Common Attendance Methods for Returning Students

Are you one of many who dreams of returning to college but fears that option ended for your many years ago? If this is you, then you are in luck. There is no time like the present to go back and pursue your educational dreams. In fact, there has been no better time throughout history than today for those who wish to return to school but cannot give up their careers in order to do so.

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Educational opportunities abound today in America and only show evidence of increasing and improving with time and technological advances. There are many options available for the returning students of today that would have been summarily designed for those hoping to further their educational goals in the past. If you are hoping to go back to school consider the options below very carefully before deciding which will be best for you.

The All or Nothing Approach

This endeavor is a giant leap of faith. It involves quitting your job, packing up your life, and going back to college with every hope for a better future hinging on your performance. This is a high-risk endeavor for many professionals who have families and careers to consider. However, the rewards will be much quicker with this approach than most of the other available options. You should consider carefully whether this is an appropriate plan of action for your specific needs or if the risk would be too high for your family to endure.

Night School

Most community colleges and universities offer a wide assortment of night classes to those students who have daytime careers but are hoping to further their educations. You will find that despite common preconceived notions there is a wide mixture of students in night classes. There are first-time college students who simply prefer night classes to early morning classes, retirees hoping to learn something new, and professionals hoping to grab a few more credit hours towards their degree. You never know whom you will find in your night classes but chances are you will find that there is a special sense of community among night school students that you won't find in traditional day classes.

Techno Wizards for Internet Courses

Believe it or not, you do not need to have spectacular technical skills in order to take the average online or Internet course. The truth of the matter is that the most technical skill most of these classes require is the ability to visit websites, open an email, and download an occasional file. Internet classes offer extreme flexibility for those with busy family and work schedules. This is the option of choice for many returning schools. The good news is that more and more universities and community colleges are offering these sorts of classes in many different fields and majors. The more demand grows for these classes the more classes will be offered.

The fact is that as consumers we have the right to ask for what we want or need. College students are consumers who are paying a hefty price for the product they hope to receive – a solid educational experience. Do not be afraid to request that the university you are attending offer more options for working students if you find that you are in need of a class that isn't offered in a flexible manner. Chances are if you need the course, there are others like you who will as well. If there is enough demand, most universities will oblige the demands of their students.


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Finding the Right College Program for You

There are all kinds of college programs that are available today for those seeking higher education and degrees in a wide variety of fields. The problem often lies in finding the type of education that is appropriate for your specific needs. We all learn best through different methods and identifying your learning method is a great way to understand what learning environment will work best for you.

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The common learning environments for college-level studies are the following: community colleges, universities, and online or distance learning opportunities. Community colleges tend to offer smaller classrooms with more discussion-oriented styles of learning and discourse. Universities tend to be more lecture-oriented while distance and online learning opportunities are quite often self-directed learning opportunities that require a great deal of discipline in order to be successful.

When trying to identify the college that will work best for you, you should keep in mind your personal learning style. Beyond that, you should also consider the type of environment you expect from your college education and the amount of time you wish to devote to the pursuit of your education and degree. Some people find that university life is far too distracting while others find that the solitude of online and distance learning is a distraction in and of itself.

You will find all kinds of cultural opportunities at a university that you will not find through home studies or on the community college level. For some students, these opportunities are icing on the cake and an important part of the learning experience as you delve into other cultures, art, music, and history. Others find these opportunities to be far too plentiful and far too distracting for their study needs. Whichever student you tend to be will make a huge difference in the best situation for your learning needs.

Another important consideration is housing. Most universities have ample on-campus housing for their students while a few campuses experience on-campus housing shortages and rely on housing that is located in and around the college area in order to fill in the gaps. Some universities will even offer limited housing opportunities to students who have spouses and children. While housing on community college is seen, particularly in rural areas where there is limited housing available in and around the schools, these are more often the exception rather than the rule. Most community colleges are largely commuter campuses with very limited, if any, housing opportunities. Online and distance learning programs offer no housing to students.

Another concern that must also be considered carefully is the distance between classes and any special needs you may have. Universities tend to be large and spread out. It is quite possible to need to get from one end of campus to another (a mile or more in some cases) with a 10-minute window in which to get it done. For students with special needs or physical disabilities, this can be quite problematic, especially on days of inclement weather. Community colleges tend to have smaller campuses, which means less real estate to cover in between classes. Online and distance learning classes go with you wherever you have access to a computer. This means that they are as portable as you need them to be if you have your own laptop and wireless Internet access.

You must consider all these things and so much more when narrowing down your college choices. Do you really want to take the personal responsibility required in order to succeed in online and distance learning courses? Do you want to be limited by the meager offerings of coursework available at the community college level? Is it worth it to you to pay the high price involved in university education? These are all questions that you need to consider carefully before making the decision as to which college environment is the most desirable for you.


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Financial Aid Options for Students

When it comes to financial aid for college there are primarily two sources: privately funded financial aid and federally funded financial aid. When applying for or receiving either you need to make sure that you are fully aware of all the fine print involved. Most people find that the expenses of college are much too great to afford without some sort of assistance. If you are a parent, chances are that you will someday face the need to pay college tuition along with the worry of how on earth you will manage to accomplish that goal.

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The problem is that not every student who wishes to attend college qualifies either for federally-funded student aid or the vast majority of scholarships that require either exceptional grades or a specific and exceptional talent in order to receive. For those students thinking outside the box may be necessary in order to receive the much-needed educational assistance or financial aid.

