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How to Decide Between a PhD and Professional Doctorate

07-18-2014 07:50
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) v. Professional Doctorate

For aspiring doctoral students, the first decision you make will prove to be one of the most important. When it comes to choosing the best doctorate program for you, how do you decide between a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Professional Doctorate?

How Are a PhD and Professional Doctorate Similar?

Whether you choose the PhD or professional doctorate, upon graduation you'll be part of an elite group of scholars. Both contain rigorous coursework designed to help you gain new knowledge in the specialization of your choice. Both require a dissertation process that provides an opportunity for advanced research and analysis in your field. And of course, both are going to get you that coveted title of “Dr."

How are a PhD and Professional Doctorate Different?

In a PhD program, you'll focus your research on contributing new knowledge and theory to the body of knowledge in your field. In an professional doctorate program, you'll focus your research on the practical application of knowledge and theory that already exists within your field. If you plan to continue your work in the field of your choice by implementing your research in the field, the professional doctorate might be the right choice for you. If you plan to contribute to your field through researching and analyzing new theories and solutions, the PhD might be the right choice for you. In short, the professional doctorate student will focus on the how, while the PhD student will focus on the why.

What Does This Mean For You?

Ultimately, your decision should be based on the contributions you plan to make to your field with your new degree in hand. Before you embark upon your doctoral journey, take the time to:
• Evaluate your current and future plans within your field.
• Conduct research on the current body of knowledge within the field of your choice.
• Determine the type of impact you'd like to make. Are you a how or a why student?

Still Unsure About Your Decision?

One of the best things you can do in terms of finding out what education you need for the career you want is to seek out advice from someone who has that job, whether it’s a friend, colleague or mentor. Job postings also provide a lot of helpful information in terms of what education, experience and qualifications you might need in order to get the job you want.

Blog Categories: doctoral-programs-2online-learning-2phd-program-doctoral-programsBlog Tags: Professional DoctoratephdHow to DecideDoctoral EducationHow to earn a doctorate
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5 Reasons to Expand Your Professional Development and Get Published This Summer

07-03-2014 15:47

During the summer, educators often search for ways to take advantage of time away from the daily grind of the classroom to expand their own professional development. The truth is the need for continued professional development doesn’t stop just because you’ve earned a graduate or terminal degree. If you’re looking to take that next step in positioning yourself as an expert in your field, getting published is a great way to do it.

Not yet convinced? Here are 5 reasons to get published this summer:

    1. Credibility. Having your work published in a peer-reviewed journal is an affirmation of your expertise, the quality of your research, and your credibility as a scholar. While it requires time and plenty of effort, publishing in peer-reviewed journals looks great on a CV or resume, and shows that you are committed to expanding your professional development as an educator and contributing to your profession.
    2. Dissemination. By sharing the results of your study, you are disseminating valuable information to the public. “In my opinion, publishing is the best way to share information with the people who can use it, such as policy makers, physicians, educators and corporate leaders,” says Dr. Kristin O’Byrne, core dissertation chair at Northcentral University. “Published research often informs practice, which is why publishing is so important. If your study can really have an impact, I feel there is a moral imperative to share this information by publishing it.”
    3. Time. Getting published takes time—time you don’t normally have outside of the classroom. If your summer schedule is more flexible, try setting aside time to either work on a manuscript or begin researching a few journals that may be a good fit for your research. Even for those who don’t have summer off, it can be a great time of year to kick-start publishing goals. “Sometimes we need kick-starts (like New Year’s),” admits Dr. O’Byrne. “Publishing isn’t something that happens overnight, which makes the summer a great length of time to pursue these opportunities.”
    4. Practice. It can be easy to ignore some of your better habits during the summer when all you really want to do is pick up the latest New York Times best seller, spend more time with your family and take a vacation or two. But writing is a skill that requires frequent practice. Working on a manuscript will not only help you keep up on your writing skills, but will also give you the opportunity to work on something that actually has the potential to further your career.
    5. Collaboration. If you don’t have a lot of publishing experience, you might consider publishing with a co-author, such as a colleague, dissertation chair or mentor who has the experience to help you achieve your goals. For example, Dr. O’Byrne will be co-publishing with one of her recent doctoral graduates, Dr. Anta Moore, who won the 2014 Dissertation of the Year award at NCU. “When one is publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, there is a distinct process, and feedback can be difficult to sort and cumbersome in terms of how to address it,” acknowledges Dr. O’Byrne. “There is also the element of choosing the appropriate journal to publish in, which comes with experience as well.”

