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Trends in K-12 Education: Online Continuing Teacher Education

Recent Blog Posts - 01-22-2014 12:17

With each passing year, standards for student achievement in K-12 classrooms across the country continue to rise. Most recently, the wide-spread adoption of Common Core State Standards has forced a new focus on student achievement and application of real world knowledge and skills. In an effort to help students exceed these expectations and succeed in the classroom, proactive educators must seek continuing education that can be immediately translated in to the classroom.

With this goal in mind, online degrees and certificate programs have quickly become the solution. “Choosing between a certificate program and degree program should really be tied to the student’s goals,” says Dr. Karen Ferguson, Assistant Dean for Northcentral University’s School of Education.

Dr. Karen Ferguson – Assistant Dean, School of Education

“A degree program will provide students with both a breadth and a depth of information in their chosen area.  A certificate, on the other hand, tends to be very focused and specific.  Students should choose between the two based on their personal goals and professional requirements.”

In today’s competitive market for online education, fewer requirements, a completion date that is often as short as a few months, and a lower cost for total tuition have given certificate programs the edge – for now.

“Certificate options demonstrate to your school leadership that you are dedicated to continuous improvement and learning,” explains Dr. Ferguson.  “Often, certificates are a nice addition because students can learn focused content that may not have been offered at the time they earned their degree.”

For example, earning an education certificate in early childhood education, e-learning or education leadership would serve almost any educator well. While these specializations are common among online schools, NCU’s School of Education has taken specialized to a higher degree by becoming hyper-focused on the needs of teachers across the country attempting to adapt to the Common Core State Standards requirements.

“NCU offers certificates in a number of areas, all of which will support our students’ goals.  One of our recent additions is the Mathematics Excellence in the Common Core post-baccalaureate certificate.  This unique certification in education

is designed specifically to help educators who are currently teaching mathematics to implement the Common Core State Standards,” says Dr. Ferguson.

Whether completing a degree program for advancement or a certificate program for added knowledge, online continuing teacher education is now the go-to solution for educators looking to prepare their students for success. For more information on all of NCU’s Title IV funded certificate programs, visit www.ncu.edu.


Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Trends in K-12 Education: Online Continuing Teacher Education

Recent Blog Posts - 01-22-2014 10:21

With each passing year, standards for student achievement in K-12 classrooms across the country continue to rise. Most recently, the wide-spread adoption of Common Core State Standards has forced a new focus on student achievement and application of real world knowledge and skills. In an effort to help students exceed these expectations and succeed in the classroom, proactive educators must seek continuing education that can be immediately translated in to the classroom.

With this goal in mind, online degrees and certificate programs have quickly become the solution. "Choosing between a certificate program and degree program should really be tied to the student’s goals," says Dr. Karen Ferguson, Assistant Dean for Northcentral University's School of Education.

Dr. Karen Ferguson - Assistant Dean, School of Education

"A degree program will provide students with both a breadth and a depth of information in their chosen area.  A certificate, on the other hand, tends to be very focused and specific.  Students should choose between the two based on their personal goals and professional requirements."

In today's competitive market for online education, fewer requirements, a completion date that is often as short as a few months, and a lower cost for total tuition have given certificate programs the edge – for now.

"Certificate options demonstrate to your school leadership that you are dedicated to continuous improvement and learning," explains Dr. Ferguson.  "Often, certificates are a nice addition because students can learn focused content that may not have been offered at the time they earned their degree."

For example, earning an education certificate in early childhood education, e-learning or education leadership would serve almost any educator well. While these specializations are common among online schools, NCU's School of Education has taken specialized to a higher degree by becoming hyper-focused on the needs of teachers across the country attempting to adapt to the Common Core State Standards requirements.

"NCU offers certificates in a number of areas, all of which will support our students’ goals.  One of our recent additions is the Mathematics Excellence in the Common Core post-baccalaureate certificate.  This unique certification in education is designed specifically to help educators who are currently teaching mathematics to implement the Common Core State Standards," says Dr. Ferguson.

Whether completing a degree program for advancement or a certificate program for added knowledge, online continuing teacher education is now the go-to solution for educators looking to prepare their students for success. For more information on all of NCU's Title IV funded certificate and degree programs, visit www.ncu.edu.

Blog Categories: education-2education-certificatesonline-learning-2Blog Tags: certificate-programcommon-core-standardscontinuing-educatione-learningearly-childhood-educationeducation-certificateseducation-leadershipk12-educationmathematics-excellence-in-the-common-corencunorthcentral-universityschool-of-educationteacher-educationtitle-iv-fundedtrends-in-k12-education
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Now What? Life After Graduation

Recent Blog Posts - 01-15-2014 10:55

BY: ERIN WALSH

You have just received a passing grade on the last assignment of the last course of your degree program. You’ve been living for this day for months –years even. You finally have the time to reconnect with your family and friends and tell everyone you know that you’ve accomplished your goal. How do you feel?

Many of you probably assume you will relieved, excited, even euphoric. However, accomplishing a long-term goal can lead to a wide range of emotions.

“People often experience mixed feelings at the end of a rigorous process,” explains Darren Adamson (Ph.D.), associate professor for NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences and director of curriculum development for the MFT programs. “These feelings can range from exhilaration to disappointment. Some individuals may feel guilty and anxious while others are proud of their accomplishment and feel satisfaction.”

According to Adamson, many factors can lead to these different emotions, including:

  • Accomplishment of a long-term goal or task
  • Meeting your own and others’ expectations
  • Overcoming the different challenges within your goal or task
  • Changes in your formerly predictable schedule
  • Failing to acknowledge an uncertain future
  • Questioning the reality of your accomplishment

If you find yourself feeling differently than you expected post–graduation, the first thing to remind yourself of is that it’s completely normal! While your feelings may be confusing, they are actually quite predictable. Take advantage of the wisdom learned by those who have gone before you and try some of these tips to help you manage your emotions.

  1. Let your feelings be what they are and do not worry about them—just feel them.
  2. Celebrate your accomplishment with family, friends and other graduates. If possible, attend your commencement.
  3. Accept praise from others—it may feel unreal at first, but many of them saw how hard you worked and know what you sacrificed for this achievement.
  4. Compare where you were when you started your program and where you are now. Accept and own the changes.
  5. Be deliberate in your planning for a career change or advancement. It won’t happen without you!
  6. Access all the support resources available to you in your efforts to use your degree to your career advantage.

Most of all, remember that you’re not alone.

Just because you graduated, that doesn’t mean your connection with your school has to end. Get involved in NCU’s alumni association and network with others who have similar career interests. You may find that staying connected is the best reality check for remembering and celebrating everything you’ve accomplished.

*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.


Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

5 Tips from Academic Advisors on Achieving Academic Success

Recent Blog Posts - 01-10-2014 10:00

At Northcentral University, the role of our Academic Advisors is not just administrative. Our advisors strive to be supportive and encouraging of our students, advocating for their success.  NCU’s Academic Advisors direct students to academic resources and especially in the online environment, act as consistent point of contact to help students navigate the University’s policies, procedures and various departments.

After many years of being privy to how students learn best, what works, and what holds them back, our Academic Advisors now present the Top 5 Tips that successful students use to complete their programs successfully:

Time Management: Students often report their biggest struggle is making time for school work. Balancing academic obligations with family, work and professional obligations can be difficult. If adequate time is not set aside for assignment completion, students can fall behind quickly. Managing time effectively is one way to show your commitment to the program and honor your professional goals.

Utilization of Resources: Many of our most successful students understand the importance of seeking a variety of diverse perspectives. Taking advantage of tutoring, peer and instructor feedback, and APA and library resources will ensure students are up-to-date on requirements, and ultimately make them more confident about their work. For doctoral students this is especially important because of the nature of the dissertation phase where there is much more back and forth between editing and revision.  The ability to incorporate feedback and synthesize information and insight from a wide variety of sources is something that successful students take the time to learn and do well.

Proactive Communication: Successful students communicate proactively and seek assistance as early as possible when experiencing difficulty with the academic process.  They do not wait very long for a response before reaching out in another way or seeking confirmation that an initial communication has been received. Academic Advisors and your instructors should be informed if extenuating circumstances are preventing you from submitting assignments in a timely manner. In this way, successful students work to resolve problems while they are manageable and before problems begin to snowball.

Professional Application:  Successful students often have a professional context in which to apply their learning that works to their advantage. Students who are passionate about their subject and who concentrate on networking and building a professional name for themselves while still in school will feel even more confident when approaching graduation and professional application.  At the same time, professional networking and experience in the real world application of a course of study facilitates a student’s ability to complete high quality coursework.  Successful students look early and often toward their ultimate professional goals and how the topics they research or the concepts they study will enhance their understanding and assist them in their professional life.

Confidence: Advocating for oneself can portray a student in a positive and confident way.  Our most successful students are able to communicate succinctly and considerately when defending their theories, coursework and desire to fully understand feedback or policy.  It is not uncommon for advisors to hear a student express concern that being assertive to self-advocate might lead to negative repercussions.  In fact, the result is just the opposite when critique and questioning of rationale is articulated respectfully and with a confidence to acknowledge any misunderstanding.


Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Tips for Mastering Academic Writing

Recent Blog Posts - 01-08-2014 09:53

BY: KARA HAWKING

Academic writing is one of the most difficult skills for graduate students to master. Combining hours of research, condensing your learning  onto a few pages and ensuring it reads effortlessly – versus a string of citations and paraphrases strung together – is not an intuitive skill. It is a learned ability.

But believe it or not, almost every student struggles with the writing process at some point in their academic career. Even the best writers are not immune to receiving feedback.

Current NCU student and Senior Marketing Manager, Alexis Castorina, has learned the value of applying instructor feedback. “Since receiving [constructive] feedback, I’ve been more actively reading economic news and finding ways to apply what’s going on in the world as supporting information in my papers,” Castorina explains.

For advice on how to become a more effective academic writer, Higher Degrees reached out to Susan Krause (M.Ed.), NCU’s Writing Center Coordinator. Krause’s daily interactions with students seeking advice from the Writing Center has given her an inside track to the most common mistakes graduate students make in their writing.

Over time, Krause has developed the following list of helpful academic writing tips and resources:

  1. Good academic writing starts with critical reading. Learn to think critically by questioning everything you read and you will become a better writer.
  2. Understand what plagiarism is by reviewing the NCU Academic Integrity section in the NCU Writing Center.
  3. Read and apply the feedback received from your instructor. There will be room for improvement on every assignment.
  4. Bookmark Chapter 3 in the APA Manual (6th ed.). It contains valuable information on clear and concise writing that all students can benefit from.
  5. Keep a copy of The Academic Writer’s Handbook (3rd ed.) by Leonard J.Rosen by your laptop.

*Originally published in Higher Degrees Fall 2013.


Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

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