How to Stay Connected & Get the Most Out of Your Online Classes

by South University 15 March 2014

Online courses are a great way to get an education without having to worry about physically being in class. Whether your decision to take online classes is based on distance, time constraints or simply convenience, online courses can help you increase your knowledge and prepare you to further your career.

Online LearningThe key to getting the most out of online learning is to get involved and become a part of your school’s online community. Online students often are more motivated when they feel connected to their fellow online learners. Forming positive connections with your peers will help you be more interested in interacting with other students and faculty, more determined to try your best, and more excited to show up for class each day.

Get to Know Your Fellow Online Student Peers

Just because you’re not sitting in rows of desks around each other doesn’t mean there aren’t the same opportunities for community building. Here are some tips to help you connect:

• Make a point to introduce yourself to other students in your online learning course.
• Get to know other online students on a personal level or even become friends.
• Actively participate in both required and optional class discussions.
• Ask if other online students live in your area and want to start an in-person study group.
• Interact with other students using social media--whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is up to you!

Have School Spirit

Online learning allows people all over the world to join together under the common interest of education. Having a diverse online student body makes online schools an exciting and unique learning experience, so take pride in where you learn!

• Familiarize yourself with your school’s website.
• Follow and interact with your school’s social media.
• Learn about your school’s history, values, and mission.
• Wear your school’s colors.
• Get involved in any activities or organizations associated with your school.

Spread the Word

As an online student, you are on an exciting educational journey. Share your story with friends and family to help them understand what you are gaining from online learning. Talking about your online education will also help you feel like an informed, active, and connected member of your online community.

By sharing your experience, you are reinforcing your connection with your online community and maybe even convincing your family and friends to join you in your journey!

4 Reasons to Study Healthcare Management

by South University 6 March 2014

Healthcare management is an attractive industry for people who desire to make a positive difference in the world and who wish to find secure employment in today's economy. If you're on the fence about pursuing this career, consider some of these reasons to see why a career in healthcare management could be the right choice for you.

1. Numerous Ways You Can Make a Difference

Healthcare Manager

If you care about people and want to help them live better lives, healthcare management is for you. There are an infinite number of ways you can positively influence people's lives as a member of a healthcare management team.

Social workers, psychologists and doctors all work directly with individuals in mental or physical pain, helping them to heal and implement positive changes in their lives. However, healthcare executives and hospital administrators can make a difference by making decisions that empower their employees and their organization to assist even more people.

2. Vast Job Opportunities

Healthcare executives and other members of health care management teams have a wide variety of potential jobs. In addition to working in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, these people may work in pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, consulting firms and other related organizations. The demand for these positions also appears to be growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 23% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average (14%) for all occupations.” [1] Finally, healthcare executives don’t have to stay with the first position they take, as much room for career advancement exists in this industry.

3. Prestige

Healthcare executives play an important role in our communities. People know that healthcare professionals help change lives—and in many cases even save lives—so they respect those individuals for what they do and are honored to have them as members of their communities.

4. Earnings Potential

Healthcare executives and others in healthcare management can potentially bring home large annual salaries. In 2012, the BLS reported the median annual wage for medical and health services managers as $88,580. However, salaries vary depending on the employee’s education level, prior experience, responsibilities and the size of their organization. Some professionals in healthcare management or administration careers earn upwards of $150,000 per year. [1]

References: [1] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

Your Feedback Can Make a Difference

by South University 4 March 2014

At South University, Online Programs, our faculty and staff work every day to support our students’ academic success. As a vital part of our community, your opinions and feedback are critical for enabling us to continue improving our support and your experience as a student.

Watch the Video!

Watch the video to learn more!

