Tag Archives: tips

6 Tips for Choosing the Right College

Picking a college can feel like deciding the rest of your life, but with all of that pressure it can be difficult to fully consider all of your options. Breathe, relax and follow our tips on how to pick the right college for you.

studying for college

Image by Moyan Brenn used under the Creative Commons license.

Tip 1 – Ranking

There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right school, but one of the first ones that many students look at is the college’s ranking, both nationally and internationally. If you want to go to one of the best schools or find a school that specializes in your study area, rankings can be an easy way to narrow your search. Just remember that the higher the school is ranked, the more competitive it is and plan accordingly.

Tip 2 – Program

If you already know what you want to do, choosing a school based on the program of study it offers in your field can be a huge draw. Most universities have online directories where potential students can look at specific classes on offer, as well as teaching staff, alumni in the field and any connections to businesses that a school may have. Taking your program into consideration is a great way to help you choose the right school, especially for those who are already thinking about their after-college careers.

Tip 3 – Social Scene

While no one is suggesting you choose a school solely based on the clubs and intramurals offered, the social aspect of college is an important one for many students. As you embark on a new journey, usually living away from your family and friends for the first time, it’s nice to know that there are societies or clubs that you can join where you can feel accepted.

Tip 4 – Diversity

For many students, the element of diversity is very important. Whether you’re coming from a small town and want to meet people from different places or you’re from a big city with lots of diversity already, checking the diversity of each college before applying can be a big help in avoiding disappointment.

Tip 5 – International

Some students will be looking to study abroad during their time at school, so being aware of what options there are for international travel could also be a deciding factor in choosing a college. Simply doing your full four years abroad in locations like the UAE, Europe, China, Australia, South America, etc. is also a possibility. You’ll want to set yourself up for success, so double-check any language requirements, international rankings and the program you’re interested in to make sure the school fits all of your needs, not just your wanderlust.

Tip 6 – Location

Location is a key element that many students don’t think about before choosing a school. Of course, there is the proximity to home to consider, but students should also think about their new location and the opportunities it affords. For instance, if you are doing an agricultural degree, studying in a big city doesn’t make much sense. Keep in mind that if you’d like to do internships or get work experience while in school, the location of your university has to be somewhere that facilitates those desires.

We hope this has helped, just remember to research the schools you are interested in, and you will be halfway to narrowing down that exhaustive list!


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Turning the Tables: Interview Questions Job Applicants Should Ask

What interview questions should you ask an employer? ... photo by CC user nuggety247 on pixabay

We’ve all been there: you’ve found the perfect job for your skills, but the boss is too bossy, the co-workers are childish and malevolent, or the attitudes are just a bad match. It makes you miserable. While interviewers are usually the ones who ask questions, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask interview questions to the interviewer. Reverse the roles – here’s how.

What Principles Does Your Company Value?

This question can tell you about what it might be like to work with the employer. If they embrace customer service, for example, and put a lot of focus on that, it might be a great place to work if you’re being hired in that department. It can also clue you in to the long-term viability of the company.

If their values are fuzzy or you can’t quite tell what the company stands for, it indicates problems at the middle and upper management level, mostly upper management. Not good.

Does Your Organisation Embrace Ideas From Employees? How?

If you’re the creative type, you want to know that your prospective employer values ideas. Do they have an employee suggestion box? If so, how many employee ideas get implemented within the company in a year? If there is no formal process, it means that the employer either doesn’t value employee ideas or the management isn’t thinking about growth in this way. It could be bad if you like to engage management and affect the company’s growth.

Do You Help Employees Down On Their Luck?

It happens to the best of us. What happens when an employee is down on his luck? Does the company offer a community disaster fund or financial help for families in need within the organisation?

If not, does the company help connect you to financial firms? For example, Ferratum offers cash loans for people on Centrelink – an important way for low income people to dig themselves out of financial trouble. If employees are at or near the poverty line, this could mean that the employer isn’t paying them enough. If there’s no financial assistance for low income employees, run.

What Are Your Plans For Growth?

This is a great question to know the answer to, and it gives you an idea of the long-term potential of your job.

Who Previously Held This Position?

This seems like a pretty straightforward question, but the implications embedded in the answer will tell you a lot. Ask the person interviewing you, what happened to the previous employee.

If the person was promoted, for example, it could tell you about potential possibilities for advancement in the company. If they were fired, you might not be able to get details as to why, but it tells you that there are rules which are taken seriously, which you can then ask about. If a person quit, this can be (but isn’t always) a bad sign.

What’s The Next Step?

This question is almost never asked, but should be the last question you ask before walking out the door. Get specifics from the interviewer. If he or she seems wishy washy or unwilling to give you details about the hiring process, or if the interviewer doesn’t seem like he or she wants to answer your question, it might be best to move on. Either the employer isn’t serious, or there are serious hiring and HR problems developing within the organisation.

Jamie Holden is a personnel director. He likes to write about what works for him on the web. His posts appear on many finance and employment blog sites. 

5 Tips for Growing Your Own Bud

By following these tips for growing your own bud, you'll have a mini-cannabis plantation on your hands in no time ... photo by CC user A7nubis on wikimedia

Collegeblender.com does not support any illicit activities and does not support the use of drugs.

Unsatisfied with the herb that you’ve been getting from your usual sources? Maybe it’s time you tried to grow your own strain. Follow these tips for growing your own bud, and you’ll have an endless supply of your own herbs that will take you to another plane of consciousness, and quite possibly win you new friends

1) Read a ton of books on how to grow marijuana before planting your first seed

Growing marijuana isn’t as simple as sticking some seeds in some topsoil, watering it everyday, and waiting 70 days to get some world class weed. There is a lot of nuanced steps required that if taken, will make your crop stand head and shoulders the garden variety grass grown by local amateurs. Scour the web, order books from respected authorities in the field, and begin your education. Class is in session.

2) Seek out your first seeds from a reputable seed bank

While you might be tempted to use seeds from bud that you bought from your friendly neighborhood dispensary or dealer, more often than not, these strains tend to be underwhelming, especially when re-grown. By ordering top quality seeds from industry leading providers, you’ll be ensuring that your batch of green is top-notch from the get go.

3) Use coconut soil instead of peat moss to grow your seeds

A common mistake by amateurs is that they use peat moss to grow their dope. This is bad because the properties of this type of top soil makes it more likely that you’ll suffer root diseases due to the density of peat moss when it gets wet. Coconut shell soil is spongier, allowing the roots room to breathe after being watered.

4) Regulate your humidity and heat levels properly at different points in the growing process

Of all the issues facing marijuana growers, maintaining the right balance of humidity and room temperature is the most vital step in turning a batch of seeds into a bumper crop. While the most particular growers call for changing conditions in different growth phases, maintaining your nursery’s room temperature between 75 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and its relative humdity at around 45 to 50% will produce the best quality marijuana.

5) Cut, dry, and cure your crop at the 70 day mark

After 70 days of growth, your dope flowers should be ready for harvesting. Hang them upside down until dry, then cure them for at least two weeks…


… and there you have it! With these tips, as well as a few other pointers here (http://www.zambeza.com/blog-top-10-mistakes-when-growing-cannabis-and-how-to-avoid-them-n19), you’ll have a wonderfully chronic smelling plantation in no time flat. Good luck in your dope growing endeavors!


So, You Want to Become a Special Education Teacher?

Special education teachers work with special needs students who must have their lessons tailored to them on account of physical or intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, or mental health issues. Some special needs educators have a classroom of their own, while others co-teach in an inclusive setting where special needs students are integrated with other students their own age.

If you’re interested in special needs education, you’ll need to develop a specific set of skills through education, and obtain state licensure. However, education and skills alone can’t make a great special education teacher. You’ll also need to possess a genuine love of children and a set of other crucial personality traits, including patience, creativity, optimism, a good sense of humor, and strong organization skills.

Education and Licensure Requirements for Special Ed Teachers

At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in order to teach special needs students. However, many states require special education teachers to have a master’s degree. You can earn your bachelor’s degree in an academic subject or elementary education, with a special education minor, or you can go ahead and major in special education. If you major in special education, you can use your master’s program as an opportunity to specialize in a specific field of special education, but otherwise, your master’s program should focus on the basics of special education so you can obtain licensure. You can even earn your MS in Special Education online while working as a teacher, allowing you to earn teaching experience at the same time.

Once you have your degree, you’ll need to obtain special education teaching licensure. The requirements for teaching certification and licensure vary from state to state. Look up the requirements in your state so you know what to expect.

Personality Traits You’ll Need to Succeed

On top of an advanced degree, in order to make it as a special education teacher, you’ll have to really, genuinely like children. Real children, especially those with special needs, may act out when they feel upset or overwhelmed. They may not always be as polite as you’d like, because they haven’t learned this skill yet. They may be messy, and may even struggle with hygiene issues. Special needs children especially require a non-judgmental teacher who can accept them as they are.

You’ll need to be very intelligent to make it as a special education teacher, since you’ll have to adapt your lessons to fit the needs of each individual student. That means you’ll need to closely observe your students and do a lot of thinking about their strengths and weaknesses, their learning style, and how you can make lessons most accessible to them.


Other strengths you’ll need include strong organizational skills, not only so you can provide the students with the structure they need, but also so you can stay on top of federal and state guidelines and meet any deadlines that may arise. An even temperament and a good sense of humor will help you make lessons fun for your students, who will enjoy class much more if they can sense that you’re enjoying their company.

Creativity will help you find novel ways to present information so that special needs students can understand it. Patients will help you weather those moments when special needs teaching inevitably becomes frustrating. Optimism can help you remain hopeful and encouraging when students struggle to master subjects or lessons, as they almost certainly will.

Job Outlook for Special Needs Teachers

While the need for talented special needs teachers is great, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t predict as much growth for this field in the next 10 years as it does for some others. Special needs education is expected to grow by about six percent over the next decade. So, while there are special needs jobs out there, you’ll need to keep in mind that the field is very competitive. Do everything you can while in school to improve your chances of landing a job. Speak with career counselors, network as much as you can, practice interviewing techniques, make sure your social media presence is squeaky clean, and polish your resume until it shines.

Special needs teachers need a specialized education that can help them make lessons accessible to their students, and they need a specific set of personality traits in order to succeed in the field. If you think you have what it takes to be a great special education teacher, don’t hesitate to start on the path to special needs teaching today. The field needs more educators like you.

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