Facebook and its Social Impact

by South University 12 January 2012

If you don't have a Facebook account, you're probably in the minority. In the past few years, thanks to social networks like Facebook, we’re able to cast a wider social net than ever before.

It used to be that once a person graduated from high school, they’d have to make an effort to keep track of fellow classmates via letters and phone calls. Now, we can connect with those old friends and quickly and easily share photos and news with them. Excited to announce your engagement or the birth of your first child? All you need to do is log in to Facebook to get the word out to your extended network of connections.

Of course, there are some that argue that while Facebook makes it easier to keep in touch, the connections are often superficial. In a recent New York Times article entitled “The Facebook Resisters,” several individuals who are not Facebook members are profiled. One remarked that they found that because of Facebook, they rarely called their friends to speak on the phone anymore. Another recounted an odd situation in which he was in an elevator with a friend of a friend, and, thanks to Facebook, he already knew everything about her, despite the fact that the two had never spoken to each other.

While the Facebook naysayers may be in the minority today, they certainly have some fair points. As we build our social connections, what purpose do they serve for us? Do we really feel connected to our “friends”? If someone sends you a friend request, what determines whether or not you’ll accept it?

In the case of the online student, Facebook can be an invaluable resource. It allows you to connect with fellow classmates from all over the country, share experiences, and provide each other with support. Social networking, whether via Facebook or some other medium, can provide a wonderful supplement to a student’s online learning experience.

While Facebook and other social networks are deeply ingrained in our everyday lives, most of us can remember a time when that wasn’t the case. How have our interactions with those we consider close to us evolved since those days? Provided that we are mindful of how we interact with one another online, we can find that our lives are actually enriched by the ease with which we are able to connect with each other today.

Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing: Part Six

by South University 9 January 2012

Welcome to part 6 of Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing. Today, we’re looking at more ways to save on your education.

How else can you save for your education- think about it! The possibilities are endless and you are in control!

Complete your degree in a timely manner

  • The longer to complete your degree, the more cost you will incur. Successful completion of your classes is important. Every time you fail a course, you will need to pay additional to re-take it.
  • Set a goal to complete your degree with your academic counselor.
  • Use your timeline to stay on track and complete on time.

Have good study skills

  • Don’t let social and financial commitments divert you from your degree goals.
  • Speak to your academic advisor or instructor about coping with stresses of going to college.

There is a direct correlation between student borrowing and success, so this is as important as the lessons you learn in the classroom. Students that find alternate means for funding their education tend to graduate sooner; they place themselves in better positions for other “lifestyle” loans; and in the end, they graduate with less student debt.

So, as you embark on your educational venture, take the time to discuss your options with your Admissions Representative and your Finance Counselor, but do not stop there. Ask your employer, your friends and family; search the web and apply for all grants and scholarships.

Though this can be time consuming, every effort you make will be paid back in large dividends! That monthly payment towards your education, the hours you spend applying for grants and scholarships and the extra time you take to complete each class with the best grade is your investment in you!

We hope that our series on Responsible Borrowing has been helpful and informative. Congratulations on your decision to make a brighter future for yourself and good luck!

South University Online Programs Graduate is Georgia's First Candidate to Pass the Inaugural Paralegal Core Competency Examination

by South University 6 January 2012

In June of 2011, Ellen Wright, a graduate of the Partially Online Paralegal Studies program through South University Online Programs and Director of Operations-LaGrange Division, RGP Attorney Services, LLC, took the inaugural Paralegal Core Competency Examination as part of a group of 188 nationally. She became the only candidate who took the test from the State of Georgia who passed, and earned the distinction of being able to use the title of Core Registered Paralegal.

Mrs. Wright has been working with RGP Attorney Services since March 2011 and is responsible for services on the south side of Atlanta. She holds permanent appointments in the superior courts in the Coweta Circuit, is a notary public, as well as having a solid background and knowledge of healthcare in addition to her paralegal training.

The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA), one of the two nationally recognized groups that paralegals and legal assistants participate in for continuing education and certification as well as other member benefits, has recently inaugurated an examination for the purpose of assuring hiring employers that a basic level of education and skill levels has been reached by the participant. This is intended to roughly approximate 1-2 years of working experience.

The PCCE will be given on a regular basis and some paralegal programs have indicated that they will be using it as a third-party means of verifying that their students have achieved a level of competency readying them for the workplace. Information regarding preparation for the exam, fee, and application can be found at www.paralegals.org.

NFPA is a non-profit professional organization representing more than 10,000 paralegals and is headquartered in Edmonds, WA. NFPA’s core purpose is the advancement of the paralegal profession. NFPA promotes a global presence for the paralegal profession and leadership in the legal community.

Holiday Survival Tips for South University Online Programs Students

by South University 5 January 2012

While the holiday season can be quite enjoyable, the chaos can also bring on a great deal of stress. We asked South University Online Programs students on our Facebook page how they balance their schoolwork with the festivities. This is what some of them had to say:

  • I work from Saturday through Thursday so I make sure I have my assignments done before the due date and still have extra time to shop and spend quality time with my family. – Chuck
  • Most of the time I have my assignments done before they are due and if I have one that needs to be done, I am up late the night before getting it completed. My wife and I got all our shopping done early this year and the stuff is all wrapped. –Jeremy
  • I am like the others; I get my assignments done early, at least a day before the deadline. That way I can just relax and enjoy the holidays. Most of the time when I am not doing my schoolwork I am spending time with my nephews, sister, and her fiancé. She works, and when she’s not her fiancé watches and the kids and she and I will go out and do the shopping, then we balance the holidays between families. – Lindsey
  • I make sure to keep my focus on the reason for the season. I take snapshots of all lectures and assignments like I do every other week and save to a Word document. Then, I work on assignments ahead of time so I can have plenty of time for family, friends and shopping. –Teresa

On behalf of everyone at South University Online Programs, we hope you enjoyed the holiday season.

Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing: Part Five

by South University 3 January 2012

Welcome to part 5 of Your Guide to Responsible Borrowing. Today, we’re looking at ways to take control of your future.

When we last left off, we were discussing how to how you can maximize the benefit of an education while minimizing your long term debt. Here are some more tips:

Borrow only what you need

Do not borrow more than you need and always look at student loans as your last resort for funding.

  • Can you cover some expenses with a part-time job?
  • Have you researched and applied for grants and scholarships?
  • Do not take stipends, as these are usually generated by loan monies that must be paid back.

Reduce School Costs

  • Cut down expenses while you are in school. Remember you are investing in your future, so to skip that once a week movie or that daily cup of coffee at Starbucks is well worth it when you consider the impact it will have on your future.
  • Little things like cooking meals at home versus eating out, carpooling or using public transportation can cut your monthly household expenses and give you the means to insure that you can make a comfortable monthly contribution to your education.
  • If you have to buy books, get creative! Though most of your books are available in your classroom, there may come a time when you have to buy a book. New textbooks can be hundreds of dollars each, so finding used books, renting or sharing books is a great way to put money back in your pocket.