MUSIC: One-man band has gone surf-rockin' - Arkansas Online

MUSIC: One-man band has gone surf-rockin' - Arkansas Online MUSIC: One-man band has gone surf-rockin' - Arkansas Online Don't let the pandemic stop you from enjoying music - LancasterOnline Best Classical Music of 2020 - The New York Times MUSIC: One-man band has gone surf-rockin' - Arkansas Online Posted: 03 Dec 2020 12:08 AM PST Geoff Curran loves surf music and The Ventures. A lot. He is so besotted with this rock 'n' roll sub-genre that he formed The Supraphonics — "Pulaski County's No. 1 surf combo" — in which he is the only member. Three years ago Curran, the drummer for Little Rock alt-country champs Mulehead and a frequent collaborator with fellow Mulehead Kevin Kerby — released "Christmas with the Supraphonics," a Yuletide record of seasonal chestnuts like "Silver Bells," "Winter Wonderland" and others done up in full-on, ha

Coronavirus 'confusion': Teachers had little training for how to do online classes - USA TODAY

Coronavirus 'confusion': Teachers had little training for how to do online classes - USA TODAY

Coronavirus 'confusion': Teachers had little training for how to do online classes - USA TODAY

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 02:30 AM PDT


A California school district is not giving grades for assignments during the school closure, leaving an 8th grader feeling unprepared for high school. USA TODAY

This story about remote learning was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.

After the Arizona State University Preparatory Academy announced on March 13 that it would shift its 11 schools to online learning because of the coronavirus crisis, teacher Theresa Ordell switched to high gear.

The following Monday, the 51-year-old teacher  assembled bags of books and worksheets for families of her third and fourth grade students to pick up as they were let in, five at a time, to South Phoenix Primary and Intermediate, a public charter school.

Ordell practiced using the videoconferencing platform Zoom, so she'd be ready to lead class online with her students the next day.

Her students laughed Tuesday morning when she played the classroom theme song, "Get Back Up Again," from the movie "Trolls."

"I said, 'Yeah, with COVID-19, we are going to get back up again.' We made it work."

What's at stake: How coronavirus school closures could cause 'historic academic regression'

Experts say teachers ideally should receive several days, weeks or – better – months of in-depth preparation before launching an online learning program.

But when schools across the USA closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, district leaders eager to keep students learning pushed teachers to pivot quickly to online learning. Many teachers received a couple of days of training before being asked to overhaul nearly every facet of their job. The lucky ones had a couple weeks.

The varying amount of training districts provide has created a patchwork of quality and gaps in accessibility. Many teachers improvise, counting on patience from parents and students as they transition to online learning on the fly.

Families are learning on the fly, too: How it's working in 6 home classrooms

'Not enough time'

"The biggest problem is there is not enough time to really do the training that a teacher needs to understand how to teach online," said Jennifer Mathes, interim chief executive officer of the Boston-based Online Learning Consortium, a nonprofit group that offers webinars and resources on online teaching and learning. "What we are doing right now is more of a Band-Aid to say these are tips and tricks to do remote learning now."

The consortium offers weeklong workshops, but teachers need about three months of courses to really become effective online, Mathes said.

The International Society for Technology in Education, a nonprofit group based in Arlington, Virginia, requires teachers who want to be certified as online educators to receive 30 hours of face-to-face and online training that can take up to nine weeks, plus six months to curate a portfolio.

Some colleges ask teachers to complete nine credits to receive a certificate in online teaching. Experts in the area say planning, designing and implementing a high-quality online course can take more than a year; the best training is customized to meet teachers where they are and build on their knowledge.

Instead, many districts are rushing onto the new platform and scanning worksheets for kids to do online – not building engaging, effective online learning, which involves some strategy, said Richard Culatta, chief executive officer of ISTE.

"The approach is all over the place: schools making good choices, schools making bad choices – a whole lot of confusion," said Culatta, who formed a COVID-19 Education Coalition, which includes more than 50 organizations, to curate and vet resources for educators to use for online instruction through a free portal. "Our recommendation is for schools to pause for a minute to take a couple days to think about the learning experience they want to create."

For kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots

'Train to teach'

In an ideal world, schools would adhere to the standards agreed on for K-12 online learning. Experts suggest offering a combination of live instruction and work that students can do on their own time, rather than replicating bell schedules and expecting students to sit in front of a screen all day.

When learning to teach online, educators should receive at least some of their training, if possible, through an online course, so they experience firsthand what it's like to be a distance-learning student. 

"We learn by doing," said Lisa Dawley, executive director of the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego. "You have to train in the way you want them to teach. It has to be modeled."

The shift has been easier for schools that had embraced technology before the shutdowns, Culatta said, and some have put more thought and time into the rollout of online learning.

Free school lunch programs face terrible choice: Fight coronavirus or students' hunger

In South Burlington, Vermont, Christie Nold, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Tuttle Middle School, said her district's information technology expert was available for small group and individual help two weeks before her school's closure.

The week before schools closed, digital tools were modeled at faculty meetings, and additional virtual training sessions were held. Nold's team launched its online learning via Google Classroom and other tools they had used before the shutdown. Experts advise that schools use platforms that teachers and students are already familiar with, so they don't overreach or overload students. 

"Given the circumstances, I feel really well supported by my district. I'm fortunate that we were given really clear guidelines about what remote learning looks like," said Nold, 35. Still, she has been putting in longer hours than usual doing distance learning and worries about the sustainability of the setup. At the end of the first week of online instruction, the district announced schools would not reopen this spring. "It's a big puzzle we are all trying to sort out together."

Before West Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island moved to online learning – during the district's spring break – the district ran 80-plus virtual training sessions to familiarize teachers with online tools, such as Google Meet and Flipgrid. Professional development coaches hosted a virtual help desk for struggling teachers who needed extra assistance with tutorials. They created a shared document, so others could see the solutions.

"I don't know how education is going to go back to what it was before this," said Kristin Tuttle, 42, a fifth grade teacher at Deering Middle School in West Warwick. "People have been thrown into a danger-type zone – this is new to us – but I feel like we are all going to grow to from it, and I see us in a few weeks really being much stronger."

'Trying to stay positive'

As the coronavirus threat has extended closures, possibly till the end of the school year in some places, training needs have changed.

Gabriel Serrano, a special education teacher who serves kids from pre-K to third grade, was initially asked to prepare individual paper packets with two weeks of work for his 11 students at Emelita Elementary School in Encino, California, part of the sprawling Los Angeles Unified School District. The district suggested several online resources, but Serrano said he was overwhelmed by all the options and wished he had a "cheat sheet" to know which was best to use. 

"The first two weeks were a little chaotic. We were advised to do the best we can," said Serrano, who has tried to contact all of his students' families but has yet to connect with some. At the end of the second week of school closures, the district held its first virtual training session for teachers, 90 minutes about how to do distance learning, and gave the teachers until mid-April to complete four more two-hour sessions on their own.

"I'm trying to stay positive. It has been very stressful, but it's new for the kids as well, and me keeping a level head is important for them," Serrano said. 

Aric Foster, 41, is one teacher who is comfortable with technology and wasn't worried personally when the Armada district in rural Michigan did not give teachers formal training for online instruction. His concern was more basic: He knows that all the training in the world won't help him reach students who don't have internet access. Just 35 of his 130 students logged in to his first remote learning English class.

"I worry how much this is going to exacerbate the inequity that already exists," he said. 

No online learning? With schools closed from coronavirus, these teachers air TV lessons

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10 Best Online Forensics Degree In 2020• Benzinga - Benzinga

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 08:26 AM PDT

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

Forensic science is an exciting industry. It's also a field that's ripe with opportunities for hard-working professionals who can think outside the box. You'll get new challenges each day that can only be solved by individuals with specialized expertise.  

Consider an online forensic science degree to prepare you for entry into the field. Most positions require at least a bachelor's degree to qualify, and you'll have the skills and knowledge to impress employers. 

Benzinga is here to assist in your quest for the best online forensics degree program. 

Why Choose an Online Forensics Degree?

Put your problem-solving skills to good use with a career in forensic science. An online degree is an effective way to get the education you need to qualify for lucrative roles. 

Choosing to study online means you can get up to speed with the latest trends and developments in forensic science on your own time. Colleges and universities with distance learning programs bring the classroom to you virtually. You can access your courses, view lectures and complete assignments when it's convenient.

When you graduate, you can step into a role that's both rewarding and lucrative. Forensic scientists enjoy challenging work and salaries that are higher than what recent college graduates earn. 

Another major perk is the ability to choose from 11 unique forensic science disciplines. According to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, they include: 

  • Anthropology
  • Criminalistics 
  • Digital and Multimedia Sciences
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • General Forensics
  • Jurisprudence
  • Odontology
  • Pathology/Biology
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
  • Questioned Documents
  • Toxicology 
Find an Online University

How to Choose an Online Forensics Degree

Keep the following in mind as you evaluate online forensics degree programs. 


Is the school you're considering accredited? This is significant because it helps prospective employers determine whether your degree is from a reputable institution. 

If your degree is from a non-accredited college or university, employers have no assurance that the coursework will prepare you for the responsibilities and duties of a particular role. Consequently, they may be reluctant to hire you. 

College credits from non-accredited institutions usually aren't transferable. In other words, if you begin coursework and decide to continue your education elsewhere, you may have to start from scratch. Plus, you won't be able to use the credits earned while pursuing your degree to meet the educational requirements of a graduate program. 

Class Sizes

Instructors inundated with questions and requests from students often find it challenging to respond promptly. This is typical if class sizes are large and there are no teaching assistants on hand to handle the inquiries. It can also become problematic if you're stuck on a particular concept or assignment and need assistance to move forward. 

For this reason, you want an online forensics degree program that offers small class sizes. There should be no more than 20 students per classroom if you want the optimal experience. 

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance varies by institution. Keep more money in your pocket by selecting an online forensics degree program that offers rates on tuition and fees. It's also ideal if an institution allows you to transfer a large number of credits to help minimize costs. 

Jobs Waiting for You with a Forensics Degree

Here are some of the top jobs that await forensic science degree holders. 

Forensic Science Technician

Forensic science technicians play an integral role in criminal investigations. They are responsible for gathering and analyzing evidence from crime scenes to help paint a picture of the crime that occurred. 

If you're hired to work in a lab, you will process evidence through biological, chemical and microscopic analyses. You may also work with odontologists and toxicologists to assess evidence and compile reports. 

Forensic science technicians earn an average annual salary of $58,230, or $27.99 per hour. 

Crime Scene Investigator 

Crime scene investigators are experts at collecting evidence from crime scenes. Instead of getting involved with processing and analysis, their goal is to ensure no critical evidence that could crack a case is left behind. 

You'll perform a medley of tasks that require extreme attention to detail. These include collecting bodily fluids and DNA, lifting fingerprints from surfaces and gathering weapons for the lab. If you're investigating the scene of a murder, you may also be tasked with determining the time and cause of death, speaking with other members of law enforcement. Some crime scene investigators are also asked to testify in court. 

The median pay in 2018 for crime scene investigators was $46,335 annually. 

Forensic Analyst 

Prefer to skip the crime scenes and handle the processing of evidence behind the scenes? A career as a forensic analyst may be a good fit. In this role, you will apply the proven methods and scientific knowledge gained in college and through hands-on exercises to analyze evidence and help solve crimes. 

Roles and responsibilities vary by organization. However, some specialize in blood splatter and DNA analysis. Others only deal with cybercrimes. You may also spend a substantial amount of time in the crime lab conducting tests on biological, chemical and physical evidence. 

On average, forensic analysts earn an annual salary of $87,115.

Best Online Colleges for a Forensics Degree

Here are Benzinga's top picks for online forensic degree programs. We've also included a description of each program so you can properly evaluate your options and enroll with confidence. 

1. University of Maryland 

An online degree in investigative forensics from the University of Maryland equips you with vital knowledge to succeed as a forensic specialist. The program dives into the basics of detecting, collecting and processing evidence. You will also learn how to create reports that communicate vital details related to your investigation. 

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in investigative forensics must pass the following core courses:

  • Criminalistics I: The Comparative Disciplines
  • Criminalistics II: The Scientific Disciplines 
  • Criminal Procedure and Evidence
  • Crime Scene Investigation  
  • Cybercrime and Security 
  • Fingerprint Analysis
  • Firearms and Toolmarks Analysis
  • Introduction to Investigative Forensics
  • Medical and Legal Investigations of Death
  • Principles of Digital Analysis

Expect to complete 120 hours to earn your degree. You can transfer credits to meet the requirements faster.

