Monday, December 27, 2010

SCAD and Kids II® Partner to Create Innovative Design Solutions and Unique Learning Opportunities for Students

/PRNewswire/ -- Savannah College of Art and Design, the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, and Kids II, one of the world's fastest-growing baby product companies with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and offices on five continents, have formed a mutually beneficial partnership that provides fresh new product ideas for Kids II while giving SCAD students real-world, hands-on corporate design experience, better preparing them for post-college career opportunities.

"SCAD's mission is to prepare talented students for professional careers, and providing collaborative learning experiences with companies, nonprofits and other organizations is one of the best ways that students gain the necessary skills to make them valuable contributors from day one with employers," explained SCAD Professor Jesus Rojas, a team leader behind the SCAD and Kids II partnership.

This year, nearly 20 SCAD students -- all industrial design majors -- spent six months under the direction of Rojas and Kids II Vice President of Product Development Steve Burns developing toy and gear concepts for the company. Design criteria stated that the designs must be simple and intuitive, easy to use, have flexible use, promote infant development, reflect the essence of the existing Bright Starts™ brand, and meet global safety standards.

Students conducted market research, created more than 200 initial design concepts, and honed their ideas through collaborative meetings with Kids II's senior design team. Kids II ultimately selected two final design concepts, which the company is considering for further development and which could ultimately appear on store shelves in more than 65 countries.

"We've found that the SCAD student's thinking is bold and innovative," said Burns. "The concepts they delivered this year demonstrate a strong understanding of the market and how to advance Kids II's position as a leading provider of smart, high-quality infant products. SCAD graduates are definitely among the most inventive designers we've encountered -- which explains why we've consistently hired interns from the university for the past five years and more than half of our product designers are SCAD graduates."

Recognizing that design and education today are truly global, the partners decided to expand their relationship by providing the top 12 student designers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: travel to Hong Kong to present their portfolios and design concepts to Kids II's Asian design team, including the Kika Design Studio. While in Hong Kong, the students also met with other leading design companies such as VTech, Rubbermaid, TTI and Philips, among others. Students networked, met international design teams, shared creative concepts through portfolio presentations, toured manufacturing facilities on Mainland China, and investigated job and internship opportunities on a truly international scale.

This unique learning opportunity helps explain why, over the past four years, an average of 8 out of 10 new SCAD alumni who responded to a survey were employed in their field or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

Jean Kee, a SCAD Bachelor of Fine Arts student from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who participated in the collaborative learning partnership with Kids II, so impressed the company's design team with her concepts and professional demeanor that she barely had time to unpack from her trip to Hong Kong before she reported to the company's Atlanta office for the first day of her new internship.

"SCAD has helped me make my professional dreams a reality, and I'm truly grateful to both the university and Kids II for this amazing opportunity," said Kee. "From undertaking the Kids II sponsored project, to being able to go to Hong Kong, to being rewarded with an internship as well as the opportunity to have my design concept prototyped, I can proudly say that the experience as a whole has not only made me a more well-rounded designer, but also a stronger, more mature and much more knowledgeable individual."

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

USA Funds Accepts Applications for $1 Million in Scholarships

/PRNewswire/ -- USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education, announces that it is accepting applications online for a total of $1 million in USA Funds Access to Education Scholarships® to help students from low- to moderate-income households pay college costs.

The program offers $1,500 scholarships to qualified full-time or half-time undergraduates and to full-time graduate and professional students. Applicants for the scholarships must be enrolled or plan to enroll in course work at accredited two- or four-year colleges, universities or vocational/technical schools beginning with the fall 2011 term through Feb. 1, 2012.

The program assists students from households with an annual income of $35,000 or less. Up to 50 percent of the awards go to students who are members of an ethnic minority group or are physically disabled.

"USA Funds has helped more than 16,000 low- to moderate-income students pursue higher education through the award of more than $55 million in scholarships during the past nine years," said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, access and outreach. "We're pleased to continue this tradition of scholarship support to help deserving students overcome financial barriers to college."

The scholarship application deadline is Feb. 15, 2011.

For complete eligibility information and to apply online, students should visit www.usafunds.org/scholarship. A Spanish-language version of the scholarship information and online application is available.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Atlanta Christian College Holds First-Ever Winter Commencement

Atlanta Christian College awarded diplomas to its first-ever December graduates on Friday, with 58 students crossing the stage. A total of 144 students have received diplomas from Atlanta Christian this year – a new high for the 74-year-old college.

The commencement speaker was Dr. Crawford Loritts, nationally known speaker, author and radio host and senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga.

“Nothing in life happens apart from courage,” Loritts said to the graduates. “Often, the difference between success and failure comes down to courage.”

He encouraged the graduates to be courageous as they move into the next stages of their lives, reminding them, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the direction of fear. If you fear God more than you fear people, you’ll always come out courageous.”The December Hathcock Award winners were also announced during the ceremony. This award, named for Judge T. O. Hathcock, ACC’s founder, is the highest honor the College awards to a graduating senior. Seniors are nominated by the administrative cabinet and selected by the faculty. Not more than five percent of the graduating class may receive the award. It is given based on the qualities of academic achievement, character and servant leadership. This year’s recipients were Robin Joiner, of Snellville, Ga., and Kara Banister, of Stockbridge, Ga.
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High Schools Fall Short on College Support, Student Researchers Find

/PRNewswire/ -- Students do not get the college-going help they need from schools until far too late in the game, according to an extraordinary new report by a research team of 25 diverse high school students from Tennessee and Washington state.

Instead, parents and guardians largely step into the gap, according to their study, Hear Us Out, which was released today by the Center for Youth Voice in Policy and Practice at What Kids Can Do, Inc., a nonprofit based in Providence, RI.

Three-quarters of the respondents named their families as the chief source of college motivation and support, even when their parents and guardians had not attended college themselves.

In contrast, almost a third said they had never spoken with a school counselor about college. Although that percentage dropped to 12 percent by twelfth grade, 28 percent of seniors said they had completed their college application mostly on their own.

Student researchers based their findings on surveys of close to 5,000 peers in nine comprehensive high schools, five in Seattle and four in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Tennessee. Another 225 students participated in videotaped student-led focus groups and individual interviews.

High motivation, little help

Conversations about setting their sights on college began early for 86 percent of students and came to a peak in sixth through ninth grades. But respondents said they lacked concrete advice from school sources in the critical early high school years.

Encountering a problem moving ahead with college plans, 86 percent of students said they would turn to a parent or guardian, compared to 38 percent who said they would consult a school counselor, and 33 percent a teacher.

The cost of college was the biggest hurdle, according to more than two-thirds of students. Forty percent said they knew little or nothing about financial aid. Of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, only 64 percent expected to attend college directly after high school, compared with 78 percent of higher-income students.

Aware of the constraints caused by overloaded counselors and shrinking school budgets, the student researchers urged community partners to step in with support and coaching for families and youth. They also asked for mentoring from "near peers" — college students from similar backgrounds who could share practical advice about access and success.

"I usually don't like asking for help," said one young respondent. "But when someone says, 'Hey, check this out, I don't know if you'll like it, but you should look at it anyway,' that goes pretty far."

Supported by Lumina Foundation for Education, Hear Us Out was a collaborative effort by What Kids Can Do (WKCD), the Public Education Foundation in Chattanooga, and the Alliance for Education in Seattle. The Public Science Project at CUNY Graduate Center helped design the survey and train the students. Students carried out their research and analysis in the spring of 2010.

"We found no shortage of ambition among these high school students, whatever their family income, race or ethnicity," said WKCD president Barbara Cervone, who presented the report along with videotaped student voices to a national group of college access organizations at Lumina's Indianapolis headquarters on December 2. "But making college dreams come true for America's youth is a joint production, requiring all of us."

