Author discusses his book, 'The Chicago Guide to College Science Teaching' - Inside Higher Ed

Terry McGlynn is constantly promoting better teaching of science in American colleges and universities. A professor of biology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and author of the blog Small Pond Science , he believes that good teaching is essential at every kind of college. But to achieve that, he thinks some of the incentives of American higher education (think of what generates raises at research universities) need to change. He's put his ideas together in a book, The Chicago Guide to College Science Teaching (University of Chicago Press). McGlynn answered questions about his book via email. Q: What are the major flaws of science teaching at colleges in the U.S.? A: A lot of us have never been trained how to teach. Doesn’t it seem fundamentally absurd that graduate students and faculty all over the country are teaching science without even having taken a single course in science teaching? We jump through an absurd number of hoops to become college faculty, ye

10 Best Online Liberal Arts Degree In 2020 • Benzinga - Benzinga

10 Best Online Liberal Arts Degree In 2020 • Benzinga - Benzinga

10 Best Online Liberal Arts Degree In 2020 • Benzinga - Benzinga

Posted: 15 Apr 2020 01:04 PM PDT

Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.

If you want a degree that meets the educational requirements for enticing job opportunities, an online liberal arts degree may be a good fit. You can take engaging courses on subjects you're interested in. 

When you're ready to get started, Benzinga is here to help you find the right fit.  

Why Choose an Online Liberal Arts Degree?

An online liberal arts degree gives you the skills and expertise to thrive in many fields. You'll hone your analytical, communication, critical thinking, decision making, interpersonal, problem-solving and reasoning skills.

This degree program also gives you the flexibility to complete courses that are most intriguing to you. If you know which field you want to enter when you graduate, it's best to specialize your degree if the college or university offers that option. This allows you to gain specialized knowledge that will serve you well in your role.  

Liberal arts students also earn competitive salaries in many rewarding roles. Graduates work in design, information technology, journalism, programming, publishing and a host of other industries. If you grow bored in your current role, you have the flexibility to change directions and pursue a role in a different sector. 

Find an Online University

How to Choose an Online Liberal Arts Degree

You want to select a degree program from an accredited college or university. But that's not the only factor you should consider as you evaluate your options. Be mindful of the following: 


How is the program structured? Can you access course material 24/7 or at set times? Are video lectures available for viewing at any time? These are just a few of the characteristics you should look for in an online liberal arts degree program.

You also want a program that allows transfer credits if you were previously enrolled at a college or university. This is a major plus because you can earn your degree in record time and save money on tuition and fees. 

Offers Concentrations

Liberal arts degree programs lend a ton of flexibility to students with varying backgrounds and educational goals. The program you're considering should offer concentrations or electives that equip you with specific skills and knowledge to help you in your career. 


How does the cost of attendance for the programs you're considering stack up to other comparable options? The best choice may not be the cheapest, but you shouldn't settle for an institution that's charging a fortune for a degree that can be earned elsewhere. 

Jobs Waiting for You with a Liberal Arts Degree

The job opportunities are endless for liberal arts degree holders. Here are some of the popular options: 

Social Worker

Help those in need with a career as a social worker. You will be tasked with identifying individuals and families that are in dire need or resources and referring them to the right channels to find relief. Social workers also create case files and document details regarding their interactions with clients. 

When searching for employment, you'll find that there are social workers who perform varying tasks. There are child and family social workers, healthcare social workers, mental health and substance abuse social workers and school social workers. 

On average, social workers earn $49,470 per year, which equates to $23.79 per hour. 

Education Administrator (Elementary and Secondary School)

Seeking a leadership role in education? Consider a career as an education administrator at an elementary or secondary school. You'll be responsible for planning and overseeing the execution of academic, administrative and auxiliary operations. 

The median pay for education administrators in 2018 was $95,310. 


Do you have the skills to make written content shine? You may enjoy this role, as it includes rectifying grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors, verifying cited facts and collaborating with writers to brainstorm enticing ideas. Editors also help writers plan out their stories and issue the final stamp of approval before a piece is published. 

There are many types of editors. You can pursue a role as an assistant, copy, executive or managing editor. 

The average annual salary for editors is $59,480. 

Best Online Colleges for a Liberal Arts Degree

A quick search for the best online liberal arts degrees can be overwhelming. We've taken the guesswork out of finding the best option by compiling a list for you. We've also included a description of each degree program to help you narrow down your choices.  

1. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University Logo

Southern New Hampshire University offers an array of online liberal arts degree programs to prepare you for your dream job. Choose from the following Bachelor of Arts options: 

  • Communication
  • Creative writing and English
  • English language and literature
  • General studies
  • History 

As an online student, you will have access to career advisors to help you with your job search during and after graduation. You can also tap into free tutoring services to navigate challenging subjects and connect with your dedicated academic advisor to ensure you stay on track and graduate on time. 

Enroll now

2. University of Iowa

University of Iowa logo

Prefer not to choose a major? Want to complete courses from many departments instead? Consider an online Bachelor of Liberal Studies from the University of Iowa. 

Students complete coursework from one of these tracks: 

  • Expression in Writing and Arts 
  • Family, Community and Social Support
  • Global Studies 
  • Health and Human Studies
  • Justice and Ethics
  • Organizational Studies

You also have the option to earn a certificate in:

  • Aging and Longevity Studies
  • Entrepreneurial Management 
  • Leadership Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Writing 

The university requires 120 credit hours to earn the degree. 

Enroll now

3. University of Illinois at Springfield 


The online bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Illinois Springfield also allows you to create a customized education plan that piques your interest. 

Students complete core courses plus a series of electives related to art, heritage, identity, institutions, language, nature and work. You can also choose a thematic focus and a minor to enhance your degree. 

You need 30 transfer credit hours from a qualifying college or university to be admitted to the program. 

Enroll now

4. Oregon State University 

Earn an online Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from Oregon State University. It's ideal for individuals who want to earn a graduate degree or earn a flexible degree that meets the educational requirement for many careers. 

Create a major that reflects your educational goals and interests. Choose from courses in a variety of disciplines, including: 

  • Contemporary global issues
  • Cultural diversity 
  • Fine arts
  • Humanities
  • Literature and arts
  • Non-Western culture 
  • Science
  • Social sciences
  • Technology and society
  • Western culture

You can also select the pre-education option and prepare for a career as an elementary education teacher. 

Alumni of the bachelor's in Liberal Studies degree program work in business, communications, education, healthcare, law enforcement, social work and teaching.  

This program requires 180 credit hours to graduate — some transfer credits are permitted. 

Enroll now

5. University of Massachusetts Lowell


The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers an online bachelor's degree in liberal arts to help you develop your critical thinking, oral, written and problem-solving skills.

Students select 2 concentrations from this list to create specialized degrees: 

  • Art History
  • Economics
  • English
  • Gender Studies
  • History 
  • Legal Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

You'll be prepared for several careers — communications, education, humanitarian assistance, human resources, international governance, journalism, law, paralegal services and politics.

The program requires 120 credit hours to reach the finish line. You can transfer up to 90 hours from an accredited college or university. 

Enroll now

6. Northern Arizona University 

Northern Arizona University also offers a Bachelor of Arts or Science in liberal arts. This degree program is an ideal option for individuals interested in art, editing, writing, public relations, sales, management and other related fields. 

Students in the Bachelor of Arts degree program study the arts, history, literature and philosophy. If you choose the Bachelor of Science degree track, you'll complete coursework to help you build leadership skills and hone your communication and critical thinking skills. 

You'll need 120 credit hours to earn your degree. 

Enroll now

7. Saint Leo University 

Saint Leo

Saint Leo University prides itself on delivering a first-class learning experience for its online students. You can get a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies and prepare for a career in the business world or with a government or social service agency. 

When you enroll, you'll dive into business, humanities, fine arts, literature, natural sciences, quantitative reasoning and social science. The following core courses are required: 

  • Bioethics
  • Business, Government and Society
  • Contemporary Humanities
  • Critical Thinking in the Liberal Studies 
  • Environmental Studies: Creating Sustainable Societies
  • Exploration in the Liberal Studies 
  • Foundations of Modern Social Sciences 
  • Mathematical Inquiry 
  • Religion and Personal Experience 
  • Survey of Major Writers of the 20th Century
  • Social and Cultural Foundations of Behavior

You need 120 credit hours to complete the program. 

Enroll now

8. Purdue University 

Purdue University

Get an online Bachelor of Science in liberal studies from Purdue University Global. It's ideal if you have credits from another institution and want to tailor a degree program to best suit your needs. 

