Eating candy can help you become a better student! Wait, haven’t you been trying to tell your parents that since elementary school? Well, as it turns out you were right all along. Indulging in sweets (in moderation, of course!) might actually help you get the most out of your study time. If you’ve been holding off those sugar cravings for years, sweet relief is finally here!
In order to maximize the benefit of each delicious bite, it’s best to have a game plan (and shopping list) in place. So before you grab your wallet and run, take a few minutes to browse the advice below.
If you think you’re doing yourself a favor by opting for the sugar-free version of your favorite study time snack, you might be wrong. As it turns out, just a little bit of sugar may go a long way in helping you power through to the end of your coma-inducing reading assignment. In fact, recent studies show that not only will you get to the end with a sugar boost; you’ll have focused better throughout. Now, rejoice and grab that bag of candy you’ve been eyeing. Anything with sugar will do!
Chocolate-Flavored Mood Booster
Ah, chocolate. The taste alone can help brighten even the darkest days, but did you know it contains a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) that can actually enhance your mood? In fact, it’s proven to help relieve signs of depression. So, what does that have to do with your study time? You get to enjoy those M&M’s you’ve been dreaming about while writing your next paper, of course! But seriously, think of it this way – if you’re in a better mood, you’ll study longer. If you study longer, you’re bound to get better results on those papers and tests!
Having trouble focusing on the task at hand? Grab a peppermint! Studies at the University of Cincinnati show that you’ll concentrate better and even become more alert, not to mention the added benefit of having the freshest breath around. If a bag of peppermints isn’t your first choice for a sugary snack, try stopping by Starbuck’s for a peppermint hot chocolate or grabbing a piece of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark for a mood-brightening bonus!
Gum-Smacking for Stress Relief
For many students, battling stress is an everyday occurrence. If you find yourself battling anxiety, try chewing a piece of gum to ease the pain. The repetitive nature can help release nervous tension, letting you focus on the task at hand. If you’re a little skeptical, check out a little research on the benefits of chewing, then pick up a pack of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum and start reaping the benefits. And don’t forget – none of that sugar-free stuff!
BY: KARA HAWKING
Certificate programs are an efficient way to expand your knowledge without committing to the time and cost of an additional degree. They can be completed for fun, or as part of a career development strategy.
David G. Moore Jr. (Ph.D.), curriculum and assessments faculty in NCU’s School of Business and Technology Management is a self-described collector of diplomas and certificates. Moore holds undergraduate certificates in culinary arts and bartending, plus commercial and workplace Spanish. This is in addition to Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) certificates.
Although he has completed certificates for personal knowledge, Moore is a staunch believer that certificate programs allow students to revise their career path without completing a second or third degree. In fact, according to US News & World Report, “for some… a certificate or just a few courses are enough to get a promotion – and a raise.”
“Let’s say a student has an undergraduate degree in computer science and has been working in software development for several years,” says Moore. “If they decide they want to move into a managerial role, a certificate in project management would be perfect for them. It augments their existing technical skills with the necessary project management skills to start seeking a more supervisory position.”
While some, like Moore collect certificates for fun, for others they become part of a licensing requirement.
Shannyn Stern, vice president and controller at Northcentral University is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). In order to maintain her certification, Stern is required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing professional education each year. Enrolling in a certificate program allows Stern to fulfill her annual professional education hours while at the same time adding a new certificate to her resume.
Although educators are not required to complete professional development courses, it is an expectation that they will do so. Taking coursework to gain endorsements on top of their teaching certificate is a way for teachers to ensure continued professional growth.
NCU’s Assistant Dean of the School of Education, Karen Ferguson (Ph.D.) asserts that “academic certificates demonstrate content mastery, a dedication to lifelong learning and professional development. Certificates… demonstrate to school leadership that [teachers] are dedicated to continuous improvement and learning.”
With the demand for fast and convenient education solutions rising, countless 100 percent online certificate programs are now available in almost any professional field out there. In fact, Drexel University offers an online graduate certificate in creativity and innovation!
*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.
Remember being a kid and looking forward to the holiday season each year? There was nothing more exciting than getting time off school, spending time with family, listening to cheerful songs on the radio, eating great food and opening presents, lots of presents. Ah, the good old days! Now you’re all grown up, and the holidays represent something completely different. Sure, all of the excitement is still in the air, but there’s something about having to plan, cook and host it all that makes the season just a little more stressful.
Don’t let the thought of everything you need to do to prepare for the holiday season become overwhelming! You can get back to enjoying the final days of 2013 by properly preparing for the stress the season brings. Take a few moments to sit down, breathe and take in these suggestions for making your life just a tad easier.
Plan Your Time
If you’re anything like the rest of us, your holiday to-do list is a few miles long. From shopping to baking and family time, the last few weeks of each year are packed full of preparation for can’t-miss gatherings. Planning for the chaos is your best defense against obligation overload, so use this opportunity to start a positive time management habit – calendar blocking. Then, make a commitment to stick to your plan.
