Save the date for these upcoming events!

by South University 29 August 2014

Don’t miss out on the full student experience at South University! Sign up for one of our upcoming September library workshops, webinars and other informative online events. Want to learn what’s going on with the Student Community? Interested in the library resources available to you? Not sure how to use Connections?

After you review the list of events below, get more information and register using the events calendar in the Campus Common.

Library Workshops – 9/2/14-9/22/14

The South University Online Library is hosting a series of workshops designed to teach you about library resources that relate to your area of study.

• Business students: 9/2/14
• Information technology students: 9/8/14
• Legal studies students: 9/15/14
• Psychology Students: 9/22/14

How to Perform College Level Research – 9/29/14

In this workshop hosted by the South University Online Library, attendees will learn to create research questions, conduct background research, form thesis statements, and identify keywords.

Supreme Court Criminal Law Case Review – 9/11/14

This is a continuation of the Supreme Court series. This webinar concerns the Riley v. California, Plumhoff v. Rickard, Martinez v. Illinois, and Kaley v. U.S. All of these cases are recent United States Supreme Court cases related to criminal law. The Riley case addressed whether a cell phone be routinely searched incident to arrest. The Plumhoff case addressed whether using deadly force to end a dangerous, high speed pursuit, is Constitutional. The Martinez case addressed whether the swearing in of the jury signals the start of a trial, triggering the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Kaley case addressed whether a federal grand jury indictment also supports the seizure of assets connected to the crime.

How to Access & Navigate Connections – 9/19/14

If you’ve never used Connections, or it’s been awhile and you’re curious about what’s new, please join us for this informational webinar! In this session, you’ll learn:

• What Connections can do for you
• How to set up your profile
• How to join organizations
• How to set up your own lounge

Student Activities Night – 9/24/14

Attendees will learn:

• What the Student Community department is
• Which honor societies and organizations are available to online students
• What the benefits of membership are
• How to apply to student organizations

10 Tips for Keeping Your Computer Safe

by South University 26 August 2014

With so many of our daily tasks increasingly reliant on internet access, we should all be more vigilant about protecting our online identities and our computers. Here are a few handy tips to help you stay safe.

Computer security

1. Shut down your computer when you're not around or away for extended periods of time. Alternately, you can also lock your system and then enter a password when you're back.

2. Resist the temptation of leaving email and social networking sites signed in. This is asking for trouble, especially when using shared computers, public and university cyber cafes. Clearing cache and cookies after each browsing session is also recommended.

3. Install a robust anti-virus and anti-malware software with a real-time scanner that will promptly detect and deal with unwanted intrusions. This is a must if you forget to run a manual scan. While downloading attachments via email or connecting a USB, always run the scan.

4. If you frequent torrent sites to download music, TV series and films, you are more likely to be vulnerable to hackers. These sites are also a smooth passage for malicious malware such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses to make their way in. You can read up on how to recognize fake torrents created by scammers and P2P file sharers, but, honestly, it’s probably best to avoid these sites altogether.

5. As a student, you may often access the Internet through Wifi from cafes or other public places. Regardless of whether it is a password-protected or public, shared network, switch on your firewall as it will block hostile connection attempts. Ensure that your email browsers have an https and not just an http connection. Better still, just use Wifi for general browsing!

6. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in this case, clicking on attractive-looking links will do the trick just fine. Free software, fake download buttons, fake security alerts, political propaganda and so on are frequently loaded with spyware, malware and phishing scams -- easy ways to lure unwary students.

7. Never repeat your password across accounts, and avoid setting your birthday, last name, or easily accessible information as your password (yes, we know it’s easier to remember). Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a secure password that even your friends won't be able to guess.

8. As most of your projects and documents are saved online, consider using a cloud computing tool that invisibly backs up your files and folders in case of a hardware crash. Follow the necessary steps required to safeguard your data in the cloud.

9. The physical security of your laptop is just as important as everything else, so never leave it unattended in public. If you have one, secure it with a steel cable lock or install a laptop security and tracking software. In case it is stolen, contact the authorities and set about changing the passwords to personal accounts and banking information. Identity theft is a real threat, as the thief now has your personal files, documents, photos and other sensitive data.

10. And finally, educate yourself and read up regularly on cyber protection. Remember that hackers are constantly finding ways to beat the system, so don't get too cozy with what you already know. Sharing knowledge is doubling power, so go on and spread the word!

How to Handle Criticism at Work

by South University 21 August 2014

Do the words professional criticism make you shake? If so, you're not alone — a 2011 survey found that up to 31 percent of respondents have been told more than once that they don't take criticism well. Like it or not, criticism at work is a fact of life, and armed with the right skills, you can turn a moment of criticism into one that builds your career. The next time you're criticized at work, use these four tips:

Miscommunication image1. Remember that it's not about you. Professional criticism is just that: professional. When faced with criticism, take a deep breath and remain calm. Don't make excuses, go on the defensive, or indulge in knee-jerk reactions, Instead, remind yourself that the boss or colleague making the critique is likely doing so not in response to who you are as a person, but in an effort to improve your performance at work. When you approach a critique with an open mind and a thick skin, you open yourself up to a conversation instead of a barrage of one-sided criticism.

