Spring Semester

Happy Monday BPSers and welcome to a new semester!

First session classes start today and we hope you’re ready, willing, and able to do your best this 8 weeks.

Whether you’re enjoying Mary Hoffman’s introductory course, LaNette Flunker’s “Marketing and Selling Your Ideas” course, or Melissa Bonstead-Brun’s “Social Foundations of Work and Occupations” course, have fun and work hard.

Remember, we’re here to help you with anything that might come up.

Good luck!


Eye on the Prize

“Begin with the end in mind” is one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people.  For non-traditional students, starting the year with graduation in mind can be a good way to get over the jitters of going back to school.


Think about graduation…

When you feel like you might not fit in

When you begin to think that you’re too old

When you start to think that it’s too hard


Think about graduation and what it will mean…

When you start to worry about that first essay

When you are tired and up past your bed time

When you are at home studying and your friends are out


Think about how good you’re going to feel with that diploma in your hand…

When you make an embarrassing comment on the first day

When you find you spend less time in the kitchen preparing dinners

When you find you want to sleep in your spare time


Think about graduation and the better job you’ll be able to land…

When you feel everyone in the class is younger and sharper than you

When you think you will not be able to make friends (you can still do this online!)

When you’re doing assigned reading instead of watching your favorite TV show


We all hit snags on occasion, whatever we’ve chosen to pursue. Keeping your mind on the end will help you stay focused on your goal, on the reason you’re back in school in the first place.  “Begin with the end in mind.” Think about graduation and you’ll be like a laser on your way there.


Source: http://adulted.about.com/od/tipsforadultstudents/qt/beginwithendinmind.htm


Adult online learners don’t always have the luxury of in-person peer reviews (though they pop up online a lot!). What do you do when you’ve finished your paper, you need it edited to make sure it’s perfect to submit, but no one’s around to do it? Below are a few tips on how to self-edit your own work.

  1. Make Time! – This is the most important tip on this list. Write well in advance of your assignment deadline in order to give yourself the time to self-edit. You’ll have less stress when it comes time to review your work and turn it in.
  2. Personalize an editing checklist – What bad-writing traps do you fall into? Comma splices? Run-on sentences? Make a list of those and be aware of them when you write.
  3. Read back to front – Focus on the language instead of the content.
  4. Edit in a different spot from where you write – Give yourself a different point of view.
  5. Use a hard copy to edit – Print out your paper and use a pen or pencil to do your editing.
  6. Remove favorite words – Do you find that you use one word an awful lot? Or multiple words? While you’re reading through your work (if you’re reading on a computer), hit CTRL+f on your keyboard and type in a word that you think you might have used a lot. Click “Highlight all” and you’ll be given the number of times you used that word. You might be surprised how often you find one particular noun, verb, or article pop up. Try and weed those out for a better flow.
  7. Set your paper aside for a while and come back to it. This relates back to #1, make time for editing.

Good luck writing those BPS papers!

Sources:http://www.law.cuny.edu/academics/WritingCenter/students/strategies-techniques/editing/self.html; http://theeditorsblog.net/2010/07/18/self-editing-tips/

Study for Your Learning Type: Visual Learner

What kind of learner are you? One of our previous blogs mentioned learner types visual learners or auditory learners or left brainers and right brainers. There are many, many more types.

For you Visual Learners out there, those who can learn big chunks of information in a single bound, what follows are some study tips that might ring true or tips that you might not have known about.

  1. Have the “big picture” in front of you instead of getting the information piecemeal.
  2. Close your eyes when you try to remember something, you’ll be able to picture the details of what you just looked at.
  3. Apply the concept you just learned as opposed to doing a learning drill. Challenge yourself to use what you just learned in a new practice.
  4. Try a Mind or Concept Map instead of an outline. It might help you visualize the information.
  5. Find different sources of visual materials when you’re studying. This can include PowerPoints, videos, graphs, maps, etc.

Keep up the hard work, you’re getting closer to realizing your dreams!

Source: http://www.studygs.net/visual.htm

Keep your computer safe

Your computer is important to you, especially as an online student.  It is the means through which to achieve your personal, educational, and career goals.  So take care of it.  Protect it from viruses that can be costly.

  • Make sure you have antivirus/antispyware software.  Since most anti-malware/anti-virus software is sold on an annual basis so you’ll need to purchase a new license each year.
  • Make sure you have Firewall software.  Antivirus programs by themselves are not enough.  Firewall software can either be software-based or hardware-based.  However, like antivirus software, the firewall software must be updated regularly.
  • Keep software up-to-date.  Many software updates are free and can be manually downloaded.
  • Make sure you filter spam email.  Have a good spam blocking program and have it set to a high enough level.  Some email packages such as Outlook, Yahoo mail, and Gmail have built-in spam blocking/capturing functionality.  However, spam filters are not 100% effective.
    •  Do not open emails or attachments unless you know who they are from.
    • Never download an attached file from an email that you weren’t expecting.
    • Never click Unsubscribe on an email that you suspect to be spam or junk mail.
    • Never click on an email attachment with an .exe file extension.
    • Never click on a link within a suspected spam email.  Delete the message immediately.
    • Keep security components up-to-date.  This was mentioned earlier, but is very important to check occasionally to make sure you are up-to-date.

Source: http://www.htstechtips.com/2009/08/31/5-common-computer-security-mistakes/

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good Monday, BPSers!

Chances are you might have the day off today, but you might not know a lot about the man we celebrate today.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a preacher, civil rights activist, and leader in the African-American community. He fought for social justice and equality for all races and classes of people. Urging nonviolent action, he spoke and led marches in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma, Alabama, Albany, Georgia, St. Augustine, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois.

King also led a march on Washington, D.C. and gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

King was a founding member and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

He spoke in opposition to the Vietnam War and organized the “Poor People’s Campaign” that addressed economic injustices.

After his assassination on April 4, 1968, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning on April 7.

Dr. King’s legacy lives on in the struggle for human rights all over the world.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_luther_king_jr#Influences


Top achievement, an online motivational and self-improvement company, created the S.M.A.R.T. goals.  S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  I think they are a smart way to look at goal setting.  What do you think?

  • Specific:A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
    • Who: Who is involved?
    • What: What do I want to accomplish?
    • Where: Identify a location.
    • When: Establish a time frame.
    • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
    • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE:  A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”

  • Measurable:Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
    • How much?
    • How many?
    • How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

  • Realistic– To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.

  • Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs., when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

Source: http://topachievement.com/smart.html