NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Professors Presented White Papers at Eighth International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies

Recent Blog Posts - 11-23-2015 15:39

Northcentral University professors presented two white papers at the Eighth International Conference on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies at the University of California, Santa Cruz on November 2 and 3, 2015.

1. The Shifting Customer: A Theoretical Model for Online Curriculum Development proposed that an effective curriculum development theory is critical as a driver of higher education eLearning strategy. Curriculum specialists are challenged to implement meaningful courses and programs to meet the needs educational stakeholders including administrators, faculty, students, and external agents such as industry leaders who benefit from the content mastery gained from successful completion of these courses and programs.

The researchers found that at each stage of the curriculum development process (from inception to evaluation), different stakeholder needs must be accommodated. The cycle begins with a need to sell the program or course to the higher education administration. The customer then becomes the faculty as online offerings are developed. Next, the student becomes the customer during the delivery process. Finally, external constituents such as industry leaders and society-at-large become the customer for the newly developed content knowledge gained from student completion of the offering.

The paper included a description of this theoretical model and practical strategies that can be employed at each stage to ensure success of the curriculum development process.The Northcentral University professors who presented this paper were Dr. Melanie Shaw, Dr. Heather Frederick, Dr. Peter Bradley, Dr. Andrew Carpenter and Corey Carpenter, Associate Director, Legal Affairs.

2. Doctoral Candidate Milestone Achievement: A Philosophy for Situated Dissertation Advising proposed that a situated dissertation model is an effective pedagogic method of promoting online doctoral student successful outcomes. The paper demonstrates the effectiveness of this model in an e-learning environment where technology tools have been evolving rapidly and institutional architectures have been changing to accommodate those technology tools as well as dynamic student expectations. In a primarily doctoral granting institution, it is critical to have provisions to ensure high rates of student success to ensure institutional viability.

In this research, the authors presented the challenges experienced by doctoral candidates and proposed a philosophy to help online students complete their programs successfully and within a reasonable amount of time. This research included a summarization of strategies used by certain faculty to reduce student complaints, decrease time to completion rates, and increase retention.

The authors recommend a formal approach to situated dissertation research advising to improve online doctoral student persistence and completion especially for the dissertation research phase of a doctoral program. The suggested model leads to chair efficacy, higher quality mentoring skills, and more collaborative communication between the chair and candidate.

The Northcentral University professors who presented this paper were Dr. Robin Throne, Dr. Melanie Shaw, Dr. Jerome Fore, Dr. Jennifer Duffy and Dr. Meena Clowes.

Blog Categories: faculty-spotlightBlog Tags: white papersconferencepresentation
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

10 Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain

Recent Blog Posts - 11-23-2015 13:41

According to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering! There is nothing to be thankful for about that!

So how can you control yourself when triggers like stress, travel, sleep deprivation and the abundance of food abound during the holidays? According to Arlene Perry, a Denver-based health coach pursuing her PhD in Health Psychology at NCU, the following 10 Thanksgiving Survival Tips can help you stuff the bird, but not your face, this Thanksgiving!

Set a clear intention for the Thanksgiving weekend. What is your GOAL for surviving the holiday? Write it down, including the "why." For example: “I would like to MAINTAIN my current weight because I don't want my clothes to feel tight” or “I would like to AVOID OVEREATING because I don't want to have an upset stomach when my family is visiting over the holiday.”

* Don't have it in the house. You CAN control what's in your fridge and pantry! Don't stock up on candy, cakes and sugary drinks so you won't be tempted to eat them. Don’t bring home "leftovers." You can also create healthy alternatives for traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

* Eat before you eat. Don't attend the Thanksgiving meal on an empty stomach. (Many people think that skipping meals on the big day will help them save calories, but studies show the opposite is true.) Instead, start your day with a healthy, high-fiber breakfast such as oatmeal and blueberries. Then, have a midday protein shake that includes a handful of spinach, half a green apple, a frozen banana, unsweetened almond milk, and chia seeds. This has plenty of fiber to keep you satiated so you don't overeat at the table.

* Eat small portions of just your favorites. Use a tablespoon - not a serving spoon - to place a small portion of your favorite foods on your plate. Skip any foods that you don't absolutely love. This way you'll be able to taste all of your favorites without overeating any of them. Eat slowly and try to be mindful as you eat. If you chat all the way through your meal, you'll feel less satisfied and will be tempted to eat more or snack later.

* Don't linger. Once you've finished your meal, offer to help clean dishes; take the kids (or the family dog) for a walk; or start a game of catch outside. You can also grab one of your favorite relatives and sit in another room to catch up, or pull out some old family movies or DVDs and gather everyone together to watch.

* Don't come empty-handed. When you are invited to a holiday meal, offer to bring a dish - and then make it a healthy one.

* Drink up! Fill a glass with sparkling water and lime and sip on it throughout the meal. It's a great alternative to sugar-laden alcoholic drinks or wine. Sipping water throughout the day will also help you refrain from mindless eating and drinking!

* Be generous. Don't be tempted by leftover pies, potatoes, sauces, and stuffing. A few days before Thanksgiving, stock up on disposable storage containers so you can send your guests home with leftovers. If it's not there, you can't eat it!

