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Liberty Insider

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Touching Surprise

by Rachel Camarota

One of the best things about Commencement is sharing that special milestone with family and friends — something that’s close to the heart of Liberty University alumna, Barbara Connor. At last year’s Commencement, Barbara surprised her family as she graduated alongside her granddaughter, Cheryl Dubrow.

Seeing her grandmother graduate was a complete surprise to Cheryl. "She didn't tell me," Cheryl said "because all of my family members — my mom, my brother, my father, and my cousin — are going to college right now, and she didn't want to take the limelight away from them. My grandmother has been a prominent person in my life and one of the main reasons I attended Liberty."

"Liberty has an amazing website," said Barbara. "It equips you with everything you need through the online library, discussion boards, and interactions with faculty and students."

Commencement 2015 was the perfect moment to celebrate Barbara’s and Cheryl’s accomplishments!

Postedby Rebecca Eller at 3:51 PM | Permalink

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Life’s Accordion Effect: Why God Allows Times of Uncertainty

Tamela Crickenberger 

Executive Director of Liberty University Online Enrollment

In 2005, God gave me a passion for women’s ministry. I was blessed to serve in my church as the women’s ministry leader, and I strived to touch the lives of women in a powerful way through the love of Christ. I felt like God showed me His purpose for my life, and my service at the church was the most rewarding thing I had ever done. During this time, I was working at (what I thought) was my dream job. I was considered an “expert” in my field. I spoke at national conferences, including one in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in front of thousands of people. It was something I never thought I would do, given my humble upbringing. In 2006, I started to change.  

The profession that had given me so much joy lost its glamour. I became unhappy with the direction of my career, and by the end of 2006, I knew God was moving me away from my current position. There were many things that confirmed I was supposed to move on, and I thought it was to do full-time ministry. I felt called to build a community center for women to help them grow mentally, emotionally, physically, and, most importantly, spiritually. I had the business plan created. I knew where this community center would be located. I even had the blueprints drawn up. There was funding for this new endeavor. So, I stepped out in faith in February 2007 and resigned from my “dream” job.  Then…

Everything fell apart. Two weeks after leaving my job, the funding disappeared. The property was no longer available. I was left with no job and an evaporating savings account. I started doing consulting work and took on some teaching jobs at a local community college to make ends meet. God was faithful, and I always had what I needed, but I have to admit that I was extremely discouraged. I prayed for a year before I acted, feeling confirmation that I was doing God’s will. How could I be wrong when circumstances had aligned so perfectly? I became bitter and resentful toward God. I wanted to do something big for Him, but I felt like I was being punished.

Looking back, this was all part of the process. God was refining me.  

As David said in Psalm 66:10-12, “You have tested us, O God; You have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.” 

Growth is never easy. There is usually pain involved, but after the growth is complete, we are better equipped to handle what the Lord has for us. If things had not happened as they did, I would not be where I am today. I would have never started working for a community college and learned that I loved higher education. I would have never considered moving to a city where my family knew absolutely no one to work at Liberty University. Every situation  every step taken  led me to where I am today. I believe that God will fulfill the vision He gave me almost 10 years ago, but it will be in HIS time, not mine. In the meantime, I remain a willing vessel who will delight in where He has me today and not worry about when, where, or how. He has me and my future in His hands. How much more capable is He than I? Infinitely more.  

As you continue your educational journey, remember to be content in the here and now – waiting on the Lord for His promises. Liberty University is here to support you along the way.

Postedby Rebecca Eller at 8:28 AM | Permalink

Friday, January 29, 2016

Overcoming the Online Education Stigma

by Dr. Emily Heady

Vice Provost, College of General Studies

Two years ago, U.S. News & World Report published an article called “Americans Doubt the Rigor and Quality of Online Education.” While the article acknowledged that most Americans recognized the convenience and cost-effectiveness of studying online, it emphasized the fact that roughly 25 percent of Americans believe online learning is inferior to in-class learning.

Often, when people compare in-class to online learning, they fail to realize how different the goals of the two environments are. In a traditional college experience, an 18-year-old moves away from home, lives in aresidence hallparticipates in social organizations and extracurricular activities, and — hopefully — chooses a major that leads to a productive career. Socialization and intellectual growth work hand-in-hand, contributing to the maturation of the student into an adult. However, in an online experience, the socialization aspects — while present — are vastly reduced, as every component of the educational experience is organized toward one end: teaching the student the material he or she needs to know.

Many of the negative stereotypes about online learning come from the belief that reducing the social aspects of college reduces the quality of education. While a campus experience can be intellectually stimulating and life-changing, so can online learning. 

A few facts about online learning:

  • Online programs are subject to the same standards as residential programs. Regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) applies to all of an institution's programs, which makes it Liberty’s responsibility to maintain the comparative quality of both online and residential classes.
  • While residential programs tend to represent a specific demographic, online classes have students of all ages, races, and geographical locations. The ability to study with a variety of people prepares students for diversity in the workplace. 
  • Online programs use creative teaching strategies involving technology, such as adaptive learning (delivering content piece by piece based on the student’s performance), or courses that increase student engagement. Multiple studies have proven that these strategies improve learning. 
  • Online programs often reflect real-world schedules. For most working adults, learning is rarely accomplished in a classroom; it happens on the job, via email exchange, or through self-directed study.
Postedby Rebecca Eller at 1:53 PM | Permalink

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Three S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions for Your New Year

by Zachary Woolard

New Year’s resolutions offer an opportunity for a fresh start, recommitted to our goals. However, often our resolve falls short, and we quickly slip back into old patterns. How can we break the cycle? Success is found when we make S.M.A.R.T. resolutions.

When deciding on a resolution, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Specific – What goal do I want to achieve? Why is it important to me?
  • Measurable – How will I see progress toward my goal? How will I know when I attain it?
  • Achievable – Is my goal within my reach? Am I setting realistic expectations for myself?
  • Results focused – How do my daily activities push me toward my desired outcome?
  • Time bound – When do I need to reach my goal? What deadline will create a sense of urgency?

Here are three starting points for your New Year’s resolution along with resources to support you as an online student. Remember to tailor these goals in a way that is both S.M.A.R.T. and meaningful to you.

1) Focus on Your Career

Students commonly pursue a certificate or degree in order to advance their careers. Liberty University provides many career-focused resources to our online students.

  • FOCUS 2 Career Assessment – Provides you with personalized career recommendations based on your interests, personality, skills, and values.
  • Résumé Critique – Gives feedback on how to improve your résumé as well as tailor it to a specific job opening.
  • Wynbi – Offers you a private network to explore career opportunities and network with other Liberty students and alumni. Wynbi helps you understand how your current abilities and experience align with hundreds of occupations and then suggests additional skills you may need to land your ideal job.

2) Connect with Your Fellow Students

With over 95,000 online students, Liberty University has a diverse yet tight-knit community. Our students enjoy the camaraderie and encouragement their fellow students offer.

  • Online Communities – Helps students feel connected through streaming video events, live chat, blogs, and social media.
  • Liberty Landing – Our private Facebook community connects students academically, personally, and spiritually through chat, photos, and friendly competitions. 

3) Find Support in Your Coursework

Reach out for extra help with difficult subjects. Whether you need assistance in math, writing, or study skills, we have professional tutors ready to help you succeed.

  • Tutor.com – Receive one-on-one tutoring in over 40 subject areas — available 24/7.
  • Online Writing Center – Helps you identify, understand, and improve your academic writing.
Postedby Rebecca Eller at 8:22 AM | Permalink

Monday, December 14, 2015

We’re Committed to Your Success

Need career advice? The Liberty University Career Center is available to provide expert guidance. Whether you’re still in school or you’ve been an alum for many years, the Career Center is an excellent resource. Here are a few tips:

  1. Your résumé is always growing. As you progress professionally, so does your résumé. Let us help you keep it updated through our résumé critique service and take advantage of our variety of sample résumés for reference.

  2. You never “arrive” professionally, so keep looking for opportunities to sharpen your skills and increase your network. Don't become complacent. Remember that the job market and economy are always moving, and your ability to grow is integral to your professional success. We can help you remain a polished professional. 

  3. Invest in future Liberty University talent. Don’t forget your roots at Liberty! The successful professional you are sure to become has been largely formed through your interactions with professors and peers while in school. When you have opportunities to hire candidates in the future, we hope that you will remember your alma mater and consider actively recruiting Liberty talent. 

  4. We’re here to serve you even after graduation. We serve the entire Liberty family — not just current students. We are dedicated to your professional success and want to continue to help you well after you leave campus.

Connect with us at www.Liberty.edu/Careers or Careers@liberty.edu

Postedby Rebecca Eller at 8:55 AM | Permalink


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