Do not Stall Your Career Before You've Turned On The Ignition: Student Loan Consolidation

Your parents were right. It's a cut-throat work environment out there, and unfortunately it's a fact that not many employers will give you the time of day if you do not have a University degree. It's a prerequisite if you want to maximize your chances of a smooth entry into the work and a respectable career. However, it's also true that many families find the expense difficult to shoulder, and it is likely that you had to or will have to resort to student loans. These debts can add up faster than you think over your three or four year degree, resulting in a massive financial burden by the time you graduate.

It was drilled into my head that I would need a good degree to have a good career, but I primarily focused on the academic aspects and never actually considered the accompanying debts until until they were on to me. I was naive; for some reason I subconsciously thought that my parents would take care of everything, but more importantly I just underestimated the costs involved. This is a common error among many young people heading off to University, but sooner or later the bills will make themselves felt. I finally started to really watch my finances when I realized the debt that I was accumulating through my student loans, and I did what I could to get some income by applying for numerous grants and working part-time during the summer.

This time, by the time I graduated I had close to 10 thousand pounds to repay. Needless to say, since I did not have a job secured upon graduation, I would have had a spectacular problem if I had not quickly turned to student loan consolidation. I would definitely advise you to do your research and compare what you find, but a good service will consolidate the payments to multiple lenders into one low monthly payment, save you lots of time and stress, and give you room to breathe. Student loan consolidation is indicative for most new college graduates; even those who manage to find a sterling job immediately are not likely to have the savings to clear their student loans.

Student loan consolidation is an excellent option to have after graduation, but you will make it much easier on yourself by properly recording and budgeting your spending as a student. While it is easy to relax and go over your budget, you will often regret it later. One of my classmates from London was lucky enough to start his degree with a comfortable level of finances, but as often as the case, this was unfortunately shown in his spending. By the time he graduated he had accumulated the potentialally disastrous sum of more than forty thousand pounds in debt. However, with the help of student loan consolidation services he thankfully managed to significantly ease his repayments and get his finances in order.

Ultimately, if you are worried about your student debts, it will be well worth …

The Burden of Homework

There are many children who realize how important a good education is to secure a decent career. They are the ones who are trying their best to keep up academically. But, they are tired, stressed and frustrated. They are burdened with homework and the demands on their time.

Time is man’s greatest enemy. We live in an information era that is fast paced with things (like technology) that are always changing. While adults manage to organize themselves and cope with the hectic schedules on hand, children are battling to find enough time for schoolwork, sport, recreation and relaxation. And we all know how important and healthy balance is. There are those who will reason that homework doesn’t promote academic achievement. Others believe that homework does more harm than good. In the end one needs to define homework.

1. What is homework? Homework is a supplement to work done in the classroom on the same day.

2. Why is homework important? Homework helps to reinforce concepts, information or skills.

3. How does a student benefit from doing homework? Homework is beneficial because it stimulates the brain. It is also an intellectual discipline and it serves to instill a sense of responsibility.

Homework is not the problem. Teachers often give homework to keep children busy. They give homework to punish their students. Sometimes homework is given because time in class is not enough to do all the work assigned. There are times that children sit at home with work that has never been explained or discussed in class.

Teachers should categorize homework. Homework is important in three ways: for the purpose of

  • preparation for the next lesson;
  • practicing new skills; and
  • understanding concepts and information through additional information.

Homework should never take up too much time. Let’s take the example of ten minutes per learning area, per afternoon. For children who have fourteen learning areas, this in effect would mean that time set aside every afternoon for homework is two hours and twenty minutes. On the other hand, if children spend an hour doing mathematics homework, where would they find the time, energy or optimism to do the homework assigned for their other thirteen subjects? Official school hours differ from one country to the next. Let’s say they average between five to six hours per day. With a two hour homework schedule, children would be spending seven to eight hours per day academically.

To ease the burden, parents need to take a greater interest in what their children are doing. Communication is very important between the three parties involved: parents, children and teachers. If parents share the same concerns as their children regarding the amount of homework given, it will help the young ones to realize that there is a sense of justice.