* Get back on track fast. Even if you do eat more than usual at your Thanksgiving meal, don't throw in the towel for the rest of the weekend! Wake up at your regular time the next day and have a glass of warm water with lemon within an hour of waking. Lemon acts as a natural detoxifier to help you eliminate sugar and other toxins. Eat a banana and head to the gym; or go for a walk or bike ride. Have a high-fiber lunch such as vegetarian chili or soup. Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day The faster you get back on track, the less chance you'll have of gaining weight or feeling uncomfortable symptoms.

* Be good to yourself. While it may feel good in the moment to indulge in that pumpkin pie or stuffing, Thanksgiving meal foods often make us feel bad. They typically contain loads of sugar, salt, processed ingredients, and saturated fat. If you notice you feel bloated, congested, headache-y or itchy, chances are you're having food-related symptoms. For example, wine contains histamines, which can cause congestion and/or sinus headaches. Carbs and sugary foods wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels, and we feel tired, moody or depressed after the "sugar high." Be good to yourself by choosing foods that help you feel energized, in control, confident, and symptom-free!

Blog Categories: your-life-your-healthBlog Tags: thanksgivinghealthy eatingweight gain
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Baby Boomer Tips For Acing the Interview

Recent Blog Posts - 11-19-2015 16:33

According to a 2014 Gallup poll, more than half of Baby Boomers don’t think they will retire until after age 66. With more time on the job, the likelihood of interviewing for promotions or new positions grows.

According to Paul Phillips, an NCU MBA student and Vice President of Service Excellence at Asentinel, there are many things Baby Boomers can do to make themselves more marketable and ace the interview.

  • Embrace your age and experience. At some point in the process, the employer is going to figure out how old you are, so don’t lie about it. At the same time, don’t broadcast your age either. The key is to make your experience work for you.
  • Focus. At this point in your career you have a lot of experience, and likely, it covers a wide range. Decide what it is you want to do going forward. It’s harder to market yourself if you are a jack-of-all-trades. Focus on what you want to do and demonstrate how the skills you’ve acquired through the years will work in your chosen area.
  • Keep up with technology. One of the best ways to impress the hiring managers is if they see you are active in social media, especially if you have a well-developed LinkedIn profile and a Twitter handle. Stay current in your understanding of technology trends.
  • Update your skills. If you need to update your tech skills or other skills related to your expertise, do it. It shows your employer that you are a life-long learner and will take the initiative.
  • Keep your style current. Make sure your shoes, clothes and hair are from the 21st Century. There is, however, a difference from trying to look 25 and staying current.
  • Do your homework. The single thing that will set a candidate apart from their competition, no matter their age, is being prepared for the interview. Do your homework on the company. Find out all you can through the various tools available to you – LinkedIn, business journals, Google, etc. The more you understand, the more confident you will be in the interview. Use the information to ask smart questions during the interview. Most candidates do not ask the interviewer good questions, so doing this helps set you apart.
  • Be the consultant. Go into the interview with your “consulting” hat on. Listen for problems that surface during the course of the conversation and talk about how you have handled these issues in the past. Essentially, the interviewer is looking for the best person to solve a problem they have. You have the upper-hand over younger candidates because you have been there and done that!
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Benefits of an MAMFT with an LGBTQ specialization

Recent Blog Posts - 11-19-2015 13:47

As a result of the Supreme Court ruling making same sex marriage legal nationwide, the LGBTQ community has been in the spotlight.

As these new couples enter marriage, it’s inevitable they’ll experience many of the same challenges as heterosexual married couples do, and one day may end up on the therapist’s couch.

While any marriage and family counselor could help, imagine the experience a therapist trained in the unique issues related to same sex marriage would bring to a therapy session. To address that missing niche, NCU is pleased to launch a LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy specialization in its Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy.

There are differences in the developmental and socio-cultural variables these couples contend with. A 2013 study found that couple and family therapists report not feeling adequately trained at times to effectively address some of the concerns LGBTQ couples bring up in therapy. A specialization in this area will allow future therapists to not only address marital issues, but also provide counseling on things like “coming out” challenges, bringing children into the marriage, family and community supports, spiritual integration, and gender reassignment.

Respected marriage researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman are in the midst of publishing the results from a 12-year study of 21 gay and 21 lesbian couples. They found that gay and lesbian couples are more optimistic in the face of conflict and are more likely to use humor and affection in heated discussions than heterosexual couples. However, they aren’t as savvy at repairing relationships if negativity occurs during a conflict. The research suggests that while relationship quality and satisfaction wasn’t statistically different between heterosexual and LGBTQ couples, some difference exist that can change the area of focus of the therapy and ultimately provide better outcomes.

“We have quite a few students that have expressed an interest in this specialization and feel we have created a very solid curriculum,” said Professor Valerie Q. Glass PhD, LMFT. “The classes will provide an in-depth look at the various forms of LGBTQ families, the possible unique challenges these families might face, the understanding of the social environment surrounding LGBTQ couples and families, and the best therapeutic tools for addressing these challenges.”

For more information, visit our site for more details on the program. 

Blog Categories: career-adviceBlog Tags: lgbtqtherapymarriagefamilylesbian
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Edward W. Bogats, Jr.

Recent Blog Posts - 11-18-2015 16:28

Dr. Edward W. Bogats, Jr. received a PhD (ABD) Business Administration in 2011 from Northcentral University. He shares his experiences at NCU and the many professors who helped guide him along the way.

