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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
An advertising publication
Page 3
ALSO INSIDE
How to find the school
that fits you best
Page 2
On-site day care lets
parents attend school
Page 4
Train to become a
nonprofit executive
Page 5
Growth in health care
administration field
Page 7
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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AN ADVERTISING SPECIAL SECTION
THE COLLEGE SEARCH
How to п¬Ѓnd the school that п¬Ѓts you best
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
D
FOTOLIA
eciding where to go to college can be
overwhelming. There are more than
4,000 schools in the United States
alone, and your task is to narrow down the
search to the ones that will give you the
best education for your future goals.
Sound like mission impossible? Not
if you have the help of an expert guide.
Katherine Cohen, LinkedIn higher education expert and founder and CEO of
IvyWise, a leading independent education
counseling service, says students should
start broadly.
“We advise clients to apply to 12 to 15
institutions that are a good fit academically, socially and financially,” Cohen said.
“We’re seeing students apply to more
schools because the applicant pool has
swollen and the competition can be stiff.
Even being academically qualified doesn’t
mean you’ll get in.”
The list should include reach schools,
on-target schools and some safe choices
where you’re almost sure of acceptance.
If you complete thorough research and
п¬Ѓgure out what you want to study at each
school, you should have a dozen options
that would be a good п¬Ѓt.
Cohen offers the following best practices and tips.
Start online searches early.
Ninth or 10th-graders can begin
exploring college websites. Juniors and
seniors should go deeper to look at each
school’s programs, study abroad oppor-
CONTACT US
EDU Atlanta is a monthly advertising
special section about postsecondary
education in metro Atlanta.
EDITORIAL
John Brieske: jbrieske@ajc.com,
404-526-5664
ADVERTISING
Alice Williams: alice.williams@ajc.com,
404-526-2507
ONLINE
For online versions of the articles and
a PDF of the complete section, go to
www.ajc.com/go/eduatlanta. EDU Atlanta
will also run in the AJC’s e-Edition on Nov.
10 and Nov. 17.
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tunities, traditions and the surrounding
community, Cohen said.
“Read campus newspapers and blogs
to see what’s happening and what issues
concern students,” she said.
Gain inside information on LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn recently lowered its age
limit to 14, and has launched University
Pages where students can engage with
faculty, staff, alumni and students to gain
more insight about a school’s culture and
strengths,” Cohen said.
Find out where alumni in your intended п¬Ѓeld work and talk to them about their
career paths. You might discover a better
job focus for your major and could even
begin building a career support network,
she said.
Learning more about a career from
those who work in it is especially valuable
for nontraditional students aiming for a
new п¬Ѓeld.
Take advantage of college fairs or
visits from college representatives to
your high school.
This is a chance to ask questions
face-to-face and to contrast and compare schools. MBA fairs allow prospective students to see the various programs
available for degree candidates.
Visit colleges early on.
“Attend the official information session and tour because many schools will
track your �IQ’ or interest quotient,”
Cohen said.
A campus visit could be a positive factor when it comes to admission selection,
but the best reason is to get a п¬Ѓrst-hand
look at a school, its setting and the students.
Communicate with admission officers.
“Engage the person giving the information session and find out who reads
applications from your area. Contact that
person by e-mail to express your interest
and get additional information,” Cohen
said.
Talk to the student who leads the tour.
You’ll learn more reasons why you might
want to attend the school, which will
help with writing application essays later.
Follow your interests and request meeting with coaches or faculty in relevant
departments. Follow up with thank-you
notes.
Ask your high school counselor for the
College search continued on Page 12
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EDU Atlanta
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AN ADVERTISING SPECIAL SECTION
COVER STORY
Learning that
goes to work
After his employer asked if he wanted more information technology duties, Toby Miller enrolled in a certificate program at Southern Polytechnic State University’s Continuing Education Center. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
Continuing education
programs provide
students with tools
to use in their careers.
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
D
o you need more skills and training for
the workplace but don’t have the time
or means to earn a college degree? Many
colleges and universities offer shorter-term,
targeted education through their continuing
and professional education departments.
Market-driven, often industry-specific,
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and highly competitive, these programs specialize in education you can use.
