Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Positives Journal

Thanksgiving is a good time to start a "positives journal". Try each day to write down several things that are good--little reasons to be thankful.

This morning I noticed the beginning of some blossoms on a little plant that I nearly threw away a year ago. Last year we were gifted with an azalea plant which was gloriously in full bloom. It became a premature dry twig because we had forgotten to water it for several days. My inclination was to toss it in the garbage can. Fortunately, I didn't.

Faithfully, we have watered it and placed it in a sunny window. Slowly, it began to sprout some green leaves so I gave it a little plant food. I was happy that it was green, but never imagined that it would ever bloom again.

How good I felt this morning when I noticed three tiny pink buds beginning to form. Is this something to get excited about? Yes, it was for me. It was one more reminder of the power of nurturing and the wonder of life.

Be thankful for the little things you experience and be grateful to be alive.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To My Students

Tomorrow we will have a guest speaker who is a psychologist. I have asked him (Dr. Basil Augustine) to talk about "The Psychology of Winning Scholarships". We will meet in the classroom.

After tomorrow there are only four class sessions left. Please make your appointments to have your portfolio checked. Unless it is complete and in PERFECT order, I don't want to look at it. Your final grade is weighed heavily on the portfolio.

In addition to the portfolio, there will be two more exams and your class presentation.

Accepting an Award

More than likely, you will be invited to a luncheon or dinner as the recipient of a scholarship. The interview committe has selected you as the winner and they want to show you off.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you will wear and how you will present yourself. The way you look is important, but it doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot of money.

If you have ever ventured into a consignment shop or even a thrift store, you will know that there are some very nice clothes and accessories available for affordable prices.

Dress appropriately for the occasion. Now is not the time for jeans or anything provocative. It is better to err on the side of dressing conservatively--remember the key word is "appropriately". If in doubt check with a counselor or a friend whose judgment you trust.

You will be expected to say a few words. It doesn't have to be long. Please acknowledge the organization and anyone in the audience who has helped you with your application. Speak from the heart and be real.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Appearance of Success

"Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success."

Christopher Lasch
(American Social Critic)

Interviews & the Image You Project

Soon you will be receiving responses from your scholarship applications. If you are a finalist, many organizations will invite you to an interview. Not only is it critical to remember what you wrote on your personal statement, but you should do some research on the group that is offering the scholarship. Know their purpose and philosophy. Why was their organization created?

The way you dress and the image that you project is very important. Dress as though you are being interviewed for a professional job. Put away the jeans and skimpy spaghetti strap tops. It is best to lean toward the conservative side. Cover any tattoos; remove obvious piercings; and minimize unusual hair coloring.

Body language is very telling. Walk in with a smile; give a strong handshake; make eye contact; and express enthusiasm. You must be yourself, but be your best and positive self.

Remember, you want to be selected for their award. They are looking for a good investment for their money and someone who will be a future leader in the community. Like it or not, people do judge you by the way you look and act.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To My Students

Today is a lab day in the Career Center. See you there.


Are You Motivated?

Be sure that you are enrolling in college for the right reasons. Unless you are motivated, the most prestigious school with the highest tuition will not provide the education that you are seeking.

If you are pursuing your passion, and not just hoping for a high paying career, nothing can stop you from being successful. You must be following your dream and not what others tell you that you should do. You are the only one who can prioritize your interests.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Private School Education

4. "Would the money be better spent on private high school education? Take a look at the gap between private and public college education, and then look at the gap in your area between private and public high school education. Where would your money be best spent?"

5. "Are the graduates getting jobs or into graduate school?" I would never encourage my children to attend any school that considered employment beneath their concerns. This applies to both private and public institutions."

"What does your student need? What can you afford? What is your motivation? Think about it...and make a wise investment."

Will S. Keim

Now, more than ever, is the time to think seriously about the cost of going to college. It is my belief that most students receive an excellent education by doing their lower division classes at a community college and completing upper division at a four-year institution.

Save your money to attend the best graduate school that you can afford. It is the graduate degree that prospective employers will be looking at.

If you are offered full tuition at a top college or university, by all means go for it. BUT, look ahead at how many years it will take you to pay off student loans. My son, who is 47, still has $50,000 in student loans. Yes, he went to the finest schools (University of Santa Clara and Thunderbird) but as you mature, life presents new responsibilities and student loans become a tremendous burden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For My Class

Remember, today we meet in the Career Transfer Center.

Can You Afford it?

3. "Can you afford it? Can your student afford it? Be really careful as you look at financial aid packages. Grants mean something akin to scholarships, work-study means you work for the cash on campus, loans are loans. Dissect the package and ask yourselves, "Is this education worth being $40,000+ in debt at the end of four to five years?"

Will S. Keim

Monday, November 17, 2008

Choosing a College

2. "What percentage of entry-level classes are taught by Ph.D's or terminal degree holders (i.e. J.D., M.D. CPA, etc.)? This is the area where the private schools usually hold the edge. There is a huge dropout problem after the first year of college life. Will your student be receiving the kind of instruction that will make him or her want to return to the university?"

Will S. Keim

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Sacred is in the Ordinary

"The great lesson from the true mystics...is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's backyard."

Abraham Maslow

Making a Wise Investment

Over the next few days, I will be quoting from The Truth About College by Will S. Keim. The topic will be suggestions for selecting a college, public or private.

1. "IDENTIFY YOUR MOTIVES. Why do you want to send your child to a private school? Is it better? How so? Do you think the education is markedly better, or do you believe your student will be associated with a different or "better" class of student? What does this tell you about yourself and your values? Complete a pro and con list for public and private schools."

Will S. Keim

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Although many majors do not require that you complete one or two internships as part of your degree, the experience is invaluable. Internships are a wonderful vehicle to explore potential careers in a real-world professional career.

The exposure not only prepares you to make more informed decisions, but it enhances your desirability as a candidate when job seeking in your chosen field.

But for now know this; one of the more immediate benefits of doing an internship is increasing your potential for winning grants and scholarships.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reducing the Cost of Education

Yesterday I was glancing through Funding Education Beyond High School which is prepared by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid. I'd like to quote the following on lower-cost schools.

"If you'll be working toward a bachelor's degree, you might consider starting at a two-year community college and then transferring to a four- year school. Community colleges are usually less expensive than four-year schools. (Some four-year schools that are partially funded by local or state taxes can be less expensive as well.) Because attending a community college allows you to live at home, you can save money on room and board."

Actually, not only will you save money, but you will have smaller classrooms and lots of individual attention. The wonderful part is that the professors have many of the same credentials--many of our professors at the College of the Desert also teach at the four-year colleges--both public and private.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For My Class/Exam Two

The test is being postponed until Thursday, Nov. 13. It will be on October assignments, lectures and info on October Blog.

I will be off campus this coming Thursday, Nov. 6 attending the International Career Development Conference and the following Tuesday is a college holiday. Take advantage of the time to research and get your portfolio in order.

See you in class tomorrow.

To My Students

Tuesday, November 4th, I have a speaker coming to talk about a wonderful way to save money with 200% returns. This organization has come to the class nine years in a row and many of my students have successfully (and happily) gone through the program. Don't miss it.

We are coming to the last stretch of the semester. Have you been keeping up? By now, you should have at least one good personal statement and all of your letters of recommendation. How close are you to have your 32 scholarships?

See you tomorrow. I will be at a conference this Thursday. Please work on your portfolio and scholarship research independently.

Community Service

Scholarship donors are very interested in community service. When they are judging scholarship applications, they are looking for students who will be future leaders. In addition, your involvement in the community is critical when applying to a four year college.

There are so many services that you can give. With Thanksgiving and the Xmas holidays upon us, try to find time to volunteer. How about helping at a food kitchen; visiting a senior citizen home; collecting toys for needy children or offering to help a neighbor by driving them to an appointment.

High schools and colleges frequently have special events. By offering to help, you will not only meet new people, but you might be able to get extra credit for a class.

The best gift is to give of your time.