Think you know everything about co-op? Here are some surprising facts:
- Online students from a distance, not just those who live locally, can participate in Wilmington University’s co-op program. If you cultivate your own co-op experience where you live, our office can help you and your employer through that process.
- Transfer students: Do you have a co-op or internship at your current school? You can bring that relationship with you and turn it into a WilmU co-op experience!
- Employers say they make full-time job offers to 50% of their interns and co-op students upon graduation (California State University, East Bay).
- Students who completed co-ops have higher starting salaries upon graduation than non-co-op graduates (Eastern Kentucky University).
- Wilmington University requires co-ops to have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5, but many employers request that co-ops have GPAs of 3.0 and higher. Keep those grades up by attending class regularly and seeking help when you need it! Did you know that WilmU offers free tutoring services to ALL students through the Student Success Center? Learn more here: wilmu.edu/ssc
To learn more about the co-op program, visit wilmu.edu/coop or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a previous blog post, The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard (May 27, 2014), we discussed the differences between different styles of notetaking, coming to the conclusion that handwritten notetaking garners deeper understanding of course material than taking notes on an electronic device. What about reading? When you read online, whether it is on a laptop, phone, or tablet, is your comprehension less than than reading traditional texts printed on paper?
The jury is out. There are a number of research studies investigating how the brain processes information on a lit screen versus a static page. But it’s more than a physical issue of backlight, eye strain, and the contrast of type on a background.
The linear nature of the printed page, one idea flowing into another, is completely disrupted by online and interactive texts. Data is served in nodes, with hyperlinks redirecting the reader before the reader processes the entire text. Sometimes this is a benefit, and sometimes not.
Today’s students may find their ability to focus on a text is the biggest challenge. Hyperlinks, videos, and advertising all pull your eyes away from the primary text. There are a few tools available to help you focus.
- Browser settings. When reading online, customize your browser settings to eliminate distractions. Bump up the text size, and turn off automatic image loading to minimize distractions.
- Readability. Readability is a free mobile and web app that cleans up web pages for easier reading. With Readability, you must create an account, but you also have the option of saving articles to read later.
- Printfriendly. Probably the simplest tool in this list. Simply navigate to Printfriendly, enter the URL of the site you would like to read, and the site gets cleaned up for printing. You can print or read this optimized document. There’s also a button you can add to your browser bookmarks bar for the quickest way to simplify a web page.
If you find reading online difficult because of distractions, you may want to try a time management technique. Here are a couple of easily implemented methods:
- Pomodoro Technique: With this time management strategy, you budget your time into uninterruptible 25 minute segments that are marked by using a timer. After 25 minutes, you take a short break of 3-5 minutes. Requires just a timer.
- Task/Reward: Are you distracted by social media? Or everytime you need to read online, you have an urge to make a cup of tea? Convert your distractions into rewards. Get that reading done – and reward yourself with whatever was distracting you.
- Try the SQ3R method for reading. With each text you read, Survey the text for clues to important information. Then, turn all titles and subheads into Questions. Then, Read to find the answers, Recite your questions out loud, and finally, Review the reading for best recall.
Renee is currently pursuing a B.S. in Business Management and has a 4.0 GPA. She was chosen as a recipient of the Annual Fund Scholarship and has successfully completed a 10 week Student Leadership Challenge at Wilmington University. Renee was also selected to become a Student Ambassador. As a student, Renee has had the opportunity to give back to her school and local community. She has become a certified volunteer income tax assistant so she can help low to moderate income families complete their taxes. Renee plans to operate a home based wedding planning business so she can provide the once in a lifetime chance for dream weddings to people of all economic backgrounds. Please join me in congratulating Renee!
by Lauren Haas
If you’ve browsed the Wilmington University website recently, you have likely come across the professional work of undergraduate Web Information Systems major Charlie C. He is currently participating in the Co-op program as a Web Communications Assistant in the Web Communications Department right here at WilmU! Charlie plans to complete his Bachelor’s degree this summer, and after graduation, he plans to continue onto a WilmU Master’s degree.
In his role, Charlie handles content updates and design changes on the University website. He says, “The more experience I gain with the team, the more responsibility they give me.” This increased responsibility gives Charlie a feeling of accomplishment: “It shows that they trust me and have faith in my ability.”
Charlie reports to University Webmaster Chris Rubacky, who said: “Charlie was referred to us following the sudden loss of another web team member. Fortunately for us, he was immediately able to fill this role due to his extensive knowledge in web design and development. The entire Web Communications department is extremely thankful to have found Charlie through the Cooperative Education program here at Wilmington University. He has become an indispensable member of our team.”
Charlie’s co-op experience has moved him closer to attaining his career goals. Prior his current position, he worked as a freelance designer, and was actively seeking opportunities to gain real-world experience in a corporate setting. “Through this program I have experienced a real team atmosphere. I sit in team meetings and help on important projects. Also, I am gaining experience in my own field by working with different programming languages.”
When asked if he would recommend the co-op program to other students, Charlie says there is no question: “I think it is an amazing and wonderful thing to offer students. You gain real world experience while earning credit. … Through the co-op program I am not an intern, but a part-time employee. In today’s [job] market, any competitive edge you have over another will help you, and this program does just that.”
If you’re a student in the twenty-first century, you’ve probably wondered why professors even bother to require a textbook. After all, the amount of knowledge available online is astounding, abundant, and free. Why don’t academic professionals simply assign open source materials for the courses they teach?
Open Source originally started as a term used to refer to license-free software with freely shared and modified source code. Developers are able to share and collaborate on the software code. Now, the term is used widely to mean shareable data that is available for use, free from restrictive copyright or licensing. Sites such as Wikipedia or Khan Academy are great examples of open source in action.
So what’s wrong with using open source materials in the classroom?
On the internet, anyone is free to publish – and that’s both the beauty and the weakness of the internet. When you use a resource on the internet, it has not had the extensive vetting that a published academic work has had. Educational publishing has a complex system of peer review and cross checking for inconsistency and error.
Carefully chosen open source resources will undoubtedly be a part of the reference materials used in courses you take at Wilmington University. But an authoritative, scientific, and accurate textbook will still be the most reliable and solid choice for a course.
In 1983, Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory has been widely discussed and criticized in the academic and psychology communities. Gardner himself cautions against using his theory to label students as one type of learner or another.
- Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
- Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
- Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
- Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
- Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
- Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
- Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
An online student who is a strong social learner might need to make a concerted effort to incorporate social interaction into their studies. Students strong in visual intelligence may learn quicker with online presentations, while a student strong in aural intelligence may prefer to listen to a lecture. Being aware of these choices can help an online student enforce their learning by focusing on their strengths.
What are your strengths? For fun, try this quiz to identify your preferred learning style:
At Wilmington University, online students and face to face students who take the same course will generally have the same resource requirements. But if you’re a student in Florida, do you shop at the Wilmington University Campus store – online?
Carmen Casanova, Campus Store manager, says that over 25% of the Campus Store sales are online – but very frequently, online sales are to local students. “No matter where the students are located, we’re here to assist students, getting their books to them on time,” she said. “We ship around the corner, and overseas.”
If you’re an online student receiving financial aid, using that credit at the Campus Store after tuition obligations are met is probably the easiest way to use the remainder of your award.
Online textbook retailers such as Chegg, Amazon and Ecampus make comparison shopping very simple, but Casanova recommends caution. “Be careful that you are ordering the exact edition you need, with all software or online keys intact.”
Third party purchases are often not guaranteed or returnable, so if you find that the textbook you’ve ordered is missing a dvd, you may be out of luck. Using the Campus Store for your textbook purchases means you are guaranteed to have the correct materials for your class.
by Lauren Haas
Last month, I asked Video and Motion Graphics major Kaitlin M. some questions about her co-op experience. This is an exciting time for her, as graduation is coming up next summer! Kaitlin is well on her way to her career goal: to edit feature films.
Kaitlin began her co-op experience in Summer 2014 at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, DE. She is learning real-world, practical skills on the job while earning college credit toward her degree. Read on to learn more about how Kaitlin is making the most of her education here at WilmU.
Describe your co-op experience: where do you work and what do you do there?
I currently work at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, DE as a video intern. My main responsibility is to use multimedia outlets to promote the winery. I take pictures and video of the winery, as well as special events, to post on their YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_OwcEioY_D34J9WBWSmIrQ) and other social media sites. I have also started a mini web series for the winery called Harvest Ridge Uncorked, and I am currently working on the fourth episode.
Do you feel co-op has helped you get closer to attaining your goals?
Yes! This co-op is very challenging, but it provides a great opportunity for me to push my creativity. I have also seen just how demanding and time consuming the editing process is, which is something I would prefer to experience now as a student rather than a professional. I’ve learned with editing you have to work on it every day. This co-op gave me the chance to practice my editing skills, really develop them, and I feel I am getting closer to finding my own voice as an editor.
This is my second Bachelor’s degree, so this time around I wanted to be involved as much as possible. I thought the co-op would give me the opportunity I was looking for to practice my film making skills. I thought it would also help me build my connections and resources that I will later need down the road.
What has been your favorite part(s) of your co-op experience?
My favorite part about the co-op experience, honestly, is seeing my finished product. I never thought I would actually have the time, energy, and talent to create a five minute program, let alone a ten minute program! Seeing the progress I am making makes me feel I am getting closer to my dream of working in the film industry.
Would you recommend the co-op program to other students? Why or why not?
I would absolutely recommend the co-op program to other students, and I have! It challenges you and gives you an opportunity to apply the skills you learn in the classroom. I’ve really discovered new things about myself that I may not have realized if I didn’t apply. You really don’t have anything to lose and everything to gain when applying for a co-op position.
Earlier this year, Dr. Sallie Reissman, Senior Director of Online Learning and Educational Technology gave us her opinion of ebooks and the future of printed material. We asked Carmen Casanova, Manager of the Campus Store, and Rich Knapp, Assistant Manager to share their perspective and tell us about the Campus Store’s electronic offerings.
The Campus Store first offered ebooks to students in the fall of 2010. It was a small test run, with a limited number of titles that included a math text. Four years later, the Campus Store offers a wide selection of texts, mainly from large publishers.
“The publishers give us different options that we pass onto students,” said Knapp, who also serves as the Textbook coordinator for the Campus Store. “E-books are available for 360 and 180 day blocks of time,” he said, “and hopefully, we’ll be able to offer 90 day rentals in the near future.”
Knapp believes that it’s in the best interest of publishers to make the move to ebooks. With electronic resources, there are fewer third parties, and the publisher has much more control over content and revenue. While there are a few courses at Wilmington University that use electronic resources exclusively, Knapp believes there will always be print offerings available.
What excites Knapp about the electronic revolution in the textbook market is the opportunity for student feedback and adaptable content. Ebooks with interactive learning components such as quizzes or problems that can adapt to the students’ needs are becoming the norm. “They’re creating content that can help an A student or a C student succeed,” he said.
Carmen Casanova, Campus Store manager, points out that ebooks have a tremendous advantage for students with visual impairments. “Students can increase the font size or even have the text read to them.”
Ebook sales have recently leveled off nationally (Yahoo Finance article), and the Wilmington University Campus Store has also noticed a leveling off of demand for electronic media.
We sat down with Rich Knapp and Carmen Casanova from Wilmington University’s Campus Store to ask them about renting and purchasing textbooks and etextbooks. We asked them the question that most students ask – “Why are textbooks so expensive compared to non-educational books?”
Unlike non-educational books, textbooks go through a rigorous approval process. “Development and vetting of the product is the most expensive part of textbook development,” said Rich Knapp, Assistant Manager and Texbook Coordinator at the Campus Store.
Tenured professors are hired to write the book, while other professionals vet and correct the text. After that, a sales team markets and sells the book. “All of this happens before the publisher gets any revenue,” added Knapp. Mass market publishing requires much less up front investment.
Carmen Casanova, Manager of the Campus Store, wants Wilmington University students to know that the Campus Store is committed to giving students the best price possible for their books. “The Campus Store is owned and operated by Wilmington University, a non-profit institution,” she said.
Many higher education institutions have outsourced their bookstores to outside companies. “We’re here to provide a service to our students, not to make a profit,” said Casanova. “We work very hard to find the lower possible prices for our students.”
But there’s no denying that textbooks are a large expense in your education budget.
If textbooks are straining your budget, there are steps you can take to reduce the expense. Try renting your books, or consider ebooks, which can be up to 50% of the cost of printed books. And financial aid students may use their award to purchase books at the Campus Store after their tuition obligation is met.
Casanova and Knapp recognize that students also take advantage of Amazon’s competitive textbook pricing, but caution students that outside sources’ return policies may not be as generous as the Campus Store’s. Students also run the risk of ordering an outdated or wrong textbook.
Sergio is a Behavioral Science major who expects to graduate next summer. After graduation, his goal is to join Delaware’s Probation and Parole department. Further down the road, he would like to join a local police department. Along his path toward achieving those goals, he obtained a co-op position at the Ferris School for Boys, a level 5 correctional/treatment facility for adjudicated males ages 13 to 18. He completed his co-op experience just this past summer.
I asked Sergio what made him decide to pursue a co-op position, to which he replied: “A situation at work motivated me to pursue the co-op program. I’m a security guard at a local commercial building. One day, my supervisor and I responded to call regarding an intoxicated individual. Long story short, we detained an intoxicated juvenile carrying an open container. I felt bad for the child because he spilled his life story with us. A month later, I received an email about an opportunity at Mowlds Cottage [a six-week transition program that follows a stay at Ferris School]. This opportunity allowed me to observe the rehabilitative process from the staff and juvenile point of view.”
When asked his favorite part of his co-op experience, he says: “My favorite part is hearing stories from each of the employee about their goals and motivations to work with at risk juveniles. I spoke with the staff and I found the majority are passionate about helping the children to succeed. The staff wants the children to leave the lock-down facility with better career and education skills, confidence and coping skills.”
Sergio says he recommends the co-op program to students with similar career goals and a passion to help children attain a better pathway in life.
Tim lives and works on the West Coast. He earned a BSN from Washington State University in December 1999, and has been employed by a large urban hospital as an Oncology Certified Registered Nurse since 2000. Through progressive leadership roles, he currently acts as nurse manager for two inpatient oncology units. Despite no formal business education, in his spare time Tim also co-founded a microbrewery in 2010. Tim is a dedicated father to three children and spends many nights a week cheering from the sidelines. To assist him in excelling in his current role and continued growth in his career, Tim chose to continue his education with an MBA concentrating in Health Care Administration. Wilmington University offered just the right balance of quality, flexibility, and affordability. Classes have been engaging and enlightening given his daily work role. With all this, Tim still maintains a GPA of 4.0. Please join me in congratulating Tim on being our featured student of Fall Block I!
I had the opportunity to ask undergraduate Government and Public Policy major Mat M. a few questions about his experience as a co-op. He expects to graduate in May 2015, after which he would like to manage Democratic political campaigns in Delaware and beyond. Reading about the co-op program on our website helped Mat solidify his decision to transfer to Wilmington University.
Read on to find out how Mat is opening doors in his political career and enriching the value of his education through cooperative education.
Describe your co-op experience: where do you work and what do you do there?
I work for the U.S. Senate as Senator Carper’s Deputy New Castle County Director. I take meetings with constituent groups, staff the senator while he is in the county, and handle small business outreach.
I also work for Senator Carper’s campaign committee as its Political Director, where my duties range from fundraising and donor management to working with the Democratic Party to support its ticket in the 2014 election. Both jobs are being used for co-op credit.
Do you feel co-op has helped you get closer to attaining your goals?
Absolutely. My experience with Senator Carper’s staff could never be replicated in a classroom. That’s not just because of the kind of work I have in my own portfolio. A huge part of the value in my experience has come from working with the colleagues, friends, and mentors I’ve found on Senator Carper’s staff. I work every day with people whose passion for public service, diversity of experience, and collective knowledge has taught me more in the past two years than I’ve learned at any time since I took an interest in politics. It’s important to get a college education for the contextual and foundational understanding of your work, but nothing will teach you to do a job better than doing a job.
What made you decide to pursue a co-op position?
I’ve been interested in politics and public service since an 8th grade internship with the City of Newark’s Parks and Recreation Department, and I’ve been steadily involved in campaigns and internships since then. By the time I transferred to Wilmington, I was Senator Carper’s driver and had been working with his team for about a year. It was just a matter of connecting the dots that I could use my work experience to earn credit.
What has been your favorite part(s) of your co-op experience?
Strictly speaking, my favorite part of the co-op is the fact that I get to go to work and earn credit at the same time. But the co-op has enhanced my work experience, because it pushes me to search for a deeper analysis in the work that I do.
Would you recommend the co-op program to other students? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Frankly, it would benefit every college student to round out their education with work experience. The co-op program not only allows you to advance your career by getting work experience before earning your degree, it also gives you a deeper understanding of everything you’ve learned up to that point, and a broader perspective on everything that you learn thereafter.
When you attend Wilmington University as an online student, there’s no need to feel left out of campus life. Through Blackboard, you can join a campus club or organization and participate online. Simply log on to Blackboard, and click the organizations tab at the top of the page.
From the Green Team (an environmental service group open to students, faculty and staff) to the Legal Studies Student Group and the Digital Film Making Club, you’re probably going to find an organization that suits your interests. Is your hobby, passion, or major not on the Organizations list? Student Life has a procedure for new student groups – start by filling out this New Student Organization Request for Approval Form.
The first group online students will encounter is the Online Student Organization, in which all online students are automatically enrolled when they matriculate into Wilmington University. This group is a place for online students to network in a relaxed atmosphere and participate in online activities.
You may want to watch the overview video to get a feel for how organizations work in Blackboard. Many organizations are self-enrolled – you enroll yourself in the group, whereas other groups you may find you’re automatically a member, based on your major.
John Repici lives in Burlington, New Jersey and is a graduate of Burlington County College. He chose Wilmington University in 2013 to continue his education because of the excellent price and convenience. This past Fall he was in four courses (first semester at Wilmington) and was fortunate enough to be on the Dean’s List for the semester. This summer John will be in his final five courses and is very proud to be the first individual in his family to earn a college degree. John is completing his Bachelor’s degree in just one academic year after transferring in his Associate’s degree. Immediately after graduating, he will continue at Wilmington for either an MSM or MBA with a marketing concentration. Congratulations John for being chosen as Summer Block II student of the block! Your accomplishments are impressive!
At Wilmington University, ensuring that online students have the technical resources they need to be successful is a priority. We’ve instituted a number of support programs targeted toward technical support of our students, including:
- An online orientation course, DIS 095, with links and tools to technical support in the course.
- Blackboard How-to Videos
- Access to the University Information Center, which offers a toll free phone number for tech support.
And all matriculating students, online or on campus, with less than 15 credits must take FYE – First Year Experience, a seminar designed to introduce students to college level expectations and experiences. Kelly Clayton, Online Student Navigator at Wilmington University, says, “Part of FYE’s goal is to give the student an overview of the technology tools they need for success in Wilmington University’s online programs.”
Clayton says most tech questions that she fields are simple issues regarding web browsers and problems within specific courses, such as assignment submissions.
Students who need help with Microsoft software applications can visit Wilmington University’s Student Success Center – online. If you need to brush up on your Excel, PowerPoint or Word skills, you can view a video tutorial or check their calendar for online workshops: http://www.wilmu.edu/ssc/workandsems.aspx
Students needing technical support for Blackboard, WebCampus, email, or other technology systems, please contact The University Information Center (UIC):
And almost 300 years later, Wilmington University offered its first online course. In the fall of 2007, a BBM 300 level class was given a trial run. The course wasn’t promoted, it was just quietly introduced. At the conclusion of the course, staff members were enlisted to call each student to get feedback.
Wilmington University has come a long way since then. After this trial period, we started promoting online programs in 2008. Our first programs offered fully online were Human Resource Management and Business Management.
Today, in the spring of 2014, Wilmington University offers over 80 online programs – undergraduate and graduate, concentrations, and certificates. These programs cover a huge range of subject matter, from behavioral science to computer security, sports management and health care administration. Even traditional degree programs include classes online.
Learn more about online learning on our web site: http://www.wilmu.edu/onlinelearning/index.aspx
Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) is an industry and educational buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Businesses and educational institutions have modified their rigid technological requirements in favor of a more relaxed acceptance of employees and students using their own technology in the workplace and classroom.
For online students, using your own technology is nothing new. And students that choose to attend classes completely online must rely completely on their own ability to manage technology.
Faced with a dizzying array of technology tools, laptops to desktops, tablets and smartphones, how do online students decide which tools will work best for them?
Sometimes students don’t make any new choices, but simply use their home computing system without investing or changing technology when they enroll in an online course. And that’s fine.
Wilmington University’s recommendations for students interested in online education are very basic:
- convenient internet access
- online research capability
- computing skills that include proficiency with Microsoft products, including Word and PowerPoint
Wilmington University also recommends the use of certain internet browsers.
For the student interested in buying new devices or software, your status as a Wilmington University student entitles you to educational discounts at Dell, Apple, and JourneyEd. Com. You can find student purchasing information on this page.
Is BYOD liberating or nerve wracking? When you are buying technology, do you consider your needs as an online student?
How do you take notes these days? Can you type faster than you can write with pen and paper? If you’re using your laptop to type notes during lectures or meetings, you may want to rethink that practice. The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/taking-notes-by-hand-benefits-recall-researchers-find/51411) recently reported on a new study of note taking practices. This study shows that students have a much higher rate of knowledge retention and comprehension when handwriting notes rather than typing.
“When I type notes, I find that I’m not really listening and comprehending the information. It seems it goes in one ear and out the other while transcribing what the speaker is saying,” said Adam Voyton, Instructional Technology Project Specialist at Wilmington University’s Educational Technology Department.
There’s a scientific basis for Voyton’s impression. An experiment conducted by Jean-Luc Velay at the University of Marseille (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119095458.htm) demonstrated that the brain uses different areas when writing longhand as opposed to typing. Writing by hand engages the sensorimotor memory part of our brain that helps us recognize letters.
The report in the Chronicle of Higher Education states that even though note taking on a computer results in more detailed transcribed notes, long hand note takers have more conceptual understanding of the material, and in some cases, even more factual recall.
But fans of technology shouldn’t despair. Instead of a pencil, why not break out a stylus pen and take notes on a tablet? You’ll have the best of both worlds – the advantage of notes taken electronically combined with the higher brain retentive action of long hand writing.