Monday, August 27, 2012

The 5 most extreme college parents (INFOTOON)

College parents are a unique breed. Believe us, we know -- not only because we talk with them every day, but because many of us are college parents too! We walk that fine line between caring for our child, and hovering over their every move. But can you blame us? After all, for 18 years, many of us did our children's laundry, cooked their suppers, and made sure they had an umbrella with them when it was supposed to rain.

But sometimes, things can get a little extreme. Take for instance, a college parent who calls, texts, and emails her child to make sure he or she turned in a paper on time. Or a parent who calls his daughter's roommate to ask her to stop waking his daughter up so early in the morning. Little much? Probably!

If you take a step back, though, there can be some good-faith humor in some of the more "extreme" behaviors of college parents. After all, it's all done out of love!

So we thought it'd be fun to create an infotoon on our blog highlighting some of the kinds of behavior parents of our students have exhibited over the years. Our team got together to reminisce about some of the more extreme things college parents have been known to do.

Then we enlisted the help of our world-renowned cartoonist, Dave Blazek, to pick the five most extreme college parents from our list, and visualize them in cartoons. He put all the cartoons together, tied them up with a bow, and the result was this:

Do you see yourself in the mix? Is your parent represented here? Which one? Have a funny story to share? Tell us what you think in the comments!

We hope this gets some good laughs! But at the end of the day, we hope this celebrates college parents for the great people they are, and everything they do to care for their children. College parents might seem a little extreme at times, but that's what being a good parent is all about! Kudos to all the college parents out there, and students, you can thank us later! ;-)

Creative Commons License
Post University infotoon by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Friday, August 24, 2012

Who won our cartoon caption contest?

After much deliberation and a lot of laughter, we have chosen the winner of our latest cartoon caption contest! We read through a couple hundred side-splitting entries, but only one person can be crowned funniest of them all.

This time around, the best funny man was ...

Josh Hankins from Akron, Ohio!

We added his caption into the cartoon. Check it out!

Congratulations Josh, and keep an eye out for your grand prize! You'll be receiving:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Calling all adult learners! Share your best college advice for your chance to win $1,000

It's clear from the response to the third cartoon caption contest on our blog (winner to be announced here soon!) that our readers enjoy a little friendly competition. We also know how much our adult students love to share their stories about going back to college with us. So, today we're launching another contest. But this time, we're doing it on Facebook.

Through our Advice to Your Former Self Contest on our Facebook page, we're searching for the best of the best college advice for and by today's growing population of adult learners. All adult learners who are in school now or have recently graduated are invited to enter.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The 7 best ways to use email

Email was dubbed the killer app in the '80s, but it might actually be killing communication in today's fast-paced business world. Of course email is usually an efficient way to handle basic communications such as coordinating meetings, sharing documents, and facilitating projects. Yet when used improperly email ruins productivity, creates confusion, and damages important business relationships.

Most management communications are best handled in person or over the phone. This allows all parties to take advantage of full realm of verbal and nonverbal in crafting and receiving messages. At a recent workshop on leadership, I asked the question about how many people felt they were managed by email. About two-thirds of the 25 people in the room raised their hands. The discussion that followed confirmed that this was not something that was working for those people.

It's time to face the facts: Email cannot accomplish 100 percent of our communication needs. Instead, recognize what email is designed to help you accomplish. Then optimize your use of that functionality in a way that complements your leadership initiatives, not executes them.

I've found there are seven ways to get the highest quality use out of email. If you start using email in this manner, you can see improvement in your overall ability to lead your team effectively, and communicate clearly, quickly, courteously, and authoritatively.

1. Set clear expectations and negotiate rules of engagement. We each have an email communication style and preference. Invest the time to sit down with your team and talk about what is working and what is not working. Do you expect your staff to verify that they received your message or do you assume the message was read and understood? Does your finance manager value an immediate response and analysis, or does she assume that your quick response couldn't be particularly well thought-out? Does your project manager write lengthy messages leading to a conclusion at the end of the page, or is he so concise that you're constantly looking for more? Is someone being left out because they are not as quick to respond to an email chain? Discussing and agreeing on clear expectations will help eliminate hidden but very important barriers to communication.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why online education isn't successful without strong academic advising

Our students often tell us how their academic advisors made a great impact on their education at Post University. We often hear students talk about how their advisors were a crucial part of their support systems, and mentored them through their educational journeys.

Students in Post University's Online Education Institute have especially told us how important their academic advisor was to their success in college and their careers. Since these students aren't on campus physically, their academic advisors become a strong link to our faculty and staff, and help ensure they are on the right track to reach their academic goals, graduate, and succeed in their careers.

From an industry perspective, academic advising is also a key reason why online programs at universities and colleges are better structured to meets students' needs. They also result in stronger learning outcomes than massive open online courses (MOOCs), which typically have zero academic support services.

We wanted to share a few testimonials from our online students, current and recently graduated, to show some of the things we're hearing about the importance of academic advising in online education.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to overcome challenges to using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and wikis in education

Many instructors are using blogs and wikis in their classes. Some are also using other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, to improve student learning and increase student engagement.

But one of the biggest challenges these instructors face is encouraging students to use these social media technologies frequently and appropriately for the course. Some students might not pick up the technologies, and others might use their classroom Twitter time to socially network for their own personal reasons.

Jerald D. Cole, Ed.D., Chair of the Department of Instructional Technology at the University of Bridgeport, presented some solutions to this at Post University's Online Learning Conference 2012. Jerry covered his approach for using a variety of social media platforms in education, including how you can redirect students' energy for using social media into outlets that benefit their education.