I feel my experience at NCU was a bit of a roller coaster at times and had some sharp turns along the way. The program has gone through many changes since I started back in 2007, and some hit me as a surprise, but, in the end, the program has grown stronger from all of the efforts put forth by the University. I did find the faculty and staff very accommodating to my needs as an adult learner. I really liked the one-to-one mentoring philosophy at NCU because I benefitted greatly from it. My Chair was the best! Dr. Gabrielle Suboch is a wonderfully dedicated person.

Dr. Suboch stressed hard work and due diligence through the entire process. She was very focused on me and my completion of a very rigorous program that took what seemed like a lifetime. I feel as though I have grown academically and professionally through the whole doctoral process and appreciate the fact that NCU is dedicated to creating an environment that supports current and future students. I plan on using my PhD within my academic career to focus on attaining full time employment in a solid Criminal Justice or Homeland Security program in the future.

I am currently employed within law enforcement at the executive level in higher education and really enjoy the workload. I balance my working career through adjunct teaching assignments at two colleges. My journey is complete and I am thankful to all of those who helped at NCU to assist me in attaining my goal of pursing and completing a doctoral program with a solid institution that has a great reputation. The work is long and hard, but is well worth the effort. My PhD will definitely open many doors and give me the opportunity to grow professionally. Pursuing a doctoral degree is not an easy task and is very demanding. I wish everyone academic success, health and happiness!

Blog Categories: ncu-alumniBlog Tags: alumni-relations
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Top Five Tips to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Recent Blog Posts - 11-17-2015 16:41

Ah, the holidays. Merriment, good cheer and Irving Berlin postcard moments.

We all know that along with the falala’s come a whole bunch of stress. From dealing with family, to traffic at the mall to endless social obligations, the holidays can easily turn us into the Grinch.

But there is hope and a way to cope with the challenges of the season. We can focus on the joys the holidays have to offer. NCU psychology professor Dr. Jeannine Klein shares with us her Top Five Tips to Stay Sane During the Holidays:

Set a holiday budget and stick to it: The holidays aren’t about gift-giving. They are about family and friends. Too many people end up in debt by overspending and that debt, along with its associated stress, is a gift that keeps on giving far beyond the holiday season. One thoughtfully considered gift holds more meaning to the recipient than a stash of items that may end up unused or given away,.

Don’t overextend yourself: If you’re hosting a party, don’t be afraid to delegate. A potluck can be just as fun as a sit-down dinner. Don’t feel obligated to attend every party to which you are invited. If you have an extended family, you can easily spend more time traveling than being with each other. Discuss holiday plans well in advance with various family members; odds are they probably feel the same stress you do. Alternating location and hosting duties is a fairly common strategy used by families to help combat holiday stress. Gaining popularity as well are family gatherings mid-year when weather is nicer, especially in colder climates.

Take time for you: Ever notice how more people seem to catch a cold during the holiday season? Stress lowers the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. It’s OK to say no if you aren’t up to yet another holiday gathering. Additionally, set a deadline for gift-buying so you don’t rush out at the last minute to grab one more item. If your house isn’t spotless, it’s OK. Joy and laughter are your goals with holiday get-togethers, not the stress of trying to be perfect.

Party smart: Everyone is aware of the dangers of drinking to excess during the holidays, or putting on extra pounds from indulging in holiday treats. Moderation is the key. One glass of Grandma’s spiked egg nog is OK. Having one of Mom’s famous sugar cookies is OK. But overindulging often affects our physical health, and by extension, not feeling well affects our enjoyment of being with people about whom we care.

Find the meaning: Sure food and gifts are holiday traditions for most of us but don’t lose sight of what the season really means. It’s about enjoying time with family and friends, and making new acquaintances. Think about starting some new traditions – volunteering with a community organization; collecting toys for a toy drive; helping out in a shelter, or visiting older adults in assisted living facilities. These are all ways that you can reinforce the meaning of celebrating the holidays and making new connections.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

MSOL: An MBA for the New Millennium?

Recent Blog Posts - 11-16-2015 14:56

In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, with its marked changes in how business was done, American educators were called upon to conceive a discipline for managing it all. The result by the end of the 19th Century was the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

So successful was it that it became the de facto crown prince of business degrees, where it remained enthroned throughout the 20th Century. But as Y2K approached, a rival to the throne began to turn heads: the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership or MSOL.

Unlike the MBA, which intentionally provides a broad but sophisticated take on the business as an organization, the MSOL engages the subject of business management from a more narrow focus: the function of leadership within business organizations. For example, Northcentral University’s new MSOL program has been shaped for you to explore organizational development, strategic planning, and process improvement from a leader’s perspective.

At Northcentral, students can further narrow their MSOL focus by choosing one of seven specializations. There’s even an Accelerated MSOL track for completing the specialized degree in a year.

But is it really a case of either/or? Northcentral University’s School of Business and Technology Management offers both degrees since each has its strengths, and the decision of which to pursue is really a matter of preference and a student’s desired outcome.

According to NCU’s Director of Curriculum Development, Dr. Ted Mikell, “The MBA offered by the NCU School of Business and Technology Management has recently been revised to modernize and energize the program. Changes to the program were prompted by assessment of competitive programs as well as student and faculty feedback. Our former program offered a primarily domestic perspective. The revised program now offers students a more global view with integrated core courses that are designed to be synergistic.”