Sharpen your listening, coordination, reading comprehension, social perceptiveness and speaking skills as you work through the courses. The curriculum covers ethics, statistics, psychology, nutrition and so much more. 

You can also apply credits to one of the following graduate programs to earn your master's degree even faster: 

  • Educational psychology
  • Human services
  • Legal studies
  • Psychology 
  • Public administration

This program requires you to complete 180 credits to obtain your degree. 

Enroll now

9. Northwestern State University of Louisiana 

Nothwestern State Univ

Consider an online bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Northwestern State University of Louisiana to continue your education. The program is fluid and can be customized to meet your academic and career needs. 

The curriculum consists of general education and foreign language courses, followed by an array of lower and upper-level electives in humanities and social and behavioral sciences. Choose from elective courses on a variety of subjects, including anthropology, art, dance, history, music, philosophy, political science and theatre. Criminal justice, economics and geography classes are also available. 

Enroll now. 

10. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The online bachelor's degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro prepares you for a career in many industries. You can land a role in business, communication, education, government and social service.

It offers 3 tracks to help you align your educational pursuits with your career goals: 

  • Humanities
  • Professional studies 
  • Social sciences

Enjoy affordable tuition that's lower than what your classmates who attend classes on campus pay. You can learn when it's convenient for you since lectures are pre-recorded and accessible 24/7.

Enroll now

Get Started with an Online Liberal Arts Degree Program

Take the guesswork out of finding the best online liberal arts degree program. Start with our list of top recommendations and analyze what each has to offer before you make a decision. 

Here Are Some Of The Best Online Learning Platforms Right Now - Forbes

Posted: 02 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Online learning used to be considered somewhat inferior, but the quality of online courses have come a long way since then. And now, in addition to traditional universities adding online courses to their offerings, tons of online platforms offer different takes on the new style of learning. The trick is finding the one that suits you and your educational needs.

To help get started, here are three of the best online learning platforms to check out, whether you're looking for one-off college courses or creative-specific options, or you want to earn a degree.

Best for the Average Learner: Udemy

Price: Varies and is priced per course

Advantage: Access over 150,000 courses (taught in over 65 languages) in a wide range of subjects

Udemy is a massive repository of online courses, with topics ranging widely on topics like development, business, finance, IT, office productivity, personal development, design, marketing, photography, health, music and teaching and academics.

The look and feel of Udemy's courses may vary, as lectures can include audio, video and text elements, as well as quizzes (though not all of those elements are required.) And each one is created and managed by the instructor. Students can, however, preview courses to make sure that those are in line with their expectations. You'd also be able to request a full refund within the first 30 days of purchase if you aren't satisfied. Once you pay, you'd get lifetime access to the course, and the platform gives students certificates of completion at the end.

The cost of each class can vary widely, with some in the $15 to $20 range and others costing upwards of $200. Due to Udemy's course-based pricing model, it may prove a better option for those who are interested in learning specific skills, rather than dipping their toe in many diverse fields.

Udemy is also available in app form, for both iPhones and Androids.

Best for Creatives: Skillshare

Price: $19 per month (or $99 if you go for the annual subscription)

Advantage: Quick hits of creativity from experts on a mobile-friendly platform

Skillshare offers video-based courses in areas like animation, design, illustration, lifestyle, photography, film, business and writing.

Skillshare courses are designed and taught by prominent artists, writers and other creatives. These typically consist of a series of short video lessons, with many of the courses themselves taking an hour or less to complete. That said, there are also "assigned" exercises and prompts that you can do to enhance the experience and practice what you've learned. You can even share projects based on the lessons with others who have taken the course. And since it's a membership-based platform, you'd be able to access all of the courses on the site.

If you go with annual billing, the cost of accessing this platform works out to $8.25 per month. The company also has pricing options for businesses, though there's no group discount if you were to opt for the "starter" plan, which costs $99 per user, per year. The best deal actually comes from the gift card option, which can shave $3 off the annual cost. Or, if you opt for a three-month gift card, you'd save $21, as compared to the monthly billing option. Or, if you're a student, you could save 50% off the cost of a premium membership by registering with a valid .edu address.

Skillshare also offers many free courses, if you're interested in seeing what their courses look like for yourself.

