UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International

UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International UNLV Boyd School of Law to launch gaming and regulatory online courses - Yogonet International Posted: 10 Nov 2020 12:00 AM PST T he UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law announced today that it will develop an online training program for operators, regulators, lawyers and others who work in and around the worldwide gaming industry. The mostly asynchronous classes, which will launch during the first and second quarters of 2021, will be created and taught by instructors with decades of professional gaming and teaching experience. The online courses, funded by a gift from the GVC Foundation U.S. , will ultimately consist of eight classes designed to prepare professionals to meet the sophisticated regulatory and operating challenges facing the gaming industry. Students are not required to hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or first degree of law requi

Screenwriting MFA Programs: 5 Top Low-Residency Options - MovieMaker Magazine

Screenwriting MFA Programs: 5 Top Low-Residency Options - MovieMaker Magazine

Screenwriting MFA Programs: 5 Top Low-Residency Options - MovieMaker Magazine

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 10:47 AM PDT

Go back to school. The world is bizarre, jobs are disappearing, and you've always wanted to be a screenwriter, anyway. A screenwriting MFA may be the way to go.

Right now, every screenwriting MFA program is an online screenwriting MFA program. For most, that isn't by choice. Educators and students are doing their best to recreate the classroom experience with Zoom and Skype — and mixed results.

Why not find a program that's been online for years, and has it all figured out? With all the academic rigor and prestige of brick-and-mortar programs?

Enter the low-residency MFA.

A low-residency MFA is also know as a low-res MFA. (Low-res TVs are bad, but low-res MFAs are great.) They open educational opportunities to  professionals, parents and others who can't up and move to a small charming college in the middle of nowhere. They're ideal for people who need an MFA in order to teach, or who want to learn a craft, such as screenwriting, in a structured, collaborative way.

Participants spend a few days a year meeting in-person with teachers and fellow students — usually somewhere very cool — and the rest of the time working remotely. It usually takes two years, give or take a few months.

Also Read: The 40 Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada, 2019 

Because the programs are designed to be remote, and weren't forced to be remote by the cruelties of COVID-19, the low-res MFA programs we're about to list have proven histories of helping their students through online interaction. They aspire to a best-of-both-worlds approach that combines the flexibility of working at home with the camaraderie and one-on-one attention of traditional classes.

Some of these programs will be completely online for a while, with no in-person meetings, given the COVID-19 issues. But all know how to roll with that, given their experience with remote learning.

"We are not scrambling to figure out how to do this; we're kind of the experts in how to do this," says writer-director J S Mayank, director of Western Colorado University's screenwriting program. "We aren't trying to figure out how to take a brick-and-mortar experience and move it online."

With all that in mind, here's MovieMaker's look at some of the most proven low-res screenwriting MFAs in the country.

UCR Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts

Program director Tod Golberg knows you might be skeptical of an MFA program in screenwriting, even during the best of times: "Do you need it when there are a thousand screenwriters sitting in a thousand Starbucks already?"

So he makes sure he isn't churning out the next "enlightened barista" who knows a lot about writing, theoretically — the Palm Desert program is about results. "The goal is to get on a show or get your movie made," says Goldberg, an accomplished novelist whose colleagues include screenwriters, novelists, and more.

UCR's program takes advantage of its wondrous location — a Hollywood getaway — to connect students with literary agents, editors, producers, and show runners who can help them break in. It offers majors in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, poetry and screenwriting, as well as forms within those genres. Its literary magazine, The Coachella Review, is student-edited and provides another forum for writers.

Students work closely with professors over seven quarters of online study and spend five 10-day residencies at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, which doesn't sound horrible.

"Finding a group of people who share an affinity with you and are going through the struggle with you — that's not in the catalogue. That's the emotional part that often gets lost," Goldberg says.

"The 10 days that they're together, they really form these close bonds," he adds. "These are people with lives and jobs and families. And to suddenly bring people into your life who want to share with you, and partner with you, and share their contacts — you can't get that in Starbucks."

Prominent faculty include Mark Haskell Smith (Gun Shy), and if you'll allow a personal testimonial here? I took a (non-UCR) writing class with him in the late 2000s that helped me finish my novel and get it published. He's the best teacher I've ever had, in terms of proven results.

You can learn more here.

COST: $50,000

LENGTH: Just over two years

Click ahead for more of our five top low-residency MFA programs in screenwriting.

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Students Demand Universities Rethink Tuition - Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Posted: 16 Apr 2020 04:41 PM PDT

From the time college and university students left for the spring holiday until now, the entire higher university system seems to have been turned on its head. The one thing that has stubbornly stayed the same is the price tag students and their families are paying for tuition.

