NCU Recent blog posts

NCU Student Selected for Presidential Award

Recent Blog Posts - 07-22-2015 13:54

Congratulations to NCU School of Marriage and Family Sciences doctoral student, Shamika Williams-Henley! The high school science teacher is set to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on Thursday, July 30 at the White House in Washington, DC.

The prestigious award recognizes distinguished U.S., K-12 Science and Mathematics teachers. Award winners are first selected at the state level, and then by a panel of accomplished educators. The annual award alternates every year between kindergarten through sixth grade teachers and those teaching grades seven through 12. This year, the 108 awardees are teachers of seventh through 12th grade from around the country.

Awardees will receive a signed certificate from President Barrack Obama, a trip to Washington, DC to attend celebratory events and also $10,000 in award money from the National Science Foundation.
For more information, please click here.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

E-Learning Gives You Educational Flexibility

Recent Blog Posts - 07-01-2015 16:53







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Do you ever wish you had more flexibility in your education? For most of us, the answer is yes.

And if you are working and going to school, you are probably finding yourself very pressed for study time. That’s why e-learning could be the answer to a flexible education.

Because she is such a fan of Northcentral’s very flexible model, we asked School of Psychology faculty member Dr. Jeannine Klein to weigh in. She believes online learning is one of the best ways to ensure flexibility in your education. “With around-the-clock access, it’s hard for them to say, ‘I can’t find the time to go back to school,’ because school is always open!”

She added that if you have a computer and a reliable internet connection, you can go to class. Online courses let you study on your own schedule, and eliminate the time-consuming factors of a traditional education. The countless hours spent driving to and from school, sitting through lectures and being required to participate in group work are just some of the ground campus elements that can easily eat up a lot of your time.  

And it’s not just the online learning aspect that gives you educational flexibility. At NCU, you won’t have to wait months for a class to start, because they start every week. That means you can have more flexibility when it comes to when you graduate.   

“Having a flexible program allows you to decide when you want to learn, but within some parameters that guide that learning and help you move toward your goal of a degree,” points out Dr. Klein.

Looking to learn more about NCU’s flexible advanced degree programs? NCU offers online master’s and doctorate degrees in the School of Business & Technology Management, School of Education, School of Psychology and the School of Marriage and Family Sciences that might help. 

Blog Tags: online educatione-learningeducationonline programseducational flexibility
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

NCU’s Research Team Awarded Best Paper at 2015 Distance Learning Administration Conference

Recent Blog Posts - 06-30-2015 14:17

As a graduate and research focused institution, Northcentral University’s academic leadership, faculty and team members actively pursue opportunities to contribute to the betterment of online graduate education. With this focus in mind, Doctors Jama Bradley, Diane Blyler, Scott Burrus, Ray Rodriguez and Melanie Shaw embarked upon research around the implementation of learning contracts in the online dissertation process. From this research emerged their paper, “The Use of Learning Contracts to Promote Student Success in Online Doctoral Programs,” which provided evidence of the benefits of learning contracts in online higher education and has been awarded the Best Paper Award at the 2015 Distance Learning Administration Conference.

“The purpose of our study was to evaluate rates of milestone completion, rates of student program completion, and student perceptions of the learning contract as a factor influencing their success,” explains Dr. Melanie Shaw, dissertation chair. “Data were gathered from doctoral students who had completed all course work and comprehensive exams, but failed to make expected progress on dissertation. These students were given the opportunity to participate in a voluntary program requiring the execution of a learning contract under which they worked directly with a dissertation chair for four hours per week over the duration of a year.”

“Results show on average, students completed the dissertation in 316 days and at the time of publication, 62% of participants had graduated from their doctoral program,” shares Dr. Shaw. “Further, students believed learning contracts were helpful to their overall success in their doctoral program. The team hopes that this study will serve as encouragement for institutions wishing to increase graduation rates, improve time to completion, and provide students with strategies for doctoral program success.”

