Friday, February 25, 2011

Harlem Globetrotter Ron Christy returns to Connecticut roots

Ron Christy is back.

One of the best athletes in Post University history, Christy has returned to his Connecticut roots as the new basketball coordinator for the Westport Weston Family Y.

Christy set several Post men's basketball records that still stand today and will likely hold up for some time. He holds the record for most single season points with 827 (2003-2004), highest average points per game with 27.2 (2002-2003), is the all-time scoring leader, and lists near the top of several Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference categories.

After college, Christy played professionally for five years in Europe and Saudi Arabia before joining the Harlem Globetrotters from 2008 to 2009.

Now, Christy has returned to Connecticut, giving back to the sport he loves by teaching kids about the game of basketball.

Westport News got the inside scoop on where Christy's at today in an interview with the basketball star this week. Flip over to their Q&A to learn about the ride Christy's had with a career spanning college hoops, pro ball, and now coaching.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Challenges of online education

The success of online education reflects a seismic shift in information exchange practices between producers and users.

Not too long ago, phone communications were restricted to designated physical locations where one would place or receive a call.

For many traditional, on-site educational institutions, students must be in a physical location to gain access to information and knowledge. The "information-centric" structure dictated that consumers of information must "report" to "centers" in order to gain access to information.

This is quickly becoming the past -- today information follows the user, anytime, anyplace. In this "user-centric" environment, power is shifting away from "information centers" to users, and services become more important than content.

Online education exemplifies this trend. Students access information and learn in their preferred environments and during their preferred times. Content becomes secondary to delivery, where matching needs of individual learners drives the information exchange practices. And not surprisingly, we also observe the rising power of online students over the delivering institutions.

"I am paying for my education and therefore I'm right." This attitude of some students might not be exclusively related to the power shift described above, but it is increasingly and symptomatically heard from adult online students. They are right and wrong at the same time. There is no logical reason why the overall shift in information exchange should bypass education. At the same time, education needs to be earned not just purchased. How should we strike the balance?

Unfortunately there is no simple and practical solution. If professors harden their stance on "need to earn," some students might desert one institution in favor of other institution that is more willing to compromise its standards. On the other hand, if professors succumb to student's entitlement attitude, education might suffer, resulting in a lesser value being provided to students. Perhaps there is a way out of this impasse that can satisfy both students and professors.

Degrees need to be earned and quality of education must be protected. Without this premise, there is no value created with education. At the same time, yielding to students on the delivery of, and exchange protocols for information will result in a more satisfied student. Flexibility with schedules and non-consequential context would go a long way to satisfy students while maintaining the integrity and quality of education.

There are no free meals, however. Flexibility with schedules and context might increase the cost of services as time and effort on engagements with students will increase. If cost is transferred back to students through tuition increases, the institution may become less competitive.

Alternatively, if costs are offset by a degraded service and staff levels, the quality of education will suffer. Achieving a balance is possible if the institution's expectations and engagement practices are articulated up-front with students. This might not be easy but it is necessary nevertheless.

In summary, installing online education system flexible for delivery while remaining firm on quality is possible and necessary in order to meet online education challenges in the information age where students are gaining more clout.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

15 Post University student-athletes shine bright

Fifteen of our student-athletes recently had a special reason to celebrate. They were named to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) All-Academic team for the 2010 fall athletic season. Way to go guys!

Being a part of the CACC's All-Academic team is a great achievement not only athletically, but also academically.

To be named to the team, recipients must have participated in a CACC Championship sport in the fall. In addition, they must be at least a sophomore, have been a student-athlete at their current school for at least two semesters, and achieve a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.50 or higher through the fall semester.

Here are our students who made the cut. Keep up the great work guys!!

Fifteen of Post University's Student-Athletes Named to CACC Fall All-Academic Team

NEW HAVEN, Conn (January 25, 2011) -- The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) has announced its All-Academic team for the 2010 fall athletic season. Post University had 15 student-athletes make this year's team of the 151 total athletes from the 14 conference schools. This year's team has two more students than the 2009 fall team.

Post University's women's soccer team is well represented with seniors Rachel Shivers (3.91, Management) Allison Monroe (3.90, Psychology), Elizabeth Johnson, (3.65, Sport Management), as well as sophomores Sara Cramer (3.52, Legal Studies), and Sabrina Sinopoli (3.64, undecided) making the team. It is the third time Shivers, Johnson, and Monroe have been named to the CACC Fall All-Academic team, meaning as seniors they have maintained a 3.50 GPA throughout all four years.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Air Force recruit believes the sky's the limit

New Air Force recruit Christine DeJesus has a message to share: You can be a stronger person if you set your mind to it.

She grew up in Bronx, N.Y., with two goals. Be the first in her family to earn a college degree, and be an officer in the military.

She accomplished her first goal when she graduated from Post University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in marketing. She's remained a close part of the Post University family ever since, working in the school's accelerated degree program admissions department.

But Christine still had her eyes on her second goal. She continued exploring military opportunities. I remember talking to her about how she could make it work.

About six months ago, she told me that she was ready to pursue this dream and asked me to be a reference for her, which I was absolutely happy to do. Although I didn't want her to leave Post, I know how important it is to follow your dreams. So, Christine decided to join the Air Force.

We're very proud of her decision to serve her country. She has been a class act all the way and we're super excited for her. Once her training is done, we expect to see her start taking classes again in our MBA program, which she started while working at Post.

