Resource Spotlight: Student Academic Success Center (SASC)

Lori Rand, Online Writing Specialist (left) and Henri Moser Online Learning Specialist (right)

The Student Academic Success Center (SASC) at UNE is a tutoring resource for UNE students, online and on-ground alike. Brenda Edmands, Coordinator of SASC on the Portland Campus and for the online programs, shares how SASC follows the best practices of academic support, and how they work toward fulfilling their mission of helping students become successful, independent, lifelong learners. Can you give me an overview of what SASC is, and what you offer to our online students? Sure! SASC stands for the Student Academic Success Center, and we serve both on-campus and online students. On the Portland Campus, in addition to staff who focus on supporting the Portland Campus students, who are primarily enrolled in graduate-level programs in the health professions, we also have two full-time professional staff specialists and several part-time professional tutors dedicated exclusively to serving our online graduate student population. Who gets tutoring? We did a study last year of the entire UNE student population – online, undergraduate,… Read More >

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How to Communicate Effectively With Your Instructor

How to Communicate Effectively With Your Instructor

Communication is complicated, especially in a learning atmosphere where the classwork is 100% online. In order to help students and instructors communicate more effectively via technology, we have assembled a few tactics and tips for communicating efficiently and successfully. Each instructor has their own individual preferences about the following guidelines, so when in doubt, ask your instructor about their communication preferences. We’re all on the same team Instructors want their students to succeed and learn course material, while students want to do well and get on to their post-graduate lives in their field. There are no perfect instructors or students here, but our goals are complementary. How can we accomplish these goals better together? In the technology-enabled communication age, it’s best to avoid some things: Don’t email your instructor for information already included in your syllabus. A partial list of items that can be found in your syllabus includes course title and number, the instructor’s name, contact information, office hours,… Read More >

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Student Support at UNE Online

Student support

At UNE Online, we believe that a successful student is a supported student. To that end, we offer a variety of academic, technical, and administrative support elements that are purposefully woven into the fabric of our college and specifically designed to assist and support students along their academic journey. Right from the beginning, our enrollment counselors do their best to make sure that applicants are a good fit for the program to which they are applying. Upon acceptance into a UNE Online program, each student is assigned to a dedicated Student Support Specialist. These Support Specialists function as that student’s primary contact within the UNE Online College of Graduate & Professional Studies (CGPS), providing support and acting as an advocate within the college and University. The CGPS student journey is designed to remove the extraneous aspects of higher education so that our students can focus on the essential part – the business of learning and mastering their subject area. “My… Read More >

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Learning efficiently: 6 steps to success in your online graduate education

6 tips to becoming a successful online student

The best thing about a self-paced program is that its self-paced. That’s also the worst thing about online learning. You’re a working professional, and odds are, you’ve worked from home before. Studying at home, just like working from home, is wonderful, convenient, and comfortable. It’s also easy to get off track. 6 strategies for success in online graduate classes 1. Turn off the distractions It’s tempting to play music or have a television on as background noise, and for some people, it can help set a relaxing environment, but the minute you find yourself distracted by it – turn it off. It may also help to visually pare down your study environment. I also came across some distraction-free writing tools that were highly recommended. Coffitivity is my very favorite tool to use to drown out background distractions. 2. Establish a study zone If you can, dedicate a specific room of your house to become a “study zone.” Try to use this space only… Read More >

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Meet Our Team: Emily Roach

Emily Roach, Student Support Specialist

Emily Roach is a Portland transplant who hails from the great Midwest state of Ohio. She is a Buckeye through and through, but she’s slowly becoming a Red Sox nation convert. Emily is a rockstar Student Support Specialist, and her passion for problem-solving ensures that each one of her students is guaranteed a pathway to success. At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. What do you do at UNE Online? I am a Support Specialist for our students in the Graduate Programs in Public Health. Once a student is accepted into their program, I become their first point of contact here at UNE Online. My job is to provide students with a personal connection that is sometimes lost in online education settings, and… Read More >

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Four Tips for Staying On Track In a Self-Paced Course

Staying on Track in a Self-Paced Course

Online learning can be an ideal way to pursue higher education while shuffling the many demands of life, work, and personal circumstances. Here at UNE, we offer many online learning programs, including the science and math prerequisite courses. These courses are designed for students who wish to enter a health professions program, but need prerequisite courses in order to complete their graduate school application. Beyond the convenience of online accessibility, UNE’s science and math prerequisite courses are also self-paced. This means that while students have a set timeframe to complete the course within, they are able complete it earlier by determining the pace and timing of the content delivery, assignments, and exam completion. We pride ourselves on a student-centered approach that allows students to learn in their way, in their time. The good news: students completely set their own pace. The bad news: students completely set their own pace. What do we mean by this? On the one hand, self-paced online courses… Read More >

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6 Communication Rules for Success in Online Student Groups