As a consequence, NCU also continues to offer highly regarded MBAs via its one-to-one mentoring approach. The University has expanded the number of in-demand MBA specializations offered, from 16 to 21 and also provides an Accelerated MBA track which permits truly dedicated students to earn their degree in just 12 months.

In the end, though they differ in content and focus, both an MBA and an MSOL prepares students for executive positions. If a student seeks a broader examination of business functions, then an MBA is the right choice. Conversely, if a student desires an in-depth focus on business leadership theory and development, an MSOL would be the right degree to pursue.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Top 10 Signs A Military Family May Consider Counseling

Recent Blog Posts - 11-11-2015 15:03

As we celebrate and give thanks to all service members on Veteran’s Day, we also recognize the incredible toll their service takes on them and their families.

In a post 9/11 world, the military has grown, worldwide deployments have risen and multi-deployments per soldier are common. All of this leads to increased stress for both the soldiers and their families. It’s no surprise that the need for counseling is on the rise as well. 

Having a trained therapist to deal with the issues unique to soldiers and military families can be especially helpful. Currently, Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Services program offers a specialization in working with families impacted by military service at both the doctoral and master’s level. 

The culture in the military can make it hard for a soldier to admit he or she needs help, but according to Natasha Porter, a PhD student with a specialization in Therapy with Military Families at NCU, and Mark White, PhD, the program director for the School of Marriage and Family Services, here are the Top 10 Signs that a military family may benefit from counseling: 

  1. The service member is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  2. Issues of domestic violence or infidelity in the marriage
  3. Behavioral and/or academic problems in children anytime during the deployment process
  4. Trouble adjusting at home post-deployment for the service member, spouse or children. 
  5. A spouse struggling to cope with military lifestyle 
  6. Signs and symptoms of depression in any family member during the deployment process
  7. A service member who is unable to communicate with spouse post-combat deployment or a service member who is distancing or isolating
  8.  Spouse having a hard time sharing power and responsibility with the service member after returning from deployment.
  9. Financial stress and challenges related to deployment
  10. The service member, especially officers, treating family like subordinates

 If you, a member of your family, or a friend is experiencing these symptoms, consider seeking help whether through a trained therapist or nonprofit organization that supports military families such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military with PTSD and Soldiers Best Friend.

Blog Categories: family-relationshipsBlog Tags: militaryPTSDtraumatherapy-red-flagstherapy
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Northcentral University Announced New Graduate Degree Programs in Organizational Leadership and Marriage & Family Therapy

Recent Blog Posts - 11-11-2015 14:49

Northcentral University (NCU) is launching three new programs and new degree specializations  to meet student interest in emerging areas of study.

The three new NCU programs launched today are the Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership (PhD-OL) and theMaster of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL), both from the School of Business and Technology Management (SBTM), and the Doctorate of Marriage & Family Therapy (DMFT) in the School of Marriage and Family Sciences (SMFS).

The PhD-OL degree program is a challenging, in-depth study of leadership with broad application across industries, allowing students to examine leadership in a multitude of dimensions, while the MSOL program provides an intense examination of the current state of leadership within a given profession. The DMFT doctoral program is designed to provide master’s-level clinicians with skills in program development, program evaluation, grant writing, clinical practice, clinical supervision, and applied research. All three new degree programs are 100 percent online with no residency requirements.

For more information about our new programs and specializations, view our video.

Blog Categories: phd-program-doctoral-programs
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Ten Tips for a Stellar LinkedIn Profile

Recent Blog Posts - 11-10-2015 16:33

The job hunt has changed. It’s not just about your resume. Today it’s about your online profile. 94% of recruiters look at social media during the hiring process. While managing your reputation on all social networks is important, LinkedIn is THE business social networking site.

In many cases, job application pages expect you to submit your application with your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have a winning one. Every second, two people join LinkedIn and now there are more than one billion searches on the platform every day. What this means is you’re at the biggest networking gathering of your life and you need to stand out.

Don’t panic. We’ve got the Top 10 Tips to Create a Stellar Linkedin Profile for you. 

