online learning three ways to succeed

Online Learning: Three Ways to Succeed

online learning three ways to succeedWhen thinking about  online learning versus traditional learning, many people get caught up with some misconceptions that have been spread throughout the years. Some also feel that it might be too much for them. However, we’ve got three sure-fire ways to succeed in online learning.

  • Get to know some technology basics: Most potential students think you need to be a computer whiz in order to take an online class, but that simply is not the case. However, there are some basics that students should familiarize themselves with if they decide to go the online route. For example, an online student should learn how to send an email and create a document using a word processor (Such as in Word or Open Office.)
  • Create a study schedule: Despite what some people might say, online classes are not watered down versions of traditional classes. This means that just as much time and effort (sometimes even more) is needed to succeed. This can be difficult for those who are not used to managing their time very well. What students can do in order to keep from falling behind on their work is to set up a study schedule and adhere to it. Yes, lives are unpredictable, but it is important to try and get back to the schedule as soon as possible.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help: One of the biggest misconceptions of online learning is that the student is all alone and does not have anyone to turn to. But there is a teacher running the course, and they would be more than happy to assist you should any problems or questions arise. They may be available through email, discussion boards, or even by synchronous chat; it all depends on the tools that were made available in the course.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us.

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why to study in northern virginia

Benefits of Studying in Northern Virginia

why to study in northern virginiaThere are many things to consider when choosing a college: academic programs, reputation, job placement, and of course, location. Our Virginia campus provides an ideal setting for students looking to make the most out of their college experience, both in and out of the classroom. Here are just a few advantages of choosing a university in Northern Virginia:

1. Proximity to Washington, D.C.

Home to many businesses, non-profits, and, of course, political organizations, Washington boasts countless opportunities for students of all educational backgrounds, from internships to valuable networking opportunities. Students can also take advantage of D.C.’s cultural heritage and exciting nightlife. Our Virginia campus offers easy access to our nation’s capital, which is approximately 15 miles away.

2. Serenity of Northern Virginia

Despite being so close to Washington, our Virginia campus is actually located in the quiet, bucolic town of Vienna. Away from the hustle of the city, our location provides the perfect setting to focus on one’s studies, while enjoying all the natural beauty of Northern Virginia.

3. History

Northern Virginia is a hub of American history. The region is host to many historic Civil War battlefields, such as the site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run in Manassas. A short drive away from our campus is one of our nation’s most important and solemn sites, Arlington National Cemetery. Proximity to D.C. also means easy access to some of the most important sites, monuments, and documents of the United States. Being surrounded by so much history, you can’t help but feel like you’re part of something bigger and greater than yourself.

These are just a few reasons why you should consider studying in Northern Virginia. This region has so much to offer. All it’s missing is you. Please contact us to find out more about our programs and to take the first step toward a brighter future.

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managing time effectively part 2

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

managing time effectively part 2Time management is an essential college skill; especially if you’re trying to put yourself through school while working a part-time job, managing a dating relationship, etc. With your future on the line, there is little room for mistakes!

Thankfully, there are a number of tools out there to help you with managing your time effectively. Here are some of the most effective options for you to consider:

1) The Pomodoro Technique

Developed by Francesco Cirillo, this time management technique combines periods of highly focused work with scheduled breaks. Using a timer (a traditional kitchen timer works great!) you work on a project for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. After about four 25/5 cycles, you take a longer break between 15-30 minutes – whatever you need to feel recharged. To find out more about this technique, check out the Pomodoro website: http://pomodorotechnique.com/

2) The Getting Things Done Technique

Also known as GTD, this time-management technique was developed by David Allen and has helped a large number of people successfully attend to their busy lives with stress-free productivity. It’s essentially based off of 5 principles:

  • Capture: Collect what has your attention
  • Clarify: Process what it means
  • Organize: Put it where it belongs
  • Reflect: Review frequently
  • Engage: Simply do

If this technique sounds like it would be helpful for you to explore, see David Allen’s website for more information: http://gettingthingsdone.com/

3) 18 Minutes

A little less involved productivity plan would be Peter Bregman’s “18 Minute” time management technique. Here’s the jist of it:

  • In the morning, take five minutes to sit down and think about everything you need to do to have a productive day.
  • Every hour, for one minute, take an opportunity to reflect on the productivity of the last hour.
  • In the evening, take five minutes to sit down and think back over the day. As yourself if you successfully accomplished all that you had planned on in the morning.