These are just a few reasons to get published this summer, but in reality, there is no perfect time to do it. Consider where you are in your career and where you want to be. Think about what research you’ve already completed, and what research you still want to do. Yes, you have your whole career ahead of you, but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these things now and take that next step towards expanding your professional development as an educator.

Blog Categories: career-advicegetting-research-publishedresearchBlog Tags: Professional development tipswhy get publishedhow to get publishedget published this summercareer advice
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

5 Reasons to Expand Your Professional Development and Get Published This Summer

07-03-2014 15:45

During the summer, educators often search for ways to take advantage of time away from the daily grind of the classroom to expand their own professional development. The truth is the need for continued professional development doesn’t stop just because you’ve earned a graduate or terminal degree. If you’re looking to take that next step in positioning yourself as an expert in your field, getting published is a great way to do it.
Not yet convinced? Here are 5 reasons to get published this summer:

    1. Credibility. Having your work published in a peer-reviewed journal is an affirmation of your expertise, the quality of your research, and your credibility as a scholar. While it requires time and plenty of effort, publishing in peer-reviewed journals looks great on a CV or resume, and shows that you are committed to expanding your professional development as an educator and contributing to your profession.
    2. Dissemination. By sharing the results of your study, you are disseminating valuable information to the public. “In my opinion, publishing is the best way to share information with the people who can use it, such as policy makers, physicians, educators and corporate leaders,” says Dr. Kristin O’Byrne, core dissertation chair at Northcentral University. “Published research often informs practice, which is why publishing is so important. If your study can really have an impact, I feel there is a moral imperative to share this information by publishing it.”
    3. Time. Getting published takes time—time you don’t normally have outside of the classroom. If your summer schedule is more flexible, try setting aside time to either work on a manuscript or begin researching a few journals that may be a good fit for your research. Even for those who don’t have summer off, it can be a great time of year to kick-start publishing goals. “Sometimes we need kick-starts (like New Year’s),” admits Dr. O’Byrne. “Publishing isn’t something that happens overnight, which makes the summer a great length of time to pursue these opportunities.”
    4. Practice. It can be easy to ignore some of your better habits during the summer when all you really want to do is pick up the latest New York Times best seller, spend more time with your family and take a vacation or two. But writing is a skill that requires frequent practice. Working on a manuscript will not only help you keep up on your writing skills, but will also give you the opportunity to work on something that actually has the potential to further your career.
    5. Collaboration. If you don’t have a lot of publishing experience, you might consider publishing with a co-author, such as a colleague, dissertation chair or mentor who has the experience to help you achieve your goals. For example, Dr. O’Byrne will be co-publishing with one of her recent doctoral graduates, Dr. Anta Moore, who won the 2014 Dissertation of the Year award at NCU. “When one is publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, there is a distinct process, and feedback can be difficult to sort and cumbersome in terms of how to address it,” acknowledges Dr. O’Byrne. “There is also the element of choosing the appropriate journal to publish in, which comes with experience as well.”

These are just a few reasons to get published this summer, but in reality, there is no perfect time to do it. Consider where you are in your career and where you want to be. Think about what research you’ve already completed, and what research you still want to do. Yes, you have your whole career ahead of you, but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these things now and take that next step towards expanding your professional development as an educator.

Blog Categories: career-advicegetting-research-publishedresearchBlog Tags: Professional development tipswhy get publishedhow to get publishedget published this summercareer advice
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

The Impact of Transactional Distance in Online Courses

07-01-2014 13:16

Have you ever heard of transactional distance theory? When I recently read the latest issue of the Journal of Online Doctoral Education, I came across an article by Stephen L. Benton, Ph.D., San Li, M.A., and Ron Brown, M.A. titled, “Transactional Distance in Online Graduate Courses at Doctoral Institutions."

What is transactional distance?