After doing some research, Toby Miller, 44,
found an IT certificate program close to home
at Southern Polytechnic State University’s
Continuing Education Center in Marietta. No
stranger to п¬Ѓtting an education around a work
schedule, Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in
political science from Georgia State University
in 2002 while he was enlisted in the Army and,
afterward, serving in the Georgia National
Guard.
Amidst deployments, Miller has worked as
a registrar for the Institute for Professionals in
Taxation for 15 years. Recently, the nonprofit
organization asked him if he’d like to assume
more information technology duties.
“Of course I said yes. The more you know,
the better, and I appreciated their wanting to
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invest in me, but I knew I needed new skills,”
Miller said.
He enrolled in the basic fundamentals of
internet technology certificate program at
SPSU.
“There were a lot of online programs, but
I preferred being in class with a teacher and
getting hands-on experience,” he said.
Miller has completed three of the 10
required courses and is already working on
the company’s website and helping maintain
its communication systems. The Institute for
Professionals in Taxation is paying for tuition
and books.
“One of the advantages of this program is
that I can apply the certificate courses toward
a bachelor’s degree if I choose to pursue it.
Learning continued on Page 10
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STUDENT SERVICES
Campus
day care
On-site facilities help parents
get back in the classroom.
By Clare Morris
For EDU Atlanta
F
or some students, getting accepted into a postsecondary program requires overcoming an array of hurdles,
from passing entrance exams to applying for п¬Ѓnancial
aid. Some students have another complication to consider: Who will watch their children while they’re in class?
Obtaining consistent and reliable child care was a
major concern for January Boyd when she decided to go
back to school three years ago. The Mableton mother had
tried to take courses before, but each time it was difficult
to п¬Ѓnd a good sitter for her daughter, September.
During her third week of studying cosmetology and
barbering at Atlanta Technical College she learned that
the school had an on-site child care center.
“When I heard about this program, I checked it out,”
Boyd said. “I liked that it is a safe program right here,
where I can walk out of my classroom at any time and
check on my daughter. And it’s really convenient that we
both go to the same place at the same time.”
Boyd’s daughter was 2 when she began attending the
center, a lottery-funded pre-k program for children from
7 months to 5. Last year, Atlanta Tech’s program was acDay care continued on Page 12
January Boyd, a barbering/cosmetology student at Atlanta Technical College, visits her daughter, September, in the Early Childcare Center at
Atlanta Technical College. Childcare center coordinator Marsha Whittle (left) reads a book to preschoolers. Photos by LEITA COWART / SPECIAL
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AN ADVERTISING SPECIAL SECTION
GRADUATE EDUCATION
Time has come
for nonprofits
New program will train
executives for sector.
By Clare Morris
For EDU Atlanta
O
ne of the fastest-growing job sectors in the country isn’t in the board
room or the factory, though those are
often the benchmarks by which economic
health is gauged. Surprisingly, recent
accounts in U.S. News & World Report
and on CNN report that a major source
of job creation lies in the area of nonprofits — organizations whose missions and
objectives aren’t always about the bottom
line.
According to CNN, the United States is
home to about 1.5 million nonprofits, from
global giants — such as Atlanta-based
Habitat for Humanity and CARE — to
small local agencies. The news agency
also reports that nonprofits spend about
$1.5 trillion each year and employ 13.5
million people, making that segment the
country’s third-leading work force.
“Nonprofits’ time has come,” said Patricia Chase, director of Central Michigan
University’s Master of Science in Administration (MSA) program. “It’s predicted
to be an area with 27 percent growth in the
next three to five years. Talk to community foundations in any area, and they’ll tell
you a new nonprofit starts almost every
day. The ones that are well-managed and
have a desire to do it right will hire people
who are qualified to run them. And that’s
a niche that needs to be filled.”
Training the work force to п¬Ѓll that
niche is the goal of a new program that
will soon be offered by Central Michigan
University’s Global Campus. Beginning
in January, online courses will be available for an MSA with a concentration in
philanthropy and fundraising, a program
created specifically with the needs of the
nonprofit sector in mind.
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Patricia Chase, director of Central Michigan
University’s Master of Science in Administration
program, says the school is launching its new MSA
program with a concentration in philanthropy and
fundraising to meet the needs of the nonprofit
sector. CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Chase said interest in the program has
been strong since it was announced in
September. “Within the first week, we had
100 inquiries from all over the country,
which is the cool thing about a global
program.”
Though it will have a focus on managing the finances of a not-for-profit
organization, the program differs from a
traditional Master of Business Administration.
“This degree is an alternative to an
MBA; it’s much more diverse, more flexible,” Chase said. “It has a solid foundation
in theory, but the focus is on application,
particularly in philanthropy and fundraising that are fundamental to nonprofit
management.”
Chase, whose own background includes directing a nonprofit children’s
museum, said the program features
Nonprofits continued on Page 11
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EDU Atlanta
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CAMPUS LIFE
Beyond the classroom
Legendary singer/songwriter Paul Simon appeared at four events in September during Emory University’s 2013 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature. EMORY PHOTO/VIDEO
Students, alumni and
the community benefit
from lectures, speakers
and conferences.
By Martha J. Foster
For EDU Atlanta
T
he line formed early outside Emory
University’s Schwartz Center for
Performing Arts, stretching the whole
length of the sidewalk to Fishburne Lane.
The people in line seemed unfazed by the
threat of rain. Every seat would be п¬Ѓlled,
the audience a multigenerational mix
of students, faculty, Emory alumni and
guests from the community at large.
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The occasion was a free performance
by Paul Simon, culminating his muchanticipated, three-day September visit
to Atlanta to participate in Emory’s 2013
Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern
Literature.
For about an hour, the legendary
singer/songwriter, joined by guitarist
Mark Stewart and other friends on stage,
played guitar and sang selections from his
vast catalog of songs, including “Sounds
of Silence,” “Slip-Sliding Away,” “Me
and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “Mrs.
Robinson,” “The Boxer,” “Hearts and
Bones” and “American Tune.”
During his visit, Simon also gave two
lectures and took part in what was billed
as a public conversation with former U.S.
poet laureate Billy Collins.
The aim of the biennial Ellmann
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Lectures, inaugurated in 1980, is to bring
world-class writers and thinkers to Emory
to deliver a series of lectures on modern
literature. The lectures are named in
honor of longtime Emory professor Richard Ellmann, a noted biographer of James
Joyce and Oscar Wilde. Recent Ellman
lecturers have included Margaret Atwood,
Nobel Prize laureates Seamus Heaney
and Mario Vargas Llosa, Umberto Eco,
Salman Rushdie and David Lodge. The
lectures are ticketed but free and open to
the public.
“Most people of our generation who
know Paul Simon’s music and paid attention to it, respect him as a great poet,”
said Rosemary Magee, vice president and
secretary of the university, who is workCampus events continued on Page 9
In October, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr.
David Satcher spoke during a conference at the
Morehouse School of Medicine that addressed
health disparities in underserved and at-risk
communities. He also was the keynote speaker
at an event about empowering future physicians.
MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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7 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
EDU Atlanta
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AN ADVERTISING SPECIAL SECTION
HOT JOBS
Prognosis positive
Job outlook is strong for
grads of HCA programs.
By Martha J. Foster
For EDU Atlanta
W
hen Belhaven University opened
its Atlanta campus in 2011, a direct
mail postcard promoted adult programs for busy adults who need to earn a
living while they complete a degree, get a
new degree to expand their career options
or earn a master’s degree.
LaTasha Hall, 39, of Marietta, remembers tucking one of the postcards into her
work bag for future reference. It struck a
chord with the working mother, who had
worked her way up through hospital ranks
without a degree.
Hall was 21 when she got her п¬Ѓrst hos-
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pital job as a housekeeper in Covert, Mich.
“I knew that was not where I wanted
to be, but I worked in housekeeping for
two years,” Hall said. “Every week, I’d
visit the Human Resources Department
to see what else was available and п¬Ѓnally
I was accepted for on-the-job training to
become an operating room assistant.”
Over the next few years, Hall migrated
to a large teaching hospital in Grand
Rapids, Mich. She earned certification as
a sterile processing technician.
Later, she was recruited to work at
Gwinnett Medical Center and moved to
Lawrenceville. Hall’s knowledge and responsibilities expanded with each move.
Then, Hall’s career hit a snag when she
applied for a manager’s position at WellStar Health System. She knew the hiring
HCA programs continued on Page 11
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LaTasha Hall (right) and Marie Marc listen as Belhaven University instructor Joe Simpson teaches a
biology class from Chattanooga via Skype. Hall is a student in the bachelor’s degree in health care
administration program. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
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STUDENT SUCCESS STORY
Best of GeorgiaBEST
Department of Labor program
honors Brenau freshman.
