associate's degree

associate’s degree

19 Arizona High School Students Will Graduate College Before Finishing High School

Graduation paraphernaliaWhen I was in high school, I took a few AP classes in order to earn some college credit. Some of my friends took a few college classes at the local community college. When we graduated high school, we had already earned enough credit to be considered second-semester college freshmen, and we thought we were ahead of the curve. Turns out, when compared to 19 high school students in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, we were way behind.

This year, 19 seniors at Lake Havasu High School will graduate high school will also earning their associate’s degrees. These students all took a test during their sophomore year of high school which allowed them to take dual enrollment classes during their junior and senior years of high school.

“We’ve all had to adapt to teaching ourselves how to study because things have come so easy to us before; so now our teachers expect us to help teach ourselves,” said Savanna Bailey, a senior at the school. “I’ve had a couple of anxiety attacks, but it’s all worth it whenever you really do learn more. You have to bring every single thick textbook home with you and you look, obviously like the nerdiest one in the school carrying all of your books.”

Looking nerdy seems like a small price to pay for two-years worth of free college credit, if you ask me. So how do these students make it through the insane amounts of homework and stress they must encounter while studying for both high school and college classes?

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Hispanics in Florida are Setting the New Higher Education Trend

For several years now, President Obama has been stressing the importance of higher education levels for all Americans. In order to be internationally competitive – which is becoming more and more important in today’s age – we have to have more people pursuing a college-level education. But where can this trend start? How do we convince parents who did not earn a higher education to encourage their children to further their studies? The answer could be the largest growing minority group in the U.S.: Hispanics.

Hispanics are expected to create the vast majority of our nation’s population growth between now and 2050. Currently, Hispanics comprise a little more than 20 percent of pre-kindergarten students through high school seniors. These students have not been known for pursuing a higher education in the past; in fact, for years they have had lower college graduation rates than the general population.

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Obama Makes Community Colleges a Budget Priority

president obamaBy now it’s completely clear that President Obama makes education a high priority. Right along with jobs. So it should come as no surprise that Obama has proposed a plan that could benefit both of those efforts. His proposal is for the feds to spend $12 billion during the next 10 years in community colleges, focusing on:

  • Modernizing community college facilities
  • Increasing quality online courses, including making those free to the public
  • Improving program completion rate

Colleges most interested in “trying something new,” according to James Kvaal, the president’s special assistant for economic policy, will get the bulk of the money. About $9 billion has been marked for “encouraging two-year colleges to experiment with strategies to create and improve programs that prepare students for good jobs,” according to an article at USA Today. Read the rest of this entry »



The Easiest Colleges to Get Into

college admissionsSome schools have more of an open door policy than others. The Ivy League, private schools or some of the more elite and respected universities in the country will be the hardest colleges to get into. Most state schools, while no pushovers, make a college education more accessible. State colleges and universities by all means have standards, rich traditions and reputations that should be upheld. Otherwise, how much is that piece of paper really worth?

There are those, however, that are more accessible and less selective. Some of these include:

Weber State University – 100 percent acceptance

University of Texas San Antonio – 99 percent acceptance

University of Texas El Paso – 99 percent acceptance Read the rest of this entry »



The Pros and Cons of Attending Community College before University

photo by Andrew Flavin

photo by Andrew Flavin

As a junior in my high school days, I knew I wanted a less traditional path into the intimidating world of college. Unlike many of my friends, I opted out of the cold Northeast and applied only to schools located in the warm California sunshine. But upon receipt of my first semester out-of-state tuition bill from University of California Santa Barbara, I chose to begin my college journey at Santa Barbara City College instead, making life a bit easier on my family’s pocketbook, and then to transfer to a four-year school. Choosing whether to attend community college or a university right out of high school is an option worth considering.

Here are some pros and cons: Read the rest of this entry »



Hybrid High School / Community College Opening in Brooklyn

Students attending Brooklyn’s new City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (opening Fall 2009) will graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree. It’s a progressive approach to high school education that New York City schools chancellor Joel I. Klein says is “long overdue.” mayor bloomberg and joel klein

The school is offering a five-year secondary education with its curriculum based on career and technical education with advanced courses like computer systems and architectural technology being taught at the New York City College of Technology.

City Polytechnic students will be able to start taking college-level classes during their third year, followed by attending classes in person at the College of Technology. This approach is the first of its kind, allowing students to take professional studies like construction management and IT, and will no doubt promote higher graduation rates, a simpler assimilation to college and a higher rate of college attendance and graduation.

Learn more at New York Times.



Hot Jobs That Only Require a Two-Year Degree

Think that a two-year degree from a community college or technical college won’t lead to a profitable career? This isn’t true at all. In fact, some Associate’s degrees can lead to careers with generous salaries, along with smaller levels of student loan debt that many four-year graduates will envy.

According to Yahoo! Hotjobs, here are ten well-paying jobs that only require two-year degrees:

1. Physical therapist assistant
2. Web designer
3. Electrical or electronic engineering technician
4. Nursing
5. Computer support specialist
6. Executive or administrative assistant
7. Dental hygienist
8. Surveying or mapping technician
9. Veterinary technician
10. Camera operator



Associate Degrees Can Offer a Great Return on Your Investment

Associate degrees can be much more valuable than many people realize!  According to Yahoo! Education, here are the five college degrees that offer the best financial return–that is, the highest financial rewards for the least amount of money.  Note that #4 and #5 on the list are associate degrees.

  1. Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  2. Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering
  3. Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing
  4. Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies
  5. Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology

nurseYou’re probably not surprised by the MBA, but did you know that associate degrees in paralegal studies and IT can really pay off–especially considering how little you’ll pay to earn these degrees?  Experienced professionals with these two year degrees average over $60,000 a year, and can potentially earn quite a bit more.  This is great news for students with these interests who aren’t crazy about the thought of going to school for years, and who want to get into the workplace now.  Two year degrees can really pay off.

So why isn’t the two year degree in nursing on the list?  If you’re interested in nursing, keep in mind that the four year nursing degree–which is #3 on this list–has really become the standard in the nursing field.  Two year degrees haven’t lost all their value, though– especially because you can get an associates degree in nursing, work for awhile, and then go back to finish a four year degree.

Of course, some associate degrees are more valuable than others, so if you’re interested in or attending a community college, talk to an advisor about the financial prospects of majors that interest you.  But don’t think that a four year degree is absolutely necessary to make yourself valuable in the marketplace.





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