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Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to help kids prepare for college life


Metro Creative Connection

any of this year’s high school graduates will be leaving home for a college campus in the fall. Such a departure is often bittersweet for kids and parents alike. Young men and women typically look forward to the freedom and independence that college life can provide, but those same men and women know they will miss the familiarity of home as well.

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Parents, too, have mixed emotions when kids head to college, as their sadness over a child leaving home is met with the pride they feel that the child they raised is setting out to make their own way in the world. Few moments in life involve such significant change as the moment when a young man or woman first arrives on a college campus. Firstyear college students often don’t know what to expect once they arrive on campus, but there are steps parents can take to help their kids prepare for college life. Teach kids how to schedule their time One of the things many college kids find once they arrive on campus is that their life is suddenly much less structured and their amount of downtime has increased considerably. Unlike high school, which keeps many kids in class or involved in extracurricular activities from the early morning through the late afternoon, college affords students much more free time, which is theirs to use as they see fit. Some kids dive right into on-campus activities, while others struggle to use their free time to their advantage. Parents can teach time management skills such as how to establish a schedule so all of that free time does not go to waste. This schedule can be adjusted on a weekly basis depending on coursework or extracurricular activities. Once kids learn to manage their time effectively, including using breaks between classes to review notes from a recent lecture or upcoming class, they’re likely to get the most out of themselves academically and find they have more time to pursue extracurricular activities as well. Discuss finances and establish a financial arrangement Many college freshmen struggle to manage their money. Some might never have had a job during high school, while others who did work only did so to earn spending money. But many college students need more than spending money once they reach campus. Rising tuition costs have made it difficult, if not impossible, for parents to bankroll their kids’ everyday expenses. As a result, many college students find themselves forced to manage their own money for the first time in their lives. Parents can teach simple financial lessons, such as the benefits of buying groceries as opposed to dining out or ordering in each night. College is also where many young men and women first sign up for a credit card. Parents can teach their kids the basics of managing credit, such as the benefit of paying off a balance before interest rates kick in and the negative ramifications of missing payments. Parents who can afford to provide financial support for their children enrolled in college should reach a financial agreement with their children before they are off to college. Make sure kids know your financial support does not mean they have unlimited access to your funds, and make it known that such support will not continue if kids aren’t performing well in the classroom. Encourage kids to contact any roommates before the school year begins Part of the trepidation many kids have when leaving for college concerns how they may or may not develop a relationship with their new roommate. Many schools assign roommates months in advance of the school year, giving kids ample time to make contact and make arrangements about whom is going to bring certain items, such as a television or coffee pot or even furniture if the room can fit any. Parents should encourage such contact so kids can get a feel of who they will be living with and lay the groundwork for a friendship before they even step foot on campus. The feeling of knowing someone on campus can greatly reduce the anxiety many kids feel when they arrive at school for their freshmen orientation. The day a student leaves for college is a significant day for parents and students alike. Parents can take a number of steps to make the transition to college easier for their college-bound son or daughter.


2F Sunday, April 6, 2014

College Bound 2014

The Daily Nonpareil


Iowa Western provides college life, transfer programs for students Kirby Kaufman

Students attend Iowa Western Community College for its transferable academic programs, sports and extra-curricular activities, said Director of Recruitment Ashley Kruse. They also select the two-year college for its low tuition costs and campus life. “One of the big factors is cost,” Kruse said. “They’re able to save a lot of money by starting here.” In fact, many students go on and transfer to four-year colleges such as Iowa State University, where Iowa Western shares programs including engineering, busi‘If they’re not quite ness, criminal justice and ready for the big school numerous others. The school also has programs yet, or they’re not with University of Northern Iowa and University sure how to navigate of Iowa. College tuition has through the college increased the past three process, we’ve got decades, faster than inflaand incomes. Each people in our welcome tion year, it rises from 2 to 4 percent. center to help them For the 2013-14 school year, students at in-state with advising and universities paid on averfinancial aid.’ age $22,826, while costs at private institutions dou– Ashley Kruse, bled at $44,750. Director of Recruitment Kruse said students Iowa Western who transfer are typically Community College enrolled as a junior at most four-year colleges. “All of their gen eds would be taken care of, and they can focus on their major,” she said. Students who choose to first attend a two-year college can complete general education classes at lower price. One credit hour is currently $132 at Iowa Western for residents and $137 for nonresidents. Kruse also said students attend Iowa Western for a “college feel.” The college features on-campus living and other amenities. Many of the college’s students come from southwest Iowa and the Omaha metro area – though they do have some international students.

