Tag Archives: #undergraduateadult

Drop Out of High School and Suffer the Consequences

Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers rarely think about their future until the world is thrust upon them after graduation or dropping out of school because they are convinced that they can survive without that diploma.

 

Stop Right There!

stop sign

I hate to break the bubble, but someone has to do it. We no longer live in the 1950’s where cars can be fixed without being a certified mechanic, and most of the factory jobs that our grandparents had back then are all in China and Mexico. Unless you want to work at Micky D’s or Dunkin for the rest of your life, get your high school diploma.

Do you know that the questions on the GED test are not taught to most high school students, making the test harder to pass than getting that diploma from school?

But I Don’t Want a College Degree!

I know, you have no desire to go to college. You still need that diploma. There is an alternative to a complete academic education. Why don’t you pick a trade? High schools have been offering trade-school classes for years. By learning a trade and taking part in an apprenticeship, you unlock the door to a higher wage or even owning your own business.

Times Have Changed

Back in the 1980’s I never thought there would come a day when an employer wouldn’t want a long-term employee. Times have changed. The average employee in 2016, has been with their employer for no longer than five years. Between recessions, burst dot-com bubbles, and the housing crunch the job market has changed drastically. If you want to earn a living wage you need either a college degree or a trade skill certificate or license.

There is No One to Blame But You!

Don’t blame the illegal immigrants for taking all the jobs away from you. The top jobs they are applying for is farm labor and construction as indicated by the Pew Research Center, Five Facts about Illegal Immigrants. I don’t know too many American’s who will work for farm wages. Construction work, they would probably do, but if they took part in the trade school while in high school, they would be snagging a better paying job on the crew leaving the runner work for the immigrant.

Lay-offs Happen!

So what if your parents dropped out of school and were able to find jobs. That was then. If you parents haven’t been laid off in the past ten years, then they were one of the lucky ones. Invest in your future not because your parents told you to go to college. Do this for you and only you.

You Decide!

Only you can decide what you like, what you want, and where you will go after high school.

Advertisements

If We Were Having Coffee I’d Tell You About Surviving Christmas and 2016

Image courtesy of Creative Commons By: Cheryl FoongCC BY 2.0via flicker.com

How many times have I said I will start Christmas shopping in July?

 

The last-minute shopping panic is over, I’m so glad life can return to normal even though time is limited due to school work. I have one year and six months left to finish school, or three plus if I continue on to a Master’s Degree. For the past six months, I have been sticking my nose in a textbook every night, pushing myself to learn topics that I don’t really enjoy. Math was never my favorite subject, that means Finance, Accounting, and anything that requires equations including economics must be learned by use of strict discipline. Those A’s and B’s I have gotten in any of those classes were more than earned. I worked hard, very hard, for those grades.

Maybe the worst classes are almost over for the time being. – sigh –

 

What’s in store for 2017 Classes?

 

Microsoft Office 2013 – I am really looking forward to the next term, almost to the point of excitement. For the past six years, I’ve been playing with Office on my own, stumbling around the software while learning how to format eBooks and print books for publishing. Imagine what I could do if I learned to master the software?

My other class for the next term is Science I. I liked science in high school. Physics and Biology were my strengths. Chemistry falls into the same category as math, with massive distaste. Give me finance over chemistry any day.

 

Term 4 will give me a second round in Science II. Microeconomics is my other course. Hopefully, I will enjoy the business element of economics over the world element.

 

Summer I will prove to be interesting with America’s Themes and Dreams and Marketing. Maybe by the time I get to the Marketing class, I will be ready to release a new book. I have several works in progress at this stage.

 

So far, 2017 is looking to be an exciting year.

 

Summer 2 may start to shape and change my future career with Human Resource Management and Sociology. With one term left to complete to fulfill what is needed to complete an Associate Degree in Business. The rest of the year will build on my Bachelor’s Degree.

All these classes and working full time does not leave me much time for writing nor doing the things that I love doing. At the same time, I am following the dream of acquiring a degree which I have wanted to do for the past thirty years. I can only imagine where I would be today if I had started on my career earlier in life.

If it hadn’t been for Mike making that call to my high school that day to inquire about getting my transcript, I might have continued to put my education off.

 

I expect to have a Bachelor’s Degree by the time I am 55 years old. (Probably before that age).

2016 was an eventful year. It is true, when a door closes, a window of opportunity opens. You just need to learn to find those windows in the places you least expect to find them located.

 

My Take with Online Courses #Undergraduateadult


Now that I’m at the beginning of my second term of online courses I must say that I have mixed feelings about the process.

I like them!

You do have to be self-sufficient when it comes to learning. Discipline is a must. The deadlines must be met.  You are given the essential tools for survival. That would be the textbooks.

One doesn’t need to be at a complete loss. Make sure you know how to use the internet to research what you need to know, and read the textbook.

