Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bookie Too Web site working again

Technical difficulties that prevented the Bookie Too Web site from filling orders online appear to be fixed. If you still want to place an order by phone, call 509-334-3661 or the toll free line, 800-937-4978, and ask to be transferred to DDP Textbooks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Web site for DDP Bookie

The Bookie Too has opened its order site for DDP student textbooks. The site has a new address, Most courses now have their textbooks posted, but there are a dozen or so book lists still on the way.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Student finds new challenges in China

Aaron Lassman, right, with Sandra, Steffon, and adopted twins Ginger, in yellow, and Jasmine.

Aaron Lassman likes challenges. He drove an ambulance for 13 years in Seattle. He served in the National Guard. He spent six months backpacking through Central America with his wife, Sandra, and 6-year-old son, Steffon.
Steffon is now 16, and the Lassman family lives in Beijing, along with Ginger and Jasmine, 3-year-old twins they adopted from south China. Beijing is about 5,400 miles from Washington State University, as the crow flies. As the mouse clicks, however, it takes only a few seconds for Aaron to attend a course through WSU’s Distance Degree Programs.
Aaron is majoring in social science, with a minor in management information systems. More... Before transferring to WSU, he studied online at Bellevue Community College. “I’ve been a long-distance student for about four years now,” Aaron said during a June visit to Pullman, where he met with his academic advisor, Jaqueline Almdale. “WSU’s program is just amazing. The number of courses offered online is great.”
Aaron is a “trailing spouse,” which is the U.S. State Department’s way of saying he is in Beijing because Sandra is a consular officer at the embassy. She works with immigration and visa services, and helps Americans in trouble, such as those recently quarantined because of H1N1 flu. He works at the embassy doing technical support.
Aaron appreciates China’s good Internet service – except when authorities censor the sites he needs to visit for his studies. “Whatever gets blocked,” he said, “I can do at the office, where we have unfiltered access.”
Unlike China, the Lassman household embraces dissent. While Aaron is a Coug, and comes from a family of Cougs, Sandra is a University of Washington graduate. Their car pays tribute to both allegiances with a “House Divided” sticker. That brings Cougs out of the woodwork.
“People leave cards and notes on the window saying, ‘Hey, I’m a Cougar, too,’” Aaron said. “It’s amazing how many Cougars you run into. If I’m wearing my Cougar hat, they come up to me and say, ‘nice hat.’ ” Do Huskies ever leave notes on the car? “Not so much, no.”
Aaron will graduate from WSU in May. “I was a horrible high school student,” he said. “I graduated with a 2.0. I never wanted to go to college. But I just took a shine to it as a grownup. Now my GPA is 3.7.”
What’s the secret to his success? Jaqueline stepped in: “Aaron’s an excellent student,” his advisor said. “He’s got really good time management skills. He’s well organized. He –”
“He gets lots of support from his family,” Sandra finished, amid peals of laughter.
“I get lots of support from my family,” Aaron said. “Lots of support from my family.”
-- Richard H. Miller/Center for Distance and Professional Education
Photo by Brian Maki/Center for Distance and Professional Education

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wine, cheese and cherries

As we reported earlier, it was a WSU scientist who developed the Rainier cherry. Now, WSU researcher Walter Clore is being honored as the father of the Washington state wine industry.
Wine, cherries ... what's missing? How about some Cougar gold cheese? (The Web page includes a cow sound effect.) The WSU creamery isn't shipping now, due to the heat, but if you're in Pullman, you can pick up a few cans.
While you're there, try a "Grabber," WSU's version of an ice-cream sandwich. Both the cheese and ice cream come from university cows (they're very smart). This video offers a behind-the-scenes look at creamery operations.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Real-world relaxation

While DDP students slave away on our virtual campus, our physical campus is in the midst of its summer slumbers. We hope these peaceful photos will bring our students a rare moment of relaxation.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Biz degree ranked 'Best Buy'

WSU's online bachelors of business administration has been ranked a "Best Buy" by the national editorial review team at
The award means the program provides "a high quality distance bachelors to a national audience at tuition rates well below the national average," the organization said.
WSU's online undergraduate business degree offer five areas of concentration: Accounting, entrepreneurship, international business, management and operations, and management information systems.
More information about all of WSU's online degrees is on the DDP Web site.
Also, beginning this fall, WSU is expanding its business options by offering an online MBA.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're fixing the phones

Phone service put on hold. All campus land-line phones will be out from 3 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, until 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, for repairs.

Open education. Professor asks students to post homework on public blog. It went so well, he reports, that he expanded the idea and invited outsiders to join in a course. We'd like to know what you think. Would you enjoy showing your work in a public forum?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday updates

Financial aid. Major changes are looming for the national's financial aid system. Here's an update on where things stand right now.

Co-admit program. Community college students who want to continue on to WSU's online program now have a simpler way to enroll. The application forms are online.

The latest Word. Microsoft will offer free online versions of Word and other Office programs next year.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cyber Coug newsletter

The new student government newsletter is out, and includes not only useful tips, but also photo contest results (the top winner is at right), and a recipe for dog biscuits. ASWSU-DDP President Debby Poris says the student government welcomes submissions for the next issue of Cyber Coug. If you're a student or alum with a story to share, please send Debby an e-mail.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Good news on financial aid

A new federal plan links college loan payments to incomes. This New York Times article also discusses the reduction in interest rates for Stafford loans, which went into effect this week.

In more good news for students, President Obama signs HR 1777, which excludes veterans educational benefits from estimated financial assistance starting July 1. WSU's financial aid office will automatically revise awards for affected veterans.

Need more information? Contact our financial aid office.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

News from the branch campuses

WSU-Vancouver is offering an online Deaf Education Endorsement, with the help of Distance Degree Programs.

WSU Tri-Cities is throwing a party on July 11 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The free event features activities for kids, food vendors, a beer garden, and door prizes.