Iowa Western also has a cyber library and several sport teams, such as football and basketball. “It’s a big draw,” Kruse said. Kruse added students prefer two-year colleges for smaller classes. “Public speaking with a class of 20 people is a lot less intimidating than a hall at a bigger university,” she said. “They’re getting all the same knowledge.” Iowa Western also provides students with assistance for entering a college environment. “If they’re not quite ready for the big school yet, or they’re not sure how to navigate through the college process, we’ve got people in our welcome center to help them with advising and financial aid,” Kruse said. Submitted photos

Top, an aerial view of the Iowa Western Community College campus. Above, and below, students study, relax and socialize in the student center. At right, a graduate holds up her diploma book.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014


Student volunteerism can help pay for college Finding the right activity is often the most important step when fostering a love of volunteering in youngsters, and there are a number of great opportunities and causes that children can relate to.

Metro Creative Connection

Volunteerism can help young people grow into wellrounded, responsible individuals. When volunteering, kids can learn new skills, foster new friendships and contacts, and improve both their social and interpersonal skills. In addition, a 2011 study from researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine found that people are generally happier and healthier when giving back to their communities. The study even recommended that health care professionals recommend volunteering to patients 12 and older, with the belief that helping others provides significant health benefits, including allowing volunteers to escape their stress and anxiety. And, there could even be a few added bonuses for volunteering. Students between the ages of six and 18 who haven’t yet graduated high school have the chance to be recognized for their volunteering efforts and earn money for higher education thanks to Kohl’s Department Stores. For more than a decade, the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program has recognized more than 19,500 students, awarding nearly $4 million in scholarships and prizes. This year the organization will award nearly $400,000 in scholarships and prizes to more than 2,300 young volunteers who have made a positive impact in their communities. Finding the right activity is often the most important step when fostering a love of volunteering in youngsters, and there are a number of great opportunities and causes that children can relate to. • Embrace eco-volunteering. Today’s kids are increasingly eco-conscious, and concepts like recycling, reusing and conserving fuel and energy are second nature to many

and viral infections, Tyler, a 2013 Kohl’s Cares Scholarship winner, decided to host a book drive and fundraiser, which ultimately raised more than $1,150 to purchase books and e-readers for the hospital waiting rooms, where young patients now have access to hundreds of books thanks to Tyler’s efforts.

• Visit the elderly. Kids can learn a lot from their elders, and many organizations that work with the elderly offer volunteering programs for boys and girls. Individuals in group homes or hospitals often appreciate visits from youngsters, and kids can learn valuable life lessons in return.

• Tutor fellow students. A child who is proficient in a given subject can lend a helping hand to fellow students who need some assistance. Working together to improve grades and school performance can improve others’ sense of self-worth and instill a greater sense of accomplishment in tutors.


