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NCU’s Appointment of Melissa Sledge as Co-Chair of Diversity Committee

Recent Blog Posts - 02-22-2016 15:53

At NCU, we believe that a more diverse and inclusive community creates a better educational environment. In support of NCU's commitment to overall diversification, we established a Diversity Committee to place greater attention on diversity-related initiatives for students, professors and team members. The NCU Diversity Committee is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment in which the members of our global community experience educational growth, success and feel connected to each other and the university.

Melissa Sledge, Department Manager of NCU’s The School of Business and Technology, has recently been named the co-chair of the Diversity Committee. An NCU employee since 2014, Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a professional whose main objective is to create and develop initiatives that enhance the NCU student experience. As a young, black woman she sees the issue of diversity through a different lens. She will continue to shape the direction of the committee but is excited to be taking on a leadership role where she has an opportunity to be more vocal.

“As an online university with a large global reach, it’s important to establish programs that address inclusion, diversity and community,” said Sledge. “Our goal is to go the extra mile to create a community in which our students will thrive.”

Melissa shares her thoughts on the importance and mission of NCU’s Diversity Committee:

Why was the Diversity Committee created?
In traditional, brick and mortar institutions, diversity committees host on site campus events for their students. At NCU, we have more of a responsibility to connect our worldwide students with their professors, NCU team members and each other. In an online environment, we have to be intentional in the community we create to acknowledge and celebrate all the members of NCU.

What are the goals of the Diversity Committee?
• Facilitating an environment where differences are celebrated, subconscious biases are examined, and everyone has an opportunity to positively examine their own identity
• Raising consciousness about diversity and equality among all university members
• Building competency
• Having students recognize and champion the differences in one another

Why is this committee important at NCU?
NCU is similar to other universities with students, professors, and team members who identify with a variety of identities. With our global alliance of professors and students, the expectation of building a cohesive community is a challenge. The goal of the Diversity Committee is to embrace all of these stakeholders to foster positive engagement through the promotion of policies and practices, enhanced program offerings in alignment with NCU's global vision and working to remove barriers to quality education.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

How to Stop the Battle Over Homework

Recent Blog Posts - 02-19-2016 11:16

What’s the trick to stop the fighting over homework? NCU Mentor M. Lynn Morse, Ed.D., a mother of a 10-year-old, shares her sure-fire tips to survive nightly homework.

Parents, does the mere sound of the word “homework” make you shudder? You are not alone. The original purpose of “homework” has changed drastically over the last 25 years. Today, homework isn’t always reinforcement of previously learned material, it’s often new material not yet covered in class, making you the de facto teacher.

As the mother of 10-year-old daughter, I feel your nightly pain. Do not despair, I offer you hope, a type of survival bag of tricks that are actually “kid tested, and mother approved.”


  1. Stop, Drop and Roll--The Books Out. Complete homework ASAP! My daughter knows the drill. We arrive in the house, the coat comes off and the books come out onto the kitchen table. She goes to the bathroom, gets a snack and does not pass go before her homework is done. I start dinner, answer emails or do a million other tasks. I am near, but I do not hover. The distractions of the TV, iPad, etc. are out of reach until the work is done. The reality is that once our children leave our line of vision, the battle is lost.
  2. You Don’t Know Everything; So Don’t Try to Fake It! Thank goodness for Google. Often, I search the web while my daughter tackles another subject. But in order for it to be effective, you have to admit to both you and your child that you do not know everything. Also, do not teach anything the way you learned it. Ask your child for their notes; then see if what you have found online matches the notes. If you try to teach it your way, you will really confuse and frustrate everyone.
  3. Phone A Friend. Create two emergency homework hotline lists. One list consists of phone numbers of other parents in your child’s class in the event a homework assignment was left at school. The parents can snap a picture of the assignment and text it to you. Another list is for my “experts.” Everyone knows someone who is amazing at math, a fantastic writer or a super brainy scientist. Make sure to put them on your speed dial! When an assignment comes home that is way beyond your expertise, send a mass SOS to your group.
  4. Just Because It Is Assigned, Doesn’t Mean It All Has to Be Completed. Newsflash: You still have power as the parent. Homework needs to be reasonable. My rule of thumb is no more than 20 minutes per subject, per night for grades 4-6 and 30 minutes for grades 7-12 excluding large projects or tests/quizzes. If you’re in hour three and you have already gone through a box of tissues to collect the tears of both you and your child … STOP! Send an email to the teacher and inform them how you and your child spent the evening. Teachers, believe it or not, are human. By alerting us, we know to follow up with your child the next day.
  5. You Already Passed 4th Grade. As parents, we want to help our kids, however that does not mean we do their homework for them. I am guilty of typing a paragraph that my daughter wrote for hours, and as I type I also play copy editor. I am sure our parents did it, but it’s wrong. Teachers need to see the mistakes and errors our children make to ensure that the child has actually learned the information. The teacher knows that you can write a descriptive paragraph, but they are unsure if your child can. Unless you plan on rooming with your child in their college dorm, let them make mistakes. Resist the urge to correct their work.