According to Michael G. Moore, transactional distance is the "psychological and communication space to be crossed, a space for potential misunderstanding between the inputs of instructor and those of the learner" (Moore, 1993, p.22). As you may know from experience, meaningful interaction between students and faculty can help lay the groundwork for a successful teaching and learning relationship. But what happens when the learning takes place in virtual environment?

In researching for their paper, Benton, Li, and Brown found that different approaches to instruction in the online graduate classroom can change the impact of transactional distance. It is now understood that as the transactional distance grows, the opportunity for loss of information and confusion increases.

If you already have an advanced understanding of transactional distance, tell us a little more about your experience and how you've overcome this challenge. To enhance your understanding of transactional distance and help to create a more effective learning environment for students, you can read the article in its entirety here.

Moore, M. G. (1993). Theory of transactional distance. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical principles of distance education (Vol. 1, pp. 22–38). New York: Routledge. 

Blog Categories: doctoral-programs-2online-learning-2phd-program-doctoral-programsresearchBlog Tags: researchonline learningDoctoral ProgramsTransactional Distance
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4 Tips on How to Become a Teacherpreneur

06-26-2014 15:21

Are you an educator looking for ideas on how to take your commitment to your profession to the next level? This summer break, learn how to become a teacherpreneur and expand your influence in the classroom!

Definition of Teacherpreneur

What is a teacherpreneur? According to the Center for Teaching Quality, teacherpreneurs are "classroom experts [who] devote time to both teaching students and leading innovations in practice or policy."

How to Become a Teacherpreneur

While there is no exact formula for becoming a teacherpreneur, there are some great ways to start getting involved with other teachers, sharing innovative ideas, and expanding your influence inside the classroom. Here are four ideas to get you started on the path toward becoming a teacherpreneur:

Teachers Pay Teachers

As a professional educator, you know what works best in the classroom. If you have a specialized skillset that may be valuable to other educators, tell the education community by joining Teachers Pay Teachers. By joining, you'll have the ability to buy and sell original resources created by educators like you across the country.

Join a Teacherpreneur Community

Looking for other educators who are eager to impact the profession? Try finding a teacherpreneur community in your area. You can bounce ideas off other teachers, help to build your professional network and learn from educators with experience in areas you may struggle with.

Turn Your Teaching Skills into a Part-Time Job

Have you found that you're especially skilled at teaching kids who have trouble in a certain subject like math, English or history? Good news! There are millions of students across the country struggling to pass algebra, write MLA formatted papers and comprehend the details of WWII. Turn your specialized skill in to a side gig by offering next-subject level prep tutoring to students over the summer. You may just find your business booming before you know it.

Expand Your Teacherpreneur Brand

If you're struggling to find a way to get your ideas out there, try expanding your teacherpreneur brand by starting a blog. You can even get started for free on one of Digital Trends' top free blogging sites! Write about your trials and triumphs in the classroom, new ideas you have for parent engagement or whatever your passion may be.

If you're already a practicing teacherpreneur, what other suggestions do you have for educators looking to expand their influence? 

Blog Categories: career-adviceeducation-2seasonalBlog Tags: teacherpreneurhow to become a teacherpreneurCommunityeducatorexpand your teaching skillsspecialized educators
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Building Advisor-Advisee Relationships in Online Doctoral Education

06-24-2014 15:45

If you're anything like the average online student, you may have already experienced the traditional classroom environment in which interactions between students and faculty are often confined to time before and after class or predetermined office hours.  In this setting, discussing assignments and readings or building any sort of collegial relationship with your faculty member can prove difficult.  And at the doctoral level, that relationship becomes even more important, as students navigate rigorous coursework and doctoral candidates are tasked with developing a quality dissertation with the support of their chair.

What happens though when that relationship transitions into an online environment? Do the roles change or evolve? How do students and faculty make it work to ensure that students, especially at the doctoral level, have the guidance and support they need? With the popularity of online programs and the growing relevance of online doctoral education, examining how the relationship must evolve in order to be productive online is of utmost importance.

Dr. Rob Trinkner of Yale Law School researched one aspect of this advisor-advisee relationship in his paper, “Procedural Justice and the Advisor-Advisee Relationship in Graduate Education,” which was recently published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Online Doctoral Education. Trinkner examined both procedural justice and distributive justice as they relate to the advisor-advisee relationship, with the goal of determining how these factors impact the relationship itself.