Working together to improve grades and school performance can improve others’ sense of self-worth and instill a greater sense of accomplishment in tutors. young people. That makes ecovolunteering a natural fit for today’s eco-conscious students. Children can volunteer with organizations that remove trash from beaches and parks; plant trees to establish community green spaces; work to promote wildlife conservation; or further recycling efforts in their communities. • Help the needy. Volunteerism can open youngsters’ eyes to the plight of the less fortunate. Various organizations dedicated to helping the needy depend on volunteers of all ages to meet their missions. From soup kitchens to shelters to private clothing or food collection drives, opportunities

abound for kids who want to help the less fortunate. • Help the sick. Many organizations that cater to the sick also provide volunteering opportunities to youngsters. Many kids who volunteer with such organizations are motivated to do so by a close friend or family member’s battle with a particular illness, but some kids even turn their own personal adversity into an opportunity to help the sick. Such was the case with 18-year-old Tyler O’Briant of Tonganoxie, Mo. After spending more than three semesters of high school in and out of Children’s Mercy Hospital battling chronic bacterial

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College Bound 2014

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CONTINUING EDUCATION Deciding if graduate school is right for you Metro Creative Connection

Graduate school has long been a place professionals turn to when looking to give their careers a boost. But the recent recession left many professionals wondering if graduate school would help or hurt their chances of finding a more challenging or fulfilling job. As is typically the case during an economic downturn, graduate school applications increased during the recent recession, when job opportunities for new graduates were scarce, forcing many to seek shelter in graduate programs.

they were during those periods when the economy was thriving. As a result, even those applicants who were accepted to graduate school may have found their respite from the recession was likely to be anything but, forcing them to accept large amounts of debt in order to earn their advanced degrees. Determining if taking on such debt was ultimately worth pursuing an advanced degree was a decision each individual had to make on his or her own. But more than just finances come into consideration when professionals are

• Family: Family also comes into play for many professionals who are weighing if an advanced degree is right for them. Graduate degrees are not easy to come by, and the work required to earn such a degree is considerable. Professionals with families must consider the impact their pursuits of advanced degrees may have on their families. Many professionals pursue advanced degrees part-time, which means they may not earn their degree in two years like full-time students will. Professionals with families

Despite the apparent growing interest in graduate programs, the number of students who began graduate studies decreased between 2011 and 2012, suggesting that perhaps graduate school is not for everyone, even those who go through the arduous application process. But such shelter isn’t always available, nor is a graduate degree for everyone. According to the Council of Graduate Schools, graduate schools received 4.3 percent more applications for entry into master’s and Ph.D. programs in 2012 than in 2011. Despite the apparent growing interest in graduate programs, the number of students who began graduate studies decreased between 2011 and 2012, suggesting that perhaps graduate school is not for everyone, even those who go through the arduous application process. Much of the reason for that decline in enrollment can likely be traced to the cost of graduate school; costs have grown larger during the recession, when even colleges and universities felt the sting of a sagging economy. During the recession, many schools were unable to devote as much funds to incentives such as assistantships and merit-based scholarships as

deciding if graduate school is the right way to further their careers. • Career ambition: Many people pursue an advanced degree out of intellectual curiosity, while many others do so in an effort to resuscitate their careers or facilitate a transition to a new career. Ask yourself if your career has reached a plateau and the next logical step is an advanced degree. If a graduate degree aligns with your career goals, then you likely won’t regret pursuing such a degree regardless of the cost. On a similar note, if a graduate degree is required in another field you want to transition into, then the cost of that degree likely won’t be too much of a hindrance. But if a graduate degree isn’t necessary for your career but more of a shortcut to furthering that career, then the cost of pursuing the degree might not be worth it, and it could be something you grow to regret when loan payments come due.

must decide if the graduate degree is worth a three- or four-year investment and the sacrifices that will need to be made during those three or four years. • Location: The right graduate program for you will not necessarily be close to home. Unlike younger students or recent college graduates, professionals often have established ties within a community. Leaving that life behind to pursue an advanced degree likely won’t be easy, so professionals considering such a pursuit should weigh the impact such a move may have on their quality of life and if that sacrifice is worth pursuing the degree. An advanced degree can be a great way for professionals to advance their careers while satisfying their intellectual curiosity. But such pursuits come at a cost, and those costs should be considered before the application process even begins.