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
A
n impressive academic record and
talent helped KayLynn Samples
get accepted to Brenau University.
Excellent soft skills are helping her make
the most of her freshman year.
Samples honed those soft skills by
participating in the GeorgiaBEST program during her senior year at Chestatee
High School in Gainesville.
“I was lucky that my high school offered work-based learning experiences,
as well as the GeorgiaBEST program; I
took advantage of both,” Samples said.
“GeorgiaBEST is a great program that
teaches personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job
performance and career prospects for
the future. It helped prepare me to face
tomorrow with a confident and committed attitude that will propel me to
excellence.”
Launched in January 2012 by the
Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia-
“I was lucky to get to
experience work while in
high school. The people
and communication
skills I learned through
GeorgiaBEST were
especially valuable.”
KayLynn Samples, freshman, Brenau
University
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BEST grew out of discussions with state
employers about the skills they wanted
to see and weren’t always finding among
young job applicants.
“We learned that 69 percent of all
п¬Ѓrst-time workers lose their jobs for lack
of soft skills, so we developed a 10-week
soft skills certificate curriculum to teach
what we call �employability skills,’ ” said
Cindy Morley, GeorgiaBEST director.
The program is flexible, allowing each
high school to decide how best to imbed
the curriculum into existing classes. The
program has grown from 20 to 200 high
schools across the state.
Students learn how dressing to professional standards, showing up on time,
taking responsibility, developing good
communication skills, being organized
and practicing good time-management
skills can help them succeed on the job.
Samples, who is interested in a career
in mass communications and broadcasting, gained some work experience with
the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors
Bureau. For most of her senior year,
she spent the п¬Ѓrst three school periods
working as a receptionist and helping
with the bureau’s website.
“I was lucky to get to experience work
while in high school. The people and
communication skills I learned through
GeorgiaBEST were especially valuable,”
she said. “Most young people stumble
over their words when they have to talk
to adults. As a receptionist, I had to
talk to everybody. The program taught
us how to dress for success and what is
considered professional and what isn’t.
It showed important differences between
the workplace and everyday life.”
When Samples received her soft skills
certificate on senior awards night, she
learned that some Chestatee High School
teachers had chosen her as the school’s
GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year.
“I decided to try for the next level of
competition by п¬Ѓlling out the statewide
application, writing an essay about what
I’d learned in the program and submitting my résumé and letters of recommendation,” she said.
In September, the Georgia Department of Labor named Samples GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year and she
received a $1,000 college scholarship
from the Georgia State Employer Com-
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Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler presents a plaque to Brenau University freshman KayLynn
Samples, recognizing her as the GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year. GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
mittee. She was one of more than 5,000
students who received soft skills certification in 2013.
“GeorgiaBEST is a very stringent program designed to ensure that our future
work force is prepared for the challenges
ahead of them as they transition from
high school to the work world,” said Mark
Butler, Georgia Department of Labor
commissioner. “KayLynn is a perfect
example of the success of GeorgiaBEST.
I appreciate her commitment to the program as a high school senior.”
Samples also put her communication
skills to use when selecting a college.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to a
woman’s college, but I’m a competitive cheerleader and the coach at Brenau
showed an interest in me,” she said. “In
talking with her, I learned that I’d have
hands-on leadership opportunities at
Brenau as a freshman. In larger universities, I might have to wait until I was a
junior to participate in activities fully.”
Samples also appreciates the advantages of smaller classes.
“My largest class has 20 people in it,
and one class has only six students. I get
to form real relationships with my teachers, and I love that,” she said.
Samples is already taking classes in her
major and is participating in a public relations practicum in which she helps plan
campus events. She’s looking forward
to future practicums that could put her
to work at a local radio station and the
Gainesville Times newspaper.
“I love college and I’m definitely using
all the skills I learned in high school,” she
said. “I’m glad to hear that more high
schools are starting a GeorgiaBEST program. It really helped me.”
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Campus events
Continued from Page 6
ing on a collection of short stories and
teaches for the Creative Writing Program
at Emory.