2. Listen carefully. Before responding to professional criticism, listen closely to the person giving it. Your listening prowess will let the person giving the critique know that you care — and you may just learn something along the way. In fact, up to 85 percent of what we learn is learned through listening.

3. Ask follow-up questions. Get the most out of your critique session by asking follow-up questions. For example, if your boss says she's unhappy with your reporting skills, ask what she expects from an excellent report. Follow-up questions like these are a great training opportunity. Don't be shy — the right questions can help you turn a general critique into a specific career builder.

4. Take advantage. Even a silly-sounding criticism can contain a world of opportunity. Think about it: It's a chance to demonstrate a sense of professionalism by remaining cool in the face of criticism and show off your listening skills. In addition, follow-up questions and any follow-through actions are opportunities to showcase your prowess as a communicator and as a skilled worker to your superiors.

Ultimately, handling criticism at work is a vital business skill. Build it up over time, and you'll become a stronger professional. In fact, embracing workplace criticism and transforming it into meaningful action is one of the marks of a business leader. So square your shoulders, take a deep breath and take criticism as it comes. It just may help boost your career.

The True Value of a Bachelor's Degree

by South University 14 August 2014

Wondering whether it's worth it to earn a bachelor's degree? The answer is an emphatic YES -- and the reasons may surprise you. Read on and discover 4 reasons to consider completing your bachelor's degree instead of settling for an associate's degree or high school diploma.

Graduation Cap imageYou'll up your earning potential

The age-old rumors about a bachelor's degree upping your earning potential are true. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a person with a bachelor's degree will earn almost 1.5 times as much per week as someone with an associate's degree, and 1.7 times as much as someone who has only earned a high school diploma. Simply put, a bachelor's pays off over time.

You'll have a better chance of finding work

Sure, a bachelor's will help you earn more, but did you know it will also help you find work? The most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 1.6 more earners with associate's degrees are unemployed in the current market. When you enter the workforce with a bachelor's, you enter with a leg up.

It will open career doors

Have you ever taken a look at entry-level job listings? Most companies won't consider applicants who don't have bachelor's degrees. More and more, a bachelor's degree is perceived as an entry-level degree necessary to take your career to the next level. Make sure you're ready to enter the fray with the right degree.

You can be proud of your degree

Here's something you can't put a value on -- the feeling of true pride when you see your name on that degree. A bachelor's degree is a symbol of the hard work and effort you've put into your education. When you earn your baccalaureate degree, you're taking part in a tradition that's existed since the Middle Ages. Your degree is evidence of your commitment to learning. Earning a degree shows just how much you value education.

Whether you get a degree for its career impact, because you long to continue your education past a high school diploma or associate's degree, or just because you're passionate about learning, remember: a bachelor's degree is something worth striving for and a real educational achievement.

Request information to find out how to get started on your bachelor's degree at South University, Online Programs.

How to Choose the Right Graduate Program for You

by South University 12 August 2014

Now that you’ve decided you want to attend grad school, you’re faced with a very important decision ─ what to study? While you may be tempted to just choose the area in which you earned your undergraduate degree, that isn’t always best option. Instead, look at the big picture of your career and make a decision based on what you hope to get out of your grad school experience.

BookBelow are three common goals of graduate students. Understanding where you fit in can help you determine what program is the best choice for you!

Goal – Enhance your current career.

You’re already working in an area you enjoy, but want to gain the additional skills and knowledge needed to advance your career. Many high-level positions require a master’s degree to be considered for the job and, even if it’s not a necessity, having one can give you a competitive advantage. In this case, pursing a master’s degree in your current field may be your best option, as it will pick up precisely where your undergraduate studies left off. For example, if you’re currently employed in public service, obtaining a master’s degree in public administration is the perfect way to expand your current skillset.

Goal – Move to a related field, or work in a new way in the same field.

You want to earn a graduate degree because you strongly believe gaining knowledge in another field will complement the expertise you already have. Often times obtaining a graduate degree in an area that’s new to you is the best way to develop your skills. Combining knowledge from different programs allows you to broaden your perspective and become a more well-rounded professional. While this may be out of your comfort zone, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge yourself in new ways and emerge from the program as an extremely competitive candidate. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, earning an MBA could help you apply your knowledge of psychology to understanding how organizations and the individuals within them operate.

Goal – Enter a new career.

You want to make a change and you’re ready for an entirely different career path. Go for it! Pursuing a master’s degree can help you gain the necessary skills and experience to excel in a new field. Taking the initiative to head back to school for an advanced degree also shows employers that you’re dedicated to succeeding in your new endeavor. You’ll learn to blend the skills you’ve already acquired through years in the workforce with those necessary to start this exciting new chapter in your life. For example, if you’ve been working as a teacher, pursuing a master's degree in public health can allow you to put the skills you already have to work to bring positive changes to many people.

To learn about the graduate programs offered at South University, Online Programs, request information today!