Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Online MBA programs ranked best in U.S.

WSU's online MBA and EMBA have been ranked best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

"This ranking affirms the very high quality of Washington State University programs as well as the increasing viability and demand for online education,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. "The College of Business working with the WSU Global Campus - our fifth campus - already is making great progress in spreading the wide-ranging educational resources of our university to students throughout the world.”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Online grad becomes part of the pride

kara kadow shopping cropShe takes a license plate frame off the rack. “Cougars,” it says. She puts it back. Then she finds the one she wants—the one she has wanted since 2009. The word is deeply engraved: “Alumni.”
     Kara Kadow, 33, adds the frame to a teetering armful of merchandise: WSU T-shirts, cap, kara mirror horizontalcalendar, banner, coffee mug. She flashes what her mother calls her “cheerleader smile,” a bright reminder of her high-school days. She remembers she can get a discount with her new alumni card. She pulls it out of her purse, presents it to the Bookie cashier, and now it’s true, now it’s official. She’s a card-carrying member of the Cougar Nation.
     It’s Kara’s first visit to the Pullman campus. The WSU Online student has brought her entire family from Yorba Linda, Calif., to watch her graduate the next day with her social sciences degree.
     “A lot of people were surprised I was coming,” Kara says. “But I didn’t want to do this by mail. I wanted to be here.”

Feeling the spirit
     Kara’s school spirit goes back to her pompon days. It’s why she wears Cougar clothes to her job as a conference manager, and why she decorates her cubicle in WSU merchandise. It’s a big reason why she chose WSU when she decided to return to college after a nine-year break for marriage and work.
     “I was looking for that sense of connection,” she says. “I wanted a school I’d be proud to be part of. And I wanted to know that I’d be an alumni of a really great school.” More...      She searched the Internet. WSU Online’s website “reached out and grabbed me,” she says. “There was a school spirit that I could feel online.”
     There was also the tug of ancestry. Her great-grandfather homesteaded along the Columbia River. Her grandfather Richard E. Kadow was a pioneer in artificial insemination of cattle. Her great-uncle Earl Kadow was a longtime farmer, and president of the Clark County Fair, where he has a display named in his honor. Another relative Beulah “Boots” Kadow ran the coffee truck at the Port of Vancouver for nearly 20 years. And her cousins own Kadow Marina in Vancouver, where a scene from Twilight was filmed.

‘This is my village’
     “I decided to give the program a try for a year, and ended up staying for all three,” Kara says. The school pride was “infectious,” the online classroom was stimulating—“I felt like I had more learning tools than if I had been in a classroom with a book”—and her family’s support was unwavering.
     “It takes a village,” she says. “This is my village.” She gestures at her entourage: Mother, father, son, sister, niece, and boyfriend. Her village provided child care and proof-reading and lots of encouragement.
     “My bucket list is that both my daughters get their degrees,” says her father, Mike Kadow. “That’s how our family was raised. Education is the most important thing you can do.”
     Her 4-year-old son, Alex, also helped her stay motivated.
     “When he’s 18, I want to be able to say that Mom has a degree so he should continue his education,” she says. “I don’t necessarily want to throw it in his face—‘I was a single mom and I worked full time and walked up the hill in snow’—but I want to show him that I did it.”

Ants can be a hazard
     Snow would be a hard sell in Yorba Linda but Alex has already been exposed to other rigors of higher education. “We went up to the volcanic area for Geology 210,” Kara says. “Alex was bitten by red ants, so now he’s traumatized.”
     Luckily, Kara had her “mommy spray” (ant spray) handy, and Alex’s trauma seems to have eased as he plays with his 5-year-old cousin, Bella, among the racks of Cougar clothing.
     After the Bookie, Kara and her family will tour campus, and attend an evening reception for WSU Online graduates in Lewis Alumni Centre. But there’s still one thing she needs to purchase, something she can’t get at the Bookie.
     “I want to buy one of those very expensive frames for my diploma,” she says. “I want to display it proudly.”

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Faculty showcase skills in Music 160

Keri McCarthy crop1Students in the new WSU Online course Music 160 have a full accompaniment of instructors. Along with Professor Keri McCarthy—an internationally known oboist, master-class teacher and Fulbright scholar—they are getting front-row seats to video performances by WSU faculty, including those in the Opera Workshop, Percussion Ensemble and faculty artist series.

“I think we have recorded faculty or students from every area, and these include jazz, traditional instrumental works, percussion ensemble and opera scenes—which are quite theatrical,” McCarthy said.

Music 160, Survey of Music Literature, covers the six major style periods of Western music: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century. Students will develop their listening skills, and learn how established music theory applies to contemporary music, McCarthy said.

Meets UCORE requirements.

“Anyone open to learning about the history of Western music should really enjoy the course,” McCarthy said. “And it meets UCORE requirements for arts credits.”

This is McCarthy’s first online course. “My music colleagues speak highly of the format,” she said. “Students seem to be much more comfortable expressing their views online, as opposed to opening up about their musical likes and dislikes in a face-to-face classroom.”

More...Along with faculty performances, the course will use VoiceThread, a program that combines multimedia with collaborative functions. “Students will introduce themselves using the video software,” she said, “and describe their favorite popular music.”

McCarthy earned her bachelor’s in oboe performance from Ithaca College School of Music, her master’s from Yale School of music, and her doctorate from Indiana University School of Music.

Fulbright fellowship

Since coming to WSU in 2006, she has toured Asia twice—in 2008 on a WSU New Faculty Seed Grant, and in 2011 on a Fulbright fellowship, giving nearly 30 performances in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, and Korea. She now lives in Pullman, with her husband, Andy, and two boys, ages 3 and 9 months.

McCarthy said her love of the oboe began early. “The oboe has called my name since I first heard it in the beginning of middle school. I believe each person has a very personal musical ‘voice’ and I knew that this was my passion when I first heard it being played.”

But, she said, her musical journey will never end.

“I will never reach any final satisfaction with my playing—complete mastery is impossible and the goals just keep shifting as I work to improve my playing,” she said. “I love that about music: There will always be more repertoire, a more refined sound, or more technical passages to work toward.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Looking back, looking forward

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WSU Online students are dedicated to moving forward. And so are we at WSU’s online program.

In 2012, WSU Online added a new ag master’s, a sport management master’s, and a bachelor’s in psychology. We started accelerated sessions to give students more options for degree completion. In July, we launched the Global Campus and Global Connections,  which offers extra-curricular activities to online students.

In those 12 months, this blog has had 9,815 visitors from 110 countries. They’ve read about veterans and virtual mentors, about starving dogs, hush-hush fathers, an inspiring young Marine/firefighter, and, just for fun, they’ve learned to say Go Cougs in sign language.

2012 was an exciting year and 2013 will bring more adventures and more advancement. We at Washington State University look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Happy New Year!