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Clayton State School of Graduate Studies to Hold Hooding Ceremony, December 10

The Clayton State University School of Graduate Studies will hold its fall 2010 Hooding Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9, in the ballroom of the University’s Student Activities Center, beginning at 5 p.m.

A total of 20 individuals will receive master’s degrees from Clayton State at the Hooding Ceremony, which will recognize summer 2010 and fall 2010 graduates from the School of Graduate Studies.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Distance Education Leader Ashworth College Selected by Military Advanced Education Magazine for Inclusion in Their Guide to Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities

/PRNewswire/ -- Military Advanced Education (MAE) has selected Ashworth College, a leader in online education, for inclusion in their 4th Annual Guide to Top Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.

"This guide has become an invaluable tool for both Education Service Officers/Specialists and Base Transition Officers when advising their servicemembers about degree and certification opportunities currently available from institutions of higher learning," said MAE Associate Publisher Glenn R. Berlin.

From community colleges to nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE's Annual Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities provides potential students with uniform, pertinent information. Among the attributes considered in evaluating any school's degree of military friendliness are the quality of its academics, the on-campus and online advice and support it provides to servicemembers, veterans and their families, and the sophistication and effectiveness of its distance learning programs.

"Being recognized by Military Advanced Education as a top institution serving the military is an honorable distinction for Ashworth College," said Gary M. Keisling, Ashworth Chairman and CEO. "Ashworth is proud to offer a wide range programs to those serving in the U.S. military, their spouses and families and the veteran community."

"It's Ashworth's mission to ensure that our programs are of the highest quality, accredited, affordable and flexible," Keisling added. "Our degree programs are under $100 per credit hour, compared to similar schools that push theirs as high as $250 per credit hour. It's clear that with Ashworth College military tuition benefits go further towards helping individuals achieve their education goals."

He also pointed out that Ashworth does not charge for textbooks, which, according to The College Board currently averages an incremental $1,137 per year.

In addition to providing more than 115 career-focused diploma, degree, and certificate programs, Ashworth College is a member of Servicemember Opportunity Colleges Consortium (SOC). Ashworth also accepts ACE credits and is approved for a range of other military benefits to include GI/VA education benefits, DANTES, GoArmyEd, and MyCAA.

Military Advanced Education is the only magazine produced specifically for servicemembers and veterans seeking to take advantage of the military education benefit. MAE covers issues and trends in distance learning and education as they specifically relate to military life, including innovative programs, military educational policy, financial aid and coursework that offer special opportunities for military personnel.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Valdosta's Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Named Technical College of the Year

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in Valdosta was named Technical College of the Year at the December 2 meeting of the State Board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The Board also announced that it will honor Governor Sonny Perdue’s leadership and strong commitment to the success of Georgia’s 26 technical colleges with the new award in his name.

“Our technical colleges in Georgia are critical components of our overall economic development strategy,” Governor Perdue said. “I am proud to congratulate Wiregrass Georgia Technical College on this honor. Georgia’s technical colleges are emerging from this downturn stronger and ready to meet the advanced, high-tech workforce demands of today’s global economy.”

The Governor Sonny Perdue Award for the Technical College of the Year will be presented annually to the top college in TCSG.  Judging for the award is based on almost two dozen performance criteria, including enrollment numbers, graduation rate, student retention, job placement rate, cost efficiency, completions in adult education programs, and trends in specialized workforce training.

“Governor Perdue has long been a champion for Georgia’s economic development and he understands the vital role that the TCSG colleges have in producing a highly-skilled, 21st Century workforce that attracts companies to our state and enables Georgia businesses and industries to thrive in the face of global competition,” said Dean Alford, the chairman of the State Board of the TCSG..

“With Governor Perdue as our state’s chief executive, our technical colleges have grown to be recognized as a premier destination for some of the very best technical education and workforce development programs in the nation,” said Alford.  “Now, it’s only fitting that we establish a technical college of the year award that bears his name and honors not just his long legacy of commitment and support for the TCSG, but also the outstanding leadership that he has provided for the people of Georgia.”

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is the first recipient of the honor.

Dr. Ray Perren, the president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, accepted the award on behalf of his faculty, staff and students.  The other Perdue Award finalists were Albany Technical College, Atlanta Technical College and Altamaha Technical College in Jesup.

It has been an exceptional year for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, which formed after the merger of Valdosta Technical College and East Central Technical College in July.  Enrollment at the college surged by 34 percent in 2010 to 6,198 students, and the number of those students attending as a full-time equivalent increased by 48 percent.  By the end of the year, the college graduated 756 students in certificate, diploma and degree programs, which was a 16 percent increase over the previous year.

The number of adult learners that enrolled in the college’s adult education programs, including Adult Basic Education and Adult Secondary Education, grew by 14 percent.  The college also focused on encouraging its GED graduates to transition on to technical college, with an 11 percent increase in that area.

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College also improved on its operational efficiencies in a time of fiscal belt-tightening by reducing its average expenditure per full-time equivalent by almost 21 percent.  The college, like many of its sister colleges in the TCSG, sought those efficiencies by lowering administrative costs and not by reducing students access to instructional programs, classrooms and technology.

The exceptional performance and focus on education programs that has been demonstrated by Wiregrass Georgia Technical College reflects broader growth and progress throughout the TCSG in recent years.  In fact, during Governor Perdue’s two terms in office, enrollment in the Technical College System of Georgia grew by 42%, adding more than 57,000 students to a total that reached 191,000 last year.  The record-breaking enrollment necessitated more student access to state-of-the-art facilities, classrooms and labs, and Governor Perdue responded over the years by approving the appropriation of 42 capital projects for the colleges and numerous other campus renovations and improvements that combined are worth more than $700 million dollars.

Governor Perdue also approved a change in the system’s name from the old Department of Technical and Adult Education to the more modern and descriptive Technical College System of Georgia.  He also supported the decision in 2009 to save taxpayers millions and make the TCSG more efficient by merging 13 of its colleges into six.  The mergers saved more than $6 million annually by eliminating excessive administrative costs while resulting in larger, financially stronger colleges that offer improved student access to programs and technology.


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Friday, December 3, 2010

Communities In Schools of Laurens County Achieves National Accreditation

/PRNewswire/ -- Communities In Schools of Laurens County, a youth serving organization that provides school-based and after-school programs for students and the families served, has achieved National Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with all Communities In Schools Total Quality System (TQS) standards.

The TQS standards define expectations for effective non-profit business practices and for implementing the Communities In Schools model of integrated student support services at school sites. The site standards are based on a five-year, longitudinal national evaluation conducted by an independent, outside evaluator that documented the impact of the Communities In Schools model. The evaluation revealed that schools implementing the Communities In Schools model with high fidelity had higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and performed better than comparison schools in increasing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding math and reading proficiency in 4th and 8th grades, a crucial predictor of high school graduation.

Key initiatives in CIS of Laurens County include the Certified Literate Community Program, Reading Is Fundamental, AmeriCorps Reading Tutorial Program, Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA), The Loft Teen Center, Youth Excelling and Succeeding Program, and a CIS Performance Learning Center (PLC) that provides another learning option for high school students who are not succeeding the traditional school setting.

Communities In Schools developed the Total Quality System to establish clear operational guidelines that ensure uniform quality and improved outcomes for all students being served by Communities In Schools affiliates. The TQS system is part of an organization-wide commitment to evidence-based practice and the highest standards of accountability.

"We are proud to have achieved our accreditation as it underlies the value of complying with the high set of standards put in place by Communities In Schools National," said Jackie Curtis, CIS Executive Director of Laurens County.

