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American Education Week

This week is American Education Week and we have much to celebrate! We celebrate educators who are working hard to meet all levels of student need. You can multi-task to create rigorous curriculum opportunities as well as plan empowering social-emotional learning activities. The care you have for students drives positive relationships. You realize that students come from all different circumstances, and every student needs someone who believes in him. You are TEACHers! If you agree, do you feel like celebrating or do you sometimes feel like you are losing steam? You may sense that teaching is always changing, and you feel swept up in an unfamiliar dynamic.

Balancing curriculum and social-emotional learning

This is unfamiliar territory for many teachers as we are not used to teaching social-emotional skills. We all agree though, that it is essential and even fun to do so. Why the worry and why the resistance? Because change is difficult, albeit inevitable. Our resistance is not so much about the assumption that social-emotional learning is a vital new component of teaching than it is about our own feelings. Thankfully, we can change the way we feel. We need to realize that our role is a helper role. When we help learners, we are fulfilling our destiny. Be happy, grateful and thankful that we are exactly where God wants us to be at this precise moment.

Building positive relationships

Certainly, 100% of teachers would agree that positive relationships are key, but many students who need us most are the most difficult to reach. This requires a teacher mindset that is willing to reflect and change. Change is difficult, and people resist it. If you are using a student’s bad behavior as the reason you cannot develop a positive relationship with him, then you are only seeing the behavior, not the student.

We cannot develop a relationship with a behavior; we can only develop a relationship with a person.

Do you know what that student likes or is passionate about?  If you don’t know, then you haven’t yet begun the work of developing a positive relationship with him or her.  Give yourself and your student some time, and cultivate the relationship just like a seed in a flower pot.   

 Students come from all different circumstances

Every student needs someone who believes in him. This is a call is worth celebrating! God has put us in charge of carrying this out for our students. Of course, it may be difficult to believe in a kid who doesn’t believe in himself, but this is our greatest calling and it is our highest honor.

     Teachers do have a lot on their plates, it’s true.  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by an ever-increasing variety of challenges. But we also have an excellent sense of what we need to do, how we need to do it and why we need to do it. We have an important mission for every student in our care.


Remember - we have the brains, power and creativity to succeed!

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All too often, we face life looking forward or looking backward.  We forget about the moment that we are in. 

I remember as a new mom, looking forward to having my children develop and grow because I was excited to see them enter the next phase or leave that ugly phase of something like teething or potty training!  What I often had to tell myself is to just enjoy the moment that is right in front of you today.  I had so many people tell me that it would go by fast and that I would want those days back.  Guess what?   They were right.  Now that I have one in college, two in high school, and one in elementary, I find myself thinking about how quickly life has changed and that it went by way too fast! 

I have found that as I grow older, that I need to find joy in each day and enjoy the moments that are right in front of me.  It’s not always easy; because let’s face it, some days are just not worth repeating!  However, remember that God has a purpose for trials and joys we face.  It’s not always clear at the time, but we are learning and growing in our faith. 

I lost my mother-in-law and three grandparents all within a span of two years.  Each one of them had a special place in my heart and always took the time to enjoy the people that they were with each day.  They had a wonderful way of listening and being focused on the conversation with those around them.  Too often our schedules and technology distract us.  Perhaps we could learn how to seek out time like this?  After all, how do you want to be remembered?  As someone who was always appears stressed and on a tight schedule or as someone who took the time to enjoy the people around them?

Whether you are looking forward to a vacation, being done with classes, or even the end of this day; take the time to reflect and find the blessings and joy you encountered today.  It might have been a smile from a student or patient, a phone call from a friend, or a hug from your child or spouse.  Treasure those moments and thank God that it was part of your day.  The more you seek out these moments, the more joy fills your heart and you will soon find yourself filled with blessings each day.

Rejoice in each day of life - and choose joy.

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Theresa Kyle Special Education Specialist

I am a behavior intervention specialist/special education co-teacher at an elementary school and teach Master of Education Special Education courses at Northwestern College. Throughout my years of working with different students, I’ve been able to help many students, teachers, and parents better understand learning behaviors and ways to promote healthy and positive responses for learning. As you read this email I received from a cooperating counselor, you may be able to connect the situation to one of your own student’s behavior.

