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  • Earn Your Degree While Working Full-Time

    Deciding to go back to school and earning your degree can be one of the most rewarding decisions that you can make. However, it can sometimes be easier said than done, especially if you’re working full-time, raising a family or both. How do you manage your time and meet deadlines with work projects as well as course assignments?


    Because of your busy schedule with work and family commitments, you may find it difficult to attend classes, which can delay earning your degree even more.  An option to help adult learners is completing college credit by examination, more commonly known as “testing out” of class. Over 3,800 colleges and universities, both traditional and non-traditional, allow some college credit to be earned through credit by examination.


    The three most widely accepted credit by examination tests are CLEP (College Board), DSST (formerly known as DANTES Subject Standardized Test) and ECE (Excelsior College). When completing college credit by examination, you can earn your degree faster at your own pace while focusing on your work and family commitments.


    iStudySmart.com offers over 60 study courses in business, nursing, humanities, natural science and social science to help you complete college credit and pass these exams. Courses are affordable and special discounts are available for adult learners. Please click here for more details.


    For more information about how iStudySmart.com can help you complete college credit, visit our website  and check out the course options.

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  • National Education Alliance Assists Students to Complete College Credit Without Ever Attending a School or a Classroom

    President Barack Obama “proposed a plan to address college completion and strengthen the higher education pipeline to ensure that more students succeed and complete their degree.”*  With this in mind, the National Education Alliance launched its new Career Counseling Center.


    The online counseling center can assist students find colleges that accept prior credits toward their chosen degree. It will also provide students the opportunity to find out which schools will allow them to participate in a credit by examination program.


    In addition to launching the Career Counseling Center, the National Education Alliance has partnered with Rue Education and iStudySmart.com.  Both companies provide in-depth study materials to help adult learners receive full undergraduate college credits through credit by examination. In order to receive the credits, students must pass a subject-matter exam that is comparable to the final or end-of-course exam offered in a traditional college classroom setting.


    Examinations must be approved subject exams, such as:

    ·         College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    ·         DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST)

    ·         Excelsior College Exam (ECE)


    Rue Education and iStudySmart.com provide study material for CLEP, DSST and ECE exams and both companies include a money back guarantee.  iStudySmart.com is the only organization endorsed by DSST.


    CLEP exams are the most widely known credit by examination program in the nation, with more than 2,900 accredited colleges and universities awarding credits for passing these exams. Almost 2,000 colleges and universities honor college credit for passing scores on DSST exams. The ECE exam, formerly known as the ACT Proficiency Examination Program (ACT/PEP), is accepted for college credits by over 900 colleges and universities. The ECE exam is used to meet specific requirements for Excelsior College degrees.


    CLEP, DSST and ECE exams allow adult learners to receive from three to six college credits from a single exam, depending on the exam and the policies of the chosen college or university.


    There are a number of resources available to prepare for these exams. The DSST Official Test Preparation Guide provides an overview of the material for students who feel comfortable with the subject matter.


    In February of 2009 President Barack Obama was quoted as saying, "By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world."*  The National Education Alliance hopes to carry out this goal by assisting adult learners complete college credit and earn their undergraduate degrees.



    National Education Alliance

    Shara Wright, President, 800-230-7565 x1400

    Cell: 817-205-1641, Fax: 866-295-1448




    *Source: WhiteHouse.gov

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  • Online Learning Reaches Beyond the Traditional Classroom

    How often do you use the internet? Think of the different ways you log into the fast-paced, virtual realm. Whether you're checking your email, reading up on the latest news story, or comparing the benefits of an iPhone to a Blackberry, the internet offers a vast amount of information at your fingertips.

    One of the internet's most intriguing characteristics is its global convenience. No matter where you are or what time zone you're in, the internet allows access to its information network at anytime. This is especially appealing to the online student who seeks to receive education outside the traditional classroom setting.

    Online education removes the geographic limitations and boundaries of brick-and-mortar buildings and allows students from all over the world to learn. Those in the military, for example, are able to earn a degree while serving their country.

    Military.com talks about the benefits of online education, mentioning "thousands of duty standing, single parents, and even deployed members earn their college degrees each year using online education."

    The e-learning world allows students the opportunity to access academic support from all experience levels and geographic locations. Through message boards, discussion forums, and online chats, e-learners are exposed to diverse perspectives from both faculty members and their fellow students across the world.

    Online education provides the opportunity to connect with others globally with convenience and ease. If you're considering e-learning, don't think you will "lose" anything from stepping away from the traditional classroom. Think of what you'll gain and how online education can best benefit you.

    Source: Military.com, The Online Option.


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  • The Future of Education

    What will education look like in the future? It's interesting to think about the evolution of education. How far it has come, the doors it can open. Think about it: anyone can get an education if they put forth the effort. The improvements to education have changed us, and changed the world in which we live. In the year 2010 we are utilizing the web in education more than ever before. What will education look like in 20 years, 30? It's hard to imagine.

    I found this great video at futurelab.org. Here's what they said about the video: "This video looks at ideas drawn in the main research commissioned under the Beyond Current Horizons program, which considers the future of education in the light of social and technological change over the next two decades. The video aims to inspire education leaders to think differently about the future of education and to consider the challenges and possibilities for 21st century schools."

    Education is, and will always be, the key to our future.

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  • Giving Distance Education Learning the Third Degree

    By John F. Ebersole, President of Excelsior College


    1.  Is the offering institution regionally accredited?
    Unlike other parts of the world, regional accreditation is the highest form of institutional accreditation in the U.S. It provides a type of quality assurance necessary for most tuition assistance programs, the transferability of credits earned, and the ultimate recognition of any degree awarded. Go to www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accreditation_pg7.html for information regarding accreditation.

    2.  What is the success rate for students who enter the program?
    Do students who enroll finish? High drop out rates often indicate a poorly designed, or delivery, program.

    3.  Will the offering institution allow you to sample a course before making a financial commitment?
    While a growing number of students around the world are pursuing entire degree programs online, the experience is not for everyone. See if it is right for you before making a final decision.

    4.  What support services exist to help ensure your success? Can you register and order books online? Access tutors or advisors?
    The uniform accreditation standards for distance educational programs, as adopted by the six regional U.S. accrediting bodies, require that those student services typically found on a campus also be available online. This includes library access, financial aid counseling, registration services, etc.

    5.  Can you truly study "anytime" and "anyplace" to complete the program being considered?
    Most distance programs allow for asynchronous study (student and faculty interact through online posting at different times) but some may require all students in a course to be online at the same time. Some institutions also require that some time be spent on campus. Such expectations should be understood up front.

    6.  Will the institution that you are considering provide you with contact information of graduates?
    While a positive testimonial is not a guarantee, even a short conversation may provide valuable insight into the quality of the program.

    7.  What about the faculty?
    While a concern for faculty mix is not unique to online learning, it can help in your evaluation of "fit." Adult students typically report that they are most satisfied with programs, regardless of discipline, which feature a blend of academics, who can provide a theoretical foundation, and practitioners, who can speak to their application.

    8.  What financial aid options are available?
    Reputable distance education providers typically offer a variety of financial aid programs, as well as qualifying for employer-provided tuition assistance. If your program does not qualify for Title IV Financial Aid Programs, find out why.

    9.  How long has the institution been offering education at a distance?
    While historic performance is not a guarantee of future quality or success, it is a factor to be considered.

    10.  What is the reputation of the offering institution? Is the college/university widely known?
    Unfortunately, there are many bogus "institutions," which advertise online and in print, with names that are similar to those of legitimate colleges and universities. Such operations are not accredited, though they may claim otherwise. Do your homework.

    Used by permission from the author

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