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College Bound 2014

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, April 6, 2014


PANTHER PRIDE Get to know all of what the University of Northern Iowa has to offer Mike Brownlee

Bill Ruud took over as president of Northern Iowa University last spring and set out to get more students from the western side of the state. “When I arrived here, it was evident we weren’t getting across Interstate 35 enough,” said Ruud, who took over for the retired Ben Allen in late May, 2013. “We want people to know UNI is out there.” So Ruud (pronounced ROOD) has hit the road, “selling the story” of the university of about 12,100 students in Cedar Falls. “I bet a lot of people from the Council Bluffs area have never been to Cedar Falls,” he said before describing the campus, which sits on 900 acres (with about 650 acres used) and can be traversed by foot in 10 minutes. “(People) have a picture in their head, but we want to tell them, ‘come on over, pay a visit.’” Of the roughly 110,000 living Northern Iowa graduates, 65,000 reside in Iowa. In terms of how the university battles the University of Iowa and Iowa State University for students – enrollment at the two larger schools doubles Northern Iowa’s yearly average – Ruud called the situation in the state “collaboratively competitive.” He praised both rival schools for the things they’re great at – engineering and agriculture in Ames, medicine and law in Iowa City – noting that for many students those schools, not Northern Iowa, are the the right fit. But in discussing the fact that Northern Iowa is a regional comprehensive university, Ruud noted the school attracts a number of Iowans interested in staying in the state, making up the core of a middle class he called the “backbone” of the state. A regional comprehensive university places an emphasis on a large variety of quality undergraduate programs, Ruud said. As

‘I bet a lot of people from the Council Bluffs area have never been to Cedar Falls. (People) have a picture in their head, but we want to tell them, ‘come on over, pay a visit.’’ – Bill Ruud, president University of Northern Iowa a comparison, Iowa and Iowa State have a much larger focus on post-graduate programs and research. “We’re in between the big schools and the small, private colleges like Coe and Grinnell,” he said. While he hammered home that variety of programs offered, Ruud also hearkened back to what the college is most famous for – producing teachers. There are at least seven Northern Iowa alums teaching in every county in the state, he said, while onethird of all teachers in Iowa graduated from the university. About 37 percent of the state’s superintendents and principals picked up a degree in Cedar Falls. Criminology, accounting and speech pathology, among others, are other programs renown statewide and beyond. On the western Iowa swing, which includes a stop in Sioux City today, Ruud said he wanted to engage in conversations about his school. “We want to include all 99 counties (at Northern Iowa),” he said. “One-hundred percent of the visits we don’t make won’t draw students.” – Nonpareil archive material was used in this story.

(Above) Photo courtesy/ Magnue Manske via

Lang Hall is the oldest building at the University of Northern Iowa. It currently houses the communications departments. (Right) Photo courtesy/

The Maucker Student Union on the campus of UNI is home to KULT 94.5 FM, the school’s studentrun radio station.


Bess Streeter Aldrich, novelist Terry Allen, Missouri State head football coach Eddie Berlin, former NFL player Michael Boyd, painter Bruce Charlesworth, filmmaker and photographer John R. Dinger, former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia (2000–2003) Jane Elliot, social activist Paul Emerick, professional rugby player and threetime Rugby World Cup veteran Ali Farokhmanesh, professional basketball player, made famous shot to beat Kansas. LJ Fort, Denver Broncos Line Backer Joe Fuller, former NFL player Mike Furrey, former NFL player Charles Grassley, current U.S. Senator Gil Gutknecht, former U.S. Congressman Mike Hawker, Alaska State Representative, 2002-present Robert John Hibbs, Medal of Honor recipient, 1966, Vietnam war. John Hall, Founder and President of Goose Island Beer Company, Chicago Ryan Hannam, former NFL player Scott Herkelman, was CEO of now defunct computer company, BFG Technologies. Roger Jepsen, former U.S. Senator Chris Klieman, Head Coach North Dakota State University football Bonnie Koloc, vocalist, recording artist Pamela Levy, American-Israeli artist Jason Lewis, nationally syndicated talk host Greg McDermott, currently Creighton University head men’s basketball coach C. Edward McVaney, Co-founder and former CEO of the JD Edwards Corporation, a pioneering Enterprise Resource Planning company purchased by PeopleSoft in 2002. Brad Meester, former NFL player Brian Meyer, member of the Iowa House of Representatives Abinadi Meza, performance artist Jim “Milboy” Miller, wrestling coach, Hall of Fame inductee, and 2 Time National Champion. Brian Mitchell, Arena Football drop kick record holder. Nick Nurse, basketball coach Bryce Paup, 1995 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 4-time Pro Bowler Tom Pettit, television news correspondent for NBC Chris Pirillo, former host of TechTV’s “Call for Help” show, founder of Lockergnome Nancy Jo Powell, Current United States Ambassador to India. Former U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Uganda Steve Proffitt, senior producer, National Public Radio Dorothy Jean Ray, anthropologist William P. Robinson, President of Whitworth University Dean Schwarz, ceramic artist Warren Allen Smith, writer Mary Ellen Solt, poet Phyllis Somerville, film, theatre and television actress Mark Steines, co-host of Entertainment Tonight Bill Stewart, jazz musician Tyree Talton, former NFL player Ed Thomas, high school football coach Krista Voda, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series announcer Kurt Warner, two-time NFL MVP, MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV Joey Woody, national champion U.S. hurdler Will Wilkinson, political writer and policy analyst

Students’ jobs pay off tuition at 7 work colleges CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (AP) – Many students spend years after college working off tens of thousands of dollars in school debt. But at seven “Work Colleges” around the country, students are required to work on campus as part of their studies – doing everything from landscaping, growing and cooking food to public relations and feeding farm animals – to pay off at least some of their tuition before they graduate. The arrangement not only makes college more affordable for students who otherwise might not be able to go, it also gives them real-life experience, teaches them responsibility and how to work together, officials said. “I love it,” said Melissa Eckstrom, of Philadelphia, who is an assistant garden manager at Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vt., where she’s studying sustainable agriculture. “It’s really satisfying to work in the garden and do all this hands-on, you know, dirty work – and I go to the kitchen and sit down for a meal and I’m like, I grew this. It can’t get more full circle than that.”

With rising college costs and a national student loan debt reaching more than $1 trillion, “earning while learning” is becoming more appealing for some students. The work college program is different than the federal work study program, which is an optional voluntary program that offers funds for part-time jobs for needy students. But at the seven so-called Work Colleges – Sterling College, Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Ky., Berea College in Berea, Ky., Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., College of the Ozarks in Lookout, Mo., Ecclesia College in Springdale, Ark., and Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., – work is required and relied upon for the daily operation of the institution, no matter what the student’s background. The students are then evaluated on their performance. “It’s a core component of the educational program,” said Robin Taffler, executive director of the Work Colleges Consortium. “It does not differentiate between those that can afford to pay for their education, from those that must

work to cover their educational costs. And that’s a big deal. No student can buy their way out of this work program. So this essentially levels the playing field because everybody is doing a job,” she said. Eckstrom works up to 100 hours a semester at $11.10 an hour, so the pay helps with her school costs, she said. She also gets tuition credit for coming a week early for training before the start of the school year. “It’s all very helpful,” said Eckstrom, 23, who said she probably couldn’t have afforded to attend a school like Sterling otherwise. The average debt of Work Colleges graduates in 2010 was $12,121 compared to $27,710 for private nonprofit college graduates, $21,740 for public college graduates, and $33,050 for graduates of private, for-profit colleges, according to the Work Colleges Consortium. Sterling’s average loan debt is $16,800. Three of those colleges – Alice Lloyd, Berea College and College of the Ozarks – fully cover the cost of the tuition, through work, grants and donations. The schools save on operational