Communities In Schools of Laurens County is among the first to receive its national accreditation among the nearly 200 local affiliates that comprise the Communities In Schools network in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS partners with local school districts and community organizations to connect needed resources and services to kids and families. In Georgia, 41 CIS local affiliates and 19 Performance Learning Centers® (PLCs) provide services to more than 130,000 students in 54 school districts. Key initiatives include mentoring, parent education, tutoring, literacy, after-school programs, youth leadership, and PLCs. Communities sponsoring CIS programs have seen an increase in their school graduation rates, a decrease in violence and disruptions, and an increase in attendance and academic achievement. For more information, visit www.cislc.org or call 478-274-0394.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cast Your Vote to Help Georgia's Tyrone Elementary Win $10,000 in National Competition

Connie Redd in the car line spreading the word about Progresso Soup joining the Box Tops for Education Program. 

“SOUPer” news for Tyrone Elementary; the school has been selected as one of 10 finalists nationwide in the Progresso Soup Box Tops for Education Contest.

The school entered the competition last month by submitting a photo and short description of how they would creatively spread the word about Progresso Soup joining the Box Tops for Education program. Parent Connie Redd, the school’s campaign leader, wore a “Box Tops for Education” label and carried an oversized Progresso Soup can while parading through the school’s car line. She says she made sure everyone in their cars knew that the soups now have the box tops and each are worth a dime.

Her campaign and the photo of Redd wearing the costume landed the school in the finals for the competition. Now, it is up to voters to select the grand prize winning school that will receive 100,000 box tops worth approximately $10,000. If Tyrone wins, the funds will be used to repair playground equipment, purchase technology programs and instructional supplies.

Here’s how you can help Tyrone Elementary get the most votes and win the $10,000 grand prize. Log on to www.boxtops4education.com and click on the “Box Top” link at the top of the page. Enter the school’s zip code (30290) and select Tyrone Elementary from the dropdown menu. Follow the directions for registering and return to the BTFE home page, click on the contest link, find the school’s photo, and vote. Persons can vote once daily through December 13. The winner will be notified on December 17.

The Box Tops for Education program gives schools 10 cents for every Box Tops logo they send back. So far this year, Tyrone Elementary has earned $1,520 by participating in the program.

Of course, the school would like to add $10,000 to its overall total, so don’t forget to vote daily and help Tyrone Elementary become the national winner in the Progresso Soup Box Tops for Education Contest.

Editor's Note:  Come on Georgia!  Let's all help Tyrone Elementary in Fayette County win this competition!

Photo Source:  Fayette County Board of Education


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SCAD Challenge Awards Scholarships to High School Students

/PRNewswire/ -- The Savannah College of Art and Design, the most comprehensive art and design university in the world, is seeking the next generation of talented artists and designers with its scholarship competition. The SCAD Challenge offers high school seniors and juniors an international stage to exhibit their work as well as the opportunity to be eligible for scholarships to attend the university. The competition focuses on creating projects in film, 2-D, 3-D, toy design, room design, poster design, fashion and writing.

The first competition challenged high school students to create a short film to be featured at the 2010 Savannah Film Festival. The film festival, an annual signature event hosted by SCAD, features the best in independent and innovative filmmaking from around the world. Honored guests have included Hugh Dancy, Michael Douglas, Woody Harrelson, James Ivory, Tommy Lee Jones, Sir Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Renner, Isabella Rossellini and Emmy Rossum.

The SCAD Film Challenge received entries from more than 15 states and six countries. The top three senior winners were awarded artistic scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per year while enrolled at SCAD. Students also received passes to attend the 2010 Savannah Film Festival, which presented a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers. This year's senior winners were John Kim from Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Gabe Gilden from Barrington, Illinois; and Seth Boyden from Huntertown, Indiana.

The three junior winners selected by the panel of judges will experience the university this summer with full scholarships to attend SCAD Summer Seminars, workshops designed for high school students to explore a variety of creative disciplines across the SCAD curriculum. The SCAD Film Challenge junior winners were Wes Sherwin from Cartersville, Georgia; Aaron Carter from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois; and Amanda Depperschmidt from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

"The SCAD Film Challenge proved to be an overall success," said Katrine Trantham, senior director of enrollment events and programs. "All the faculty involved were extremely impressed with the level of talent exhibited and look forward to seeing the senior winners at SCAD next year."

SCAD offers the most comprehensive degree programs in film and digital media in the United States. The university offers the only major film program in the United States integrated with an acclaimed art and design institution. Students work with current, industry-standard hardware and software, learn from faculty who are practitioners as well as mentors, and have opportunities for collaboration. SCAD film and television students and alumni produce work that receives prestigious recognition. Some of their work has been showcased at Sundance, Cannes, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, South by Southwest, the Palm Springs Film Festival, and many others.

To learn more about the upcoming challenges, visit www.scad.edu/scadchallenge. The SCAD Film Challenge entries can be viewed at http://filmfest.scad.edu/category/scad-challenge/.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Law to Hold Meeting on Public Education

Public is Invited to Share Thoughts on Public Education in Georgia

State Board Member Robert “Buzz” Law to Hold Meeting in
The Sixth Congressional District



Are you interested in learning more about public education in Georgia? Do you have suggestions that may help Georgia lead the nation in improving student achievement? If so, you may want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to speak directly to the State Board of Education Member representing your area – the Sixth Congressional District.

Mr. Law welcomes you to an open public hearing taking place Monday, November 29, 2010. The meeting will be held from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Autrey Mill Middle School, 4110 Old Alabama Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022.

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, or simply a concerned citizen – you are encouraged to take part in this important event. Your feedback is critical as the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools work together to insure that all Georgia students are receiving an excellent education.

Those wishing to speak at the meeting are asked to sign in when they arrive. For more information contact Mrs. Jackie Clarke Dodd at 404-657-7410 or by e-mail: jclarkedodd@doe.k12.ga.us.

The Georgia Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities. Individuals who need assistance or auxiliary aids for participation in this public forum are invited to make their needs known to Mrs. Jackie Clarke Dodd, Georgia Department of Education at (404) 657-7410.

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Redesigned Theology Master's Program Allows Students to 'Go Deep'

Candler School of Theology at Emory University is introducing a retooled Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree program that enables students to “go as deep as they want” in a wide range of study areas. It debuts in the fall of 2011. The application deadline is Feb. 1.

Designed for students who are interested in exploring theology and religion without preparing for ordained ministry, the two-year MTS program is especially suited for those drawn to teaching and research or engagement in social issues. The program is ideal for journalists, attorneys, teachers, national governing body staff members, and others whose work requires an understanding of the role of religion and theology in public life.

The new curriculum’s two broad focus areas – “History, Scripture and Tradition” and “Modern Religious Thought and Experience” -- give students flexibility to design up to two-thirds of their coursework around their specific interests.

“Our previous program requirements didn’t always fit with students’ expressed academic and vocational interests. Now, they can go as deep as they want into any field, from Bible to theology, from society and personality to the intersection of church and politics,” says Steven J. Kraftchick, associate professor in the practice of New Testament interpretation and director of General and Advanced Programs. “This flexibility allows us to help students more easily reach their aspirations, and achieve their educational and vocational goals more directly.”

Pursuing joint degrees

The customized approach also increases students’ opportunities for close collaboration with faculty at Candler and across Emory. It encourages interdisciplinary study throughout the university, the pursuit of joint degrees in public health, law and business, and specialized research and study abroad options.

The program also is intentional about helping students discern their vocation. Plenaries, small groups and a new professional development elective help them shape their career goals, while a capstone course brings together students who have the same focus area to write their thesis papers in a collaborative environment.

Candler’s MTS degree program started in 1972 with around a dozen students. Today approximately 70 Candler students pursue an MTS, which is about 15 percent of Candler’s student body.

“The program is selective so that we can give our students more individualized focus and more one-on-one time with our talented faculty,” says Kraftchick.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

McIntosh's Lane Named Georgia’s Assistant Principal of the Year

Dan Lane (left) with GASSP President-Elect Dr. Mark Wilson

The best assistant principal in Georgia, and possibly the nation, is at McIntosh High in Peachtree City.

