24 and has long been recognized as a genius level mathematician. He is a highly renowned African-American educator, and although his career is only beginning, he is already recognized as one of the brightest stars in the higher education system. We will be hearing much more from Mr. Hrabowski in the future.

Why You Should Get an Internship During College

One of the best ways to prepare for a job while you are still in college is to get an internship. Internships are helpful for several reasons: they provide you valuable experience, they can give you great connections, and they also help you gain credit towards your degree. If you feel like you love to take advantage of these great opportunities, then you should visit your college’s career center or talk to a professor in your department for help tracking down an internship.

The first way an internship can help you in your job search is a fairly obvious one: it gives you great professional experience. There’s nothing that can be more helpful than actually getting your feet wet and testing out the waters of whatever career field you’re most interested in joining once you graduate. An internship can show you the ropes of how an office works, or what is required of the job your interested in. Yet it also gives you some respite from a complete forty hour workweek. It’s enough to give you a taste, but not too much to where it could negatively affect your studies.

In addition to giving you valuable professional experience, a college internship can also put you in contact with experts who are very familiar with the career you are interested in. This means that you get to work with people who can teach you what you need to know, and also, maybe even more importantly, you have a built in set of references who can be useful when you begin to apply for jobs. This means, of course, that you should do your very best when you are at the internship, so your supervisor can give you a good reference.

Finally, a college internship can help you get credit towards your degree. College internships usually are not paid internships, so you won’t have any spending money if you get one; however, they do often ‘pay’ interns in the form of academic credits. Usually you sign up for an internship through your university, which means internships are often listed as classes for upper class students. Talk to your professors or the career services office for advice about choosing an internship in such a way that it will help you take care of some required course credits. That way you can get some immediate return on your internship investment.

Get Along With Online Professors

Just because you’re taking a class online and your professor may never see you in the flesh doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t expect you to uphold the same courteous and professional standards you would in a traditional classroom setting. To learn how to establish a good relationship with your professor, continue reading below.

The first thing you want to understand that is despite how laid-back your professor may seem, you treat him or her with the up most respect and address him or her as "professor (insert name here") at all times (unless told otherwise). Your professor is not your friend and you should make sure that the appropriate boundaries are set. With that said, it’s important that you always remain professional when speaking to your professor in a chat forum, via a webcam or email. It may seem like a no-brainer, but never address your professor using slang, for example. While on the similar topic, even if your professor seems exceptionally "cool" because he or she may send some comical videos or articles to his or her students, it’s probably best that you don’t reciprocate that kind of behavior. Meaning, don’t send your professor a video for example—he or she may take offense and you will be left dealing with the consequences.

It’s also best not to "bug" your professor with non-important questions or concerns, especially those that can be easily answered in the syllabus or a textbook. This is because even though it may seem like you’re the only student because you are not surrounded by a handful of your peers, you are not. Don’t make your professor waste his or her time answering tedious questions. So unless encouraged to do so, keep unimportant questions to a minimum, and carefully scour your textbook and syllabus to see if you can find the answer there first.

Lastly, it’s not a good idea to make any comparisons to past professors. If you make a request but your new professor denies it, don’t dispute the argument by saying something like "my old professor would have let me do that." Instead of caving and granting your request for an extension, for example, your professor will only see you as a complainer and will undoubtedly take that into consideration when grading your assignments.

Money Saving Tips for Online Students

By Donna Reish

Just because you decided to take classes online doesn't mean that tuition is necessarily any cheaper than if enrolling at a traditional school. And despite loans, scholarships and grants, sometimes additional sacrifices must be made in order for you to afford the extra costs and fees it takes to go to college—especially if you have a family. To learn some simple money saving tips, continue reading below.

The first thing you can do is start shopping smarter. This means using coupons when grocery shopping, buying generic brands and buying things in bulk. Don't forget to use your rewards card if your local grocery store has one to double your savings and keep track of your receipts—some have very good coupons attached to them. It's also best to make a list of all your spending habits either using a digital application or by simply writing it down on a piece of paper so that you know where to cut back if need be. For example, if you see that you are spending an extra $40 a month buying imported bottle water, opt for a cheaper brand. Or better yet, invest in a home water purifier. Also, if you happen to be the type that needs a pick-me up cup of coffee every morning, brew your own and skip the coffee shop—you'll save a bundle. You might also want to limit going out to eat to once or twice a week. And of you have a family, try to go during the middle of the week as some restaurants have "kids eat free" Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Another great way to save is to simply pay your bills on time. All the extra fees you have to pay because your bill is late can add up. A good way to avoid this is to set up your accounts to "automatic pay"—your bank will automatically withdraw the money from your account when the bill is due. Or, you can write the bill dates on the same planner you use to write your school assignments so you can keep track. On a similar note, avoid pesky ATM fees by only withdrawing money from your own bank when needed since they too can add up. You might also want to give yourself a weekly spending limit and in order to maintain your limit, only carry around cash. Once it's spent, don't turn to your card unless it is an emergency.