“Music as modern literature is an
expansion of the best literary ideas and
ideals, and the Ellmann Series highlights
the great literary traditions that we have.
Emory is very proud of that. It’s one of the
stars in our crown. It’s located here, but
it’s international in scope and people want
to be a part of this,” Magee said. “In addition, they are drawn to Emory because of
the work and material we have in MARBL
(Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives
and Rare Book Library).”
Emory’s acquisition of novelist Salman
Rushdie’s papers resulted from a casual
conversation with Emory leaders when
he was the Ellmann lecturer in 2004. The
works are now part of Emory’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library,
an impressive repository of rare books,
original letters, manuscripts and rare recordings housed in the school’s Woodruff
Library.
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Thursday, Nov 07, 2013 EDUCATION 9
“We have extraordinary special collections at MARBL,” Magee said. “Rushdie is
a great example of the materials we collect
in our archives. We have manuscripts and
booklets, but we have his computer drives
and disks and are working with him to
determine what is there, how to arrange to
make parts of it accessible to researchers.”
The papers of Seamus Heaney, Ted
Hughes and Alice Walker can be found at
MARBL and at the Raymond Donowski
Poetry Library, which has a collection of
more than 75,000 volumes of Englishlanguage poetry.
“We tend to think of these great artists
as having artistic impulses,” Magee said,
“but they are also very well grounded
in artistic knowledge. To hear Rushdie
speak about Charles Dickens, Natasha
Trethewey speak about how the history
of the South intersects with the history
of race and segregation and the history
of poetry allows you see the depth of
their knowledge. That is one of the things
we are always pleased to share with our
students.”
Mission of advocacy
Morehouse School of Medicine provided its own forum for high ideals in
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October, when hundreds of physiciansin-training gathered in Atlanta for the
American Medical Student Association’s
“Empowering Future Physicians” conference, with Dr. David Satcher, former U.S.
surgeon general, as the keynote speaker.
Satcher is now head of the Satcher Health
Leadership Institute at the Morehouse
School of Medicine.
The conference, hosted by the school
of medicine in cooperation with Georgia
Health Sciences University’s Medical
College of Georgia, featured a program
designed by the future doctors through
AMSA. Session topics included The History of Racism in U.S. Health Care, The
Experience of Trans Folk in Health Care,
and Advocating for Women’s Reproductive Health Care Rights and Access.
“The organization includes medical students and future medical students from across the nation who came
together to advocate for patients in need,”
said Dr. Martha Elks, senior associate
dean for academic affairs and associate
dean for undergraduate medical education at Morehouse School of Medicine.
“Morehouse was an ideal setting for this
conference, since our mission since our
founding has been to address the needs of
the medically underserved.”
In 2010, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranked Morehouse School of Medicine п¬Ѓrst among
medical schools in the United States
for its commitment to social mission
— encouraging the training of primary
care doctors whose practices will be distributed in medically underserved areas
— and for training a sufficient number of
minority physicians in the work force.
“We are so skilled in this area at
Morehouse,” Elks said. “Intrinsic to our
training program is our emphasis not
only on the needs of the underserved, but
curriculum nurtures skills in advocacy.
Some schools have a mission that sits on
a wall. At Morehouse, our mission sits in
our hearts.”
Elks said the conference was a great
opportunity for medical students to network and get away from the “information
grind” that goes with intense studies.
“One of the things about going to
medical school is that sometimes you feel
like you are the only one going through
it,” Elks said. “Programs such as these can
energize you to keep up the hard work of
medicine, to keep up the process of medical school.”
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“One way our
programs differ
from academic
programs is
that they are
more focused on
applications and
directly tied to
market needs,”
said Denise Logan,
department head,
Professional
and Personal
Development for
the University of
Georgia Center
for Continuing
Education. LEITA
“One of the
advantages of
this program
is that I can
apply the
certificate courses toward
a bachelor’s degree if
I choose to pursue it.
Earning the certificate
will help me see which
bachelor’s degree would be
the best fit.”
COWART / SPECIAL
Toby Miller, student, Southern
Polytechnic State University Continuing
Education Center
Learning
Continued from Page 3
Earning the certificate will help me see
which bachelor’s degree would be the best
fit,” Miller said. “In the meantime, I’m
having fun learning and putting my skills
to use immediately.”