Well, my comrades in the homework battle, I hope my tips have brought you some peace and solidarity. We are all in this together: parents, children and teachers. Let’s work to get out of the murky underworld of homework together. I’ll keep trying, if you do.

Blog Categories: education-2Blog Tags: childrenhomeworkparentsparenting tipseducation
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Alum Named Montana's Fire and Aviation Management Bureau Chief

Recent Blog Posts - 02-19-2016 09:57

What started as a volunteer firefighter position at age 17, turned into a lifetime career for Dr. Michael DeGrosky. He was recently appointed as Montana’s new Fire and Aviation Management Bureau Chief.

DeGrosky, a 2013 NCU graduate with a PhD in Business Administration with an emphasis in organizational leadership, believes it was his NCU education that led him to his new job.

“My NCU degree put me head and shoulders, educationally over the competition - as I was the only PhD applying,” he said. “I believe that my educational credentials and advanced education in the fields of both Business Administration and Organizational Leadership provided me with a substantial edge over other candidates who held similar technical credentials and experience to mine.”

The Fire and Aviation Management Bureau provides resources, leadership and coordination to Montana’s wildland fire services to protect lives, property, and natural resources. The Bureau works with local, tribal, state, and federal partners to ensure wildfire protection on all state and private land in Montana. Prior to taking the job, DeGrosky was CEO and principal consultant for Guidance Group, Inc., a small consulting firm specializing in the human and organizational aspects of the fire service.

In addition to his new role in Montana, DeGrosky is an adjunct instructor in the Leadership Studies Department at Fort Hays State University.

DeGrosky chose NCU for his doctoral program because of the unique combination of online learning, full accreditation, affordability and the right degree program.

“For aspiring PhD students, I would advise that they plan for the long haul, particularly if they are working in addition to studying,” he said. “Be patient, be disciplined, keep your eye on what you hope to accomplish, and have a support network of others involved in academia.”

Blog Categories: ncu-alumniBlog Tags: businessphdonline learningalumnigraduate
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Keep Your Business From Failing

Recent Blog Posts - 02-18-2016 11:35

Starting a business can be a challenge. Some statistics show that 8 in 10 businesses will fail in the first five years, while others are a bit more optimistic saying half will fail. No matter what set of numbers you believe, what’s the secret sauce that makes one business make it and another fail? To get some insight, we spoke with NCU professor, Dr. Wanda Gwyn, who is also the owner of Gwyn Consulting Services.

Q. What are some of the key reasons a business fails?
A. There are four areas:

  1. Failure to invest in human capital or building relationships
  2. Failure to meet the needs of the technologically-savvy consumer
  3. Poor knowledge of money management or inability to develop a sustainable plan for the organization
  4. Poor or no ethical code within the organization

Q. How does an entrepreneur avoid these pitfalls?
A. It’s important for an entrepreneur to listen. This means listening to both employee and consumer needs. In addition, too often an entrepreneur works just to earn enough money and not to grow. It’s important to understand sustainability and the need to save for yourself and your staff's future.

Q. What do successful businesses have in common regardless of industry?
A. I honestly believe the most successful companies are those that participate in activities that support corporate social responsibility. It’s common sense that the community members are also your consumers.

Successful businesses also have teams who believe in the mission of the organization. This one thing alone is golden.

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

Career Opportunities with a Master of Science Specialization in Public Administration

Recent Blog Posts - 02-17-2016 14:52

When most people think about careers in public administration, the first thing that comes to mind are front-facing positions like police officers, elected officials or firefighters. There are, however, a whole host of career fields available for public administration graduates. To capitalize on these opportunities, NCU recently launched a new Masters of Science degree in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Public Administration.

“Graduates can look forward to positions not only in public service (local municipalities, counties, state and federal government), but also community organizations (nonprofit), and private sector opportunities,” said Dr. Gisela Salas, an NCU professor for the program.

Besides working in public safety or as an elected official, other front-line customer-centric positions are available within government departments such as parks and recreation, waste management, utilities management (water and sewer), and planning and transportation.