Schools can assist children with homework policies. These policies will set the guidelines with regard to the amount and types of assigned homework. Most school policy guidelines for homework are set at a maximum of twenty to forty minutes …

College Students Success Secrets – Overcoming Adversity, Knock the T Out of Can’t

Conquer your fears, transcend your limitations, and be a college student success story by overcoming adversity and knocking the T out of can’t. Only believe and you can achieve success. Overcoming adversity may be tough, but any college student can overcome with these simple success secrets.

When I entered college and went through growing pains, I realized I was in store for some new challenges for which I had never been forewarned. My parents encouraged my academic success throughout high-school into college, but never bothered to prepare me for the rigors of college life and academics.

There is a big difference in college between knowing you “what” you need to do and knowing “how” to do it. Unfortunately many college professors (perhaps by reason of being in the trenches of academia too long) are not always so helpful in that regard. Plus it is often hard to find someone as a college student who you can relate to who also has some intelligence who can guide and counsel you.

Sadly even college counselors sometimes treat you like another problem in their caseload rather than a genuine person needing someone with a heart to talk to. That being said here are some success secrets to help any college student overcome adversity on their university campus.

1. Stay calm and cool.

When you stay calm and cool, what you need to do will more easily come to you.

Just acknowledge and recognize your present problem, after which set in your heart the intention to tackle it once you know what to do. Upon setting your intent to tackle and deal with this problem, you assuredly will eventually figure it out and take it out!

2. Listen intently, ask questions, and seek out intelligent people.

The more you listen, the more you learn. Those two ears attached to the side of your head are there for a reason. Unfortunately most people prefer to move their mouth a million miles a minute to vocalize their problem, rather than solve it.

Problem solvers however know the secret to solving problems successfully is to quietly process the problem, design a strategy to solving it, and inviting intelligent people around you to help you figure out how to tackle it.

Humbly yourself and ask questions of those around, preferably those with intelligence who can provide good advice and tell you what they would do. As you listen and gain varying perspectives, eventually intuitively it will come to you what it is you should do.

3. Don’t despise the process as you sort through the pieces.

Everybody wants to be a college student success story, but success doesn’t come overnight. You have to make the grades for four years and remain focused through the many attractive distractions throughout college.

As in obtaining a degree, wherein is required the completion of various coursework, overcoming adversity sometimes requires life work and internal home work as you sort through the pieces to your ordeal.

When my mom died prematurely due to …

What It Takes to Become A Good Chef

The art of cooking is a delicate and complex matter. When one masters the proper way how it should be done, everything else follows. Do realize that cooking is not just all about chopping and mixing ingredients in a hot boiling pot; the presentation, style and taste all matters. End results should always be exquisite. It should have a classy touch with a tinge of convincing taste to make it all memorable to the diners.

Becoming an expert chef takes time; well, everything does and since learning is the elementary factor that should be utilized for cooking, an open mind and unrelenting will have to come first. If you want to be a chef, you have to put your heart and soul to it.

As early as possible, expose yourself to anything that is related to kitchen chores. Even by simply standing by your busy Mom at the kitchen as she makes dinner, already counts as a good experience for the long travel ahead to becoming a chef. Consistency and practice are important in developing your cooking skills. Even when you think that you are not good at cooking or in any kitchen chore at all, trying your best to what you can, with all your might can make a difference.

Do not hurry up when learning. You may think that under a quick way of learning how to become a chef is more convenient. For the time being, it is; but it will not matter whether you finish first or last in studying as what is being accounted for when you are in the real world, is your output.

When you have enhanced your cooking skills, do realize that you can be good in this type of profession. And when you continue to learn new food recipes, trends and others in the culinary arts, an even secure career will open its doors for you. Just remember that learning how to become a chef is like an ongoing practical education. Trial and error situations will happen, and it should but it's an excellent way of learning and increasing your cooking knowledge. …

California Using Student Loan Defaults to Limit College Grants

The state of California is taking a page from the US Department of Education's playbook. In an effort to trim a near $ 27 billion budget deficit, lawmakers are exploring the possibility of limiting payouts from the state's Cal Grant college student financial aid program based on a school's student loan default rate.