SPSU’s continuing education programs are closely tied to the university’s
academic mission. The school offers various technology certificates (AutoCAD,
Cisco, Oracle, etc.) as well as business
programs such as project management
and Six Sigma.
“We develop high-quality, in-depth
courses that cover all the bases for career
changers and workers who need additional skills to advance in their job or succeed
in the marketplace,” said Denise Stover,
director of SPSU’s Continuing Education
Center. “There is an even greater need
for these programs today. In lean times,
training is one of the п¬Ѓrst things companies cut from their budgets, but people
need to stay current with their skills.”
By developing shorter-term noncredit
programs, continuing education departments have the flexibility to deliver
directly to market needs. One example is
SPSU’s health information technology
certificate program.
“We saw a tremendous need for these
skills as health care organizations were
required to move to electronic medical records,” Stover said. “Since all our
programs require project work or passing
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an exam to earn the certification, employers value the merit of these programs
strongly.”
Last year, SPSU started a Fast Track to
Employment Program to help job seekers
and career changers succeed in the workplace. Instructors teach students about
Internet tools (like LinkedIn), rГ©sumГ©
writing, interviewing and networking.
Some classes are free and other seminars
and workshops are available at a minimal
cost.
What Stover likes about the fast track
program is that it serves the community
and, like most continuing education programs, it produces quick results.
“People who didn’t think they were
employable get new skills and п¬Ѓnd jobs.
Others attain goals that they’ve been
reaching for a long time. It’s so gratifying,” she said.
No longer a well-kept secret
Shirley Chesley, program developer,
Professional and Personal Development
for the University of Georgia Center
for Continuing Education at Gwinnett
Campus, knows when a program is successful. The slots fill repeatedly — like
the Spanish/English and Korean/English
medical interpreter certificates or the
professional gerontology program for
people who work with the elderly population. Other examples are the paralegal
and the event meeting and management
programs that have been popular for 13
years.
Once a well-kept secret, UGA’s Gwinnett campus in Lawrenceville has become
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increasingly well-known through marketing and word-of-mouth endorsements
from satisfied students, Chesley said.
“Customer service is very dear to us. If
you don’t treat students as adult learners and help them meet their long-term
goals, then your programs will have no
benefit,” Chesley said.
It’s also important to change with the
market. Some newly developed programs
include web analytics and search engine
marketing; certificate management accountant test preparation; agile project
management; coaching skills for managers; and a Lean Six Sigma green belt
program for health care workers.
The role of continuing education is
increasing as businesses and organizations are looking for workers who have the
hard and soft skill sets to hit the ground
running, said Denise Logan, department
head, Professional and Personal Development for the University of Georgia Center
for Continuing Education.
“One way our programs differ from
academic programs is that they are more
focused on applications and directly tied
to market needs. Academic courses are
more theory and research-focused, but in
either case you’ll be getting the credibility
of the UGA name and reputation,” Logan
said.
In an age of increasing competition
and choices in continuing education,
evaluating the quality of the institution
and the provider are important. Using key
words in online searches related to the
topic you’re seeking should bring up multiple schools and programs, Logan said.
“Customer
service is
very dear
to us. If you
don’t treat
students as
adult learners and help
them meet their longterm goals, then your
programs will have no
benefit.”
Shirley Chesley, program developer,
Professional and Personal Development
for the University of Georgia Center
for Continuing Education at Gwinnett
Campus
“Anybody can write an enticing overall
description. Look at the learning objectives, course work and outcomes,” Logan
said. “Ask yourself what you want from
this program. Drill down to see who’s
teaching it and his credentials and experience. Call and ask questions. If you don’t
get the answers you need or want, go in a
different direction. This is your continuing education, so it’s important that you
get what you want out of it.”
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HCA programs
Nonprofits
Continued from Page 7
Continued from Page 5
manager, she had excellent experience and references, but
she didn’t have the required college degree.
“I had already taken some classes at Chattahoochee
Tech, but that’s when I started thinking about Belhaven
again. The postcard was pretty tattered and worn, but the
seed had been planted,” Hall said. “I’d pull it out of my
work bag and say, �Lord, is this the school where you want
me to go?’ One particular time I pulled it out of my bag
and I just knew it was the place I was supposed to be.”
