Community Colleges Archives

online education classes(NAPSI)—Whether you’re a first-time college student or well into a degree program, chances are you have considered taking an online class. You’re not alone. According to Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of college presidents say that their institutions offer classes online and an estimated half of all those who graduated college in the last 10 years say that they have taken an online class.

Online classes offer flexibility and access to rigorous academic programs for students whose schedules make it difficult to be in the physical classroom. So how can you make the most of your online learning experience?

It comes down to personal commitment, said Nicole Cabrere, Ed.D., senior vice provost for Strayer University, which offers online undergraduate and graduate courses to students worldwide.

“It’s amazing what can be taught online; courses from business to writing, even biology and how to dissect frogs,” said Dr. Cabrere. “As a society, we’re adapting to rapid advancements in technology, and our education reflects that.

“The key is to apply personal commitment and recognize that online programs require the same focus and discipline as campus-based classes.”

Dr. Cabrere offers three tips for making your online learning experience a success:

1. Manage your time. In addition to the time you spend reviewing course materials and preparing assignments, you may have to build in time for live online discussions, viewing taped lectures and interacting virtually with classmates. It’s important to understand the various requirements of your class and work them into your schedule.

2. Participate. “The fact that you are not in a classroom setting shouldn’t take away from your active participation,” she added. “To ‘raise your hand’ virtually, e-mail thoughtful questions to your professor regularly, participate in online chats and distribute helpful articles or other resources.”

3. Network. Get to know your classmates and professors. Hold study sessions virtually through video chat services or in person with classmates in the area. Strayer University lets students connect with each other further by hosting Facebook pages for various communities such as writers or geographic areas. Your fellow students can share insights into occupations you’re interested in. Be sure to add them to your professional network.

Before enrolling, Dr. Cabrere suggests, students should become familiar with the computer and space that they will use to take their online class. “Unless you are in a highly technical program, you will need basic computer skills to navigate an online class. If you run into trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help and raise that ‘virtual hand’ at any point.”

For information about Strayer University’s online and on-campus academic programs, visit

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(NAPSI)—To compete in the world economy, U.S. businesses will need millions of new college graduates for the next decade’s new jobs. Can today’s colleges and universities develop future workers with the skills they will need for tomorrow’s jobs?

A new book by Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, “Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work and Society,” details how colleges and universities are still evolving ways to provide the workforce skills that companies will most need to innovate and grow in the 21st century.

“Traditional classroom learning no longer matches the way today’s students learn and complete coursework,” says Dr. Wilen-Daugenti, a former Silicon Valley executive who is the vice president and managing director of Apollo Research Institute. Major societal trends, such as degree acquisition later in life, social mobility and greater need for intercultural awareness, will dictate the content and delivery of higher education.

Yet many colleges and universities struggle to keep pace with these trends and enrollment rates over the past decade have been stagnant. As one solution, Dr. Wilen-Daugenti proposes greater use of distance learning programs, where online coursework and class participation supplement or replace face-to-face learning. “Distance learning helps brick-and-mortar universities add learning capacity while allowing working students to take courses on their own schedule,” she says.

Producing millions of new graduates will require multiple stakeholders for success. “Individuals must become lifelong learners to keep their skill sets current with marketplace demands across longer careers,” says Dr. Wilen-Daugenti. Educational institutions need to keep pace with technological and social developments in the skills they promote, the way they deliver instruction and the range of students they serve.

According to Dr. Wilen-Daugenti, businesses must adapt their workforce planning and development strategies and collaborate with higher education institutions to ensure that future skill requirements are aligned with relevant curricula and instructional delivery systems. Likewise, she says, the federal government must make education a national priority, to provide citizens with the skills most suited to building a sustainable future.

“The future of higher education is tied to innovation, technology and an adaptive knowledge of society’s emerging trends,” says Dr. Wilen-Daugenti of the teamwork needed to produce tomorrow’s resilient, skilled workforce. “The importance of education to career longevity and success has never been greater.”

For more information about Society 3.0, visit

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It 2011! Wow, how time fly, seems like 2010 only lasted a couple of months. I do remember most of the good, thanks to planning and getting things done on a schedule. As administrator here at City5nc I get to talk to lot of people from all over the world, and I get many thoughts and views, on how to make life better, as far as day to day living, some good and others not so good.

These are things we consider essential for most people, from low income to middle class trying to survive in this economy.

