5 Types of People That Would Benefit from Online Learning

types of people who benefit from online learningOnline learning has been providing people of all ages and abilities with numerous educational benefits for years. Classes are convenient, flexible for each student’s schedule, and effective. It’s no wonder why it’s become an increasingly popular way for many people to learn and further one’s education.

Even though everyone can benefit from taking online learning courses, there are a few types of people who would greatly benefit from the flexibility that online learning provides. Here are 5 types of people who can benefit from online learning:

Stay-at-Home Parents and Caretakers – If you’re caring for a young family or aging and infirmed relatives but are considering reentering the workforce eventually, you can expand your skills by taking online courses. You can get up-to-speed with new developments in your industry, whether it’s business management, education, psychology, and more, and the programs can help prepare you to enter or re-enter the workforce confidently.

Nurses – Nurses are busy people. Not only do they work to provide the utmost care for their patients, but they also need to keep up-to-date with the latest compliances and practices in their field. Take it from Megan Holtmann, 2016 graduate from McKendree Online. Working as a floor nurse, Megan wanted to move up among the ranks by furthering her education. Aside from her full-time job in St. Louis, she had also just gotten married, moved into a new home, and was coaching cheerleading. Thanks to McKendree Online, she was able to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Nursing Management. You can read her story in full here!

Military Personnel – No matter where our military men and women are in the world, they can always learn. Whether you’re in active or reserved duty, are busy transferring among different bases, or are a veteran, online learning can provide the perfect outlet for distance learning and furthering your education. When you enroll in an online program, you won’t need to worry about losing your credits whenever you need to relocate, and the programs are flexible enough to accommodate any deployments you may undergo as well.

Lifelong Learners – If you’re always on the quest for knowledge, online courses can help satisfy your curiosity and your need to learn new things. Not only will you be expanding your knowledge base, but you can also add even more accolades to your growing list of accomplishments on your resume.

Busy Working Professionals – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a hard-working employee, there’s always a way to learn more. Both entrepreneurs and working professionals can benefit from online learning since it gives them the flexibility they need to pursue their passions can help them accelerate to the top.

Ready to further your education online? Be sure to visit www.McKendreeIsOnline.com to sign up today!

Calling All MSN-Prepared Nurse Leaders! McKendree Online Is Now Offering Our New Doctor of Nursing Practice Program!

McKendree's DNP programAre you an MSN-prepared nurse leader who is interested in obtaining a doctoral degree in nursing? Then we have exciting news for you! McKendree Online is proud to be offering our new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Ethical Leadership program online!

This program is geared toward MSN-prepared nurse leaders who want to receive a high-quality educational experience at their own convenience. Our new program is perfect for the working practitioner and provides critical thinking exercises, ethical decision-making, and evidence-based practice, which will help you achieve positive health outcomes in the global community.

“The Division of Nursing at McKendree University is fully-vested in supporting the pipeline for nursing education, which serves as a means to produce dynamic nursing leaders,” said Dr. Kelli Whittington, Chair of the Division of Nursing and assistant professor of nursing at McKendree University. “McKendree University’s DNP graduates will play vital roles within their institutions and communities as they demonstrate the ability to utilize evidence-based practice to optimize positive health and wellness outcomes throughout our global community.”

Our DNP in Ethical Leadership program is a 30-credit hour program that will challenge you. You will complete this program as a group moving together through the program. This 2-year program, which extends over 5 semesters, is a sequential course of study and includes an Advanced Nursing Project. Additionally, you will attend two exciting one-year immersion residencies during each August of the two years you will be in the program!

“McKendree University’s Division of Nursing is thrilled to expand our graduate nursing program to offer the Doctor of Nursing in Ethical Leadership,” said Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe, Graduate and DNP Program Director and professor of nursing. “This doctoral program will serve our MSN graduate leaders and the organizations that we serve throughout the Metro East, Southern Illinois, and Kentucky regions. We are proud to be able to expand our nursing program to meet the growing need for nurse leaders who will guide the future of nursing practice.”

Want to sign up for the program or learn more about this exciting opportunity? Visit us online today at www.McKendreeIsOnline.com!

So You’ve Earned an Online Degree – Now What?

what to do after earning your online degreeYou decided some time ago to take the next step in furthering yourself and propelling your career forward. That’s right, you made the decision to go back to school and get an online degree! You’ve faced several challenges along the way, including juggling your work duties and family responsibilities. You’ve put in the time and effort needed in order to complete your online courses and are now the proud owner of your very own online degree. The question now is this – what should you do with your new degree?

Now that all of the hard work is over, it’s time for you to present your new online degree to the world. Our Career Services department can help you do just that! Our wonderful staff members work hard with you to help you promote your newfound skills better on your resume and can give you insightful critiques on your cover letters. They can also provide you with individual career counseling and can do mock interviews to help you prepare for the real thing. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these services; they are here to assist you and give you an edge for your life after McKendree.

In addition to visiting our Career Services department, it’s wise to begin working on marketing yourself and networking with others on LinkedIn. Update your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your new degree, and take the time to expound on the skills and tasks that you are now capable of completing, based on your online training. This can make you appear more marketable to future employers. Remember to use your network to try to find unique job opportunities for yourself as well.

Whenever you go in for an interview, make sure to describe how completing your online degree is a testament to your character and drive. Explain how your ambition, self-discipline, organizational skills, ability, and intelligence helped you set and achieve your many goals and how these skills can easily transfer over to the job you want. Your self-initiative will be a strong selling point in helping you present yourself as a responsible, dedicated future employee.

Getting an on online degree is sure to help propel you in the direction you want to go. Get your online degree here with McKendree Online! Learn all about our many online programs by visiting www.McKendreeIsOnline.com.

4 Ways Investing in Higher Education Pays Off

benefits of online learningThe decision to go to college or head back to school after a hiatus can be both exciting and stressful. You may have a road full of new challenges ahead of you, but those nights of writing papers, studying for exams, and preparing for presentations will pay off exponentially when you walk off the stage with your hard-earned diploma in your hand.

Here are 4 big ways that investing in education will pay off in the long run:

Earn More Money – Going to college or taking online college classes can help you earn more money over your lifetime as income increases with each additional degree you earn. According to a survey from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person with a high school diploma will receive median weekly earnings of $678 while a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn an average of $1,137 each week. On average, the more you learn, the more you earn!

You Develop Skills Desired in the Workplace – Aside from learning all about your core subjects, you will also develop skills that countless employers look for in an employee. These skills include critical thinking, communication, teamwork, time management, researching, writing, problem-solving, and computer literacy. All of these skills are cultivated as you work through your classes, making them valuable tools to help you snag the job of your dreams.

It Leads to a Better Quality of Life – Recently, the Institute of Higher Education published a study in which they compared college graduates with individuals without a college education to determine the difference in the quality of life. Overall, they found that college graduates had a larger number of hobbies, a higher amount of savings, and the ability to make smarter decisions as consumers. College graduates are also more likely to vote, volunteer their time to help others, and be open-minded to the ideas of others.

College Grads Have More Job Opportunities – Employers often seek out college graduates and offer them jobs and higher employment benefits than those without college degrees. Overall, college graduates enjoy a broader, better selection of employment opportunities than their high school graduate counterparts, and they are also more likely to receive employer-provided health insurance and pension benefits.

Want to get that diploma you’ve been dreaming of earning? McKendree University is here to help you. We were named by Affordable Colleges Online as one of Illinois’s top colleges and universities offering the greatest lifetime return on investment. According to Affordable Colleges Online, graduates from institutions like ours enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over 30 years and earn more on average than graduates from other Illinois institutions. McKendree was also recently listed among the top 100 “Best Online Programs” in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News evaluated more than 1,200 programs to find the best programs, and our online bachelor’s degree programs, graduate education program, MBA, and graduate nursing degree programs were listed in the top 100 in their respective categories. These programs, along with our new online programs, will allow you to get an excellent education that will take you places unimagined, all in your timeline and from the comfort of your own home.

