NCU's School of Marriage and Family Sciences was well-represented by 20 faculty and staff members at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy's 2014 Annual Conference. Held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 16-19, about 1400 attendees enjoyed the following keynote speakers:
Karyn Gordon, MDIV, DMIN – Understanding and Motivating Gen Y's
Michelle Weiner-Davis, MSW & Michael Durant – Steve de Shazar and Insoo Kim Berg: Storied Reflections about Genuine Pioneers
Frank N. Thomas, Ph.D. LMFT-S, SFBTA Archivist & Cynthia K. Hansen, Ph.D. – Shifts Happen: Reflections on the Legacy of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer
The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy – The Impact of Public Policy on our Behavioral Health Care System
In addition, Drs. Branden Henline, James Billings and Darren Adamson presented on distance-based learning in the MFT field. Throughout the conference, the NCU faculty and staff members in attendance were privileged to meet many current and former students from the School of Marriage and Family Sciences.
Pictured above: Bottom left to right – Dr. Elaine Willerton and Dr. Kristi Harrison; Standing left to right – Dr. Annabelle Goodwin, Dr. Nichola Ribadu, Dr. Valerie Glass, and Dr. Chuck West
Pictured Above: Dr. Branden Henline, Dr. Annabelle Goodwin, Dr. Nichola Ribadu, Dr. Elaine Willerton, Dr, Shay Thomas, and Dr. Kristi Harrison
To learn more about the field of marriage and family therapy and NCU's School of Marriage and Family Sciences, click here.
Blog Categories: marriage-and-family-therapyBlog Tags: conferencesmarrriage and family sciencesncu-facultyaamft
Did you know that the typical American spends about one hour every day looking for things? If you haven't already started doing the math in your head, that's seven hours per week, or a total of 15 days each year! Right about now you should be thinking about just how valuable your time is and wondering what you might do with an extra 15 days per year!
If you're smart, you'll start by taking a little time to organize your life, making sure every little thing – from physical possessions such as your keys and sunglasses, to reminders for appointments, bills and even birthdays and anniversaries – has a home where it lives all the time. If it doesn’t have a home, now is the time to find it a new one!
October 20 is National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day! So hopefully you have taken some time to do just that today. Here are some other ways to stay organized in a digital world.Benefits of Getting Organized Finding What You Want When You Need It
When was the last time you spent 20 minutes looking for your keys before you could leave for the grocery store? Or, how about 30 minutes scouring the sent items in your Outlook for the document you need to reference in your next meeting?
This may seem like a routine you just can't break, but working to make sure you're organized can end up saving you huge amounts of time and stress. Just think – you'll make it to the grocery store before the last cart is taken! You may even arrive to your meeting to find you're the only one with the proper document printed and ready to go. And as a bonus, you're less stressed and better prepared for the task at hand.
“Executives waste six weeks per year searching for lost documents..”
—Fast Company MagazineStaying Connected With Your Family and Community
How many times have you forgotten your best friend's birthday? Okay, bad example – how about your great uncle Joe's birthday? We're betting Emily Post wouldn't be pleased with your answer! Making the effort to organize your life can not only make your day-to-day a little less hectic, it can help bring a little more joy to others' as well.
By organizing your calendar and making sure you're up to date on birthdays, anniversaries and social events, you'll be less likely to forget the important stuff. And the important stuff is what's worth our valuable time, right?Money in Your Pocket
Now let's talk about something we can all relate to – dollars and cents. Have you ever replaced a pair of headphones because you couldn't find them? How about a pair of sunglasses or even a cell phone? You can avoid these unnecessary expenses just by making the adjustment to help yourself find what you need when you need it.
By organizing your virtual and physical life, you'll find you have a less cluttered home, workspace and even mind. What exactly does that mean? Your bills and appointment reminders won't be scattered on your counter, so those sunglasses you thought you lost last week won't be buried under a pile of things you forgot about!Getting Started
Interested in a little self-improvement? The first step is to organize your life – every piece of it – and in a digital world, there are endless options for organization out there. Here are a few suggestions that you can carry with you – IF you don't lose your cell phone or tablet along the way!Apps to help you stay organized Evernote
Ever wish you could store articles you find across social media, email and the web? This app will help you do just that and more! It has the ability to categorize and make notes so that you can find them later when you need them. There are also a number of other ways to stay organized with this app such as, audio notes and even capturing images. This app is great for research projects as well. Try Evernote out by saving this article.Dropbox
This app allows you to store multiple types of files from spreadsheets to photos to videos. The best part of this app is that once they are in Dropbox they are accessible from any device and can be shared with multiple users.Awesome Note
This app syncs with Google docs and Evernote (listed above) and tracks thoughts, ideas, calendars and also makes to-do lists.Timr
This is a time tracking app that allows you to set and track time limits for each task you do during the day. Great to help you find out how long tasks take, where you are wasting the most time and to look back and see where your day has gone.ToDo Together
This app allows you to form groups with your friends, family and coworkers to share task lists and work as an effective team.
This is a condensed list of our favorite apps. What do you use to stay organized?*/
Northcentral University and the National Education Association (NEA) are set to co-develop the largest ever Professional Learning Community for PK-12 and higher education teachers in the U.S.
The NEA, which is committed to advancing the cause of public education, last year launched their Great Public Schools (GPS) Network. The GPS Network is designed to provide NEA member teachers with an online resource where they can discuss and reflect on today’s education issues while sharing ideas and recommendations with other teachers and the wider American education community. The GPS includes threaded discussion forums on topics such as:
• Common Core State Standards
• Tech and Classroom – Elementary
• Safe and Healthy Schools
• Parent School Partnerships
• ESP Hot Issues
• Advancing Teaching Leadership
• Reading Literacy
• Priority Schools
• Assessment of Student Learning
• Peer Assistance and Review
GPS resources address math, science, social studies and English language arts. But the potential of the GPS is not about what the NEA posts. It’s the potential resources that 3.2 million NEA members can share with their fellow educators.
While the concept of Professional Learning Communities is not new to K-12 education, the NEA with the support of NCU will be able to deliver this program via their virtual learning platform. Working with NCU, the NEA is making their GPS Network available to their 3.2 million members plus any international educators who would like to join.
For educators currently teaching in the K-12 environment, joining the GPS provides access to the best practices, curriculum and ideas of other educators. For those who are no longer in the classroom, their experience, insight and knowledge provides a great resource for other educators. There are also a number of free educational resources for parents as well.
The GPS Network, supported by NCU, has the capacity to connect teachers, locally, nationally and globally like never before.
For more information on the GPS Network,visit http://www.gpsnetwork.org/.
By Shelley Simmons
It’s October, and that means you will see the color pink everywhere in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society®, about one in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. If someone you care about is diagnosed with breast cancer, here are some suggestions on how to cope.Learn about breast cancer and be an advocate
According to Lisa Kelledy, Ph.D., LMFT, a specialist in medical family therapy and chronic illness, and core faculty member at Northcentral University’s School of Marriage and Family Services, the first step is to do some research. “Learn as much as you can so you’ll understand what the person is going through,” she says.
If you will be going along on appointments, make a list of all your questions for the doctor, and even offer to write down the answers the doctor provides. Your loved one may appreciate not having to process everything being told to her at that moment and having an advocate for her care.Be there and offer support
You can offer emotional support as the person goes through a range of emotions. Cancer patients endure shock, fear, denial, sadness and anger.
Be there for her by listening, encouraging her to express her feelings, and reaching out physically with a gentle touch or hug. Unless you are asked for your opinions or advice, keep them in reserve.
Do not avoid or ignore her because of your own worries or fears. If you are unable to visit or call, send a note to let her know you’re thinking about her.
You can also keep her spirits up with small surprises. A bouquet of flowers, a card, or a box of candy can help to bring a smile to her face.Help with everyday life
There are other, practical ways for you to support your loved one, as well. You can offer to help with housework, run errands, drive her to doctor appointments, or do laundry. Find out what her food preferences are and do her grocery shopping or cook for her. It could be helpful to have her freezer stocked with meals that can be easily and quickly prepared.
If she has children, you can help to keep their lives as normal as possible. Drive them to their sports practices, dance classes and take them food shopping or out to eat.Other ways to support and cope with breast cancer
If your loved one uses blogs and social media through her cancer treatment, make time to read her thoughts and feelings.
“Some may find enough support through social media, but others may need a more personal experience with counseling, either alone or with their family,” says Kelledy, who adds that the patient’s doctor can help them find these resources.
Group activities may also interest-based, such as fitness, book clubs, art projects and potlucks.Realize that you will need support, too
If you are helping to care for someone with cancer, you may at times find yourself overwhelmed. You can also seek support through social media and other networking groups. Ask others for help when you need it. “It is especially important for caregivers to relax, maintain a healthy lifestyle and sleep schedule, and reach out when they need to,” adds Kelledy.Breast Cancer Resources
If you are interested in making a career out of helping families cope with medical illnesses, there are specializations in this area of family therapy. For example, Northcentral University’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences offers a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Medical Family Therapy.
Colonel Vince Lindenmeyer (Ph.D., Education / Training & Development Leadership, 2013)
Community is everything in the military.
"A soldier cannot operate, much less survive, alone," notes Colonel Vince Lindenmeyer (Ph.D., 2013), senior Army strategist and joint operational planner at the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) in Omaha, Nebraska. "It takes a 'battle buddy,' a squad and leadership for just one soldier to survive in harsh conditions."
With over 23 years of commissioned service in the Infantry, Logistics and Strategist career fields at the platoon leader and combatant command levels, Lindenmeyer is no stranger to harsh conditions. His military training, badges and awards include the Expert Infantryman's Badge, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, and the Bronze Star. He has also been deployed multiple times throughout his military career, including twice while completing his Ph.D. in Education from Northcentral University.
"In hindsight, I am very thankful for the no residency requirement," says Lindenmeyer, who was adamant about finding a regionally accredited university with this unique feature.
"The greatest challenge for me in my doctoral journey was acknowledging that I had to put my doctoral work on the back burner (taking two MLOAs) for my career," he continues. "I couldn't help but think of my late father, Professor Carl R. Lindenmeyer, who was all-but-dissertation in his field because his teaching career took off and he was too busy to reach the finish line."
It was then that Lindenmeyer realized how important community is for doctoral students as well.
“All doctoral candidates need a “battle buddy” or colleague who is also negotiating a program of instruction, a support network similar to a squad, and a mentor to help guide us to the finish line.”
—Col. Vincent Lindenmeyer
"Thankfully, I had peers in other doctoral programs for encouragement, including my wife, Reverend (Dr.) Cynthia Lindenmeyer, a recent graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program."
In fact, building a supportive community is Lindenmeyer's first piece of advice to current doctoral students.
“You can't be afraid to build 'community' around you while you are negotiating your doctoral journey," he encourages. "Reach out to subject matter experts and ask questions of others. You will be surprised at how many international scholars answer your emails. Practice your doctoral ‘elevator speech’ on anyone that will listen. It works; I must have practiced my ‘elevator speech’ hundreds of times while refining it along the way," he laughs.
Lindenmeyer's dissertation research examined relationships among organizational commitment, career intent and retention behavior in a closed personnel systems (U.S. Army Captains) using the Theory of Planned Behavior.
"The retention of highly talented initial-entry and mid-career managers has become a focal point for both corporate and government agencies," he explains. "While [completing] my Northcentral course work and serving in the United States Army Human Resources Command from 2007 to 2009, I recognized a lack of understanding regarding the relationships between organizational commitment and retention behavior among U.S. Army Captains. [I] wanted to explore the possibility of extending the Theory of Planned Behavior to closed personnel systems to illuminate further insights on retention incentive offerings."
"Ultimately, I learned that the United States Army must continue to retain junior officers through engaged leadership, meaningful deployments and training opportunities to remain a ready and resilient force for our Nation’s next national security challenges," he adds.
Today, Lindenmeyer is able to combine his educational experiences with his significant government and military experience to build community as a leader in his field. In his current role as a lead operational planner with USSTRATCOM, he leads teams of subject matter experts to frame problems and develop solutions for complex crises and global situations that arise.
"In the military, community means more than just work. It means living, eating and rowing together as a team," he says. "As a leader, I am not afraid to demonstrate a strong personal work ethic in getting the job done while showing respect for others' intellectual contributions towards the final product."
It's like the saying goes, "We're all in this together." Whether in life, work, or even in educational pursuits like a challenging doctoral journey, we are always part of a larger community.
"The community that you build will keep you sane along the journey," adds Lindenmeyer. "Most importantly, community will get you to the finish line."*/ Blog Categories: ncu-alumniBlog Tags: Higher Degrees; Colonel; Leadership; Community
By: Christia Gibbons
How many times have you heard that communication is key in an ever-changing work environment? How many times have you uttered under your breath: “Not again?
Don’t stop reading this just because “communication is key” has become a tired phrase. Instead, hear what these three experts – one a human resources guru, one a serial entrepreneur and one an academician who helped change an aerospace company – have to say about bringing a cliché to life.
Also consider the words “leadership,” “listening,” and “texting,” and here you’ll have some insight into managing and adapting to change whether you own a company or you work for one.Communicate Why the Change is Needed
“The most important thing about communication is to be absolutely certain it occurred,” said Jack Milligan, who has spent more than 40 years learning about “human capital” as a human resources expert. He is president of Leathers Milligan Associates, an organization and leadership development firm in Phoenix.
It could be in the form of a sticky note thanking someone for a job well done to a town hall meeting between company owners and staff to texting your Millennial employees to attend that town hall meeting, said Dr. Jennifer Scott, who is part of the core faculty in Northcentral University’s School of Business and Technology Management.
Scott spent 24 years in the aerospace industry during the time that Allied Signal was bought by Honeywell and staff went from 300,000 to 100,000 employees before moving into higher education.
“Employers need to communicate why change is needed and have the data to back it up,” Scott said. And then they need to reach out to staff in meaningful ways be they baby boomers, Gen X or Millennials.
The boss and other company leaders need to actually talk with employees when change is coming and not just send out emails. “Get employees involved. Get them away from their normal task and get face-to-face with them to talk about the change,” she said.
Richard Lippert, chairman and CEO of Leathers Milligan – and as Milligan refers to him “a serial entrepreneur” – said it’s not as hard as some may think to reach out to employees to get the word out about change.
If a company is announcing a change initiative, “out of 100 people there are probably five people you have to get on board,” Lippert said.
Milligan offered another look at overall staffing and who helps the most with change. Beyond the top 10 percent of people in the company who already are on board, and the bottom 10 percent who might as well look for another job, he said the middle 80 percent “is the gold mine for every organization to move themselves up and to the right on a sustainability graph. They do that by educating themselves and you must invest in them.”
“Change is constant, especially today with technology changing seemingly weekly. Employer and employee must be diligent in keeping up and sharpening their state-of-the-art skills and knowledge. Employees must keep their attitudes flexible and their skills honed through professional organizations and certifications, or their skills will start to atrophy.”
—Jack Milligan, President of Leathers Milligan Associates
“Whether you are a butcher, a baker, work for Apple, for a foundry or are on the edge of technology, you must be aware of the changes going on in your business.”Know What Motivates People
Employees’ three priorities are themselves, their families and their professions and employers must find ways to know at any given time what is going with an employee to get maximum return from them.
Employers need to be aware more than ever before of the “human capital” it takes to run a successful business, Milligan said. It is the employer’s responsibility to be responsible, “to keep themselves at a place where human capital constantly keeps them in a competitive situation. Everyone can compete for the latest software, scarce resources, what you have as the one differentiator in a business is the human capital.”
“It is always the employer’s responsibility to dig as deep as they can to find out about the employee.”
Companies minimize problems with implementing change when they hire right, Milligan said. “Once you get that asset on board, communicate with them. You (the business) must care about their top three priorities and realize people can get overwhelmed and sidetracked, then you remind them that you have their best interests at heart.”
“If they don’t see a synergistic relationship with their personal goals then it will be just a temporary situation,” he said.Leadership Needs to Take Accountability
“Show me a leadership with all their hearts and minds in the right place, I’ll show you a strong company,” Milligan said. These people are sensitive to the human capital. “You need to connect the individual sustainability formula to the corporate sustainability formula and if you do, they won’t just follow you, they’ll catapult you to the right side of the graph.”Lippert put it this way, “Enlightened companies are doing better; these companies are outperforming others dramatically. There is no room for yelling and screaming anymore.”Milligan said a good leader has the ability to listen, merge data and head off in the right direction. “Mediocre and bad leaders aren’t anywhere near as flexible in their ability to communicate, ask the right questions in that environment, and at that time.”
He pointed out that most good leaders don’t have a rigid operating style. They also don’t have to be charismatic or compelling. But they do have that “elusive quality of asking the right questions and being a good listener.” And, they surround themselves with good people who also ask the right questions.
If you want your employees on board, break down the change into workable chunks and give them a timeline, NCU’s Scott said. “Even a sticky note on a computer can help. Just acknowledge them; people like to be acknowledged.”Manage to Generational Communication Differences
Part of getting employees to embrace and prosper with change is to talk to all levels of employees – “let everyone be involved,” she said. “Push the decision-making to the lowest level, find out from them what needs to be improved, and what needs to be changed. They are the ones that make it happen.”
The world today is more participatory, Scott pointed out. Instead of veterans and Baby Boomers who were told what to do and did it, “this generation is more geared to their feelings and their happiness.The Millennials move on in two or three years to be happier.”
They also can shift gears readily and employers need to use the tools of the time from Skyping to webinars to texting, and any other preferred method to communicate with them.
Lippert said the way to reach Millennials and Gen Xers is to realize they want their work to be meaningful; they want to change the world. They might embrace your change if you know enough to give them paid work time off to work at Habitat for Humanity, or another community cause, for example.Leaders Need to Walk Around and Connect
Leaders must be more focused on retention through recognition and rewards and know they must constantly “sell the opportunity to stay with me.” “People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses,” Lippert said. Gone are the days when bosses can afford to think their employees should feel lucky just to have a job. “People don’t necessarily have to work for a company today – often it’s more a collaboration on projects in this new economy.”
Sometimes staying connected is as easy as leaders simply walking the hallways.
“Communication is about maintaining a dialogue and leadership – leaders have to do the right thing every day. employers should use the tools that determine how an organization is working and then take the steps to change. Employers should use the tools that determine how an organization is working and then take the steps to change.”
—Richard Lippert, Chairman and CEO of Leathers Milligan
The most significant aspect about companies adapting to change and helping their staff navigate it, is to be aware that “your people are an asset, not a labor expense,” Lippert said. “Investing in people, getting them engaged … that will improve return.”*/
Perri needed help financing her senior year in college. Abbie and Mike dreamed of getting master’s degrees. Savannah wanted to be able to complete her education – all four were working full-time.
And, all four had employers with open ears and wallets.
In Mike’s case, his employer, Harrah’s Ak-Chin, which is about 35 miles south of Phoenix and a subsidiary of Caesar’s Entertainment, already had tuition-reimbursement program, but for the other three, it took their efforts to pave the way for others.Tips For Building a Case
The key said Abbie Fink, vice president and general manager of HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, "is to build the case for why the employer will benefit from helping finance someone’s education.
"Whether it’s a leadership program, Spanish class, or underwriting an academic degree, it has to make sense for both sides," Abbie said.
“Line up your arguments to have your employer cover the cost by building your case – show that by investing in me here’s how I’ll be better.”
—Abbie Fink, HMA Public Relations in PhoenixNegotiate
Abbie negotiated her employer tuition-reimbursement as part of her contract based on a sliding scale of 100 percent for an A and 90 percent for a B. Those grades were the only options in getting the reimbursement. She was already halfway through her master’s degree in communications when she joined HMA. She went on to help develop benefits packages that included tuition reimbursement, as well as financial support to belong to professional organizations and take pertinent classes or seminars to help employees develop.
“I’ve always been a big proponent of continuing education,” Abbie said. “It’s good for the person and it’s good for business. (Now) as an employer who believes in continuing education, I see it as an obligation to offer tuition reimbursement or professional growth opportunities. Don’t let (an employee’s) finances be the obstacle.”
Whether thousands of dollars or a few hundred, an employer’s investment in staff builds loyalty and more knowledgeable workers.Set a Minimum GPA
Perri Collins was a young student who had run out of financial aid. She got a job as communications manager at the Arizona Newspaper Association as she was about to start her senior year at Arizona State University.
“I petitioned the board of directors (of ANA),” she said, adding she put together the program requirements herself. “I had originally asked for $1,000 per semester, but the board only approved $500 due to the nonprofit’s small budget. As long as I passed all my classes that semester and maintained a GPA of at least 3.0, they approved the reimbursement.”
Perri said the tuition assistance showed her she was a valued employee and she figures the board thought it was “a small cost to invest in having a better-trained employee.”
She advised that those seeking tuition reimbursement do their research and have the plan fleshed out before going to the powers that be. “It’s much easier for them to say yes if they don’t have to do any of the legwork or think too hard about it,” she said.
In the end, she pointed out, “It’s a great way to build loyalty with employees, encouraging them to stay longer with the company. Plus, they get a better-educated workforce, which benefits the company in the long run.”Point Out The Tax Benefits
Savannah Ohl, who works for a business-to-business marketing agency in Mesa, Ariz., said when she came on board at Elevation Marketing, no reimbursement program existed. A year into her new job, she started talking to her boss about such a program and “its benefits for a company from a tax write off stand point. We had our HR manager look into all the details and set up a proposal that was presented to the owner.”
“This benefit is extremely beneficial to me and a handful of others at our company,” Savannah said. “We have a total of 25 employees and about five are taking advantage of the program… I’m able to apply what I’m learning in school to my career in real time.”
For Mike Kintner, Harrah’s Ak-Chin director of marketing and operations, having educational benefits helped him feel like a valued employee, and now he helps his staff and other Harrah's employees understand the value such a benefit can offer. Harrah’s helped finance his executive MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Caesars Entertainment has tuition discount partnerships with several other schools, including Northcentral University.
“The company felt it was important to invest in my education and it was part of my development plan; something I was asking for… and [in return] they got a more well-rounded employee”
—Mike Kintner, Director of Marketing and Operations for Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
“Now I have something no one can take away from me, my education,” Mike said.Studies Show Tuition Reimbursement is Key For Retaining Employees
A Wall Street Journal article pointed out in 2007 that while some corporations feared tuition-assistance programs as just a way to make their employees more marketable and apt to leave, research concluded that paying for education made employees stick around.
A study by a Stanford graduate student cited in the WSJ article revealed “dramatically lower attrition among participants in a tuition-reimbursement program at an unnamed nonprofit institution.”
The WSJ story went on to point out that a 2004 study Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, found “tuition-assistance appears to select better quality employees who stay on the job longer,” perhaps to use the benefit.
NCU Alumnus Dr. Michael Salvatore, PhD in Education – Instructional and Curriculum Leadership, received accolades last week from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and other local and state officials for his outstanding leadership abilities and for being an asset to New Jersey’s education community during a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new school that opened in the Long Branch School District.
Salvatore, who is Superintendent of the Long Branch Public School District, was among the governor and other state and local officials as well as students and staff for the opening ceremony of the George L. Catrambone School. The new 109,000 square-foot school was designed for grades K-5 and includes 41 classrooms, four special education classrooms, computer rooms, a gymnasium, media center, library, and more.
“The design of this school is futuristic with capabilities which will be relevant for decades,”
—NCU Alumnus Dr. Michael Salvatore, PhD in Education
On behalf of the NCU community, we congratulate Dr. Salvatore and his colleagues on this remarkable achievement. To read more, check out the news article here.*/
From Starbucks with its thousands of workers to Phoenix-based HMA Public Relations with its seven employees, the value of an education is honored – and better yet – paid for. Thousands of businesses offer some kind of college-tuition assistance, and apparently, others can be talked into it. By offering a tuition reimbursement program companies are showing employees and applicants that you value them.
A tuition reimbursement program truly invests in each employee by providing them with advanced skills which will have a positive effect on their future whether that future is with your company or not.Employees are Demanding Tuition Reimbursement
Since talented job applicants will be fielding multiple job offers companies need to beef up their offerings beyond a high salary. Many employees and potential employees recognize the value in higher education and are motivated to continue their education throughout their career.
Abbie Fink, vice president and general manager of HMA Public Relations, said she made the reimbursement for helping her get a master’s degree at Arizona State University part of her hiring contract more than 20 years ago. At the time there wasn’t a formal tuition-reimbursement policy, but now HMA employees get help with college classes, as well as with other professional-development training opportunities.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be about public relations or leadership, but something that makes sense for us, the employee and the client,” Fink said, pointing out HMA paid for her to learn Spanish.
For Gen X and Millennial employees (generations of workers more likely to have multiple jobs and careers throughout their lifetime) having more education and professional training can make them more marketable. These generations also are keen on making a difference, and a college education and professional training can help do that.
Savannah Ohl, the project and traffic coordinator at Elevation Marketing in Mesa, Ariz., said she sold her company on the idea of reimbursement, and now “I'm able to apply what I’m learning in school to my career in real time.”
And, Perri Collins, then-communications manager at the Arizona Newspaper Association, said she knew she needed help paying for school as she was about to start her senior year at Arizona State University. “I was trying to brainstorm alternative ways to pay for school, she said.”
A continuing advocate for employer-tuition assistance, Collins said, “I think it's a great way to build loyalty with employees, encouraging them to stay longer with the company. Plus, they get a better-educated workforce, which benefits the company in the long run.”
Mike Kintner, director of marketing and operations for Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino near Phoenix, said not only did the parent company Caesar’s Entertainment help pay for his MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, he encourages his own staff to take advantage of the tuition-reimbursement benefits and take courses that relate to Caesars Entertainment business.
“You see them really grow and blossom, they go from just doing stuff to really understanding what’s going on to having a say and adding more value.”
—Mike Kintner, Director of Marketing and Operations for Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
Caesars Entertainment offers 90 percent up to $3,000 for undergraduate studies in a 12-month period, and up to $4,000 for graduate studies. The company also partners with Northcentral University in offering tuition discounts to its employees.Economic Downfalls Caused Companies to Cut Tuition Reimbursement, But They Appear to Be Bouncing Back
However, and perhaps as a reflection of the economy or trends in changing benefits, tuition-reimbursement programs have taken somewhat of a hit in recent years. This during a time when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the cost of tuition consistently has increased faster than the overall inflation rate since 1981.
Although fewer organizations are offering undergraduate tuition assistance in favor of additional health-care benefits today compared to 2010 – 54 percent versus 62 percent – according to a 2014 report by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), such a benefit is highly regarded.
This year’s top 10 employers -- picked by the Families and Work Institute and the SHRM for the 2014 When Work Works Awards – offered employees tuition and training support as a benefit.
Well-known companies offering tuition assistance include: Apple; Chevron; Dell; FedEx; Google; Gap, Inc.; General Mills; Hilton Worldwide; Oregon State University; Monsanto; J.M. Smucker; Raytheon; UPS; Verizon; and U.S. Airways, according to College.lovetoknow.com.
Northcentral University partners with many large companies in the U.S., including Caesars Entertainment, in offering tuition assistance
As Abbie Fink of HMA PR said of being an employee, “It’s nice to have employers value your education and see what it does for you.”
Higher education in the United States dates back almost 400 years to Harvard University, the well-known model of the traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. In the four centuries since, technological advances have changed the way education is delivered and received.
Alex Solis, an English instructor at East Los Angeles, has been teaching at the community college level for the past seven years. She shared the level of changes in teaching strategies she has experienced due to technology have been “massive.”Here are a few ways technology is impacting learning in higher education, in both traditional and online settings. 1. Interaction with Instructors
The movie Raiders of the Lost Ark has a scene where the protagonist, an archeology professor, tells his students that he is available for office hours on certain days and at certain times. Another scene has him leaving his office via the window to escape the throng of students. According to Solis, technology has opened different avenues with students.
“Video chat and instant messaging are now being used for online office hours as well as online tutoring at some colleges,” she said. “This allows students to supplement the one-on-one instruction they get in office hours with ease.”2. Companion pieces
Whether through a traditional or online setting, Solis said a trend of using technology to supplement courses is developing.
“Online sites like Moodle, eTudes, and Blackboard have opened up huge changes in education. Students can see pictures and videos uploaded by instructors, and upload their own when they think they have something that contributes to the academic discourse,” Solis said.3. Extended classrooms
Solis said technology has aided instructors by using web-based platforms to interact with students and help students interact with each other outside of the classroom.
“Students can give each others' papers online peer reviews, saving on classroom time and eliminating the tentativeness that comes with the fear of hurting someone's feelings by giving suggestions,” she said. “Teachers upload lectures after they've been given for review, and they often ask for student reflections online as a way to allow students more time to digest material before they respond to it.”4. Changing the format
While online learners are used to not sitting in a classroom or auditorium, Solis said online platforms allow students to attend class – and learn – remotely.
“Because the lectures are uploaded and available at any time, teachers can spend more time in the class adding to what was covered in the lectures,” she said. “Many of my students are more engaged and it is easier to start a discussion. And it lets me know who has done the work one their own and who hasn’t.”5. Disappearing textbooks and easier organization
According to the latest annual survey conducted by CourseSmart and Wakefield Research (1), of the students surveyed at 500 enrolled college students across the country, the most useful technological tool was the interactive textbook. Nearly 30% of the students surveyed listed their laptop as the most important item in their bag, as opposed to just 10% who listed their physical textbook.
According to the survey, 31% of the students felt e-texts made lessons easier to understand; 23% reported e-texts helping complete assignments quicker and 21% felt digital textbooks helped them stay more organized.
In addition to disappearing textbooks, Solis said she has noticed that students aren’t carrying around large binders or taking hand-written notes in class as much.
“More and more students are taking notes with their laptops and tablets,” she said. “There are lots of apps that make it easier for students to stay organized, like Evernote or LiveBinders.”
—Alex Solis, English instructor at East Los Angeles6. Better ratios
Attending a brick-and-mortar institution can offer students an opportunity to physically interact with other students and instructors. However, the instructor-to-student ratios can be extremely high, excluding instances when a course is taught by a teaching assistant.
At many online universities like Northcentral University, the ratio is lower. For example, in every course at Northcentral, the class size is one. Northcentral offers a one-to-one teaching model based on the Oxford Learning Model.7. Wider audience
Online classrooms have expanded the walls of the institutions of learning. Through the Internet and social media, students can take part in the same class from around the globe.
“Classes that are held completely online are still a little contentious among some brick-and-mortar educators in terms of effectiveness,” Solis said. “But the audience has greatly expanded.8. Research
Instead of going to the campus library to do research, students are utilizing online libraries more today for research.
“Nearly everything is available online, provided students have access to the right database. No one goes through the archives, looks at microfiche, or checks out a book anymore,” Solis said. “Unfortunately, this also means students often come to college without strong reading backgrounds.”
Solis shared that because so much information is readily available via the Internet, she has seen more plagiarism over the years.
“Plagiarism is a huge problem in education because of the tremendous number of cheating sites,” she said. “Plagiarism check sites like TurnItIn.com are becoming essential for instructors because students have easy access to papers online.”10. Time saver
The latest annual survey conducted by CourseSmart and Wakefield Research , reported that nearly 70% of the students surveyed reported technology in and out of the classroom helped them save at least two hours a day when working in class, doing homework or studying.
“There have been so many adjustments teachers and students have had to make with the changes in technology,” Solis said. “Some of it is amazing because it has changed the way teachers teach and students learn in such a short amount of time.”
—Alex Solis, English instructor at East Los AngelesHas technology had a positive impact on your education?
Social media has become an outlet for people to post, like, share, and comment about anything from what they had for breakfast to the most revealing personal and intimate parts of their lives. Every second, individuals express their sentiments and viewpoints on political, cultural, socioeconomic and other topics across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, Yelp and more.
“The use of social media is certainly rising in all areas of life, and it can be a great tool. It can also be a great danger,” explains Wayne Perry, Ph.D., LMFT, core faculty and Director of Clinical Training at Northcentral University’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences.
If you're a therapist looking for social media platforms to benefit your practice, you've got options. It can be used as a marketing tool for your practice, a way to connect with patients, an opportunity for networking with peers, and can help you find new resources for educational content on the behavioral sciences discipline.Personal vs. Professional
It is important to establish a difference in your personal and your professional social media presence. Therapists should be able to connect with friends and family, but be cautious reaching out to clients through social media. In fact, principle 1.3 of the AAMFT Code of Ethics prohibits therapists from engaging in relationships that could potentially become exploitative of the client or that could impair the therapist's professional judgment.
“Being too self-revealing in the social media outlet or forming a friendlier relationship via social media certainly runs the risk of violating this key principle of the Code of Ethics,” expresses Perry.
“Being too self-revealing in the social media outlet or forming a friendlier relationship via social media certainly runs the risk of violating this key principle of the Code of Ethics
—Wayne Perry, Ph.D., LMFT
Restrictions aside, you can have a professional social media presence while obeying the restrictions of the Code of Ethics. Many professionals disclose their following and/or posting policy within their social media bios, so their followers and fans are aware they are under Hippocratic Oath."
Ultimately, social media can be utilized appropriately by therapists, and can also be a great resource for prospective patients who may be seeking help. Perry advises, “If clients see the therapist as one who is hopeful and helpful in a social media environment, they are more likely to seek that therapist out when life gives them hurts that they are not able to deal with on their own.”Educate Yourself & Others
The amount of information that is available to us throughout the Internet is never-ending. As a therapist, sharing content with your fans or followers can help educate them on types of therapies and methods for managing a healthy well-being. If you decide to have a Facebook page for your practice, a blog where you share advice or a Twitter account where you connect with other like-minded therapists, it is important to carefully consider what type of information you are sharing. “Consistent, relevant and enjoyable information is the key in any of these areas,” explains Jared DuPree, Ph.D., LMFT and Director of Assessment at NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences.
Psychology Today has a great index of articles written by experts in marriage and family therapy and psychology. This information is promoted on their social media sites, and MFTs can subscribe to the content via RSS feeds. It is through resources such as these that many therapists use social media for content curation and as an educational tool to keep up new developments in the field.Promote Your Practice
Social media is an effective way to brand yourself and your practice, and , some therapists choose to market their practice via these means.
“I would recommend that therapists and businesses have a Facebook page and a Google+ page. Both help with search engine optimization (SEO) and tend to reach the demographic most professionals are trying to reach.”
—Jared DuPree, Ph.D., LMFT
You may also use social media to support your philosophies or way of life. Annabelle Goodwin, Ph.D. and Foundation Faculty at NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences notes, “I recently saw a therapist link to a Pinterest page. She used this to ‘pin’ inspirational quotes and images she found to be meaningful. I [think] it is a nice way to offer a piece of herself [to her patients] while still maintaining clear boundaries.”Networking as a Professional
Social media has made staying connected and meeting new people faster and easier than ever before. In the field of therapy it is not only an educational and marketing tool, it can also be used for networking and communication to help therapists connect to a global community of patients, colleagues, and scholars.
Keely Kolmes, PsyD., a clinical psychologist at a private practice in San Francisco and writer of A Psychotherapist’s Guide to Facebook and Twitter: Why Clinicians Should Give a Tweet! explains, “I’ve been able to connect with other providers who also use social media through Twitter, draw them to my blog and writing, and find others whose writing and perspectives are meaningful to me. With several of these people, without ever having met face to face, we have shared joint projects. I’ve found myself being interviewed, co-authoring pieces, and speaking at professional trainings, all via Twitter.”
Social media has made staying connected and meeting new people faster and easier than ever before. Social media is an educational, marketing, networking, and communication tool that helps therapists connect to a global community of patients, colleagues and scholars.As a marriage and family therapist, how are you using social media?
Servicemembers hear it all the time: prepare, prepare, prepare. For most though, planning their transition from military to civilian life, is easier said than done.
Whether it’s readjusting to family life or translating military service into civilian careers, reintegrating into the real world comes with its own set of challenges for servicemembers and spouses alike.There are many different unique concerns when transitioning into civilian life
Dr. Thomas F. Matta, PhD and Core Faculty Member at NCU’s School of Marriage & Family Sciences, has been working with active duty and retired military servicemembers for almost fours years now. He hears first-hand the concerns servicemembers and their spouses have when it comes to translating their military careers into civilian ones.
“Enlisted men who do not have college training speak of going into careers in security or law enforcement,” he explains. “Some speak of going on to school to get a bachelor’s degree in ‘vocational viability.’”
With a focus on topics related to the changing landscape of higher education, Dr. Matta counsels these servicemembers and their spouses on retraining and finding stable opportunities in a declining job market.
“I’ve advised them to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers as it will provide a livable wage and be less affected by volatility in global markets that result in employment disruptions,” he says.
Dr. Kristi Harrison, PhD, LMFT, a Foundations Faculty Member at NCU’s School of Marriage & Family Sciences and a colleague of Dr. Matta, is a military spouse herself. With a husband 12 years in the military already, she sees many families struggle with the process of transitioning out of active duty military everyday. She understands their anxiety, despite some of them already having earned their undergraduate or graduate degrees.
“The military lifestyle is unique and provides a lot of structure that cultivates a specific set of skills,” says Dr. Harrison. “These skills do translate well into the civilian work sector. However many military folks don’t have experience with translating their skills into a civilian culture.”
—Dr. Kristi Harrison, PhD, LMFT
Another colleague, Dr. Elaine Willerton, PhD, LMFT, is a Core Faculty Member at NCU’s School of Marriage & Family Sciences who’s had the benefit of teaching many servicemembers and their spouses in her courses.
“Honestly, they are some of the most hardworking students I have,” she says, explaining how servicemembers just know how to get things done despite their work and/or family commitments.
“I had one student who submitted her assignments from a ship on the other side of the world,” she says, illustrating how NCU removes constraints many brick-and-mortar institutions would be hard-pressed to eliminate.
Dr. Willerton too notices the common thread among servicemembers and veterans: the belief that military “transcripts” do not translate well into civilian resumés. That’s why she recommends veterans and servicemembers in the process of transitioning out of the military, seek out professional help with their resumés.
“Servicemembers can benefit from working with career coaches who can help them “translate” their military experience into civilian terms,”
—Dr. Elaine Willerton, PhD, LMFTOnline Education provides the flexibility and convenience for servicemembers
As Dr. Matta continues to work with active duty servicemembers from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes NCU is uniquely positioned to assist them as they separate from their military careers, for a number of reasons.No Relocation is necessary
First, he believes servicemembers have lived in many different locations throughout their military career and most report being “tired” of the frequent moves required for each mission.
“By attending NCU, the servicemember can choose to live in an area that best suits the family’s preferences rather than requiring the family to move yet again while they pursue their degree where the school is located, with no guarantee that this is where the family will eventually settle,” Dr. Matta explains.
His colleague, Dr. Harrison also believes for some families this is the first time a spouse’s career can be a driving force in relocating. In fact, the flexibility of pursuing a degree online could provide newly civilian military families the best of both worlds.
“Spouses can be advancing their careers, while the former servicemember is working on the transition to the civilian work sector,” she says.Allows more family time since they can complete degrees while at home.
Second, Dr. Matta’s findings reveal servicemembers leaving the military are interested in being with their families more, in hopes of “redeeming the time” lost due to multiple deployments.
“NCU is a great choice as the medium permits the servicemember to be more in tune with the multi-faceted familial and personal obligations he/she has as an adult,” he says.Shorter timespan to degree completion
Third, Dr. Matta believes servicemembers are eager to complete their degrees in the shortest time frame possible so they can begin their civilian careers. With NCU, he feels students don’t have to wait the typical time it takes for a course to begin or be offered next.
“As a result, the servicemember stays on task for degree completion more readily than if they attended a ‘brick-and-mortar’ university,” he says.Cost effective in conjunction with GI Bill
Fourth, Dr. Matta sees cost as being an additional concern for servicemembers transitioning from the military, especially for those where health care, saving for a child’s college education, and caring for aging parents require additional resources and expenses.
“The new GI Bill may pay for some of those expenses, but at a traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ university, those dollars may not go as far,” he says. “Most studies show a considerable savings to students who pursue their degrees online.”
Finally, Dr. Matta strongly recommends consulting with academic advisors beforehand to see if an online education will suit the personal, familial and financial needs of a transitioning servicemember and his family members.
According to Nicole Williams and Marie Zimenoff, who wrote “Hot Degrees to Pursue in 2014 and Beyond,” a degree in healthcare administration is on the short list of the hottest degrees to earn for some of the fastest-growing careers, which include finance, computer science, marketing, and accounting.
There’s validity of why healthcare administration is in the top five careers listed. Williams says that healthcare administration degrees will likely offer opportunities in many different jobs and clear roads to advancement. Zimenoff agrees, adding that students who already have some work experience combined with this specialization will be the most competitive.
Williams goes on to say that these [management, administrative, and even political] careers will be in demand because of the U.S.’s increasing, aging population (baby boomers) that will increase the demand for healthcare services. Besides an aging population, there are other special interest groups and their concerns on the forefront, such as individuals with special healthcare needs, returning veterans, and our health-conscious population staying active longer and later in life.
Earning a graduate degree in business administration with a specialization in healthcare administration puts you on the pathway of one of the fastest-growing careers of this decade.
The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that employment of medical and health services managers and administrators is expected to grow 23% between 2012 and 2022, which is significantly faster than the 11% average growth rate of most occupations. And, according to BLS, in 2012 there were 315,500 medical and health services jobs with the annual median salary earned at $88,580.
Also, according to the BLS Occupational Handbook, Top executives in all occupations held 2,303,200 jobs in that same year, which included healthcare administrators. The median salary was $101,650. Since the competition for top executives in any field is very strong, and the growth rate is projected at the national average growth rate of 11%, choosing a specialization in healthcare administration puts you in the “hot zone.”
Healthcare administrators have wide-range influences within the medical profession. The leadership they provide as administrators, generalists, or specialists of a specific clinical area in a hospital or private practice closely equals managing a city. They work in dynamic environments filled with diverse relationships—coworkers, patients, and other professionals within the community—all of which could have distinct yet separate agendas. Strategizing, standardizing, and implementing effective policies and procedures that equally serve the whole group are essential. Overseeing a facility by ensuring that all departments are running smoothly, the right people are doing the right jobs, everyone knows what’s expected of them, all available resources are being accessed and used, fiscal responsibility is top-of-mind, and all are working toward a common goal—a high-quality healthcare experience—is of paramount importance.
Healthcare administrators have the opportunity to deliver this high-quality healthcare experience within their own work environment, as well as the greater community, through building strong relationships with other healthcare organizations and certain government groups that support the future of the healthcare system. And while healthcare administrators must impact their facility and community at large, sometimes the job will take on a personal touch—sitting down with a patient and assuring him that he’s in the right place and on the right path to better health.
A specialization in healthcare administration can augment your business training by developing essential perspectives and skills for applying theoretical and research-based healthcare to management issues. The specialization prepares students for administrative challenges, such as identifying, analyzing, and resolving problems; recognizing the restraints for and limitations to intervention; and changing delivery systems, while learning to strategically plan for total quality management of a healthcare facility and its members.
Some of the core values offered by this specialization are learning about business research methodology, interpreting and applying mixed-methods research, applying practical skills, studying human behavior, analyzing statistics commonly used for business, leading healthcare facilities through tough financial times, and enhancing your researching and writing skills.
Healthcare administration is without a doubt one of the hottest careers right now. Considering the varied management skill set needed not only to run a healthcare facility but also build strong community and business relationships, you can use your degree in liberal arts, public administration, law, or business administration with a specialization in healthcare administration as essential building blocks necessary to become a top executive in healthcare.
Place a highly rewarding career path within reach by choosing to be a healthcare administrator--one of the hottest, fastest-growing careers of this decade.
Additional Sources of information:
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Whether kindergarten, high school, college or graduate school, feelings of angst always arise when it comes to the topic of the first day of school. There are many questions that arise in the minds of student and instructors alike: What will my teachers/students be like? Will I learn? Will I be able to teach this new group of students? Do I belong here?
No matter the level, it is important not only to survive, but to conquer the first day of school.
Pamelia Trimble, an Earth Science and Oceanography instructor at John Glenn High School in Norwalk, California, is preparing for her 30th first day of school. She says the first day sets the tone for the entire school year.
“The first day of school is critical because first impressions are made,” Trimble says. “As a teacher, I let the students know what to expect, some rules that are critical, and how to be successful in my classroom.”First Day Sets the Tone For the Rest of the Year
“I don't go over everything, just a few highlights. I have to establish that I am in control, not them! The first day basically sets the tone for the rest of the year.”
The pressure of making the most of that first day is especially burdensome for Trimble, because like most school districts, the first day is a modified shortened day in the Norwalk/La Mirada Unified School District, where Glenn High School is located.
“Our time together on that first day is only about 30 minutes. I take roll and make sure that I pronounce each student’s name correctly,” says Trimble.
Students have to get used to their new surroundings as well, Trimble adds.
“I believe they make first impressions as well. Some come prepared some don't,” she notes. “At the high school level, students are still finding themselves and seeing all the different types of ‘personalities’ that exist at the facility. Some feel they have to come off tough, others are shy.”
In order to set the tone for the rest of the year, Trimble shares that she attempts to strike a balance between asserting authority and being approachable.
“Control must be established immediately and continually. Let students know that you're in charge, but not unapproachable,” she explains. “I also make myself available to help them find their classes so they don't get lost. I try to make them feel welcome, not petrified!”
“Control must be established immediately and continually. Let students know that you're in charge, but not unapproachable,” she explains. “I also make myself available to help them find their classes so they don't get lost. I try to make them feel welcome, not petrified!”
—Pamelia TrimbleIn addition to establishing control on the first day of school, Trimble suggests instructors must also:
- • Be Organized – “The more organized you are, the less likely mistakes are to happen. Start putting together a seating chart in alphabetical order so you can learn their names, on the second day.”
- • Be Flexible – “Everything doesn't always go as planned. Be ready to move students if there are problems with whomever they are sitting next to.”
- • Be Honest – “If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it as soon as possible. If you want respect, you have to give respect!”
- • Wear Different Hats – “Be ready to teach, but remember you're more than their teacher. Sometimes you're also their parent and counselor.”
While the first day is very important in terms of setting the tone, Trimble notes it is important for both students and instructors to remember that the entire school year does not hinge on that one day.
“If the first day goes bad for the instructor, they had better correct it the next day or they'll be in for a long year!” she laughs. “If a mistake is made, correct it and be honest! Remind students that teachers are human too. And if a student has a bad first day, encourage them to try again the next day.”*/
For many professionals, achievement in the workplace serves as the ultimate self-esteem booster. Called out for a job well-done by your leader? Big boost. Got a promotion? Even bigger boost. And with each small accomplishment comes a small amount of satisfaction in knowing that we're making progress toward the pinnacle of our professional lives. After all, history tells us – our positive, healthy self-image coupled with a hard work ethic can lead to more job satisfaction, which in turn leads to success both inside and outside of the office.
It's an easy connection to make – the better your performance at work, the higher your level of self-esteem may rise. In fact, according to Ellen McGrath of Psychology Today, "Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have. Meaningful work has long been one of the important ways to feel good about oneself." But what if your working environment doesn't provide the boost you need to succeed?
Unfortunately, in a shaky economic climate the workplace has become less reliable for the self-image boost we're all seeking. "Where work has traditionally been a source of self-esteem, that link is now endangered," McGrath explains. "The one thing that is most likely to suffer damage in today's workplace is precisely what most of us hope to get there – self-esteem."The Impact on Employee Performance
Anne Ward, a doctoral candidate in NCU's PhD in Business Administration with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, asserts that the ties between self-image and performance are more important to your organization than you might think. "Employee performance is important to improving bottom line revenue," she explains. "Someone with high self-esteem will be satisfied with work performance and be more productive."
Leaders within your organization may understand the importance behind this link, but in an environment that proves difficult to manage your own self-esteem on a daily basis, how can leaders help their team members struggling to overcome hurdles?
Ward emphasizes that leaders should remember to be sensitive to the fact that there are a variety of factors both inside and outside of work that may be affecting self-image in the workplace. "[Remember], low self-esteem can harm the unit or organization, as these team members do not respond well to stressors, which makes them feel even worse," she explains.
"When you have a team member that has low self-esteem, find an area where they have high self-esteem and try to emphasize that area to help them be successful at work," suggests Ward. "Increase their self-esteem through [providing opportunity for] real accomplishments and positive feedback." This exercise may include opportunities both inside and outside of work.Tips on Improving Self-Image
Looking for ways to improve your own self-image or ideas on how to help impact employee performance? Henrik Edberg provides these tips (and more) in his blog, How to Improve Your Self-Esteem: 12 Powerful Tips:
- Say stop to your inner critic.
- Use healthier motivation habits.
- Write down three things that you can appreciate about yourself.
- Stop falling into the comparison trap.
- Spend more time with supportive people (and less time with destructive people).
Visit the Positivity Blog for more tips and details on how each of these can help you and your team members make positive change in your personal and professional life.
Ultimately, a positive self-image contributes to your level of contentment both inside and outside the workplace. Remembering to take each workplace or life challenge in stride can help you achieve a work-life balance that promotes happiness as well as productivity.Blog Categories: career-advicelifestylepsychologytips-to-improve-your-lifeBlog Tags: Employee PerformanceSelf-ImageSelf-EsteemWorkplace PerformanceWorkplace Achievement
Teachers see students on a regular basis for an entire school year, a 20-week semester or parts of four school quarters. In addition to being an instructor, teachers often play the role of life coach, guidance counselor and/or parental figure.Learning Starts at Home
The truth is, teachers would secretly like to ask parents for assistance in educating their children. Dori Hicks is entering her 20th year as a kindergarten teacher at Signal Hill Elementary School in Signal Hill, California. She says the one thing she wishes she could tell parents is that educating children doesn’t begin at the entrance of the schoolhouse.
“Learning starts at home and needs to continue. Every book you read and every experience you provide as a parent helps your child grow,” she shares. “Parental support and involvement in learning is a strong indicator of student success.”
In addition, Hicks suggests that parents become more involved with homework.
“Spending time to practice spelling words and math facts sends a message to your child that learning is important and that you value their effort and hard work,” she explains.Parents Need to Lead By Example
Eddeane Casares is entering her 15th year of teaching and her 14th year at Walt Disney Elementary School in Anaheim, California. She echoes Hicks’ sentiments.
“I would really like to tell parents that children follow by example. If the parents spend all their time looking at [their] Smartphones, the students will do the same – in and out of class,” she explains. “If parents want their children to succeed at reading, they should read themselves. If parents want their children to be successful in math, don't provide the excuse that they were never good at math.”
Hicks also expresses that the model of leading by example comes into play when parents interact with teachers.
“Children watch how you talk about school, and the way you speak to their teachers. There are so many instances where I’ve had to deal with students who were rude after seeing their parents being rude,” she reflects. “The respect you display is imitated by your child. If they see you listening and being respectful, they will follow suit. If they see you with your arms folded, shaking your head, pointing fingers and being aggressive, they will imitate that as well.”
Casares also recommends that parents develop and enforce expectations of success in the classroom.
“Keep having engaging conversations. Don't be afraid to turn off the television or take away their video games when they are not performing well,” Casares explains. “Also, don't reward them for accomplishing what you already expect of them. Reward them for going above and beyond.”Remain a United Front with Teachers
If she were only allowed to give parents one piece of advice, Hicks says she would pitch parents on creating a united front with instructors.
“Teachers want to help parents help their children succeed in school. We want to equip parents with tips on the study skills and techniques that will help make homework and studying a painless process,” she explains.
Hicks says one of her frustrations is that many times, parents do not actively participate in their child’s education process, and end up blaming the teacher for not having done their job.
“It’s more than just asking your child if they have homework and if they did it. Being an active parent means going over the homework with [your] students,” she expresses. “It means going to Back-to-School Night, and following up with the instructor throughout the school year. It means working with the teacher to get the best out of [your] student. Parents have a huge impact on their child's journey in school. We (teachers) need you by our side!”
Here’s a scenario: You received that well-deserved promotion to manager of the department in which you worked for two years. Two of your peers now work for you and you’ve hired two more. All the right employees are in place. At least you thought they were; but something went awry because that critical deadline was missed. That’s never going to happen again on your watch.
Oftentimes there’s a tipping point at which your leadership style could wane, then shift from macro- to micromanagement. You’re a newly promoted manager who is charged to lead his peers; you hired additional team members; your team missed a critical deadline. You feel out of control. At that point in time, after the critical deadline was missed, you decided to take charge.
Do you feel like you’ve gone from leader to micromanager? Here are some common characteristics of micromanagers to help you decide.You may be a micromanager if you:
- • Avoid delegating.
- • Fill your time with details, missing the big-picture, long-term plan.
- • Monitor and assess every step of a business process.
- • Dictate projects are done a certain way regardless of effectiveness or efficiency.
- • Override other’s decisions.
- • Require unnecessary and frequent reports.
- • Restrict the flow of information among employees.
Even a few of these tendencies might suggest that you are one of those types of managers—at least for now. Micromanagers often start out as strong leaders, which is why you were promoted (or hired) in the first place. You’re still that leader who can first weigh the potential outcomes of controlling all the details all the time, and then alter his or her behavior to empower the team members to have some comanagement responsibilities. It is time to rethink your decision to micromanage the group.What are the potential outcomes of micromanaging?
The outcomes of micromanaging a team could possibly include overseeing a group of workers that is hesitant—even paralyzed—to do their job. Their lack of information or inability to make decisions on their own could restrict those on the team from completing a project correctly and on time because you aren’t there every minute managing the details. In the meantime, who’s doing your job to provide the company’s big picture to all persons who report to you, and who is driving the strategy to achieve the big-picture goals?How to revert back to your role as a leader
Refocus on the overall corporate plan and the integral part your department plays in that plan. Be the leader you were hired to be, which probably excludes doing day-to-day, project-oriented tasks that could be done by your team members—the qualified people who once were your peers before you got promoted or those you were hired to lead.
Lead your team by being a proactive communicator with your group and coworkers. Manage up-front directives and share information. Listen to your team members. Those who feel unheard will often become disengaged from the group, leave your department, or even quit their job. And that not-listened-to team member just might have been your best contributor to the overall directives.
We don’t start out our careers choosing to be a micromanager. We often learn how to be one through personal experiences we’ve had with previous managers—even mentors, family, and friends.
If you’re looking to hone your leadership, there are a number of free online resources available. One idea is to use your favorite search engine and search “free leadership training.” Additionally, seeking higher education is a great place to start if you're trying to implement newer, better ideas and methods of leadership. Organizational behavior, strategic management, accounting for your decision making, and managing changes in turbulent, dynamic environments are just a few of the areas of study offered when earning a degree in business management. With the knowledge gained from an advanced degree, a rewarding career in team leadership is within reach.Additional Sources on Micromanagers:
http://www.transassoc.com/org-real-micromanagementBlog Categories: career-advice
by Meghan Krein
“What could he possibly have to be depressed about? He has absolutely everything anyone could ask for.” It’s a common misconception: assuming just because someone appears to have everything going for them – whether it be wealth, a successful career, or the perfect family – they’re not subject to problems with mental health.
This week, according to CNN, we learned actor Robin Williams, 63, was found dead at his home in Northern California. The reported cause is asphyxia and police are handling it as a suicide. Williams’ media representative, Maria Buxbaum, told CNN that Williams has been “battling severe depression as of late.” CNN also reported that Williams had checked himself into rehab for substance abuse problems, including recently this summer.What is Depression?
So what is depression? The National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH] describes it as a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. Clearly, we all feel sad at times, but when someone is clinically depressed, it interferes with their life and the lives of their loved ones. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown that the brains of depressed individuals differ from those of non-depressed individuals. The parts of the brain controlling mood, thought processes, sleep, appetite and behavior are affected.Types of Depression:
- • Major Depression — severe symptoms that interfere with sleep, work and overall ability to enjoy life. An episode can occur once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, several episodes occur.
- • Persistent Depressive Disorder — depressed mood, lasting for at least two years.
- • Psychotic Depression — severe depression, in addition to some form of psychosis.
- • Postpartum Depression — experienced by some women after giving birth while going through hormonal and physical changes in addition to overwhelming thoughts of caring for a newborn.
- • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — characterized by the onset of depression in the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.
NIMH reports that major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, with 6.7 percent of U.S. adults diagnosed each year.Other Cases of Celebrities Battling Depression
No matter how common, it still seems to shock us to our core when a celebrity reveals a mental illness or commits suicide. At the same time, more and more have recently been coming out to share their mental illness with the public, in hopes of lessening the stigma.
According to PsychCentral, the pressures of public life often make coping with mental illness more difficult. Denial and the need to fulfill high-profile demands can be compounded by the fear of shame and scrutiny. Many celebrities fear consequences that may come with admitting something isn’t right and seeking help.
Actor Owen Wilson not only had comedy in common with Williams, but also a history of depression and substance abuse. In 2007, according to People, Wilson attempted suicide at his home. But, with the support of his family and friends was able to recover.
Postpartum depression hit actress Gwyneth Paltrow after the birth of her son, Moses back in 2006. “I felt like a zombie,” she told Good Housekeeping, “I couldn’t access my emotions.” Initially Paltrow didn’t know what was wrong, “I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every day and incapable of looking after a child.”Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression
Although we often see celebrities in the light of perfection, it’s important to note they are human and may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, including depression. Some symptoms of depression, according to NIMH, include:
- • Feelings of persistent sadness, anxiety or emptiness
- • Feelings of hopelessness
- • Irritability
- • Loss of enjoyment in activities that were once enjoyable
- • Lethargy
- • Trouble concentrating
- • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- • Suicidal ideation
- • Psychosomatic pains
If someone you know is suffering from depression, remember never to dismiss feelings or to judge and offer support. If you are feeling depressed, don’t wait to get help. And try to be active and patient with yourself. A helpful resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
Blog Categories: psychology
Northcentral University's School of Psychology introduced three new post-master's certificates, designed specifically for professionals in psychology who are interested in further enhancing their skill sets to include new needs in the fields of mental and behavioral health.
New concentrations offered include:
Geropsychology and Elder Care
Designed for individuals who are passionate about working older adults and their families, this specialization provides coursework that prepares students for career opportunities in health facilities, mental health clinics, numerous government agencies, and community organizations.
Addictions and Rehabilitation
A complement to the existing Addictions post-master’s certificate, this specialization is geared toward providing a knowledge base of case management, clinical supervision, rehabilitation needs of special populations, and evidence-based practices in addiction rehabilitation. Students will gain the skills necessary to help prepare them for a career in addiction rehabilitation.
Trauma and Disaster Relief
Designed with the needs of victims, survivors, relief workers, and bystanders of trauma and disaster in mind, this specialization is geared toward individuals who have a desire to help remedy the emotional and behavioral issues that may accompany such tragedy. Students will gain the skills necessary to work with individuals who have witnessed natural disasters, accidents, abuse, physical injury, bullying, and other traumatic events.
In the ever-changing field of psychology, specialized certificates are a great way to add new skill sets to your knowledge base. Professionals in psychology looking for the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge are a great fit for the post-master's certificate, which requires a minimum of just 18 credits for completion. For more information, visit ncu.edu or call 866.776.0331.
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?
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