The COVID-19 public health emergency has forced classes onto Zoom, booted students from dorms, and left many educators wondering how to evaluate student performances. Realizing that many students are confronted with economic or health crises in their families, professors have changed assignments, offered classes as pass/fail so that students' GPAs will be protected, and found ways to support students remotely.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of students are asking school administrators why they are still being charged the same tuition while their semester has been so disrupted. My school, the University of Pennsylvania, has amassed over 1,000 signatures from master's students over just a few days asking for a partial tuition reimbursement. At New York University, 2,600 MFA students signed a petition for a partial tuition refund, after which a dean sent students a tone-deaf video of her dancing to a R.E.M song. Over 40,000 students have signed a petition for the University of California system to provide refunds to students, while a petition of The Ohio State University has over 70,000 signatures attached. There are countless other petitions circulating online.

The Same Degree, but Not the Same

One of the key reasons stated in petitions demanding the refund is that online-only degrees—which emerged as an alternative to in-person programs long before the coronavirus pandemic—are across the board a cheaper option to a traditional degree program. The cost of a four-year bachelor's degree from Harvard's extension school is valued at $58,880 in tuition costs. That price would cover only a little over one year of an in-person education. At my school, a bachelor's education online costs $18,000 per eight credits. In-person, that year of coursework would cost $53,166. Other online programs at the master's and associate's level are also geared at providing a cheaper online alternative to prospective students.

Research shows that there is also a big difference in how effective these online classes are. Thanks to almost a decade of schools moving classes and programs online, we have some idea of how they stack up against a traditional, in-person class setting. There are serious doubts about students' ability to learn material when it is taught online at similar levels as they would in a classroom setting.

This is especially difficult for students who already struggle in college classes. At one for-profit college, research showed that taking online courses reduced average grades from a B- to a C when the same course was moved online, with students in the lowest quarter of the class seeing the largest drop in their grades. This could be because students have difficulty accessing online classes, because they might not have the benefit of having peers learning the same material with them, or because having online classes may yield more procrastination and cramming from students.

Online degrees tend to be offered more cheaply, perhaps because they are not recognized as being as high-quality as an in-person education, or perhaps because students struggle more in online classes. Data shows that, for MBA recipients, employers look more positively on a job candidate who has graduated from an in-person MBA program compared to someone who earned their MBA online. In other words, employers see an in-person degree as more valuable when they are choosing who will get hired. While there is enormous benefit in being able to provide remote instruction, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic makes in-person classes impossible to many, it is not a one to one replacement for in-person classes.

School Tuition Squeeze

For many American families, college tuition is one of the largest investments they will make. In 2016, the average net price of college was 94 percent of the average family income for students in the lowest income quartile. Tuition costs for higher education have been rising steadily in the United States since the 1970s, and the impact has been widely reported on the student debt crisis. National student debt in the United States is now over $1.5 trillion.

Again, these costs do not affect all students equally. Black students earning bachelor's degrees have the highest borrowing rates and the highest average amounts borrowed, with the average student borrowing $34,000 to pay for college. According to The Wall Street Journal, graduates from historically black colleges have, on average, more student loan debt than students at other colleges. While lawmakers at a federal level have called for forgiveness of student loan debt, it remains to be seen if the federal government will act. If nothing is done, a Brookings Institute report warns that almost 40 percent of those with student loans could default by the year 2023.

It is in this context that students are calling for tuition refunds for the spring 2020 semester, in which a sudden worldwide pandemic has upended a normal semester of study and taken many classes online to platforms like Zoom. And, while some colleges have issued refunds for student fees, living expenses, and college meal plans, administrations have been silent on the issue of tuition costs.

Colleges and universities are already looking ahead to summer and fall semester classes, and weighing when their students can come back to study on campus. Many have already moved some summer classes online, and there are conversations about the possibility that fall classes may need to move online if the coronavirus emergency continues into the fall. Students and their families may understandably be wondering if they will be paying full price for a second or even a third semester of online courses.

Some schools have been proactive about offering refunds on other costs: Berea College, which does not charge tuition, offered a $1,000 refund of housing costs for students who were forced to leave the dorms early. The Nebraska State College system says it will offer a 60 percent refund on room and board for students who chose to move out of their dorms early. But, if this crisis is to continue, colleges and universities may start asking students to pay full price.

School administrators, however, are unlikely to jump at the opportunity to reduce school tuition. Many schools are already worried that they won't be able to fill the seats come the fall. Schools that rely on foreign students to meet recruitment and budget goals may struggle, and students may be less likely to travel to coronavirus hotspots (such as New York City) for school. Higher education, like the rest of us, will suffer economically if the worst predictions about a coming economic depression are true.

Nevertheless, these costs will be even harder for families to bear. With unemployment approaching record levels, many families may balk at paying in-person tuition for online coursework. For the tens of thousands asking for tuition refunds, this spring semester may be just the tip of the iceberg.


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