“There are also support positions that can take individuals into careers which can transfer to the private sector such as budget and fiscal management, public information and communications, social responsibility, and human resources,” said Salas.

The NCU degree also helps set graduates up for executive level positions including division and department directors, and ultimately, city managers, county administrators, state directors, and federal administration positions.

“After gaining experience and serving in public and non-profit organizations, some may wish to continue their careers as management consultants, providing valuable insight to private corporations on the inner workings of government,” said Salas who did this after 20 years in deputy supervisor roles in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and as the Election Director in Florida.

Consulting roles are available for individuals who have worked in just about every segment of public service. Individuals can serve as subject matter experts offering a competitive advantage to the companies that contract with them. For example, Salas transitioned to working as an Independent Contractor focusing on government relations, business development, and coordination of RFP (Requests for Proposals) responses to government agencies seeking specialized products and/or services.

The NCU Masters in Public Administration is unique in the industry because of the NCU model which allows students to begin their program on any Monday, and all instructors have doctoral degrees and experience in the field to share with students on how research and theory apply to real world situations.

“The one-to-one learning relationship between students and instructors often leads to long-term professional relationships,” said Salas.

Blog Categories: career-adviceBlog Tags: Organizational Leadershipeducationcareerspublic administration
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

How Mindfulness Improves Learning

Recent Blog Posts - 02-17-2016 13:53

Simply put, mindfulness is being non-judgmentally aware and actively engaged in the present moment. Many people are surprised when they learn that they have to intentionally harness mindfulness and that our default state is mindlessness, or being zoned out and operating on autopilot.

In education, being zoned out simply doesn’t work. Engaging in a mindfulness practice is very beneficial to the student. NCU psychology professor Dr. Kristin Koetting O’Byrne believes that her colleague, Harvard professor Dr. Ellen Langer, is right on target with the perspective that the way to achieve mindfulness is to seek novelty. Working from that viewpoint, Dr. O’Byrne has these tips for how students can make mindfulness work for them.

  1. Search for novelty. The next time you are attending a lecture, writing a paper, or reading an assignment, try to notice three new things (even if they’re small). This facilitates mindfulness, and perhaps provides an added benefit. Research studies found that when people were instructed to notice new things about a task or object they disliked, they actually grew to like what they had previously disliked.
  2. Make it Personal. If you are reading about smoking cessation in your health psychology class, make it relevant to you by thinking about someone you know who is trying to quit smoking. Another method is to put yourself in their shoes. Let’s suppose you are reading about leadership challenges in your educational leadership class. Read the information as if you were in that leadership position.
  3. Use multiple perspectives. If you are reading a case study in your organizational behavior class, think about it from the view of the CEO and then read it from the perspective of an administrative role.
  4. Avoid memorizing and instead learn conditionally. When you frame something as “I could,” you learn conditionally, meaning that there might be other and even better ways to carry out a task. This facilitates mindfulness. When we learn conditionally (i.e., could be), as if something it is a possibility or merely one alternative, it encourages us to think about the information because it doesn’t easily fit into an existing, rigid ‘box.’ The qualifier “could be” makes us aware that there are options. Perhaps more importantly, it facilitates flexibility when things in life change. In contrast, when we learn to do things only one way, we usually do not question what we are told, and we passively memorize the information. Then, when situations change, we feel stuck. We can’t think of alternatives. “This is how you could” implies there are other ways.
  5. Let the grade go. When we are focused on the process (learning) versus the outcome (getting a good grade), we are more likely to be engaged and mindful.
  6. Change the context. Suppose you are reading about a school initiative in rural Virginia. Think about how it could be similar or different if this was done in California. Or, think about how an effective mass communication strategy in the inner-city may work differently in a suburban area.
  7. Change your scenery. Pick a new study location. Changing the view is a great way to break a routine and re-engage.
  8. STOP MULTITASKING. We are rarely fully engaged in one task. Doing more than one thing at the same time is a sure way to defeat mindfulness.
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

HALT Emotional Eating

Recent Blog Posts - 02-17-2016 13:27

It’s 9 p.m. and the kids are finally in bed. You finished a paper, you’re worried about how dirty the house is and the exam you have tomorrow. Suddenly you have a massive craving for potato chips. If you think your body is truly hungry, think again. More likely your sudden desire for a salty treat has nothing to do with needing calories and everything to do with needing soothing.

Emotional eating is so common we don’t even know when we’re doing it. We use food to try and fill an emotional need we may not even know that we have. We’re programmed to do it. How many times as a kid did you fall down and Mom gave you a cookie to make you feel better? Or did you dive into a pint of ice cream when a teenage romance fizzled?