There’s no doubt about it – earning a degree from McKendree University will bring great things to you. Get started today by visiting us online at www.MckendreeIsOnline.com!

Returning to College? 9 Smart Tips to Help Non-Traditional Students Apply to Scholarships

Scholarship Application Pro-TipsIf you plan on returning to college, you probably are trying to find various scholarships to apply to in the process. While there are countless scholarships available each year, finding the right scholarships for you can be challenging, and the competition can be quite fierce as well. The whole process can become overwhelming if you aren’t too sure of the steps you need to take to succeed.

Here are our top 9 tips to help you successfully apply to (and increase your chances of winning) the scholarships you want:

Don’t Wait – It might be tempting to procrastinate on applying to scholarships, but it’s wise to begin your search and application process as soon as you can. Take note of the scholarships’ deadlines and submit your material well before the deadline, if possible. Even when you’re currently enrolled in college, you can continue your scholarship research.

Use Your Professional Connections – You can find several scholarships if you look in the right places. Does your workplace offer any scholarships or tuition assistance programs? Are you a member of any professional organizations that might provide help in funding your education? Ask your professional connections for any leads they may have.

Fill Out the FAFSA – It’s necessary to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form when applying to all federal grants and loans. There is no age limit on federal student aid, so as an adult student, you can apply for assistance and loans just like a traditional student would. FAFSA may now begin to be filed October 1.

Apply to All Applicable Scholarships – Take the time to apply to each scholarship for which you are eligible. Read and follow the instructions carefully, and try to tailor your application to reflect the sponsor’s goals.

Small Scholarships Count, Too – Pursue less competitive scholarships such as those with small awards and essay contests. The competition tends to be less demanding, and the money will definitely add up in the end.

Personalize It – As you’re writing your essays, try to keep things personalized and passionate. Write about subjects that truly interest you, talk about your impact on others, and be sure to give plenty of specific examples. This will help make your application stand out from the crowd.

Stay Organized – It’s imperative that you never miss a deadline when you’re working on scholarship applications! Get yourself organized with a calendar and a handy checklist. Mark off the scholarships that you’ve completed.

Proof It – Before you send off your materials, make sure that you proofread both your application and your essay. Ask a friend or family member to check for any spelling or grammatical errors as well.

Make Copies – Remember to make copies of your applications materials before you send anything. Materials can get lost in the mail, and it will be your responsibility to provide your materials in case the review committee needs anything before making their decision.

We hope that these tips help make applying to scholarships easier!

Employees of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Can Now Get Their Online Degree from McKendree for Less!

Girl Scouts of Southern IllinoisAre you an employee of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois? Have you been thinking about furthering your education but are worried about your commitments to your family and work? We have great news for you – now you can get your online degree from McKendree Online for less!

McKendree University recently entered in a partnership with the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois in order to offer our various online program degrees at a great price. Employees of the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, including cookie managers and leaders, are now eligible to receive a 10% discount on their tuition when they choose McKendree Online!

“We were very excited when McKendree University approached us with this offer,” said Julie Fox, HR & Awards Program Manager of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. “Many of our employees work a flexible schedule that may have them working evenings or weekends. These online classes allow them to access material at a time that works for them and their schedules.

The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois formed in 2009 when the Girl Scouts of River Bluffs Council and the Girl Scouts of Shagbark Council merged to form the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. This great organization serves about 14,000 girls and nearly 5,000 adult volunteers in over 40 counties here in southern Illinois.

“Our mission at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place,” said Fox. “We want the same for our staff and believe that by offering educational opportunities we can help provide our staff with the courage and confidence to pursue their educational aspirations.”

If you’re an employee of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois and want to further your education without leaving the comfort of your home, you can get started today by visiting www.McKendreeIsOnline.com or call us at 1-800-BEARCAT!

McKendree Online Father’s Day Spotlight Feature: Introducing Bill Robbins!

Bill and his family
Bill and his family.