You can find out more about the “18 Minute” time-management technique by reading Peter Bregman’s book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get The Right Things Done. 

Your education matters, so make the most of it! These time-management techniques will not only help you be more efficient with your schoolwork, but they also have the added benefit of giving you a mental break. You can actually relax with friends without worrying about whether or not you’ve accomplished enough during the day. By using one of these techniques, you know that you’ve worked to your highest capacity and you can treat yourself to a night out.

Contact us today for more information about University of the Potomac and learn how you can put these time-management skills to good use by enrolling in one of our degree programs.

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information technology

Exploring the World of Information Technology

information technologyWhen you choose the path to higher education, you can concentrate on a wide variety of topics that interest you. One concentration that has gained popularity in the last decade is information technology. With an information technology degree, you will learn about computer information systems and networks. This degree can lead to a number of jobs in the IT industry.

What You Will Learn

When you study through an information technology degree program, you will learn everything you need to know about various computer networks and systems. Although learning how to use existing systems is an important part of your education, you will also learn much more including designing and developing new IT systems. Students of information technology also learn how to install and implement these systems on a variety of different platforms.

Possible Careers

Once you have completed your degree program, it will be time to put your education to use. There are a number of career paths you can take with a degree in information technology. Some of these careers include It specialist, network engineer, systems administrator or network developer. If you prefer a more exciting job, you can also work in forensics analysis and research, finding things within networks that may be impossible to find without your knowledge of information systems.

Continuing Education

Since information technology is a field that is constantly changing, continuing education courses will always be a part of your career. With continuing education courses and seminars, you will be able to learn about the latest IT issues, systems and new technologies emerging in the industry. Some employers may also require a certain number of continuing education hours per year.

If you are interested in learning more about information technology degree programs, contact us. We can help you learn more about this type of degree and what you can do with it in your professional life.

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skills you need

Get Ahead at Work By Improving Your Image

skills you needMany of our college students work in addition to choosing us to further their education.  The image other people see of you at work is based on your image.  The image you portray will grant you a promotion or hold you back.  If you want to change your professional image, start with the following.  You can always contact us for more information.

Body Language

It’s a challenge to improve unspoken language.  You are used to doing certain movements, sitting a certain way or using editing software to make photos presentable on social media.  Your body language at home or with friends will not work in the workforce.  These people don’t know you like your family and friends do.  Hunching forward, crossing your arms and bowing your head when someone is speaking presents a bad message.  Sitting straight, giving eye contact and arms away from the body are good impressions.  Facial expressions need tweaking also.  Don’t frown your face.  Remain relaxed and poised.

Attire

Office and legal jobs need to wear crisp and clean suits or button shirts and dress pants/skirts.  Uniforms or jobs that require certain colors may not need to pick clothes, but the clothes chosen must be clean.  Creative jobs are more lax, so focus on what’s in your closet to determine what pieces present a professional vibe.  Jeans and a t-shirt isn’t professional at any job.  It’s best to talk to your boss about the dress code.

Face / Hairstyle

The way you present yourself above the neck is just as important as the clothes.  Brush your teeth and wash your face.  Clean, comb and style your hair.  Remove body piercings and wash out highlighted hair.

Punctual

Being on time, every time is always a good impression.  Never keep someone waiting.  Make it a habit to be on time by being on time for health appointments, meetings, parties and graduation so it won’t become a chore.  In addition, never be the first to leave.  Ask participants questions about the discussion.  Help them clean up.

In person or on skype, first impressions always count.  Skills you need in 21st century isn’t enough if your image doesn’t match.

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online versus traditional learning

Online learning versus traditional learning: Is there a difference in outcomes?

online versus traditional learningThough advances in technology have made online learning more prolific, there are still those who criticize this mode of delivery as inferior to the traditional classroom. While the obvious differences have been looked at time and time again, many students can achieve the same success in an online setting. Some even do better than those in traditional classes.

According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, a study done in 2012 by Ithaka S+R found that there was little difference in the learning outcomes of students who took the same course online as opposed to those that took it in a traditional setting. The study monitored 605 college students who took the same Introductory to Statistics course at six different public universities. The students were split up into two groups: the group that completed the course in a traditional classroom, while the other students were in a hybrid course. The hybrid course included an hour of in-class instruction.

