Posts tagged with "higher education"

College Student illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Independence University Closure and Investigation

By: Emily Bunn × Heather Reibsamen

In the wake of the weekend, Independence University is suddenly closing, causing panic and confusion for its student body and the federal government. Still, as of Wednesday morning, the University’s website hasn’t been updated to publicly broadcast the closing. Independence University’s website’s owner, The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, has not been updated either. The Center for Excellence in Higher Education owns three other colleges that are also in the process of closing. Now, the university looks to push its students to new colleges, raising suspicion about the reason for the closure.

Independence University is chiefly focusing on relocating its student body to Miami International University of Art & Design or Georgia’s South University. Students additionally have the option of stopping their schooling and requesting a return of their federal student loans. However, upon looking into the transfer plans, the Education Department said that Independence University’s “students are being pressured to transfer,” and that the arrangement is “unusual.” Students are worried about credit transfer, falling behind in classes, and the impact of relocation.

One Independence University student – who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Web Design and Development program, Dianne Eveler, expressed frustration about the scandal:

“The most I can say about these tragic findings is this.  Finding only a few days before you are expected to graduate was disheartening.  Also, the terrifying item was to see the hard work you put into place disappear in a moment with no warning, no idea this was happening.

For the most part, the College lacks empathy because many of the faculty were given very little notice or lost their job that day. We have no support in who to contact, or in my case, am I getting my degree.

The truth be told, I went into my Student Portal before I lost access and saw my credits of 180 go to zero, and a new graduation date appear. I’m so scared I lost my degree. I was working so hard to get a perfect 4.0 to have that work lost.  I have learned a valuable lesson, do more research in a college, and never ever do an online learning program again.”

Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that Independence University has been federally scrutinized. The Federal Student Aid chief operation officer, Richard Cordray, commented that the university chose to shut down to avoid the findings of the earlier examination. In 2020, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education has been discovered to be in connection to fraud by the Colorado Government. Independence University had then been placed on a monitoring list and had government restrictions placed on the college’s receival of taxpayer money. Due to the impending pressure on students to transfer, federal employees warranted that a more in-depth investigating is required regarding the university’s reason for shutting down.

The accreditor for Independence University reports that it’s approval of the college had ended in April, as the school failed to maintain acceptable graduation and employment rates among students. This end of accreditation also resulted in the loss of federal money to the University.

In a statement to USA Today, Cordray explained, “We have already emailed students to help them understand they do not have to be rushed into accepting a transfer to another school of CEHE’s choosing.” In spite of the college’s sudden closure, the Federal Student Aid chief operation officer cautions students to not make any hasty decisions. Under President Biden’s administration, the Education Department is “more willing to exercise its regulatory oversight” reports USA Today.

As uprooted students scrabble to find answers, they’ve had to resort to asking their fellow peers, college administration, and the U.S. Department of Education. Heather Reibsamen, who had been working to get her Bachelor of Science in the college’s Graphic Design program, explained how the tragic situation unfolded for her:

“The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Since the announcement that the school was closing, students have scrambled to figure out what their options were. We were sent a form with a few choices: transfer to a “teach-out” school or lose everything we have worked for, to put it bluntly. Initially, I thought everything would work out since I only had a few credits left until I graduate. However, I was met with disappointment and more unknowns. The “approved” teach-out school is Miami International University of Art & Design. I attended the meetings I was told to attend and was unfortunately met with the news that this school does not teach in my state. I was told I needed to find my own college to transfer to and would potentially have to pay out of pocket due to my student loans being tied up with Independence University. Many students were faced with this. Many students are not able to graduate on time because of this.

No one was prepared. No one was warned. We scrambled to get our last assignments in hoping they would count towards the credits we had been working on. There are students that were supposed to graduate last Sunday, however, they have been met with uncertainty. No one knows if the credits we have worked so hard to complete will transfer over. There are employees that have been employed through IU for years that were let go at just a moment’s notice.

I immediately began the search for a school that was accredited and not-for-profit. I reached out to Southern New Hampshire University to see what options I would have if I transferred to their school. I was greeted with understanding and encouragement. Many colleges are learning about the dilemma with Independence University and are seeing the wrongdoings towards the students and staff. SNHU has been every bit of encouraging and supportive during this transition. I consider myself one of the lucky ones so far. I found a school that is regionally accredited and is geared towards the success of the students. I am hopeful for a smooth transition.