While some “Chunky Monkey” ice cream might make us momentarily forget the pain, there’s a different kind of pain we have to confront when our jeans no longer button as a result.

“Emotional eating is self-soothing and the behavior needs to be replaced rather than eliminated,” said Arlene Perry a certified health coach and PhD student in health psychology at NCU. “You need to distract yourself with more positive activities. One idea is to make a list of positive distractions. Write each one on a small piece of paper and place in an empty cookie jar. Draw one each time you want to reach for a poor food choice.”

Perry suggests that to stop mindless eating, you have to examine what is going on behind the craving by using the HALT technique. Are you Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Or Tired? Usually, one of the four is behind hunger, and that’s when you should eat.

Here are some other tips to help put a stop to emotional eating:

  • Pamper yourself. Don’t forget to take time for you in your crazy busy life. Instead of grabbing a donut, draw a bubble bath instead. The idea is to give your body other ways besides food to feel good.
  • When you are hungry, eat whole, real, nutritious food that will make you feel satiated. Eating a bag of chips has no nutritional value and consequently you will feel real hunger soon after eating them.
  • Know your triggers ahead of time. If you know that being alone on a Friday night causes you to hit the fridge, plan ahead. Decide to talk to a friend on the phone, write in your journal or watch a movie so you won’t be sitting alone dwelling on not having a weekend plan.
  • Drink black tea. A study in the journal of Psychopharmacology found that subjects who drank black tea experienced a 47% drop in their cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes you crave food, compared to 27% among the subjects who drank a placebo.
  • Breathe. To get your emotions back in check, take several deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed out and ready to eat.
Blog Categories: your-life-your-healthBlog Tags: cravingsunhealthy eatingemotional eating habits
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Former Firefighter Now NCU Student Shares Doctoral Journey

Recent Blog Posts - 02-12-2016 14:12

Service is the central theme of Al Williams career. The former firefighter turned homeland security teacher at Indian River State College in Florida is dedicated to keeping the public safe and training the next generation to do the same in an increasingly frightening world.

To continue to best serve his students, Williams decided to pursue his PhD in Business Administration with a Homeland Security specialization at NCU. He expects to graduate in 2016.

Williams’ dissertation topic focuses on the capabilities of fire departments to train for, and respond to, terrorist events. What he discovered is that post 9/11 new equipment, special training and additional staff were provided to emergency services in many communities in the event of future terrorist threats. As a result of the downturn in the economy, funds were cut dramatically due to less tax-based revenue. Williams is researching how this reduction in staff, fewer training programs and less equipment maintenance affects a community.

“I picked NCU because not only was it one of only a few schools that offered my chosen field, but it also had no residency requirement,” said Williams.

Williams was also a pro when it came to online learning, having earned his master’s degree online, and on the flip side, teaching online classes.

“It does take a special dedication to study online,” he said. “You need to be self-driven and make sure your family is on board because they will have to sacrifice while you’re in school. You need their backing and their support.”

Blog Categories: phd-program-doctoral-programsBlog Tags: phdDoctoralfirefighterhomeland securitybusiness
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

PhD in Business Administration Shares His NCU Experience

Recent Blog Posts - 02-12-2016 10:02


When you’re a college instructor picking a school for your own education, you can bet that your standards are high. Such was the case when Richard Babich decided to pursue his PhD.

“I researched about 30 schools and found NCU to be the best,” Babich said. “I looked for a program that had accreditation and NCU met that requirement.”

Babich needed a PhD because he wanted to teach at the university level. He graduated in 2014 from NCU with a PhD in Business Administration with a management specialization.

“NCU was a great choice for me, I could work, be in a different country, and earn an accredited PhD online,” he said. “I also found NCU to be a good value for the monies required for tuition and found it very competitive compared to other universities. I was looking for a PhD that would allow me to teach at the university level and would be robust enough that I could teach many subjects, thus providing a greater opportunity and return on my investment.”

So far his NCU degree is paying off in spades.

“My career in academics is now promising and secure. Without a PhD, I could not teach full-time at the college or university level and mainly taught sessional courses,” he explained. “Since graduation with the PhD, I am now full-time faculty at the SAIT School of Business, which is one of the largest business schools in Alberta. I found that once I had earned my PhD, I had credibility with post-secondary school management, other faculty, and with other PhDs. I found that my input and opinions carried more weight with three letters -PhD.”

As a professor himself, Babich placed a lot of weight on the fact that all of NCU’s faculty has their doctorate degrees.

“It was important from a mentoring perspective to have faculty who had been through the doctoral process and journey. After reaching my doctoral candidacy status, the faculty treated me as a peer, which is important on the journey to help keep the learner motivated,” he said.

In addition to his teaching career, Babich is a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces, and is CEO of Babich Management and Educational Services Inc.

Blog Categories: higher-degreesBlog Tags: graduatebusinessphdDoctoral
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Sponsors Lecture on Treatment for Psychological Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Recent Blog Posts - 02-12-2016 08:51

Northcentral University’s Department of Marriage and Family Sciences is hosting an online guest lecture on Thursday, February 18. The title of the lecture is: EMDR Therapy for the Treatment of Trauma and Psychological Stress which will provide an introduction to EMDR Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for psychological trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. This treatment has also been helpful to those who are facing a variety of other challenges, such as depression and grief.

The presenter, Erika Smith-Marek, PhD, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Pensacola, Florida. She is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and AAMFT Approved Supervisor with more than a decade of experience specializing in the treatment of trauma and posttraumatic disorder. She is also a Certified Trauma Specialist through the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists.

Dr. Smith-Marek is a full member of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist in EMDR. She serves as the Regional Coordinator for EMDRIA Northwest Florida. Her clinical and research interests converge around the treatment of trauma, including novel exercise interventions for the treatment of traumatic stress.

Please access this link to sign up for the online lecture.

Lecture: EMDR Therapy for the Treatment of Trauma and Psychological Stress
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Sign-Up Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2022423368594916097

Resources for more information, including details on training and certification in EMDR Therapy, will also be provided.

Blog Categories: marriage-and-family-therapyBlog Tags: lecturewebinarposttraumatic stresspsychological trauma
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Online Education Booming for Baby Boomers

Recent Blog Posts - 02-09-2016 16:23

On the surface, Baby Boomers may seem to be an unlikely demographic for online education, but according to Jarita Westbook-Caspers, an NCU Enrollment Advisor, it can actually be the ideal path to a degree for older students.

Caspers knows from experience. She is a Baby Boomer who graduated from NCU in 2014 with a Master of Education in E-Learning.

According to Caspers, the biggest fear that prospective Baby Boomer students have is a fear of technology.

“I help ease their fears by letting them know that NCU has an online help desk with individuals who can speak to them via phone to help solve any technical issue that may come up,” she said.

Once Baby Boomers get over their trepidation about technology, Caspers is quick to point out the many benefits online learning offers. Here she shared with us some of the main reasons an online NCU education appeals to Boomers:

  1. No GRE/GMAT required. Boomers may have been out of school for a long time and not studied for a standardized test in decades.
  2. Flexibility. There is no set log-in times and Boomers can work at their own pace.
  3. No residency requirement. Boomers have established lives and don’t want to relocate for school.
  4. No student groups or discussion boards. Most schools have both of these and Boomers have been there, done that, and do not like - or have the time - to mess with group assignments. NCU for the most part only has a few discussion posts and usually they are between the student and the professor.
  5. Learning styles. Online education is a good fit for any learning style.
Blog Categories: online-learning-2Blog Tags: baby boomersBoomerseducationonlinetechnology
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Professor Shares Innovations in Education Technology

Recent Blog Posts - 02-08-2016 16:20

Technology has changed learning in the 21st Century, and NCU is a perfect example since the university offers 100 percent online coursework with no physical residency requirements. Throughout this industry, innovators are leveraging new tools to enhance learning and change how people think about education. One of those thought leaders is NCU’s Dr. William Smith, a professor in the School of Education. We recently caught up with Dr. Smith to find out more about a new learning management software program he created, as well as a hybrid school he founded.

What is a blended instruction model?

A blended instruction model is when learners come to school in a traditional manner with a teacher and a space/opportunity to learn, but they spend less days and hours than in a traditional school. To replace that time, the learner works independently leveraging an online program of content delivery to further the learner's academic growth. The learning is blended between being face-to-face with a teacher and working online through a learning management system.

Can you tell us about the school you created?

In order to provide a high-quality learning environment for our learners, we developed two programs:

  1. MySchoolatKent is a blended learning environment that students attend two days per week and the rest of the learning is supported virtually by HQ Online Teachers. The students also get other traditional brick and mortar supports such as a guidance counselor and a social worker to support them in their learning process.
  2. SuccessLink is where students get the same support, but these occur at regional centers such as the library. SuccessLink students typically have been involved in some sort of discipline action that limits their access to the traditional school setting.