I know, you don’t like to read the book. Well, read it anyways. You won’t be sitting in class listening to your professor go on and on with a lecture. Your lecture, if you are lucky will be a PowerPoint of about ten slides. That’s it.

You will have to go online and research if you need to know more to understand your assignments or discussions.

The tests are open book. They are still hard regardless.

I also like the time I’ve saved in not having to travel across the state to sit in a classroom. It would be an hour drive one way for me. That would be two hours spent on the road when I could be reading that textbook instead.

What I don’t like…

There isn’t much I don’t like about the type of course study. I have the discipline for doing what I need to do when I need to do it. Especially, when I set my mind to doing something that I want to do passionately.

I did teach myself to self-publish, didn’t I?

When I’m done with school, there will be loads of stories to come. Which leads me to the other thing I don’t like. That would be not having enough time to write stories. I have all these new ideas popping into my head that I keep jotting down in a journal I keep at my desk. I read something in one of my textbooks, and a light comes on, jot that one down.

Seriously, if you want to return to school, then do it!

Online courses need discipline and self-sufficiency.

There are hybrid courses too. You do some of the work online and the rest in the classroom.

Or, there is old school, 100% classroom.

It’s your choice. I know I’m glad to have jumped at the opportunity when I did.

 

How Does One Pay for College? – #Undergraduateadult

Image courtesy of creative commons license By: Tax CreditsCC BY 2.0 via flickr.com

Are you thinking of going back to school?

For years I kept thinking about my missed opportunity to go to college after graduation. My friends went, their friends went, and all found professional careers.

But I never went. Instead, I settled for being a low skilled worker. I never viewed myself as a low-skilled worker until recently. All those different jobs I did over the years never added much to my skill sets. They were fundamental skills that could be applied to most anything, except to a profession.

I was happy with my basic skill set. What mattered to me was making a living. When I say making a living, I’m talking about a surviving living when one can afford to live off of the weekly pay they make. There was a time when companies would make certain that their workers could afford to live in their communities by keeping up with the cost of living increases. This isn’t happening so much anymore.

More and more businesses are balking at giving employees cost of living raises or any raises for that matter. It takes money away from their bottom line. If they dish out raises than they won’t be able to keep people on for resources.

Well for the past couple of years, it has become more and more difficult for me to continue living within my community. The cost of heating fuel has increased, the cost of health care has grown, and the cost of food has increased. But, my wages have not.

Something needs to change, I guess it has to be me. If I want to earn a better salary, then I need to have a better job. To do that, I need to improve my skills by going back to school and earning that degree.

How will you pay for your education?

When I first started looking at colleges, I didn’t know anything about financial aid. I thought one had to pay out of their own pocket for schooling since it had been years since I had applied to go to school. Financial aid packages were only for the students that were heading to college right after high school. At least that was what I thought. Had I only known…

Have you ever wondered if you could afford it?

I thought, I could take out a loan, or put my education on a credit card. But that sort of financing would only cover the cost of one or two terms. I lacked the cash or monetary funds to pay for the courses from my own pocket. Scholarships would work, but how does one get them? Especially when they have been out of school for so long?

More than likely you can afford the cost of college if you have never enrolled.

I hemmed and hawed about going back to school until my student advisor told me that it wasn’t as expensive as I thought.

How could $380 a credit not be considered expensive?

She had me apply for financial aid, otherwise known as a Pell Grant.

Pell Grants are money from the Federal Government that is used to pay for a higher education. This money is not paid back. The loans that follow that is what is paid back over time.

This money is based on your income. You submit a copy of your tax return and then the government decides how much money and what kind of money you qualify for based on your income. Then you don’t need to repay the loans until you are done with school or drop your course load below full-time status.

Had I known about this money and how easy it was to file for, I would have gone back to school sooner.

Are you still wondering if you can afford to go back to school?

 

Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa to learn how you could afford your higher education.

Can One Pick a Degree at 50+ – #UndergraduateAdult

Did you go off to college after graduating from high school?

Most times, if you are going to continue with your education, you enter college right away. What about those who had to put off their higher education for various reasons? Do they stand a chance at their degree years later? Or, is it a lost cause?

Image courtesy of creative commons by: Vernon Chan via flickr.com

Maturity Happens

High school graduates think mostly about finding a mate to pass their time away. They have their lives ahead of them, and they’re in no rush to get on with living a professional life. Once they enter college, it marks their freedom from the parental rule. It is party time, with boys and girls, social life is more important to them at this stage in life vs. that educational path to Professionalism.

Their studies suffer if they can’t give their full attention to the class work, causing many to drop out of school after their first year.

At 50+ years, life has already happened for us. Most of us now have grandchildren, while our own children should be graduating from college. We are more focused on what we want in life as we come closer to our retirement age. And yes, we have bucket lists.

What is on your bucket list?

College is one of the top items on my list. It has been for many years. I feel focused on where I want to go with my life. What I want to do and how I want to do it.