Independence University has left the students and staff in complete confusion, and we are all struggling to make sense of it all. We have hope that everything will work out and fear of what still may come.”

Finally, on Wednesday, the college’s closure was announced to students via email. This delayed response highlights how a University can operate in complete disarray, with its students completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes scandal.

Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Becoming a Programmer: Possibilities & the First Steps to Take

Contemporary tendencies, as well as the crisis, are forcing many specialists and even students to change jobs or even completely alter their professions. You have to learn new skills and gain new knowledge. In this case, the profession of a programmer can be an excellent choice. It’s profitable and highly demanded nowadays. In this article, we will try to focus on how to begin a career as a programmer from scratch.

You should start your path to a career as a programmer by answering the questions, “Do I need programming at all? Will I be able to withstand all the difficulties of the profession?” These questions do not apply to those who study or studied in a specialty close to programming. If you were better at math than in the humanities at school, if you like spending a lot of time in front of your PC, if you want to learn something new, then programming is the field suitable for you.

Where to Start

There are several options for the development of events, as a result of which a person is destined to become a programmer:

  • The first one is the parents-programmers who taught their children. These kids don’t even need to go to university. 
  • The second option is the fashionable profession of a programmer that attracts a school graduate. After school, a young person chooses a major related to the programming field. 
  • The next option is a hobby that has grown into work.

If none of the above is about you, then you have a choice of four options:

  1. Self-education. This option can be used both independently and in conjunction with other methods. The Internet is full of sites, books, and applications that help you learn various programming languages and technologies. Even though it is the hardest path for beginners, it is not worth giving up at the very beginning. If you are a student, even in a programming field, and hesitate if you can find enough time for self-education, make use of the professional programminggeeks services that will help with too complicated tasks. Meanwhile, you will be able to concentrate on the relevant topics and aspects.
  2. Higher education. If you graduate from high school and want to be a programmer, then go to college and choose a major related to the field. But don’t forget about the necessity and importance of self-education as well. The choice of a college should be approached with high responsibility. Study the programs carefully and choose a college that meets your expectations for the future profession.
  3. Mentor. It is beneficial if you manage to find someone who will agree to help you and direct you. This person will suggest suitable books and resources, review your code, and provide helpful advice. You can look for a mentor among familiar programmers, at IT parties and conferences, on online forums, and so on. The most crucial is not to be too shy. Ask an IT specialist you are fond of, and quite probably, you will get a positive response.
  4. Specialized practical courses. Try looking for courses near your place of residence where you will be taught a programming language or technology. Select courses attentively. The best option is to find a course that provides a possibility of employment after graduation.

Final Say

As you can see, almost everyone who would like to become a programmer has got plenty of opportunities. If it is your dream, select one of the above options and start implementing your dream into reality.

Chaos Ignites Agility Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chaos Ignites Agility

2020 exposed the collapse of standardization. We are rapidly moving away from an era defined by outdated standards that held people to conformity and limited their creativity—to today’s new era of personalization that honors one’s individual contributions and embraces fresh ideas and ideals,” said Glenn Llopis, president of GLLG, a leadership and business strategy consulting firm that authored a new report available today: CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY (download full report).

CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY captures the most intimate and disruptive insights from 46 executives across healthcare, corporate, and education. These leaders came together virtually for three days last October to share how they are working to restore individual dignity in how they serve patients, customers, employees, and students to thrive in a post-pandemic reality.

Themes emerged across the sectors, as doctors, professors, executives, deans, and presidents got real about how they have been adapting throughout the challenges and unpredictability of 2020. They collectively zeroed in on these major challenges and opportunities:

  • How to put patients, employees, and students at the center – to activate individual capacity.
  • How to lead through industry transformation when there’s so much uncertainty.
  • How to pursue and employ inclusion as a growth strategy going forward.

This riveting video tells the story.

Organizations represented in CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY include:

Healthcare:

  • CVS Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Anthem, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Woman’s Hospital, Lenovo Health, Keck Medicine of USC, City of Hope Cancer Medical Center, and American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Corporate:

  • Starbucks, Microsoft, Twitter, ViacomCBS, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Cost Plus World Market, Chico’s FAS, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, Farmers Insurance, H&R Block, Lyft, and Banfield Pet Hospital

Higher Education:

  • Clemson University, College of Business, Google, USC Marshall School of Business, Drake University, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Fairfield University, Lynchburg, College of Business, University of Washington, Bothell, University of South Florida, College of Business, California State University, Stanislaus, and Metropolitan Community College

Learn more at Age of Personalization.