Cal Grants are state-funded grants that provide students with awards from $ 576 to $ 11,124 a year, depending on their degree program, to help pay for college. Under the measure currently being considered by the state legislature, schools which default rate on student loans falls above a certain threshold would be barred from offering Cal Grants to their students. Square in the crosshairs of the legislative move would be for-profit colleges and universities that operate in California, many of which default rates currently exceed the proposed threshold.

Among the affected schools would be five for-profit behemoths: the University of Phoenix; DeVry University; ITT Technical Institute; Kaplan Colleges; and Corinthian Colleges, which operates Everest College, Heald College, and WyoTech.

Combined, those five school networks received more than $ 42 million in grants in the 2009-10 academic year. All five institutions currently have a default rate that exceeds the state's Student Default Rate Index, a new calculation designed to identify institutions which students routinely default on their school loans.

For-profit schools already took a potential hit in February when the California Student Aid Commission voted unanimously to reduce Cal Grant awards to for-profit colleges, should the Cal Grant program be subordinated to budget cuts. The Commission cited for-profit schools' high default rates, poor oversight, and high dropout rates as justification for yanking state funding for Cal Grants at these schools. As part of its proposal, the Commission recommended capping maximum annual Cal Grant awards for students at for-profit institutions.

Currently, students enrolled in a voluntary program at a California community college are eligible for annual Cal Grant awards of $ 576. Students enrolled in a voluntary program at a career training school or other non-community college institution – such as a for-profit school – are eligible to receive up to an additional $ 2,592 a year.

Students enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program at a private college – which includes for-profit schools – are eligible to receive up to $ 9,708 a year.

The Commission's recommendation would limit Cal Grants for students seeking voluntary certificates or two-year degrees at a for-profit college to the maximum award for first-year students enrolled in degree program of at least one year, currently $ 1,551.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree at a for-profit institution would be limited to the maximum Cal Grant award available for students pursuing a two-year or four-year degree within the California State University system, currently $ 4,884.

In its recommendations last month, the Commission had also proposed cutting Cal Grant awards at institutions with high student loan default rates – a version of the measure currently being considered by the California legislature. Under the bill in …

Computer Programming and Software Engineering Programs

Computer software engineering has become a career of choice for many people considering its dynamic nature and exciting well-paying career opportunities. It is a branch of computer science that deals with design, documentation, development and management of software. Some of the subjects that will be offered by a programming school will include internet programming, application development, database development, custom business applications and web development.

A programming school will offer basic education on how to develop a computer program that is adaptable to the peculiar needs of each user as well as a chance to do research on relevant issues that are facing this field. A software engineering research includes analysis of software processes as well as measurement and modeling of computer usage behaviors.

The study modes offered at a software engineering school involve extensive and rigorous mixture of lectures, practical classes and tutorials. Extra remedial classes can be offered to poor students to enable them catch up with their colleagues. Before conferment of the degree, diploma or certificate to the student, they have to go through thorough assessments in form of course assignments and exams. A program especially the degree would not be complete without a project whether done in a group or individually.

Computer programming courses can be offered either as associate degrees, diplomas or certificates. The higher levels will go up to the masters and PhD ranks. There is a number of software engineering schools that offer online programs which enable their students to take the course regardless of where they are located. This distance learning facility also enables people who are working but may wish to further their education to do so without necessarily quitting their jobs.

A course in a software engineering school prepares the student for a whole range of exciting career opportunities. The information technology industry is very accommodating as the graduates can get a chance to work in whichever organization that makes use of computer services. Better still a course from a good and recognized programming school will enable the student to be absorbed in the job market even without the working experience.…

Why the Charlotte Mason Method is a Good Choice For Your Homeschool Education

I heard about the Charlotte Mason method of homeschool early in my homeschool career. My daughter was in Kindergarten and several of the mothers in my homeschool group used the Charlotte Mason Method. I preferred using a standard curriculum, however, as I was new, nervous, and still afraid of ruining my daughters life!