  1. Have a Photo: Profiles with pictures get 14 times more views. Your profile should reflect who you are and what you want to do. If you want to work on Wall Street, don’t put a vacation picture of you taken on the beach. Your photo should be clear, current, professional and authentic. And please smile!
  2. Header Picture: Just like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn gives you the chance to upload a large background photo. Use this space to let a photo tell a story about you.  Make sure it’s sized right (1400x425).
  3. Headline: This should catch someone’s attention and describe what you do. Avoid sales speak. Think like an SEO guru and use keywords since LinkedIn is, in essence, a search engine. If you’re in communications, for example, you might use “Content Marketing Expert” or “PR, Marketing, Communications Professional.”
  4. Summary: This is one of the most frequently viewed sections of your profile, so make this real estate count. Try and make this more personable and conversational than what you would write in an executive summary on a traditional resume. Don’t be afraid to get creative and weave in your top skills with some fun facts about yourself that people wouldn’t see on a traditional resume. End the section with a call-to-action. An example would be “please message me to talk about opportunities in X,Y,Z.”
  5. Experience: Here’s the place to toot your own horn. Showcase your skills and expertise, as well as the results you have achieved. You can adapt this from your traditional resume.
  6. Recommendations: This is an often under-utilized section of your profile, but it’s the perfect area to build credibility. In the same way that having the media write about your product builds more credibility than simply taking out an ad, having other professionals sing your praises does the same thing. To beef up this section, you have to be proactive and ask people to endorse you. Because you want certain people to highlight certain skills remind them of some of your successes in that particular arena. Always thank them and offer to recommend them.
  7. Join Groups: Remember, this is still a SOCIAL network. The more you interact, the more you get back. Your profile is five times more likely to be viewed if you join and participate in groups.
  8. Have a complete Profile: Profiles that include education get 10 times more views, add skills and you’ll get 13 times more views, and identify your industry and you’ll see 15 times more views. Whatever you do, don’t discount volunteer experience. More than 40% of hiring managers polled by LinkedIn said they weigh it as much as formal work experience.
  9. Use Keywords: Think of your profile as a website and optimize it with keywords related to your industry. These are the main areas you need to focus on SEO:
  • Title, Current & Previous Experiences
  • Website URL
  • Summary
  • Work Experiences
  • Skills & Endorsements

  10. Blog: A relatively new feature allows you to become a publisher on LinkedIn. This blog enables you to reach your targets and make new connections. Utilize this space to help establish yourself as a thought leader on a topic.


Blog Categories: career-adviceBlog Tags: social medialinkedininternetonlinecareers
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Psyching Girls up for Tech Careers

Recent Blog Posts - 11-09-2015 09:35

IT careers comprise some of the top paying jobs in 2015, but over the past 23 years as the world has gotten increasingly tech-dependent, the number of women in tech positions has dropped.

In 2013, only 26 percent of computer jobs were held by women. In 1990, the number was 35 percent. At Google, women make up only 17 percent of the company’s tech jobs, at Facebook it’s 15 percent and Twitter a mere 10 percent.

Soon-to-be NCU graduate Cindy Delia explored the social and organizational factors of the shortage of women in information technology in her dissertation that is pending publication in ProQuest. The key findings of her research include:

• Females still view IT as being geeky or nerdy and too socially isolating.
• Women in the field felt they were considered inferior and not taken seriously by male counterparts.
• A perceived lack of confidence may keep women from pursuing IT careers.
• A gap in education suggesting that educators conformed to societal beliefs that boys do well in math and science and girls don’t.
• A lack of female teachers and role models in the field.

The way to fix the problem begins far before a girl is choosing her college major. To grow the number of women in tech, we must start early to excite girls about choosing tech as a career.

If you have a daughter, here are The Top Five Programs to Get Girls Psyched about Tech:

MentorNet: An organization that pairs Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students with women working in STEM careers for weekly phone or online meetings for four month cycles.
CodeEd: Dedicated to teaching computer science to girls in underserved communities beginning in middle school. Classes are available in Boston, New York, and San Francisco.
Girls Who Code: Summer camp for programming aimed at high school girls in New York City. The girls take trips to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and work on a final project that solves a problem in their community using technology.
Tech Girlz: A nonprofit to inspire and educate girls to pursue careers in technology, through events, classes, and interviews.
Technovation Challenge: A unique program for high school girls to create a prototype for an Android app, write a business plan, and pitch to venture capitalists, while being mentored by women in tech.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

If You Blog it, They Will Come

Recent Blog Posts - 11-06-2015 15:12

These days, everyone fancies themselves a writer. But starting your own blog isn’t just for ego purposes, it can be a great tool to position yourself as an expert in your field. With the barrier of entry to publishing gone, anyone can share their ideas online immediately, create products and services to sell via the Internet, or even use a blog as a marketing tool for a business.

While it’s simple to start, it isn’t easy to create a blog that quickly garners an audience. Like anything new, it takes time. According to NCU’s own social media manager, Heather Schlichting, you just have to keep writing.

“When you don’t think anyone is following your blog and you want to give up, one day someone will surprise you and tell you that they enjoy what you write,” she said. “For that reason, just keep at it!”

If you’re ready to start your own blog, Schlichting offers up her Top Ten Tips to Create a Successful Blog:

  1. Determine the theme of your blog, your topic(s), and your desired audience. What do you want to share? Choose your voice and write about something that you enjoy – so it’s not a chore.
  2. Choose a blogging platform. Free blogging platforms include Weebly and Wordpress. These are simple platforms to use and offer a large variety of templates. They offer plug-ins that give you some great design options to populate your blog.
  3. Upload initial content for the About Page (include your photo), Contact Page, Home Page, etc.
  4. Have a logo designed, or find free images on Google Images/Flicker for your header on the home page and other static areas of your blog site. Places like Fiver can be a great resource for finding talent to design things at a reasonable price.
  5. Create a content calendar that outlines different blog topics for two – three months ahead. Jot down ideas that you can flush out as time progresses.
  6. Write compelling content and post often (2-3 per week), even if your posts are short. Add images to each of your posts.
  7. Pay attention to current events and trends. Something in the news may spark a blog topic that would be timely and also appeal to your readers.
  8. Sign up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media sites where you like to post messages, with a link to your blog, can help drive traffic.
  9. Follow other bloggers to create a community of sharing content.
  10. Sign up for a Google Analytics account to track your stats.
Blog Categories: social-mediaBlog Tags: blogssocial mediacontent marketing
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Generational Divide: How Boomers, Gen X and Millennials can be Better Co-Workers

Recent Blog Posts - 11-06-2015 14:11

In the workplace, we strive for a respectful, collegial work environment. But with three distinct generations in the office, this can sometimes be challenging as each group may find it difficult to understand the other.