Enroll now

2. Liberty University

Liberty University can help you prepare for a rewarding career with its Bachelor of Science in forensic science degree program. It is offered through the biology and chemistry department and accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission. 

The program is ideal for students who want to work in medical examiner's offices and police departments. You will also possess the skills and knowledge needed to land a role in the Department of Health, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Institute of Health and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. 

You need 120 credit hours to reach the finish line. 

Enroll now. 

3. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University Logo

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. It prepares you for a career as a forensic psychologist working in crime analytics, investigative research and psychological assessment. 

You will complete core courses in criminal and forensic psychology and 2 courses from the following options: 

  • Counseling Process and Techniques
  • Sociology of Crime and Violence
  • Social Psychology

Courses are led by experienced faculty and delve into motives and patterns of criminal behavior, the varying degrees of insanity, criminal profiling and eyewitness memory. You will also learn how psychologists work as advisors and expert witnesses in court. 

Enroll now

4. Arizona State University 

asu logo

Connect the dots between psychology and the law with an online bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology from Arizona State University. You will also gain advanced knowledge in the biological and neuroscientific components of psychology. 

This 120 credit hour program requires you to complete several core courses, including:

  • Abnormal Psychology 
  • Correctional Psychology 
  • Forensic Psychology 
  • Psychology and Law 
  • Substantive Criminal Law 

You can confidently work in a role that requires you to conduct clinical, psychological and policy research once you graduate. Past students now work as behavioral health specialists, clinical psychologists, general counselors, mental health counselors, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. 

Enroll now

5. Purdue University 

Purdue University

Purdue University Global features an online Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. You can concentrate in forensic psychology to tailor the degree to your career aspirations or advance in your current role. 

Students gain in-depth foundational knowledge of core criminal justice concepts. You will also complete the following courses related to the specialization: 

  • Abnormal Psychology 
  • Crisis Intervention 
  • Psychology for Law Enforcement 

The program requires a total of 180 credits to earn your degree and a sizable portion can be transferred from an accredited college or university to save time and money. 

Want to earn a graduate degree? You may qualify for the accelerated program that allows you to earn both your bachelor's and master's degrees at once. Qualifying programs include educational psychology, human services, legal studies, psychology and public administration.

Enroll now. 

6. Florida State University Panama City 

Learn how to identify, gather, categorize and examine evidence from crime scenes. Consider a crime scene investigation degree from FSU Panama city to show you the ropes. 

You will acquire advanced knowledge to prepare you for work in intelligence services, investigative agencies, law enforcement and security. The classes from crime scene investigation majors are engaging and include the following: 

  • Conduct of Investigation
  • Crime and Accident Scene Imaging and Reconstruction
  • Criminal Investigation: Theory and Practice
  • Crime Scene Professionalism
  • Forensic Death Investigation (and lab)
  • Impression and Pattern Evidence (and lab)
  • Trace and Biometric Evidence (and lab)

This program adopts a hands-on approach to learning by requiring you to work on mock crime scenarios and real cold cases. Activities give you real-world experience with blood spatter analysis, facial reconstruction, fingerprint processing and exhumation of bodies. 

Enroll now.

7. Penn State World Campus 

The online program offered by Penn State World Campus focuses on ways to identify non-compliance, abuse, neglect and violence in healthcare settings. 

If this sounds intriguing, consider a Certificate in Nursing Forensic. While it's technically not a degree, you can land a lucrative role if you're a Registered Nurse seeking ways to beef up your skillset and professional credentials. 

You will complete 4 courses to earn your certificate: 

  • Forensic Evidence Collection and Preservation
  • Introduction to Forensic Nursing
  • Seminar in Forensic Nursing
  • Violence and the Impact on Society

With this certificate under your belt, you can open the door to a career as an assault or abuse nurse examiner, emergency room forensic nurse, forensic clinical nurse specialist, legal nurse consultant, medical examiner nurse investigator or nurse coroner.