Hall has since been hired by WellStar, running sterile
processing departments for its Paulding and Douglas
hospitals, and the Windy Hill hospital in Cobb County.
Her classes at Belhaven meet once per week for four
weeks, plus periodic project team meetings. Hall is on
target to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care administration by early 2015.
Hall’s timing for the degree is good. According to the
National Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for
medical and health services managers is expected to grow
by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, an increase of 68,000
jobs during that period.
Jobs are likely to grow at medical offices and in medical group practice management, and there should be
opportunities in nursing homes administration, clinical
manager jobs in specific departments, and work as health
information managers or assistant administrators. Most
entry-level positions in those settings require a minimum
of a bachelor’s degree.
Mike Davis, director of admissions and student services at Belhaven’s Atlanta campus, says the school launched
adult education programs about 25 years ago.
“The world around us was changing. The traditional
set up of 16-week classes during the day didn’t work for
the professional adult, so we started the adult campuses
so an adult could get an accelerated degree that didn’t
compromise academic rigor or quality,” he said.
Belhaven’s bachelor’s degree in health administration
is offered both online and on campus. The curriculum is
the same, but online classes accommodate students who
may not be able to attend classes on campus. Belhaven
also offers a master’s of business administration degree
with a concentration in health administration.
Undergraduate tuition at Belhaven is about $10,800 a
year, based on completion of 27 credit hours, Davis said.
Classes are small, usually no more than 10 to 12 students.
Books are provided free and п¬Ѓrst-year students get a
Bible to use as a sourcebook throughout their studies at
Belhaven.
“A biblical world view helps us build a strong foundation for all aspects of our lives, not just our professional
life. It impacts how we interact with medical professionals or the patients with whom we work, how we market
courses that students can immediately transfer to the
working world.
“For instance, how do you manage a nonprofit? Many
come from the kitchen table and have people on the
founding boards who may not have any business background,” Chase said. “Through this interdisciplinary
program, they have courses with an administrative core
around strategic planning, п¬Ѓnancial management, human
resources and public relations that will prepare them to
enter higher-level administration in almost any industry.”
Among the online courses will be offerings in assessing
the п¬Ѓnancial health of an organization and analyzing how
it benefits a community; managing a diverse and multicultural environment; and the function of nonprofits in
society. Additional focus will be on the ethical practices
of fundraising and grant writing, grant administration
and making programs sustainable.
“Most people have never had a grant, and if they are
lucky enough to get one for their nonprofit, how they
manage it may affect them getting another one down the
road,” Chase said. “You won’t find that in a more general business program; it’s very specialized. By putting
it online we can extend the reach to people all over the
country, since there are so few programs like this.”
But Chase also expects that continued growth in the
nonprofit sector will spawn more programs like the MSA
at other institutions.
“We are a giving society, but we want to make sure our
money is used the way it was intended; we want someone
to be accountable,” she said. “When I was a nonprofit
director, I would have loved to have had a program like
that could have answered all the questions I had. There’s
an end point to what you can learn on your own, and this
program fills the need to know more.”
INFORMATION SESSION
Belhaven University will hold an event for prospective
students on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the school’s Atlanta
campus (4151 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Suite 130, Atlanta,
GA 30339). For information, call 404-425-5590 or go to
www.atlanta.belhaven.edu.
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“I have never pushed myself as hard in my life as I have now. I have
learned to be a critical thinker and problem solver in the workplace,
and it has given me a different way of looking at things,” said
LaTasha Hall, a student in the bachelor’s degree in health care
administration program at Belhaven. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
the business we supervise, and how we promote ourselves,” Davis said.
Belhaven is affiliated with the Presbyterian USA denomination, but the church has no controlling interest in
the school, Davis said.
“We don’t require a faith statement from students, nor
do we require anyone to adhere to a denomination,” Davis
said.
Adult learners
Belhaven faculty member Lynn Dunlap teaches classes
about health care organizations, п¬Ѓnancial administration
of health care, performance improvements in health care
and health care ethics. She said adult students approach
learning much differently than recent high school grads.
“Adults want to get things right and they want to
know how they can utilize what they learn,” Dunlap said.
“To them, health care ethics are not pie-in-the-sky. They
want to know real-world applications for what they are
learning in class, so I don’t give them busywork. I try to
give them meaningful work that they can really sink their
teeth into.”
Transfer credits from core classes taken at other colleges may be accepted by Belhaven if the student maintained at least a 2.0 grade point average, which is lower
than some universities require.
“I’ve thought a lot about that, actually,” Dunlap said.
“Sometimes, when Mom and Dad have paid for college,
students don’t do their best work the first time in college.
But, by the time we get them, they have maturity.”
Hall says her educational experience at Belhaven has
been demanding and rewarding.
“I have never pushed myself as hard in my life as I have
now,” she said. “I have learned to be a critical thinker and
problem solver in the workplace, and it has given me a
different way of looking at things. God is growing me up,
and Belhaven plays a big part in that.”
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“I was lucky to get
to experience work
while in high school.
The people and
communication skills
I learned through
GeorgiaBEST were
especially valuable.”
Patricia Chase, director, Central Michigan University’s
Master of Science in Administration program
11 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
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“Knowing what you
want to do and refining
your career path can
help you decide if you
need a degree and
what kind, or if you
could upgrade your
skills with a certificate
or professional
education. There are
so many ways to learn,” said Katherine Cohen,
LinkedIn higher education expert and founder
and CEO of IvyWise. SPECIAL
College search
Continued from Page 2
Marsha Whittle, coordinator of the Early Childcare Center at Atlanta Technical College, reads a book to preschoolers. The center also provides opportunities for
the college’s education majors to observe and get hands-on experience working with children. Photos by LEITA COWART / SPECIAL
Day care
Continued from Page 4
credited by the National Association for
the Education of Young Children, a nonprofit that recognizes high-quality early
childhood education programs.
While Boyd has attended class from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays,
September has gotten a jump start on her
own education.
“The program has taught her a lot,
even when she came in at 2 years old,”
Boyd said. “I was really surprised and very
happy about how they worked with my
daughter. They’ve set a good foundation
for her.”
The preschool program, which has
been in place since 1974, serves 84
children whose parents are among the
4,700 students at the college in southwest
Atlanta. Along with being a safe place for
children while their parents are in class,
the facility is also a teaching center for
Atlanta Tech’s education majors.
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“We have an observation lab where
students can come in and look into the
classrooms,” said Marsha Whittle, who
has managed the facility for four years.
“They often come in with assignments
from their teachers to look for certain
behaviors. We also have interns working
here who get hands-on experience each
day. They become part of the teaching
situation and learn how to become child
care providers right here on campus.”
The Early Childcare Center is open
from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and also provides before- and after-hours care. The
cost, which varies by a child’s age, ranges
from $120 to $140 per week and includes
breakfast, lunch and snacks.
The most valuable part of the program,
said Boyd, is the care her child receives in
a facility run by education experts.
“The staff here is just great; they really
care about my daughter,” she said. “Dr.
Whittle really trains the students to go out
there and love these children. It’s a great
experience for the people in the early
childhood education program and for the
children as well.”
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September Boyd, 5, attends the Early Childcare
Center when her mother, January, goes to classes
at Atlanta Technical College.
names of former graduates who attend
your prospective colleges.
Talking to someone who comes from
your high school or community can bring
valuable insight into a college. You might
even make a friend and be able to visit him
or her on campus.
Consult professionals.
Older students returning to school or
changing careers can benefit from talking
to career counselors, college counselors
and other professionals.
Consult those experts on the types of
degrees that lead to in-demand jobs, as
well as job outlook, average salaries and
program requirements. LinkedIn and professional associations are good resources.
“Knowing what you want to do and
refining your career path can help you
decide if you need a degree and what kind,
or if you could upgrade your skills with
a certificate or professional education.
There are so many ways to learn,” Cohen
said.
Do ROI research.
With rising tuition costs and a tough
job market, questions about your return
on investment should be part of every
college search. Check with a school’s career services office and LinkedIn University Pages to find out where alums work,
what they do, how much they earn and
what majors got them there. Ask about
internships and other opportunities to
expand your education.
Take time with applications.
Try to give admissions staff as much
information as possible in your list of
activities and essays.
“If using the common application,
give special attention to the supplements
required by individual schools. Forgetting
to п¬Ѓll them out or rushing through them
could be a deal breaker,” Cohen said.
Apply strategically.
Use early-decision plans to improve
your chance of acceptance.
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