However, about a year later, we had moved to another town. And as luck would have it, our house backed up to the local elementary school. One day as my daughter sat at the kitchen table doing her studies, I looked out at the school, and I suddenly had the thought – why exactly am I homeschooling? I knew that having her at home was way better than having her in school for a variety of reasons, but with that perspective, I decided that I wanted to do more than just give her a school-based education at home – I wanted to give her something more. Something that she couldn’t get even at the best of schools, something that only one on one time at home with me could provide – and so I started to look more into other forms of homeschooling, rather than just using a private or Christian based curriculum at home.

The Charlotte Mason method was exactly what I was looking for – using living books instead of text books, helping the kids to learn a knowledge of the subject, not just memorize a few facts, and most importantly – working to develop the child as a whole – spiritually, intellectually, creatively, and physically. I knew immediately that the Charlotte Mason method would be perfect for our homeschool.

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

The first thing you need to do is become familiar with the Charlotte Mason Method. There are plenty of books that can help, but the Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason is the best, although a long read (six volumes). You can also purchase shorter versions or notes of her series if you want the speed reading version of her philosophy.

Basically, Charlotte was a British educator who believed that education should be about more than just memorizing facts, passing an exam, training for a job, or getting into the right college. Charlotte Mason believed that education was a discipline and a way of life. The goal of an education was to find out who we were and how we fit into the world of human beings and into the universe God created.

Charlotte Mason believed (and I agree) that children are able to deal with ideas and knowledge. Children are not simply blank slates or empty sacks to be filled with information that has been pre-filtered by a middleman (teacher or textbook writer.) A Charlotte Mason education includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through living books, not text books in each school subject, and through art, music and poetry.

However, the Charlotte Mason Method is a very carefully planned out method where books are chosen for …

Allied Health Education Trends – The Changing Landscape Behind the Scenes

With more than 500,000 jobs added since the start of the recession, it's no surprise that allied health fields are foreseen to remain a key source of job growth. Jobs in inpatient and outpatient settings and nurse care facilities will be in high demand and the healthcare support industry (such as medical technicians, physician's assistants and physical therapist assistants) are slated to experience 48% growth.

Involved with the delivery of health or related services, workers in allied health care fields include a cluster of health professions encompassing as many as 200 health carers. There are 5 million allied health care providers in the United States who work in more than 80 different professions representing approximately 60% of all health care providers. Yet, that number is no match to the number of allied health care workers that are needed to meet current and future needs in America.

Highly regarded as experts in their field, allied health professions fall into two broad categories – technicians (assistants) and therapists / technologists. With education requirements and curriculum varying depending on the chosen field, academic prerequisites range from less than two years for technicians to a more intensive educational process for therapists and technologists that include acquiring procedural skills. With such explosive growth in allied health care career options and so many diverse fields from which to choose, it's no wonder students preparing for their future are seeking opportunities in allied health fields.

Yet, with more than 5 million current allied health professions in the US and more on the horizon, careful examination of the educational development and environment of emerging students identified areas of needed improvement to meet the diverse needs of this ever-changing landscape.

A New Path of Education – Trends Affecting Allied Health Education

With student enrollment in allied health education programs gaining momentum, major advances in technology coupled with shifts in education audiences, learner profiles, campus cultures, campus design and faculty development have spawned a new wave of trends that are dramatically affecting where and how allied health students learn. Understanding the dynamics of allied health trends begins by taking a brief look at a few of the societal and economic factors that have affected the educational landscape as a whole.

Economic Trends:
* With the economy in a recession, the nations' workforce is being challenged to learn new skills or explore advanced training options.
* The US Labor Department estimates that with the current economic climate, nearly 40% of the work will change jobs every year. As a result, the demand for short, accelerated educational programs is on the rise.
* With retirement being delayed until later in life, a "new age" of workers has emerged into the job market creating an older generation of students.

Societal Trends:
* Adult learners are the fastest growing segment in higher education. Approximately 42% of all students in both private and public institutions are age 25 or older.
* This highly competitive learning market allows educational institutions to specialize in meeting particular niches …

10 Reasons Adults Go Back to School

Over two million adult Americans go to school every year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. People start or return to school for many reasons. The following list is a sampling.

