Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WSU Online student to graduate at 16

     Teenager from Union, Wash., could talk when she was 1, and read at 18 months. She started first grade at age 3, graduated from high school at 10, and began community college at 11.
     Check out the story on KING 5 news.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Online student wins top CCE award

Melanie, Erica, KimCenter for Civic Engagement Director Melanie Brown, left, Erica Vieira, and Assistant Director Kim Freier.

They don’t give the T-shirts to just anybody.
     WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement reserves them for people who complete more than 25 hours of service, said student involvement coordinator Michael Schwartz-Oscar. However, when a student said she had volunteered, but hadn’t tracked it through the CCE, Schwartz-Oscar relented. He gave her a T-shirt. In return he got her to promise she’d start tracking her hours.
     That was a year ago. Now WSU Online student Erica Vieira has not only tracked 117 service hours, but also become the first online student to win the Excellence in Civic Engagement Award.
     “I am so glad I trusted her,” Schwartz-Oscar said Thursday. “I think we owe Erica another T-shirt.”
     Each year, WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement recognizes students, a student group, a faculty member, and community and campus partners for their service and commitment to learning, Schwartz-Oscar said. More...     The other 2010-11 winners are Pullman student Michael Herseth, faculty member Ole Sleipness, community partner Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute, campus partner Kathleen Parker of the USDA and student group Lambda Chi Alpha. All were recognized Thursday at an awards ceremony in the CUB.
     Vieira, vice president of WSU Online’s student government, heard about her award while at a government meeting in Spokane.
     “I was speechless, which is rare,” said the Seattle resident. Her husband was very proud, she said, and her mother sent her an email: “Well, look at you.”
     Vieira is a social sciences major with a concentration in human development, and a mother of three.
     She volunteers at a Tukwila preschool and works with 4-year-olds. “They’re at the perfect age of development,” she said. “They’re free-spirited, they don’t have a worry in the world so it’s really fun to work with them.”
     Vieira’s volunteer work helped the co-op preschool program survive budget cuts, said her supervisor, Marlus Francis. “She’s been a blessing to us and the kids.”
     Volunteering was an “overall great experience,” Vieira said. She recalled one little boy who gave everyone the silent treatment. “He talked to nobody. Nobody. Then he decided he would speak to me. If he tries to communicate with the teacher, he communicates through me. That was one of my favorite experiences.”
     Is she interested in a career in early-childhood education? Possibly, but she’s also considering becoming a counselor for an older crowd.
     “I definitely have an impact on the preschool level,” she said, “but I figure students are almost equally confused when they’re entering college.”

By Richard H. Miller/WSU Online

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Omak mother, daughter on parallel paths

teresa and kayla sheeleyKayla and Teresa Sheeley are both artists.

When her daughter enrolled at Washington State University Pullman, Teresa Sheeley felt restless. She’d attended community college, but always regretted not finishing her four-year degree.
     Teresa lives in Omak, Wash. She’s widely known for her artwork, which tends to be in the cozy home décor category: tea towels, warm paintings, designs you might see in a French countryside café. She sells her work online and at arts and crafts shows, such as Farm Chicks.
     A friend recommended WSU Online, so she enrolled as a social sciences major and plans eventually to earn a master’s. “I want to teach art to little ones,” she said.
     “I was really proud of her when she decided to get her four-year degree,” said her daughter, Kayla Sheeley, who is also an artist. Kayla had her bachelor of fine arts exhibit in April at the WSU Museum of Art. Teresa and her husband, Dave, came to Pullman for the show. More...     “Teresa’s a very, very smart person,” said Dave, as Kayla set out food for exhibit guests. “But if it weren’t for WSU Online, she wouldn’t be getting a degree.”
     Studying online is a lot of work, Teresa said. “But I would recommend it, because it’s so enriching. It makes you a better person, because you’re learning and growing. When I was in high school, none of that stuck. Now it does. I get it, and I enjoy it.
     The courses are “awesome,” she said, but, even so, how does she find the time? She laughed. “I cram because I have to work all day at my business,” she said.
     Visitors began to arrive to see Kayla’s work. Teresa got up to check on the food. Dave kept talking about Teresa’s intelligence and accomplishments.
     “I’ve been absolutely thrilled with what she’s done,” he said. “It’s not only the fact that it opens doors, but what it does for you. What it does inside you. It puts you in a different category; it puts you in a different place. When someone has the capacity she has, not to take advantage of it, well, that’s …” He ended with a chuckle.
     “He just likes to talk,” Teresa said.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some biz courses to get new prefixes

confusedThe College of Business is changing its business course prefixes. The change will become effective fall semester. What does this mean to you?
Schedules of Classes to change. In the Schedules of Classes, business courses for the summer semester are cross-listed (listed in more than one unit within the college).  Beginning fall 2011, business courses are assigned to only one specific department/unit. The changes will not impact the way courses count towards your degree.
  • Example: In the summer schedule, you see both MGTOP 489 and ENTRP 489. It’s the same course, but it’s cross-listed. You may decide you want to take that course in the fall. But, in the fall schedule, the course will be only called ENTRP 489. 
Academic Progress Report being updated. Your current academic progress report may not yet reflect these changes. Your next APR will include the changes.
  • Example: Your APR says you need to take MGTOP 492. When you go to the fall schedule, you can’t find the course because it’s now called ENTRP 492. 
Your academic consultant is aware of these changes, and will work with you during your advising session. Please keep in mind it is your responsibility to know which courses you need to satisfy your degree requirements. 
Please review the table below for the WSU Online courses that will be affected:
Cross listed courses through
summer 2011
Updated course listing beginning
fall 2011
In addition, the following MGTOP courses will have new prefixes beginning fall 2011: 
Listed as MGTOP through
summer 2011
New prefixes beginning
fall 2011
MGTOP 301 MGMT 301
MGTOP 315 MGMT 315
MGTOP 401 MGMT 401
MGTOP 450 MGMT 450
MGTOP 453 IBUS 453
MGTOP 455 MGMT 455
MGTOP 456 MGMT 456
MGTOP 487 MGMT 487
MGTOP 491 MGMT 491

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Robert Gates to speak at commencement

Robert Gates Defense Secretary Robert Gates AhH42G3jzTPl     U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Admiral John Scott Redd and R. James Cook, Washington State University dean and professor emeritus, will be the featured speakers at WSU’s 115th spring commencement Saturday, May 7, at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.
     Gates will speak at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony. There’s more information in this news release.
     If you’ll be here for commencement, think about attending our pregraduation party, which includes free dinner, a visit by Butch, and music from a string quartet.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wants to keep kids out of his workplace

alexcropAlex Esparza is getting used to his job – and he doesn’t like that.
     “You get desensitized to things,” said Alex, a corrections officer at the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center. “Kids charged with robbery or assault. That used to be shocking and heartbreaking. But, after time, it gets normal.”
     He’s been a corrections officer for eight years, and was recently promoted to shift supervisor. He watches the kids when they leave their rooms, and checks them every 15 minutes when they return. Their ages range from 12 to 17. “When they have their 18th birthday in detention, we have to walk them over to the jail.”
     When Alex was a senior in high school, he left home and moved in with a friend. “We spent most of our time partying,” he said. “I got kicked out of school for not going and I didn’t get my diploma until I was 21.”
     Those early experiences left him with a “passion for being around kids and talking with them about their lives. But it’s hard to help once they’ve been arrested. More... “One of my main goals,” he said, “is to try to work with them out in the community, to be proactive and keep them out of trouble.”
     Alex wants to be a probation officer or counselor. He earned his associate’s degree from Skagit Valley College, but to reach his goals, he needs a bachelor’s degree. “I work 40 hours a week, and moving wasn’t an option,” he said. He and his wife looked at online options — but not all of them.
     “We didn’t look at the for-profits,” he said. “We wanted something from a credible college. I was pretty excited when I found WSU Online. When I found out the degree would say WSU, I thought it would be great to say I graduated from Washington State University.”
     At first, Alex was intimidated by the prospect of taking WSU courses. “Skagit is one thing, I thought, but this is WSU. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it,” he said. “But I found out it was manageable, something I could do while working, as long as I stayed focused and disciplined.”
     Alex said the classes are well organized, and he appreciates being able to see the syllabus before registering: “You know what to expect from the course before you sign up,” he said. “That helps a lot.”
     Alex also praised his academic consultant, Chrisi Kincaid. “She laid out my APR (academic progress report),” he said. “Those APRs are just great. You know what you have to do and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
     Alex has a 3.57 GPA and plans to graduate in May 2012 with a degree in social sciences. Then he’ll be able to show others that the tunnel leads to light.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Free parking, in your own comfy chair

traffic     If you’re already an online student, here’s another reason for gloating. Our friends at the University of Wisconsin have created a simple calculator that shows how much you save by not having to leave home. Check it out.

     A day at the beach. Our South Puget Sound students can use some of the gas they save to spend a fun day on the beach at Oakland Bay. Activities include bird-house building, planting native plants, clam-digging and a free clam bake. The event runs 11-4 Saturday, April 30. More information is on the flier.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It’s not too late to get free money

Money on clothespinUS News lists these Eight Scholarships for Procrastinator and Overachievers. One offers $1,000 for writing a three-sentence essay about a weekly topic.
Can you make a persuasive argument in three sentences? Heck yes!
Question: “Why do you need a $1,000 scholarship?” Answer: Bills. Bills. Bills.
WSU also keeps a list of private scholarships on its Web site. Check it out.