Teen with medical issues receives surprise drive-thru birthday celebration - Clarksville Now

Teen with medical issues receives surprise drive-thru birthday celebration - Clarksville Now Teen with medical issues receives surprise drive-thru birthday celebration - Clarksville Now Posted: 23 Nov 2020 11:05 AM PST CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – Even though it was cloudy and a little rainy Sunday that didn't dampen the spirits of the many people who turned out to wish Zachariah Vazquez a happy 13 th birthday. More than 30 vehicles with family and friends participated in the drive-by parade at his home on Barrywood Circle. That included members of the Clarksville Police Department, Clarksville Fire Rescue and Montgomery County Emergency Medical Services. Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Cynthia Pitts were special guests in the parade with the mayor presenting Vazquez with a certificate of appointment as honorary mayor of the day for Clarksville. Vazquez said this was the best birthday

What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider

What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider

What is a graduate certificate? - Comparison to master's degree - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 16 Nov 2020 03:12 PM PST

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As the pandemic continues, many people are wondering if graduate school is a good investment of time and money right now. While graduate degrees can provide chances to pivot to new careers, they also can take a few years to complete and charge high tuition, depending on the school and program.

While not the same as a master's degree, graduate certificates can sometimes be a more affordable option that requires less of a time commitment. Depending on the intended profession, they can help you learn new skills to transition into a different field — with official certification to show employers on LinkedIn or your resume — and some even have built-in portfolio assignments so you can exit the course with new samples of your work.

On some occasions, graduate certificates can double as college credits towards a related master's degree, since you technically completed graduate coursework. However, certificate credits are not automatically accepted by all schools — it varies on the university and program.

Here's everything you need to know about graduate certificates, how they compare to master's degrees, and some of the most popular graduate degree programs:

What's the difference between a graduate certificate and a degree?

Unlike finishing a full master's degree program, certificate program students take a few master's courses around a subject — like Sustainability and Development or Data Science — and receive a certificate of completion upon passing the program. 

Because certificates involve taking fewer classes (and don't usually have an admissions process), they're not considered the same as having a master's degree or PhD. However, they can help you stand out to prospective employers, especially if you're looking to transition into a different field and want to demonstrate that you learned the required skills. 

Most certificate programs, such as the ones offered through edX's MicroMasters, don't require a formal application process. If the course requires prerequisite knowledge, that information will usually be in the course description.

That being said, graduate certificate programs, such as Coursera's MasterTracks, can cap off after a certain number of applicants, so it's good to bookmark the enrollment date and sign up as soon as you can.

Graduate certificate programs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the school, program, and length. The price of a graduate certificate can be a fraction of the cost of traditional college degrees (including online ones).

Graduate certificate programs vary in length. Some, like MIT's Supply Chain Management MicroMasters, can take a little over a year. Others, like the University of Minnesota's UX Design MasterTrack, only take four months to complete.

Usually, no. Coursera and edX's graduate certificate offerings pick the classes for you and you have to pass all of them to get the certification.

There are exceptions, though. Harvard's extension school, for instance, lets you choose a few electives as part of your certificate. 

While graduate degree programs operate via GPAs, graduate certificates are often Pass/Fail. Coursera, for example, gives you a percentage grade on each assignment and then a final combined score. 

Depending on the program and size of your class, your written feedback on assignments might also be shorter and more brief than it would be in a graduate degree program.

Specific programs in the edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTrack series have different guidelines regarding college credits. Some might only accept the certificate classes as college credits if you pursue a degree in the same school and program you completed the certificate in; others provide a list of schools that will take the credits.

One upside to completing a certificate before continuing a degree in the same field is that the certificate credits are typically cheaper and can save you some money down the line.

It depends. Coursera MasterTracks don't currently offer financial assistance. And while edX lets you apply for financial aid for most of its programs, for MicroMasters, you'll have to audit each course first and apply for financial aid every time. 

If you're looking to save time and money, graduate certificates can be a great alternative to graduate degrees, especially if you're just looking to pick up some new skills, such as accounting or coding. Online certificate programs can also offer some flexibility in terms of scheduling and can help you decide if you want to pursue a full degree later. Here's a review of one of Coursera's MasterTrack programs.

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Fletcher Launches New Master's Degree, Refreshes Brand - Tufts Now

Posted: 15 Nov 2020 02:09 PM PST

To ensure that Fletcher continues to provide the best education for its students, and to raise awareness of the wide range of its offerings, the prestigious graduate school at Tufts is offering a new master's degree in global affairs, revamping its curriculum, and refreshing its brand.

The new Master in Global Affairs, to launch in September 2021, is an intensive 16-month program that will emphasize experiential learning and include a summer session with online and hybrid courses. Along with the new degree, Fletcher is re-organizing its academic programs under eleven areas of specialization. And starting this month, it is doing business as Fletcher, The Graduate School of Global Affairs at Tufts University.

Fletcher's legal name—the one that shows up on diplomas—will remain The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as it has been since the school's start in 1933. But the change underscores that the school does much more than train legal experts and diplomats: It also prepares leaders to make an impact on climate change, cybersecurity, business, and other global issues, examining these challenges with a cross-disciplinary lens.

"We want the world to know that Fletcher is the place to prepare to turn dreams into reality," said Fletcher Dean Rachel Kyte, F02, in a video announcing the changes. "Via our illustrious faculty, we provide a cutting-edge curriculum—based on theory and practice—to the next generation of change-makers."

The new master's in global affairs is "designed to meet the needs of our students for flexibility and intensity," Kyte said. The program will allow students to earn credit for a summer internship while also taking an online or hybrid summer course. Students may enroll part-time. Each graduate will complete a practicum in the final semester that involves working for an external client under faculty supervision.

The school will continue to offer its existing degrees, including its flagship Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy. That expansive interdisciplinary degree in international affairs requires two full academic years of study and a written capstone project, rather than a practicum.

As part of its refreshed branding, Fletcher has adopted a new logo that features a Latin seal reflecting the values of peace, justice, and fortitude, coupled with a modern typeface. The school is also employing the tagline "Awakening Courage," which Kyte called "a rallying cry for us all to tap into the courage within as we commit to a more courageous education, a more courageous policy-making agenda, innovative problem solving, and entrepreneurial approaches in pursuit of what's possible and what is needed."

Northeast Ohio private colleges eye growing graduate programs - Crain's Cleveland Business

Posted: 15 Nov 2020 01:00 AM PST

While undergraduate enrollment dropped at colleges and universities this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, recent data shows graduate programs are seeing a 2.9% increase nationwide, with private, nonprofit colleges reporting a 1.4% increase compared with fall 2019.

One of those new students is Jeff Snowden. After moving from Maryland a few years ago, the U.S. Navy veteran said he didn't have a strong professional network in Cleveland and often heard during his job search that he was competing against people who had advanced degrees.

He got close to locking in a job advising other veterans at a local college earlier this year. The gig looked good, he said, until the pandemic began and the position's funding dried up.

"So I said, 'OK, Roger that,' " said Snowden, who is 58. "And then I thought to myself, 'All right, I haven't got the job I want yet. I might as well continue my education.' "

He's now enrolled in Notre Dame College's new MBA program. And he may not be alone in using this time to pivot to graduate programs. Enrollment at higher education institutions can be countercyclical during an economic downturn as people navigate a job loss or look to learn new skills in an attempt to boost wages.

Census data between 2000 and 2015 shows graduate school enrollment peaked in 2010 after the Great Recession, and education consulting company EAB forecast that a more educated workforce could lend itself to an upswing of people beginning graduate classes this year.

In Northeast Ohio, several small private colleges are working to launch new graduate offerings even as the impact of the pandemic continues to level economic uncertainty. When it comes to these programs, college consultant Susan Baldridge said, large research institutions typically eye profits and losses closely, making sure those programs cover costs at a minimum. While that's not always the case for smaller schools, she said administrators on those campuses who are looking for an additional revenue stream may find a natural fit by leveraging their current undergraduate programming.

"They often go in the direction of thinking about whether there are some graduate program opportunities, usually at the master's level, not the Ph.D. level," she said. "Especially if those master's programs can be professionally oriented where they think they might be able to get enough net revenue to really contribute to the bottom line."

Not all master's offerings are created equal when it comes to how much revenue they generate. But when just talking about revenue implications, programs that cost less to produce and draw in more payments from students can be the ones with the largest profit margins.

For students, earning an advanced degree is an investment. And it's getting pricier. A report from The Urban Institute think tank found the net price students actually paid between 1996 and 2016 rose at a far quicker rate for master's degrees compared with bachelor's degrees.

Snowden said he's using benefits from the GI Bill to fund the bulk of his education. For his classmates, the cost for Notre Dame's MBA program is $500 per credit hour, or $15,000 for the program. Alumni receive a 10% discount, and the program does accept up to six transfer credits.
Many graduate programs don't offer additional institutional financial aid. That's the case at Lake Erie College. Education graduate classes cost $499 per credit hour, MBA courses are $730 per credit hour, and a physician assistant program is $775 per credit hour.

Business school dean Jennifer Kinnaird said students that are paying non-discounted rates does help to offset undergraduate enrollment losses on the Painesville campus.

"We're looking at where is the market?" she said. "Undergraduate programs are not going to go away. There's always going to be a need for them, but we know there's ebb and flow in demand and what students' ideas and future plans are. So as we look at that, how do we make sure that we can remain viable at both program levels? There's growth opportunity in the graduate area."

Twenty-three percent of Lake Erie College's roughly 1,000 students comprise its graduate enrollment, higher than its other similarly sized peers in the region. The campus wants to expand on that as it works on a new online masters of professional studies degree expected to launch in August. The credit-hour cost is the same as its MBA offering.

Roughly 60 miles away in Alliance, the University of Mount Union recently earned approval for its new fully online MBA program from its accreditor. The 36-credit program is set to begin next May. Credits are listed at $695 per hour, with discounts available for alumni, too.

Kristine Still, founding dean of the College of Applied and Social Sciences, said the university is working to build its graduate culture on its campus of about 1,900 students.

"We're kind of on a newer frontier with graduate education here," she said. "But we just want to make sure that the values of the institution remain intact."

Many new graduate offerings are online-only or have a digital option. Some schools across the country use what are known as online program managers (OPM) to help facilitate and run these programs. Agreements vary from place to place, but OPMs have been estimated by some to receive as much as 40% to 60% of a program's tuition revenue.

Notre Dame College uses a company called Wiley Education Services. Officials declined to share financial details of the college's arrangement but sung the company's praises for the range of services it provides.

"We've certainly received many, many benefits," said Florentine Hoelker, dean of online and graduate programs "They pay for all the marketing for online and graduate programs. They've helped us. Because we're a small liberal arts college, we don't have a lot of resources."

The campus currently offers degrees in education, national security and nursing in addition to its new MBA degree. Like its peers across the region, Notre Dame is considering increasing master's degrees as part of its short- and long-term plans, Hoelker said.

That growth is already happening. Hoelker said numbers for some spring 2021 graduate programs are already seeing a "surge" compared with the previous spring.


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