Dan Lane has been selected as Georgia’s Assistant Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP), and has been chosen to represent the state in the National Assistant Principal of the Year competition.

Each year GASSP selects an Assistant Principal of the Year at the middle and high school level, and chooses one to compete for the national title sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

The Assistant Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have demonstrated success in leadership, curriculum and personalization. These school leaders have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students, and are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.

Lane says being Georgia’s Assistant Principal of the Year is not an award for him, but one that belongs to all of the McIntosh faculty and staff. He says the academic excellence for which McIntosh is known is due to a dedicated team of teachers and staff that work together to help all students achieve to the best of their abilities.

“Though we have outstanding test scores, when you dig down deep into our data, you will see that we have students who struggle just like everyone else. McIntosh is being proactive in helping those students now, before we see long-term ramifications in the future. It would be easy to sit on our laurels touting our excellent test scores, but that does not happen here. At McIntosh, we are committed to building up all students regardless of where they started,” says Lane.

Assistant Principals of the Year from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity will compete for the national title. Three finalists will be announced January 2011 with the winner being named during the NASSP National Convention on February 26, 2011.

As Georgia’s Assistant Principal of the Year, Lane will be honored at the State Assistant Principals of the Year Forum and Awards Gala in Washington, DC March 30-April 2, 2011.

Photo Source:  Fayette County Board of Education

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Keep It Short and Tweet: KFC Looking to Award $20,000 College Scholarship Based on Applicant’s Twitter Message

(BUSINESS WIRE)--KFC is taking the application process for its KFC Colonel’s Scholars® program to the “Twitterverse” with a web 2.0 spin. Starting today through November 26, high school seniors can try to win a $20,000 Colonel’s Scholars scholarship by drafting a single tweet, 140 characters or less, including the hashtag #KFCScholar.

“This year, through one of the hottest emerging forms of media, we want to offer students a creative way to realize their dreams of obtaining a college education.”

KFC is asking college hopefuls to tweet why they exemplify Colonel Sanders’ commitment to education and enriching their communities, and why they are deserving of a college scholarship. The scholarship winner, announced on December 1, will receive up to $5,000 per year for the next four years to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an accredited public university within his or her home state.

“Every year, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation awards more than 75 scholarships to college hopefuls who are committed to both their education and enriching their communities,” said John Cywinski, Chief Marketing and Food Innovation Officer for KFC. “This year, through one of the hottest emerging forms of media, we want to offer students a creative way to realize their dreams of obtaining a college education.”

@KFC_COLONEL Scholarship Applications: The Short and the Tweet of It

* From November 16 – November 26, follow KFC on Twitter (@KFC_Colonel) and submit your application, including #KFCScholar in the tweet
* Applicants do not have to include @KFC_Colonel in the message, but are required to include #KFCScholar, which can be included as part of the message; e.g., “I should be a #KFCScholar because…”
* Tweets will be reviewed after November 26 to determine that applicants comply with proper eligibility requirements*, and the winner will be announced on December 1.

KFC Colonel’s Scholars Rewards Those Hungry to Learn

KFC Colonel’s Scholars, now in its fifth year, is an annual program of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, an independent charity supported by KFC, its employees and franchisees, and KFC patrons. The KFC Colonel’s Scholars’ mission is to empower students to improve their lives with scholarship resources. The program has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships since its inception.

For official rules and more information on KFC Colonel’s Scholars and the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation, visit www.KFC.com or www.KFCscholars.org. The regular application process begins December 1, 2010.

*Eligibility

To be eligible to compete for the KFC Colonel's Scholars Scholarship, an individual must:

* Graduate from high school this academic year (8/31/11)
* Earn a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.75
* Plan to pursue a bachelor's degree at a public, in-state college or university (start no later than 9/30/11)
* Be a US citizen or permanent resident

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Online Education Grows by Almost One Million Students; Eighth Annual Sloan Survey of Online Education Shows Economy Still Driving Growth

/PRNewswire --The 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that enrollment rose by almost one million students from a year earlier.

The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009, the most recent term for which figures are available.

"This represents the largest ever year-to-year increase in the number of students studying online," said study co-author I. Elaine Allen, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group and Professor of Statistics & Entrepreneurship at Babson College. "Nearly 30% of all college and university students now take at least one course online."

She adds: "There may be some clouds on the horizon. While the sluggish economy continues to drive enrollment growth, large public institutions are feeling budget pressure and competition from the for-profit sector institutions. In addition, the for-profit schools worry new federal rules on financial aid and student recruiting may have a negative impact on enrollments."

Other findings:

* Almost two-thirds of for-profit institutions now say that online learning is a critical part of their long term strategy.
* The 21% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 2% growth in the overall higher education student population.
* Nearly one-half of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for face-to-face courses and programs.
* Three-quarters of institutions report that the economic downturn has increased demand for online courses and programs.

The eighth annual survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States. The survey is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and distributed by the Sloan Consortium. The complete survey report, Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010, is available on the Sloan Consortium Web site, www.sloanconsortium.org. The report includes a detailed analysis of the factors driving the growth in online education.

The Babson Survey Research Group in the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurial Research at Babson College conducts regional, national, and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting. http://www3.babson.edu/ESHIP/research-publications/survey-research-group.cfm

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns. Visit www.collegeboard.org.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education. Visit www.sloanconsortium.org.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Teen Science Sensations From Virginia and Georgia Take Regional Title in Prestigious Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology

Research on Computer Science and Mathematics Honored in Nation's Premier Science Research Competition for High School Students at Georgia Institute of Technology

Caelan Garrett of McLean, Virginia, Wins Top Individual Prize; Sitan Chen of Suwanee, Georgia, and Tianqi Wu of Lilburn, Georgia, Win Top Team Prize

 /PRNewswire/ -- Cutting edge research on image processing and recognition and on parallel computation earned top honors tonight for Caelan Garrett and the team of Sitan Chen and Tianqi Wu in the Region Six Finals of the 2010-11 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier science research competition for high school students.
The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board. Tonight's winners will receive thousands of dollars in scholarships and be invited to compete at the National Finals in Washington, DC, December 3–6, 2010, where the winners of six regional competitions will vie for the $100,000 Grand Prize and national acclaim for extraordinary scientific achievement at the high school level.

"Each year, the Siemens Foundation invites America's high school students to make their mark in the world of science," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. "We commend these students on rising to the challenge and pushing the envelope of scientific thought."

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from the Georgia Institute of Technology, host of the Region Six Finals, Georgia State University and Emory University.

The Winning Individual

Caelan Garrett, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his computer science project, An Image Processing System for Enhancing Perceptual Visibility of Imagery, which attempts to improve on simulations of human optical processing.

Mr. Garrett developed and implemented a novel adaptation of the Retinex algorithm, an equation that allows computers to model how the human eye and brain processes images. He adapted the algorithm to a new system that can enhance images obstructed by smoke, fog, shadows and haze. His research could potentially be used to increase air and marine transportation safety through improved visibility, improve the range of night vision goggles, and enhance commercial imagery.

"Mr. Garrett developed an exceptionally novel approach to the problem. The new algorithm no longer suffers from some of the limitations of the original, allowing for improved contrast and recognition when objects are obscured by either high or low intensity backgrounds," said Dr. Philip J. Santangelo, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. "His work could have a wide range of applications, from underwater imaging to the transportation industry, where high speed processing could assist in accident avoidance."

Mr. Garrett developed a passion for computer science during his freshman year and became interested in robotics after experimenting with Lego Mindstorms at a US Naval Academy summer program. As captain of the varsity Botball Robotics team, Mr. Garrett led his team to victory for two consecutive years. He is co-director of two a cappella groups and has performed in a number of musicals. Mr. Garrett aspires to become a computer science researcher and work with artificial intelligence and cognitive robotics. His mentor on the project was Dr. Mark A. Livingston of the US Naval Research Laboratory.

