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Blazing a Path to Success

When Elizabeth Cotroneo-Wheeler stepped onto the stage to speak at her college graduation she looked out into the audience and individually thanked each of her three young children.

The looks on their faces, Elizabeth said, was worth every difficult or stressful moment during the two years she worked to stand there that day.

“My oldest child said if I could take classes while taking care of them, then he could do it,” Elizabeth said. “They really enjoyed being at the ceremony to take part in my accomplishment.” Read More…

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Best Online Midterm Study Tips

Your midterm is likely your first comprehensive assessment in class and may count for a significant portion of your grade—something that is always nerve-wracking. If 30 percent of your overall grade relies on the results of a single test, it can be the source of some anxiety, which may be amplified in an online course. If you are worried about how to prepare for your first midterm in an online course, follow the advice below to ensure you’re using the best study practices in your midterm prep.

Take advantage of any materials available

Often, professors of online courses will provide you with some resources to use in order to prepare for any major test. Perhaps your professor has provided sample questions or a practice exam for you to work on. The professor posts these materials for a reason—they’re a great tool for studying. Take advantage of any of these resources available to you. Even if sample questions or practice tests aren’t made available to you, you can search for studying resources online, or ask your professor if he or she can recommend some.

Reach out to the professor for advice

Your professor is there to assist you in the learning process. Even if your professor has already made materials available, it’s a good idea to contact the professor for advice anyway. Tell your professor if it’s your first online course, and ask if he or she has any advice on how you can best prepare. Even if it isn’t your first online course, asking about the structure, format, and breadth of content that will be covered on the midterm can give you useful information you need to prepare.

Find a midterm study partner

Your professor isn’t the only person who can be helpful resource—you can utilize your classmates for midterm prep, as well. Just because your classroom isn’t brick and mortar, doesn’t mean you can’t find a study buddy. Utilize your course’s ListServ to reach out to potential study partners. You can easily study together online, and even share study materials, such as digital flashcards. Having another set of eyes on the material may help you identify areas that you may have overlooked in your own studies and give you a fresh perspective.

Disconnect from social media, email, and other digital distractions

While connecting with classmates to study is great, make sure your Internet connection isn’t a source of distraction during study time. Disconnect from social media and email not related to the course to ensure you’re focused on your class material. There are even site blockers you can use to temporarily enforce productivity. You can study for hours, but that time could be wasted if you aren’t dedicating your full attention to preparing for the exam. The best method to keep you on track is to log out while you study.

Pace yourself

Your midterm prep shouldn’t consist of one cram session the night before the test. Instead, dedicate a little bit of time each day to studying in the days or even weeks leading up to the test. Breaking your study time into “chunks” is more effective than longer study sessions, and you’re more likely to recall the information you’ve reviewed. Go through any reading material that was previously assigned, and skim it again for important information. Look through your notes to brush up on and identify areas you’re struggling with. Manage your time well, and take short breaks to help you stay focused. When it comes time to take the exam, make sure you have a quiet space available that is free from distractions to mimic a traditional testing environment as closely as possible.

Although online courses may offer more independence and less structure, they are not less challenging. Your online course (and midterm) is just as important as any other course—treat it as such. Even if you’re taking your midterm in your PJs, it is still a test that has important implications for your future. Keep that in mind as you study, and be sure to dedicate as much as time and effort to your online midterms as you would for any other course.

Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.

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Posting Pointers: Make the Most of Online Class Discussions

Students enrolled in online degree programs are quick to learn that online discussion posts build the foundation of grades and academic success.

In a conventional classroom, you can observe the overall tone of the discussion before chiming in. But online college students only have a block of text and a blinking curser, you really need to put some thought and preparation into how you represent yourself and the topic at hand, said Anne McKenna, business adjunct instructor for Bryant & Stratton College. Read More…

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The Ins and Outs of Transferring Credits at Bryant & Stratton College

Not happy with your current college? Want to transfer to a new alma mater?

The process for transferring credits to Bryant & Stratton College can be easy and quick, with an entire staff at Bryant & Stratton dedicated to making that transition as smooth as possible.

“We like to be very transfer friendly for these students and we can have a very short turn around if they can provide us with a transcript,” said Chris Gaiser, Bryant & Stratton College Online Dean of Student Services.

The registrar’s office has one lucky employee who spends everyday, all day, evaluating transfer transcripts to insure that as many credits as possible are transferred in from the previous school. In fact, each campus has a registrar who works with transfer credit evaluations. An academic advisor then creates a schedule for the new student to help them reach their graduation goals as quickly as possible. Read More…

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How Do Online Classes Work?