How can Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennial share the same sandbox? Charles Crain, NCU DBA candidate, who did his dissertation research on “The Quantitiative Ex Post Facto Study of Work Values Among the Three Prominent Workforce Generations,” shares with us the values of the different generations and ideas on how they can better work together.

According to Crain, the traits of each generation are:

Boomers (Ages 51-69)

• Loyal
• Believe in paying dues
• Very competitive
• Willing to sacrifice personal and family time for career success
• Strong work ethic
• Last generation to believe that staying with one organization for their entire career was good
• Respect authority
• Micro-managers
• Live to work
• Not real good with new technology

Gen X (Ages 35-50)
• Stand alone generation
• Likes to work alone--does not like to work in teams
• Work to live
• No desire to pay dues
• No desire to work overtime
• Does not like to be micro-managed
• Not as loyal as Boomers
• Does not mind change
• Adaptable
• Does not mind being mentored (not micro-managed)

Millennial (Ages 18-34)

• Narcissistic tendencies
• Strong feelings of self-righteousness, self-worth, and entitlement
• Craves feedback
• Desires a competent boss
• Not very loyal
• Very technology savvy
• Self-confident
• Likes to work in teams
• Ability to multitask
• Desires friendly and agreeable co-workers

In order to create a homogenous work environment, leaders must understand the differences among the generations and find a way to build positive relationships among them.

Here are Four Ways to do it:

  1. Implement a Mentoring/partnering program
  2. Build multi-generational teams and have them work together. The first few projects should be reasonably easy to complete. This will give the team a sense of accomplishment and could begin to build the relationships for a cohesive work unit.
  3. Organization-sponsored social activities can help bring the generations together. This could be company sports teams, community volunteer outings and company cook-outs. All of these activities get individuals together and provide a fun environment for positive relationships to form. Once the relationships are built, the work environment becomes less stressful, and it is likely that productivity and quality will increase.
  4. Offer a workshop to educate employees about the differences in each group. Knowledge is power!
Blog Tags: MillenialsGen XBoomersgenerationsteamsworkplace
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Tips for Raising Confident Girls

Recent Blog Posts - 11-03-2015 10:24

As anyone who has tried to be Superwoman knows, it can be tough to be a girl no matter what age you are.

Today, girls see images of strong, powerful women CEOs and politicians, as well as images of women who are admired and financially compensated solely for how they look. For a young girl, the two visions of ideal womanhood are tough to reconcile. As parents, our goal is to raise girls who realize that being a woman is about being smart, powerful, attractive and well-rounded. The way to do that is to instill self-confidence in our girls so they can embrace and love whatever kind of woman they are.

Psychologist (and mother) Deborah Nelson Ph.D., and Dissertation Chair, at Northcentral University offers her Top Five Tips for Instilling Confidence in Girls:

  1. Recognize and support realistic and feasible choices where appropriate. For younger girls, this might be allowing them to pick out what color top or pants to wear to school. As girls get older, they can decide which of their chores to do first or which homework to complete first. These small choices help girls to experience the positive, and or negative consequences, of choices they make.
  2. Encourage initiative taking. Confidence comes from being able to see that her actions can make a difference.
  3. Facilitate dialogue. Take some dedicated time each day to dialogue and talk.As busy as all of us are, we often forget how affirming it is to have someone just listen to her.
  4. Provide specific praise and feedback on effort. One of the most effective ways to build confidence is to provide specific praise and feedback on effort. Research suggests that specific praise attached to effort, not outcomes, produces the best results.For example, don’t praise the A on her spelling test, instead say, “you did all of your homework every night this week and made sure to ask questions when you did not understand. You worked hard and that is why you did well on your spelling test.”
  5. Model healthy relationships.  Mothers should take time for self-care, have a strong network of quality women friends and not put themselves down about their weight or their looks. 

Here are 5 More Ideas for Instilling Confidence in Girls:

  1. Encourage her to pursue her interests: Let her be her, even if you loved tennis and she’d rather play soccer. The important thing isn’t what the passion is, it’s that she has a passion.
  2. Play Ball: Sports build confidence. It also shows your daughter that a healthy body isn’t just window dressing, it allows her to do what she wants to do.
  3. Downplay the Disney: Little girls like princesses, but that kind of woman only exists in fairy tales. Talk to her about the differences between real women and fairy princesses. By toning down the princess, you can focus your young girl’s attention on things besides beauty, femininity and being rescued by a prince.
  4. Real Heroes: Point out women who you admire to your daughter. It can be a famous female sports star, business executive or Grandma. Talk about what makes these women admirable and remind your daughter that she can be anything she wants to be.
  5. Spread the Compliments: Girls get complimented for being cute or on their pretty dress from the time they are babies, so it’s no surprise that they equate how they look with positive feedback. Make a conscious effort to not only tell her she’s pretty but that she’s smart, has a great smile or looks full of joy when she does something she loves.
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Completing Your Dissertation: Keeping Sane by Working Smart

Recent Blog Posts - 11-02-2015 16:21

Undertaking and completing a dissertation demands tremendous effort and focus. Students are expected to be self-directed and may have difficulty organizing the myriad of activities that are required to be successful. In this interactive webinar, NCU professors Dr. Deb Circo and Dr. Robert F. George discuss some of the best practices that can make this process go more smoothly.