In addition to presenting twice this week at the 2015 Distance Learning Administration conference, the team’s paper will be published in the Online Journal for Distance Learning Administration, one of the premier peer-reviewed journals in the field of online education and leadership.

Blog Categories: getting-research-publishedresearchBlog Tags: researchonline learningDoctoral EducationDistance Learning
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Here’s Why You Should Pursue an MBA

Recent Blog Posts - 06-24-2015 10:51

We all know that earning an MBA is no easy task. The cost, the time and the overall life sacrifices that often go hand-in-hand with achieving such a degree can be discouraging for many prospective students. Also, the thought of having to take a GRE® or GMAT® exam can be daunting for many students. Not to mention the fact that most graduate schools require a certain score on these exams for students to even have the chance of getting into the school’s MBA program.

The cost of such a degree is also a big hurdle for many scholars to overcome. Tuition and book costs can often throw a “monkey wrench” into someone’s plans of pursuing an MBA.

After taking all of this into perspective, it’s important to consider what the employment atmospheres look like for MBA grads. That way, you’ll know what might be in store for you after graduation.

Recent research shows that the U.S. MBA graduate hiring outlook looks pretty good. Nine out of 10 companies that plan to bring MBA candidates aboard say they’ll add as many, or more, qualified candidates this year than they did last year, according to a 2014 survey of 169 employers from 33 countries by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).The news gets even better for business school graduates. The survey shows that these graduates can expect to see base salaries rise over 2014. In addition, no surveyed employers plan to lower MBA salaries compared to last year. And 47% of these employers also forecast a spike in compensation that mirrors the rate of inflation. While 18% predict MBA pay would be higher than the inflation rate, the rest of the participating employers say MBA compensation would remain flat.

Besides the optimistic data, it’s imperative that you’re also cognizant of what employers are really looking for in a globalized economy that’s constantly changing. “Earning a graduate degree shows employers and potential employers that the student has determination to take on the challenges of earning an advanced degree, which opens the door for promotion or a new career,” explains Dr. Jennifer Scott, faculty member for NCU’s School of Business and Technology Management.

Choosing the right MBA program can also propel an already working professional’s career forward. Dr. Scott says, “Regardless of the reason students are enrolled in the MBA program, students learn about real events through a number of venues, and then apply their learning in their real world of work. Times are changing and to be marketable (for a promotion or a career) one must be innovative, flexible and ready for upcoming challenges and opportunities.”

At Northcentral University, GRE and GMAT exams are non-existent. All you need to get the ball rolling are your college transcripts. Students at NCU can get a head start at earning their advanced degree right off the bat.

You may also find it necessary to leave your current profession to be able to handle the course loads and time constraints involved with earning an MBA at brick and mortar campuses. At NCU, none of this true. With our flexible approach, working professionals have the freedom to accomplish course assignments and projects on their own time. And when it comes to earning an advanced degree, time management is everything.

“NCU’s MBA courses are 100% online and students may work on their coursework when it is convenient for them, as long as they have access to an Internet connection and a computer. NCU’s faculty members work individually with each student. Ground campuses can have anywhere from 30 to several hundred students in one class. Time is saved commuting to class, because there is no commute! NCU MBA students are all around the world!” explains Dr. Scott.

But when deliberating on any graduate school, it’s imperative to take into account flexibility, quality of faculty, accreditation and cost. It’s also important to keep in mind the long list of benefits that graduate degrees can afford. As the old saying goes, “investing in you is the best investment you can make,” so too then is a graduate degree that can pay dividends both professionally and personally throughout a lifetime.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

3 Things I Learned from My Dad

Recent Blog Posts - 06-19-2015 11:29

Not every child is lucky enough to have the kind of father that I do. The kind that leads by example in everything he does, instills in you a sense of pride through his work ethic and dedication to his family, chases you up the stairs pretending he’s a monster until you’re far too old to believe it, and walks you down the aisle with pride. I get it – I’m lucky.

Dads come in all shapes in sizes and from avenues we wouldn’t expect. Some of us are lucky to have a special relationship with our biological father who has been there from the day we were born, others of us cherish our step-fathers or father figures we have adopted through mentoring relationships, still others are lucky enough to have all three. But no matter who our “dads” might be, the relationship is special. I might even argue that it is almost impossible to replicate.

“It is really important to point out that fathers play a crucial role in children's development,” says Dr. Kristi Harrison, faculty member for NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences. A new parent herself, Dr. Harrison is trained to lead relationship expert John Gottman’s parent support program called Bringing Baby Home.

“Gottman has done some fascinating research on the unique contributions that fathers make,” she asserts. “It turns out that that dads’ more physical style of play helps babies' develop motor skills and other self-regulation skills that don't come up as much during moms' play with babies. One of the things I really like about Bringing Baby Home, and Gottman's work in general, is that it praises dads for what they bring to the table. This seems really fitting to think about on Father's Day!”

The footprint that a father leaves on his child’s life never goes away, and this Father’s Day we should all be thanking our fathers – whomever they might be – for helping to make us who we are today. I could share countless lessons my dad has taught me throughout my life, but here three that I think we can all relate to.

Don’t Expect it to be Handed to You – Work For It

Everything I have today, I owe to a little bit of talent and a lot of hard work. My sisters and I have our dad to thank for our relentless work ethic – he taught us at a very early age that if we want something we need to work hard to get it. That’s a lesson we should all remember, even on those long Wednesday afternoons that seem to go on for days!

A Little Loyalty Goes a Long Way

Our family is loyal, almost to a fault. We are those scrappy folks – the ones that argue on a Monday night and defend each other on a Friday night. You should be loyal to others as your pet would be loyal to you. It sounds silly, but it’s something that can help you in all facets of your life. Employers value loyal employees, friends value loyal friends and we could all use a few of those.

Above All – Be Accountable

My dad is always on time, always remembers to call and always holds up his end of the bargain. It’s something we take for granted in people, but accountability is important. Whether it’s showing up on time for a meeting, committing to getting the job done and delivering a flawless end product every time, or admitting you may have hurt a friend or family member – own yourself and your actions. Only you can be accountable for you.

Here’s to a Happy Father’s Day to every “dad” out there. May you continue to provide us all with lifelong memories and instill in us the values that make you proud to be dads!

Are you interested in helping families? Click here to learn more about NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences

Blog Categories: family-relationshipsmarriage-and-family-therapyyour-life-your-healthBlog Tags: Marriage and Family TherapyFather's DayDadsFathersMentoring
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Recognizing and Overcoming LGBTQ Discrimination in a University Setting

Recent Blog Posts - 06-10-2015 10:27

Too often LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) students fall victim to discrimination – simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Just because you haven’t seen it yourself, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Unfortunately, blatant discrimination against LGBTQ students has proven not to be isolated. In fact, it happens more than you think. According to a 2013 report by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Network, a whopping seventy-five percent of LGBTQ students experienced verbal harassment last year because of their sexual orientation. Another fifty-five percent fell victim to verbal abuse based on their gender expression.

While many of us would agree that this type of behavior is totally inappropriate, not to mention hurtful, it still continues. And keep in mind that the abuse doesn’t just potentially hurt an LGBTQ student’s physical or mental well-being, but it can also be detrimental to their academic performance. In fact, recent research shows that victims of such abuse are more prone to have their grade point averages take a dip – by as much as nine to 15 points, compared to other classmates.

With these alarming statistics in mind, we sought direction from Dr. Valerie Glass, faculty member for NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences. Dr. Glass, a former president of a campus-run LGBTQ organization, was kind enough to provide us with a little advice on how to address some of the challenges this group faces within the academic atmosphere and how you or someone you know can overcome some of those difficulties.

Because many U.S. universities have some type of student-run LGBTQ group on campus, these dedicated groups can be beneficial for LGBTQ students who are trying to cope with discrimination amongst their peers in and out of the classroom. “I frequently would hear how student-run organizations were life-saving,’’ explains Dr. Glass. She also says that by having these types of organizations the universities are sending a powerful message to their LGBTQ students. A message that says, “we care about you.”

As a former president for a campus-run LGBTQ organization, Dr. Glass is well-versed on the discriminatory injustices that these students can face all too often. She also warns that discrimination can come in many different forms. “Students at times were bullied or struggled with what they heard in class or read in their academic materials,” Dr. Glass remembers.

In order to help overcome these feelings, she recommends these students to find an advocate or mentor. These dedicated individuals can help those afflicted by harassment learn how to better cope with those types of issues. “I have found, in mentoring LGBTQ students, that they open up to me because of my willingness to be their advocate,’’ she says.

But besides the LGBTQ organizations and mentor support, some universities are also working to develop and implement new ways to help assist this segment of the student body.

According to Dr. Glass, the University of Washington and Ohio State University have introduced an LGBTQ inclusiveness course in their freshman seminars. Some schools are also in the process of developing “ally projects” that can assist them in battling bullying amongst the LGBTQ student body. Still other universities are working to revamp their policies to make their physical campuses more gender-friendly for the transgender population. These changes include: gender neutral bathrooms, locating comfortable living arrangements in residence halls, preferred names and pronouns for student rosters and helping to enlighten the student body as a whole.

Dr. Glass says the use of language in the classroom can also be improved. “I, personally, have found that much of the language being used in classrooms or in student life focuses on heteronormative assumptions that all individuals are seeking opposite sex partners and adhering to specific gender roles,” she says. “These symbols and images can be overwhelming to LGBTQ students. Certainly, this can disrupt their ability to learn.’’

Dr. Glass also provided another helpful tip – sex education can help LGBTQ students live healthier lives. As Dr. Glass points out, “Students that are engaging in same sex relationships should have comprehensive knowledge of sex education the same as their heterosexual counterparts. Opening up the conversations to be inclusive would allow LGBTQ individuals to lead more safe and sexually informed lives.’’

Are you experiencing discrimination or just need a place to go with questions, comments or just an opportunity to vent about anything you’re dealing with? Contact the gender network to find LGBTQ support services and information in your area.

Interested in learning more about gender diversity and education? NCU’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences offers master’s, doctoral and certificate programs that may help.

Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

6 Things You Should Know About Your GI Bill

Recent Blog Posts - 06-04-2015 14:59

Northcentral University has military students around the world who are using their hard-earned GI Bill® benefits to pay for higher learning. And with our flexible approach, NCU is helping students take full advantage of their benefits, making us a very GI Bill-friendly atmosphere. But understanding how these benefits work can be challenging. So here are six GI Bill facts to help you achieve your academic goals.

Benefits Time Frame

Are you worried about your GI Bill benefits running out? If so, here’s some good news. Active duty service members and veterans may have 10 years to use all of their GI Bill benefits from the time of separation from service. And for Post-9/11 benefits, the time is even longer. Add on five more years and you’re looking at 15 years to take advantage of your benefits.   

Your GI Bill is More Flexible than You Think

Often life has a way of throwing a “curve ball” in our plans, which is why it’s great to know that your benefits have some flexibility, depending on the school and program you enroll in.

The bill will also help you climb the educational ladder of higher degrees. You can use it to earn your associates, bachelors and later, masters and doctorate degrees.  

Entitlement Months

Did you know that the VA allows for a service member to use a total of 36 months of entitlement under one chapter of the GI Bill, and up to 48 months under multiple chapters? That means if you run out of entitlement under one chapter, you should be sure to check with the VA to find out if you have further eligibility under another.