1. Try to pay your credit cards down or off, spend cash if possible, pay a few dollars more than the minimum, use only one card with low interest rate, and low balance for emergencies.
2. Eat healthy foods, buy local fruits and vegetables when you can, or grow your own when the seasons are in. buy food in bulk when appropriate, not just when it on sale.
3. If times are really tight, try turning your hobby or crafting idea into a money making venture. Do a search online for crafts and hobbies ideas, go to craft shows, take an online course from your local Community College, use what you already know as a starting point.
4. Remember that what goes around comes around, so don’t wait for someone to do something nice for you first, start by giving or helping someone along with an act of kindness, it just might come back to you when you really need it, or you just might feel good.
5. If you live in the City riding the bus a few days a week, could save you lots of money, gas, less traffic, and no headache.
6. Banking and Savings in the major banks is more expensive, with more fees and banking cost, using your debit card could cost you more at some banks, not just at the ATM but news fees. If you have a saving account and it’s been hard to keep the minimum balance that your bank have on that account, then you are paying the bank to save your own money. Find a bank that has a low minimum balance.
7. Make a plan to become debt free, it’s not impossible to do. Start paying a payment and a half each time you make a mortgage payment, credit card, car, medical bills and before you know it your bills are paid. Start small and test the waters, if you can do this without breaking your bank, then you’re on your way.
8. Down time, well it’s also important to get in your rest and relaxation, so budget enough for that special get away. Whether you are young, older, retired a break from the routine, same old same can can make Jack a dull boy and Jill too. Taking time off for that fishing trip, traveling, sight-seeing, visiting another Country or US State or just taking a break to pamper yourself is all good.
9. Small Businesses should try to invest in their companies, but don’t forget about the employees, before you pass out those lay-off or pink slips try working with your employees to maybe work out a salary or benefit compromise until the economy improves.
10. Don’t Complain about what you dis-like about your life, just add some things you do like, and the rest will fall in place.

Got a craft business idea you think could earn you extra income? Read how other craft artists have profited from James Dillehay’s craft business guides…..

“We couldn’t have imagined how much of an impact James Dillehay’s advice would make on our business. We thought after perfecting our product everything would just fall into place, but it didn’t until we started working with his suggestions. To our delight we are seeing results on a faster and larger scale than we expected in such a short period of time.” ~ Ken Kobrick & Angela Greene,, featured on the Today Show

“Since reading your books, I have implemented many of the ideas. I am now happy to report that I have had some surprising success here in Santa Fe. My hang cards, booth design, and even my products themselves have been changed by your books. I have only been there 5 partial days and have sold about 4 times what I sold in the equivalent time last year. I changed the color of the walls, the height of the tables, the displays, the hang cards, the pricing and more. So, IT WORKS!” ~ Julie Anderson,

“After reading his books, my business took on a new life. I changed my product slightly and the response was remarkable! My first order was triple what I had planned for, and other orders are pouring in! I continue to look to James for inspiration and I love his approach. Because of the techniques I learned from him, my business is thriving.” ~ Cathy Marble, Chamisa Hill Designs

Ready to increase your craft sales and profits? Just click here to learn more about our craft business guides. Click Here Free Wake County Business Listings

From Burnt Out to Behind the Burner

From Burnt Out to Behind the Burner

From Burnt Out to Behind the Burner (301)

(NewsUSA) – Many Americans in unrewarding careers are choosing to enter new fields as unemployment rates continue to soar. Forced from longtime positions in some of the nation’s largest industries, men and women alike are making the jump into the world of professional cooking as they trade pinstripes for chef whites.

“Our culinary arts and pastry career programs have been attracting students of all ages and professional backgrounds,” said Rick Smilow, president of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. “We have everyone from former Wall Street bankers to marketing managers to talented kids out of high school or college, all of whom are looking to switch careers in the rocky economy.”

But a diploma from a leading culinary school doesn’t only lend itself to a position as a chef. More and more culinary school graduates are using their degrees to enter the fields of hospitality, food media and personal start-ups from coast to coast. Professionally trained chefs can go on to command kitchens or boardrooms, which allows them to dip into an industry driven by their passion rather than economic gains.

“Our students go on to work in some of the top restaurants in the country,” Smilow said. “But they aren’t all working directly as chefs; a lot of them get involved in fields like research and development at major food brands, work in food media or are entrepreneurs building food businesses.”