The Winning Team

Sitan Chen, a junior at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia, and Tianqi Wu, a senior at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Georgia, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their mathematics project, Cellular Automata to More Efficiently Compute the Collatz Map . The project looked at the Collatz conjecture, a famous unsolved mathematical problem first proposed in 1937. Mr. Chen and Mr. Wu used a parallel computing approach to simulate the conjecture's mathematical processes. Their mentor was Guanghua Chen, Harland Clarke Senior Software Engineer.

"Mr. Chen and Mr. Wu showed a high level of creativity and of mathematical and computational understanding in attacking the problem," said Dr. Eva K. Lee, Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. "They developed an elegant and simple approach via cellular automata to improve the computational time needed to verify the conjecture. Their work is an important step towards rapid parallel computation and can have a broad range of applications, including medicine, finance, energy, and climate analysis."

Mr. Chen is an accomplished pianist and violinist who has performed twice at Carnegie Hall. He enjoys fencing and volunteering at his local library and has won awards at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and the FBLA State and National Leadership Conferences. He plans to study mathematics, aerospace engineering and music in college and aspires to become a university professor.

Mr. Wu is president of his school's math team and ranks first in his class of 575 students. He was born in Shanghai, China, where he lived for 14 years before coming to the United States. He is a member of Mu Alpha Seta and enjoys Choi Kwang Do martial arts, discussing philosophy, and reading fantasy fiction. He plans to major in mathematics and would like to become a research mathematician.

Regional Finalists

The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. Regional Finalists in the individual category were:

* JooHee Choi, Langley High School, McLean, Virginia
* Sanjeet Das, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
* Sophie Janaskie, North Broward Preparatory School, Coconut Creek, Florida
* Srikar Reddy, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, Florida


Team Regional Finalists were:

* Arjun Bhattacharya and Karthikeyan Ardhanareeswaran, William G. Enloe High School, Raleigh, North Carolina
* Carlos del-Castillo-Negrete, Scotty Chung and Yajit Jain, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
* Eric Huang, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Illinois, and Jamie Chen, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina
* Mathilda Lloyd and Yiwei Li, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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What Would YOUR School Do With $25,000 to Improve Youth Fitness?

Georgia's own Spring Hill Elementary in Chatsworth is in the top 10 finalists.  Can we make them number 1?

/PRNewswire/ -- Parents, teachers and community members from across the country have nominated their local schools to win $25,000 in fitness cash in an effort to address the urgent health and fitness crisis among our nation's youth. The entry period is now over, and the top ten finalists have been chosen for the 2010 Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit Contest—now it's up to YOU to decide which school will win the $25,000 prize!

Henkel, the company behind some of the nation's leading consumer brands such as Dial® soaps, Purex® laundry detergent, Renuzit® air freshener, Right Guard® antiperspirant, and Soft Scrub® household cleaners, in cooperation, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), have chosen the top 10 finalists in the Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit contest. Parents, teachers and community members were encouraged to visit www.HenkelHelps.com to nominate their local school by answering a fundamental question: "What Would Your School Do with $25,000 to Improve Youth Fitness?"

The TEN FINALISTS (alphabetically by last name), with excerpts from their essay submissions, include:

* Tracy Carey from Maricopa, AZ nominated Santa Cruz Elementary School – "Adding a climbing wall to our multipurpose room brings an activity that promotes self-esteem, contributes to cardiovascular and muscular endurance, enhances the skills of cooperation and team-building and is super fun!"


* Ryan Koslovsky from Saint Charles, IL nominated East Aurora High School – "Our school is located in a poverty level district and is filled with students of all ages that are determined to look past the negative influences around them and succeed here at East."


* Amy Kriveloff from Bronx, NY nominated P754X – "95% of our population lives below the poverty level and qualifies for the federally funded in school breakfast/lunch program. 1/3 of our students reside in foster care or in Group Homes."


* Ashley Langford from Chatsworth, GA nominated Spring Place Elementary School – "Spring Place Elementary has a lot of heart to say the least. Walk the tattered halls of this school, and you will not see the dilapidated building, you will see hundreds of smiling faces- both on the children and adults as they grow and learn."


* Julie Maguder from Meriden, CT nominated Washington Middle School – "Despite all of the facts we know about the direct correlation between regular exercise and academic success, we have no ability to incorporate regular exercise into our students' lives. Last year's budget was $220.00 and this year…NO MONEY was allotted to buy any equipment for our PE program."


* Terri Mills from Memphis, TN nominated Knight Road Elementary School – "[B]ecause of the fact that our children are being raised in poverty, our school attempts to meet the needs of the children right where they are now. We struggle continually because of a lack of funding to provide even necessities. Our children are wonderful and deserve the very best."


* Darci Nice from Polson, MT nominated Pablo Elementary School – "After watching your videos I chuckled to myself thinking how fortunate the majority of schools are just to receive an average pay of $764.00. Our physical education program here has received for the past two years, $300.00 each year."


* Mary Kathryn Rains from Tampa, FL nominated Freedom High School – "If Freedom High School receives the grand prize, not one penny would go to waste. For starters, the Physical Education department works with a budget of $750 each year. For small schools, this amount may be substantial, but in a school of 2300 students, this amount fails to provide students with fitness resources."


* Brenda Tarquinio from Frederick, MD nominated Orchard Grove Elementary School – "Schools at the elementary level are often left out of advantages such as a paved track and we are left to figure out where to have our students run. Yet…students who love to move their body in elementary school will be on the road to learning about life long fitness."


* Erin Zajac from Stillwater, OK nominated Will Rogers Elementary School – "If awarded the $25,000 grant money from Henkel Helps, Will Rogers will have the opportunity to create a safer, more durable walking path on the playground."


The top 10 finalists will receive a free Flip™ video camera to create a brief video that brings to life the health and fitness issues facing their school and their idea for making the most of the $25,000 prize. Starting November 15, consumers will vote online at http://www.HenkelHelps.com to select the school they feel deserves to win the $25,000 to help improve youth fitness.

"In the last three years, Henkel Helps has worked to give back to the communities across North America," said Natalie Violi, Director-Corporate Communications – Henkel. "Our 2010 campaign, Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit, hopes to inspire communities around their schools' fitness programs and make a meaningful difference in the lives of kids, families and neighborhoods nationwide."

For more information please visit http://www.HenkelHelps.com.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Georgia Southern University Approved to Offer Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Degrees

Georgia Southern University has received approval by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents to offer baccalaureate degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering with classes set to begin in Fall 2011.

“There are defining in moments in the life of every major university.  The approval to offer engineering degrees at Georgia Southern is definitely one of the most notable in our institution’s more than 100-year history,” said Brooks Keel, Ph.D., president of Georgia Southern University.  “An adequate supply of engineers is critical not only to the goal of fostering a statewide environment that nurtures high-tech industry, but to the future prosperity of Georgia.”

Prior to the November 9 approval, the state of Georgia had a limited number of options for engineering education and many in-state students were forced to explore out-of-state alternatives.

“We are very grateful for the support that we have received from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, the Chancellor and his staff during this entire process,” said Keel.

Building on a Tradition of Engineering Education

Georgia Southern University has been offering nationally accredited baccalaureate degrees in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering technology for more than 30 years.  In addition, Georgia Southern has offered the Regents Engineering Transfer Program (RETP) and Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program (GTREP) for nearly 20 years.  The unique programs have offered students who successfully completed freshman and sophomore level university core and engineering science courses the opportunity to transfer to Georgia Tech to complete their engineering studies.

Georgia Southern’s existing engineering technology programs have seen a steady increase in enrollment in stark contrast to national trends.  In addition, the in-state work retention percentage (or the number of graduates that begin their professional careers in-state following graduation) at Georgia Southern University is estimated at 78.9 percent, far above other competing institutions.

“Georgia Southern’s new engineering degrees will retain the applied nature of their engineering technology roots, but will allow the University to fulfill its evolving mission of teaching and research,” said Bret Danilowicz, Ph.D., dean of the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology (COST).  “These new programs will enable Georgia Southern to not only train engineering graduates that will be in high-demand by employers, but it will also allow us to significantly increase our ability to promote and develop the economy of Georgia.”

The new degree programs will initially be housed within COST, but it is envisioned that Georgia Southern University will create a new College of Engineering to accommodate expected increases in student interest.

Georgia Southern’s existing engineering technology programs will be phased out as the three new engineering programs become established, allowing students currently enrolled in these degree programs to complete their program of studies.

Supply vs. Demand

During the past 20 years, the U.S. has not produced enough engineering graduates to meet employment demands. The Engineering Workforce Commission found a 19.8 percent decrease in the number of engineering degrees awarded between 1986 and 1998.  During the same period, the total number of college degrees awarded in the U.S. increased by 20 percent.

Similarly, the historic shortfall of engineers within the state of Georgia is projected to continue, as the overall number of engineering graduates has decreased, and the aging engineering workforce continues to retire at a faster rate than can be replaced.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the 2008-18 decade, overall engineering employment is expected to grow by 11 percent.

“There is definitely a demand for well-trained engineers with hands-on experience and Georgia Southern University is the perfect place to offer engineering programs,” said Georgia State Senator Jack Hill. “Georgia companies and those considering Georgia for their manufacturing operations or high-tech businesses continue to need well-trained engineers and supply continues to be an issue.  Georgia Southern now joins a select few universities to offer engineering in the state and will help support not only one of the fastest growing areas in Georgia, but in the country.”

Supporting Economic Development in Georgia

The addition of engineering programs at Georgia Southern will make an immediate impact on economic development activities in the state of Georgia. By creating an increased supply of qualified engineering graduates, Georgia companies will have the opportunity to attract, hire and retain entry-level engineers that meet their requirements without having to recruit out-of-state. 

Additionally, a review of U.S. Census records reveals that the more engineers working in a state, the wealthier the state.  Prior to today’s approval, Georgia had less than a third of the number of public engineering schools found in a typical state, and fewer than half the number of public engineering schools found in even the nation's poorest states.

Today, a number of Georgia Southern’s students come from coastal and rural areas of Georgia and will return to those areas as engineers, supporting the economic development of these fast-growing regions. The Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development at Georgia Southern University recently performed an Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) of the benefits of transitioning the University’s existing engineering technology programs to engineering programs. In just a five-year span of time, the additional regional economic output to the counties surrounding Georgia Southern University would experience more than a $7 million increase.


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UGA leadership program to use grant to raise students' college readiness and completion rates

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement a data utilization grant that will support an 18-month project to help high schools use college success data to make improvements in instruction and teacher practices to raise students’ college readiness and completion rates.

GLISI—a public/private initiative that provides leadership training and capacity building for K-12 school systems throughout the state—is affiliated with the Fanning Institute, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia.

“The Gates grant is an incredible opportunity to support 10 district teams to access, utilize and apply post-secondary information from the National Student Clearinghouse and other state data reports in order to improve instruction that leads to increased college readiness and completion for Georgia’s students,” said Gale Hulme, GLISI executive director.

Teams from 10 school districts will learn how to read reports from sources such as the National Student Clearinghouse, interpret what they mean, and use the information to influence school improvement and classroom instruction. Each team will include a principal, counselor, teacher, data administrator, district office administrator and a representative from a local university.

Data have been used successfully to improve high school graduation rates and help schools meet annual yearly progress goals. However, meeting those minimal standards is not adequately preparing high school graduates for success in post-secondary education. Approximately 45 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges fail to graduate in six years and 89 percent of first-generation college students drop out prior to earning a degree—an issue this grant seeks to address.

“If we’re going to compete with Korea, China and top industrialized countries, our students need to be successful through college and beyond,” said Mary Anne Charron, senior performance consultant at GLISI and principal investigator. “Now our focus needs to be on P-20 successes.”

In addition to NSC data, participating school districts will learn about and use data from the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and the state’s longitudinal database. These reports are available for every district and high school to show how their graduates fared as college students. GLISI also will create performance-based modules as tools to help other schools mine the data for themselves and will offer a coaching component to help leaders use the data.

Charron, a former high school principal, said that seeing these data will convince high school leadership to invest in making changes to increase college readiness. As with any change, the next step will be to determine how school leadership can cascade their findings into the culture and practice of the school.

GLISI, founded in 2002, has a national reputation for helping education leaders positively impact student achievement and improve organizational effectiveness, ensuring that the workforce in Georgia’s schools is able to meet the needs of 21st century communities. School systems that have partnered with GLISI report gains in student performance, staff collaboration and leadership for learning.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

University System Enrolls a Record 311,442 Students

The University System of Georgia’s (USG) fall 2010 enrollment has climbed to 311,442 students, yet another record high. That’s an increase of 9,550 students, or 3.2 percent, over the fall 2009 enrollment, which at the time was the record.

USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced the figures today, as the System released its 2010 Fall Enrollment Report. The report provides data on enrollment by institution, by gender, by race and ethnicity, and breaks down students by class (freshmen, sophomore, etc.) and in-state/out-of-state.

“Individuals continue to seek out the opportunity that higher education uniquely offers,” said Davis. “We must bear this in mind as we continue to be challenged by budgets and shrinking state resources.”

Since fall 2006, enrollment in the System’s 35 degree-granting colleges and universities has risen every year, adding 51,497 students, a 19.8 percent increase over the past five years. “This is the equivalent of adding all of our eight two year colleges and one state college (Middle Georgia College) to our system in terms of the raw numbers,” Davis said.

While this year’s increase of 3.2 percent is smaller than the 6.7 percent jump (18,914 students) from fall 2008 to fall 2009, it tracks the annual percentage increases seen over recent years: 2.5 percent from fall 2005 to fall 2006, 3.9 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2007; and 4.8 percent from fall 2007 to fall 2008. The average percentage increase over the 2006-2010 period is almost 4 percent.

Six USG institutions saw double-digit growth this fall:

Leading the pack – as it did last fall – is Georgia Gwinnett College, with an increase of 82.6 percent, or 2,433 students, to 5,380 students enrolled this fall.

Atlanta Metropolitan College, 13 percent, to 3,037 students.

College of Coastal Georgia, 11.6 percent, to 3,438 students.

East Georgia College, 11.2 percent, to 3,063 students.

South Georgia College, 10.7 percent, to 2,214 students.

Gordon College, 10.2 percent, to 5,009 students.

By sector, the four research universities (Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and the University of Georgia) saw an average increase of 1.4 percent.

The two regional universities (Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University) grew an average of 3.5 percent and the 13 state universities were slightly below this, at 2.5 percent growth.

The eight state colleges saw an average enrollment increase of 7.9 percent – which was the largest percentage jump by sector. The eight two-year colleges posted a 3.5 percent increase.

This year’s enrollment report shows that by sector the four research universities comprise 28.4 percent of fall enrollment; the regionals have 10.1 percent and the state universities have 30.7 percent..

The access colleges have 27.7 percent of enrollment – 12.4 percent at state colleges and 15.3 percent at the two-year colleges. Yet 29 percent of total access enrollment – 25,113 students – is concentrated in just one institution: Georgia Perimeter College.

“We must continue our efforts – as set forth in the Board’s Strategic Plan – to shift more of our enrollment to our access institutions,” noted Davis. “These institutions are where we have the capacity at a lower cost of instruction than at our research universities to continue to meet growing enrollment during a time of declining state resources.”