To learn more about his findings regarding justice concerns as they relate to building quality advisor-advisee relationships in online doctoral education, you can read the article in its entirety here.

Blog Categories: dissertation-tipsdoctoral-programs-2online-learning-2phd-program-doctoral-programsresearchBlog Tags: advisor-advisee relationshipdistributive justiceprocedural justicegraduate student socializationonline doctoral educationonline doctorate
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The Chronicle: Tips for Getting Published in an Academic Journal

06-19-2014 09:41

Getting published in an academic journal can be quite a process. The Chronicle recently published an article titled, “The Really Obvious (but All-Too-Often-Ignored) Guide to Getting Published,” which provides tips for scholarly writers on the publishing and peer-review process. If you have ever had or have tried to get a manuscript published, what was your experience? What advice do you have for those who are new to the publishing process? 

Blog Categories: doctoral-programs-2Blog Tags: Getting Published
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Defining a “Quality” Online Doctoral Program

06-17-2014 15:49

Quality is one of those ambiguous words that gets thrown around a lot, but how does one define quality? When it comes to defining a quality online doctoral program, for example, there hasn’t really been a specific formula in place to help guide the development of new programs. Now that online doctoral programs are becoming more common as a result of today’s technology-driven society, it makes sense to start researching and outlining program successes and areas for improvement that can serve as a benchmark for all schools that are looking into developing similar programs.

For example, a few of the big questions facing developers of online doctoral programs are:

  1. What is the role of the faculty member (during coursework and during the research phase)?
  2. What level of engagement is required for effective learning (both asynchronous and synchronous)?
  3. How much time is required, both in terms of student workload and faculty interaction?

Questions like these are part of what drove Dr. Swapna Kumar of the University of Florida to examine “Quality Considerations in the Design and Implementation of an Online Doctoral Program,” which was recently published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Online Doctoral Education.

To learn more about her findings regarding defining a quality online doctoral program, you can read the article in its entirety here.

Blog Categories: doctoral-programs-2online-learning-2phd-program-doctoral-programsresearchBlog Tags: online doctoral programonline program qualityquality online educationonline program designjournal of online doctoral educationJODENorthcentral Universityonline program research
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4 Summer Learning Activities to Keep Kids Engaged

06-12-2014 09:31

 

Its official – summer break has begun. While millions of students across the country rejoice, parents are searching for opportunities to keep those wandering minds active. Whether you're an educator looking for ways to keep kids engaged in summer school or a parent looking for tips, try one of these four summer learning activities for kids.

 

The Summer Reading List

Education may have made its way in to the digital age, but simple summer reading programs continue to stand the test of time for a reason – they work. In fact, recommended reading is one of the easiest ways to keep a student's mind sharp during a break from structured educational activities. Looking for advice on what to read? A quick visit to your local library is sure to uncover a reading program that can keep both you and your student busy for the entire summer break. Having trouble finding a library in your area? You can participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge online!

Digital Learning

Are your kids mildly addicted to video games? With JumpStart, you can take that passion for gaming and help focus it in a new direction – learning! JumpStart provides games that are packed with educational activities and available for students of all ages. You can find games on everything from science to reading and English, so your child or young adult can play games while advancing their skillset for the upcoming school year.

Free Educational Apps

If your child's smartphone is glued to their hand anyway, why not download a few apps that can sneak in some brain-teasing time? Free apps such as World's Worst Pet, Cargo-Bot and Rocket Science 101 can help your student brush up on their vocabulary, flex their brain muscles or even launch a rocket! If these examples aren't exactly what you're looking for, a simple search for educational apps in your App Store can provide more options.

Summer Learning Events

If you're looking for summer learning programs that allow your child to interact with others while learning, check out this Summer Learning Day Event Map presented by the National Summer Learning Association. From summer learning challenges to reading days and educational camps, you can find educational opportunities for kids of all ages almost anywhere in the country.

Taking advantage of summer learning activities for kids not only provides entertainment, it gives your kids the opportunity to participate in active learning that keeps the mind engaged in the learning process. By utilizing these and other summer learning programs, educators and parents can work together to help ensure success in the coming school year.