costs by having students working on campus and running the daily operation because they don’t have as much staff, Taffler said. But that doesn’t mean the work program is inexpensive for the schools to operate. Some funding is available through the federal work colleges program but the schools must match it dollar for dollar. “So it is not necessarily an inexpensive program to operate,” Taffler said. The schools that offer full tuition do a lot of fundraising, she said. The “earning while learning” concept appears to have become more appealing to students as a way to pay for college. At Sterling College, enrollment was up 26 percent in the fall of 2013, while the rate of applications rose 38 percent from last March to now. The number of applications to Berea College has steadily increased from 1,362 in 2009 to 1,620 in 2013. The Work Colleges Consortium reports that 75 percent of graduates agree their college work helped prepare them for their first job and 84 percent said it helped them to

get along with people with different attitudes and opinions. Seventy-five percent of graduates agreed that their work experience helped them to understand the importance of service to others and 86 percent said it helped them to appreciate the value and dignity of work, the consortium said. Charles Elliott, of Huntsville, Tex., will be graduating this year, debt-free, from the College of the Ozarks, a private Christian school, called “Hard Work U.” He’s worked in the school’s restaurant in the kitchen learning how to cook, as a waiter in the dining room and at landscaping and is now working in the public relations office. It’s taught him how to juggle his time between studies and work and given him experience that has helped in finding a job with a software development company. “I’ve had opportunities to work in four different places here on campus,” he said. Instead of looking like he can’t stay at a job very long, it actually shows “I’m getting much more experience in different fields,” he said. “It’s a really great thing.”

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The Daily Nonpareil

Psychology, education among the most popular and stable majors Metro Creative Connection

Many high school graduates continue their educations once high school ends. Thousands upon thousands of students trade in their hall passes and senior sweaters for syllabi, electives and core classes in college. Recent graduates increasingly recognize the importance of a college degree, as holding a degree has become essential in today’s competitive workplace, since having any advantage can mean the difference between establishing a stable career or struggling to make ends meet. Many graduates also recognize the importance of choosing a major that translates well in the job market. Certain majors have historically been more popular than others among students. However, popular majors do not always make the best choices for jobs. The following are some of the popular majors and also majors that present the best track record for success and financial security.

Popular undergraduate majors:

• Business Administration: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, of the 1,650,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred between 2009 and 2010, the greatest numbers of degrees were given in the field of business, and those numbers remain quite steady. Business administration graduates can find work in various industries. • Psychology: From psychologists to school therapists, the possibilities for work in the psychology field abound, making this a popular choice for college students. Psychologists study how the mind works and what causes human behavior, but a psychology degree can land graduates work in some surprising fields, including advertising and public relations. • Health: Degrees in nursing and medicine will always be in demand. Medical careers continue to be some of the most stable, and the need for doctors and nurses grows with every passing year. In addition to medical degrees in the traditional sense, biologists and &

molecular scientists can be employed to research diseases and operations of the body and even research the connection between humans and the environment. • Education: With every generation of children comes a new crop of students who need to be educated. This makes education yet another popular career path. • Communications: Holding a communications degree opens up various career paths. It is a broad degree that can lead to careers in journalism, marketing, broadcasting,

or television production. • Computer science: Computer hardware and software continue to play integral roles in daily life. Career opportunities in computer science include working on everything from robotics to developing applications for tablets and mobile phones.

Best majors for finding work Some of the more stable and wellpaying college majors are not necessarily the most popular ones among

students. • Education: Teaching careers continue to be some of the most prevalent and stable. The field of education is essentially recession-proof, as there will always be a demand for educators in one capacity or another. Students looking for a stable, moderately paying career can consider earning a degree in education. • Engineering: Engineers are some of the best-paid and most highly-coveted workers. Engineering careers cover many disciplines. Mechanical engineering, electrical

engineering, general engineering, and civil engineering are just some of the careers engineering majors can pursue. • Math: Math and computer science majors should also be successful finding jobs. These number crunchers hold careers that span computer coding to math professors to corporate analysts. Certain majors are popular, but others do better in the real world. Understanding the difference can help students choose the best options when selecting a major.

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