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Instructor Blog: Preparing for Midterms

Part of being successful academically and professionally is tackling major assignments and projects early.  While midterms can seem daunting, a thorough approach can help you feel more confident in the expectations for the assessment. The first step to preparing for midterms is to figure out what information is available about the midterm for your particular course. Some midterms are available at least a week early, and there should be at least a basic description of the midterm in your tracking calendar. If you would like to know more about your midterm, ask your instructor. He or she may be able to provide you with the material early. However, if you are not able to obtain further information, I recommend viewing the midterm on Sunday so you can see if it is a timed assessment or essay. This allows you to look over the material and email your instructors any questions you might

It’s also useful to think about the purpose of a major assessment overall. A major assessment is designed to test your knowledge of the course material, and possibly to apply the knowledge to a work-related scenario. With this in mind, consider your progress in the course. Do you thoroughly understand the lecture and textbook reading? How are you performing on the weekly activities? Has your instructor indicated an area you might need to improve or an idea you might not understand correctly? A great way to make sure you really understand a concept is to explain it to a friend, and think about how you will use the knowledge in the workplace. Take the initiative to read the supplemental reading provided by your instructor (located in the tracking calendar) as well as your own research.

Once you feel that you have an understanding of the course material, it’s time to think about the midterm itself. If it is a timed exam, you will need to ensure a block of time is set aside in your schedule. Consider the circumstances that will contribute to minimal distractions. Do you need to leave the house, or do you have a lunch hour where you will be able to concentrate and work uninterrupted? Read More…

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Career Insights: Q&A with a Paralegal

Thinking about entering the paralegal career field? Now may be a good time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the field is projected to grow 17 percent faster than average, compared to 11 percent growth rate for all occupations.

That translates into 46,200 jobs between 2012 and 2022. Generally, entry level positions in this field require an associate’s degree and the median annual salary is $46,990.

To catch a glimpse of what this career really has to offer, we contacted Loretta Calvert, JD, the 2012-2013 President of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE) and Paralegal Studies Director at Volunteer State Community College. Read More…

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Staff Spotlight: Megan VillaReale, Associate Admissions Representative

Her role as an Admissions Representative means that Megan VillaReale spends quite a bit of time connecting with students on a daily basis. However that hasn’t prevented her from enjoying one of her favorite hobbies away from work.

Megan has amassed an impressive rotary phone collection over the past few years. While she doesn’t have a specific reason for her fascination, she gives a lot of credit to the phone she consistently used at her grandmother’s house.

“There are so many different styles and colors of rotary phones that it’s almost a challenge to find new ones,” Megan said.

Megan’s interests do extend well beyond her phone collection, however. She’s a movie buff who also loves to get out and camp whenever the opportunity presents itself. Her love for DIY Pintrest projects and the holidays hints that her home is probably sports the coolest decorations on the block each year. In fact, Megan went full-DIY last year at Halloween, making her own Rubik’s Cube costume for the holiday. Read More…

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Four Practices for Prioritizing Your To-Do-List

When you’re enrolled in online school or working at your job (or maybe both), one of the key tenets to good time management is being organized. Typically this means creating a to-do list. But, if you’re like most people your ongoing to-do list can get to be multiple pages (or screens) long. Sometimes it can be long enough that you simply throw in the towel and decide to catch up on you DVR full of The Bachelorette instead.Work Life Balance

But a tiny twist to your approach could help. Making your list is step one, but learning how to prioritize that list is just as important. Try out some of the ideas below and you’ll be surprised how much you get done in one day. Read More…

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Bryant & Stratton College Launches EmployableYOU™

Bryant & Stratton College announced that it will roll out EmployableYOU™ this winter — a focus on employability providing a guided experience that prepares students for the dynamics of the changing workplace.

EmployableYOU goes beyond traditional academic theory and textbook learning by enhancing important workplace capabilities such as teamwork, persistence, managerial potential, fiscal responsibility, technology skills, and literacy skills. EmployableYOU embeds these competencies into the curriculum for all students and provides students with ample opportunity to learn, master, and demonstrate these important work skills within every course in their program of study.