Blog Categories: education-2seasonalBlog Tags: Summer Learning Activities for KidsScholastic Summer Reading ChallengeJumpStartFree Ed AppsSummer Learning DaySummer Learning ProgramSummer Learning EventNational Summer Learning AssociationRocket Science 101Active Learning
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NCU Launches Journal of Online Doctoral Education

06-10-2014 16:22

The field of education is changing rapidly. We all see it. The master’s degree has become the new bachelor’s degree, students now have the ability to earn a doctoral degree online, and even the most traditional universities are branching into the world of online graduate education.

New research is required to keep up with these trends and to study and identify what works, what doesn’t work, and where the world of possibility may take us next in online and graduate education. As a result, there is a distinct need for platforms presenting research in these advancing areas of education.

Enter…the Journal of Online Doctoral Education (JODE)!  

JODE is a semiannual, double-blind, peer-reviewed journal that was founded by Northcentral University (NCU) to provide a forum for the best research in the discipline of online doctoral education.

“Online doctoral education is a reflection of evolving contemporary paradigms in the workplace, in education and in the global marketplace,” shares incoming editor Dr. Greg Bradley, who also serves as the Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President of Research at NCU. “The simple truth is that rapid and continuous advances in communications technology have modified the way we work, learn, and transact.”

The first issue of JODE launched earlier this month and features contributions from researchers around the world on the subjects of online doctoral education specifically and online graduate education in general. If this is an area of interest to you, or if you are interested in submitting a paper for consideration, be sure to check out the website at: http://jode.ncu.edu. The submission deadline for the Journal’s current Call for Papers is October 15, 2014.

Happy reading!

 

Blog Categories: doctoral-programs-2getting-research-publishedonline-learning-2Blog Tags: online doctoral educationonline graduate educationdoctoral degree onlinepeer-reviewed journalJODEjournal of online doctoral educationonline educationonline learning
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NCU Faculty Profile: Bringing Medical Care to Remote Mayan Communities

05-28-2014 08:43

Bruce McNellie (Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, School of Psychology)

Twenty-six years ago, NCU faculty member Dr. Bruce McNellie observed a line of obviously pregnant women stretching around the block, waiting in the cold rain to receive limited, state-offered prenatal care. "I was working in Child Protective Services at the time, but I was motivated to help these women," reveals McNellie.

He decided to pursue a Rural Federal Health Care grant to provide prenatal and obstetrical care in the rural community of Nacogdoches, Texas. With the help of friends at other agencies, the grant was written and secured and, in 1987, The East Texas Community Health Clinic opened its doors.

"It was a huge feat," acknowledges McNellie. Naturally, the group decided to celebrate by going on a retreat to Belize. While many are drawn to Belize for its beautiful beaches, great snorkeling and fabulous resorts, McNellie and his partners had something else in mind.

"We learned that volunteers were needed in the Mayan Indian reservations of the Toledo District of Belize," he notes. "A group of 21 of us, including doctors, dentists, nurses, social workers, friends and family members, traveled to Belize and held dental clinics in these remote Mayan villages."

While it wasn’t easy to get to all those who needed treatment since the terrain in the Toledo District is hilly with lush jungle, and the accommodations were seriously lacking, those five days of clinics significantly outweighed any discomfort.

"We treated 1,500 dental patients who most likely would not have been treated without us," shares McNellie.

After returning to the United States, the core group incorporated as the non-profit Project Belize, Inc. (projectbelize.org) with the mission of making annual trips to Belize to provide critically needed dental and medical care, with a focus on serving the most remote jungle villages. With McNellie as project coordinator, they have returned every year.

“What originally began as a reaction to pregnant women standing in line in the rain has led to the creation of a large and active health clinic and to 25 years of clinics in Belize,” observes McNellie.

The group visits ten villages during the course of each year's trip, and sometimes uses mules to carry medical supplies. In recent years, accommodations have improved to small screened cabins provided through arrangements with the International Zoological Expedition, Blue Creek Village. The cabins have electricity, but the volunteers must still bathe in the river and the drives and subsequent hikes take hours.

Nonetheless, Project Belize is self-funded each year by the participants who embrace the opportunity to make a difference. In fact, all donations go directly to the purchase of medical supplies for each year’s trip, but all administrative costs of the group are covered by its members.