Good Afternoon Dr. Kyle,

My name is Ms. A.; I'm John’s (fictitious names) counselor at B. Middle School. John’s mom indicated that you found a way to positively motivate John.  His behavior is "OK" at this point.  We conferenced with mom last week and she suggested that we communicate with you about strategies that you utilized that helped John succeed. Our biggest concern is that he is NOT working in his classes.  He is beginning to resist by crying and being incredibly negative.   He's a wonderful young man, with a beautiful smile and we want to help him feel successful.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

This was my response:

     One of the most important things to do for John is to build a cooperative relationship with him - he will not participate at all unless he feels some kind of positive connection. He loves to be called on and noticed for his verbal contributions, and he is exceptionally well-spoken with a great vocabulary. His accommodations should include numerous ways to allow him to participate verbally, and speak into a voice-to-text type of machine or app. He will be able to participate very meaningfully because he is very bright, however this won't look like the normal, 'sit-and-get' strategy that teachers probably expect. I would begin by making sure that John is in co-teaching classrooms with flexible, creative teachers who are willing to think out of the box. Just sending John out of the gen ed. classroom to do the very same thing with the sped teacher is not an option.

      Because John is smart and well-spoken, but impatient, he will have trouble relating to peers unless these peer-to-peer collaborative support relationships are structured by the teacher for success. If teachers assign John to a para or sped teacher, this could easily develop into a very non-productive, co-dependent relationship. When paired with one or two cooperative peers, John can be the “Materials Master” who checks to see if things are in order for the group. He can be the “Calculator Leader” in his group to check the math problems when the group has completed their task.  He can be the “Praise Person” and reward his team with a Tic-Tac mint every time the team completes a step in the process of the lesson or the assignment. This helps him focus on the lesson, and it helps his team members keep him on task because they want that mint or reward!

"We need to structure the lesson so that he will be able to participate and feel successful. Right now, he feels inept and he knows that school is not the place where he feels smart or capable."

     John is like most kids in that he loves to be a teacher-helper; he loves positive teacher attention. He used to sit at the computer and point to things that the teachers were discussing by moving the mouse around the screen to emphasize the part of the page she was discussing. He can manipulate pieces of a story and he can do math by dictating what the steps of the problem are. He can explain how things are done to another peer. There are lots of ways that he can show what he knows other than traditional work, so check with the specialist (the sped co-teacher) and plan to make tweaks in the lesson so that John can explain his thinking.

Basically, we need to structure the lesson so that he will be able to participate and feel successful. Right now, he feels inept and he knows that school is not the place where he feels smart or capable. Rather than get into a struggling match to make John fit into our mold of what we think middle school "work" should look like, we need to help him feel smart and capable by creating learning experiences that are structured to allow him to participate and show what he knows. As he grows in positive experiences, he will become stronger and more resilient.

Our classrooms and students are constantly changing. It's important to continue our education in behavioral strategies and trends for the many different situations that can be presented. As teachers, our ultimate goal is to inspire and encourage each of our students and prepare them for their bright futures. For more information about ways to broaden your educator skills, see the online Master of Education and endorsement programs.

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I have worked with adult learners for over twenty years.  During my time as an instructor, mentor and advisor, I’ve found the importance for adult learners to remember that it is not always possible to do everything. The below list is meant to lighten your day and to help keep an open perspective that you are not alone. We acknowledge that balancing a job, your family and now your studies, is not easy and that you can give yourself permission not to get all items on your to-do list done.

5 Things That You May Not Get Done On Your To-Do List

  1. Cleaning your closets.  Many of you clean your closets once or twice a year or refer to spring cleaning as a national holiday.  Be prepared - you may not get your closet cleaned this year.  Remember the rule that your children may have used on you, “as long as I can shut the closet door, it is clean.”  Yes, we all want clean and organized closets, but it can wait until you have that research paper handed in by 11:59 pm on Sunday night or a break between the terms.

  2. Laundry. Many of you may be like me, it is a rarity if I do not do at least one load of clothes a day.  A family of 6 seems to create a load of towels daily. You can lower your standards and do a load of laundry on days that your posts or responses are not due.  On the bright side, laundry is also one of those tasks that allows you to read a chapter or two between the washing and drying cycles.  Multi-tasking as an adult learner is an essential survival skill. 

  3. Grocery shopping. Yes, we all need to eat.  Consider this time while you are going back to college as an opportunity for your family to eat those items in the pantry, you know the ones pushed a little further back.  However, I would still check the expiration dates.  Who knows, you and your family may have a new found love for green beans and a can of cream of mushroom soup.  However, don’t skip on your meals. You still need the nourishment for your body and mind to assist in your learning.

