Monthly Archives: April 2016

Need a Job?

7 Trends That Will Impact Who Finds A Job in 2016

Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in seven years, at 5 percent, and for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher the rate is actually half that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the economy has been adding well over 200,000 jobs a month. And healthcare, professional and technical services, retail, manufacturing, finance and government are all adding jobs.

Current U.S. employees—especially those looking to switch jobs—can expect a raise in 2016. A WorldatWork study found U.S. workers can expect an average base salary raise of 3.1 percent next year, but top performers can expect higher-than-average merit-based salary increases. New research from The Conference Board found that labor markets have tightened faster than expected, and that could mean employers will have to start raising wages faster than they have been. And research from SHRM and Rutgers University shows that the newly hired are seeing increased pay—which reflects the need for businesses to raise wages in order to attract new talent.

For those doing the hiring, employee retention will be a top priority in the new year. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends report found that nearly 60 percent of companies are investing more in their brand in an effort to keep current employees happy and recruit new, well-qualified talent.

Some of the job market and hiring trends to keep in mind as we head into the new year:

  1. Hiring isn’t limited to technology and healthcare.

Sure, those sectors are growing, but there are plenty of opportunities for new jobs and long-term, thriving careers in areas like marketing, sales, finance and transportation. Recent studies have found that among the top ten fastest growing occupations are nurses, software developers and network and computer system administrators, marketing managers, sales managers, industrial engineers, construction professionals and financial managers.

  1. However, if you are a software developer, it’s going to be a great year.

There’s no question software developers are still in high demand. Nearly one in every 20 open job postings in the U.S. is related to software development and/or engineering. Also in demand, is expertise with data analytics –now one of the most in-demand skills in the U.S.

  1. Marketing manager becomes a tech job.

Some of the highest growth tech companies, like Amazon and Facebook, have a great need for marketing managers. In fact, it’s the highest volume job opening after software developer/engineer. But the requirements are changing, because of the rapid growth of digital consumer advertising. The job increasingly requires the use of analytics to navigate new marketing channels and ways of acquiring customers.

  1. Millennials take the reins.

We’ll see a lot more Millennials in management positions in 2016. A new study from Upwork reports that nearly 30 percent of managers today are Millennials, with five percent seniors  managers and two percent in executive positions. The study found that within ten years nearly half of Millennials are aiming to be senior managers; seven percent want to be executives and 15 percent want to be business owners.  The global consultancy EY (Ernst & Young)  is a good example of this leadership transition underway–about 60 percent of its managers are Millennials, as well as 18 percent of its senior managers.

  1. Video will become an even more important recruiting tool.

The use of video to attract and recruit talent is increasing because of its high impact—it’s an engaging way to show the culture of a company, as well as the excitement and passion around the the company’s mission, products and services.  Expect to see more employee videos shot on cell phones, to give a more authentic peek inside a company, as well as personalized recruiting videos, video job descriptions and, yes, even video job offers.

  1. Recruiting will be more data-driven.

The technology available to recruiters today is better than it’s ever been, allowing them to optimize the entire recruiting and hiring process, from job descriptions to the process of nurturing and interviewing candidates, to developing and setting compensation. Letting data guide the hand of recruiters will most likely make the experience better for job candidates, allowing companies to better establish and nurture relationships with both current and potential candidates.

  1. The Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. will see the most hiring.

According to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, states in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southcentral, as well as the Central Midwest will see the greatest uptick in hiring, as much as a 40 percent increase from last year. In fact, regional employers will be increasing their hiring by the greatest percentage next year, nearly 20 percent over 2015. U.S. employers, the Institute’s new trend report says, “are entering the recruiting season with very high expectations for hiring.”

About the Author

Eilene Zimmerman is a journalist who writes about entrepreneurship, technology, small businesses and the workplace. She was a career columnist for the New York Times and is a regular contributor to the paper’s small business section.

Happy Arbor Day!

Here are eight things you can do to celebrate this day!

1. Plant a tree. Make sure to pick the right type of tree for the right environment and correctly plant and care for it.

2. Organize an Arbor Day block party. Get your neighborhood excited about caring for the trees that line the streets in front of their homes.

3. Write a poem or a rap about trees. The spoken word can add another dimension to any Arbor Day event.

4. Clean up litter at a public park or downtown area. No matter if the litter is intentional or unintentional, big or small, it can have a serious impact on the environment for many years to come.

5. Host a “big tree” or “oldest tree” search within your community. After the contest, you can label the winners that are in public places.

6. Read a book about trees. Learn about the different types of trees that grow in your backyard and how toidentify them by their leaves, bark and seeds.

7. Go on a hike. Spend time with nature and appreciate the trees around you.

8. Volunteer with a local tree-planting or environmental group. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.

Are Less Students Going To College?

Percentage of First-Time Students at Public Four-Year Institutions Who Were State Residents, Fall 2002 and Fall 2012

The percentage of first-time public four-year college students who were residents of the states in which they were enrolled declined from 84% in fall 2002 to 80% in fall 2012.

Figure 28: Percentage of First-Time Students at Public Four-Year Institutions Who Were State Residents, Fall 2002 and Fall 2012

Figure 28 represents Percentage of First-Time Students at Public Four-Year Institutions Who Are State Residents, Fall 2002 and Fall 2012. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, see

Notes & Sources

NOTE: Four-year institution categories include only those institutions where more than 50% of degrees/certificates awarded are bachelor’s degrees or higher.

SOURCES: NCES, IPEDS enrollment data; calculations by the authors.

Key Points

  • In fall 2012, the percentage of first-time students at public four-year institutions who were state residents ranged from 34% in Vermont and 38% in North Dakota to 93% in Alaska and New Jersey and 94% in Texas.
  • The largest declines between fall 2002 and fall 2012 in the proportion of students who were state residents were 18 percentage points in North Dakota (from 56% to 38%) and 16 percentage points in Wyoming (from 66% to 50%).
  • In 10 states, the percentage of first-time students at public four-year institutions who were state residents increased between fall 2002 and fall 2012. The largest increases were 5 percentage points in Maryland (from 70% to 75%) and 6 percentage points in Tennessee (from 84% to 90%).

Where Are All the High-School Grads Going?

More Americans are getting their diplomas—but fewer are enrolling in college. Why the mismatch?

The latest national data shows that more students are getting their high-school diplomas than ever before. Just over 82 percent of the students who were high-school seniors during the 2013-14 year graduated, up from 81 percent the year before. The rate has inched up annually over the last few years, largely because of strides made by disadvantaged students.

But that doesn’t mean more kids are going to college. Quite the opposite. Recently released numbers out of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center suggests that college-enrollment rates have actually decreased—and for the fourth straight year, all despite massive increases in federal aid for students who can’t afford tuition. The number of students enrolling in colleges and universities this year is 1.7 percent lower than it was last year. (The percentage of high-school graduates who immediately enrolled in college fell from 69 percent in 2008 to 66 percent in 2013.)

This isn’t new information, but it is new data for a new year, so it’s worth asking again: Where are all those high-school graduates going if they’re not ending up in higher education? For economists and education experts, the answer is obvious. As the Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Jeffrey Brown have famously argued, students were more likely to enroll and stay in college during the Great Recession; at a time when there are fewer jobs, would-be college students are more likely to invest in opportunities to develop skills and enhance their chances at getting employed. People are drawn back toward the workforce once the economy has started to recover, which is what experts suspect is happening now. So this college-enrollment trend could be considered, as The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson wrote back in 2013, “actually a sign of good news.”

Something very different and quite noteworthy is happening at the K-12 level, though, where traditionally at-risk students, particularly kids of color, are responsible for the biggest improvements in high-school completion. Conversely, disadvantaged students, in this case those who are poor or coming from families without a history of going to college, are a big reason the college-enrollment numbers are going down, as are people over age 25. Based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, the percentage of students from low-income families attending college immediately after getting their high-school diplomas has declined by 10 percentage points since 2008, to 46 percent. Only those institutions that serve the largest percentages of disadvantaged students—two-year and for-profit colleges—have seen enrollment drop; it’s actually slightly increased or remained steady at four-year institutions.

In some ways, the high-school graduates who head straight into the labor market are the most practical among diploma recipients. The Atlantic’s Gillian White has pointed out that the types of institutions seeing the most significant declines in enrollment tend to offer degrees that provide only marginal improvements in job prospects compared to high-school diplomas. Today, the popularity of a given degree and its return on investment are often “almost inversely related,” said Anthony Carnevale, who directs Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. The high-school graduates who tend to forgo college and make it in the economy, Carnevale added, are also the ones who can land jobs that aren’t traditionally associated with higher-education degrees—blue-collar fields such as manufacturing, mining, and agriculture. Carnevale said there are only a few ways to beat the college wage premium—the income advantage of having a college degree—“and generally the only people who beat this game are boys.” In blue-collar jobs, “you can work your way up, learn on the job. But there’s none of that for females. Basically, there’s no real pathway for girls out of high school [except college].” No wonder women account for a majority of today’s college-degree-holders. “When enrollments go down, the first thing you lose are the boys.”

But going the non-college route is increasingly impractical, even when the objective is a job that’s more vocational in nature. While a job may certainly be an appealing alternative to an increasingly costly postsecondary education, the college wage premium has risen drastically since the early 1980s. The Pew Research Center called this “the rising cost of not going to college” in a report last year, concluding, “On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education. And when today’s young adults are compared with previous generations, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater in the modern era.”

Carnevale said a key obstacle to getting more high-school graduates enrolled in college is limited information; postsecondary education in the U.S. is “like a big computer with no operating system.” Americans, he said,  have a “chaotic” understanding of the role of college in the economy. “Students are lost; they don’t know how to make these connections” between the value of a college degree and their position within the economy. This is why lobbying groups and businesses have been advocating for greater correspondence between career-and-technical education and the demands of the labor market and development of more alternative credentialing programs.

The College Scorecard, which Obama unveiled last September, uses troves of institutional data to improve transparency about the country’s colleges and universities; users can sort results based on various metrics, such as the percent of students who earn above high-school graduates or the average salary after attending. But as Carnevale argued, it’s “more symbolic than real.” It gives users access to federal data on graduation rates and attendance-cost figures at thousands of colleges and universities, but it doesn’t break that data down by area of study. For example, if I were to search for “Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs” at four-year private universities, the results on graduation rates and salary outcomes would only reflect students who attended the school at large—not the communications or journalism graduates specifically. Yet, for the most part, a person’s major is, as a Brookings paper concluded last year, “likely a much more important driver of salaries than the overall institution.” In fact, close to a third of Americans with associate’s degrees—30 percent—earn more than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to research done by the Georgetown workforce center.

The growing mismatch between rates for high-school graduation and college attendance in the U.S. may largely have to do with the challenges with outreach and resources faced by community colleges, which often struggle to provide support to students. “Most people would say higher education is not connected to the economy, which is not true,” Carnevale said. “The higher-ed curriculum is very oriented toward the economy (with some obvious exceptions)—it’s just not connected strongly enough, as a counseling and career-planning system.”

There is “this information problem, this confusion, the Tower of Babel that you face when you’re looking at the economy and higher education,” he continued. “You’re young; you don’t want to take out loans … People are pretty much just wandering around between youth dependency and adult dependence.” And ultimately, even high-school graduation rates are falling short of expectations. This year marked the first time in a while that the country stumbled on its way to reaching a 90-percent graduation rate by 2020.

Help Your Child Prepare For Upcoming Testing!

Testing with success series

Overcoming test anxiety

Most students experience some level of anxiety during an exam
However, when anxiety affects exam performance it has become a problem.

General preparation/building confidence:
Review your personal situation and skills
Academic counselors can help you in these areas, or refer to our Guides on the topic:

  • Developing good study habits and strategies (a link to our directory)
  • Managing time
    (dealing with procrastination, distractions, laziness)
  • Organizing material to be studied and learned
    Take a step by step approach to build a strategy and not get overwhelmed
  • Outside pressures
    success/failure consequences (grades, graduation), peer pressure, competitiveness, etc.
  • Reviewing your past performance on tests
    to improve and learn from experience

Test preparation to reduce anxiety:

  • Approach the exam with confidence:
    Use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: visualization, logic, talking to your self, practice, team work, journaling, etc.
    View the exam as an opportunity to show how much you’ve studied and to receive a reward for the studying you’ve done
  • Be prepared!
    Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist
  • Choose a comfortable location for taking the test
    with good lighting and minimal distractions
  • Allow yourself plenty of time,
    especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early
  • Avoid thinking you need to cram just before
  • Strive for a relaxed state of concentration
    Avoid speaking with any fellow students who have not prepared, who express negativity, who will distract your preparation
  • A program of exercise
    is said to sharpen the mind
  • Get a good night’s sleep
    the night before the exam
  • Don’t go to the exam with an empty stomach
    Fresh fruits and vegetables are often recommended to reduce stress.
    Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices
  • Take a small snack, or some other nourishment
    to help take your mind off of your anxiety.
    Avoid high sugar content (candy) which may aggravate your condition

During the test:

  • Read the directions carefully
  • Budget your test taking time
  • Change positions to help you relax
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on
  • If you’re taking an essay test
    and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind
  • Don’t panic
    when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first

Use relaxation techniques
If you find yourself tensing and getting anxious during the test:

Relax; you are in control.
Take slow, deep breaths

Don’t think about the fear
Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step

Use positive reinforcement for yourself:
Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best

Expect some anxiety
It’s a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide energy
Just keep it manageable

Realize that anxiety can be a “habit”
and that it takes practice to use it as a tool to succeed

After the test, review how you did

  • List what worked, and hold onto these strategies
    It does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success
  • List what did not work for improvement
  • Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle

Check out local centers and resources in your school for assistance!

If you are aware that you have a problem with test anxiety,
be sure your teacher or instructor knows before any testing begins
(and not the hour before!).
There may be other options to evaluate your knowledge or performance within the subject matter.

Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers

Raising a child with diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder was heartbreaking for us as parents. As we watched our young child struggle through the private and public school systems, I felt that as a K-12  teacher, I could surely homeschool my own child. Yet we continued to switch schools, work with teachers, and looked at all the options in the midst of daily misery.  We were warned that our son needed the social aspect of a brick and mortar school. We left him in the schools until his sophomore year of high school when we finally had enough. We again searched for schools that might specialize in children that had ADHD in common so we would not have to constantly fight for what he needed in order to be successful in learning.  Unfortunately, the boarding school that he ended up in was not it was all it promised to be either. We feared how he would be able to get a high school diploma and what college would accept him if we homeschooled at this point. Today, I found this and hope that it might help others make a different choice. So looking back, would I homeschool.  You bet! ~Sandy

Thank you Karl M. Bunday for this research!

Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers

Copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

Homeschooled Children Can Get Into Good Colleges

Every year homeschoolers are admitted to hundreds of colleges in at least five countries. Those who prepare thoroughly can be admitted with full scholarships at those selective colleges that some parents daydream about their children attending. Read on to find out which colleges have admitted homeschooled children, and continue to the linked subpages to find out more about how to get into the college of your choice.

Selective Colleges That Have Accepted Homeschoolers

More than 1,000 schools of higher education appear on this FAQ and its subpages, and links to over 980 college Web sites appear on these pages. Entries followed by double exclamation points (!!) are those confirmed to have admitted at least one homeschooled applicant. Asterisks (* *) following names of schools known to accept homeschoolers show how many printed sources of college ratings mention those schools as “selective” or “good” colleges. See subpages forother colleges A-G, for other colleges H-S, for other colleges T-Z, and for open-admission colleges reported to have accepted home-schooled students. Use this site’s site search [Search Form] feature to find out whether a college you know about is already listed, and on which page.

Selective Colleges Known to Have Admitted Homeschoolers

Adelphi U. !! NY * *
Agnes Scott C. !! GA * * *
Albertson C. !! ID * * * *
Albion C. !! MI * *
Alfred U. !! NY * * * *
Allegheny C. !! PA * * *
Alma C. [yes] MI * *
Alverno C. !! WI *
American U. !! DC * * * *
Amherst C. !! MA * * * * * *
Antioch C. !! OH *
Arizona State U. !! AZ * *
Asbury C. !! KY *
Assumption C. !! MA *
Auburn U. !! AL * * * * * *
Augustana C. !! IL *
Austin C. !! TX * * * *
Baylor U. !! TX * * * * *
Beloit C. !! WI * * * *
Bemidji State U. !! MN *
Bennington C. !! VT * * *
Berea C. !! KY *
Berklee C. of Music !! MA *
Berry C. !! GA * *
Bethany C. !! WV *
Bethel C. !! MN *
Biola U. !! CA *
Birmingham-Southern C. !! AL * * * * *
Boston C. !! MA * * * * * *
Boston Conservatory !! MA *
Boston U. !! MA * * * * * *
Bowdoin C. !! ME * * * * * *
Bradley U. !! IL * *
Brandeis U. !! MA * * * * *
Brigham Young U. !! UT * * * * *
Brown U. !! RI * * * * * *
Bryn Mawr C. !! PA * * * * * *
Bucknell U. !! PA * * * *
Buena Vista U. !! IA *
Butler U. !! IN * *
California Institute of Technology !! CA * * * * * *
California Polytechnic State U., San Luis Obispo !! CA *
California State U.–Los Angeles !! CA *
Calvin C. !! MI * * * * *
Capital U. !! OH *
Carleton C. !! MN * * * * *
Carnegie Mellon U. !! PA * * * * * *
Carroll C. !! MT *
Case Western Reserve U. !! OH * * * * *
Catholic U. of America !! DC * * * * *
Cedarville C. !! OH *
Central C. !! IA *
Christian Brothers U. !! TN *
Claremont McKenna C. !! CA * * * * * * *
Clemson U. !! SC * * * * *
Coe C. !! IA *
Colby C. !! ME * * * * * *
C. of St. Benedict !! MN * *
C. of St. Scholastica !! MN *
C. of the Atlantic !! ME * * *
C. of William and Mary !! VA * * * * * * *
C. of Wooster !! OH * * * *
Colorado C. !! CO * * * *
Colorado School of Mines !! CO * * * * *
Colorado State U. !! CO *
Concordia C. !! Moorhead, MN *
Cornell C. !! IA * *
Cornell U. !! NY * * * * * *
Creighton U. !! NE * * * *
Dartmouth C. !! NH * * * * * *
David Lipscomb U. !! TN *
Davidson C. !! NC * * * * * * *
Delaware Valley C. !! PA *
Denison U. !! OH * * * *
DePaul U. !! IL * * * *
DePauw U. !! IN * * *
Dickinson C. !! PA * * *
Drake U. !! IA * * *
Drew U. !! NJ * * *
Drexel U. !! PA * *
Drury C. !! MO *
Duke U. !! NC * * * * * *
Duquesne U. !! PA * *
Earlham C. !! IN * * * *
Eckerd C. !! FL * * *
Edinboro U. of Pennsylvania !! PA *
Elizabethtown C. !! PA *
Emory U. !! GA * * * * *
Evergreen State C. !! WA * * *
Fashion Institute of Technology !! NY *
Florida Institute of Technology !! FL * *
Franciscan U. of Steubenville OH !! * *
Franklin and Marshall C. !! PA * * * *
George Fox U. !! OR *
George Mason U. !! VA * * *
George Washington U. !! DC * * * *
Georgetown U. !! DC * * * * * *
Georgia Institute of Technology !! GA * * * * * * *
Gettysburg C. !! PA * * *
Goddard C. !! VT *
Gordon C. !! MA *
Goshen C. !! IN *
Goucher C. !! MD * * *
Grinnell C. !! IA * * * *
Grove City C. !! PA * * * * *
Guilford C. !! NC * * * *
Gustavus Adolphus C. !! MN * * * *
Hampshire C. !! MA * * *
Hanover C. !! IN * * *
Harding U. !! AR *
Harvard U. !! MA * * * * * * *
Harvey Mudd C. !! CA * * * * *
Hastings C. !! NE * *
Haverford C. !! PA * * * * * * *
Hillsdale C. !! MI * * * *
Hiram C. !! OH * * * *
Hobart and William Smith Colleges !! NY * * *
Hood C. !! MD *
Hope C. !! MI * * *
Houghton C. !! NY * * *
Humboldt State U. !! CA *
Illinois Institute of Technology !! IL * * * *
Illinois Wesleyan U. !! IL * * * *
Indiana U., Bloomington !! IN * * * *
Iowa State U. !! IA * * * *
Ithaca C. [yes] NY *
James Madison U. !! VA * * * * *
John Brown U. !! AR *
Johns Hopkins U. !! MD * * * * * *
Juniata C. !! PA * *
Kalamazoo C. !! MI * * *
Kansas State U. !! KS *
Kenyon C. !! OH * * * * *
Kettering U. !! MI * *
King C. !! TN *
Knox C. !! IL * * * *
Lafayette C. !! PA * * * *
Lake Forest C. !! IL * * *
Lawrence U. !! WI * * * * *
LeTourneau U. !! TX *
Lewis & Clark C. !! OR * * *
Linfield C. !! OR *
Louisiana State U. and Agricultural and Mechanical C. !! LA * * * *
Loyola C. !! MD * * *
Loyola U. Chicago !! IL * * *
Luther C. !! IA *
Macalester C. !! MN * * * * *
Marietta C. !! OH *
Marlboro C. !! VT * * *
Marquette U. !! WI * * * * *
Maryland Institute C. of Art !! MD * *
Maryville C. !! TN *
Massachusetts Institute of Technology !! MA * * * * * *
Messiah C. !! PA *
Miami U. !! OH * * * * *
Michigan Technological U. !! MI * * * *
Middlebury C. !! VT * * * * * *
Mills C. !! CA * * *
Montana State U.–Billings !! MT *
Montana State U.–Bozeman !! MT *
Montana Tech of the U. of Montana !! MT * *
Mount Holyoke C. !! MA * * * * *
Muhlenberg C. !! PA * * *
Muskingum C. !! OH
New C. of the U. of South Florida !! FL * * * *
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) !! NM * * * *
New York U. !! NY * * * * *
North Carolina State U. !! * * * * *
North Central C. !! IL *
Northeastern U. !! MA * *
Northwestern C. !! IA *
Northwestern U. !! IL * * * * * *
Oberlin C. !! OH * * * * *
Occidental C. !! CA * * * *
Oglethorpe U. !! GA * * * *
Ohio Northern U. !! OH * *
Ohio State U.: Columbus Campus !! OH * * * *
Ohio U. !! OH * * * * *
Ohio Wesleyan U. !! OH * * * *
Oklahoma City U. !! OK *
Oklahoma State U. !! OK *
Oregon State U. !! OR *
Ouachita Baptist U. !! AR *
Pacific Lutheran U. !! WA *
Pennsylvania State U. University Park Campus !! PA * * * *
Pepperdine U. !! CA * * * * * *
Philadelphia C. of Pharmacy and Science !! PA *
Pitzer C. !! CA * * *
Polytechnic U. [yes] NY *
Pomona C. !! CA * * * * * *
Princeton U. !! NJ * * * * * *
Providence C. !! RI * * * *
Purdue U. !! IN * * * * *
Quincy University !! IL *
Radford U. !! VA *
Reed C. !! OR * * * *
Regis U. !! CO *
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute !! NY * * * *
Rhode Island School of Design !! RI * * * *
Rhodes C. !! TN * * * * * *
Rice U. !! TX * * * * * *
Ripon C. !! WI * * *
Rochester Institute of Technology !! NY * * * *
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology !! IN * * * *
Rutgers, State U. of New Jersey, Rutgers C. !! NJ * * * * *
St. Andrews Presbyterian C. !! NC *
St. Bonaventure U. !! NY *
St. John’s C. !! MD & NM * * * * *
St. John’s U. !! MN * * *
St. Joseph’s C. !! ME *
St. Joseph’s U. !! PA *
Saint Mary’s C. !! IN * * *
St. Mary’s C. of California !! CA * * *
St. Mary’s C. of Maryland !! MD * * * *
St. Norbert C. !! WI * *
St. Olaf C. !! MN * * * * *
St. Vincent C. !! PA *
Samford U. !! AL * *
Sarah Lawrence C. !! NY * * * *
Seattle U. !! WA *
Seton Hall U. !! NJ *
Shepherd C. [yes] WV *
Simmons C. !! MA *
Simon’s Rock C. of Bard !! MA * *
Smith C. !! MA * * * * *
Southern Methodist U. !! TX * * * *
Spring Arbor C. !! MI
Stanford U. !! CA * * * * * * *
State U. of New York at Binghamton !! NY * * * * *
State U. of New York C. at Geneseo !! NY * * *
Stephens C. !! MO *
Stetson U. !! FL * * *
Swarthmore C. !! PA * * * * * *
Sweet Briar C. !! VA * * *
Syracuse U. !! NY * * * *
Taylor U. !! IN *
Temple U. !! PA *
Texas A & M U., College Station !! TX * * * * *
Texas Christian U. !! TX * * *
Thomas Aquinas C. !! CA * * *
Trinity U. !! TX * * * * *
Truman State U. !! MO * * * *
Tulane U. !! LA * * * * *
Union U. !! TN *
United States Air Force Academy !! Colorado Springs, CO * * *
United States Coast Guard Academy !! CT * * *
United States Military Academy !! West Point, NY * * * *
United States Naval Academy !! Annapolis, MD * * * *
U. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa !! AL * *
U. of Alabama in Huntsville !! AL *
U. of Arizona !! AZ * * * *
U. of California: Berkeley !! CA * * * * *
U. of California: Davis !! CA * * * * *
U. of California: Riverside !! CA * * * * *
U. of California: San Diego !! * * * *
U. of California: Santa Cruz !! CA * * * *
U. of Chicago !! IL * * * * * * *
U. of Cincinnati !! OH * *
U. of Colorado at Boulder !! CO * * * * *
U. of Connecticut !! CT * * * *
U. of Dallas !! TX * * * * *
U. of Dayton !! OH * * * * *
U. of Delaware !! DE * * * *
U. of Denver !! CO * * * *
U. of Evansville !! IN * *
U. of Florida !! FL * * * *
U. of Georgia !! GA * * * * *
U. of Houston !! TX *
U. of Idaho !! ID * *
U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign !! IL * * * * * *
U. of Iowa !! IA * * * *
U. of Kansas !! KS * * * * *
U. of Kentucky !! KY * * *
U. of Maine, Farmington !! ME *
U. of Maine, Orono !! ME * *
U. of Maryland, College Park !! MD * * * *
U. of Massachusetts Amherst !! MA * * * * *
U. of Miami !! FL * * * *
U. of Michigan !! MI * * * * *
U. of Minnesota, Morris !! MN * * *
U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities !! MN * * * * * *
U. of Missouri-Columbia !! MO * * *
U. of Missouri-Kansas City !! MO *
U. of Missouri-Rolla !! MO * * *
U. of Montana !! MT *
U. of Nebraska-Lincoln !! NE *
U. of New Hampshire !! NH * * * *
U. of North Carolina at Asheville !! * * *
U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill !! NC * * * * *
U. of North Dakota !! ND *
U. of Notre Dame !! IN * * * * * * *
U. of Oklahoma !! OK * * * *
U. of Oregon !! OR * *
U. of Pennsylvania !! PA * * * * * * *
U. of Pittsburgh !! PA * * * * *
U. of Portland [yes] OR *
U. of Puget Sound !! WA * * *
U. of Redlands !! CA * * *
U. of Rhode Island !! RI * *
U. of Richmond !! VA * * * * *
U. of Rochester !! NY * * *
U. of St. Thomas !! MN *
U. of San Francisco !! CA *
U. of South Carolina !! SC * *
U. of Southern California !! CA * * * *
U. of Tennessee !! TN * * * *
U. of Texas at Austin !! TX * * * * * *
U. of the South !! * * * * * *
U. of Utah !! UT * *
U. of Vermont !! VT * * * *
U. of Virginia !! VA * * * * * *
U. of Washington !! WA * * * * * *
U. of Wisconsin–Madison !! WI * * * * * *
U. of Wyoming !! WY *
Ursinus C. !! PA * * *
Valparaiso U. !! IN * * *
Vanderbilt U. !! TN * * * * *
Vassar C. !! NY * * * * * *
Villanova U. !! PA * * * * *
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U. !! VA * * * *
Wabash C. !! IN * * * * * *
Warren Wilson C. !! NC *
Wartburg C. !! IA *
Washington and Lee U. !! VA * * * * * * *
Washington C. !! MD * *
Washington U. !! MO * * * * * *
Wellesley C. !! MA * * * * * *
Wells C. !! NY * *
Wesleyan U. !! CT * * * * * *
West Virginia Wesleyan C. [yes] WV *
Westminster Choir C. of Rider U. !! NJ *
Westminster C. !! MO
Wheaton C. !! IL * * * *
Wheaton C. !! MA * * *
Whitman C. !! WA * * * * *
Whittier C. !! CA * * *
Willamette U. !! OR * * *
William Jewell C. [yes] MO *
Williams C. !! MA * * * * * * *
Wingate U. !! NC *
Winona State U. !! MN *
Wittenberg U. !! OH * * * *
Wofford C. !! SC * * * * *
Worcester Polytechnic Institute !! MA * * * *
Xavier U. !! OH *
Yale U. !! CT * * * * * *

Entries followed by double exclamation points (!!) are those confirmed to have admitted at least one homeschooled applicant. Asterisks (* *) following names of schools known to accept homeschoolers show how many printed sources of college ratings mention those schools as “selective” or “good” colleges. See subpages for other colleges A-G, forother colleges H-S, for other colleges T-Z, and for open-admission colleges reported to have accepted home-schooled students.

It is reported that every one of the colleges listed in the various subpages of this FAQ has offered admission to at least one “home schooled” applicant (who may or may not have enrolled there). Those that I have confirmed as definitely having made a firm offer of admission to a homeschooled applicant are marked with double exclamation points (“!!”) on the page where they are listed. Colleges known to recruit homeschoolers, those that describe admission procedures for home-schooled applicants in their application materials, or those whose admission officers indicate that they would admit homeschooled applicants are marked as “[yes].” As the reconfirmation process continues, the “!!” mark will take precedence over any other applicable mark describing a school’s admission of homeschoolers. Below is information to help you pursue knowledge about homeschool college admission.

Admission Criteria

More than 600 open admission two-year colleges and more than 100 open admission four-year colleges in the United States are listed in The College Handbook 2000 at pages 1791-1794. Those known to have admitted homeschoolers are now listed on a page about open-admission schools for homeschoolers to save space on this main FAQ page.

College admission of applicants without high school diplomas has been going on for a long time. Harvard College specifically mentions that Harvard has never required a high school diploma for admission. Stanford University makes clear in a form letter to homeschooled applicants that a high school diploma is not necessary for admission. The United States Air Force Academy now has a specific Web page with answers to questions about homeschool admission procedures [link to a different Web site], a sign that it gets that kind of question quite often. More and more colleges are following their lead and mentioning admission policies for homeschoolers on-line or in printed materials.

A parenting resources Web site features an on-line article [link to a different Web site] by Bruce Hammond that makes clear that many colleges think homeschoolers are “often better socialized and more mature than students in public schools.” The pan-Canadian homeschooling resource site on the Web has a detailed page about Canadian Universities Accepting Homeschoolers [link to a different Web site]with much information about specific admission requirements. If you want to get into higher education, home education in younger years is no barrier. A useful website about this issue is the Homeschool Success: High School Planning for College Admissions Success website kept by a friend of mine whom I met at conferences about education.

Colleges that accept homeschoolers rely on various materials in place of high school grades, including, perhaps, portfolios of student work, the applicant’s personal essay, SAT I test [link to a different Web site] or ACT test [link to a different Web site] scores, grades from open admission community colleges, and personal recommendations. Challenging extracurricular activities are generally important for nontraditional applicants, and especially important for all applicants who hope to get scholarships. I have found out from telephone interviews with admission officers that admission criteria can vary quite widely. One Bible college admission officer told me that homeschoolers are welcomed by her school, but that applicants without a high school diploma are required to take the GED exam. Some quite selective colleges will admit anyone with scores on the SAT or ACT above a certain level, and will consider other applicants based on portfolios of the applicants’ academic work. Cafi Cohen’s Web site [link to a different Web site] has especially detailed descriptions of some colleges’ admission procedures that I won’t duplicate here; her site is very helpful.

Other Pages of This FAQ

Feel free to browse the other pages of the Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ, besides this main page, for more detailed information. The overall structure of the FAQ is like the outline below:

Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ (Guide to Selective College Admission for Home-schooled Applicants) [this page]
A guide to selective colleges that admit homeschooled applicants, with other college information for families.

Colleges Rated by Third-Party Rating Guides
A guide to which colleges are supposedly good colleges according to published sources.
Colleges (A-G) Reported to Have Admitted Homeschoolers
Colleges (A-G) (two-year and four-year) with neither open admission nor highly selective admission policies reported to have admitted homeschooled applicants.
Colleges (H-S) Reported to Have Admitted Homeschoolers
Colleges (H-S) (two-year and four-year) with neither open admission nor highly selective admission policies reported to have admitted homeschooled applicants.
Colleges (T-Z) Reported to Have Admitted Homeschoolers
Colleges (T-Z) (two-year and four-year) with neither open admission nor highly selective admission policies reported to have admitted homeschooled applicants.
Open Admission Colleges That Have Admitted Homeschoolers
Open-admission colleges (two-year and four-year) known to have admitted homeschooled applicants.
Financial Aid for College Study
How to get money for college study, especially for homeschoolers.
Sources for the Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ
The research base for the Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ.
Books on College Admission and Student Financial Aid
Bibliography page for the Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ, with interesting books about various aspects of college study.

[Last revision 9 March 2013]

Feel free to come back to the Learn in Freedom™ page ( and to this Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ ( any time. Set up a link from your site to here, so your readers can surf by the most accurate and comprehensive source of information on homeschool college admission on the Web.

This School Is Dead: Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers FAQ page is copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart Mill On Liberty (1859)

Feel free to contact the Learn in Freedom™ site owner, Karl M. Bunday, at any time. Fill out this site’s Google Docs comment form or email or send postal mail to the Learn in Freedom webmaster as you like. [mailto link]
Karl M. Bunday
P. O. Box 1858
Minnetonka, MN 55345

Understand Yourself & Others through Maslow

Each day we try to better understand the people and the world around us. Learning about ourselves and others is a normal part of our daily living. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs began as far back as 1943. Today, the needs have changed a bit as the world evolves. Changes have been made accordingly.  Understanding basic needs is a great way to simplify how we deal with ourselves and others. Please watch the video. ~Sandy

McLeod, S. A. (2014). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from

Maslow wanted to understand what motivates people. He believed that people possess a set of motivation systems unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires.

Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on.

The earliest and most widespread version of Maslow’s (1943, 1954) hierarchy of needs includes five motivational needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

maslow's hierarchy of needs five stage pyramide

This five stage model can be divided into basic (or deficiency) needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (self-actualization).

The deficiency, or basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become.

One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences, including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy.

Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivation primarily based on esteem, love and other social needs.

The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.

4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

maslow's hierarchy of needs five stage pyramide

Maslow posited that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy:

‘It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

The expanded hierarchy of needs:

It is important to note that Maslow’s (1943, 1954) five stage model has been expanded to include cognitive and aesthetic needs (Maslow, 1970a) and later transcendence needs (Maslow, 1970b).

Changes to the original five-stage model are highlighted and include a seven-stage model and a eight-stage model, both developed during the 1960’s and 1970s.

1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, etc.

3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.

4. Esteem needs – self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

5. Cognitive needs – knowledge, meaning, etc.

6. Aesthetic needs – appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

7. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

8. Transcendence needs – helping others to achieve self actualization.


Instead of focusing on psychopathology and what goes wrong with people, Maslow (1943) formulated a more positive account of human behavior which focused on what goes right. He was interested in human potential, and how we fulfill that potential.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Self-actualized people are those who were fulfilled and doing all they were capable of.

The growth of self-actualization (Maslow, 1962) refers to the need for personal growth and discovery that is present throughout a person’s life. For Maslow, a person is always ‘becoming’ and never remains static in these terms. In self-actualization a person comes to find a meaning to life that is important to them.

As each person is unique the motivation for self-actualization leads people in different directions (Kenrick et al., 2010). For some people self-actualization can be achieved through creating works of art or literature, for others through sport, in the classroom, or within a corporate setting.

Maslow (1962) believed self-actualization could be measured through the concept of peak experiences. This occurs when a person experiences the world totally for what it is, and there are feelings of euphoria, joy and wonder.

It is important to note that self-actualization is a continual process of becoming rather than a perfect state one reaches of a ‘happy ever after’ (Hoffman, 1988).

Maslow offers the following description of self-actualization:

‘It refers to the person’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially.

The specific form that these needs will take will of course vary greatly from person to person. In one individual it may take the form of the desire to be an ideal mother, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in still another it may be expressed in painting pictures or in inventions’ (Maslow, 1943, p. 382–383).

Are you self-actualized?

Maslow (1968): Some of the characteristics of self-actualized people

Although we are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing, most of us will not do so, or only to a limited degree. Maslow (1970) estimated that only two percent of people will reach the state of self actualization. He was particularly interested in the characteristics of people whom he considered to have achieved their potential as persons.

By studying 18 people he considered to be self-actualized (including Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein) Maslow (1970) identified 15 characteristics of a self-actualized person.

Characteristics of self-actualizers:

1. They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty;

2. Accept themselves and others for what they are;

3. Spontaneous in thought and action;

4. Problem-centered (not self-centered);

5. Unusual sense of humor;

6. Able to look at life objectively;

7. Highly creative;

8. Resistant to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional;

9. Concerned for the welfare of humanity;

10. Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience;

11. Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a few people;

12. Peak experiences;

13. Need for privacy;

14. Democratic attitudes;

15. Strong moral/ethical standards.

Behavior leading to self-actualization:

(a) Experiencing life like a child, with full absorption and concentration;

(b) Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths;

(c) Listening to your own feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority;

(d) Avoiding pretense (‘game playing’) and being honest;

(e) Being prepared to be unpopular if your views do not coincide with those of the majority;

(f) Taking responsibility and working hard;

(g) Trying to identify your defenses and having the courage to give them up.

The characteristics of self-actualizers and the behaviors leading to self-actualization are shown in the list above.  Although people achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, they tend to share certain characteristics.  However, self-actualization is a matter of degree, ‘There are no perfect human beings’ (Maslow,1970a, p. 176).

It is not necessary to display all 15 characteristics to become self-actualized, and not only self-actualized people will display them. Maslow did not equate self-actualization with perfection. Self-actualization merely involves achieving ones potential. Thus, someone can be silly, wasteful, vain and impolite, and still self-actualize. Less than two percent of the population achieve self-actualization.

Educational applications

Maslow’s (1968) hierarchy of needs theory has made a major contribution to teaching and classroom management in schools. Rather than reducing behavior to a response in the environment, Maslow (1970a) adopts a holistic approach to education and learning. Maslow looks at the entire physical, emotional, social, and intellectual qualities of an individual and how they impact on learning.

Applications of Maslow’s hierarchy theory to the work of the classroom teacher are obvious. Before a student’s cognitive needs can be met they must first fulfill their basic physiological needs. For example a tired and hungry student will find it difficult to focus on learning. Students need to feel emotionally and physically safe and accepted within the classroom to progress and reach their full potential.

Maslow suggests students must be shown that they are valued and respected in the classroom and the teacher should create a supportive environment. Students with a low self-esteem will not progress academically at an optimum rate until their self-esteem is strengthened.

APA Style References

Hoffman, E. (1988). The right to be human: A biography of Abraham Maslow. Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

Kenrick, D. T., Neuberg, S. L., Griskevicius, V., Becker, D. V., & Schaller, M. (2010). Goal-Driven Cognition and Functional Behavior The Fundamental-Motives Framework. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(1), 63-67.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96.

Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row.

Maslow, A. H. (1962). Towards a psychology of being. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company.

Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company.

Maslow, A. H. (1970a). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row.

Maslow, A. H. (1970b). Religions, values, and peak experiences. New York: Penguin. (Original work published 1964)

Tay, L., & Diener, E. (2011). Needs and subjective well-being around the world.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(2), 354.

Critical evaluation

The most significant limitation of Maslow’s theory concerns his methodology. Maslow formulated the characteristics of self-actualized individuals from undertaking a qualitative method called biographical analysis.


He looked at the biographies and writings of 18 people he identified as being self-actualized. From these sources he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of this specific group of people, as opposed to humanity in general.

From a scientific perspective there are numerous problems with this particular approach. First, it could be argued that biographical analysis as a method is extremely subjective as it is based entirely on the opinion of the researcher. Personal opinion is always prone to bias, which reduces the validity of any data obtained. Therefore Maslow’s operational definition of self-actualization must not be blindly accepted as scientific fact.

Furthermore, Maslow’s biographical analysis focused on a biased sample of self-actualized individuals, prominently limited to highly educated white males (such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, William James, Aldous Huxley, Gandhi, Beethoven).

Although Maslow (1970) did study self-actualized females, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Teresa, they comprised a small proportion of his sample. This makes it difficult to generalize his theory to females and individuals from lower social classes or different ethnicity. Thus questioning the population validity of Maslow’s findings.

Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to empirically test Maslow’s concept of self-actualization in a way that causal relationships can be established.

Another criticism concerns Maslow’s assumption that the lower needs must be satisfied before a person can achieve their potential and self-actualize. This is not always the case, and therefore Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in some aspects has been falsified.

Through examining cultures in which large numbers of people live in poverty (such as India) it is clear that people are still capable of higher order needs such as love and belongingness. However, this should not occur, as according to Maslow, people who have difficulty achieving very basic physiological needs (such as food, shelter etc.) are not capable of meeting higher growth needs.

Also, many creative people, such as authors and artists (e.g. Rembrandt and Van Gough) lived in poverty throughout their lifetime, yet it could be argued that they achieved self-actualization.

Contemporary research by Tay & Diener (2011) has tested Maslow’s theory by analyzing the data of 60,865 participants from 123 countries, representing every major region of the world. The survey was conducted from 2005 to 2010.

Respondents answered questions about six needs that closely resemble those in Maslow’s model: basic needs (food, shelter); safety; social needs (love, support); respect; mastery; and autonomy. They also rated their well-being across three discrete measures: life evaluation (a person’s view of his or her life as a whole), positive feelings (day-to-day instances of joy or pleasure), and negative feelings (everyday experiences of sorrow, anger, or stress).

The results of the study support the view that universal human needs appear to exist regardless of cultural differences. However, the ordering of the needs within the hierarchy was not correct.

“Although the most basic needs might get the most attention when you don’t have them,” Diener explains, “you don’t need to fulfill them in order to get benefits [from the others].” Even when we are hungry, for instance, we can be happy with our friends. “They’re like vitamins,” Diener says about how the needs work independently. “We need them all.”

If you don’t work, you don’t eat!

I understand the desire to help everyone. I have been in education for 33+ years! We do need to know our boundaries of what we should and shouldn’t do in order to serve God and His people. ~Sandy

Do You Know Why God Wants Man to Work?

    “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24)

Gods Perfect LoveCall it tough love. God’s tough love.

If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

   “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

And it all started in the Garden of Eden:

    “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

Working with our hands and minds is all part of God’s blueprint and purpose for our lives.

Faith in God plus Labor = Success = Prosperity = A blessing to others.

We are rewarded through our labor because God wants us to be successful as we keep our mind on Him:

     “In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord  was with him.” (1 Samuel 18:14)

God wants us to be prosperous:

    “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

God wants us to use our labor as wage-earners to be a blessing to others in need:

    “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” (Proverbs 14:31)

God does not want us to be, well, lazy:

     “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” (Proverbs 13:4)

America is in Great Distress

American flag in the windOur country’s Judeo-Christian values and work ethics are quickly being eroded by a nationwide Nanny State belief system where government wants to take care of us from cradle to grave.

Our new government health-care mandate actually rewards you through subsidies for doing less, not more, work.

The lower your income, the higher your subsidy.  It kills the incentive to work to succeed.

It’s a counter-productive system that feeds on itself.  The more you are dependent on government to take care of you, the less you see the need to take care of yourself.

(Do read this revealing study by Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor”).

Unfortunately, it has given rise to an entitlement society.

But before you get your feathers ruffled, I am not advocating doing away with social programs such as food stamps (an $80 billion-a-year government program that costs twice what it did just five years ago) and welfare.

I am advocating doing away with the deep fraud that costs taxpayers billions of dollars annually, and doing away with the notion that government programs are a substitute for hard work.

Marijuana Makes the Problem Worse

Now that recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, a new form of welfare abuse has surfaced: The use of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to purchase pot.

Colorado issues its EBT in the form of a Quest card.

While some argue that safeguards are in place to prevent food stamp cards from being used to purchase anything other than foods, a check of the Boulder City government website says you can use your Quest card to withdraw cash from an ATM, which is what is happening at several Denver-area pot shops equipped with these money machines.

It’s an obvious abuse of taxpayer funds that for now is legal in Colorado.

Truly, God commands us to take care of the poor and the widows. That is Christian charity.  

But There Are Those Who Need Genuine Help

There are those who are laid off from their jobs through no fault of their own and are earnestly looking for work.

There are those who are disabled and want to work but can’t.

There are those who have worked hard all their lives but now, be it their age, changing technology or lack of modern skills, are shut out of the employment field.

They can’t find work and are desperate; they need food stamps and unemployment benefits to make ends meet until they get back on their feet.

That’s totally understandable.

But what about those who refuse to take a job because they feel it is beneath them or that it doesn’t pay enough to suit their tastes?

Why work two part-time jobs when you can collect more from the government?

Work ethics say a lot about our relationship with God. If you are not working, is it because you cannot get a job or don’t want one? If you are working, what is your attitude towards your job?

Perhaps it’s a feeling of frustration with life that translates into “the  government owes me a living.”

man in cartNo matter the reasoning, there are those who don’t want to pull the cart.

They want to ride in the cart and have the rest of the work force do the pulling.

And that cart is overloaded.

Not wanting to work or having a bad attitude at work is not what God wants for you.

If you are a Christian and count yourself among those in the cart and you are able to work, you had better do some soul-searching.

   “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)

Your attitude towards work says a lot about your attitude towards God.

  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.(Colossians 3:23)

A Valuable Lesson For You About Work

I learned a valuable lesson over the years. I don’t work for a company, I work for Jesus.

work for Jesus

Before my recent retirement, I didn’t always like my job, but I went to work in the mornings to a job where Jesus is the Chairman of the Board.

Jesus is the boss. That is my attitude.

I had not called in sick in at least 5 years. I didn’t take “mental days” off. I started work about 20 minutes early.

I prayed that God would see me through the tough spots and thanked Him for the less crazed moments.

Today, I work a part-time job and have the same attitude. Work as if unto the Lord.

My reward? I have been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor, just as God intended, and I have been working since I was 13.

I have found you cannot separate the two – work and God – because they are intrinsically connected to who you are as a Christian.

Your work ethic is part of your Christian walk.

How you view work and how you handle your job speaks volumes to others about your Christianity.

How would you rate your work ethics? Would you hire you?

Are you the kind of worker a boss swears by … or at?

Unfortunately today, not many are willing to acknowledge Jesus as the Chairman of the Board at their job.

My father was from the Old Country. He used to tell us kids, “You can have anything you want in America … but you have to WORK for it.”

No matter Dad’s faults, he instilled in us a strong work ethic.

During a rough patch between jobs,  my Dad mowed lawns. He was an immigrant. He never had the attitude of “Where’s mine?”

He never thought the government owed him a living. He worked. We never went hungry.

Although my parents were not Christians, God provided out of his love and abundance. I believe He honored my Dad’s work ethics.

   “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” (Psalms 128:2)

As the Bible says:

   “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)

Through work we meet our needs, the needs of our families and the needs of others, all spokes in the big wheel of life.

Our work grows the economy, raises taxes, pays wages, and through that we are able to support the church and help the poor.

Whether you are looking for a job or trying to make the most of the one you have, remember you have a friend you can always talk to.

You have a Chairman of the Board who is never too busy to take your call.

[image credits to Kendall Connor, Richard Wong]

Pick the RIGHT Pre-school!

Today, I wondered how the federally funded pre-school opportunity was going.  I first came upon this document by U.S Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, written January of 2015.  I was amazed at the statistics.  Please browse – A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America

Then I found this article from a pre-school teacher.  Always go to the experts for real facts.  I understand the idea of what the pre-school was supposed to be but like other great ideas, when people get involved, the idea goes south. ~Sandy

The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids

Today’s young children are working more, but they’re learning less.

Step into an American preschool classroom today and you are likely to be bombarded with what we educators call a print-rich environment, every surface festooned with alphabet charts, bar graphs, word walls, instructional posters, classroom rules, calendars, schedules, and motivational platitudes—few of which a 4-year-old can “decode,” the contemporary word for what used to be known as reading.

Because so few adults can remember the pertinent details of their own preschool or kindergarten years, it can be hard to appreciate just how much the early-education landscape has been transformed over the past two decades. The changes are not restricted to the confusing pastiche on classroom walls. Pedagogy and curricula have changed too, most recently in response to the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s kindergarten guidelines. Much greater portions of the day are now spent on what’s called “seat work” (a term that probably doesn’t need any exposition) and a form of tightly scripted teaching known as direct instruction, formerly used mainly in the older grades, in which a teacher carefully controls the content and pacing of what a child is supposed to learn.

One study, titled “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?,” compared kindergarten teachers’ attitudes nationwide in 1998 and 2010 and found that the percentage of teachers expecting children to know how to read by the end of the year had risen from 30 to 80 percent. The researchers also reported more time spent with workbooks and worksheets, and less time devoted to music and art. Kindergarten is indeed the new first grade, the authors concluded glumly. In turn, children who would once have used the kindergarten year as a gentle transition into school are in some cases being held back before they’ve had a chance to start. A study out of Mississippi found that in some counties, more than 10 percent of kindergartners weren’t allowed to advance to first grade.

Until recently, school-readiness skills weren’t high on anyone’s agenda, nor was the idea that the youngest learners might be disqualified from moving on to a subsequent stage. But now that kindergarten serves as a gatekeeper, not a welcome mat, to elementary school, concerns about school preparedness kick in earlier and earlier. A child who’s supposed to read by the end of kindergarten had better be getting ready in preschool. As a result, expectations that may arguably have been reasonable for 5- and 6-year-olds, such as being able to sit at a desk and complete a task using pencil and paper, are now directed at even younger children, who lack the motor skills and attention span to be successful.

Preschool classrooms have become increasingly fraught spaces, with teachers cajoling their charges to finish their “work” before they can go play. And yet, even as preschoolers are learning more pre-academic skills at earlier ages, I’ve heard many teachers say that they seem somehow—is it possible?—less inquisitive and less engaged than the kids of earlier generations. More children today seem to lack the language skills needed to retell a simple story or to use basic connecting words and prepositions. They can’t make a conceptual analogy between, say, the veins on a leaf and the veins in their own hands.

New research sounds a particularly disquieting note. A major evaluation of Tennessee’s publicly funded preschool system, published in September, found that although children who had attended preschool initially exhibited more “school readiness” skills when they entered kindergarten than did their non-preschool-attending peers, by the time they were in first grade their attitudes toward school were deteriorating. And by second grade they performed worse on tests measuring literacy, language, and math skills. The researchers told New Yorkmagazine that overreliance on direct instruction and repetitive, poorly structured pedagogy were likely culprits; children who’d been subjected to the same insipid tasks year after year after year were understandably losing their enthusiasm for learning.

That’s right. The same educational policies that are pushing academic goals down to ever earlier levels seem to be contributing to—while at the same time obscuring—the fact that young children are gaining fewer skills, not more.

Pendulum shifts in education are as old as our republic. Steven Mintz, a historian who has written about the evolution of American childhood, describes an oscillation in the national zeitgeist between the notion of a “protected” childhood and that of a “prepared” one. Starting in the early 2000s, though, a confluence of forces began pushing preferences ever further in the direction of preparation: the increasing numbers of dual-career families scrambling to arrange child care; a new scientific focus on the cognitive potential of the early years; and concerns about growing ability gaps between well-off and disadvantaged children, which in turn fueled the trend of standards-based testing in public schools.

Preschool is a relatively recent addition to the American educational system. With a few notable exceptions, the government had a limited role in early education until the 1960s, when the federal Head Start program was founded. Before mothers entered the full-time workforce in large numbers, private preschools were likewise uncommon, and mainly served as a safe social space for children to learn to get along with others.

In the past few decades, however, we have seen a major transfer of child care and early learning from home to institution: Nearly three-quarters of American 4-year-olds are now in some kind of non-family care. That category spans a dizzying mix of privately and publicly funded preschool environments, including family-run day cares, private preschools in church basements, and Head Start programs in public elementary schools, to name a few. Across all of them, the distinction between early education and “official” school seems to be eroding.

When I survey parents of preschoolers, they tend to be on board with many of these changes, either because they fear that the old-fashioned pleasures of unhurried learning have no place in today’s hyper-competitive world or because they simply can’t find, or afford, a better option. The stress is palpable: Pick the “wrong” preschool or ease up on the phonics drills at home, and your child might not go to college. She might not be employable. She might not even be allowed to start first grade!

Media attention to the cognitive potential of early childhood has a way of exacerbating such worries, but the actual academic consensus on the components of high-quality early education tells another story. According to experts such as the Yale professor Edward Zigler, a leader in child-development and early-education policy for half a century, the best preschool programs share several features: They provide ample opportunities for young children to use and hear complex, interactive language; their curriculum supports a wide range of school-readiness goals that include social and emotional skills and active learning; they encourage meaningful family involvement; and they have knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers.

As an early-childhood educator, I’ve clocked many hours in many preschool classrooms, and I have found that I can pretty quickly take the temperature from the looks on kids’ faces, the ratio of table space to open areas, and the amount of conversation going on in either. In a high-quality program, adults are building relationships with the children and paying close attention to their thought processes and, by extension, their communication. They’re finding ways to make the children think out loud.

The real focus in the preschool years should be not just on vocabulary and reading, but on talking and listening. We forget how vital spontaneous, unstructured conversation is to young children’s understanding. By talking with adults, and one another, they pick up information. They learn how things work. They solve puzzles that trouble them. Sometimes, to be fair, what children take away from a conversation is wrong. They might conclude, as my young son did, that pigs produce ham, just as chickens produce eggs and cows produce milk. But these understandings are worked over, refined, and adapted—as when a brutal older sibling explains a ham sandwich’s grisly origins.

Teachers play a crucial role in supporting this type of learning. A 2011 study in the journal Child Development found that preschool teachers’ use of sophisticated vocabulary in informal classroom settings predicted their students’ reading comprehension and word knowledge in fourth grade. Unfortunately, much of the conversation in today’s preschool classrooms is one-directional and simplistic, as teachers steer students through a highly structured schedule, herding them from one activity to another and signaling approval with a quick “good job!”

Consider the difference between a teacher’s use of a closed statement versus an open-ended question. Imagine that a teacher approaches a child drawing a picture and exclaims, “Oh, what a pretty house!” If the child is not actually drawing a house, she might feel exposed, and even if she is drawing a house, the teacher’s remark shuts down further discussion: She has labeled the thing and said she likes it. What more is there to add? A much more helpful approach would be to say, “Tell me about your drawing,” inviting the child to be reflective. It’s never possible to anticipate everything a small person needs to learn, so open-ended inquiry can reveal what is known and unknown. Such a small pedagogic difference can be an important catalyst for a basic, but unbounded, cognitive habit—the act of thinking out loud.

Conversation is gold. It’s the most efficient early-learning system we have. And it’s far more valuable than most of the reading-skills curricula we have been implementing: One meta-analysis of 13 early-childhood literacy programs “failed to find any evidence of effects on language or print-based outcomes.” Take a moment to digest that devastating conclusion.

I was recently asked to review a popular preschool curriculum that comes with a big box of thematic units, including lists of words and “key concepts” that children are supposed to master. One objective of the curriculum’s ocean unit, for example, is to help preschoolers understand “the importance of the ocean to the environment.” Children are given a list of specific terms to learn, including exoskeleton, scallop shell, blubber, and tube feet. At first glance, this stuff seems fun and educational, but doesn’t this extremely narrow articulation of “key concepts” feel a little off? What’s so special about blubber, anyway? Might a young child not want to ponder bigger questions: What is water? Where do the blue and green come from? Could anything be more beautiful and more terrifying than an ocean?

The shift from an active and exploratory early-childhood pedagogy to a more scripted and instruction-based model does not involve a simple trade-off between play and work, or between joy and achievement. On the contrary, the preoccupation with accountability has led to a set of measures that favor shallow mimicry and recall behaviors, such as learning vocabulary lists and recognizing shapes and colors (something that a dog can do, by the way, but that is in fact an extraordinarily low bar for most curious 4-year-olds), while devaluing complex, integrative, and syncretic learning.

Last year, I observed some preschoolers conversing about whether snakes have bones. They argued at length among themselves, comparing the flexible serpentine body with dinosaur fossils and fish, both of which they had previously explored. There was no clear consensus on how these various creatures could contain the same hard skeletons, but I watched, transfixed, as each child added to the groundwork another had laid. The teacher gently guided the group as a captain might steer a large ship, with the tiniest nudge of the wheel. Finally, a little boy who had seen a snake skeleton in a museum became animated as he pantomimed the structure of a snake’s spine in a series of karate chops: “One bone, one bone, one bone,” he informed his friends. “I think we’re all going to have to do a lot more research,” the teacher replied, impressed. This loosely Socratic method is a perfect fit for young minds; the problem is that it doesn’t conform easily to a school-readiness checklist.

The academic takeover of American early learning can be understood as a shift from what I would call an “ideas-based curriculum” to a “naming-and-labeling-based curriculum.” Not coincidentally, the latter can be delivered without substantially improving our teaching force. Inexperienced or poorly supported teachers are directed to rely heavily on scripted lesson plans for a reason: We can point to a defined objective, and tell ourselves that at least kids are gettingsomething this way.

But that something—while relatively cheap to provide—is awfully thin gruel. One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.

We neglect vital teacher-child interactions at our peril. Although the infusion of academics into preschool has been justified as a way to close the achievement gap between poor and well-off children, Robert Pianta, one of the country’s leading child-policy experts, cautions that there is “no evidence whatsoever” that our early-learning system is suited to that task. He estimates that the average preschool program “narrows the achievement gap by perhaps only 5 percent,” compared with the 30 to 50 percent that studies suggest would be possible with higher-quality programs. Contrasting the dismal results of Tennessee’s preschool system with the more promising results in places such as Boston, which promotes active, child-centered learning (and, spends more than twice the national average on preschool), lends further credence to the idea that preschool quality really does matter.

It’s become almost a cliché to look to Finland’s educational system for inspiration. As has been widely reported, the country began to radically professionalize its workforce in the 1970s and abandoned most of the performance standards endemic to American schooling. Today, Finland’s schools are consistently ranked among the world’s very best. This “Finnish miracle” sounds almost too good to be true. Surely the country must have a few dud teachers and slacker kids!

And yet, when I’ve visited Finland, I’ve found it impossible to remain unmoved by the example of preschools where the learning environment is assessed, rather than the children in it. Having rejected many of the pseudo-academic benchmarks that can, and do, fit on a scorecard, preschool teachers in Finland are free to focus on what’s really essential: their relationship with the growing child.

Here’s what the Finns, who don’t begin formal reading instruction until around age 7, have to say about preparing preschoolers to read: “The basis for the beginnings of literacy is that children have heard and listened … They have spoken and been spoken to, people have discussed [things] with them … They have asked questions and received answers.”

For our littlest learners, what could be more important than that?