After a series of tests were completed, the researchers found that the hybrid students performed “slightly better than the students in the traditional format on outcomes, including the final exam scores and overall pass rates.” The report also acknowledges that the findings were not statistically significant between the groups, and that it did not take into account teacher quality.

Basically, what the online learning versus traditional learning  debate boils down to is this: whether the course is taken online or in person, the success of the course is determined by how engaged the students are. For online classes, that means a well-designed class with activities and discussions that allow students to interact with the material and apply it to the world around them. That helps keep students engaged and leads to them to a greater chance of success, even without having walls around the.

If you want more information about online learning, feel free to contact us.

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tips-for-students-on-budget

Tips For Students on a Budget

tips-for-students-on-budgetLiving on a budget is a part of college life.  You spend money on what you believe is important and cut back on what isn’t.  As you live by semester you will begin to understand what’s important and what isn’t.  Surviving college is about learning a new career and learning about you but don’t forget about saving for college and learning how to spend money wisely.

Write It Down

Write down everything you spend money or credit on – extracurricular activities, leisures, entertainment, food, clothing and other necessities.   Write down the various sources of receiving money (i.e., job, parents, student loans, etc).  Write down fixed purchases like car bills, cable, phone, tuition, room/board or rent/utilities, credit cards and insurance.  Categorize them into expenses and income.  The goal is to have more income in your pocket than money spent or break even.  If it doesn’t balance, cut out necessities that’s not needed or find a new avenue for income.

Set a Timeframe

It’s easier if you decide how long the budget will be.  Set a budget to last per week, per month, per semester or per year.  You will know how much to spend per timeframe and you can control yourself if you are tempted to go over budget.

Look for Deals & Discounts

In order to save you must be creative and flexible.  If you have to spend extra for a must-have, find it for a good price.  Textbooks are a prime example.  Instead of buying new books at the bookstore purchase used books or eBooks instead.  Go to thrift or second hand stores to buy dishes, dressers, and more.  Go to dollar stores for school and dorm supplies.  Look online for company coupon codes to use at checkout while you’re shopping online.  Reuse items as something else.

Emergencies

We hate to think of a worst-case scenario but life happens to everyone.  The unexpected happens to our loved ones and us.  Have money saved up in case of car repairs, medical emergencies and sudden travel expenses.

Big-Ticket Items

Sometimes spending a lot of money is a great investment.  An example is money for a new apartment or a spring break trip.  Cut back on expenses further so you’ll have so much income you can afford to purchase that investment.  If you do that, you won’t go over budget.  If you must borrow money make sure the amount is as low as possible so it’s easy to pay back.

Take small leaps toward saving and you will save.  Adjust the budget to spend more or less until you find your groove.  Saving money wasn’t a class taught in school; it’s something you must learn on your own.  Test those limitations to find the boundaries.  Contact us for more information.

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advisor-meeting-admission-tips

3 Admissions Tips for Transfer Students

advisor-meeting-admission-tipsSwitching schools after you’ve already started college can be a tricky undertaking if you are not prepared. By transferring schools, you run the risk of losing financial aid, having to spend more time in school, and not having a program that matches your experience. Save yourself a lot of unnecessary headache by following these 3 easy tips.

1. Keep a printed copy of your transcript

Yes, you will most likely send a transcript to your new school when you are applying, that is almost guaranteed. However, there are countless reasons why you should have your own copy, too. When the time comes to choose classes, your transcript may be the difference between repeating an English class and getting the class you actually want.

2. Ask about scholarships for transfer students

Many schools only offer scholarships for incoming freshman or continuing students. If you are transferring, you may not qualify for those scholarships. Before you decide to transfer, search for scholarships offered by private institutions in addition to the school. Also, ask the school if they have any transfer scholarships that you can be considered for.Transferring is hard, but transferring and then finding out that you cannot afford to attend is harder. Doing a little research ahead of time will make the process easier.

3. Meet with an advisor

A college course can be significantly different than the one you are currently taking, even if it has the same name. Because of this, it is important to meet with your potential school ahead of time, to make sure that the classes you took will fit in the degree program they are offering. Not doing this could result in having to repeat classes that are not ‘exactly’ the same. If you believe that the course is the same, bring a copy of the course syllabus to the advisor and request credit for the course.

Transfer students can have it rough, but our generous transfer policy makes it easy. Prior to applying you can confirm the courses you took match our programs, research scholarship options, and review the transfer policies. We want to make it easier for you, even if you still need to keep a copy of your transcript. Contact us or visit our transfer students page to find out more information about how you can finish your degree with University of the Potomac.

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saving for college

Ways to Reduce Debt

saving for collegeAs college students, we are penny pinching our way through college.  As loans and costs rise, our goal is to leave with little or no debt.  There are some ways to reduce college costs.  Be sure to contact us for more information about ways to save.

Scholarships:  It won’t hurt to put some effort into scholarships.  The chances are slim that you will receive one but the chance of winning free money to pay for tuition is worth the time.  Follow the rules and deadlines and you have a huge chance of winning one.

Family savings: College savings accounts, your personal savings and checking accounts, and your parents’ income can slash the bill down a bit.  Paying out of pocket hurts the wallet because you see the money leaving.  However, it’s a small sacrifice to pay when you see the tuition bill decease.

Federal over private: If you need a loan, a federal loan is much more affordable than private ones.  Private loans have their own rules and rates to follow, and the law has no control over any changes or additions.  A federal loan cannot make too many demands as the law permits it.  It’s too risky to take on a private loan when a student loan from the government is a safer bet.

In-state tuition: In state tuition is very inexpensive.  This is what college students need to aim for when applying to out-of-state colleges.  Paying out-of-state costs is like paying for private college.  Whether it through residency, border state rates or academic exchange programs, you will save money no matter where you go.  At the University of the Potomac, we offer one flat rate for USA students, another one for military students, one for international students and one for online international students.

Community college: Going to a two-year college before transferring to a four year is a money-saving option.  Take basic courses at a low cost and then transfer to focus on your major.  It’s never a good idea to take courses only to lose them in transfer.  Look at the academic catalog of the four-year college of choice for the list of courses you need so it seamlessly transfers.

Employment: Working during college will trim down many of the costs.  While it’s best to work at a job in your major, any job will do.  You will have a great work ethic and business connections lined up for future business opportunities.  An alternative is an internship; unlike a job, it only lasts for a semester.

Live at Home: The thought of living with your parents while you crave freedom is torture.  However, if you can tolerate it four to six more years you will graduate with less money owed.  Dorm rooms and off campus housing is expensive.  On top of that, you must pay for food, rent, utilities and transportation.  Additional costs are avoidable when you live with parents while driving to and from college.

Four Years: It’s impossible to do if you’re switching majors but graduating in four years is the best solution.  A fifth or six year is another year of unnecessary tuition paid to the college.  You can add more classes per semester and go to school in the summer to get out of college faster than six years.

Saving for college is never easy.  We know to eat food in the cafeteria and chow down on Ramen noodles, but there’s nothing wrong with cutting extra corners.

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international students

UOTP Offers Exciting Opportunities for International Students

international studentsLooking to study abroad in the United States? More specifically, are you looking to earn a degree in what many argue is the most culturally diverse, vibrant, and exciting areas in the entire U.S. for international students to go to school?

Then look no further. The University if Potomac offers many excellent opportunities for international students (aside from being located in Washington DC, the nation’s capital!).

Here are just a few:

Faculty with International Experience

Many universities offer multi-cultural learning, but few can actually offer that same learning from faculty who have experience with international students. Nearly a quarter to be exact. Many of our professors come straight from Washington D.C., and have had careers at the local and international levels (World Bank, Peace Corps, DC government, and so on).

Smaller Class Sizes

Depending on where you go to school, class size varies greatly. In a large class, students have the tendency to get lost, confused, and have a great chance of misunderstanding the material. However, a smaller class size is perfect for providing individual attention, which helps to bolster a student’s learning.

Broad Range of Degree Programs

Because we are an accredited university, we offer degree programs from all levels. Including Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degrees. You can earn any one of these degrees from our many campuses located around northern Virginia. For more on each individual degree, visit our Degrees and Academics page to see what degree to suits your needs.

Experience American Culture

Because of our location, we are located near many, large metropolitan cities. Including Atlantic City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Visit any one of these major cities with just a $20 bus pass and a weekend. How much more cool can you get than that?

Learning Beyond a Degree

For students that plan to pursue a long-term career goal here in the US, our location also comes with many perks for jobs and internships. We are just a hop, skip, and jump away from Capitol Hill, every consulate and embassy in the world, and a host of international organizations. DC has it all.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your enrollment, your admissions, and all of your housing and tuition options. We provide knowledge for the global community.

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