Best for Academics: Coursera

Price: Varies depending on the course and track, but starts at about $39 per course

Advantage: Access university courses at a discount and get industry-recognized credentials

Coursera is an online learning platform that can give students access to academic courses and can even lead to a University degree, for less than the typical cost of attending such courses or programs in person. Topics range widely, including subjects like arts and humanities, math and logic, I.T., languages and beyond.

The classes you'd find over 4,000 courses on this platform, from over 200 universities and companies, including Yale, Google and the University of Pennsylvania. There are several types of courses and programs offered: Regular courses, specializations (which focus on skills mastery), professional certificates (aimed at helping job-seekers rise above the rest), master track certificates (which include modules from masters programs) and online degrees from universities. The cost and time required to complete each type of course or program varies widely.

For example, a regular course may cost $39 and take four to six weeks to finish, while an online degree starts at $9,000 and can take one to four years to complete. Regardless, you'd get some sort of certificate at the end of your course or program, which can help you do things like find a job or earn a raise. The experience of the courses themselves might vary slightly as well, but in general, students can anticipate things like video lectures, self-paced quizzes, group forums and hands-on projects on the docket. And, like the other platforms on this list, Coursera is mobile-friendly, so you can learn from anywhere.

It's also worth noting that Coursera offers hundreds of free courses, which can also help prospective students get a feel for the platform.

ConVal grad moves children's music company to online - Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Posted: 15 Apr 2020 12:41 PM PDT

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 4/15/2020 3:40:39 PM

Just four weeks ago – like many others around the country – Matt Fernald found himself a little unsure of his next step.

His job as founder of Golden Acorn Music in Mountain View, California was to go into childcare centers – with his most notable client being the Google Children's Centers – and provide young children that all-important introduction to music.

But with childcare centers and preschools closing down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fernald suddenly was without a place to entertain and engage.

For Fernald it was more than just playing a few songs. He enjoyed working with the before-kindergarten age group, something he never envisioned while pursuing his music degree at Amherst College.

"I just fell into working with children," Fernald said. "It just clicked for me."

Then it came to him: why not move his work to an online platform. In 2018, he started a YouTube channel, but it wasn't a high priority for Fernald, often only publishing a new song every week or so. But without a place to go and families staying home, it was the perfect spot to continue bringing music to the kids he saw every week.

Once centers and schools were officially closed, Fernald sent an email to everyone on his list and told them he was going to try livestreaming. Soon he was inundated with emails and song requests. Before all of this, Golden Acorn had about 120 subscribers to the YouTube Channel. When he did his first live performance on March 17, 300 people tuned in.

"We haven't had a number like that since, but there was that initial interest," Fernald said. "I thought there might be a lot of families looking for something like this."

And as time has gone by, the number of subscribers has steadily increased and recently surpassed 1,100 for what Fernald calls Simple Songs for Stressful Times. For now, Fernald and the four other teachers at Golden Acorn are planning to either livestream or upload a new 30-minute episode Monday through Friday. The episodes, which include a little bit of original music, songs in the public domain like "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and lots of interactive themes that get the kids up and moving around.

"You always want them to be engaged in the activity," Fernald said. "Our work has always been very interactive, involving the children as much as we can."

They play a variety of instruments, sing in different languages and always end with a story. They have the live chat enabled during the shows and "can take some requests right there," Fernald said. If they don't get to all the requested songs, Fernald will put them on the list for future episodes. With five, half hour shows each week, there is no list of material long enough. And each week, there is a special guest.

"I wasn't sure how to do it the right way," Fernald said. "Once a day is a lot, but times like these are not the same."

Like most, Fernald doesn't know what next week will bring, but he plans to keep doing the daily shows during the week for as long as he sees there's a need and an interest. He not only sees the benefit for children, but also parents, who can get a much needed break or move and groove alongside their kids.

"There are a lot of people looking for new things," he said.

Simple Songs for Stressful Times can be found by going to at 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. There is no fee or sign up needed and the videos are available on the YouTube Channel after their release.

"YouTube doesn't require an account to log in and watch videos," Fernald said.

Buzz Kids: Free local music program, public TV study options and virtual library events - The Daily Progress

Posted: 15 Apr 2020 03:00 PM PDT

Bringing the arts into your study-at-home curriculum enhances learning in many ways, whether you're using the arts to reinforce academic concepts or to provide wholesome recreation after the school day is over.

This week's Buzz Kids events range from a free local music program for younger children to a busy schedule of learning options for public television fans to virtual programs that bring public library fun into your home.