Credits & GI Bill Payments

So you have your classes and credits tallied up and picked out. That’s great! But wait! Here are a few things you’ll want to pay close attention to when it comes to credits and GI Bill payments.

Remember to pay close attention to your credit load. It’s the biggest factor that determines your GI Bill payment rates. Your enrollment status - full-time, half-time, or part-time – may impact your benefits.

And don’t forget - GI Bill payment rates may be raised every year or as needed. However, the payment rates can also stay the same.  

Also, if you’re using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, take note that it pays based on the number of months served on active duty and the number of credits taken.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Choosing a school that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Programcan end up saving you some money later on. The program may help students avoid out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with educational programs that might surpass the Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit. 

As a Yellow Ribbon Program participating school, NCU will contribute up to $2,000 for tuition and fees after a student exhausts the annual funding limit. The Veterans Administration matches that amount and issues payment directly to NCU.

Get started using your benefits today by filling out and following instructions on the VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.

Dependent & Spouse Benefits

The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs also provides education benefits for spouses and dependents of service members and veterans. For instance, a service member could be eligible to transfer their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program and the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship are some of the benefits that are offered to a spouse or dependent of service members and veterans.

Are you looking for more information about how your benefits will apply toward an advanced degree at NCU? Contact our VA Educational Benefits Specialist at VeteransBenefits@ncu.edu

Blog Categories: education-2online-learning-2tips-to-improve-your-lifeBlog Tags: GI Billmilitaryveterans9/11DependentVeterans Benefits
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

Northcentral University Visits Universidad de la Habana

Recent Blog Posts - 05-27-2015 16:00

Northcentral University doctoral students of all disciplines were recently presented with the opportunity to visit Cuba's Universidad de la Habana. During their visit, students participated in field placements to learn about Cuban education, applied and research psychology and marriage and family therapy, and emerging business opportunities. The following is a short, visual representation of their time spent impacting the local community.

Northcentral University visits Universidad de la Habana from Northcentral University Blog Categories: marriage-and-family-therapyphd-program-doctoral-programspsychologyresearchBlog Tags: Universidad de la HabanaCubaresearchDoctoral
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts

5 Common Core Resources for Parents

Recent Blog Posts - 05-12-2015 12:05

Are you struggling to understand how Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have changed your child’s classroom, homework and overall educational experience? You’re not alone. As states choose to adopt these standards, it’s not just the teachers and students that have been forced to make adjustments, it’s parents like you, too.

The resources listed below can help you understand the CCSS, learn more about what actually happens in the classroom, and provide you with meaningful questions you can use to have meaningful interaction with your child’s teachers.

The Teaching Channel

Check out the Teaching Channel to learn more about just what’s happening in your child’s classroom. You can watch teachers who are implementing Common Core, which will give you a better understanding of how to speak to it at home.

Achieve the Core

Become equipped to talk Common Core and learn what it takes for your child to succeed. Get general information on the Common Core State Standards, check out the “Common Core 101” guide and download PDF and interactive versions of the standards.

National PTA – Parents’ Guides to Student Success

Developed by teachers, parents and experts in the field of education, the Parents’ Guides to Student Success can help you understand how to help your child remain successful in the Common Core classroom. You’ll find guides for grades K-8 in the subjects of language arts and mathematics.

Council of the Great City Schools – Parent Roadmaps to Common Core

The Parent Roadmaps to Common Core take student success a step further with snapshots of how your child should be progressing over a three-year period. With the help of these roadmaps, you can help your child become college ready at the time they graduate from high school.

19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child’s Teacher

Show your interest in what’s going on in the classroom by asking a few more direct questions. Your child’s teacher will appreciate the interest and opportunity to explain the thought behind the lesson plans. You’ll also get to know the classroom AND the teacher a little better!

What other resources have you discovered to help you understand the impact Common Core State Standards have on your child’s education? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!

Blog Categories: education-2Blog Tags: Common CoreTips for ParentsParenting
Categories: NCU Recent blog posts