At McKendree University, we understand and appreciate the effort that fathers put in to raising their children every day. Countless fathers instill courage, strength, and knowledge in their children at an early age and strive to provide the best example for them. We see this every day on our campus, whether it’s listening to colleagues talk about their young ones or seeing all of the hard work and dedication that our students put into both their studies and their families.

Today, we are taking the time to honor our McKendree dads with a spotlight blog on one of our online students and fathers, Bill Robbins!

Bill is currently working toward an MBA and knows all too well the struggles of balancing scholastic and work duties with the duties of fatherhood. The father of four children, ages 19, 17, 16, and 15, Bill has become a bit of an expert at balancing school and home life. He says, “The balance comes from stripping away time previously spent on superfluous activities. There are only 24 hours in the day. Leveled up time management in my career has tightened the attention span for work-related issues and projects; similar time management techniques have helped in streamlining the ‘have-to’ activities like grocery shopping. Being more purposeful with time and efforts allows me to commit fully to work, school, and supporting the efforts and pursuits of my children and not becoming too sleep-deprived!”

Born and raised in Carbondale, Illinois, Bill says that he was fortunate to have his father in his life. “Looking back, I vividly remember how my dad was always there for me, no matter what,” he said. “He was my confidant, my hero, and my most trusted advisor. He rarely told me how to overcome, but he was always there to lend an ear, a shoulder, and the time to share his wisdom, allowing me the space to figure out my best path.”

A father now himself, Bill has loved watching his children encounter and experience new things around them since the time they were born. “It is always a wonder watching as they figure out the world, engage in new things, and grow from those encounters,” he said.

Like just about any father, Bill finds it hard to pinpoint his most cherished memory of raising his children. “I always seem to really remember when they were about the ages of 4, 5, 6, and 8 years old,” he said. “Any time we were out and about, I would often take a particularly old-fashioned, hilly road back to our house. I’d cruise over the hills ever so gently – with just enough lilt to send them into road-tickled laughter. Seeing all four in the mirror having the best time sent me soaring. It’s one of my best memories.” It isn’t surprising that this memory is one of his favorites since Bill tells us that his favorite thing to do with his children is to laugh.

Bill is grateful for the greatest and perhaps most difficult lesson that his father taught him – how to be available to his children without hovering. “The fine line between being supportive and becoming overbearing can be difficult to navigate,” he said. “My goal is for my kids to know that I am always there, and I support their well-made decisions, regardless of the outcome. When I cheer them on, it is not to push them toward something of obligation but to honor their hard work and dedication to their goals.”

To Bill, education means many things – rewarding, encouraging, and yes, in a way, selfish! He said, “Education is one of the most rewarding selfish pursuits. Conventionally, a selfish act does not have a positive connotation. However, education is a personal effort. Even though you are surrounded by others, led by mentors, and shared in tandem with peers, ultimately, the focus is one’s self. Few other pursuits are as fulfilling and rewarding. Additionally, furthering my education is an encouragement to my kids, even as they encourage me. They are seeing my commitment to this degree, and they get to cheer me on. They are seeing for themselves that formal education doesn’t have to end at the first graduation, but rather it is something to continue, be it toward a new degree or skill.”

Bill chose McKendree Online because of our long-established, highly reputable brick-and-mortar institution. “I am fortunate to be able to come to a school with a proven non-traditional program tailored for me,” he noted. “Our professors are top-notch, tuition is affordable, and McKendree is interested in my success. The intentional care and concern embedded in every aspect of the program is evident.”

Upon completion of his MBA, Bill believes that he can invest his degree into his current career trajectory and may even build upon it to pursue a degree in economics or law or maybe something entirely new.

Bill has some advice for those who are thinking about furthering their education – be diligent about mapping out time. “Block the schedule out and be true to the plan,” he said. “Each class has a syllabus to draw on for that plan. Your daily life should have a plan of action as well. Streamline your schedule, reduce the waste, and establish time management habits. Frankly, it takes care of the rest!”

We wish a very happy Father’s Day to all of our McKendree fathers, whether they are students, staff, faculty, or future Bearcats. We hope that you have a wonderful, restful day with your families!