Lastly, you can make some additional cutbacks such as canceling your costly gym membership and opt for doing exercises at home i.e. running around the neighbor, taking your bike for a spin, and walking up and down a flight of stairs. You might also want to stop renting movies from costly places like Blockbuster and make a quick stop at your local Redbox to rent $1 movies or get a Netflix account. Another good idea maybe shutting off your landline phone and only using your cell. There are numerous other ways you can save, you just need to see what's best for you and your family.

10 Legendary Coaches in College Football History

The identity of a college football program is shaped by its head coach. We associate the pass-happy Fun ‘n’ Gun offense with Steve Spurrier and the Gators, the swagger of "The U" with Jimmy Johnson, and a hard-nosed rushing attack, particularly the option, with Tom Osborne and his Huskers. The success of Florida State, for example, is attributed to Bobby Bowden, who made the once forgettable program into a national power. Given their impacts, it’s no wonder high profile athletic departments are shelling out five or six million dollars per season for the services of guys such as Nick Saban and Mack Brown. Every athletic director wants to hire the next legendary coach, and if they’re lucky, they’ll find someone who’ll achieve just a fraction of the success of the coaches listed below. Here are 10 who have cemented their places in college football lore.

  1. Bear Bryant: Nick Saban may have a 43-11 record and a national championship in just four seasons at Alabama, but he has a long way to go before he comes close to earning the same kind of admiration and adoration from Tide fans as The Bear. Almost 30 years after Bryant’s death, his presence is felt during every game in Bryant-Denny Stadium, as numerous fans don his patented houndstooth hat to keep his memory alive. During his quarter of a century in Tuscaloosa, he compiled a 232-46-9 record, including 19-6 and 16-7-2 records against hated rivals Auburn and Tennessee, six national championships and 13 SEC championships. He coached notable players such as Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, John Hannah and Ozzie Newsome. Bryant, a football lifer, died just four weeks after his final game as Bama’s head coach, almost confirming his prediction that he’d "probably croak in a week" after retirement.
  2. Knute Rockne: Knute Rockne tragically died at the age of 43 in a plane crash, so his coaching resume isn’t as extensive as, say, Bear Bryant’s, Joe Paterno’s or Bobby Bowden’s. But he certainly made the most of his 13 years leading the Irish, going 105-12-5 and winning five national championships. His success, early use of the forward pass and knack for public relations and marketing — valued skills in modern head coaches — helped shape Notre Dame into the nation’s most beloved football program.
  3. Robert Neyland: General Robert Neyland, a graduate of West Point, served as an officer in the Corps of Engineers during World War I, an aide to Douglas MacArthur, and in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II, earning the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. The leadership skills he acquired while in the army transferred well onto the gridiron, where he led Tennessee to a 173-31-12 record, six undefeated seasons, four national championships and seven conference championships, five of which were in the SEC. Like modern SEC coaches, Neyland emphasized speed and defense, and his 1939 squad exemplified that, as it went the entire regular season without surrendering a point. Overall, the Vols recorded 17 consecutive shutouts from 1938 to 1940. His teams strictly adhered to his maxim to "Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes."
  4. Bud Wilkinson: On Oklahoma’s Mount Rushmore of head coaches, which includes Bob Stoops, Barry Switzer and Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson is the most esteemed and recognizable. He coached 17 seasons for the Sooners, tallying a 145-29-4 record, three national championships, 14 Big Eight championships (previously known as the Big Six and Big Seven), and an 8-2 record in bowl games. Oklahoma’s dominance under Wilkinson was highlighted by three impressive streaks — 13 consecutive Big (Six, Seven and) Eight championships, an astounding 74-game lossless streak in the conference and, of course, a 47-game winning streak that still stands as the longest in college football history. Retiring at the age of 47 to pursue a career in politics, Wilkinson certainly wasn’t a "compiler" of wins, but had he stuck around for another decade or two, one could only imagine what his career record would look like today.
  5. Woody Hayes: Woody Hayes had a temper that makes his one-time student Bobby Knight blush. Say what you want about his character flaws, there’s no doubt the guy knew how to coach and motivate a team of young men. During his career at Dennison, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio State, he amassed a 238-72-10 record, three national championships and 14 conference championships, including 13 in the Big 10. In the same way Robert Neyland represents the modern SEC coaching philosophy, Hayes represents the prominent Big 10 coaching philosophy through the years with his conservative three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense. He coached 58 All-Americans, including two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. He was a disciplinarian who preached the value of hard work, attributing much of his success to simply outworking his opponents. His intense focus and surly demeanor can be explained by one quote: "Show me a gracious loser, and I’ll show you a bus boy." He lived to win.