DREAMer of the Day

TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.

Today’s DREAMer of the Day is Axel Galeas of California’s De Anza College:

“My American Dream, I have come to realize, involves much more than new clothes, iPhones, and materialistic things.

At De Anza College, I want to pursue a degree in either bioengineering or environmental engineering. After graduation, I hope to obtain a creative job that helps tackle climate change and helps shine light on the lack of funding that it is receiving. I want to become financially stable; I want to be able to travel and teach and learn everything there is to learn. I also want to become a United States citizen. While it still feels so crazy to me that a piece of paper determines citizenship, I want to fully participate in this, the country I now call home. I want to better my home, and a piece of paper could stand in the way of that.

Growing up and going to school as an immigrant wasn’t easy; I remember being in the first grade, right after arriving in this country, and beginning to learn English. It was all so foreign to me, having lived in Honduras my whole life. It felt strange even knowing there were other languages other than Spanish and realizing that Spanish was just one of many languages spoken across the world. Beyond learning the language, I remember struggling with the price comparison of items and clothes I had compared to my peers.

In high school, I became almost obsessed with luxury and clothes.  Every student seemed to be dressed their best and to have the most expensive things. I wanted these things and I’d envy them. This persisted for the first couple years of high school until I attended a life changing leadership symposium. This experience forced me to truly dig deep and re-evaluate my values and beliefs. Since then, even though I am still adjusting and confronting many challenges in life, I have become more self-aware and less focused on chasing material highs and competing with anyone on this level. I have adapted a mindset that focuses more on being mindful of the people around me as well as myself and my feelings as a person, in other words I’ve become more proficient in emotional intelligence.

I do have to remind myself of this sometimes and also of how far I’ve come living here. I need to stop, take a deep breath, appreciate everything I have, and continue with this headspace.  I would be living a completely different life had I stayed in Honduras – a life with significantly less opportunity. A life where many grow up to be murderers and drug dealers. I look back on myself as a freshman in high school, sitting in my English class where the majority of the class was Caucasian. I was one of two non-white students, out of the thirty students in my class. This made me feel inferior, looked down on, and, at times, discriminated against. Some of it was in my head, while some of it was also evident in the way I was treated in respect to my peers by my peers.

Then, during my senior year, I was in an AP Literature class with that same teacher who taught that freshman year English class. We built a strong connection throughout my high school years, and he witnessed me mature and grow into a secure, self-loving man.  He saw firsthand that I no longer felt intimidated by my classmates and that I took initiative in conversation in the classroom. It felt like a lot had come full circle for me in a short period of time, and it makes me proud to reflect on this growth.

As high school neared its end, I had no idea how I was going to pay for college, better yet how I’d survive in the real world while being undocumented. I knew that I would somehow, even if that meant taking out loans. I didn’t realize this would be nearly impossible to finance, but I made up my mind that I would be college educated. When I learned about TheDream.US scholarship from one of my teachers, I was amazed at the amount that this offered and the extent to which this could help fund my college dreams. After putting effort into my studies, I realized that I had been surviving the real world all along, only now it has been formerly addressed as an issue.

I am a DACA student, one out of the 800,000 in this country who are just as lost as I am. Who struggle with self-identification, and have to constantly look over their shoulder. Because we do not trust easy. We want the best for this country and the people in it. I am American, and a piece of paper does not define me. Being American is the epitome of culture. We are culturally driven, so why are we not embracing these aspiring, beautiful, young American Immigrants?

I truly believe the most important experience for a human being is to have the ability to learn. Educational learning as well as keeping a growth mindset are catalysts to bridging the gap between cultures. This way, we can understand each other better. I never want to stop learning, and one day I will never want to stop teaching.”

TheDream.US, which has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC, believes that all young people, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, gain an education, and fully participate in the country that they call home. To date, the organization has committed more than $103 million in scholarship money for DREAMers.

Read through a story bank of TheDream.US Scholars here  

Find out more about TheDream.US here

Take original title or chose a different one.

Example: DREAMer of the Day

Proof read text:

– Take out initial date and place.

o Example:

▪ ORIGINAL: Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.

▪ AMENDED: – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.