In many ways, online degree programs are very similar to traditional learning – you learn the same concepts, and you study from similar materials. But a common misconception about the difference between online and traditional education is that the student engages in less interactions with instructors and classmates. In fact, online learning might just be more interactive. If you are considering getting a degree online, here’s what you can expect from the online classes at Bryant & Stratton College. Read More…

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Instructor Blog: Tips on Effectively Using Persuation in the Workplace

Bryant & Stratton College is focused on preparing students for the workforce, and workplace capabilities are one way of doing that. Workplace capabilities are listed on each supplemental syllabus, and one of the workplace capabilities listed is persuasion. Why is this a valuable skill and how will it be accomplished in your courses?

Along with the obvious examples of persuading an employer to hire you or give you a raise, persuasion is often seen in more subtle, common examples. When working on a project, you may want to persuade your co-workers to select your approach.  You may want to propose a new technology and procedure.           Read More…

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The Most In-Demand Jobs Requiring Certificate Programs

The most in-demand jobs in the today’s market usually call for applicants to have completed a certificate program. Fortunately, online certificate programs make it possible for single parents, full-time employees, and those just entering the job market, to complete a certificate and/or degree according to their own schedule. Here are examples of jobs in high demand that can be attained by completing a certificate program:
Read More…

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Debunking Myths about Administrative Assistants

Most people are familiar with the role of an administrative assistant. But there are many misconceptions about the skills, training and level of responsibility that come along with the job. Administrative assistants don’t just answer the phone and take notes; they handle a wide variety of tasks that are absolutely essential to daily office operations. Here are some of the most common myths about administrative assistants, debunked. Read More…

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Career Overview: Medical Reimbursement and Coding

It is not about billing customers.

That is what professors in Bryant & Stratton’s Medical Reimbursement and Coding degree program say many new students think of when they think medical coding.

But crunching numbers is not how graduates in this field will spend their days.

Instead, reimbursement and coding specialists immerse themselves in understanding biology and medical terminology. They have to understand how the body works, what diagnosis is linked to that body part and then learn to correctly code those so that insurance companies can accurately pay each claim.

Students will pick one of two tracks to study: hospital (inpatient) or physician’s office (outpatient).

Once the claims are coded, the billing side of the operation then submits the claims. Depending on the size of the employer, there may be a separate department for each step in the process, meaning employees may only code or only bill. In a smaller physician’s office, a much smaller staff may be tasked with the entire process.

This field also offers a huge ability to work from home and potentially work for yourself, completing coding assignments for different physicians. However, that requires experience and becoming well-known in medical circles.

Basic facts for Medical Administrative Assistant and Medical Coding, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for 2012, the last available data)

Median Pay: $34,160 per year ($16.42 per hour)

Number of jobs, nationwide: 186,300

Rate of job growth: 22 percent per year

What will you study: physiology, biology, HIPPA laws

Growth Opportunities: Some doctors will hire experienced employees without credentials, if you have any dreams of moving up in the industry, or working from home as a contractor, you have to become credentialed and work toward earning more certifications to add to your degree.

Professional Resources: To learn more about careers as a medical reimbursement and coding specialist, check out these professional associations related to the field. Each of these organizations can help you find information, connect with mentors and research job opportunities.

The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists,

American Health Information Management Association,

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Staff Spotlight: Senior Admissions Representative Elizabeth Evans

Sometimes things around the office can get a little hectic, especially for our admissions team. Between helping students get into class, speaking with interested students who are ready to enroll and handling any other responsibilities each day, our admissions representatives have a lot on their plates.

That’s why Senior Admissions Representative, Elizabeth Evans can be found at the river by her house from spring to fall relaxing with a fishing pole in the water.

“I love to go fishing,” she said.  “Well, I love to sit on the bank and pretend I know how to fish. There’s something relaxing about ending the day watching the sun set over the river.”

Elizabeth also shares something in common with each and every one of our online students, she took online classes with Bryant & Stratton College as well. She enrolled in a Paralegal Certificate program just over a year-and-a-half ago and lived the life of an online student as she worked towards completion.

Of the many lessons she learned, the one that stood out the most to her was the importance of knowing your day-to-day schedule each week. She noted that having a plan of attack for each day and week will ensure that you manage your time properly and get all of your work done in a timely manner.

“As an online student you’re faced with new tasks and responsibilities that you didn’t have previously,” she said. “But if you’re prepared from the get-go, you’ll know exactly when you will have time to get work done and will be set up for success.”

Elizabeth’s first-hand experience as an online student has paid off in each and every relationship she forms with students. She said that working closely with her students is her favorite part of her job and playing such a large role in a stranger’s life is extremely rewarding.

For over three years Elizabeth has been helping guide students towards their educational goals. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to build a relationship with her just like so many students before you.

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