If you do not qualify for federal financial aid for your children, then you may want to consider the benefit of other scholarship options. One common scholarship option that is often overlooked is the ROTC program that most universities offer. There is a price to pay for these scholarships but many find that price provides valuable experience and is well worth the education and the experience received during the process. If your child is interested in the possibility of a military career or becoming a military officer, this is a great way to go.

As a parent, you may want to see what sort of flexible spending accounts your state has set up that can help you set aside money for college expenses for your children. Many states have these and there are programs that allow you and others to dedicate the spending from a credit card to be used as a 'match' program for your child's college funds. While it isn't a dollar-for-dollar match of your credit card spending every little bit helps. The real beauty of programs like this is that you can enlist the help of family in friends when saving for your child's college educational expenses. Regardless, it is never too early to begin saving for your child's college education and these expenses seem to be rising exponentially.

There are many programs that exist to help minorities and women pay for their educational expenses. Some of these scholarships are needs-based while some of them are solely merit-based. On all levels, competition is fierce, however, if you qualify for any of these scholarships you would be doing yourself a disservice not to apply for them. You never know when your application might be the one that captures the attention of the scholarship committee. The one thing you should keep in mind is to read all the instructions, make copies of everything, and follow the directions. You'd be amazed at how many worthy applicants are denied scholarships each year because they did not follow the directions on the application properly. Another thing you should keep in mind is neatness. You are much more likely to win a scholarship if the committee can actually read your application.

There are many great opportunities for financial assistance when it comes to college. The trick is typically in finding great sources. Your college's financial aid office is an excellent source of information for financial aid as is your high school counselor. See what your options are before you sacrifice the dream of a college education.


Check out CollegeBacker to get started saving today for your child’s future education.

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Getting the Most From Math Online Tutoring

Learning math can be tough, and when you pay for help from tutoring, you expect results. You can maximize your chance of getting positive results by understanding how tutoring works. Familiarize yourself with the software try to test it out ahead of time. Understand how to log on (remember to keep your username and password in a safe place), learn how to maneuver around the software, and be sure your computer meets or exceeds the hardware requirements in order to ensure your sessions run as smoothly as possible.

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Another thing to do prior to entering a tutoring session is to study up on the material. The more you know going in, the more you can get out of tutoring. Ask the tutoring service if there are any math online tutoring video tutorials. These short videos can help you understand the concepts. Besides your paid tutoring service, you can search on the web for math online tutoring video tutorials that do the same thing. Usually, they're not free, though, so the best thing is to hit the books before getting help from your tutor. You should also ask the tutoring service if they can record the session for you, then you'll have your own recorded tutoring session that you can go back to if you need to refresh your memory of what you did.

There are also many example problems online that you can look to if you want to get ahead. These examples are good, not only to learn the material but to study for your math tests later on. Use these example problems to quiz yourself, and if you can't figure out the answer, you can ask your tutor during your sessions. That is a great way to utilize free resources and commercial resources.

So, remember to study up, find free example problems online, and watch free math online tutoring video tutorials before sitting down for a 1-on-1 tutoring session. I know you want to see your math grades go up, and this will help you do just that!


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Emergency Lesson Plans, Real Lifesaving Tools for Teachers

Everyone gets those situations in life where an emergency has come up, and you don’t have the time (or sometimes the ability) to get a good lesson plan to school for your students. Maybe you have a family emergency or a disrupted travel plan and you just cannot get into school to leave detailed lessons. That is why it is essential for you to have an emergency lesson plan available and handy.

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The emergency lesson plan should be able to be used at ANY point in the year. It doesn’t have to fit in with what you’re currently doing (nor should it – it is to be used when you cannot leave normal sub plans). The lesson should be related to your normal curriculum, but it could be a supplement or an enrichment activity.

Get a folder (or a three-ring binder), and label it appropriately on the outside cover. There are even folders you can purchase (some schools even make these available to teachers) labeled ‘sub folder’ or ‘emergency plans’. Also, make sure you have an appropriate spot for your emergency folder on or in your desk area. Some schools will ask you to keep an emergency plan in the office. In either case, make sure it is easily accessible by a substitute teacher.

Think about keeping class activities to 10 to 15-minute increments. This way the sub will have better control of your kids. Students have difficulties adjusting to changes in their routines, and you don’t want to have to return to discipline referrals.

Keep the information organized and easily accessible for a sub. Remember, the sub won’t know where you normally keep things, and they can’t read your mind. Spell out exactly what you want to be done, where it can be found, and what you want to be done with it when they’re finished.

Make sure you have made enough copies of any worksheets so the sub doesn’t have to. And be sure to leave answer keys. Many subs will actually even grade your assignments for you if you ask them in your plans.

Get this done early in the year, and you can save yourself many headaches later, not to mention worries about what will happen in your room if you are unable to be there.

Emergency Lesson Plan Ideas:

Language Arts:

Include short writing activities involving students’ opinions. Thus they don’t have to have ‘background’ information, and they can write from their own experiences. Parts of speech review can include mad-libs or easy, fun worksheets.

Math:

Leave a calculator activity. These could even be puzzles or partner games. Or give review problems.

Science:

Copy a science article and have students read carefully and answer questions. Make speculations and use the scientific method. Or have students create the plans for a lab activity.

Reading:

Leave students a copy of a short story or article, and questions to answer. You could even set up a ‘test-taking’ exercise and discuss appropriate answers and strategies.

Social Studies:

Map activities are great for emergency plans. You can even set up a one-day unit in any area/region of the world, including your own town or city.


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