Group Project

“In this course you will have a group project…” I think it is fair to say we’ve all been let down by a working group or by individual team members. No matter the setting, there seems to be an aura of dread when group projects are announced.  Add in the fact that online graduate students work within virtual spaces, and it is easy to understand why nervousness sets in. With a few simple communication rules, the group experience can become one of the highlights of your online education. The foundations of great group projects… Here at the University of New England, we value appropriate and productive group experiences because we are preparing students for the modern workplace – and teamwork is almost always part of the job. Our group projects are designed by instructional designers and subject-matter experts using the best-practices of online education design, instructional pedagogy, and assessments. It is critical to design group projects for learning success, and… Read More >

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Ed.D. Student Ben Luce published in professional journal

Ben Luce, Ed.D.

Benjamin Luce, a student in the University of New England’s Online Doctoral Program in Transformative Leadership, was recently published in the American Journal of Distance Education. Benjamin interviewed Bryan Alexander, a leading thinker and writer in issues of education and technology. Alexander is a senior fellow for the National Institute of Technology in Liberal Education. The two discuss many issues relating to technology and its place in modern education – including social media, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), history of technology in education, distance education, and much more. For those with institutional access to the American Journal of Distance Education, the interview can be found here. Check with your library to see if you have access to the periodical – it’s a fascinating discussion on education and how Bryan’s life has shaped his thinking. Check out Bryan Alexander’s site for more about him, and to read his writings. About Benjamin Luce Benjamin Luce is the Academic Dean for the Maine… Read More >

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Student Spotlight: Mona Haimour, MPH – Public Health Program

Mona Haimour

Mona Haimour, RN, BScN, MSN, MPH(c) is an Assistant Professor in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada. And as an inductee to UNE’s Chapter of the Delta Omega Honor Society last year, she has also proven herself to be one of UNE’s brightest MPH students. Mona has done wonderfully as a UNE student and full-time professional. She will be finishing up her MPH this semester, and has just returned from a Practical Experience trip abroad in South Africa with the organization Children and Family Health International (CHFI). Originally from Jordan, Mona earned her Registered Nurse certification and actively practiced as an RN in the area of women’s health, maternal child health and pediatrics for many years there. It was in Jordan that she also earned her Master of Science in Nursing, and began to shift her work from nursing practice to nursing education. After working and volunteering across the Middle East, including… Read More >

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Sailing the Academic Waters with Student Support

Student Support Specialist

The other day I sat on the Maine coast, not too far from the UNE campus, and watched a tall ship come into port. As usual, many other boats greeted the tall ship and escorted it into the harbor. Complete with a lighthouse, this nautical scene made me think about the differences between traditional student support and our online student support at UNE. If that analogy sounds impossible… let me explain. Many schools only tend to the ports – that is, beginning and end of the journey. Think about it. Schools always offer a robust orientation and a commencement with all the bells and whistles. UNE offers those, too. However, UNE supports the entire student journey. Our online students are never alone. We consider students the “captain” of the academic journey. Students make the decisions. What electives do they want? When do they want to graduate? How will they schedule their time around courses? And, just like a tall ship… Read More >

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A photo journey of the 2016 UNE Hooding Ceremony

UNE Online Hooding and Graduation 2016

Each spring, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies holds a Hooding ceremony to honor doctoral and master’s graduates and celebrate the successful completion of their studies. The Hooding ceremony is not meant to replace the university-wide commencement. Rather, it is a special time to come together to meet your fellow students, Faculty, Program Managers and Student Support Specialists for the first time, and celebrate the fact that you’ve completed this phase of your journey. Hooding at UNE is a heartwarming and sometimes emotional event. Connections are made, friendships cemented, milestones met. It’s a time that UNE sets aside to specifically to honor you – we are so, so very proud of you. About the 2016 UNE Hooding Ceremony The hooding ceremony itself is similar to a graduation in that faculty and students are dressed in academic attire. There are opening remarks, a keynote speech, and then the graduates are hooded. During the ceremony, the name of each graduate is called,… Read More >

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Spotlight: Katy Krings, MPH – Public Health Program

Katy Krings, MPH

Katy Krings is in her final semester of the MPH program and is an excellent example of how online education can be used as a powerful tool to reach qualified individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have access to higher education. Originally from Wisconsin, Katy now lives and works as a public health nurse in rural Southwest Alaska. In fact, the area in which Katy works is so remote that her patients are not accessible by road or boat for much of the year – she has to fly between these arctic villages to provide her patients with care and public health education. Now that’s going the extra mile. Some background on Katy and her career Katy discovered Public Health nursing after earning her undergraduate degree in nursing and completing a nursing rotation in Denver, Colorado. In researching career opportunities, she found that Alaska hires many new nursing graduates, giving them the opportunity to get real-life experience right away. So because of the plentiful opportunities… Read More >

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