Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't miss out on scholarship money

If you're planning on applying for a spring ASWSU-DDP scholarship, you'd better get busy. The deadline is Nov. 1. Go to the Web site for more information.

The deadline for the Academic Scholarship Application for 2010-11 is a little further off (Jan. 31), but students who send in their applications earlier are given first priority. Get started right away to improve your chances.

'I want to be a role model for my kids'

December, 2008. The night before commencement. The string quartet played Boccherini, Vivaldi, Bach. About 80 Distance Degree Programs graduates and family members ate pasta and chicken at Washington State University’s Lewis Alumni Center. Valerie Quintasket's sleeveless red dress defied the forecast of a blizzard. So did the fact that she had driven her SUV 170 miles from Inchelium, Washington, to Pullman.
      After working four years to earn her bachelor’s in human development, she wasn’t about to let the weather keep her away from commencement festivities. “I want to be a role model for my kids,” she said of Isaac, 9, Almeta, 5, and Sadie, 3. “I wanted them to see that I could graduate. If they see I did it, then they’ll know they can do it too.”
      Now they’ve not only seen her graduate, but they’ve also seen her degree pay off. More... She’s landed a new job as a counselor for Colville Confederated Tribes Vocational Rehabilitation Program. “I provide guidance and counseling to individuals with diagnosable disabilities so they can gain or maintain employment,” she said. “The majority of my clients are sincerely trying to do great things with their lives, so it is really rewarding to help them.”
      Valerie, 31, grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation. She left high school at 16 and got a job at the Burger King in Omak. After earning her GED, she started working for the tribal casino in Okanogan, a few miles south of Omak. She earned an associate’s degree from Wenatchee Valley College’s Omak campus, and worked as a family services specialist at Inchelium Head Start before starting her new post.
      She enrolled in DDP in 2004 – “just to try it out” – and discovered it was a good fit. “I was able to juggle work, children and school because of this program. I really liked the way it was laid out and it was easy to follow.”
      When the juggling got too intense, help was near. “My dad really pushed me though school,” she said. “Whenever I felt like throwing in the towel, he said, ‘Get your homework done and I’ll take the kids.’ ”
      Her instructors also cut her some slack. “If I found myself falling behind or struggling, I had some awesome professors,” she said. “As long as I let them know what was going on, they really worked with me.”
      Valerie is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, which includes the Arrow Lakes Nation, as well as the Methow, Okanogan, San Poil, Nespelem, Nez Perce, Palouse, Moses, Entiat, and Wenatchee tribes. Her great-aunt Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket) is known as the first Native American to write a novel (Cogewea, the Half-Blood, 1927). Her grandfather, Charlie Quintasket, fought to save tribal lands in the 1970s and worked for the re-establishment of the Sinixt (Arrow Lakes) Nation in British Columbia.
      Charlie Quintasket was fluent in Nselxcin, a dialect of Salish. (Quintasket means “Green Sky” in Nselxsin.) Valerie is learning her native language. “To really hear the words,” she said, “gives you a stronger outlook on how things were, how relationships were.”
      For example, the words “my” and “mine” are used infrequently in Nselxsin, reflecting the tribal culture’s lack of possessiveness. And while there are words for “excuse me” and “thank you,” there’s no word for “please,” which demonstrates a high regard for children, she said. “If a child wants a bite of food, the reaction is to make the child say ‘please.’ They are hungry, why make them beg? I teach my children manners, but don’t insist they beg.”
      Sure enough, at December’s party, Almeta didn’t say please when she asked if she could go play with Butch T. Cougar. By the time Almeta came back – “I held cougar, Mommy, I held cougar” – Isaac had fallen asleep on Valerie’s lap. Almeta slipped under her arm and into her embrace. The quartet played its final song (“One Hand, One Heart” from West Side Story) as people zipped thick parkas over party clothes, pulled ski caps down to their eyebrows, and drifted toward the door. No one lingered. Tomorrow was a big day.

      This year's pre-commencement reception
is 4-6 p.m., Dec. 11. For information, please visit the ASWSU-DDP Web site.

-- By Richard H. Miller/Center for Distance and Professional Education

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yakima learning center to return

WSU plans to re-establish support for the Yakima learning center. Here's the article from the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Request your proctored exams now

Now is the time to request proctored exams for the fall semester. Proctored exams are mailed; other delivery methods are done at a student’s request and expense.
Please also consider how you're going to return the exam. Ask your proctors if they handle other than regular mail. If not, you may have to take your final exam earlier so it can be back to the instructor by the deadline. Remember, a student may handle an exam only when taking it. More...Regular mail may take up to two weeks and the upcoming holidays could further slow delivery. More information is on our Web site. Select the heading: “How to Nominate a Proctor and Request a Proctored Exam.” Got a question? Ask Kay.

A special note to on-campus students taking SOC 461, which is offered both in-person and online: The final exam is proctored. On-campus students need to schedule an exam appointment two weeks before planning to take the final. Please contact DDP at 509-335-3557, 800-222-4978, or e-mail Kay for details.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New to DDP? Get your ID

With spring semester fast approaching, new students need to be sure they have a WSU Network ID. Don't delay, you'll need this NID for everything you do online with WSU.
Please create your ID as soon as possible.

Check out the latest Cyber Coug newsletter

2008 DDP grad Jola Barnett shares secrets of academic success in the latest Cyber Coug newsletter.
Other topics include career tips, a look at the veterans committee, and, as always, Larry the Answer Man fields your questions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Join us on our virtual island

WSU's Center for Distance and Professional Education is seeking teams of WSU students to create educational and social events on the WSU Second Life Island. Students do not need a strong technical background, just a desire to learn.
More... These unpaid positions are an excellent way to meet other students while exploring a new technology. If you would like to participate, send an e-mail to CDPE Associate Dean David Cillay. Please include the following information:

E-mail subject line: WSUSL
Class standing
E-mail address
Project role that you would like to play
•Event Planner
A brief statement about your experience with Second Life, why you are interested in the project, and how much time you can commit to the project each week.
Successful applicants will be granted full access to the WSU Second Life Island. Applications must be received by Nov. 2.
To see a video of how students created the island, go to YouTube.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music professor wins two awards

WSU's Greg Yasinitsky, who teaches the online course Music 362, History of Jazz, gets double honors.

Cruise line exec gets in deep

One, twice, three times a Cougar: Sally van Boheemen is a Cougar mom, an Alumni Association volunteer, and, most recently, a student in Washington State University Distance Degree Programs.
Football coach Bill Doba assisted with her conversion to Cougar mom. In 2004, several universities were trying to recruit Van Boheemen’s son Kellen, a top football player at Tumwater High School.
During a WSU recruiting event, “Doba came up and talked with Kellen,” Van Boheemen said. “He was so warm and personable that we were immediately struck with a feeling of family. That feeling became more intense as we sat through a few team sessions where players discussed why they chose WSU. Kellen came away saying, ‘It feels right, it feels like a family.’” Kellen turned down a scholarship elsewhere to enroll at WSU.
More... Van Boheemen was also impressed, which led to the second phase of her Cougar-ization. In 2006, she learned you don’t have to be a WSU graduate to volunteer with the Alumni Association. She served on committees, organized events, and became a deputy director of the King County Alumni Association as well as a director of the King County Athletic Foundation.
It wasn’t like she had time to spare. Van Boheemen, 51, is the director of Fleet Medical Operations at Holland America Line. She manages an $8 million budget, supervises an office staff of nine in downtown Seattle and more than 800 nurses and doctors on 14 cruise ships. She deals with erupting volcanoes, plane crashes, outbreaks of polio and dengue fever on resort islands. “My job is 24/7,” she said.
Phase three of Van Boheemen’s Cougar transformation happened aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam ship in Seattle. She was helping WSU organize a diversity tribute. One presenter was Dr. Michael Tate, vice president of WSU’s Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity.
“He was such an engaging speaker, I thought, ‘Wow, if my professors were like that in college, I would have learned so much.’ It got me to thinking about returning to college. That, combined with my love of WSU, got me started on the DDP path.”
Van Boheemen joined DDP in 2007, almost 30 years after she graduated from Yakima Valley College with a nursing degree. She’s majoring in sociology. “I wanted to stretch my mind in a new direction.”
Online education is both easy and difficult, she said.
“The process is made very easy by the University,” she said. “You can log on no matter where you are. You can see your work, chat with the professor. The challenge is that you have to be very self-disciplined. It’s very easy to say, ‘I’m busy today, I’ll wait until tomorrow.’ A couple times I had to take a personal day off to finish my papers.”
Her employers are more than understanding.
“There’s a part of our yearly performance appraisal that asks what you’re doing to improve yourself, aside from work,” Van Boheemen said. “I put, ‘obtaining a degree from WSU.’ I listed the courses, and that I got an A. They were really impressed.”
-- Richard H. Miller/Center for Distance and Professional Education

Monday, October 12, 2009

Get a jump on spring with this checklist

Registration for Spring 2010 begins Nov. 9. For best class selection and to avoid last-minute problems, register as early as possible!
We're sending out a postcard with a checklist, but here's a preview:
Print and review your most recent academic progress report (APR), which lists the courses you need to fulfill your degree requirements. Log in to myDDP, select “My Advising,” then “Current Academic Progress Report.”
Check for holds and note your designated registration time in myWSU at “Academics”/ “Register & Plan”/“Registration Time & Holds.” You will not be permitted to register if a hold is in place. Note your designated registration time. Register as early as possible after this time.
Contact your academic advisor early (before your designated registration time) to discuss your new class schedule and your degree requirements. Your advisor will lift your advising hold after confirming that the courses you want to take will meet your degree requirements. More...
Address Verification: Course materials are shipped to the address listed on your myDDP Web page. (Make sure all your contact information is correct.) If your address is out of date or is listed incorrectly, you will be billed for additional shipping expenses or lost items.
WSU E-mail Address: You must activate your WSU e-mail account to participate in DDP courses and receive information from DDP.
Go to the Schedule of Classes; under “Schedules for Campuses and Terms,” select the appropriate term next to “DDP.”
Find the course(s) you plan to take, as discussed with your advisor, and note the schedule line numbers (SLNs) for those courses. The SLNs for restricted courses can be found on your “My Advising” tab in myDDP. Note the “More Information” selection for special course info.
During your designated registration time, log in to myWSU; choose “Academics”/“Register & Plan”/“Registration” to enroll in your selected course(s). To see the registration schedule, go here.
More information is at our registration center.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fun weekend is fast approaching

Homecoming weekend is Oct. 9-11. Along with the Cougars-Sun Devils game, there will be a street fair, bonfire, exhibits, food fair and special passes for the rec center. Here's a list that includes a link to a printable flier. Come share the fun.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nominate faculty, advisors for awards

Please nominate your favorite faculty member for recognition during the December graduation reception. Send ASWSU-DDP President Debby Poris a paragraph about the instructor, and be sure to include the teacher's name and the name of the course. The deadline is November 15.

You can also nominate your academic advisor for an award. Visit the Web page for more information. The deadline is Oct. 15.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Video becomes a moo-vie

Two DDP academic advisors recently traveled to San Antonio for a conference on using technology. To show how simple it is to make a video, they made their own at an area farm. It was meant to be a light-hearted piece about communication techniques. Then the cattle got busy.