Bryant & Stratton College has developed EmployableYOU in response to a critical need to create more meaningful connections between higher education and the workplace. According to a 2013 survey by Bryant & Stratton College and Wakefield Research, 80 percent of 18-34 year olds believe they are job-ready and possess all the skills, experience, and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job. Read More…

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Career Insight: Hospitality Management

The hospitality management field is exciting, fast-paced and has a variety of paths. Many of these jobs involve traveling, anticipating customer needs, entertainment, as well as juggling every detail of an event, the customer experience and facility operations. Few of these jobs are 8 – 5; the hours are long and the work week is rarely limited to weekdays. However, hospitality managers enjoy many employee benefits during time off, like travel, lodging and meals at extremely discounted prices.

One area in this industry that is expanding is meeting, convention and event planning.

“Applicants for our scholarship program for event services has grown from a handful a few years ago to a huge number every year,” said Julie Pingston, President of the Event Service Professional Association.

“A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management is becoming required for jobs more and more, but people can also transfer in from other fields,” she said. With that, the pay has also risen. Larger organizations have more positions that offer opportunities to grow from [frontline management] to middle management and even executive level,” she said. Read More…

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Paralegal Career Guide

If you are considering pursuing a career as a paralegal or legal assistant, you’re not alone – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for this position is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2010 and 2020, resulting in 46,900 new jobs during that time span. While the demand for paralegal professionals continues to grow, the job market remains extremely competitive. Accordingly, it’s important to understand the roles, work environment and level of expectations for paralegals and legal assistants.

Here is a quick run down of the facts you need to know about what it takes to work as a paralegal. Read More…

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Don’t Make Rookie Interview Mistakes

Got your first interview coming up? Don’t be tempted to wing it. As competitive as the job market is these days, coming across as uninterested, unprofessional or unprepared during the interview will prove to be a big mistake. Here are three rookie interview mistakes and how to avoid them.

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Let’s face it, many of us move through life at warp speed these days. With so many demands, such as school, work, family, and a dire need to keep our social media followers updated, we are multitasking all over the place. Maybe multitasking works effectively in some situations, but in job interviews, it simply does not.

Francina Harrison, MSW, also known as The Career Engineer (, has seen candidates check their watches, not silence their phones, appear rushed and act like there was someplace else they’d rather be.

“I was shocked that a candidate in today’s market would be so careless and [display] these behaviors. If you can’t make quality time to interview, how will you invest in quality time on the job?” she said. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips for Succeeding in English Courses

Some students may feel as if they need to just simply survive English courses. As an instructor who teaches four different English courses at Bryant & Stratton, I wanted to share some tips for not just passing, but thriving in courses essential to your life-long learning and professional development.   Most assignments in your English courses are focused on research and writing. This means that, to succeed, you will need to communicate an idea clearly and support it with research.  Thinking about how you can improve in those areas will help you in each English course.

One common error I see is students not proofreading carefully.  Almost all assignments in your English courses include a category in the rubric for grammar, including discussion. Taking the time to not only run spell-check (even in discussion) but proofread can be the difference between an “A” and a “B.” Creating even short assignments such as the initial posts for discussion and reflections in Word can ensure that you meet the word count requirement and have the opportunity to proofread carefully. Read More…

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Staff Spotlight: Lauren Watt, Associate Admissions Representative

Giving is a key word for Lauren Watt. One of Bryant & Stratton College Online’s most outgoing and friendly Admissions Representatives, Lauren also finds time outside of work to give back to others.

Lauren graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY with a major in adolescent education in mathematics. She is also certified to teach math in grades 5-12. In addition to being a self-proclaimed mathlete, Lauren is also an avid dancer and many outdoor activities.

Even though Buffalo is best known for snow, Lauren takes full advantage of the countless summer activities in Western New York. She has her boating and motorcycle license and can be found at nearly any concert you name during Buffalo’s wonderful summer months. When there’s snow on the ground Lauren is on the slopes honing her skills as a snowboarder.

However, dance is Lauren’s true passion. She teaches classes to this day and has been dancing herself since she was four. Lauren says acrobatics is her true passion (she can walk on her hands) and she’s earned four separate scholarships for tap as well.

The team here can always count on Lauren to brighten their spirits on a weekly basis and her personality glows outside of the workplace as well. In addition to the dance classes she teaches, Lauren teaches a special education dance class at a local school along with doing additional volunteer work for both children and adults with developmental disabilities. Read More…

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