The rise of culinary school enrollments may signal an oncoming tidal wave of career-changers, as economic woes leave many with a desire to start new in an industry once only considered a dream job. So while the economy may be down, attitudes will be up as more and more Americans find happiness in the world of food.

For more information, visit

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RALEIGH, N.C. – With suspicious fires, chemical spills and plant explosions a more frequent part of our local landscape, Wake Technical Community College is launching a new program to ensure that our area has the most highly-qualified responders. Wake Tech’s associate’s degree program in Fire Protection Technology offers the latest in response technologies and techniques, providing firefighters, arson investigators and hazmat specialists with the skills and credentials to address critical and risky situations. The program, which starts this fall, is offered to high school graduates who want to enter the field and to professionals who want to improve their career advancement opportunities by earning their degree.

The two-year program, to be held at Wake Tech’s Public Safety Education Campus in Raleigh, includes coursework in hazardous materials, firefighting strategies, and fire investigations, as well as supervision and leadership. Wake Tech’s “flip-flop” schedule will give students the option of attending classes on alternating days each week to accommodate work schedules.

“Employers are looking for a degree now, in fire safety as in other first-responder fields, as a basic job qualification,” says Janie Slaughter, department head for Fire Protection Technology at Wake Tech. “They’re also basing promotions on education and credentials, making them much more competitive. This is the trend.”

Graduates will find opportunities for employment in insurance organizations and industry as well as municipal fire departments. The degree will also provide a foundation for continued education at a four-year college or university. Wake Tech already provides in-service continuing education training for more than 4,000 area firefighters each year

Read More:CarolinaNewsWire

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Emerging careers in science and health care

(ARA) – Growth in technology is contributing to career options at an increasing rate. Many industries, from information technology to environmental science to health care, benefit from new and enriching career opportunities afforded by rapid advancements.

Ten of the 20 fastest-growing careers are health care-related, with 26 percent of all new jobs created falling into this category, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition.” New career possibilities are opening for individuals with vocational training, college diplomas and advanced degrees.

Growing demand for health care professionals

“In terms of health care, the speed of change is anywhere from two days to six weeks. Knowledge is doubling faster than in the 1990s when IT was producing software on average every few days,” says Micki Holliday, director of career services at Brown Mackie College – Kansas City, located in Lenexa, Kan. “In addition to knowledge expansion, research indicates that the aging population is pushing science and health care to the forefront in needs. New people, new habits and skills and new orientation to the world are bringing in new opportunities.”

The unique baby boomer population represents a large demographic that, despite growing older, is staying active longer. “It isn’t just young people jogging and exercising today. It permeates all generations. Technological advances in medicine are helping people stay active longer. We’re building bodies better,” she says, referring to the ability to replace hips, knees, and organs with more advanced technology. “The demand for a higher quality of life through technology drives innovation. Most things involving health care are considered a boom industry.”

While scientists and doctors are in demand, it is critical that health care facilities hire correctly trained support staff so that others can do what they do best. Doctors need others to provide care. Entry-level employment opportunities arise at hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and home health care companies, says Holliday. “Industry can’t move forward without trained professionals. They want to hire workers with education, knowledge and certifications.” Health care positions in growing demand include all types of medical and lab technicians, as well as insurance, financial and administrative professionals.

Advancements in science spawn new opportunities

Growth in the science and engineering sectors feed the health care boom. The biotech industry is huge and growing in every area, from operations and manufacturing to clinical research and quality control. This opens the door for a myriad of trained professionals to find employment. To learn more about health care career opportunities, visit

“What type of people are needed to support biotech companies? Everyone from lab technicians and research associates to cabinet-makers who build lab-safety storage,” Holliday says. “One scientist I know of was about to culminate a two-year research project when a lab tech walked by with a test tube in hand and scratched his head. That single act negated the whole project. It is of the utmost importance for companies to hire people who are trained and certified in lab protocol.”

Biotech companies also need trained, entry-level people to fill positions in administration, billing and research. “You can contribute to this growing industry without becoming an engineer,” Holliday says. “The title isn’t new, but the work is new due to advances in technology.”

In all disciplines, health care and science industry employers need workers who are educated and are skilled in protocol. Schools provide the foundation for working in a specific environment. Companies and device manufacturers then provide additional training on the job. “That’s another career opportunity,” adds Holliday. “There is a growing need for trainers, too.”