1) To learn more about a hobby or an interest. Do you long to play golf? Have you always wanted to learn write, knit or play the guitar? Then maybe adult education classes are for you. These classes could be offered through a university or college extension program or through a church or community center, or they may be at a place of higher education for credit. Participating in a class or two can teach you something new or how to do something with more skill than you already possess. And if you take a class for credit–say, European History to help with your genealogy project–you might find the basis of an education that leads to a second career.

2) To learn a foreign language for travel or fun. Have you always wanted to go to France or India or China, but are worried about not speaking the language? Enroll in a foreign language class so you have the basics to make your travels easier. Classes are usually categorized as “conversational”, “for travel” or by level (i.e., French I, Spanish I, etc.). Any classes will teach you the basics–such as how to say yes, no, ask for directions, inquire as to where the bathroom is, order food, etc.

3) To set a good precedent for your children. Maybe you didn’t get as much education as you wanted. Maybe you want your child to stay in school and to learn as much as possible. Sometimes the best way to lead a child is by example. If you do your homework every night, so will your child. And you can sit at the table together and use it as bonding time.

4) To get a career. Did you not have time to go to school like you wanted? You had your children at a young age, or the opportunity or finances wasn’t there and now you are thinking of what you’d like to do with your life. The thing you currently get up and go to every day is your job; you wouldn’t call it a career, but now you are ready for one. Going to school, whether a trade school, a community college or a university, can get you on track to create a career from your current occupation.

5) For career advancement. Maybe you are in a job you love but you aren’t sure what the next step is: do you want to become a manager or a specialist? Additional education can make the difference between paralegal and lawyer or between medical receptionist and medical assistant.

6) To find a new career. Were you in a job that was recently phased out? Are you still using DOS while the rest of the world is using Windows? Sometimes it isn’t your choice to go back to school, but …

How to Study for a Career in Photography

A career in photography can be a lucrative and rewarding experience and the choices are many for any budding photographers in today's modern and digital world. The photography industry covers a wide range of disciplines including:

• Digital Photography
• Photojournalism
• Editorial Photography
• Fashion Photography
• Advertising Photography
• Photographic Art
• Photojournalism
• Wildlife Photography
• Fine Art Photography

However, competition is fierce in the photography industry with only the most dedicated making a successful career for themselves. So if you are serious about this career path you need to be prepared to study hard and learn as much as possible about the art, techniques and industry as a whole.

Those choosing to study photography at an academic level will have the edge on other hopeful photographers because they gain all the basic knowledge required and also have the opportunity to network with photography professionals. An education course also enables students to try out many different forms of photography and decide what's best suited to them.

Choosing the right photography course is no easy task on its own. There is a wealth of photography courses available in the UK alone, from Foundation courses and national diplomas in photography to university degrees in photography. Some of the most widely respected universities in the UK which run photography degree courses include the University of Westminster, London College of Communication, and the Surrey Institute of Art & Design University.

Would-be photography students should have a look at the UCAS website and see which courses are available at various universities. Then look closely at the course curriculum and decide if it matches their career aspirations. There are many great universities and colleges so it's important to look closely at each in terms of location and the success rate of their graduates.

One of the major obstacles for photography students and any students today is the cost. Tuition fees have reached record levels in the UK (£ 9,000 per year in many cases) so this can deter many students from study. However there are other options, cheaper options such as online learning or distance learning.
Distance learning photography courses often come in full-time or part-time format, making it perfect for those already with jobs or sometimes with children that they need to take care of while studying.

The best known distance learning establishment is the Open University which offers a number of photography courses but there are also others who specialize in distance learning such as the Interactive Design Institute who currently offer online photography courses online.

As in any other discipline, the career prospects for photography graduations are not guaranteed in today's economic climate. However, employment prospects can be improved greatly by networking while at study, and spending time gaining work experience through established agencies or professional photographers.
Once photography students have gained the required experience along with the qualifications, they are then faced with the choice of either working within an agency or as a freelance photographer.

The Internet is …