I was going to stop at an Associate degree when I first decided to go back to school last month. Now I think I want that bachelor degree after all. So what if I have 15 more years until I am at retirement age. For all I know, the government may raise the retirement age before I reach 65. I’d have to work longer in life after all, why not make a career change that would see me through the rest of my life.

I believe I will pick Bachelor of Science – Integrated Studies. Then I will be able to pick and choose what I want to learn. Whether it be Human Resources, management, accounting. Maybe a little of everything.

My Answer

Yes, you can pick a degree at 50+. You have your whole life ahead of you. One never knows when they are going to die, just make the best of things while you can. Take care of yourself, you’ve made it this far. Maybe you will be around for another 50 years anyway.

College Classroom style: Traditional, hybrid, or 100% online courses #UndergraduateAdult

Image courtesy of creative commons By: Internet Archive Book Images at Flicker.com

Do you know how much college has changed over the years?

I didn’t. I found out when I decided to enroll this past term. The last time I looked into taking classes was way back in the ‘90s. Back then there were Traditional classes during the day, classes at night for those who had a job during the day, and classes on the weekend. I hardly ever saw any mention of long distance learning.

When I began looking at returning to school this past March, I was surprised to see that there were more choices to obtaining a college degree from a reputable school. They still had the traditional classes and the night time classes, but now there were a couple of other options offered. Hybrid and 100% online courses.

What are Hybrid classes?

These classes are attended as either in a classroom setting or online. Some people need to be in a real room with others to learn. This gives the choice to take part in the classes online at the same time of seeing the teacher and other classmates. It all depends on your style of learning and whether you have the computer skill sets to learn online. It the online experience is not working out; you have the option to appear in class instead.

I picked the 100% online classes. I have no fear of computers or the internet. In fact, I prefer the online classes over the traditional setting. I can do all my school work from the comfort of my home. These classes allow you to work at your own reasonable pace. Yes, there are still deadlines for when your school work must be turned in and for when a test must be submitted.

One drawback, though – Students must learn to ask questions if they don’t understand the work. You can’t assume that the teacher will know if you don’t understand something. They can’t see that puzzled expression on your face. You’ll have to do more than raise your hand. It’s called email your teacher with your question. Don’t be afraid to ask either. Your grade counts on it.

The online courses are a bit harder. You will need to know how to use a word processor like Microsoft Office or Open Office. All your Assignments and Tests need to be submitted in doc. files. The discussion questions are online only. It is sort of like a chat/group activity. You post your answer to the topic forum by the specified day your instructor has given and then respond a reply to two other classmates before the week is up. My weeks run from Monday to Sunday.

Maybe it is because I am older than most college students, but I find the 100% online classes appeal to me.

College Choices – How Difficult Can They Be? #UndergraduateAdult

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Powell via Flicker.com creative commons license

I was the one who didn’t go to college right out of high school. I did my college searches while in my junior and senior year, but I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. Picking the college was complicated. My parents didn’t want to spend oodles of money on my education, they wanted me to go to a state school. I wanted to follow the pack. I think our disagreement over which school I wanted to go to caused me to decline my continued education. My indecision scared me. It was easier to go out and find a job.
30+ years later, I find it is easier to pick a college than to find a job. How ironic, the way life has a turnabout when you least expect it.

How I picked my college after all these years

First, I needed to know what I wanted to learn. I’ve had a career for all these years. I’ve even changed careers several times. It wasn’t a matter of what I wanted to do with my life. Things change when you get older. A bucket list appears sometime around your 40th year. There are experiences you want before you won’t have a chance to do them. Maybe travel and see the world. Meet some Hollywood stars. Sail a boat in a harbor. Fly a plane just once. So, when I began to think about going back to school, I didn’t ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up. I’m already a grown-up. What do I want to learn was the question I asked instead?
I began watching the college catalogs that came in the mail. I would look at the courses offered each time, in search of classes of interest to me. These catalogs were mostly of community colleges. I would see a few courses, but nothing that really excited me.
I looked at other colleges as well. Thinking maybe I needed a school that had more to offer, say Southern NH University. They had their courses that interested me, but the school was too far away. I didn’t want to travel. Then I came across the website for my final choice.
I don’t know if I fell in love with their website? Or, maybe it was the fact that they had degree programs aimed at Undergraduate Adults. I had to check it out. These courses were all online. Huh… Before I knew it I was clicking the link to find out more. By the next day, a student advisor was emailing me back and forth and explaining how easy it would be for me to go back to school after all these years. I had thought that when I couldn’t make my decision after high school, it was a missed opportunity.
My advisor is great! She talked me through the process of getting my high school transcript, applying for financial aid, and registering for classes. I was so excited when my first day came.
It’s been a lot of work; I have a minimum of two years to go. I think maybe four if I go on to a bachelor program afterward. Though at two classes a term it might be a six-year plan. But think of all the subjects I will be learning in the coming years.
This is something a teenager wouldn’t understand until they hit their 50th year.