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Posts Tagged ‘online learning’

New Era of Higher Education, Distance Learning, and Working Adults:

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

This blog post is in response to an article from New York Times and it explains a report from public agenda with the title “With Their While Lives Ahead of Them” and was written by Bill and Melinda gates foundation. Some six hundred young adults of age groups 22- 30 who had quit college before acquiring a degree were surveyed.

I oppose the opening comment that was made by Tamar Lewin “Only 1 out of 5 students who enroll in 2 year institutions graduates within 3 years. And even with 4-year colleges, only 2 out of 5 students finish their degree within 6 years”.

As mentioned in past, the 3 and 6-year timeframes need to be examined before they are criticized. Taking more time to complete the degree than usual duration (150% point meaning, three years for 2-year course and six years for 4-year course) is often more a function of the population attending college than of the education system. 85% of college students are either part time students or adult learners, well past the average student age, who have full time jobs work while working towards their bachelor degree. We must think about longer time frame, which permits how such students pursue for completion of degree.

I believe that online degrees at state funded universities and colleges maybe their best path because it helps to resolve the issue of finances and time.

  • Sixty percent of people who dropped out in middle did not have any financial support from their parents for education.
  • Sixty percent of students who received financial assistance from parents were able to complete their degree.
  • Among people who dropped out, sixty percent did not have loan aid or scholarship when completing, only forty percent did not get any assistance.
  • The #1 reason for quitting is that they could not support themselves without any financial help from parents and attend colleges at same time.
  • More than one out of three stated that even if they have sufficient funds to cover books and tuition, they were not able to return to school due to obligations of work and family.
  • Among the students who completed, 72% were of annual income range of $35,000 while people who dropped out more than fifty percent of households were having income of less than $35000 per year.

What stands out? One is 85% issue. The public policies are made with the assumption that college students are attending full-time on campus and joining directly from high school and get financial support from parents. But the actual truth is that 85% are older, and/or study part-time and/or working and/or financially independent. The 2nd is that students having lower income have substantial challenges. Lot of students who have lower income belong to this 85% group.

It is no miracle, that survey respondents did not consider the solutions as making application process easier or adding online courses. To increase the completion rate students need financial support, cost-reduction and facilities for childcare, which permit more financial support for part-time students. However with online learning at state funded colleges costs drop dramatically and child care is much less of an issue.

What results are found by this study? Will any person listen to actual facts regarding the challenges faced by huge population of present-day college students? We must drop the assumption that high school students and their parents are singular audience for decision making of public policies for higher education and be realistic in our assessment of education in the 21st century.

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Need for a College Degree

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Need for a college degree depends upon personal career objectives, however generally if you have a higher education, your salary will be higher, and you will have better career choices as well as security. Recently, a report from the Census Bureau of America shows that the median annual salary for employees holding a high school diploma was $27,915; whereas for a  four years bachelor’s degree, it was $51,206. People holding just a high-school diploma were more likely to be jobless compared to those with bachelor’s degrees. People not holding a high-school diploma had an average yearly salary of only $18,734. People earning a master’s/doctoral degree got a yearly average salary of $74,602 or even more.

According to statistics project 75 % of  positions in the future are likely to necessitate at least some kind of licensure or certification, and professions which necessitate a bachelor’s degree are likely to increase almost twice as speedily as the nation’s average. So, investing to obtain a college degree is undoubtedly a wise decision. A number of adults come across the need of a college degree to step in their career of their interest or to obtain an increased salary. Rest of the people find themselves as workforce due to economic conditions or divorce or career transition. With the advancement in technology plus changing economic as well as employment circumstances, a lot of adults are coming across a growing demand to build or update their skills and knowledge.

Remember that not every adult needs to obtain a college degree. Vocational training and certificate programs can usually offer the essential expertise and professional training.

Adult Student or Re-entry

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Adult student or re-entry (also known as non-traditional students) are usually age 25 or above, with ages varying from 25-69 at a lot of universities and colleges.  Usually, the adult students are female; however men are going back to college to update their professional skills as well as further advancement in career. Some might never have gone to college or begun college and then caesed due to financial, personal, or other grounds. A lot of them have spent their time as workforce, in raising family or the military, and need to return to make their lifelong dreams come true. Some are single parents whereas others are retired but all are in search of a better and happier life. (According to the Dept of Education, 13 % of students who are currently attending college are single parents, the figure increasing up from 7.6 % in 1993.)

A powerful factor why students wish for changing their careers or updating their professional credentials is the economic instability. A number of re-entry students continue working while going back to school whereas others go to part-time. It’s never very late to return to school. You might be opting for a degree program, going back to complete a degree, looking for a specialized degree or a second degree, or obtaining courses for personal or occupational enrichment.