Holliday’s father was a research assistant in the late 1940s. “Can you imagine what he’d think of today’s equipment? Tests taking minutes instead of weeks. Noninvasive surgery that enables patients to go home a few hours later,” she says. “Our students are contributing to these miracles of time and science by providing businesses with the manpower needed to run the experiments, provide the treatments and create the tools and remedies.”

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Small businesses get credit boost from new fund

(ARA) – Despite signs of economic recovery, many small business owners continue to struggle to borrow money to sustain or grow their companies. This can have a big impact on local communities, which rely on small businesses to create much-needed jobs and provide critical services. With many traditional credit sources continuing to keep a tight rein on lending, many small business owners simply do not have access to conventional means of credit.  The good news is that small business owners are increasingly able to access alternative and innovative sources  of financing, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).  

CDFIs, which were created more than 30 years ago, provide affordable loans and banking services in communities that are underserved by traditional banks. These institutions have developed valuable community and business expertise, designed specialized loan products and they have a remarkable track record of success. CDFIs loaned and invested more than $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2008. Since their inception, CDFIs have provided more than $22 billion in financing, supported more than 51,000 small businesses and helped create thousands of new jobs.  CDFI loans to small business typically range from $15,000 to $300,000.

In addition, CDFIs often offer non-financial services, such as entrepreneurial education, savings programs and financial literacy training, which can help small business owners develop and grow their operations and prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs for success.

“CDFIs are a critical economic lifeline to small business owners, especially during periods of prolonged economic weakness,” says Bob Annibale, global director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development. “In many cases, they can make the difference between whether or not a small business struggles to survive or expands and creates new jobs, supporting  local economic growth and the community.”

While small business owners who work with CDFIs hail from a wide range of industries and geographies, they all share one thing in common: a need for quick financing that is not fully being  met by traditional banks.  For example, entrepreneurs in the heart of Big Sky country in Montana received two CDFI loans totaling more than $100,000 that enabled them to get their new lumber operation up and running, while the owner of a preschool in New Orleans borrowed money from a local CDFI to fund vital repairs to her building in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In coastal Maine, the owner of a specialty seafood company was able to access significant venture capital to expand the company’s distribution nationwide, while continuing to create jobs. In Austin, Texas, the owner of a small construction company received a $40,000 loan to pay for materials and other up-front costs associated with the industry.  In all these instances, the need for affordable loans was met with speed and flexibility and was often accompanied by invaluable entrepreneurial education and low-cost training as well as technical assistance in branding and marketing.

Citi recently launched the Communities at Work Fund, a new $200 million fund that will provide financing to CDFIs in urban and rural areas in all 50 states.  The fund was created in partnership with the Calvert Foundation and the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), two organizations expert in CDFIs. To learn more about the Communities at Work fund or to find out if your small business can benefit from the program and how to apply, visit

To find out a local CDFI and enquire about a loan, visit

The current economic climate may be challenging to entrepreneurs, but alternative financing sources like CDFIs can help small businesses keep their doors open – and keep thousands of Americans on the job.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Wake County residents looking for new skills and inspiration came to hear more about the Plus 50 program today at Wake Tech’s Western Wake Campus in Cary. The Plus 50 Open House featured information on the program’s latest course offerings designed with students age 50 and above in mind. Wake Tech is one of 15 colleges across the country participating in a three-year initiative to reach out to these students.

“It’s clear that ‘retirement’ has a whole new meaning for baby boomers,” says Pat Fontana, Director of the Plus 50 program at Wake Tech. “Our Plus 50 courses offer new pathways and adventures for people whose lives are changing direction.”

Wake Tech’s Summer 2010 Plus 50 offerings include:

  • Find Your Ideal Career – A workshop designed to help students explore career options by discovering what they really want to do and learning how to use their strengths to their advantage.
  • Internet and Email – A course that teaches the basics of the web and how to communicate through email.
  • Coupon Camp – A daylong course on couponing and meal planning that includes a hands-on trip to the grocery store.