  4. Present shopping and celebrations. Life should be filled with little celebrations, and you don’t want to forget anyone’s special day.  Don’t forget the convenience of online shopping.  Amazon Prime delivers free in two days.  Gift bags are an easy way to make any gift look great.  Have a few gift bags and tissue on hand and you can have a gift wrapped as you are walking out of the door.  Amazon Prime is not only great for saving time, it is also a great source to purchase textbooks with free shipping.  It only takes a few textbooks and your membership before year pays for itself.  As an adult learner, you also need to celebrate the little things.  Refrigerators are not just for grocery lists and kids projects, they are a place to celebrate your A on that research paper!

  5. Sleep. I cannot lie, you may get a little less sleep than you’re ordinarily accustomed to receiving.  By far, many adult students state that their best and most productive work is done after everyone in their home is in bed or early in the morning when no one is awake.  Taking time to sleep and take care of yourself, is important for your academic success.

Being an adult learner is not always easy, but the rewards far outweigh the “not dones” on your to do list. At Northwestern, we walk alongside students in support of their academic pursuits. We admire your diligence and tenacity to improve your life by continuing your education.  We are proud of your accomplishments – we’re with you every step of the way! Connect with Kaylyn or Crystal if you're interested in more information about the Northwestern online programs. 

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For adult students, there can be a big time gap between completing one degree and pursuing the next. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been in the academic mode, or maybe you’re continuing right after a semester of classes. Either way, it can take time to adjust to new paper deadlines and adding one more thing to the busy-ness of life. We have found 3 keys to success to creating your personal “class time” - a consistent study time, location, and environment.   

Here are 3 tips to help you be successful in your adult learning and academic goals:

  1. Set a routine

Develop a routine of studying in the same location, approximate time, and even day. Find where you work best and can feel distraction free. This doesn’t have to be one sole space, if you can focus at a favorite coffee shop, your kitchen table, or empty classroom, it will establish a routine for motivated work time. You don’t have to pressure yourself to finish everything in one sitting. It can be helpful to break up the class assignment across the whole week with at least one rest day. Some students segment their homework time into 20-minute sections, which means you focus your attention on one item and then take a 5-10 minute break to stand up, go for walk or drink water in between your next 20-minute work session. Be creative with your in-between times. You may have a few minutes during a prep period or work break that you can check discussion questions; this way you can think about your answer on your drive home and be ready for your established study time. An academic routine integrated into daily life will help you meet your goals.

 

  1. Create study rules, and follow them

If you sometimes struggle with not feeling productive during your personal class time, set a few ground rules that you stick with. You might make sure you have a comfortable environment in your study area. Make sure you’re not having in back or wrist pain, have good lighting, and all your materials ready before you start. Your study zone might be sitting down with a cup of tea after the kids are in bed. Whatever you decide as your rules set them and stick to them. The structure lends to success.  

 

  1. Build a support team

Having accountability and support in pursuing your academic goals will help keep you on track. Share your routine and rules with your family, friends, and kids - so they can help you not only stick to it, but it also allows them to assist in creating the positive learning environment. Share with your classroom or co-workers about your academic pursuit. It will create mutual encouragement, and give them an opportunity to share in your accomplishments. What better inspiration than to show you’re always learning too! You may be an inspiration for others to pursue their goals. 

At Northwestern, we are your first academic support team. We are here because we want to make a difference in your life and walk alongside you to achieve your academic goals.

For more information, Take a look at Northwestern's adult learning online programs. 

 

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There are endless reasons to continue your education in earning a BSN. Each student has his or her own motivation, but we are here to help you broaden your career options, grow in your nursing abilities, and achieve your education goals. Whether you’re preparing to transfer directly from your ADN at a community or technical college, or you’ve been working in the field for years, you may be asking how do I even start!

First things first, contact an enrollment counselor to guide you through the steps.
We will look at your unofficial or official ADN transcripts to give you a transcript evaluation and optional plan of study. You can get a good idea of what YOUR program will be and when it works best for you to start. Next, you can apply for free and send official transcripts for admittance, file FAFSA and request financial aid, and the final step happens when we register you for your first semester!

5 tips in preparing for a successful and stress-free transfer:

  1. Prepare early
    The sooner you begin thinking about continuing your degree, the better. Give yourself time to plan when you’ll be finishing your associate degree, taking your boards, and beginning your BSN. When you choose your BSN program early, you can be best prepared ahead of time. You can take nearly all of the electives while you are still in your ADN program. If you would like help in choosing which courses to take, contact an enrollment counselor and your current academic advisor.

    If you’re already a working nurse, it’s not too late. We’re here for support and help make the program fit you.
  1. Know what transfers
    One of the most important steps in transferring is knowing exactly what courses transfer and what courses you will have left to take in the BSN program. You can send unofficial transcripts to an enrollment counselor to be evaluated. We have partnerships with many community colleges to make the transferring of credits as seamless as possible.