Set a Strict Budget
The holidays emphasize the spirit of generosity and it feels good to share your holiday spirit with others. If you’re stressed about fitting all of the gifts, food and charity contributions in to your budget this year, you’re not alone. Holiday spending (and the stress that goes with it) can get out of control fast, so take the time to set a strict budget. Not sure where to start? Check out this how to article complete with budget worksheets and tips on tracking, tweaking and limiting your spending.
Make a Holiday Playlist
When you’re out fighting crowds and standing in the checkout line for hours, it’s easy to forget that the holiday season is really about family, friends and being thankful for togetherness. If you find yourself standing at the edge of a holiday breakdown, try listening to a few holiday songs that can bring you back from the brink. In fact, it might be a good idea to be proactive and craft a holiday playlist ready for blasting through your headphones at a moment’s notice. If you’re in need of a few suggestions, try browsing Billboard’s list of hot holiday songs.
Spread the Holiday Spirit
There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get from giving back to your community. Volunteering for a local food drive, food bank or church not only helps your community, it helps you to become more grateful for the gifts you have in your life. If you’re having trouble finding a volunteer opportunity to feel passionate about, try VolunteerMatch.org. With a database full of opportunities to give back across the country, you’re sure to find something close to home.
Thanksgiving dinner is arguably the most anticipated meal of the year. What have you done to prepare? If your answer is “nothing,” don’t stress. You’ve still got (a little) time to pull together an impressive feast. Start by browsing the recipes below, craft a well-organized shopping list, and then make a mad dash to your local grocery store to grab the necessities before they’re gone!
Let’s face it, the turkey is the star of the day. But with so many options for this famed-fowl, which direction should you go? Beginners might choose to start with this Class Roast Turkey recipe from famed Chef Emeril Lagasse. If you’re a seasoned veteran of turkey preparation, try using turkey brine recipe to bring a little unique flavor to your bird. Finally, for those feeling especially adventurous this holiday season, give the fried turkey a try. You can’t go wrong with a little deep-fried goodness (don’t forget the safety goggles!)!
From apples and cornbread to pecans and sweet sausage, it seems everyone has their own Thanksgiving stuffing style, but which best fits your feast? There’s no right answer – just go with your gut! If you’re looking for something a little different this year, check out Country Living’s 21 Recipes for Thanksgiving Stuffing. Or, for those that stick with tradition, use this tried-and-true Classic Bread Turkey Stuffing from Betty Crocker. Whichever recipe you choose, don’t stress – stuffing is used to playing second fiddle to turkey!
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
You’re either a lumps or no lumps kind of family, there is no in between! Admit it – you’re probably only truly safe at the Thanksgiving table if you stick with tradition on this one. But if you’re willing to risk it, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs or Paula Deen’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You won’t be disappointed!
As for the gravy, your best bet is to stick with simple. The potato (and anything else that ends up getting smothered) should take center stage, so don’t overdo it! Check out this No-Fail Make Anytime Turkey Gravy if you’re up for the challenge of making it from scratch. If not, Heinz has a great option in a jar – we won’t tell!
Green Bean Casserole
No Thanksgiving spread is complete without a green bean casserole. While each family’s rendition might look a little different, that undisputable taste is the same. Whether you use the traditional Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe or took yours from Betty Crocker, this one’s a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
It’s the classic cranberry conundrum – whole or jellied? Here’s a tip for Thanksgiving table harmony – include both! Now that you’ve got that settled, consult the designated cranberry experts for canned options and a fresh recipe – Ocean Spray! If you’re looking to save time, pick up a few cans at your local grocery store. Up for the fresh and from scratch route? This Fresh Cranberry Sauce recipe is sure to satisfy even the most critical cranberry fan.
A piece of pie – no matter the flavor – is the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast. While every family has their favorites, there’s no denying the classic pumpkin pie is a must-have. Once you’ve made sure to include pumpkin, feel free to go wild! From pecan to sweet potato and apple, The Food Network’s collection of the Best Thanksgiving Pie and Tart Recipes is sure to inspire. Not in to baking? Pick up a few flavors at your local grocery store and pop them in the oven for a few minutes before serving to get that homemade taste.
BY: JORDAN MARLOW
With the job market becoming more competitive, embracing technology to assist in the search for your next career is a necessity. The following apps can help you reduce the inevitable headache that comes along with a job search.
Linkedin – Available on IOS & Android for Free
Linkedin is the professional’s social network. It allows you to create an online resume shared with a network of friends, colleagues, and likeminded individuals within your field. It also works as a job search engine, which gives you the ability to connect with recruiters, companies, and leaders within your industry. Linkedin not only allows you to search for job openings in your area, but also sends emails with new job postings you may be interested in exploring based on the information within your profile.
Indeed, Job Search Engine – Available on IOS & Android for Free
Indeed provides an easy to use two-step search to help you find careers available in your area. Using career specific keywords and in combination with your location, Indeed provides a list of all the careers matching your search criteria. Search results can be filtered to show the newest posts on top, giving you the ability to apply for the newest jobs available.