Minority students continued to enroll at a higher percentage rate than the overall student population in fall 2010.

The biggest percentage growth came in Hispanic enrollment, which jumped 14.5 percent, or 1,847 students, from fall 2009 to fall 2010. Total Hispanic enrollment is now at 12,734, or 4.7 percent of total enrollment. In 2009, Hispanic enrollment was 4.2 percent of all students.

Enrollment growth by Asian students increased 6.5 percent, or 979 students, from fall 2009 to fall 2010. Asian enrollment for fall 2010 stands at 20,235 students, or 6.4 percent of total enrollment.

The System’s African-American enrollment increased from fall 2009 to fall 2010 by 5.1 percent, or 4,130 students. Total System African-American enrollment now stands at 84,106, or 27 percent of all students.

Looking at gender, females make up 57.5 percent of total enrollment. This percentage is down from last year, by exactly point one-tenth of a percent. This fall there are 179,031 females and 132,409 males enrolled in the USG.

First-time freshmen students total 49,368 in fall 2010, an increase of just 211 students, or .4 percent.

Georgia residents comprise 89.9 percent, or 280,021 students, of the USG’s total enrollment.

The system’s full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) for fall 2010 is 276,111, an increase of 3.6 percent over fall 2009, adding 9,536 students. The increase in FTE enrollment means that more students are taking additional hours of courses, compared to students in fall 2009.


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Georgia High School Seniors Get a Jump Start on a Degree with Georgia Apply to College Week

The very idea of attending college can be overwhelming, especially without any help. If you don’t know where or how to start, then Georgia Apply to College Week (Nov. 8-12) will help.

Governor Sonny Perdue has proclaimed November Georgia Apply to College Month in an effort to encourage college participation for high school and non-traditional age students. Georgia Apply to College Week (GACW) specifically focuses on high-school students using http://www.GACollege411.org/ to apply to colleges throughout Georgia.

Georgia Apply to College Week will be held at 109 participating Georgia high schools, representing 65 counties. While open to all seniors at those schools, there is special focus on providing assistance to first generation and economically disadvantaged students as they navigate the college application process.

GACollege411is an online resource that helps students and their families select a college, apply for admission and plan to finance higher education. The GAcollege411 website offers access to information about colleges, universities, and technical colleges throughout Georgia. Volunteers from the participating agencies/organizations, Georgia’s colleges and universities, and the community will be on hand to assist students as they complete their applications.

“This is a home-grown effort that reaches out to students. It is a tremendous program and it will be important to keep expanding in future years,” said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr.

At the first Georgia Apply to College Week in 2008, more than 50 volunteers assisted almost 900 students with completing admission applications at eight pilot high schools. In 2009, over 200 volunteers provided assistance, many of who supported multiple events and therefore filling about 475 volunteer slots. This year, almost 350 volunteer registrations have been received.

This week of events is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Foundation of Independent Colleges, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, Communities in Schools, the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia (USG), and endorsed by the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The event is receiving funding from the College Access Challenge Grant, a federal program that fosters partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

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NASA awards Emory, MCG $7.6 million for space radiation research

Researchers from Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute and the Medical College of Georgia are launching a new cancer research initiative – literally.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded a team of investigators from both institutions $7.6 million over five years to study how a component of space radiation may induce lung cancer.

The award establishes a NASA Specialized Center of Research (NSCOR), consisting of a team of scientists with complementary skills who work closely together to solve a set of research questions. Ya Wang, PhD, professor of radiation oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, is director of the NSCOR at Emory.

Interplanetary space travel could expose astronauts to conditions where they are chronically exposed to types of radiation not normally encountered on earth. One of these is high energy charged particles (HZE), which results in complex damage to DNA and a broader stress response by the affected cells and tissues.

There is no epidemiological data for human exposure to HZE particles, although some estimates have been made studying uranium miners and Japanese atomic bomb survivors, says Wang.

Animal experiments show that HZE particle exposure induces more tumors than other forms of radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays. Because it is a leading form of cancer, lung cancer can be expected to be prominent among increased risks from radiation even though astronauts do not smoke. However, the risk for astronauts remains unclear because the dose of HZE astronauts are expected to receive is very low, Wang says.

The Emory-MCG researchers will probe whether the broader stress response induced by HZE particles amplifies cancer risk. Investigators will collaborate with physicists at Brookhaven National Laboratory to gather information on HZE’s effects. Individual projects include the study of how cells repair DNA damage induced by HZE particles, how HZE particles generate oxidative stress, and how they trigger regulatory changes in DNA known as methylation.

Participating faculty include:

Ya Wang, PhD, professor of radiation oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory – director of NSCOR
Paul Doetsch, PhD, professor of radiation oncology and biochemistry, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory – associate director of NSCOR
William Dynan, PhD, professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia – associate director of NSCOR
Paula Vertino, PhD, professor of radiation oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory
Huichen Wang, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory
Shi-Yong Sun, PhD, associate professor of hematology and medical oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory
Gregg Orloff, PhD, assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory
“The information generated by this project will be critical for estimating risks and establishing countermeasures for cancers associated with long term space travel. In addition, new insights into cancer resulting from all types of radiation exposure, including those found on earth, are likely to emerge from this project,” Dr. Doetsch says.

Dr. Dynan adds, “We plan to visualize the response to HZE particle radiation in real time using nanomedicine tools and approaches. A focus on leading-edge technology was a distinguishing feature of our application.”

Walter Curran, MD, executive director of Winship and chairman of Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology, says “the center will place Emory and the State of Georgia squarely on the map as a place of international importance within the handful of NSCORs in the world dedicated to the study of cancer and space radiation exposure.”

New NSCOR awards are also being made to Duke University and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center on the topic of space radiation-induced lung cancer.

Additional information is available on the NASA Space Radiation web site.


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UGA to mark 50th anniversary of desegregation in 2011

The University of Georgia will mark the 50th anniversary of its desegregation with a series of events starting on Jan. 9—the date in 1961 when Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) became the first African Americans to register for classes—and continuing for 50 days through Feb. 28, the end of Black History Month.

Hunter-Gault will return to campus for a kick-off reception on Jan. 9 that also will include the family of the late Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early, who transferred to UGA as a graduate student in the summer of 1961 and the next year became the first African American to earn a degree when she received her master’s in music education.Holmes and Hunter-Gault graduated in 1963.

The reception, which is free and open to the public, will be from 6-8 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.

On Jan. 10, Hunter-Gault will deliver a 50th anniversary lecture at 3 p.m. in Mahler Auditorium of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.Overflow seating will be available in Masters Hall, with a live video feed.

A panel discussion of the legal issues involved in the university’s desegregation will follow in Masters Hall at 5 p.m. Participants will include Horace Ward, who first challenged UGA’s discriminatory admissions policies after being denied admission to the School of Law in 1950, and Robert Benham, who earned a law degree from UGA in 1970 and later became the first African-American chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.Ward, who served on Holmes and Hunter’s legal team, was appointed a U.S. District Judge in 1979 and is currently a Senior District Judge.

At 8 p.m., the premiere campus screening of a documentary on Donald Hollowell, who led the legal team that secured admission for Holmes and Hunter, will be held in Masters Hall.The documentary was produced by Maurice Daniels, dean of the School of Social Work, and Derrick Alridge, director of the Institute for African American Studies.

Hunter-Gault also will participate in a conversation with students in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, from which she earned her degree, on Jan. 11.The event will be recorded.The Grady College is promoting a college-wide read of her 1992 memoir In My Place prior to her return to campus.

Also on Jan. 11, noted poet, author and activist Sonia Sanchez will participate in a dialogue moderated by Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Writer-in-Residence in the Grady College, and featuring poet Reginald McKnight, who holds the Hamilton Holmes Professorship in English.The event is at 2 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center with a reception and book-signing following.

Another panel discussion is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. that day in 101 Miller Learning Center with UGA faculty authors Maurice Daniels, who wrote a biography of Horace Ward; Robert Pratt, who chronicled UGA’s desegregation in We Shall Not Be Moved; and Thomas Dyer, who included a chapter on the event in his bicentennial history of UGA.Joining them will be Robert Cohen, professor of history and social studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, who also has written about UGA’s desegregation.

The week concludes with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast with Mary Frances Early as the speaker. Co-sponsored by the university, the Athens-Clarke County Government and the Clarke County School District, the event will be at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 14 in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.Advance reservations are needed and should be made through the Office of Institutional Diversity (706/583-8195).

Early also will visit with students at J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School on Jan. 13 for an event sponsored by UGA’s College of Education and the Institute for African American Studies.

Additional details about these and the many other events planned throughout January and February are available on the 50th anniversary of desegregation website (desegregation.uga.edu), which also includes historical information as well as “milestones and achievements” of the past 50 years.

“We really want to encourage the campus community and the local community to participate in this landmark occasion,” said Cheryl Dozier, associate provost for institutional diversity, who co-chairs the planning committee with Derrick Alridge. “There are so many ways to do so and we are excited to see the creativity being shown by UGA departments and student groups in finding ways to celebrate the courage of Hamilton Holmes, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Mary Frances Early, as well as those who supported them and those who have followed in their footsteps.”

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Georgia Natural Gas® TrueBlue Schools™ Program Tops $550,000 in Donations to Georgia Schools

/PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Natural Gas® (GNG), Georgia's leading natural gas provider, announced today that it has donated more than $550,000 to Georgia schools as a result of its successful TrueBlue Schools™ fundraising program. GNG plans to donate $2 million to Georgia schools through the program.

Now in its third year, TrueBlue Schools™ was created by GNG to help support schools throughout Georgia. When a consumer becomes a customer of GNG and elects to participate in the program, a $5 donation is made to the school of his or her choice every month. TrueBlue dollars are being used to pay for books, art supplies, music programs, field trips, sports equipment, playgrounds, scholarships, classroom technology – anything a school needs. Currently, 857 of the 2,326 schools in the GNG service area earn TrueBlue Schools™ donations.

"True Blue Schools™ is a great way for GNG to show its support for Georgia schools, and we are particularly proud of the $550,000 this innovative program already has provided to schools," said GNG CEO Mike Braswell. "The best part is the program's simplicity – just sign up with GNG, and we send checks to your school every quarter."

With this program, a school doesn't have to commit to a time-consuming fundraising project. There are no order forms, no inventory to manage and no monies to collect. All public and private elementary, middle and high schools in GNG's service area are included in the program, and any natural gas consumer who chooses GNG can participate. The more people who sign up with GNG and select a school, the more money the school receives. Once participants sign up at TrueBlueSchools.com, donations are automatic to the school. Current GNG customers also are eligible to participate.

"We are excited about what the success of this program in just two years means for our schools," said Braswell. "Making a difference in children's lives is one of our key community goals. That's why we are committed to raising $2 million through TrueBlue Schools™ to support education in Georgia."

To join TrueBlue Schools™ or learn more about the program, visit TrueBlueSchools.com or contact GNG by e-mail at support@trueblueschools.com.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Clayton State Graduate Studies Open House, November 9

The Clayton State University School of Graduate Studies next open house will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The open house will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 101 of the University’s Harry S. Downs Center on the main campus in Morrow.

The Clayton State School of Graduate Studies typically holds open houses on the second Tuesday evening of each month. This month’s open house will provide information on the newest Clayton State graduate program, the Master of Science in Psychology, in addition to giving prospective graduate students the chance to learn more about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching English, Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, Master of Business Administration (which now has cohorts meeting in Peachtree City and Conyers, in addition to the Clayton State campus), Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Archival Studies.

For more information on the open house, including application information for Clayton State’s eight masters programs, call (678) 466-4113, or email graduate@clayton.edu or go to the School of Graduate Studies website, http://graduate.clayton.edu/.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Five tips for being a successful online student

(ARA) - A growing number of students are attending college classes online instead of going to a bricks-and-mortar campus. Research showed a 17 percent increase in online enrollments from 2008 to 2009, with more than one in four college students now taking a course online, according to a 2010 report by the Sloan Consortium.

A U.S. Department of Education study also found that online learning can even result in better performance than traditional settings. But what does it take to succeed in a virtual classroom, where teachers and students are connected by technology?

"Online learning can be more convenient, effective and rewarding than traditional classes, but convenience doesn't mean it's easier," says Gwen Hillesheim, interim chief academic officer and provost of Colorado Technical University, a leading provider of education for career-motivated students. "Successful online students need to be proactive in their studies and take responsibility for their own learning. It takes self discipline and time management to do your best. But when the student is engaged, the learning can be significant and the experience fulfilling."

If you're an online student or considering taking virtual classes, here are five tips to help you succeed in a distance learning environment:

* Know how and where to ask for help. Online students have access to most of the same services as on-campus students - registrar, career services, academic advisors, library and financial aid. Check if the online university also offers chat rooms or discussion groups, which are great forums to interact with other students, ask questions and talk about assignments.

* Budget your time. As a general rule, for every credit hour, allocate two to three hours a week for study, homework, reading and research. This is in addition to listening to or watching online lectures. Establish a study schedule and stick to it. For those juggling work, family and school, consider posting your school schedule at home and work so that your family and colleagues know when you're committed to studying.

* Create a dedicated learning space. Since you aren't going to a traditional campus, it's important to find a place to do school work - somewhere that's comfortable, well-lit, free from distractions and has the necessary technology, resources and supplies. Consider your home office or set aside a corner of your family room or bedroom to study.

* Focus on how you learn best. When comparing online universities, find out if the course delivery and materials are a good match for how you learn the best. Colorado Technical University, for example, lets students personalize the way they learn in 11 different formats within the online virtual campus environment via M.U.S.E., short for My Unique Student Experience. Students have the option to watch, read, hear or interact with supplemental course materials.

* Follow the course schedule. Even though you don't necessarily have to be in a classroom at a specific day and time, make sure you review the course syllabus, highlight important exams and deadlines, and post in your dedicated learning space.

"Pursuing an education online takes dedication," says Hillesheim. "Those who have a good support system and self discipline are the most successful in completing their degree, no matter the age or life situation."

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GSU Undergraduate Research Conference proposals accepted through January

Georgia State University undergraduates and their faculty advisors should start thinking about research and artistic projects they would like to enter into this spring’s Georgia State University Undergraduate Research Conference.

Proposals for the conference, to be held March 16, 2011 at the Student Center, are due on Jan. 28, said Deborah Garfin, faculty associate for undergraduate research. Work can include poster presentations, oral presentations or artistic displays. Proposals should be submitted online at http://www.gsu.edu/gsurc/22214.html.

“Students from all departments across the university are encouraged to submit proposals,” Garfin said. “GSURC provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in a research conference and discuss their projects with other students and faculty.”

Every presentation must have a GSU undergraduate student as the primary author or artist, and a Georgia State faculty sponsor. Work presented at a previous GSURC cannot be submitted for the 2011 conference.

Last year’s winners included:

• Provost’s Award and 1st place poster award: Julia Eidelman, biology

• 1st place oral award: Imani Mandela, African-American studies

• 1st place art and design: Emily Pidgeon, art and design (photography)

• 2nd place poster: Taiwannika Walker, sociology

• 2nd place oral: Keisha Parker, applied linguistics and ESL.

More information for presenters and faculty sponsors is available at www.gsu.edu/gsurc.

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