Dr. McNellie and the rest of the Project Belize volunteers are always looking for others who may be interested in participating in one of the annual trips. To volunteer or learn more, you can contact McNellie at mcnellie@mcnellie.com or visit projectbelize.org.

Blog Categories: faculty-spotlighthigher-degreespsychologyBlog Tags: Higher Degrees; Child Protective Services; ProjectBelize; Volunteer; Belize; Dental Clinic; Mayan Villages
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Coming Soon: Commencement 2014 [OFFICIAL TRAILER]

05-16-2014 15:27

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, NCU will welcome over 200 graduates and their family and friends at our annual commencement ceremony. The event will be held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix. We are also very pleased to welcome this year's commencement speaker Rich Karlgaard, columnist and publisher of Forbes magazine and author of Life 2.0: How People Across America Are Transforming Their Lives by Finding the Where of Their Happiness.

Our graduates have worked incredibly hard and sacrificed a lot to make it to this point in their educational journeys, and we look forward to celebrating this very special time in their lives.

For a sneak peek on what our graduates and guests can expect, check out our event trailer!

Blog Categories: ncu-alumniBlog Tags: event trailercommencement 2014#NCUGrad2014Rich Karlgaardonline educationgraduationvideoeducation multimediaPhoenix eventsOrpheum Theater
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How to Become a Virtual Volunteer

05-14-2014 09:36

Volunteers are an essential part of any community. But what happens when you want to give back, but don't know where to start? Maybe the organization you are interested in is far away or there aren't a lot of volunteer opportunities in your town—what happens then?

Thanks to the rise of virtual volunteering, time and place no longer dictate whether or not you can give back. As long as you have access to the Internet and a computer, you can find a way to volunteer.

Finding Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
It wouldn't be much of a virtual volunteering opportunity if you couldn't find it online! Thanks to websites like VolunteerMatch.org, the Web's largest volunteer engagement network, you can search for volunteer opportunities anywhere and from wherever you are.

"When we launched VolunteerMatch, we were very interested in using the power of the Internet to not only create brick-and-mortar relationships, but also to unlock the potential of new relationships between good people and good causes that would no longer be dependent on proximity and region," explains Robert Rosenthal, vice president of communications and marketing at VolunteerMatch.

While the bulk of the 80,000+ volunteer opportunities listed on the site at any given time include an actual brick-and-mortar location, there is a small chunk dedicated solely to virtual volunteer opportunities.

"Virtual volunteering opportunities, or those that can be accomplished from virtually anywhere, typically make up about five percent of the overall number of volunteer listings posted by nonprofits at VolunteerMatch.org," reveals Rosenthal. "They remain a popular way for people to get involved and contribute from anywhere."

Virtual Volunteering Snapshot
So what do these virtual volunteer opportunities look like?

A search on VolunteerMatch.org turned up 4,386 virtual volunteer opportunities. Needs ranged from tutors and peer mentors, to writers and web developers. There are options for people who want to serve as advocates in education, those who can serve as helpline volunteers for at-risk individuals, and those who can jumpstart online fundraisers for a good cause. There are even some options for those of you who can knit or sew!

All that's required is a computer, a needed skill set, and the desire to serve.

Benefits of Volunteering
You may be wondering why you should consider giving up the little bit of free time that you have to volunteer. For one thing, helping people never gets old. Just ask those who do it on a regular basis! There is simply no substitute for putting a smile on someone's face or meeting a need.

At the same time, there are practical benefits associated with volunteering. If you are considering switching careers, but need to gain additional experience, volunteering is a great way to do it. It's also a way to get more involved in your current career field.

For example, Dr. Mary Goggins Selke, core curriculum faculty for Northcentral University's School of Education and founding chair of the Association of Teacher Educators' Special Interest Group (SIG) for Educational Leadership, recently had the opportunity to publish an article in the Southern Journal of Educational Administration with other SIG members.

"It started out as a presentation for a national conference that we attended, but then I received an email call for article proposals and suggested to the team that we convert the paper to an article," she relates. "We met over lunch at the conference and hammered out an article outline and who-needed-to-do-what. I wrote the intro and closing discussion, submitted the article, and the rest is history."

Selke also serves as choir director for a nursing home choir in her hometown, the perfect outlet for utilizing her passion (and undergraduate degree) for music.

"I always thought volunteering was just something you did because my family did lots of it and involved me from the time I was very young," she says. "But the truth is it doesn't matter if it involves professional service or local or global community service in an area of passion

*Originally published in Higher Degrees Winter 2014.

Blog Categories: career-advicehigher-degreestechnologytips-to-improve-your-lifeBlog Tags: virtual volunteerVolunteerMatchCommunityGiving BackFundraisersWays to Give BackSchool of EducationHow to Get InvolvedAdvance Your Career
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How an Advanced Degree in Education Can Open Doors

04-25-2014 10:18

Education has evolved over the years - whether it's due to changing classroom technology, online degree programs, charter schools or any number of other modern shifts. Although today's education field might look a little different than it did 10 or 20 years ago, its importance hasn't changed. In fact, the need for educators and education administrators has weathered the ups and downs of the economy and shows no sign of waning. NCU and Careerbuilder partnered to write the following article exploring  the changes and trends in the education industry and opportunies for education professionals.

Learn how an advanced degree in education from an accredited online university can open doors for your career as an educator, administrator, or leader in the field of education.

 

Blog Categories: career-advicedoctoral-programs-2education-2education-certificatesonline-learning-2phd-program-doctoral-programsresearchtechnologytechnology-for-educationBlog Tags: Graduate Degrees in Education
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How Professional Organizations Can Boost Your Career

04-15-2014 10:06

Membership in professional organizations is an investment in your professional credibility and development. It can help you stay connected to your peers and learn how others in your field are contributing to your profession.

It’s easy to join a professional organization, pay your dues, and indicate you are a member on your resume or CV and LinkedIn profile, but are you really making the most of your membership? Are you making a difference both to yourself and to your community?

Remember when you were (or still are) conducting research for your master’s program or dissertation topic for your doctoral program? Remember all of those articles in academic journals you would retrieve from the library? Now, think about an article you authored turning up in the results. How exciting would that be?

Many professionals give back to their field by publishing their research and writing for academic journals. Numerous members of NCU’s academic leadership and faculty have had articles published in scholarly publications. For instance, Dr. Branden Henline, dean, School of Marriage and Family Sciences, has been published in Family Therapy Magazine, Personal Relationships, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy as well as Contemporary Family Therapy. Involvement in academic and professional organizations is important to an individual’s continued learning and improvement in his or her field.

“Being a good student or professional requires a commitment to continuous improvement. That means you need to keep learning,” said Dr. Henline.

Even if getting published isn’t a short-term reality, professionals can also consider serving as a guest speaker for organizations relevant to their career. Last year, several members of NCU’s faculty and academic leadership presented at the 19th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Fla., from November 20-22. The conference focused on e-learning and practices plus experiences among educators in a number of sectors ranging from PK-12, higher education and other industries like healthcare, not to mention other professional associations. In addition, several members of the School of Marriage and Family Sciences presented at the 2013 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference in Portland, Ore.

Serving on a board or acting as a mentor is also a way to give back to your professional and academic community. Last year, Dr. James Billings, assistant dean of the School of Marriage and Family Sciences, was elected a member of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. In addition, in July 2013, Dr. A. Lee Smith, dean of the School of Business and Technology Management, was selected as President-Elect of the Western Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP Region 7). In these positions, Dr. Billings and Dean Smith can serve as thought leaders for their professional communities.

Most professional associations offer members exclusive benefits. Many websites of professional associations have “members-only” sections. Members can access information not available to the general public like informational databases, message boards, member lists, contact information and other exclusive content. Members can typically attend networking or educational events hosted by the organization free of charge or for a reduced fee. Depending upon the type of work you do, participation in a professional organization can even help you land a new client!

If you are interested in joining a professional organization, really think about why you want to get involved and how you can contribute to the organization’s mission and activities. You will be spending time and energy with your involvement, so it is important to set expectations up front about what you want to gain, how you can contribute, and what new skills you want to acquire that will lend credibility to you, professionally.

*Originally published in Higher Degrees Winter 2014.

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