Access this webinar here.

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NCU Professor Highlights Current Trends in Marketing

Recent Blog Posts - 11-02-2015 15:31

by Melodi Guilbault, PhD

More than 50 years ago, Peter Drucker stated that the purpose of a business was to get and keep a customer. In 2015 this goal has not changed, but the way it can be accomplished has changed. A few of the trends contributing to these changes are: mobile marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing.

Mobile marketing is marketing on, or with, a mobile device. With the number of mobile devices, like smartphones, tablets and wearable gadgets continuing to increase and the mobile digital media time (51%), at least in the US, exceeding that of the desktop time (42%), mobile marketing is becoming a critical way for marketers to both get and keep a customer. The shifting focus to smaller screens provides marketers the opportunity to provide customers with personalized information that is both time and location sensitive to promote their “products,” and the need to optimize for mobile.

Social media marketing has become an integral part of marketing strategy, too, and its impact continues to grow stronger. While most of us are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, there are many new platforms and apps that continue to be added and each of these has strengths and a target audience. Marketers must not only consider how to effectively use existing social media platforms, but have to keep up with the increasing number of new social media platforms and apps.

Video marketing is becoming increasingly more popular. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic and Syndacast reports that 33% of tablet owners watch one hour of video each day. Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. The increased popularity of video marketing and its enhanced analytics means that it is critical for marketers to engage with their customers through this channel.

Mobile marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing are three current trends that are driving changes to marketing strategy. What new ways will marketers find in the next few years to achieve the goal of marketing stated by Drucker more than five decades ago? The smart marketer will not only watch these trends, but lead them as well.

Melodi Guilbault, PhD holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina, a master’s in business administration from Queens University. and a doctorate of business administration degree in marketing from Anderson University. Dr. Guilbault is a professor at NCU who is experienced in the areas of financial analysis and management, strategic planning, sales, market segmentation and development, marketing and statistics.

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An HR Pro Shares Inside Secrets for Job Seekers

Recent Blog Posts - 11-02-2015 14:10

While there are many paths that can lead to the perfect job, one tool that almost every job seeker uses is the Internet. But with so many job hunting sites out there, where should you begin?

To get the inside scoop we turned to Jennifer Prilliman, NCU’s Talent Acquisition Specialist to learn where she looks to find candidates.

“I mainly search CareerBuilder, Indeed, The Ladders and LinkedIn for talent,” Prilliman said. “I also sometimes recruit from Dice.”

Prilliman believes every job hunter should be on the “Big Three”-CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed, because so many corporate and agency recruiters use them. But because they are so highly trafficked, they can be oversaturated with applicants, making it hard for you to stand out. (For tips on how to stand out from the crowd, access: 10 tips to Develop a Winning Personal Brand blog)

When using one of these job sites Prilliman offers the following tips:

  1. Make sure your resume is really clear and concise
  2. Highlight your experience
  3. Have multiple ways for an employer to contact you
  4. Fill out all fields on any online application

While being on the big sites is good to ensure a recruiter doesn’t miss you, it’s the smaller niche sites that may bear more fruit.

“One of the best sites that can help differentiate you from the pack is LinkedIn,” said Prilliman.

According to her, LinkedIn allows you to share your professional information with hiring managers, including recommendations from current and previous co-workers and leaders. It also allows you to connect with potential hiring managers who may be working on a position you want to be considered for, or in an industry you are interested in entering.

Creating a LinkedIn profile requires more effort than simply cutting and pasting your resume, but the payoff can be great.

”It shows the candidate is actively engaged, determined and willing to go above and beyond for what they want,” said Prilliman.

It’s also imperative that you are active on sites that are specific to your field.

“I would HIGHLY recommend any job seeker to research sites that are specific to the industry they are looking to enter. Candidates should look for jobs on the site, as well as post their resumes there,” Prilliman said.

Examples of sites Prilliman uses are Dice for IT, Higher Ed Jobs for faculty positions and NASFAA for financial aid roles.

Many jobs require that you fill out an online application in addition to a resume. It’s easy to become frustrated by repeating the information on your resume, but take heart, it actually does matter.

“As a recruiter, it is disappointing if an applicant provides the bare minimum on an application, or complains that the application is too long and cumbersome.,” said Prilliman. “Although all qualified applicants will be considered, an applicant who goes above and beyond, will absolutely catch my eye. One of the best tips that I ever heard about applying to a position online is that you are going to get out of it, what you put in to it. “

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Doctor in Education Graduates with a Specialization in Nursing Education are in High Demand

Recent Blog Posts - 10-29-2015 09:12

We’ve all heard about the shortage of nurses in the U.S., but what gets less coverage is the shortage of nurse educators.

NCU is pleased to announce a new specialization in the School of Education: a Doctor in Education (EdD) with a specialization in Nursing Education.