CareerBuilder – Available on IOS & Android for Free
The CareerBuilder app allows you to search for jobs via a broad quick search and can help you narrow your search with an advanced search option. The advanced search option allows you to select multiple cities, set your salary range, as well as several other helpful options. Much like the LinkedIn job alerts, you can also register to receive email alerts that will provide you with new career postings that fall within your selected criteria.
Pocket Resume Pro – Available on IOS & Android for $2.99
The Pocket Resume Pro app lets you create and send a stylish resume from your phone or tablet. Pocket Resume keeps your resume mobile, allowing you to update on the go and send your professional and creative resume via PDF.
SimplyHired – Available on IOS & Android for Free
The self-proclaimed “world’s largest job search engine,” Simply Hired is available in an easy to use app. With over five million jobs listings from newspapers, bulletin boards, and company postings, your search results could be seemingly endless. SimplyHired allows you to filter results based on your career needs such as contract work, full-time, or part-time. The app also allows you to save your favorite postings and automatically saves your search history to help keep track of successful or not-so-successful searches you’ve performed.
*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.
When some people think about adding a pet to their family, they are more worried about the added responsibility and time requirement versus the overall benefit of having a pet. Trips to the veterinarian for vaccinations, spending extra money on food and toys, the headache of potty training, long walks around the park and chewed up shoes are all images that may come to mind when we see the “Adopt Me” sign in front of the dozen puppies and kittens playing outside PetSmart.
Yes, having a pet of any kind is a long-term financial and time commitment, but for most of us, what we get out of the relationship far exceeds what we put into it. More often than not, the promise of unconditional love and companionship are enough to get a paw in the door, but recently-documented health benefits are yet another reason to consider expanding your family with a pet. In fact, studies of the human-animal connection have shown that pet ownership can help “lower blood pressure, less[en] risk of heart disease and reduce anxiety.”
It’s easy to connect the dots between constant companionship and reduced anxiety, but what about those miracle stories of healing? You know, the ones where a cockatoo helped a child overcome the challenges of severe illness. The benefit of the human-animal connection is well-documented in The Pet Collective videos section – Healing Power of Pets. You’re sure to become a believer after watching a US Marine suffering from PTSD, a man with brain cancer, and a young boy with a seizure-detecting dog share their heartwarming stories of pet companionship and healing.
Still feeling a little skeptical? Check out The Healing Power of the Human-Animal Connection by Margo A Halm, RN, PhD, APRN-BC, CCRN. According to this study published in the American Journal of Critical Care, animal-assisted therapy (AAT) helped patients with perception of happiness, normalizing the hospital healing environment, and increased relaxation and calmness. Not to mention the finding that in cardiac patients, pet ownership was significantly correlated with 1-year survival. It’s not so easy to argue with actual results!
If you’re looking for a way to implement the power of pet companionship into your own healthy lifestyle, check out The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Amazing Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy. The author and resident veterinarian on Good Morning America, Dr. Marty Becker can show you how pets can help “prevent, detect, treat, and in some cases cure a variety of maladies from arthritis to asthma, and from Alzheimer’s to depression.” Then, head to your local Humane Society to give a pet in need a new family.
With almost 260 million members, working professionals can’t really afford not to be on LinkedIn. But, did you know there’s actually more to it than building and housing your online resume?
That’s right, similar to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is also considered a social network. If you’ve been missing out on the social aspect of LinkedIn, groups are a great way to connect with people that are similar to you in some way (same industry, same company, same city, etc.).
For example, the official group for a university may comprise of students, alumni, faculty members, staff members or even sports fans. That’s a lot of people, and while they are all related to the university in some way, most of them probably have very different interests. For example, the faculty may want to discuss items that the sports fans do not find interesting and vice versa.
LinkedIn subgroups allow group members to form their own subgroup within the group. Going back to our university example, perhaps a subgroup would be created for all the faculty members, one for the students, one for alumni, and so on. At that point, a group of students who only study online might want to form their own subgroup, or the business faculty might create their own subgroup. The possibilities are nearly endless.
If this sounds like something you want to take advantage of, let me warn you, LinkedIn subgroups aren’t the easiest thing to find if you are a first-time user. However, the effort is worth it. So worth it in fact, that we put together some easy steps to help you find your LinkedIn group’s subgroups. Happy hunting!
- Go to the main group page.
- At the top right of the page, you should see an ‘i’ icon.
- Click the ‘i’ icon.
- Click the number next to the “Subgroups” category.
- Click “+Join” underneath the subgroup you want to join.
BY: ERIN WALSH
Writing a dissertation requires managing hundreds of citations and sources. Careful organization will save you countless hours rummaging through your research, but the million dollar question many students ask is “how do I do that?”
To answer this question, we asked NCU students, faculty and alumni — via Facebook and LinkedIn — how they keep track of their research. Their recommendations: Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote, Evernote, and of course, RefWorks:
- Mendeley organizes documents and references, suggests related research, shows readership statistics and allows collaboration with groups. The basic version is free, but premium features can be added for a cost.
“I have been using Mendeley… it is great for being able to access material from different devices such as my iPad.” Denise Parker (Ed.D., Educational Technology & E-Learning, candidate)
“I use Mendeley as my main repository for articles and citations…I find that this is the perfect way to keep track of my materials.” Alan Jackson (D.B.A., candidate)
- Zotero is available as a Firefox plugin or as a standalone application. By creating an account, you are able to sync your research information with other computers and an online library that is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. Zotero is capable of identifying bibliographic information on web pages and, with a click, automatically saves it. In many cases, Zotero will automatically capture citation information. Items saved in your library are searchable. You can identify duplicates and insert citations directly into your research paper using a word processor plugin. There is a $20/year charge for 2G of server-based storage, but up to 300MB of storage is free.
“Zotero.” Susan Stillman, Ed.D. (NCU faculty)
- EndNote groups citations into libraries with the file extension *.enl and a corresponding *.data folder. Access to certain searchable library catalogs and free databases are included in the software. EndNote offers automatic citation formatting with a list of 2,000 different styles. You can purchase EndNote for $113.95.
“I’m a big fan of EndNote. It allows for organization and filtering by name of the author, title, year, etc. It allows you to take notes right through the program or you can attach your own notes to each article. For each reference I pull in I attach the PDF file, a notes page and a bibliography at the minimum.” Christopher Boulter (Ph.D., Psychology, candidate)
- Evernote allows students and researchers to collect information from anywhere and save it in one single place: from notes, web clips, files, images and more, on any device. They offer MAC and Windows versions. Evernote offers free and premium accounts.
“I used and continue to use Evernote. Great for annotated bibliographies that are easily searchable – and by always using proper APA format, I only have to type the full citation once. The other times are just copy and paste.” Wayne Perry, Ph.D. (Director of Clinical Training, School of Marriage and Family Sciences, NCU)
“I tried EndNote and just didn’t find it to be a good fit for me (no specific issues, just felt a bit too structured). I ended up keeping references and notes in Evernote, which I could use from anywhere including on my phone and iPad. I saved PDFs into a system of folders set up by topic, and often used the Spotlight search feature on my Mac to search within these for authors or keywords.” Russell Walker (Ph.D., Business Administration, 2012)
- RefWorks is a research management, writing and collaboration tool offered through the NCU Library’s institutional subscription. NCU began offering RefWorks in 2009. Workshops and tutorials on RefWorks may be accessed from the Library Workshop Videos or Quick Tutorial Videos pages. Or, check for the availability of live training on RefWorks by visiting the Library Workshops Schedule page.
“RefWorks is a good tool for organizing research within the Library and is commonly available among databases making it easy to export citations directly into a RefWorks account. Within RefWorks you can organize citations into folders for easy reference and quickly produce an APA formatted reference list as well as create in-text citations within a document. Although we highly recommend students still consult the APA manual for confirmation.” Ed Salazar, M.A. (NCU Librarian)
“When I wrote my dissertation, I used RefWorks. While there is a learning curve, it also provides the greatest amount of flexibility in the longer term. However, today I generally use Zotero for scholarly/academic work. While there is a free version, it is worth the $20 per year charge for the security of having a cloud-based backup of your reference database and notes.” Frank Cervone (Ph.D., Business Administration, 2007)
“RefWorks has developed a tool called Write-N-Cite, which not only converts Word’s XML file and synchronizes it to the online references, but allows in-text citation and reference list building in APA 6th ed. format. I highly recommend Write-N-Cite, because then your citation database isn’t limited to your device. There are drawbacks with this setup, as you must edit and organize your citations through RefWorks online.” David Czuba (Ed.D., Leadership in Higher Education, candidate)
*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.
So, what exactly is calendar blocking? Put simply, it’s reserving blocks of time on your calendar for specific tasks. This exercise can help you save time, get well-organized and become a more productive version of your current self.
If this sounds like something you might benefit from, you’re right! Set aside some time to follow the steps below and get the process started for yourself, you’ll reap the benefits faster than you think.
First, select your calendar tool. Using Microsoft Outlook is ideal, but a simple day planner or desk calendar can work, too! When choosing your calendar tool, keep in mind that a weekly view is best. You’ll need ample room for writing in as many details about your day as possible!
Next, make a list of commitments you have in the coming weeks. A few things that may appear on your list are:
- Study Time
- Family Gatherings
- Date Night
- Extracurricular Activities
- Doctor Appointments
- Birthdays, Holidays and Important Occasions
- Carpool Reminders
- Car Care Appointments (oil changes, break checks, etc.)
- Cleaning & Laundry
Take the time to prioritize the commitments you have on your list. For example, work and study time would be high priorities, while extracurricular activities might fall on the lower end. This exercise will help in in the next step – building your calendar.
Building Your Calendar
Once you’ve brainstormed and prioritized your list, it’s time to put it all on your calendar. Start with the most important commitments such as work, doctor appointments and study time. Then, make your way down the list of priorities.
Remember that it’s important to know the difference between a flexible commitment and a mandatory commitment when you’re glancing at your time management tool in the future. To help with this, Outlook users can assign a specific color to each prioritization, while day planner users might grab a box of highlighters in assorted colors.
Here’s a look at what an effective blocked Outlook calendar might resemble.
Making it Work
Anyone can color in areas of a daily calendar to make it look pretty and efficient, but making your calendar blocks effective is more difficult. Here’s how you can make it work..
“I’m having trouble sticking to the allotted time in my blocks!”
If you have a watch, use it! Or, try using the stopwatch on your phone to ensure you move on to your next task on time. In order for calendar blocking to be effective, you must hold yourself to these time limits.
“I blocked this time and I don’t remember why!”
Are you having trouble remembering what you’re supposed to be doing during your “Work” block today? Next time, include as many details as possible for each block. If you have a list or summary of items to complete, you’re more likely to stay on task.
“I gave myself too much time!”
If you find yourself completing tasks before the allotted time has expired, adjust your calendar! You may not realize how efficient you are at cleaning the bathroom or completing your reading assignment. The good news is now you have extra free time!
One of the most difficult skills for online students to perfect is communication in the virtual classroom. From emails to instructors to discussion posts and final papers, the online student communicates almost entirely in the written word. For those weighing a few options for advancing their education, this can be an intimidating realization. Whether you’re already an online student or are pondering the possibility of becoming one, help yourself form a few great habits by browsing the tips below.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure there are no errors, using a proper greeting and closing, and maintaining a professional tone in all communications will help you stand above your classmates. Also, remember to proofread your submissions, no matter how insignificant the assignment, discussion post, or email might be. Your instructors will appreciate the respect given, and your classmates will admire your attention to detail. Want an added bonus? Your professional habits in the classroom are sure to carry over to the workplace!
Stick to the Academics
If you’re required to participate in threaded discussions or you’re communicating via email with your instructor, remember you’re in a classroom, not a chat room. Just because you found a little extra courage by hiding in the protective technology bubble doesn’t mean anyone wants to read details of your latest family argument, how your best friend totally stabbed you in the back, or the fact that your 2-year-old is getting an F- in potty training. In other words – stick to the academics. Your audience – no matter who that may be – will appreciate it!
Avoid the Frantic “HELP!” Emails
Having trouble with an assignment that’s due in 3 days and not sure what to do? Don’t stress out on the details for the first 2 days, and then frantically email your instructor five hours before the submission deadline. As soon as you find yourself questioning your ability to complete the assignment, reach out for help! This helps you avoid the stress while giving your instructor ample time to give you the help you need to complete the assignment successfully.
You’ve taken the time to craft the perfect discussion post or email, so do yourself a favor and save it somewhere! Try creating a folder on your computer or on a flash drive for every class you take – then use it. Emailing your instructor? Copy yourself and file any response you receive in your class folder. Receive some particularly awesome (or scathing) feedback on a paper? Save it. As you move along in your academic journey, you may find the advice, feedback and general support you received from your instructors helpful in future courses.
Did you forget about Halloween this year? Don’t punish yourself by skipping the festivities just because you’re failing Halloween Prep: 101! If you’re frantically searching for ways to display a little last-minute Halloween spirit, we’ve got you covered.
Speedy Costume Solutions
Invited to a costume party you totally forgot about? Never fear, there are thousands of last-minute costume ideas out there, no matter what you’ve got to work with in your closet. Check out the ideas below for almost any Halloween costume pickle!
- Have a suit or planning to spend the day dressed up in the office? Check out these Suited Halloween Costumes.
- If you’re working with a tight budget, these 17 Cheap and Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes might be just what you’re looking for.
- Did your plus one space the costume, too? Here are a few ideas for last-minute couples’ costumes you can use for a little inspiration.
- Working with a costume deadline for the whole family? Here’s a great clip of Ellen’s costume ideas for kids!
Swift Decoration Ideas
If you’re going to participate at all, you might as well go all-in. Halloween decorations can be fun and easy, you’ll just have to use the suggestions below and get creative!
- There’s still time for these last-minute Halloween decoration ideas that can impress almost any Trick-or-Treater out there!
- Trying to save a few bucks for the next holiday? Check out these Halloween decorations for under $10 to pinch a few pennies!
- So you didn’t carve a pumpkin yet? No worries! Here are a few beginner pumpkin carving templates you can complete in a jiffy.
- Don’t forget to download a few of these Top 10 Halloween Songs to give your decorations a spooky finish.
Scary Halloween Classics
Not in to decorations or costumes? There’s nothing like a scary movie to get you in the Halloween spirit!
- If you’re open to anything, one of the Top 10 Halloween Movies might be just what you’re looking for.
- Not in to the blood and cuts? Try something with a creepier feel from this list of 50 genuinely creepy horror movies.
- If you’re hanging with the family, these family-friendly Halloween movies might be the vibe you’re looking for.
Over the last century, the K-12 classroom has evolved into something almost completely unrecognizable to previous generations. From blackboards to SMART boards, quill pens to laptops and tablets, and most recently paper-and-pencil homework assignments to game-based instruction, the classroom is now a whole new world. Teachers be advised – the days of the traditional lecture in the classroom are gone. In the eyes of the K-12 student, gamification is the new standard of excellence.
Take a look at the examples of gamification success below. You just might find yourself running to Toys “R” Us for the latest gaming craze!
The Classic Board Game
Just because you’re using games in the classroom, doesn’t mean they need to incorporate a new-fangled technology tool. Sometimes the most effective games are the classics – in this case, a board game reminiscent of Risk (without the world domination theme, of course!). Become inspired by this 4th grade classroom’s game “World Peace,” and start brainstorming ideas on how you can reuse everything in your game closet! If you get creative, almost any lesson plan can involve a new twist on a classic board game.
Gaming Systems with an Education Focus
These days, almost every child has some form of gaming system and teachers are learning to take advantage of the new generation’s skillset in the classroom. Whether it’s the brand new model of the XBOX 360, or the original Nintendo, the level of engagement these games provide cannot be ignored. Parents can even jump on the bandwagon by providing educational games for their kids to enjoy at home, such as these Edutainment games by Nintendo.
Check out this teacher’s innovative take on the use of the Nintendo DS gaming system in the classroom.
Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom
Not every game needs to be subject-focused. Complete with a personal avatar for each student, Dojo points for good behavior, and an easy-to-use reporting system for teachers, Class Dojo provides a virtual arena for rewarding behavioral improvement in the classroom.
Take a look at this Class Dojo trailer, or visit www.classdojo.com for more detailed information on how this can improve behavior in your classroom.
You’ve succumbed to a late night Bravo and HGTV binge. It’s 2:00 AM and you’re frantically searching the internet for the perfect addition to your home. Sure, it started as an innocent search for a new comforter, but it no longer matters what room it’s for. You just want something fabulous!
Before dropping 300 bucks on a new comforter set complete with throw pillows, take a moment, breathe, and browse these suggestions for a DIY home makeover on a budget. You’ll get through this!
Tired of staring at that spaghetti sauce stain behind the stove every time you cook? Or maybe you’re just over the olive green color you were obsessed with 5 years ago? Changing up the backsplash will give your kitchen the transformation you’re craving without going overboard, and it’s easier than you think.
Try giving your kitchen a face-lift with these budget backsplash projects!
If you’re hosting your family’s holiday festivities this year, get ready to wow them with a new look for your dining room by adding crown molding! Home and Garden Television (HGTV) provides a budget-conscious solution to this otherwise pricey upgrade here. If that’s not the look you’re going for, browse the site for other ideas. You’re sure to find something that fits your budget.
Sometimes money isn’t the only thing you’re budgeting – time is of the essence for this one-day makeover! If you’re working with a 7 PM deadline for your hosting debut, check out this nine-hour living room makeover. A few decorative tweaks, a new accent color, and strategic placing of lamps and furniture and you’re set!
You just saw the perfect lamp on Million Dollar Listing: New York. A quick Google search reveals – shocker – it costs $2,000! If you don’t have extra cash lying around for your fabulous bedroom remodel, take a look at these tips on designer bedroom DIY projects. The extra effort you put in to creating your unique look will mean so much more, while costing much less.
Since it’s not technically part of the home, you have no problem justifying the massive clutter dump your garage has become. You’ve come to terms with parking your car in the driveway and never being able to find anything when you need it, so why change it?
If only to preserve your sanity the next time you’re searching for your long-lost tape measure, take advantage of these DIY Tips for Your Garage.
So, what is LinkedIn? It’s the professional network you’ve worked years to build, available at your fingertips. If you’re thinking that sounds like an invaluable professional resource, you’re right. LinkedIn could be tool you’ve been looking for to help take your career to the next level.
Whether you’ve been on LinkedIn for years or have yet to join, take a few minutes to browse the tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of your profile.
Build Your Brand
Think of your profile as a platform for advertising your professional brand. Start by selecting a profile picture that has a professional feel, crafting the perfect summary, adding examples of your best work, and highlighting your volunteer efforts. As you gain valuable professional experience, be sure to update your profile to let others know. After all, the only person who can build your brand is you.
Review, Edit, Review, Review AGAIN!
Put your best foot forward (virtually), and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your profile. If you struggle with this, typing up each section in a Word document before you post it can help you avoid common mistakes.
Think you’re good to go because you ran the spelling and grammar check in Word? So did these people! Try reading through each section slowly as a second defense – you’re bound to find something that Word missed. Once you’ve perfected your section, just copy and paste!
Highlight Your Success, Not Your Experience
So you were the CEO of Awesomeness at your previous job, who cares? A fancy title means nothing if you don’t have a few success stories to go with it. To get your creative juices flowing, take a few minutes to make a list of projects you completed or lead your team to complete. Reflect upon each project and identify what you brought to the table to make that project successful – those are the highlights that should appear on your LinkedIn profile!
Stick to the Facts
Planning to enroll in an MBA program, but haven’t quite taken that leap? You’re not a current MBA student with an expected graduation date (yet!), so don’t include it. Were you all-but-offered your dream promotion in the final interview? You haven’t been offered the job (yet!), so don’t spill the beans! We all want to look important, successful, and over-qualified, but exaggeration of your truth will only get you so far.
If you’re still struggling to perfect your profile, check out these examples of a job well done.
Fondly referred to as America’s pastime, baseball is forever-woven in to the seams of our country’s history. We all have our favorite baseball memories, and U.S. Presidents are no exception.
From former players to avid fans, almost every U.S. President has made a small mark in the book of baseball history. With Major League Baseball’s fight for the Fall Classic upon us, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at presidential baseball history.
Presidential First Pitches
President William Howard Taft started this now-storied baseball tradition on opening day of the Major League Baseball season in 1910. From his seat in the stands at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C., he threw out what is now known as the inaugural presidential first pitch.
In the years since, it’s become a tradition in which all but just one president has been a willing participant. Take a trip down memory lane and check out these historic presidential first pitches.
Presidential Baseball Players
Several presidents played baseball at one time or another in their lives, but arguably the most notable is President George H.W. Bush. Although he excelled at several sports as a child, baseball was his sport of choice as a student-athlete at Yale. As the first baseman and captain, he led the team to a birth in the 1947 College World Series, which they eventually lost to the University of California.
Presidential Baseball Fanatics
There’s nothing quite like sitting back with a cold drink and a hot dog to watch your favorite team fight through nine innings for a win. Just ask your President! Over the years, we’ve seen our fearless leaders take in a game or two, and who can blame them? There’s really nothing more satisfying than a game-winning strikeout.
Interested in seeing how often your favorite President took in a game? Check out these presidential attendance records.
Presidential Hosts to World Series Champions
Hosted by President Calvin Coolidge, the 1924 Washington Senators were the first World Series Champions to visit the White House. Since then, it’s become a time-honored tradition, photo-op and honor for MLB players. Most recently, President Barack Obama greeted the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.
Interested in testing your presidential baseball knowledge? Check out this U.S. Presidents and Baseball quiz!
For more interesting baseball facts, stories and trivia, visit the Baseball Almanac.
The U.S. Department of Education states that “the goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.” That sounds great, but how do you know which accreditation – regional or national – is best? Honestly, it’s not a question of which accreditation is best, but which accreditation best suits your needs.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional ground campus experience or searching for the right online program to give you the flexibility you need for your busy schedule, understanding accreditation and how it can impact your future is a must. Take a few minutes to expand your knowledge and become well-prepared for the great college search.
What is accreditation?
Let’s start with the basics. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to accredit is “to recognize [an educational institution] as maintaining standards that qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions or for professional practice.” Applying for accreditation from any organization is completely voluntary, which means that by choosing an accredited school, you’re choosing a school whose curriculum has been evaluated by peers in academia to ensure a quality learning experience.
In the United States, there are two kinds of institutional accreditation – regional and national.
What is regional accreditation?
Regional accreditation is granted to each institution by one of six organizations that focus mainly on academia and research-related areas of study. Each organization focuses on a specific region in the United States, hence the name regional accreditation.
What is national accreditation?
National accreditation is granted by independent organizations that focus largely on career-oriented areas of study. Each organization focuses on accrediting schools that align with their organizational goals, no matter where they may be, rather than focusing on a geographical location.
Which is best for me?
For those still struggling to make sure they’re taking the right path, take a moment to really evaluate your future goals. As you do so, keep the following advice in mind.
- If you’re planning on transferring credits to another school or pursuing further education in the future, your best bet is to stick with a regionally accredited institution.
- If you’re looking for a trade-specific skill set that will serve as your last degree or as an addition to a degree you’ve already completed, a nationally accredited institution might be right for you.
The NCAA Football and NFL seasons are now in full swing, giving millions of students across the country yet another excuse to put off their final papers and head to the stadium, bar or couch for a few hours. No judgment here, Northcentral University team members are some of the most die-hard fans around!
We say if you’re going to procrastinate, why not do it right? Gather your family and friends to make some great food and get the most out of your few hours of freedom with these tailgating tips and menu recommendations from NCU’s super fans!
Molly Migliaccio – Creative Services and Production Manager & New York Giants Super Fan
“Make sure the food you have is set-it-and-forget-it style. You don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning! You’ll always miss the best play of the game and have to hear about it later!”
Jeff Wegela – Senior Re-Entry Specialist & Detroit Lions Super Fan
“Picture this – pizza, wings, cheesy bread and your favorite beverage on the table in front of you. You’re kicked back in your favorite chair and watching your team win. Or in my case, watching your team get penalty after penalty! It doesn’t get any better than that!”
Kevin Lustig – Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development & Michigan Super Fan
“I eat garlic chicken wings with buffalo sauce and ranch. Yes, they play better when I do – it’s science!”
Krista Heist – Associate Director of Admissions & Arizona Cardinals Super Fan
“If you’re actually going to the game, like my family does every Sunday, bring a rug or something to put on the hot ground. I recommend ours, a replica of a football field. It’s great for keeping away the heat of the asphalt, while adding a touch of ambience to your tailgate.”
Kegan Bellerby – Graduate School Advisor & Oregon Super Fan
“Watching the blazing speed and astounding pace of the Oregon Duck offense is something that can cause us fans to become dizzy and light-headed at times. I suggest a cold beverage to accompany some delectable Krispy Kreme donuts or a nice Caesar salad in order to center oneself. This should help bring one’s equilibrium back to normal viewing capabilities… shoot, I just missed another TD!!”
How do you know fall is finally here? The air is getting crisp, the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and pumpkin-flavored favorites are everywhere!
The window of opportunity to get your pumpkin-flavored fix is relatively short, so start getting your game plan ready! Here are a few suggestions for your 2013 tour of pumpkin fare.
It’s an obsession that seems to be taking over the world – the pumpkin spice latte. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Einstein Bros Bagels are on the long list of restaurants that offer their own version of the delight.
Having trouble deciding where to get your next pumpkin-flavored caffeine fix? This blog in the Huffington Post might help!
Pumpkin for Breakfast
Check out Einstein Bros Bagels for an assortment of pumpkin choices. From smoothies to muffins, cookies and bagels, they’ve got your cravings covered for nearly the entire day!
If you’re craving something a little sweeter, Dunkin’ Donuts is another great spot for breakfast. Check out their coffee, muffins, and donuts – all pumpkin-flavored for your enjoyment.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
A fan favorite, there are countless ice cream options for pumpkin lovers. Pinkberry, Sonic, Baskin-Robbins, and even Dreyer’s all have pumpkin options for your enjoyment, but there’s one that stands above the rest.
You knew it was coming! Available through the month of October (and sometimes November, if you’re lucky!), the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen never disappoints. You can even join the Blizzard Fan Club to be among the first to know when it’s available in your area.
Pumpkin for the Health Nut
The pumpkin without all that sugar and cream is a great addition to any diet, but those looking for a healthy option in any restaurant might be searching for a while. If you’re craving that pumpkin flavor but are unwilling to stray off your healthy path, try this Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie recipe at home. It might take a little longer, but the work will be worth it!
One of the most important tasks for students that are new to the online platform is finding an effective study space, but the work isn’t over once you’ve found it. Whether it’s an entire room or the corner of your kitchen, the next step is to make it the most effective space you can.
If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, seeking the direction of the Chinese art of feng shui is a good first step. You never know, maintaining positive energy through proper feng shui techniques might just be the trick to sailing through your degree program with flying colors! Browse the suggestions below to get started on the path toward study harmony.
Make sure to place your desk in an area that has wall support. In other words, your back should be to a wall and you should face the entrance of your study space. This way, you know who is coming and going, which will eliminate the distraction of that nervous feeling you get when someone walks up behind you.
Your favorite color might be orange, but this isn’t the best color for your study space. Make sure to use calming colors such as blue or green in your area. This relaxes the mind and allows you to focus on writing that “A” paper! If you’re having trouble selecting the right color, check out these Feng Shui color tips.
A messy study space creates a cluttered mind. To avoid this, your study space should be organized and clutter-free at all times. Make sure to keep this in mind when shopping for the proper furniture (desk, shelving, filing cabinets) for your space. Looking for a little inspiration? Check out this Pinterest page for a few creative visuals.
To maximize your study experience, surround yourself with things that make you feel great about yourself. Whether it’s a motivational poster, a picture of your family, or the last trophy you earned in little league, positive feelings create a positive outlook for the task at hand.
By Kara Hawking
Seeking out the perfect study space for your needs is a great first step to ensuring your academic success! Every student is different, but keeping a few things in mind when selecting your space can help even the most reluctant scholar.lecture hall – your studies are wherever you choose to be.
FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES YOU TICK AND USE IT!
Use what you know about yourself to select the best setting for your success. Some students prefer complete silence, while others enjoy a little background noise. Then there are those like NCU student Carolann Carruthers Hampton (Ed.D.), who can pull it off in a room full of family! Hampton manages to combine school and family time by studying “on the couch with headphones and classical music. This way [she] can still be with [her] children!”
MAKE THE BEST OF WHAT YOU’VE GOT!
Take a look around your home and think creatively. Many students don’t have enough space in their homes to dedicate an entire room to studying, so becoming resourceful is a must. Current NCU student Lisa Stitzel Brown (M.A.Psy.) shares, “I do most of my reading in the laundry room while doing laundry.”
IF ALL ELSE FAILS, DO IT ON THE GO!
Evaluate your day for hidden down-time and take advantage of it. Almost everyone spends time waiting for food at a restaurant, sitting in a stylist’s chair, or riding in the car to work. Use this time to listen to a lecture or take a few notes (but not while driving!). This seemingly useless time adds up by the end of the week!
If you’re still struggling with finding the perfect space, keep in mind that your options are endless. As an online student at, you’re not confined to the four walls of the library or lecture hall – your studies are wherever you choose to be.