Music and learning

My Music Starts Here, led by Charlottesville-based music educators and parents Mike and Mary Anderson, is offering a free spring music program designed for children ages 3 to 7.

The program includes Circle Time, which replicates the morning circle time that starts the school day for many children; Music for Mindfulness, which helps parents and children take a break from studies with some peace and quiet; and Favorite Songs, which gives families the choice of listening or singing along.

The Andersons designed the program to work for children with or without adult guidance. Guides are available for teachers and parents, and parents can sign up for weekly emails of tips. To learn more, head to the website at

Math and more with VPM

Learning Plus, which airs on public television's VPM Plus, offers educational programming for all ages from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Early-morning offerings include social skills with "Daniel Tiger" for ages 2 to 4 at 6 a.m., math with "Peg + Cat" for ages 3 to 5 at 6:30 p.m., history with "Xavier Riddle" for ages 4 to 7 at 7 a.m., nature science with "Wild Kratts" for ages 6 to 8 at 7:30 a.m., math with "Odd Squad" for ages 5 to 9 at 8 a.m. and STEM with "Scigirls" for ages 9 to 12 at 8:30 a.m.

"NOVA" follows at 9 a.m. with science education; look for "First Horse Warriors" on Thursday and "The Planets: Inner Worlds" on Friday.

"History Detectives" offers social studies fun at 10 a.m. Thursday brings "1775 Almanac," while Friday offers "Club Continental Card."

At 11 a.m. look for "Rockies: Kingdom in the Skies" on Thursday and "W.S. Merwin: To Plant a Tree" on Friday.

At noon, look for "Untamed: Bears" on Thursday and "The Art Scene" on Friday.

"VA TV Classroom" follows at 1 p.m. Math for different grade levels is offered on Thursday, and Friday brings units in literacy, history, science and handling stress. Its 2 p.m. offerings both days include Algebra I and earth sciences.

At 3 p.m., "Breakthrough Ideas That Changed the World" will present "The Car" on Thursday and "The Rocket" on Friday.

At 4 p.m., explore world history with "Story of China with Michael Wood" on Thursday and American history with "The Roosevelts" on Friday.

Resources also include an activity-filled daily e-newsletter for parents, a variety of educational games and videos, and trauma-informed resources from Sesame Street in Communities to help youngsters develop positive social and emotional skills that can pay off for years to come.

The library from home

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library branches are known for offering more than just books, so whether you're building a curriculum at home or looking for ways for family members of all ages to blow off some steam, you've got options.

To begin with, the deadline for the Poetry Contest for Adults has moved to April 30. Entries can be submitted online to or mailed to WriterHouse, 508 Dale Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 30, by the way.

Virtual Writing Groups for Camp NaNoWriMo will be available through April 30 if you're interested in joining the supportive online writing community for National Novel Writing Month. Create an account at NaNoWri and send your username and age group to Teens and adults are in separate private virtual writing groups. It's not too late to get involved, and it's possible to drop in and out as your schedule dictates.

There will be a virtual meeting of the Adult Anime Club at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for ages 18 and older and another for Green Pen Poets at 6 p.m. April 23; email to get the login links for these events.

Music Swap is a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday that gives teens in grades eight to 12 a chance to swap music lists and collaborate on a quarantine playlist. When you sign up, you'll receive all the details by email.

For information about all kinds of virtual offerings, go to

Discovery kits

Virginia Discovery Museum is offering its latest educational kit, "A Greek Mythtery," for a suggested donation of $5.

The new kit is designed for ages 8 and older with adults. Look for activities designed to explore ancient sites, follow clues and learn more about five frightening beasts from Greek mythology.

Get all the information online at

Virtual nature walk

Register online for the virtual event "Nature Exploration Series: Spring Ephemerals," which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at James Madison's Montpelier, by going to

It's an opportunity to look for orchids, toothwort, Dutchman's breeches, bloodroot and other flowering spring plants that don't hang around for very long. Montpelier's horticulture team and Virginia Master Naturalists will guide virtual tourists through the Landmark Forest.


Popular posts from this blog

Talk of the Towns: Feb. 6, 2020 - The Recorder

Baker Technical Institute launches Certified Medical Assistant program - Blue Mountain Eagle

For inbound college students — and universities — fall semester presents new choices and dilemmas - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette