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Global Youth Service Day 2014

March 13, 2014

In 1988, Youth Service America, an international leader in the youth service movement, came together to start Global Youth Service Day with the goal of engaging young people ages 5 to 25 years old to participate in service activities. Youth Service America wanted to target this age group because young people are not usually asked to serve so, by bringing them together to help serve their communities, this event would allow the global youth to take an early step towards a lifetime of civic engagement and social consciousness.

GYSD logo

Since service is one of the three pillars of Golden Key International Honour Society, we strongly encourage our members to participate in service activities and make a difference in their communities. In light of this, we hope that all Golden Key chapters will be advocates of Global Youth Service Day and take part in the event this year from 11-13 April. With your help, we can show the world that Golden Key members are special- that they can Stand Out, Stand Up and Stand Together!

If you are having trouble coming up with a fun service activity that your chapter would enjoy, check out our 2013 Make A Difference Day Chapter Awards blog or go to the Global Youth Service Day website. There are no limits as to which your chapter can help your community, and we implore our chapters to participate in this incredible service event! Chapter officers should register their projects on Golden Key’s website. Find out more by clicking here. Golden Key will be awarding a total of $1,000 to the most outstanding chapter initiatives. And remember to take plenty of pictures and videos of your event to share on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #GYSD!

Prime Minister of New Zealand Mingles with Golden Key Members

March 5, 2014

On Thursday 27 February 2014, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand hosted “Clubs Day”, which is a part of the university’s Orientation Week. On this day the many student clubs and organizations set up tables to attract prospective members;JohnKey_UCANT_1 in fact there are over 100 different clubs/student organizations for university students to join, including Golden Key International Honour Society.

This year marks an election year in New Zealand so current Prime Minister John Key has been touring the country as a part of his election campaign. One of his stops on his campaign trail included the University of Canterbury to visit the Young Nationals club, which is the youth wing of the New Zealand political party. While on the campus, Prime Minister John Key ventured through Car Park where Clubs Day is held, and stopped to talk to some of the University of Canterbury Golden Key chapter members amidst the mob of students attempting to talk to him. The members were able to take a few pictures with the Prime Minister and had the opportunity to talk to him before he had to go about his way. Meeting the Prime Minister was an honor for the Golden Key members and a great way to start off the semester!

The Importance of Creativity

February 25, 2014

Did you know that the most commonly listed skill on LinkedIn the past two years has been “Creativity”, and for good reason, too. “The reality is that to survive in a fast-changing world you need to be creative,” says Gerard J. Puccio, chairman of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College. “That is why you are seeing more attention to creativity at universities. The marketplace is demanding it.” In fact, an I.B.M. survey of 1,500 chief executives in over 30 industries listed creativity as the most crucial factor of success. Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional thought and formulate meaningful new ideascreative. It has long been regarded as an essential skill for achievement, which is why Buffalo State College has had the creative studies program since 1967.

Creativity, once seen as divine inspiration or a quality possessed only by the highly intelligent, is now seen as a skill capable of being taught. Although conventional academic disciplines are still relevant, educators and employers are becoming more and more interested in “process skills”, or strategies to reevaluate challenges and adapting to overcome such.

Creative Studies programs are starting to arise at numerous universities across the United States. Buffalo State University already offers a master’s degree and an undergraduate minor, but they are also planning on implementing a Ph.D. program. Saybrook University in San Francisco has a master’s program and certificate, and the university added a specialization to its psychology Ph.D. in 2011. Other notable programs include Drexel University in Philadelphia, St. Andrew’s University in North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky University.

Jack V. Matson, an environmental engineer and instructor at Pennsylvania State University, teaches a class that he calls “Failure 101” because “the frequency and intensity of failures is an implicit principle of the course. Getting into a creative mind-set involves a lot of trial and error.” All assignments in the class, which include constructing résumés based on what did not work and constructing the tallest structure possible with twenty popsicle sticks, are designed to elicit inventiveness through the process of failing.

If your university offered Creative Studies courses, would you register to take one?

Massive Open Online Courses

February 11, 2014

Will university life soon become a concept associated with the past? For now, this is probably not the case, but physical educational institutions could experience trouble in the future due to the emergence of MOOCs. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are short, online courses offered with the intention of drawing in large-scale interactive participation. They provide shared user forums that consist of videos, readings and problem sets to help build a community amongst students and professors.

Could this infringe on traditional universities, though? Many say “no”. The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney believes that MOOCs will be non-threatening to physical universities, and, in fact, be beneficial in that they could offer opportunities to better utilize technology, thus gaining a greater global profile.MOOC  Other proponents say MOOCs are the “iTunes of higher education” in that degrees from universities are like attending live shows- they are expensive and only a limited number of people can participate- but MOOCs can reach out to an infinite number of participants in a cost efficient manner. Just as iTunes does not make live shows less desirable, MOOCs are not designed to reinvent education. Rather, just as iTunes changed the manner in which music is consumed, MOOCs will revolutionize the education scene. An example of the successful utilization of MOOCs is evident in McAfee, the wholly owned subsidiary of Intel

Not everyone is optimistic about the future of the online classes, however. Many skeptics believe that MOOCs will have no influence on existing physical universities because they are merely a trend.  Instructure CEO Josh Coates and Dennis Yang, President of MOOC provider Udemy, believe that MOOCs are merely going through a “hype cycle”, as shown below.hype cycle

These critics believe this to be true due to the high non-completion rates of MOOC participants and the preference amongst employers for skills and education gained at tangible institutions. Another criticism is the idea that bigger is not always better. While MOOCs emphasize the capability of capturing thousands of students virtually, they do not mention the quality of this form of education. Rather than reveling in the augmentation of education as though it is the main goal, relationships between instructors and students lead to greater understanding of the material because the students’ progress can be tracked on more of an individual basis. There is also the idea that large lecture classrooms are widely considered to be ineffective. This is evident in an experiment done by a physics professor at Harvard, which has led some to say that MOOCs should be limited to first year courses or courses that are considered to be more basic.

Could Massive Open Online Courses be the future of education, or is it merely a phase in the education system?

College Tuition Costs Remain Stable Over Past Decade

February 5, 2014

The rise in college tuition is no new affair- most people have accumulated quite a bit of student debt. In the past decade, the published prices of universities have increased by more than 20%. In fact, universities are starting to worry about possibly approaching the “breaking point” in their ability to continue raising the tuition prices. The increase in inexpensive online courses has given universities reason for concern, too, in that prospective students might find the appeal of a more practical education appealing.

Published vs. Net TuitionSource: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges

However, even with tuition continuing to rise, the amount that students actually pay has hardly fluctuated over the past ten years due to increased grants, discounts and tax benefits. According to a major analysis of the cost of college by the College Board, when looking only at tuition and fees, the inflation-adjusted net price is lower than it was ten years ago.

It seems to have gone unnoticed that, although the published prices for colleges that are not adjusted for inflation have jumped more than 50% in recent years, universities are giving more in financial aid and tuition discounts. Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, says, “Colleges have tried to get the word out for years about discounting and net prices, but ‘it hasn’t been terribly successful’”.

tuition tableSource: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges

In fact, prospective students have much more access to the financial information in that universities are now required to post net price calculators on their websites, but it has become evident that the public has had trouble understanding the numbers. Some universities have tried to lower their tuition prices and offset the prices be reducing the discounts given to students, but it has not been incredibly effective- many would rather attend an expensive university and receive a scholarship to go there than go to a more economical school without a reduction in price.

Although published college tuition prices are continually rising, is the idea of pursuing higher education more appealing knowing that the net price has remained fairly stable over the years?

The Many Virtues of Studying Abroad

February 3, 2014
Golden Key International Honour Society strives to help its members become        successful in every facet of life. A Golden Key member is more than an excellent  student— they are well-rounded individuals who encompass leadership qualities and social consciousness, and we believe that studying abroad is a tremendous         opportunity for our members to venture beyond the classroom and gain cultural     wisdom. In light of such, we would like to share an article from Envision Global  Forums highlighting the benefits of studying abroad.

The Many Virtues of Studying Abroad
by Andrew Potter

Spend some time studying abroad and you are very likely to improve your grades, enhance your personality and be more prepared to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Several new studies suggest that studying internationally is like eating a super nutritious vegetable- it improves your mental capacity (IQ), your emotional intelligence (EQ) and your cultural adaptability (CQ).

Enhance Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Want to get hired right after graduating from college? An increasing number of companies, now facing increased global competition, are demanding more workers  with cross-cultural skills and abilities.

Of the 10 most significant challengers facing hiring managers today, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, two are related to CQ- “finding the right employees in the right markets where we do global business” and “breaking down cultural barriers that make it difficult to create a truly global company”.

When students learn in culturally diverse settings, they improve their cultural intelligence (CQ). Those with high CQ benefit in four ways, according to the International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies:

  • They are able to anticipate what will happen in cross-cultural situations.
  • They have a wide understanding of multicultural situations.
  • They are confident of their capabilities and are intrinsically interested in experiencing culturally diverse settings.
  • They are able to vary their verbal and nonverbal behaviors in response to cultural characteristics of the situation.


Boost Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Perhaps most surprisingly, new research shows that studying in another country also boosts emotional intelligence (EQ). In fact, personal development improvements begin as soon as a student makes the decision to study in a foreign country.

“Those students who are about to study abroad are – even before they leave – more open-minded, conscientious and extravert than their fellow students who stay at home,” said psychologist Dr. Julia Zimmermann, a researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University at Jena, Germany.


Improve Your IQ

A 10-year study – the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative (GLOSSARI) – documents the academic outcomes of study abroad across 35 Georgia institutions. It found that students with study abroad experience where able to raise their mean cumulative GPA from 3.24 prior to journeying oversees to 3.30 afterward.

The study also found that the four-year graduation rate was 49.6 percent for study abroad students, compared to 42.1 percent for students in the control group.


Global Opportunities Abound

Study abroad programs come in many shapes and sizes. But it is clear that they are highly valuable in preparing college students for career success.

“Given the widely accepted impact of globalization on the U.S. economy and in light of the new skills in demand by businesses, nonprofits, and government, it’s to your advantage to consider the career implications of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience,” according to the American Institute of Foreign Study.

Nosiphiwo, a Golden Key International Honour Society member and a 2013 alumna of the Envision Global Forum on Business & Entrepreneurship, agrees:

“You’ll learn so much about yourself, about the world around you and how to further yourself in a career path you are interested in. You will meet people of different ages and from different cultures and countries. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it. It’s one of those amazing things. So just do it.”

Andrew Potter is the Vice President of Education for Envision, including the Envision Global Forum and its five delegations: Business & Entrepreneurship, International Relations & Diplomacy, Engineering & Technology, Medicine and Science and Nursing & Health Care.

How To Manage Your Credit Score from Discover

January 29, 2014

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HOW TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN GOOD CREDIT

Having good credit is important. Learning how to establish and maintain good credit will help you achieve your financial goals which may include buying a car or home, or getting a credit card or student loan. Here is what you need to know:

1. What is in your credit report?

Your credit report contains four important areas of information:

  • Personal: Name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and employment information
  • Credit history: Types of accounts, the date you opened the account, your credit limit or loan amount, the account balance and payment history
  • Public records: Bankruptcies, foreclosures, garnishments, legal suits and judgments
  • Inquiries: List of creditors that accessed your credit report in the last two years

2. What makes up your credit score?

A credit score is a number based on a snapshot of your credit report that helps a lender determine your ability to pay back debt (your score = your credit risk). Fair Isaac’s FICO® scores are widely used credit scores and are based on the following factors:

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  • Payment history: Looks at items such as late payments and bankruptcies. These defaults can hurt your credit score.
  • Amounts owed: Considers your debt and your available credit lines. The more you owe compared to your credit limit, the lower your score will be.
  • Length of credit history: Checks how long you had your credit accounts and how often you use them. A longer credit history will usually increase your FICO® score.
  • New credit: Looks at new credit accounts you opened and new credit requests (such as credit cards). Multiple credit requests represent greater credit risk.
  • Types of credit used: Considers how many credit accounts and how many installment type accounts you have. A diverse credit portfolio can strengthen your report.

3. What does your credit score mean?

The subjective descriptions below such as Excellent, Very Good, Fair, etc. are for illustrative purposes only. Loan decisions may be based on many other factors.

Discover Credit Score

4. Monitor Your Credit

  • You can request a free copy of your credit report on an annual basis. AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by federal law and implemented by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  • The Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Website is a national resource to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft. Consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft, and learn what to do if their identities are stolen.

 

Apply now or call 1-800-767-1164 to reach a live person in one minute or less.

Discover Student Loans are made by Discover Bank
©2013 Discover Bank, Member FDIC

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