  6. Joe Paterno: JoePa is a living legend and the only active coach to make this list. The 84-year-old’s career at Penn State has now spanned six decades, and during that time, he has secured several coaching records. Currently, he has spent more years at Penn State than any other coach at a single program in the history of college football, and he’s the all-time winningest coach in Division I-A/FBS. No coach — ever — has recorded more bowl appearances (36) and wins (24) than Paterno. He’s the only coach to have won in each of the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange and Cotton Bowls. Most importantly, he has guided the Nittany Lions to two national championships and five undefeated seasons — his 1994 undefeated squad, which finished second in the nation, may have been his best. In addition to his accomplishments, Paterno is admired for his loyalty and integrity, which are two qualities many elite head coaches have lacked in recent years.
  7. Bobby Bowden: Paterno shares a few similarities with his buddy and former all-time Division 1-A/FBS wins competitor Bobby Bowden. Both have coached in their 80s, experienced remarkable longevity as coaches and are synonymous with their respective programs. Simply put, Bobby Bowden is Florida State football. Prior to his arrival, the program had a 4-29 record in the previous three seasons; in his second season, the Noles went 10-2. Although FSU had several successful seasons under coaches Bill Peterson, Tom Nugent and Don Veller, it didn’t become a top flight operation until Bowden took over the reins. His most impressive work during his 34 seasons came from 1987 to 2000, when the team finished each season with 10 wins and a top-five ranking in the polls. During that stretch, he won both of his national championships and coached two Heisman Trophy winners — Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. What’s more, he accomplished those feats while in-state rivals Florida and Miami were national powers. Bowden also boasts 12 ACC championships, nine of which were won consecutively from 1992 — FSU’s first year in the conference — to 2000. That’s a lot of dadgum success.
  8. Eddie Robinson: Any list consisting of elite college football head coaches wouldn’t be complete without mention of Grambling’s Eddie Robinson, who’s best known for being the winningest coach in Division I-AA/FBS history, compiling a record of 408-165-15. He oversaw 45 winning seasons, 13 SWAC championships and nine black college football national championships, and coached more than 200 players who played professionally in the AFL and NFL. The final day of his career culminated with a call from President Clinton, who had previously called to congratulate him after his 400th win. The then-leader of the free world was one man who recognized the often unheralded accomplishments of Robinson.
  9. Frank Leahy: Frank Leahy may have lacked the longevity of other coaches on this list, but he packed just about as much success into his 13 seasons as the head coach of Boston College and Notre Dame. In the history of Division I football, his .864 winning percentage (107-13-9 record) is second only to fellow Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne. He coached six undefeated season, which accounts for almost half of his career, oversaw a 39-game unbeaten streak and won four national championships — all with the Irish. After his retirement, Notre Dame struggled for the next decade until Ara Parseghian took over and won almost as efficiently as Leahy and Rockne.
  10. Barry Switzer: Like him or not, it’s impossible to argue with Barry Switzer’s success at Oklahoma. During his first eight seasons at the helm, he won a Big Eight championship each year and two national championships. Overall, he won 12 Big Eight championships and three national championships in 16 seasons, compiling a 157-29-4 record and .837 winning percentage, which is the fourth best of all-time. He won 10 or more games in a season 11 times and never won fewer than seven games. Also impressive was his record against other elite head coaches — he was 12-5 versus rival Tom Osborne, 3-0-1 versus rival Darrell Royal (9-5-2 overall versus Texas), 5-3 versus Jimmy Johnson and 3-0 versus Bobby Bowden. Switzer more than proved that he belongs in the discussion with his big-name contemporaries.

Others who could easily make this subjective list: John Gagliardi, Larry Kehres, Walter Camp, Fielding Yost, Amos Alonzo Stagg, George Washington Woodruff, Pop Warner, Bernie Bierman, Ara Parseghian, Darrell Royal, John McKay, Tom Osborne.

Turn Down the Volume

Madonna may have crooned during the dawn of the new millennium that music makes the people come together, but researchers are finding that it most certainly does not make the information come together – at least, not when it comes to studying. A recent study found that those who listened to music while trying to memorize data sets, whether their tunes of choice happened to be Madonna, Bruno Mars, or Beethoven, performed worse than those who studied in silence.

Music, even instrumental pieces, is distracting to studiers trying to memorize a list of facts or formulas. This is because music is varied and ever-changing, which distracts the brain from entirely focusing on memorizing something intensive, according to an article published in CNN. Even if you do not think you are paying any attention to the music playing in the background, your brain is indeed devoting some part of its power to keeping up with the song. This holds true for both songs with which you are familiar and songs that you do not know.

