8 Suggestions for a Productive Summer Break

Posted by Allison Leach on Jun 19, 2018 4:30:00 PM

During the academic year, adult students often burn the candle at both ends: juggling the responsibilities of academics, work, and family. Yet the arrival of summer typically offers some much-needed breathing room, whether in the form of a reduced course load, weekend getaways, or a complete break from school.

With summer in full swing, we hope that our students have been able to take some much-deserved time to unwind, and recharge for the upcoming semester.

Regardless of your academic plans, please consider some of the tips below, to ensure a productive, yet relaxing summer break.

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Topics: Student

Bachelor of General Studies Offers Advantages for Returning Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Jun 7, 2018 3:00:00 PM

A recent study by Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute estimates that by 2020, 65% of all job openings will require education beyond high school; 35% will require at least a bachelor’s degree.  The emphasis on post-secondary education in the labor market has been growing steadily over the past four decades, with recent years showing an increased demand for competencies such as decision-making, communications, analysis, and administration - and a reduced demand for “physical skills.”  

In many industries, a bachelor’s degree is the signal that the prospective employee is “trainable” at a rigorous level, has acquired skills in critical thinking and research, is an effective communicator, and is capable of both self-direction and leadership. The degree is a gateway credential, needed by those hoping to advance - or even be hired -  regardless of employment experience. While individuals who have earned some college credit are better positioned than those with only a high school diploma, a lack of a college degree still contributes to a greater risk of unemployment: in South Carolina, the unemployment rate among individuals with some college is nearly 3% higher than those who have earned a bachelor’s degree. 

This trend in the labor market has implications beyond the employability of those lacking a college degree,  also influencing earning potential over time. The Bureau of Labor statistics lists individuals who have earned some college credit as earning only 65% of the weekly salary of those who have earned a Bachelor’s degree. This disparity is likely due not only to lower starting salaries, but also the lack of advancement opportunities for individuals with some college credit.  

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Topics: Student

Resume Writing for Adult Students: Arrangement and Content

Posted by Allison Leach on May 24, 2018 12:00:00 PM

With graduation just barely in the rearview mirror, we are re-running several posts from our job search series.  The School of Professional Studies staff wishes all job seekers good luck, and are looking forward to hearing about your successes!

In the previous installment of this series, we looked at resume writing basics, applicable to most job seekers. In this follow-up post, we give consideration to how different life experiences - such as those of adult students - can affect the arrangement of a resume, as well as tips for composing strong, relevant content for each section.

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Topics: Student

Resume Writing for Adult Students: The Basics

Posted by Allison Leach on May 15, 2018 4:00:00 PM

This past weekend, the SPS staff was thrilled to see 12 students graduate with a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree.  While many of these students have already found employment, this is a perfect time to re-run installments from our popular "job search" blog series.

While the articles are tailored to adult students and recent graduates, we hope that all job seekers will benefit from the tips provided.  Best of luck! 

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Topics: Student

SPS Celebrates Student Achievement

Posted by Allison Leach on May 9, 2018 1:00:00 PM

The School of Professional Studies student awards ceremony, held at the culmination of both the Fall and Spring semesters, reflects the SPS’ dedication to supporting non-traditional students, and holding them to the same rigorous academic standard as any College of Charleston student.

The SPS held the Spring 2018 Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2018, to honor the academic achievements of students in the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) program. The ceremony recognized the Spring/Summer 2018 graduates, as well as those students who were named either to the Dean’s List, or the Honor Roll for the Spring semester.  Highlights of the event included the he presentation of the Faculty and GPA Awards, and the induction of several BPS candidates into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.

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Topics: Student, Events

Planning a Return to School

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 2, 2018 4:00:00 PM

For traditional students, the decision to attend college is almost a given - something that is instilled in them throughout their high school years - and one where parents, teachers, and counsellors are often available to assist with plans and resources.  For adults returning to school, the path is much more self-driven, and requires a great deal of thought and research.

If you are considering returning to school, there are several steps that you should take before you even begin to research specific schools or apply to a given program.  Proceeding through these steps will help you to formalize your goals, and develop a cohesive plan for realization.

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Topics: Student

Pursuing Your Passion

Posted by Allison Leach on Mar 15, 2017 1:00:00 PM

““Follow the calling in your heart; trust yourself.”

When Diana Deaver first set out to complete her bachelor’s degree, she had practicality in mind, not passion.

Like so many young adults, Deaver was seeking a credential that would help ensure a reasonable income, and selected a program that seemed like a means to that end; yet she knew that she was not following her calling. Luckily for Deaver, she had trusted advisors to steer her on the right path.

Deaver studied psycho-sociology at the Universitatea Virgil Madgearu in Romania in 2000, but after immigrating to the United States, abandoned her studies in favor of securing employment. “I took whatever jobs were available,” explains Deaver. “I was in this country by myself, and had no one to support me.” Deaver knew that a college degree was essential to career advancement and  -not wanting to get stuck - earned an Associate’s Degree from Trident Technical College.  Deaver subsequently enrolled at the College of Charleston as an accounting major, and was soon matched with a mentor through Charleston Young Professionals.

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Topics: Student, Homepage, Feature

Writing a Winning Personal Essay

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 14, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Scholarships can be highly competitive, particularly when candidates present similarly impressive accomplishments. Whether applying for a merit-based or need-based scholarship, a personal essay is often the key to distinguishing yourself from a pool of candidates. 

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Topics: Student

Scholarship Opportunities for Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Feb 8, 2017 7:00:00 PM

Financial need is a common concern for those pursuing a four-year degree, and is a frequent factor in student attrition.  Many prospective non-traditional students cite financial instability as a barrier to completing their education, and report that financial aid availability was key in deciding to pursue a degree-completion program.

Unfortunately, as many non-traditional students discover while researching financial aid possibilities, many scholarship and grant opportunities are limited to traditionally-aged students - or students who will be entering college as first-timefreshmen.  While this can be discouraging, prospective (and current) students will find that academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, corporations, and service organizations are increasingly recognizing the trend toward an older student population.  Although many scholarships and grants are still bound to a traditional demographic, scholarships are now being offered that specifically target non-traditional students - as well as single parents and degree-completion candidates.

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Topics: Student, News

Financial Resources Available to Non-Traditional Students

Posted by Allison Leach on Jan 27, 2017 5:30:00 PM

The rising cost of college tuition is a common concern among both traditional and non-traditional students, with financial need being cited as a primary barrier to initial enrollment, and a contributor to student attrition rates.  For prospective non-traditional students, financial instability may be one of the obstacles that led them to postpone their education, and the availability of financial aid may play a significant role in whether they ultimately decide to pursue degree-completion.

When researching degree programs, "sticker shock" is not an uncommon experience.  However, what prospective students may fail to realize is that the tuition “sticker price” is not an absolute: there are resources available to help ease the financial burden. Many schools will offer applicants a financial aid package, and students may also independently pursue other forms of financial assistance.

The college financial aid system can be quite complex - with its many types, terms, and eligibility requirements - and significant research may be required in order to fully understand what is available.

Below, we have provided a basic overview of the financial resources available to non-traditional students, many of which are administered through the College of Charleston Office of Financial Assistance and Veteran’s Affairs.  We hope that this information will illuminate the possibilities for obtaining an affordable education.

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Topics: Student

About the SPS

The School of Professional Studies is your partner on the journey toward a more fulfilling future. We are accessible, flexible, creative and tenacious. We work hard to provide access to the education you need to build a brighter future for yourself and in turn, for our community.

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