  2. Determine financial aid
    Continuing your education is more than a time investment. There are many ways to help make your program affordable - from grants and loans to specific RN to BSN scholarships. You will want to file FAFSA. Our financial aid office will put together an aid package for you, and we have additional resources for you.
  1. ASK questions
    No question is a dumb question. Enrollment counselors can answer questions about program requirements, course structure, financial aid, academic tutor support, or what happens if you need to stop out a semester.
  1. #Goals
    Have you ever met a nurse that wasn’t busy? Neither have I. You will be busy, but your determination to be a life-changing caregiver is the same determination to complete your degree. You CAN balance work, family, and life. An online program does give you flexibility. Believe in yourself to embrace the hard work in takes to achieve your goal. Write down your goals so when it gets tough you can refer back. Having a good support system that includes your advisor, professors, family, and friends makes all the difference.

As a nurse you are a lifelong caregiver. You have the heart to care for the most broken and worn down people of the Lord’s kingdom – take courage!

Read more about how to transfer your ADN credits toward your BSN. 

Leslie Stover

Meet the Author

Leslie Stover is the marketing coordinator for the Graduate School and Adult Learning programs. She has worked as an enrollment counselor for the RN to BSN program assisting nursing students to begin their BSN program.

Leslie is a graduate of Northwestern College. Since her graduation she has completed her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She enjoys helping working professionals achieve their education goals and professional development through Northwestern programs and continuing education events.

 

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The clinical/practicum component within the online RN-BSN program is flexible and tailored to coincide with the demands of a busy schedule. There are three nursing courses that have a practicum component; each clinical looks a little different. 

In NUR 280A: Health Assessment, the clinical requirement is basically completing health assessments within a virtual program known as Shadow Health®.  The clinical experience is 30 hours that can be done on your own time and in the comfort of your own home.

In NUR 460A : Nursing Leadership and Clinical Scholarship the clinical/practicum experience equals 30 hours (all inclusive).  Some of the activities you will need to complete include: Leadership Practicum: 16 hours (based on approved learning contract)

  • shadow a nurse leader (someone in administrative, not clinical position) for 8 hours and observe their leadership/management roles and skills
  • interview 2 people: one nurse managers or nurse leaders (not resource or charge nurses rather in administrative position) and one non-nursing administrator/CEO. 

Discussion board postings, IHI open school modules; Clinical leadership paper reflecting on your clinical learning.

The last nursing course with clinical/practicum is NUR 440A: Public Health Nursing.  This course has the largest clinical component.  It totals 60 hours but the majority can be completed when it is convenient for you.  Some of the clinical requirements include: interviewing a public health nurse, completing a windshield survey of your chosen county, observing care in home health and hospice settings, observing a minimum of four hours in either a WIC clinic, school, or Occupational health; you also need to complete online activities, case studies and discussion boards related to clinical content.  Although there is a lot of work with this clinical, most of it can be completed on your own time.  The only things that will need to happen during the workday are the observations. 

The goal of this clinical/practicum experiences are for you to see different perspectives of nursing practice.  While you are experienced nurses, you may not have had administrative or public health roles.  Often if one has the opportunity to see multiple perspectives in health care, it creates an understanding of why certain decisions are made (or not made) and gives an organizational or systems perspective rather than only from an individual viewpoint.

Of course, you can always contact us for more specific information about clinicals and course requirements. Take a look at all the courses you would take in the program: RN to BSN Program Requirements.

Karie Stamer

Meet the Author

Karie is the program director for the online RN to BSN program. She has extensive teaching experience, including a strong background in the development and delivery of online courses. She previously taught at Northwest Iowa Community College for seven years.

Karie also worked for the Orange City Area Health System for 11 years as a nurse manager and floor nurse. She has worked in medical/surgical nursing, obstetrics and mental health. She advises all of the online students and teaches several classes both online and on campus for traditional students. Karie truly has a passion to develop nurses for life-long care-giving and servant leadership in the healthcare. 

 

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We often have questions about how and when students can pay their bills. We're here to help make the process as convenient as possible from online payment options to monthly payment plans.

Student payments are due by Aug. 1 for first semester and the second semester payments are due in January of the new semester by the 3rd of the month.  Online students can view their bill online and should make their payment online on MyNWC under the billing information tab.  Payment can be made with e-check which has no fee, or by credit card which has a 2.75% fee.

Online students may pay on a monthly payment plan by completing a monthly payment form found on MyNWC under the “billing information” tab. Enrollment for 1st semester must be made by July 1 and by November registration for the spring semester. The monthly payment form needs to be completed and e-mailed to the business office by the date given on the form.  First semester payments are due July 25, August 25, Sept. 25, Oct. 25 and November 25.  Second semester payments are due Dec. 25, January 25, February 25, March 25 and April 25.

There is a $25.00 per semester set up fee for monthly payments.  There is no additional interest charged unless your payment is delinquent.  In that case, you will owe the entire balance and interest of 1% per month will be charged to your account.  Monthly payments may change if you change your class schedule, or there is an adjustment in your financial aid package. 

If you do not make your payments, you will not be able to get into classes, Blackboard or use campus facilities and we cannot give you a diploma or release your transcripts or credentials until you settle your account. We are always available if you have questions!

please call (712-707-7125) or email (debw@nwciowa.edu).

 

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I’m excited to write my first blog for NWC!  What’s even more exciting is that I can write this about a fun topic that we all enjoy – FOOD!!

My goal in this particular blog is to give you some helpful hints in trying to manage your family schedule, homework, household chores, etc. while feeding your family.  I know that there are some weeks it seems I especially fail, so don’t feel that this is by any means the best method.  Make sure you give yourself some grace!

So how do I figure out what meals to make and when?  Well, there are a couple of methods I use:

  1. Look in your cupboards and freezer to see what should get eaten or has been sitting there for awhile. If it’s not expired, determine what you can make with it.  You can do this by looking for recipes that contain a few of your ingredients.  One of the best websites I have found for this is allrecipes.com

  2. Take out one of your cookbooks each month and view recipes you think your family might like. Lay them out on a calendar according to your schedule. Make sure you write down any ingredients you might need for your next shopping trip to the grocery store. 
  3. Once a month sit down and plan your meals according to the family’s schedule. Make sure to assign crockpot meals for those nights you are super busy!  Also, build in some leftover days.  Make sure you take advantage of tailgates and fundraising meals at various churches, schools, and other community events!  It’s a great way to ease the stress and mess!
  4. Look at Pinterest for Meal Planning tips and tricks. Find one that best suits your family, food preferences, and lifestyle.
  5. Cook some meals with friends! I love to get together with a group of friends and set aside a day to make meals!  You can also participate in meal exchanges too!

Ultimately, you need to do what works for you and your family’s lifestyle.  No matter what or when you eat, I would encourage you to enjoy your family meals together!  Ask each other about your day.

Remember some of the fondest memories are made around the table together!

 

Crystal Rozeboom

Meet the Author

Crystal is the senior enrollment counselor for the Graduate School and Adult Learning. She works especially with our Master of Ed. students in preparing to begin the program, advising on classes and registration, and walking alongside as they progress to graduation. She also completed her MBA online all while balancing work, family, and life commitments.

When Crystal is not helping students register for classes or building programs of study, you might find her training for a half-marathon, cheering on her kid's sporting events, volunteering at church or cooking meals with friends.

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Enrolling in college is a huge step—whether it’s transferring to complete your degree or returning to school after some (or much!) time away. The transition to completing homework and writing papers on a regular basis can be intimidating at first. Thankfully, you are not alone in making the transition to academic life.

Academic support is available to those who need it. As a writing tutor at Northwestern, I have had the opportunity to help students in an online nursing course. While tutoring looks a little different online, we are here to walk alongside you to help you succeed.

Receiving feedback will be a different process than face-to-face interaction. However, the quality of support will remain the same, and tutors will go out of their way to help as much as they possibly can.

When asking for help, students will typically send an electronic copy of their paper via email. Depending on tutor and student availability, a time can then be set up to discuss the paper. Tutors aren’t there just to provide constructive criticism; we will also help you to capitalize on your strengths and grow more confident in whatever subject you’re working in.

In the past, I have done Skype meetings or phone calls. In-document comments are also provided so students can more easily remember the comments discussed. From there, any further questions can be discussed via email, phone call, or Skype. Tutors are willing to help and work to meet your schedule demands.

While college or grad school can seem demanding, you are not alone. Whatever class you’re concerned with, from math and chemistry to writing, support is available. The tutors are willing to work with your schedule to provide you with the best feedback possible. For more information about tutoring services, contact your Northwestern academic advisor.

 

Nicole Montgomery

Meet the Author

Nicole is an English Teaching major at Northwestern. She serves as the Blog Coordinator and writing tutor for the Graduate School and Adult Learning. As a writing tutor, she is already preparing for her career goals of teaching 8th, 9th, or 12 grade English.

Nicole also has a passion for social justice and young adult literature.

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