Thursday, July 28, 2011

What SMBs can learn about their technology rollouts from their HR department

I recently told you about how I moderated one of the educational seminars at the 2011 Connecticut Business Expo. It was called "Leveraging Your Unused Technology -- Getting the Most Out of What You Have." The panelists were Dave Rubino, Managing Director of AFG; and Bill Abram, founder and President of Pragmatix.

They shared some great insights, and gave me a lot of food for thought after the discussion was over. I distilled my takeaways in my post. But one maxim that really stuck with me is hire technology like you hire people. It's a great piece of wisdom, and is worth more explanation and discussion than the paragraph I wrote at the time.

Well, this week I had a great conversation with InformationWeek's Kevin Casey about the topic. We talked about how oftentimes, companies hastily introduce new technologies into their organizations with high hopes for adoption and return on investment, but the opposite happens.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back-to-school advice from one adult learner to another

As promised, here is the transcript of our recent podcast interview with Vanessa Meredith. We caught up with Vanessa last week to discuss her experience earning her master's degree online from Post University. She shared some inspiring insights from the perspective of an adult learner and an academic advising professional.

Vanessa has been in academia for 14 years, and is currently an academic adviser at a New Jersey university. She returned to school to get her master's degree in human services to further her career goals. Vanessa was familiar with other online degree programs due to her background in academia, but chose to study at Post University because she thought the university was doing online education the right way.

In case you missed it, flip back to our podcast, or read the transcript below. No matter what kind of student you are (or soon will be!), I hope you'll find Vanessa's story as inspiring as I did.

Janelle: Hi, everyone. I am Janelle Kozyra, your host for a Post University podcast. I am joined today by Vanessa Meredith who just graduated from Post University. Hi, Vanessa. Welcome to the podcast.

Vanessa: Hi, Janelle.

Janelle: So why don't you start by filling us in on your post-secondary education and how Post fit into that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

14 ways to keep children reading this summer

Summer can be one of the best learning times for children. The season gives you the opportunity to nurture children's reading skills in fun, easy, and engaging ways.

But it can also be one of the most unproductive learning times. Students can lose up to three months of reading achievement if reading activities are ignored during the summer.

To keep children reading throughout the summer, talk to your child about what he or she really likes to do, learn, and read. Then plan the summer based on your child’s particular interests.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why American education has to reclaim its innovative edge

Last night I attended the first night of America's Imagination Summit. It was inspiring to see a room full of educators, museum professionals, artists, and business people engaged with thought leaders on what imagination is and why it's so important.

Most significant last night was Scott Nope-Brandon's call to action for us all to take the dialogues we are having at the summit and extend what we learn from each other to the wider education world to change and create the learning environments we need and want for our students.

Each of the speakers -- Sir Ken Robinson, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Vice-Admiral Michael Miller, and Disney Imagineering's Bruce Vaughn -- gave introductory remarks about imagination and its importance for our future as a species. This was followed by a panel discussion prompted by questions from the summit participants.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Post University promotions: Congratulations to Scott Allen!

CFO Scott Allen
Post University is known as a place where people can really build their careers. We recently announced the promotions of Veronica Montalvo to VP of Accelerated Degree Program Enrollment, Marcelo Parravicini to CMO, and Mike Statmore to CIO. We're delighted to add another member of out team to the promotions list.

Scott Allen has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer of Post University in recognition of the exceptional work he's done in his 12 years here, and his commitment to the university and its students.

Scott first joined us as the Vice President of Finance and Administration. His leadership has helped the university manage growth and provide even better programs and facilities for our students. He takes immense pride in our campus and all the student, faculty, and staff who make up the Post University community. One of his current campus improvement initiatives is the renovation of our residence halls and the installation of a new athletics field.

We issued a press release announcing Scott's promotion and I thought I'd share it below. Read it through for more about Scott's accomplishments here at Post University. Congrats, Scott!

Scott Allen Named Chief Financial Officer of Post University

WATERBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Post University, a traditional university with an excellent online program, today announced that Scott Allen has been named Chief Financial Officer. He joined Post University in 1999 and has served as Vice President, Finance and Administration of the University since 2000.

America's Imagination Summit at Lincoln Center spotlights the role of imagination in education

As President of Post University's Online Education Institute, I was delighted to be invited to America's Imagination Summit at Lincoln Center in New York City today and tomorrow. My participation reflects the university's commitment to innovation, creativity, and imagination in higher education, and a deep interest in being part of a national dialogue about, and commitment to, these values.

America's Imagination Summit is the first national gathering on the place of imagination in education. Leaders from business, government, education, science, the arts, and other fields will commit to giving American students the tools they need for success in the 21st century: imagination, creativity, and innovation.

Lincoln Center Institute, the educational arm of Lincoln Center and the event's host, believes this diverse coalition is capable of influencing schools and bringing about education policy change.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does Google+ have a place in the classroom?

The wheels are already turning about how Google+ could potentially play a role in education. From where I sit, I think there is a lot of potential for Google Plus in the classroom.

ReadWriteWeb recently featured Audrey Watters' outlook for Google+ in education. She explained the positives and negatives she sees in implementing this new and widely popular social platform in schools.

What educational advice does an academic adviser take herself?

Academic adviser Vanessa Meredith with husband Joseph
Academic advisers typically counsel students on their educational careers. But what happens when the academic adviser is in the student seat? What educational advice do they take to advance their career? Our blogging team turned the mic on Vanessa Meredith to find out.

Vanessa has been in academia for 14 years, and is currently an academic adviser at a New Jersey university. About two years ago, she decided she wanted to earn a master's degree to move into a more advanced position in her field.

However, like many working adults, she was facing several work-life obstacles. She was newly married, had a son in high school, and was going through some career transitions. Going back to school didn't seem like it would fit into her lifestyle.

Hear Vanessa explain how she earned her master's degree in human services in 18 months from Post University, and why she "loved every second of it."

Vanessa has an interesting perspective on going back to school as an adult learner. Given her academic background, Vanessa has been plugged in to myriad programs that schools are offering working adults, including online degree programs. Post University stood out to her as a university that's doing online education right.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Making your way after graduation

Brittany Calderwood, Class of '11, trims a foal's hoof
On July 6, I had the chance to go along with Brittany Calderwood, one of our recent Equine Business Management graduates, to the Equine Clinic at OakenCroft in Selkirk, N.Y., for one of the "Vet/Farrier Presentation And Discussion" events that it holds on a regular basis. Brittany had invited me a few weeks earlier. As her hoof trimming teacher, how could I say no?

So off we went together, catching up on news since May graduation, to OakenCroft. The clinic itself is placed in a lovely setting worthy of Kentucky -- acres of green pastures with mares, foals, and what seemed like miles of wood fencing.

Veterinarians at the clinic were working with a month-old foal that had shown an interesting combination of foreleg contracture and hindleg laxity (these two problems don't usually occur together), and cow hocks (crooked joints). He had improved considerably in his first few weeks of life, but the cow hocks remained.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How Post University is using Oracle CRM On Demand to serve students better

For the past five years, my team and I have continued to look for creative ways to support the university during a time of rapid growth.

First, some background. When I took over Post University's IT team in 2006, we began an overhaul of many outdated systems and processes to improve our ability to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff.

Like many IT shops, we took a two-pronged approach. We squeezed as much life as we could from our existing systems, while searching for new solutions that would not only solve immediate problems, but allow for future growth and flexibility.

We've made many changes, but the recent implementation of Oracle's CRM On Demand product has already resulted in a more streamlined and efficient enrollment process for our students and all of the departments involved with the admissions process.