To gather your opinions, we launched the annual Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL) in the Campus Common on February 24, 2014. This survey will remain open until March 24, 2014, and is designed to measure your satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

Your feedback will be used to better shape and enhance the online experience for our students. As an outcome of past surveys, we’ve implemented many changes, including the following:

• Increased clarity on assignment rubrics for discussion questions in the classroom
• Expanded the availability of tutoring and academic support
• Improved timeliness of faculty feedback and student interactions
• Launched a mobile Campus Common website and app for easier on the go access

We appreciate your time in helping us to improve the quality of your own educational experience as well as the experience of the many students who will come after you! To take your survey, access the Campus Common and click the yellow “Complete your survey today” button directly above the My Classes Dashboard. Your feedback will be completely anonymous.

Thank you again for helping us to serve you better!

3 Strategies for Setting & Achieving Your Goals

by South University 26 February 2014

Earning your degree as a busy adult can no doubt be challenging and it can be easy to lose sight of the finish line and what exactly you're working so hard to achieve. To keep yourself focused and your eye on graduation, you need to set clear, specific and measurable goals.

setting SMART goals1. Write Out Specific Goals

Regularly writing out your goals is an important part of your success and your career. Whether it be monthly or weekly, practice goal-setting by creating a list of realistic, attainable goals and placing it somewhere you'll be able to easily see everyday.

When writing your goals, be as specific as possible. Don't write goals like "Get good grades." Write exactly what grade you plan to get in each of your classes. Your grades should only be one part of your goal planning. Think about what you hope to learn, research or accomplish. Make sure to create goals that emphasize specific things that you hope to attain.

2. Ensure Your Goals can be Measured

The best goals are not only specific, but also measurable. Goals like getting a specific grade are very measurable; you simply have to check whether you are getting the grade you want to get. Learning goals, networking goals and other goals that are not tied to something tangible may be more difficult to measure. You can figure out the measurability by tying goal to achieving specific results within a set period of time. For example, you can measure whether, in the last month, you learned two new research techniques or made two new connections with colleagues in your field.

To make sure you can measure a goal, describe what the completed goal will look like. What will be different once you've achieved the goal? What, exactly, will you have accomplished? When will you have accomplished it by? Writing this out will not only give you additional insight and clarity, but can excite you about your goal.

3. Read Your Goals Daily

It's important to read your goals at least once a day. By reading your goals daily, you accomplish a few things.

• You keep your goals at the front of your mind. It's too easy to get distracted and engage in behavior that is counterproductive to your goals. If you keep your goals in plain sight, you won't be able to forget what you meant to do.

• You can make sure you are achieving your goals. By reading your goals daily, you automatically check whether you are progressing towards them. If you are not progressing adequately, you can evaluate why and change your behavior and priorities as needed.

• You keep yourself excited and motivated to achieve.

If you set realistic, specific and measurable goals in education and your career, you'll be prepared to accomplish more and build the life you want for yourself!

An Invitation to Join Our Student Veterans of America Chapter

by Student 18 February 2014

Greetings to my fellow veterans and students! My name is Raymond Carter, and I am the President of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) Chapter at South University. I'm writing to tell you about the importance of this club and why you should consider joining.

FlagThe SVA is designed to support active military personnel and veterans as well as their families and surrounding communities. We are a registered chapter of the national Student Veterans of America, and if you are interested in becoming a member, we would love to have you.

Together, we strive to:

• Serve the community - especially active military personnel, veterans and their families - through volunteering and fundraising events.

• Advocate for and raise awareness to the general public about issues important to active military personnel, veterans and their families.

• Provide information to veterans about their benefits as well as related governmental policies and procedures.

• Help veterans find other support groups outside South University.

• Provide a place for active military, veterans, and military dependent students at South University to meet and support each other.

From 1981-1987, I spent six years in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Field Artillery Cannoneer and served one tour of duty in a hot zone in Germany close to the border during the Cold War. My specialty was a Pan-Tel Operator on an M-110 Howitzer. Currently I am a Certified Paralegal (CPA) and now am pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies, and I'd like to get know the rest of you at South University.

This organization is our chance to support and help one another to achieve our goals in school. Check out our Organization in Connections and join us. I look forward to meeting each of you!

Raymond Carter
Chapter President of Student Veterans of America
South University, Online Program