Enroll now

8. Grand Canyon University

Want a career that allows you to help victims cope with the psychological impacts of violent crimes? Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology to help prepare you for a career in this field. 

Students complete several core courses related to forensic psychology. These include: 

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Criminal Behavior, Victimology and Law
  • Experimental and Abnormal Psychology 
  • Understanding Trauma 

When you complete the program, you will be well-versed in the core responsibilities of forensic psychologists, along with common limitations they face. You will also understand what motivates crime, how criminological theories vary and the role victim theory plays in crime. 

Alumni work in educational institutions, forensic labs, government agencies, hospitals, jails, law firms, medical examiners' offices, police departments, prisons, rehabilitation facilities and research centers. 

You need 120 credit hours to earn your degree. 

Enroll now

9. Eastern Kentucky University 

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. This program is ideal for individuals who want to enter a graduate program to prepare for a career as a clinical psychologist, laboratory manager, mental health counselor, social and human services worker or a speech-language pathologist. 

As a bachelor's degree candidate, you will complete a variety of core and major courses, including:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Adolescent and Adult Development
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Literacy in Psychology 
  • Psychology of Personality
  • Social Psychology 
  • Statistics-Research Methods I and II

Enhance your degree by selecting a minor or earning an undergraduate certificate in communication studies, correctional intervention strategies, homeland security, industrial fire protection, intelligence studies, security management or social intelligence. 

You need 120 hours to complete the program. Up to 90 credits can be transferred from an accredited college or university. 

Enroll now

10. American Intercontinental University 

Consider the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice degree from American Intercontinental University. You can specialize in forensic science to gain an in-depth understanding of crime theory, crime scene investigation concepts, constitutional principles and how the criminal justice system operates. 

You will complete a series of criminal justice courses and forensic science courses, including: 

  • Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedures 
  • Criminalistics I and II
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Crime Victim Studies 
  • Evidence 
  • Forensic Biology
  • Foundation of Corrections
  • Foundations of Criminal Justice Systems 
  • Introduction to the American Court System 
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement 
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Theory
  • Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • Research Methods and Statistics for Criminal Justice 
  • Theories of Crime Causation

A senior capstone in criminal justice is also required. 

Graduates of the program have the knowledge and skills to successfully complete a death-scene investigation, analyze forensic analysis and preserve evidence for future reference. The program also prepares you for graduate studies in forensics or a related field. 

The program requires successful completion of 180 credits to earn your degree. 

Enroll now

Find the Best Online Forensics Degree for You

You want an online degree program that suits your needs and budget. Take the guesswork out of finding the best option by starting with our top picks. They are offered by accredited institutions. Our recommended programs also feature small class sizes and affordable tuition and fees.

Compare your options and pick the online forensics degree program that best aligns with your educational goals and budget. This ensures you can enroll with confidence and get the most from your online learning experience. 

Stempel College's online Master of Public Heath ranked 15th in the country by Guide to Online Schools - FIU News

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 07:15 AM PDT

Guide to Online Schools, a free and comprehensive guide that gives students the opportunity to compare all online colleges, ranked Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work's online Master of Public Health 15th in the country, based on return on investment.

"This ranking highlights the value of our online program, which offers students the opportunity to receive a quality education–equal to our on-campus programs–along with the flexibility of online learning," said Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College. "We are moving into the online program's third year and are committed to continue developing the public health workforce by increasing access to education through our online MPH, which allows working adults to continue their education at FIU."   

According to Guide to Online Schools: "Online degrees present an opportunity for career advancement and increased financial stability, but they can also result in piles of debt. Knowing the return on investment of a specific degree and major before making a decision is key to evading insurmountable debt. To help people make this decision, Optimal (formerly SR Education Group), published their 2020 Best Value Colleges rankings on Guide to Online Schools for 121 programs. The rankings are based on degree-level and program-specific tuition rates and PayScale salary data."

The methodology for the rankings incorporates a return on investment formula to show accredited programs with the best value. Since the cost and return of a college can significantly vary by the degree, tuition rates and salary numbers are specific to degree-level and major. All tuition rates were manually researched on official school websites in order to ensure accuracy. In order to select the best options for value in each major, Optimal researched more than 78,000 online programs.


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