Tell us about the blended instruction software you created:

The software called Edify is a next generation learning management system that allows learners to individualize their learning, teachers to deliver standards-based content, and most importantly, allows for each student and/or teacher to focus on what they do not know as identified through standards based assessments. It can serve as a digital textbook, a common assessment for formative and summative data, and can be the platform that connects the data side of education to the content side. Edify can be both an Inspired Learning Management Systems (iLMS) for students and teachers, since both can benefit. Students can benefit from standards-based content and teachers can benefit from professional development that is housed in the system.

What is your background?

I have been an educational leader for 26 years and have been a passionate advocate for educational reform.

What do you teach at NCU?

I teach a variety of courses within educational leadership including Contemporary Issues in Education, Educational Policies and Practices, Multicultural Relationships in Educational Organizations, and K-12 Specialization Action Research Capstone.

For more information on Dr. Smith’s software visit: http://www.kickstandsystems.com/videos
For more information on the Hybrid School visit: http://www.myschoolatkent.net/about-myschool/

Blog Categories: education-2Blog Tags: technologyonline technologychildrenschoolscomputers
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

The Benefits of the NCU Global Training and Development Specialization

Recent Blog Posts - 02-04-2016 16:53

Today, business is global thanks to technology. To meet the demands of companies broadening their reach internationally, NCU recently added a master’s and doctoral degree specialization in global training and development. Dr. Vanessa Ann Claus, NCU Dissertation Chair in the School of Education shared her insights on this exciting field.

Q. What type of jobs are available in global training and development?

Businesses, in the United States alone, invest billions of dollars in training and development opportunities for employees. In fact, countries outside of the United States, such as India, often times have a Ministry of Human Resource Development, which advocates and provides opportunities for the continuous growth and development of citizens.

Employment opportunities exist at the corporate, governmental and nonprofit levels for global training and development graduates. Through this degree program, students learn about effective educational and instructional techniques, which are beneficial to all organizations. Most people, who have a degree in Human Resources, specialize in HR subsets including Compensation and Benefits, Training and Development, Employment, etc.

Q. What is the job outlook in the field?

As projected by GlassDoor.com, the job of HR Manager is among the sixth most desirable U.S. jobs for 2016. Organizations are continuously advocating for the growth and development of their employees and thus, increased emphasis for organizational training and development is becoming a necessity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Training and Development Managers is growing at a rate of seven percent. As the U.S., as well as other countries, continues to place emphasis on education and development, employment opportunities will continue to grow. Additionally, the median annual compensation for a Training and Development Manager is $101,930.

Q. What traits do you need to be successful in global training and development?

People who are successful in training and development possess some, if not all, of the following qualities:

  1. Dedicated to lifelong learning
  2. Committed to organizational success
  3. Passionate about teaching
  4. Enjoys being around others
  5. Organized
  6. Comfortable working in groups
  7. Good presenter
  8. Sound communicator
  9. Education focused

Q. What makes the NCU program in global training and development different?

NCU offers students the opportunity to learn both theoretical and practical information regarding the field of global training and development. Not only are students learning the most up-to-date information regarding T&D practices, but they are also applying their knowledge through critical thinking activities and assignments. Students have continuous access to instructors who possess theoretical knowledge, as well as field experience, which makes for an excellent learning experience.

Blog Categories: education-2Blog Tags: global trainingmanagementinternational business
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Team Presents at Prestigious Conference

Recent Blog Posts - 02-04-2016 16:22

In January, NCU professors Dr. Darren Adamson, Dr. Yulia Watters and NCU student Debi Bell traveled to the 7th Annual Qualitative Report Conference in Florida to present their paper, “Qualitative Inquiry in a Distance-based Environment: Thoughts and Tips.”

The conference is a multidisciplinary event that attracts a diverse audience including researchers, educators, and students from different disciplines (business, nursing, education, marriage and family therapy, psychology, etc.) who are curious to learn about qualitative methodologies.

The research presented at the conference focused on how the structure of a qualitative interview is modified if a qualitative inquiry is conducted in a distance-based environment. Basically, how the medium of the qualitative inquiry would change the inquiry itself.

The NCU team used an ongoing qualitative study exploring efficiency and retention in online environments as an example, to involve attendees in an interactive discussion about possibilities and limitations of a case study conducted in a distance-based university setting. The NCU team discussed the topics of the online-based Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, distance-based data collection, and distance-based researchers’ collaboration.

The goal of the presentation was to give attendees a better knowledge of how technology can transform the process of the qualitative inquiry; gain a better understanding of the unique aspects of an online-based qualitative study; and develop a better awareness of existing distance-based tools that can enhance the design and promote the completion of an online-based qualitative project.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Alum Discusses Benefits of One-to-One Teaching Model

Recent Blog Posts - 02-04-2016 09:54

Dr. Enoch Osei obtained a PhD in Business Administration from the NCU School of Business and Technology Management. He shares his NCU experience and his opinion on the benefits of NCU’s one-to-one teaching model.

How has your PhD made a difference in your life?
Getting a PhD has made a huge difference in my life. It has provided me with an advanced theoretical and applied knowledge in my field of accounting. Having a PhD in advanced accounting has opened a world of opportunities for me.

How has getting a PhD from NCU, in particular, made a difference?
Graduates from NCU have been able to distinguish themselves in their chosen field and are proven lifelong learners and academicians or practitioners. The NCU name has allowed me to receive calls from recruiters without applying for positions.

Have you gained a new position?
I have always wanted to be in academia and I am now an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. I am respected at my current institution amongst my peers and can articulate and defend my decisions on a daily basis.

Blog Categories: online-learning-2Blog Tags: studentone-to-one teachingonline educationmentor
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Northcentral University to Kick-Start Graduates' Careers with Grants

Recent Blog Posts - 01-31-2016 19:10

Eight NCU Students Will Receive $20,000 Grants Upon Degree Completion

Northcentral University will award eight $20,000 NCU Kick-Starter Grants to new students who have applied and started an NCU master’s or doctoral degree program on or before March 28, 2016. The eight scholars selected will attend NCU to the completion of their chosen master’s or doctoral degree and, upon graduation, NCU will present a $20,000 check to be utilized by the recipients in pursuit of kick-starting their dreams.

The NCU Kick-Starter Grant was conceived to invest in the University’s graduates and provide the chosen recipients with a $20,000 check to kick-start their goals and dreams. Recipients may choose to utilize their grant to fund a research study, launch a new business, start a nonprofit or implement other projects to fulfill their dreams after graduation.

Applicants will submit an essay, video or audio that describes the purpose and motivations behind their goal – and how an NCU Kick-Starter Grant will help them achieve it. Students must submit their entries, and start their graduate degree program, between February 1, 2016 and March 28, 2016.

Selected NCU Kick-Starter Grant recipients will be announced on April 20, 2016. For further information, and to apply for the grant, visit http://www.ncu.edu/kick-starter.

Blog Categories: education-2Blog Tags: grantkick-startawardeducation
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Tips to Creating a Winning Strategic Plan

Recent Blog Posts - 01-26-2016 17:04

One can’t get where they’re going if they don’t know where they are or where they want to be. This is the reason why a strategic plan is so important for your team. It can be used to set priorities, focus energy and resources to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal. A good plan outlines where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.

While there is no right or wrong way to create this document, Dr. Marsha Tongel, a subject matter expert who also mentors doctoral students in NCU’s School of Business and Technology Management, has 12 sure-fire tips to help you create a successful strategic plan for your team:

  1. Think possibility not boundaries.
  2. Be aware of internal/external trends and factors that could influence your plan and its implementation.
  3. See your team’s purpose within the bigger organizational picture.
  4. Consider how your team’s plans could affect or impact other departments or aspects within the organization, such as processes, products, resources.
  5. Allow diverse and contrary voices to speak and be heard.
  6. Consider all the needs and resources of internal and external stakeholders, allies and partners.
  7. Consider using lenses such as criticalness, time or complexity to implement and available resources (financial, human, capital) to help establish plan priorities.
  8. Establish action steps, timelines and responsibilities to keep your plan alive and moving.
  9. Develop a well thought out communication plan and use it.
  10. Create benchmarks and evaluate your efforts frequently.
  11. Revisit your plan regularly and revise as needed.
  12. Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures.

In addition to her work with NCU, Dr. Tongel is Principal of Metanoia-TCG Consulting, a company that provides innovative and quality organizational, leadership and change management services.

Blog Categories: career-adviceBlog Tags: strategic planbusinessteamwork
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

4 Types of Corporate Culture

Recent Blog Posts - 01-25-2016 14:56

If you’ve interviewed any prospective candidates lately, you may have been asked questions about your organization’s corporate culture. So, what is it?

According to Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron, at the University of Michigan, there are four types of cultures:
• Clan-oriented cultures are family-like, with a focus on mentoring, nurturing, and “doing things together.”
• Adhocracy-oriented cultures are dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a focus on risk-taking, innovation, and “doing things first.”
• Market-oriented cultures are results-oriented, with a focus on competition, achievement, and “getting the job done.”
• Hierarchy-oriented cultures are structured and controlled, with a focus on efficiency, stability and “doing things right.”

“Building an appropriate organizational culture adds value to any organization,” said NCU professor, Steven Munkeby, PhD. “By defining the climate or culture, an organization’s leadership defines what is valuable to the organization.” There isn’t necessarily one culture that is better than another. Different personalities will thrive in different environments and different cultures will create certain business realities. For example, adhocracy leads to breakthrough change, while hierarchy leads to smaller, slower change.

“An organization’s leadership establishes the organization’s character, enforces policies, educates, rewards ethical conduct, and eliminates the ethical issues of a worker’s environment,” explained Munkeby. “Additionally, the organization’s selection of its cultural values is responsible for ensuring that worker behavior produces valuable services and products for society.”

Corporate culture starts with leadership and, according to Munkeby, the most demonstrable example of culture is one where the leader is true to his/her principles all the time, not just when it is convenient. The way the leadership acts and treats employees forms the backbone of culture and determines if employees buy into it.

Blog Categories: uncategorizedBlog Tags: corporate cultureworkplacebusiness
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Listen Your Way to Better Grades

Recent Blog Posts - 01-22-2016 16:04

When you study, do you have music playing in the background? You might not know that what you listen to could actually help you learn better.

“Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory,” explained Dr. Masha Godkin, a professor in the Department of Marriage and Family Sciences at NCU. “Music has the potential to take a person from the Beta brain wave state to deeper Alpha and then Theta brain wave states, depending on the music.”

According to Godkin, classical music, as well as meditation music with added technology like brain entrainment technology is ideal to promote learning. One reason this genre works well is that there are no lyrics to distract you. In fact, classical music with 60-70 beats per minute like Beethoven’s Fur Elise appears to help students study longer and retain more information.

Glenn Schellenberg, a professor in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, published a study that indicates fast, loud background music hinders reading comprehension.

“The reason why it’s a mess is you have cognitive limitations. If you’re doing two things at once, you don’t focus as well,” Schellenberg said.

A recent study published in Learning and Individual Differences found that students who listened to a lecture where classical music played in the background scored significantly higher on a quiz than students who heard the same lecture sans tunes.

Music likely helps learning because it has a profound effect on our mood, blood pressure and heart rate and arousal. For studying, you want music that is medium arousal provoking. Enough to keep you awake, but not enough to agitate.

For the next big paper you write, or test for which you have to study, listen to the classical selections of Beethoven or Bach for the smoothest results.

Blog Categories: study-tipsBlog Tags: learning tipsstudent tipsmusic and learning
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Top 6 Tips to Cope with the Stress of Being a College Student

Recent Blog Posts - 01-22-2016 13:56

Pursuing your advanced degree, working full-time and balancing family obligations can be a challenge. Heather Millward, a 2015 MBA Marketing NCU graduate who works as a Senior Strategic Partnership Manager knows the pressures and offers her Top 6 Tips to Cope with the Stress of Being a College Student.

  1. Get rid of distractions. As someone who continually multi-tasks, I made the mistake of listening to music, watching television and constantly checking my email at the same time I was conducting research and writing papers. As you can imagine, it was overwhelming to have all this technology at my fingertips. My suggestion is to find a quiet place to focus on your homework and turn off the technology.
  2. Be reflective. If you are continuing your education in a field tied to your career, try to find parallels between your assignments and profession. Your instructors will help you achieve this goal by posing assignments that will force you to reflect on your career objectives. Even if your degree is in a different area than your specific career path, you can find some pertinent issues or topics that are important.
  3. Utilize your Instructors. Your professors are there for a reason; to teach and mentor you. They are also human with remarkable stories and insight. Remember, they were once a student and followed a similar process. This can lead to educated discussions that can be beneficial for both parties; whether you have differing views or not.
  4. Read up on the subject matter. Yes, we can learn a lot from a book. But books have their own expiration date, and learning is fluid. Read what is asked of you, but keep reading and hone in on what you are passionate about.
  5. Get support. Regardless of where you are headed in your career or education, going back to college will place time constraints on your personal life. This means less time with your spouse or children, and everyone close to you will have to make sacrifices. If these individuals understand your goals, they will be more understanding and, in the end, your biggest support system. Make sure to prepare yourself for an adjustment period and though your social life might take a bit of a hit, the feeling as you walk across the stage will make up for every happy hour or “Game of Thrones” episode you missed.
  6. Take it day-by-day. My best advice is to focus weekly on what you need to accomplish. If you concentrate on how many months or years your degree will take, it can overwhelm you. Prioritize your life and you will see it all come to fruition.
Blog Categories: study-tipsBlog Tags: MBAstudent lifeonline learningmarketing
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts


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