Future Plus 50 courses include Lifestyle Financial Strategies, Getting Organized and an introduction to becoming a Virtual Assistant. Classes are offered at Wake Tech’s Western Wake Campus in Cary and Northern Wake Campus in Raleigh. For information call 866-5145 or visit Plus 50 is funded by a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies and is led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

About Wake Technical Community College:
Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech) is a two-year, public institution providing education and training for the citizens of Raleigh and surrounding Wake County. As the second largest community college in the state, Wake Tech provides a comprehensive array of learning opportunities and serves an annual enrollment of more than 65,000 students. Wake Tech spans the region with five campuses and two training centers, and offers classes at multiple community sites as well as online, through distance education media. Curriculum (for-credit) programs in a variety of academic and technical specialties offer more than 165 degrees, diplomas and certificates, including two-year associate’s degrees in science, applied science, the arts, and general education. University transfer programs prepare students for entry into four-year institutions; focused training programs prepare students for immediate employment. Wake Tech also offers a broad scope of continuing education courses, including training for entrepreneurs and small business owners, public safety officer training (fire, rescue, and law enforcement), high school equivalency classes, and non-credit courses for personal enrichment and professional development. Wake Tech provides customized workforce training for new and expanding industries and a cooperative education program that interfaces with the corporate community. For more information, please visit


RALEIGH, N.C. – Florianna Thompson, an instructor in Wake Tech’s Early Childhood Education program, has received the Dorothy B. Graham Child Care Leadership Award from the Child Care Services Association (CCSA). Thompson received the honor at the 9th Annual Triangle Child Care Awards Breakfast on March 5.

CCSA is a nationally-recognized nonprofit working to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality early care and education for all children and families. It recognized Thompson for her leadership in improving early childhood education in the Triangle.

Thompson has 30 years of experience in the field of child care and has been an instructor at Wake Tech for the past ten years. Prior to joining Wake Tech, she was a program coordinator for Wake County Smart Start. She has a Master’s degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Relations.

Thompson serves in various leadership roles in the child care industry:

  • She is a member of the Early Childhood Leadership and Policy Network.
  • She is a member of the National Advisory Committee for CONNECT (The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge).
  • She is a Peer Reviewer for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Thompson is the mother of 3 and lives in Garner.

About Wake Technical Community College:
Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech) is a two-year, public institution providing education and training for the citizens of Raleigh and surrounding Wake County. As the second largest community college in the state, Wake Tech provides a comprehensive array of learning opportunities and serves an annual enrollment of more than 65,000 students. Wake Tech spans the region with four campuses, three training centers and offers classes at dozens of community sites and through Web-based and other distance education media. Curriculum (for-credit) programs in more than 150 academic

Read More:CarolinaNewsWire

Degrees that will make you indispensable in the workplace

(ARA) – From digitizing and analyzing America’s health records to developing the next big video game or hardware program, careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields continue to gain prominence in the work force. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a growing demand for technological advances will result in a job growth of 22 percent for STEM occupations between 2004 and 2014.

As employment opportunities within these new and emerging industries continue to expand, educational institutions are taking a look at refining curriculums to provide career-focused higher education, and better prepare students for careers in specific fields.

To do this, universities are working directly with high-caliber employers to ensure their future employee needs will be met. DeVry University, for example, works directly with companies including IBM and Cisco to create these student programs. DeVry University graduates from the last five years have worked at 96 of the Fortune 100 companies.

“Students are looking to obtain the education and knowledge needed to succeed in the high-growth industries that continue to thrive,” says Donna Loraine, vice president, academic affairs for DeVry Inc., and dean, DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. “Our academic structure is one that allows for swift implementation of new programs and curriculum once we notice a specific need, allowing us to better prepare students for these in-demand 21st century careers.”

According to the Center for Education Policy Analysis, technology is pervasive in almost every aspect of daily life, and as the workplace changes, STEM knowledge, skills and the ways in which problems are approached and solved in these subjects are important for a variety of workers.

DeVry worked closely with Cisco using the Cisco Networking Academy program to deliver curriculums that teach students how to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks.

“Working with DeVry University to equip students with technical knowledge and hands-on experiences will help meet growing demand for skilled workers in a variety of industries ranging from broadband and wireless to healthcare and green technologies,” says Amy Christen, vice president of corporate affairs at Cisco and general manager of the Cisco Networking Academy. “Individuals that are trained in the latest technology careers today will be well-prepared for a variety of exciting career opportunities tomorrow.”

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is anticipating an approximate 45 percent growth in the computer software engineer and application occupations. Anticipating this demand, these student/employer partnerships aim to prepare soon-to-be graduates for these technology careers, while helping to fill a growing need for professionals in the emerging industries around the world.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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