The research, which was conducted by the University of Wales in Cardiff, United Kingdom, saw researchers testing subjects in a room on their ability to recall information they had been studying. Tests were done with subjects studying in silence, studying with a song they liked or disliked on, studying with a song they did not know on, and studying with a track of an electronic voice repeating the number "three." The cases where the subjects looked over their materials in silence and with the electronic voice in the background had studiers perform the quickest and most accurate recall of information.

The silence and steady, unchanging electronic voice were the best "soundtracks" to study to, researchers theorized, because it was completely predictable and unvarying, so the brain could easily tune it out and devote all of its focus and concentration on memorizing data. With music, however, trying to memorize data, especially data ordered in a specific sequence, conflicted with the changing pitches, words, tones, and volumes of the musical piece. In fact, even listening to a conversation, such as one that would be heard when studying with the television on, can conflict with your attempt to memorize information for a class or test.

The best thing to do when you’re trying to memorize something for a test or class is to turn the music off and sit in silence as you pore over your notes. You will undoubtedly see an improvement in your comprehension, memorization, and academic performance.

Will I Ever Need to Come to Campus for an Online Course?

College students enroll in online courses for the chance to go to school from the comfort of their own homes and for the flexibility that allows them to go to class at any time of day that’s most convenient to them. While most online courses will not require you to have to set foot on a college campus, there are a few exceptions, particularly for students who are completing entire degree or certificate programs fully online.

One instance where you may have to visit a college campus is to have exams proctored. Not every online instructor will have this requirement, but some do prefer students to show up in person to take tests so that a human being can oversee the testing process to ensure no cheating occurs. Even so, in many cases the testing process is flexible and can be scheduled at a convenient time for the student within the professor’s testing deadline. In this way, online instructors can accommodate students who are working professionals.

Even when your instructors themselves don’t require your physical presence on a campus, you may have to show up to a formal testing center to take tests associated with the earning of certifications. Sometimes this testing center is set up at your college campus, and sometimes it is somewhere else entirely.

Online science courses may require students to visit a campus so they can avail themselves of lab space and equipment. Also, nursing students may need to participate in some on-campus nursing labs for procedural training. In addition, online nursing students will need to complete clinical training at a health care facility in their city.

Another occasion where an online student would have to go to campus is for speech classes. While the lion’s share of such courses is conducted online, students generally will have to give a speech in front of their peers on campus at least three times a semester. Again, these speeches can be scheduled for a time that’s most convenient for the students.

The only other instance where online students will need to regularly visit a college campus is if they are enrolled in hybrid courses, which typically require a student to attend classes online and on-campus.

In conclusion, the best way to know if your online courses will require campus visits is by carefully looking over the course description before enrolling in the course. The description should clearly explain if and when campus visits are expected.

Completing Group Projects Online

While you may think that professors don’t assign group assignments or projects to students who are pursuing their degrees online, think again. Depending on which program you are enrolled in, you can be expected to do several group projects throughout your college career. And as if doing group work at a traditional school wasn’t hard enough, it can be exceptionally difficult if you’ve never even intermingled with your group partners in real life. But it can be done. Continue reading to learn how to do group projects online.

The first thing you want to do is get to know your team members. Exchange both e-mails and phone numbers if possible. This is because some people tend to respond to e-mails at a much slower rate than a phone call, and if you are in a bind and need to contact a team member right away, you’ll most likely have better luck calling them. At this time it’s also probably best to select a leader. This person will not be responsible of the majority of the coursework, rather just to make sure that everyone is collectively on task. With that said, this person should have strong organizational and communication skills and should probably be someone who has less obligations—meaning, those who have a full-time job and a family are probably not best for this role since their time is already limited.

The second thing you want to do is arrange a brainstorming session. Some prefer to meet in person at a local library or coffee shop to do this. But this might prove difficult for others since people have different schedules, live in different time zones, or even entirely different continents. If you cannot meet collectively in person then try to arrange another way for all of you to communicate simultaneously. A good idea would be to video chat using software like Skype or Oovo for example. During your brainstorming session, you can determine who the strongest students are and who may be weak links. The weak links are generally those who don’t really suggest many ideas or seem to be disinterested in the class all together. It generally is best to assign the weak links the easiest portion of the assignment. It may not seem fair, but it’s better not risking getting a low grade because the weak link fubbed on a major component of the project.

After you have collectively decided on an idea and have ensured that everyone is on the same page, you can simply e-mail each other back and forth to check on progress or if any questions need to be answered. It’s also equally important that you do your part of the assignment. If any complications arise, it’s important that you immediately notify your group members—you don’t want to leave anyone in the dark.

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