Christine left last week for training in San Antonio, Texas. Our blogging team caught up with her before she left to reflect on this new chapter of her life that's about to be written.

I wish Christine the best of luck on behalf of everyone at Post! No matter where she travels, she will always be a part of the Post University family and we look forward to hearing how she's doing.

$100 per pound for snow -- get it while it's cold!

Glad that's not my piano!
Sometimes I think I eat, sleep, and breathe finance. It is my area of expertise after all! Some people might believe finance guys are all boring. But with me, I think you'll learn that's not the case! I like to have fun and keep things engaging for my students.

And with that in mind, I thought I'd share the lighter side of finance here on the Post University blog. I hope my posts are amusing, but above all, educational. So here is my first story from the front line. I must preface by saying this is not a true story, but it is based in finance fact. Enjoy!

--The Finance Guy

My boss the CEO just came to me and asked for ideas to help increase profits and reduce costs. I looked out my window and was pondering this situation when the thought struck me. Let's sell snow.

I quickly went on the Internet and Googled "selling snow." I found that this is a wide open market. No one is selling snow. (Note to self: Who needs that marketing research department? This is easy.)

Let's see now. The best way to keep costs in line is to have people come and get the snow. No transportation costs, no packaging costs, and no need to hire anyone to shovel the snow. This is an ingenious idea because I would not only create a new highly profitable revenue stream, but I would reduce the costs of snow removal! BONUS!

Now, how do I price this stuff? It usually takes our plow person about 10 hours to clear the lot, and we pay him $50 per hour. So that is $500. We also need to consider the cost of managing his time, accounts payable transactions, insurance, lights, and admin. So we'll say $1,000 every times it snows.

On average, the snow weighs about 1,000 pounds, so our cost basis is $1 per pound. If I sell it for $2 per pound, I will generate 100 percent profit and $1,000 in revenue every time it snows.

But that is not enough to get the CEO's attention. I've got it! We'll sell this as an upscale product, charge $100 per pound, maybe get one of the Kardashians to endorse the product, and viola, $100,000 a snow storm at sweet profit margins. The boss will be pleased.

The icing on this cake is that I can also propose that we eliminate the marketing function and move that over to finance. Those people spend too much and I just proved the job is not that hard. Well, fire up Excel and create that proforma. Just wait for the cash to roll in!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How we prepare our students to be the compliance leaders of tomorrow

When it comes to compliance curricula, many colleges and universities have a firm basis in teaching rules and regulations. This is, of course, a crucial part of a comprehensive post-secondary compliance education.

But it's not the only one. With today’s rapidly changing regulatory landscape, training alone is not enough to prepare students to hit the ground running when they enter the corporate compliance industry. We need to prepare our students to be able to apply these regulations early in their careers.

That includes arming them with the skills and capability to think through their actions, manage risk, and minimize negative outcomes on their organizations and communities.

What I believe is missing from many college compliance curricula is a mentoring component -- something that works closely with the compliance industry to prepare students for the world as it exists, and gives them the basis for developing their moral and ethical compass to apply to whatever compliance challenges they’ll face.

The editors of Corporate Compliance Insights invited me to contribute an article detailing just this. It covers the roles that I believe academia, as well as the compliance community, should be playing to prepare our students to become the compliance leaders of tomorrow.

Take a look at my approach, and let me know what you think in the comments here. Do you agree, or are you seeing things differently?

Thanks again to the Corporate Compliance Insights editors for taking my piece.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Seven ways to make better use of technology in the classroom

It's no secret new technologies are transforming education. Technologies such as interactive white boards, e-books, and open source courseware can help improve learning, boost critical thinking, and foster creativity.

But while technology has brought opportunity to education, it's also brought major challenges. Technological innovation has developed faster than most educational institutions can take advantage of it. The industry is not changing its educational practices as quickly as new technologies are coming online.

Of course, this has a lot to do with time and budgetary constraints. Schools must not only invest in the technology; they must also invest in training. And this goes beyond knowing how to use the features and functionality. Instructors must also know how to incorporate the technology into their curriculum. How do we organize it? How do we certify it?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MBA student puts business ethics to the test

Business ethics are a key value students learn in Post's MBA program
Post University's final course to earn an MBA is the successful completion of our Capstone Project, in which our students are required to develop a business plan, proposal, or project.

Students must bring to bear all of their learnings and knowledge from their Post MBA courses to demonstrate their competence in their chosen concentration. They also must be active contributors to the course's online discussion forum.

One of our Capstone students, Heather Rougeot, is a Business Analyst in Purchasing at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. Recently on our discussion forum, we posed the question, “What values have you learned in the MBA Program?”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eight questions to get to the future you want

"You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction." Alvin Toffler, Futurist
Create your vision. Follow your vision.
Alvin Toffler is one of the world's best known futurists and writers, recognized for his decades of work discussing revolutions in technology, business, and society. His ideas have influenced presidents, enterprise executives, and educators alike -- and they have a powerful message to send to students budding into the next generation of business leaders.

Are you creating a future you desire? Or not? Knowing what direction you are heading is key. We all need to have a clear vision for leading ourselves in order to get to the future we desire, or we will end up somewhere else.

Below I have listed some questions to help you think through what is important to you for creating the future you deserve. Answer these questions honestly to start formulating your vision.

1. What do you really care about? What are you passionate about doing? What are your hopes and dreams?

2. What do you value?

3. What do you enjoy doing?