Budget constraints, an aging faculty and increasing job competition from clinical employers have contributed to the lack of nurse educators.

It stands to reason that with no teachers, there are no students and therefore no new nurses, so the crisis could only get worse. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report on 2014-2015 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 68,938 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014. Nearly two-thirds of respondents cited faculty shortage as a reason for not accepting qualified students into bachelor programs. The same survey found that schools would like to add 125 new positions to meet demand.

The job outlook for anyone with an EdD specialization in nursing education is strong. A Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions completed in 2014 by AACN found 1,236 faculty vacancies at 714 nursing schools in the U.S. Nearly percent of the openings required or preferred a doctoral degree. More than 50 percent of the programs had problems finding candidates who were qualified.

Even nursing students who are interested in pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree are stymied because there is no one to teach them. Last year the AACN found that nearly 13,500 qualified students were turned away from master’s programs and nearly 2,000 were turned away from doctoral programs due to faculty shortage.

The NCU program was created to help solve this critical healthcare problem. A master’s degree in nursing or a closely related field, coupled with a current RN license, is required for entrance to the program. To learn more about the program, please visit Doctor of Education (EdD): Nursing Education.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Change Your Diet, Change Your Mood

Recent Blog Posts - 10-26-2015 15:21

More than 16 million American adults have experienced it. It costs the country more than $80 billion in lost productivity and health care, and 50% of people never seek help.

Depression. It’s so common, yet somehow still has a stigma. With so many people resisting treatment, and the average psychotherapy approach taking 10-20 weeks, during Depression Education & Awareness Month we’re shining the light on how doing something as simple as switching your diet can have a profound effect on the condition.

Several studies have found that diets high in processed foods, sugar, fried foods, high-fat dairy and alcohol are linked to depression. If you’re trying to eat to boost your mood here are the Top 10 Anti-Depressive Foods to eat:

  1. Walnuts are one of the foods reported to contain the highest level of serotonin.
  2. Proteins like turkey and chicken are good since they’re rich in tryptophan that the body converts, with the help of B6, into serotonin.
  3. Dark leafy greens have high B6 concentration and a host of other important vitamins and minerals.
  4. Avocados are primarily for healthy fat, but also for vitamins B, C and E.
  5. Berries are some of the highest antioxidant foods around, and studies show that eating antioxidants resulted in less depression.
  6. Tomatoes are high in both folic and alpha-lipoic acid, which is helpful in fighting depression.
  7. Mushrooms act as a probiotic, which helps the gut stay healthy. The gut produces 80-90% of our serotonin so if you have digestive issues, you are at a higher risk of depression.
  8. Green Tea is not only high in antioxidants, but the theanine, an amino acid found in its tea leaves, has calming, anti-stress properties.
  9. Complex carbs such as brown rice, whole-grain bread and beans help provide sustained good moods.
  10. Fatty fish containing healthy fats are important for the brain to function well.
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Can You Spot An Abuser?

Recent Blog Posts - 10-26-2015 14:53

Every NINE seconds a woman in America is assaulted or beaten.

It could be your friend, your sister, your mother, your co-worker, or you. Domestic violence crosses all classes, races and ages. During October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month shines the light on this dark secret that more than 30% of women hold.

The signs of abuse can be obvious, as in the case of physical abuse, but much more subtle when it comes in the form of emotional and mental trauma. While stats on this type of abuse are a bit more ambiguous, experts estimate that two-thirds of women deal with it at some point in their life. So how can you tell if someone (maybe even you) are being abused?

NCU Professor David Servino, who has his PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, offers up this checklist:

  1. Is there a trend of possessive and controlling behaviors that intensifies over time?
  2. Is it hard for you or your friend to get away to spend time with friends or family? Abusers are jealous of anyone who takes time away from them, or exerts any influence or control on the abused. By minimizing contact with others, the abuser retains control and keeps his victim from seeking outside opinions.
  3. Abusers like to embarrass and shame. If someone is telling you that you’re stupid, ugly, fat or not good enough, that is abuse.
  4. Intimidation through looks, words and behaviors are a trademark of the abuser.
  5. As time goes on, abusers may up the ante by destroying property or threatening to hurt you physically.
  6. Abusers excel at pressuring victims for anything from sex to doing drugs and other risky behaviors.

Some other signs to look out for include:

  1. Master manipulation and blaming to the point where the victim believes they caused the abuse and deserve it.
  2. A narcissistic personality. The abuser needs to put you down in order to feel good about themselves. They have a hard time experiencing compassion for anyone or anything other than themselves.
  3. Reassurances that it will never happen again.

One of the most sad facts about abuse is that often, the victim doesn’t leave the abusive relationship. If you’ve never been abused this is hard to understand, but surveys done by the Domestic Abuse Project uncovered reasons why this is including:

  1. Fear that the partner will hunt her down, hurt or kill her.
  2. Fear that he will retaliate against the children or her kids will blame her for leaving.
  3. Feeling that she doesn’t deserve any better.
  4. Belief that she can’t financially support herself.
  5. No longer remembers a different way to live.
  6. Feeling that she has no support if she does leave.
  7. Experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome,” which is a psychological phenomenon where hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.
  8. The misguided belief that he will change
  9. Guilt and shame

If you are being abused or need to help someone in your life who is, resources exist. Click here for a list of national resources.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts