Professors – Separate Your ‘University Self’ From Your ‘Entrepreneurial Self’ – Tips and Suggestions

If you are a professor (and I’m assuming you are since you’re reading an article that starts with the word ‘professors’), then you might have a question similar to this one: 

I am interested in developing a line of teaching tools that come from my experience teaching graduate students and faculty.  In developing teaching tools or publications that grow out of a university career, how do you carefully separate your business self from your faculty self?  Can you do both at once?

This is such a wonderful question and is one that many faculty members may have pondered in one form or another as they think about various aspects of their career and how they can develop ‘deliverables’ from their work that could be taken to a larger market or audience.  From my own experience – doing this very thing – here are some recommendations:  

  1. Establish a company that is separate from your personal ‘self.’  You need to set up a separate entity for everything you are doing related to your teaching tools (or other ideas or products that will spin off of this project). You will need a checking account that is just for your company as well as designating a credit card for this. You can start at as a DBA rather than incorporating, but I wouldn’t wait too long on that.  This is definitely a tip where ‘sooner rather than later’ is the watch-phrase.
      

  2. Begin to think about yourself separately. You have your university self and you have your entrepreneurial-separate-from-the-university self. Designate times when you are working on your entrepreneurial projects – and see it as separate time and as a separate part of your life and work. Avoid working on your entrepreneurial projects while at the university (writing, making phone calls, or whatever) but rather work on it at home. It’s not that university folks don’t frequently work on their college work at home – we all do, however, going the other direction is what you want to avoid. People are a little testy in the academy when someone shines – let alone when someone displays an entrepreneurial sense and then, heaven-forbid, actually makes money from it.
     

  3. Avoid talking about your teaching tools, books, manuals, consulting, etc. with others at the university.  While you may be very excited about what you’re doing, others may be jealous either of what you’re doing or just the fact that you’re excited about it. There’s no need to get others worked up unnecessarily. You want to stay under the radar – not secretive, not sneaky by any means – just under the radar. Announcing what you’re doing (which tends not to be most faculty members’ styles anyway) is not going to help you in any way.
     

  4. Find others – nearby or far away – who ARE excited and DO want to know what you’re doing and talk with them about your projects. The beauty today is that we can find MasterMind members/colleagues/supporters anywhere in the world.

So, if you are someone in higher education with ideas that you know would find an audience beyond the academy, take this suggestions to heart.

College Study Tips – 8 Tips To Ease Your Reading

Sometimes ordinary reading methods may not help you to remember the chapter content well. You feel the reading is tough and get bogged down in this murky reading assignment. You can try the following reading techniques which help to ease the reading and help you to remember what you have read better.

Tip 1: Read it again. It’s often easier in the second time.

For many students, if they try to read the difficult material again, such as technical writing in science text can become easier in the second time around. You may get confuse when trying to understand the content at the first time. Do not despair, take a short rest after reading the first round; when you return to read the material again, you will find it easier to understand than when you read it at the first time. Repeat read it again if needed.

Tip 2: Pause reading for mini review.

Don’t read the whole chapter if you find yourself has difficulties to understand the content. After reading one or two paragraphs, pause briefly to summarize what you have read so far, verbally or in writing. Use your own words to review back what you have read so far. Then, jot down some notes or create a short outline or summary.

Tip 3: Look for essential words.

When you are stuck on a paragraph, try to mentally skip those adjectives and adverbs words. Just look for the essential words in the paragraph. Those essential words normally are in verbs and nouns. By focusing the essential words, your mind can absorb them better.

Tip 4: Consult your instructor.

Most teachers welcome their students to approach them if they need any help in their study. If you stuck with your reading, admit it and arrange an appointment with your instructor for consultation on the part that you are confused with.

Tip 5: Read It Aloud.

Instead of reading with your mind, try to read out with your mouth…aloud and use your ear to hear what you have read. Try to read it out for several times and each time using a different inflection, which emphasizing a different part of the sentence. Be creative and imagine you are the presenter talking to your audience.

Tip 6: Change positions periodically when reading.

Changing positions of readings periodically can combat fatigue and refresh you mind. You can play with standing as you read and read it aloud when you get stuck on a tough paragraph. Beside that, you also can choose to walk around while reading, it make you remember better.

Tip 7: Find a tutor.

If there is a need, approach a tutoring service to help you. Many schools provide free tuitions for their students, or you can find a paid tutoring service on the subjects which you need helps.

Tip 8: Get a group of study mates

Other than the professional tutoring services, you can also form a study group among your peers and schedule discussion sessions for the selected chapters each week. You can use this group study to perform reading session; each one will rotate reading aloud and allows other to ask questions which related to the topic. When you answer the question, it helps you to remember better.

Summary

The ordinary reading methods may not enough to help you to remember what you have learned in a chapter. You need to find a few reading techniques which can help you. Above tips are just among the many reading techniques which you can try them on.

Tips For Writing a University-Level Essay

When you take the bold step to commence a university undergraduate course you are moving into a new realm of education, which in turn requires you to deliver a new level of academic work. This will involve giving presentations, completing research and writing university level essays. In order to meet the requirements of these essays there are a number of tips that you should follow which should set you on the track to academic success.

Firstly, remember that university essays should be well researched and contain lots of supporting evidence in terms of other people’s previous findings. This supporting evidence could be in the form of a literature review or just quoting others’ work throughout your essay. Any references to other resources must be credited appropriately. Be sure to follow your university’s specific guidelines in this respect as valuable marks can potentially be lost just by not applying the correct referencing method, or by applying the right method incorrectly. It may pay to familiarise yourself with whichever style your university uses, before you even begin writing. A common referencing style is the Harvard system of referencing which has very strict rules about crediting authors, research papers and journals etcetera but your University should be able to provide you with tailored guidance.

Secondly, a university level essay should try to delve deeper than a college level essay necessarily would. It should stretch and question theories and allow you to add your own knowledge and opinions in order to draw conclusions, some of which may never have been drawn before. This means you can’t just recite your lecture notes, there must be some individual application of knowledge, and this is a challenge that many new undergraduates struggle with.

As with all essays a university level essay should have a sound introduction, a thorough research and analysis section and sound conclusions. This should then be followed by a full reference list and a bibliography. Within all of these elements you should make sure that you format your work according to your university guidelines, this is good practice for when you come to writing your dissertation, as correct formatting and adherence to style guidelines could mean the difference between a first and a 2:1, in the same way, any essay, whether written at university or college should be proofread, preferably by a third party, to ensure that it is free from any spelling or grammar mistakes. Following all of these tips will allow your university level essays to achieve the grades you deserve and give you a good foundation for when it comes to writing your dissertation.

7 College Essay Writing Tips to Blow Their Socks Off!

1. Write your college application essay before your senior year begins. Senior year is very busy, and you don’t need another distraction from concentrating on what’s more important: your studies. Get it brainstormed, drafted, corrected and finally written before September 1.

2. Find a topic that you know better than anyone. For example, you’re a dancer because you use dance as a way to express with your body what you cannot express with your vocal cords. Who knows the language of your body better than you do? Who knows more about what you say with your dance than you do? You’re the expert, which is why it’ll be a whole lot easier for you to communicate what you want to say. Read: your essay can be one easy task!

3. Keep it simple. By way of illustration, let’s say you’re standing on a street corner and you witness a car crash in front of you; you were the only one who witnessed the crash, and the police have asked you to write a description of what you saw. Why did the police ask you? Because they know you are the expert in what you experienced in that brief moment of the car crash. You could write about a brief moment in your life that had some positive impact on you because you are the expert on how that moment affected you. Keeping it simple also means using simple words, so throw away the thesaurus.

4. Make your first statement of the essay the most powerful. Readers in a college admissions office believe 80% of the essays they read are a waste of time. So make your first statement a “hook” – a pleasant surprise that catches their attention from the get-go. Here are some example first-sentences of what some of my students wrote last year:

“I was suddenly surrounded by rifles pointing at me.” (theme: paintball) “It was clear that I was completely cut off from civilization.” (theme: wilderness hiking) “I had nowhere to go but down.” (theme: overachieving) “Pain was a requirement for me to succeed.” (theme: dancing/ballet)

5. Read your essay out loud. Besides your eyes use your ears to hear what you’re saying. Reading out loud gives you another sense of how the essay is moving, and you’ll be able to tell if it sounds right or needs improvement. Then get friends and family members to read and listen to what you’re saying. Ask for comments and suggestions.

6. Essays should be no longer than 500 words. Give the admissions reader another reason to LOVE you – keep it shorter than 500 words. The 500-word limit has been a standard for years, and the Common App now allows you to write more than 500 words. With short attention spans in a college admissions office, do you think colleges are excited that the Common App allows you to write more than they want to read? Less is more, or quality beats quantity every time.

7. Keep your essay upbeat and positive. My favorite college essay requirement comes from the College of William & Mary: “Surprise us!” What they’re asking you to do is write something that’s positive. Why? Like most colleges they’re so used to reading the seven deadly topics they don’t like: divorce, disabilities, death, dysfunctional behavior, trips, sports injuries, and boyfriend/girlfriend breakups. Not to write about these topics would be a huge surprise.

Tips for Writing College Essays: Literary Analysis

Writers block. Talk about the number one time waster when it comes to studying and assignment completion in college. And let’s be realistic here, it isn’t just WRITER’S block, it is really PROJECT CREATOR’S block. Whether we are writing a paper, creating a PowerPoint presentation, a short video production, a website, or any time of major project in an English course, we eventually hit that brick wall of saying “what do I do next?”

Well, if you are participating in any sort of English class, whether it is literature, critical theory… etc. there is a good chance that you will run out of the creative juices at some point. The problem is that it can sometimes take FOREVER to get back in track, when you really just want to get the project done fast. So here’s a quick set of steps you can take to get the creative ideas flowing again.

Consider the Big Picture

Just ask yourself the following question about the (literary analysis) topic you chose to write about.

What are the primary themes or big ideas that are represented in the text(s) I’m concerned with?

Simple, right? If you have narrowed the focus of your paper well enough, you hopefully don’t have more than three of these. And those three should honestly be bridging up to an even bigger, singular idea. Anyway, take those ideas or that idea and take the next simple step.

Symbol Identification

English classes, and especially literature courses, are largely representing philosophy and world views (culture) through metaphor. This means that you can have a lot of creativity in your interpretation of a text. And you really can’t be wrong, as long as you make a compelling argument for it. But here’s the key to overcoming that writer’s block…

Symbols are a KEY metaphorical tool of authors!

So, simply pick out some symbol – whether it is a character, a description, an item… etc. – that helps explain the text’s or texts’ attitude toward that big idea. Now you can get into an elaboration of a particular symbol and big idea within your writing. At this point, find a few quotes surrounding that symbol that help back up your position, and you’ve just crunched out another 250+ words in your paper. Also, add your own elaborations after each quote to explain how the quotes prove your argument.

Not only is this a great way to add some more description and elements to your paper, this same process can be used as a way to create your thesis statement:

– Just look for the big ideas,

-Find a symbol (or a few) that make a statement about that big idea,

-Then argue that the symbol represents your author’s viewpoint on the big idea.

-Or maybe the author is satirizing that viewpoint. Use your own discretion here.

ACT Or SAT? Five Tips to Pick the Right College Entrance Exam

The SAT and ACT are both respected, nationally-recognized tests. Historically, there’s been a geographic divide between the two; nowadays, very few colleges require or prefer one test over the other. So which one should you take? Well, since you can’t really say one test is any easier than the other, that all depends on your skills and preferences. Basically, you should go for the one you’ll score higher on!

Here are some tips to help you make your decision:

1. Who says size doesn’t matter?

The ACT is a shorter test. The SAT takes a whopping 3 hours, 45 minutes, while the ACT comes out to a hefty 2 hours, 55 minutes, making the SAT about 30% longer than the ACT. Either way, you’re stuck taking a long test. If you have a ridiculously short attention span, then the ACT might be right for you, but realistically, after nearly 3 hours, why sweat an extra 50 minutes?

2. When in doubt, just guess… right?

The SAT has a guessing penalty – minus a quarter of a point for each incorrect response. Not so with the ACT. Guess away! So you should answer every question on the ACT, but on the SAT, you should just leave the answer blank when you can’t eliminate at least one answer choice. Does this make the SAT “harder”? Not really. With the right strategies, you can even make the SAT’s guessing penalty work to your advantage.

3. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s superscore!

The SAT reports each of your three “subscores” separately-one each for critical reading, writing, and mathematics. So, many colleges will combine your best three subscores from all the times you’ve taken the SAT to make a “superscore.” In the past, schools would not do this with the ACT. Recently, however, many schools have begun to make ACT “superscores” too.

4. What is the difference anyway?

Both tests have a grammar, reading comprehension, essay and math portions. The ACT has an extra “science” section, but don’t worry. I used quotes because it’s really just another test of your reasoning skills – not much chemistry, physics or biology knowledge needed. Broadly speaking, the ACT tests skills that you (should have) learned in high school, while the SAT tries to evaluate your innate problem-solving abilities.

For example, the ACT math section tests a few topics that typically aren’t covered until pre-calculus. While the SAT leaves out these topics, its math problems generally have more complicated setups.

The ACT’s essay is optional, but some colleges require it anyway. Its essay topics are always questions of school policy, while the SAT’s essays deal with more abstract moral or philosophical issues.

In the critical reading sections, the SAT’s vocabulary is harder, but the ACT taxes your critical reading and analysis skills. The ACT English section gives you a couple of long passages with grammar and critical reading questions mixed together; the SAT tests reading and grammar separately.

5. You can’t know if you like it till you’ve tried it!

How do I know which test is better for me? Try them! Take some free practice tests online and see which one fits your fancy. Both the SAT and ACT offer practice questions or tests on their official websites.

6 Helpful Tips on How to Choose the Best University

Deciding on a university is the first step towards becoming independent. The list of universities that you would want to go to can be random, or comprise of those institutions that you have thoroughly researched. The process of picking out a university that is best suited for you can be a little daunting. Following are some tips that can help speed up the process and minimize the pressure.

1. Opting for the Subject of Your Choice

Choosing a course that interests you holds the utmost importance. You will not only be studying it for the next few years but, it will determine your future successes. In order to first select a subject, you need to carry out research via the internet and attend as many university open houses as possible to learn, and gather information on which field of study appeals to you. In addition to that, surfing the internet for electives, or job abundance can also assist in making the right decision.

2. Looking Up University Rankings

Every known university will have a general ranking available on the internet. The best universities have separate tables for each subject, while some have calculated averages on display. For a student, comparing the ratios of one university with another, will bear fruit. For example, the student to staff ratio in different universities will determine the amount of individual attention that a teacher can give. The lower this ratio is, the better it is for a student.

3. Scaling the Library

When you are going to a university to study, it is a given that you will spend most of your time in the library. Visiting the library while on campus tour is highly recommended as it will help you judge your environment. Checking out cafes that operate 24 hours a day should also be on your list of things to consider before choosing that particular university.

4. Researching the Courses

After selecting a course, gathering information on its components will be the next step. The university website can serve to be quite useful when a student decides to delve into the details of the course that they have chosen. Moreover, universities often have several channels through which they can be contacted, should any queries arise.

5. Student Life at a University

The primary reason for attending a university is to get a degree, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy your life on campus by indulging into various other activities that the university has to offer. Student Unions can help bring you up to speed on the events held or organized by the members of the society that interests you, or any extra-curricular activities. The same information can also be looked up on the university website.

6. Location

Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a university is its accessibility. Since becoming independent is part of the university experience, you don’t want a university that’s too close to home and not one that’s too far either. The costs that you may incur when traveling to and from home and the time consumed, are also factors that will determine your choice of university.

5 Tips To Become A College Softball Player

If you have the dream to become a college softball player, then these five tips will help you. I was always told to put school first, that is why school is tip number one.

1. School will always be first. If it’s not first now, make it first. In most colleges and universities you are required to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) to not only stay on the roster, but also to play. In most cases your GPA needs to be a 2.0-2.5.

2. Know that you will make mistakes, but you will have to be able to flush those mistakes. You have to move on and not let a bad at bat interfere with you next at bat. You can think of it like you are flushing the toilet, you are not going to us the restroom and not flush the toilet. So if you have a bad at bat or if you make an error, “Flush It” like you are flushing a toilet. Once you flush it, it’s gone.

3. Practice doesn’t make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect. I know you think and you have been told that no one is perfect, but you can be the PERFECT you. Be the best you can be.

4. You can either get better or worse do not stay the same. There is no point to just stay “as good as you are today.” Why not strive to be better tomorrow than you are today. To get better you need to practice. That does not mean you just attend practice, that means you show up, work hard and improve your skills.

5. Start contacting college/university coaches your sophomore year in high school, the sooner you get your name and information to the coaches the better. Also do not just contact 2-5 schools at the beginning. You need to make a list of at list of any and every school you want to go to. Contact as many coaches as you can. Keep in mind if you need to know your skill level. Not trying to crush any dreams of playing at a Division 1 (D1) University. But if your skill level is not at least equivalent to the current players, then you might not want to contact the coach. Community colleges have great programs to offer to student athletes. You can start off at a community college and improve your skills and learn how to play the game at a higher level than in high school. Then after playing at a community college you can pursue attending a university.

What Are the "Little Ivies," the "Little Three," and the "Hidden Ivies?"

Most people are familiar with the Ivy League Colleges and have a pretty good idea that it’s extremely prestigious to attend one of them. There are many, many other colleges that are very academically rigorous and difficult to get into. The term The Little Three, The Little Ivies and The Hidden Ivies are sometimes confusing to follow. Not only do they have similar names, I was shocked to hear some parents having never heard of some of the colleges, and not realize the magnitude of the achievement of their daughter being accepted. Below is an explanation of the different groupings. I hope having a list in one place helps.

The Ivy League consists of 8 schools that all compete in the same NCAA Division 1 athletic conference. The schools are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell.

Ivy League schools are thought of as some of the most prestigious and best ranked universities. According to U.S. News and World Report on college and university rankings, all of the Ivy League institutions rank in the top 15 with 5 placing in the top 5.

They are all located in the Northeast region of the United States.

Enrollment ranges from 4, 000 to 14,000 undergraduate students making them larger than most private liberal arts college but smaller than a state university. There are no athletic scholarships given; financial aid is based on need.

The “Little Three is an unofficial athletic conference of three elite liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Wesleyan, and Williams. These are three of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation, and very difficult to get into. The Little Three first began competing in this triangular league in 1899 and in 1920 picked up the nickname, “Little Three.” This is in contrast to the “Big Three” universities (Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, HYP), in the Ivy League.

The NESCAC or New England Small College Athletic Conference is a NCAA Division 3 athletic conference of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges: Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, and Tufts. There are rules regarding season length, number of contests and post-season competition. There are no athletic scholarships; financial aid is solely based on need.

The “Little Ivies” is not an official term or group. It refers to a small group of highly selective liberal arts colleges. The list includes all the colleges in the NESCAC (above)except Connecticut College, along with Colgate, Haverford, Swarthmore, and Vassar. Also note that Tufts is no longer a small, Liberal Arts College, but has become a larger research university.

As you can see, all of the colleges listed above are highly selective, very difficult to get into, and are highly regarded. One of the biggest differences between the Ivy League and the “Little Ivies” would be their athletic grouping. The Ivy League schools are in the Division 1 league, which trains and competes all year. The Little Ivy Colleges are in the Division 3 athletic grouping and only compete during their sports’ respective seasons.

For an outstanding student-athlete who wanted to compete in 2 sports, a NESCAC Division 3 college could satisfy both the academic and athletic desires and be a great match!

Currently, here is a list of the top 20 colleges and another for the top 20 universities listed in U.S. News and World Report on college and university rankings. Please keep in mind that there are many lists that vary. The U.S. News rankings are most often used.

Liberal Arts College Rankings:

When colleges are ranked equal, they share the same number in ( ).

  1. Williams College
  2. Amherst College
  3. Swarthmore College
  4. Pomona College
  5. Middlebury College
  6. Bowdoin College
  7. (6) Carleton College
  8. (6) Wellesley College
  9. Claremount Mckenna College
  10. Haverford College
  11. Davidson College
  12. Washington and Lee University
  13. Wesleyan University
  14. United States Military Academy
  15. United States Naval Academy
  16. Vassar College
  17. Hamilton College
  18. Harvey Mudd College
  19. Grinnell College
  20. Smith College

National University Rankings:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Duke University
  11. Dartmouth College
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Johns Hopkins University
  14. Washington University of St. Louis
  15. Brown University
  16. Cornell University
  17. Rice University
  18. Vanderbilt University
  19. University of Notre Dame
  20. Emory University

To read more about assuring your student has the best chance in the college admissions process, check out http://www.harvardmomadvice.com

10 Tips for Transferring College Credits

College students head of each August to colleges both domestically and internationally. Many students leave with the belief that they will graduate from the college where they are headed. However, some will find that life circumstances such as loss of financial aid, family issues or poor academic performance may result in them having to transfer to a college that may be cheaper, smaller, or closer to home. There are some students who at the onset of their college career decide to attend a 2-year community college and later transfer to a 4-year college or university. Below are several tips to help maximize acceptance of transferred college credits.

1. Keep your Course Syllabus.

Make sure to keep copies of the course syllabus from all of your classes. The course syllabus provides information about the course number, number of credits, outlines the course objectives and details course content. The course syllabus will allow the transferring college to match the course with a similar course in their catalog to see if you can receive transfer credit.

2. Keep your coursework.

Keep all of your relevant coursework from each course in a labeled folder. Some colleges may request work samples in addition to the course syllabus. Also keep copies of the quizzes, exams and homework within the same labeled course folder.

3. Make an A in your courses.

Getting the transfer college to accept all of your course credits will be a daunting task. However, to help ensure that your course credits are accepted, you are encouraged to make the highest academic grade possible in your courses. Colleges are less likely to accept courses in which you demonstrated average (C grade) performance.

4. Keep a copy of all report cards.

All colleges provide a college transcript that details course number, course title, number of credits for the course, credits earned for that course and grade earned. However, it is important that the student maintain their own report card file. Review your report card at the end of each semester to verify that both the proper grades and courses were credited to your college transcript.

5. Start the transfer process early.

Once you decide that you intend to transfer, meet / email an admission advisor from the transfer college to determine what necessary paperwork will be required. Adhere to all posted deadlines to ensure that you are able to enroll in a timely manner.

6. Keep a copy of all files.

Don't give the transfer college your original paperwork / documentation. Make copies or have them make copies of the required documentation.

7. Complete any additional paperwork.

Some colleges may require additional paperwork, entrance exams, placement tests etc. Complete all required paperwork before the deadline otherwise it may delay your enrollment and / or the disbursement of your financial aid.

8. Provide an official transcript.

Transfer colleges will require that you provide an official sealed transcript from the registrar at your current college. Some will want the transcript to be sent to them directly from the registrar while others may allow you to hand deliver a sealed transcript to their office.

9. Request several personal copies of your official transcripts.

Be sure to request several personal copies of your official transcripts for your own records. In the future you may be required to provide transcripts from ALL colleges you attended regardless if you obtained a degree. It may be challenging to get your transcripts if you no longer reside in the state or if you need to provide transcripts ten years later for employment / educational purposes. Do NOT open the sealed transcripts as this will make them invalid and unofficial.

10. Be patient.

Transferring to a different college may be intimidating. Take your time and don't wait until the last minute to start the process. Plan ahead to ensure a smooth transition to your new college.