Archive for ‘Blog Posts’

New iTech Camps Will Super-Charge Your Child’s Imagination and Design Skills

Posted on: May 18th, 2017

Does your child’s mind whiz and whir like an amazing inventive machine? Just wait until they step into one of our NEW iTech camps!

Activ8 is excited to shine a spotlight on our incredible new iTech camps! These technology and design programs bring every camper’s fantastical ideas to life, all by using their favorite creative tools like Minecraft®, LEGO® and Android®. These camps, held in partnership with Black Rocket, are powered by imagination and full of hands-on design and creation. From start to finish, students will create masterpieces to share with the world and continue developing at home. The programs allow the students to mirror real-life experiences and the collaborative nature of the design process. Check out a few of these incredible camps below!

  1. Creating Android Apps
    Campers will learn how to create mobile apps for Android powered phones and tablets using the Android AppInventor interface provided by the MIT Center for Mobile Learning. Students will learn to design, build and install their apps on Android devices. Will your camper make the next hit application? They’ll certainly get a start here!
  2. Minecraft Designers
    If your camper loves Minecraft and always wanted to design their own world, this class is their dream come true! They will learn how to create a custom map, the basics of creating 3D models using a new software to design your very own objects, how to build with Redstone and Command blocks, and create custom textures to import at home or share with friends.
  3. Robotics Programming
    Campers will learn to build and program a real robot! Will they make their robot dance or navigate an obstacle course? They will assemble robots using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics System and then program it to do whatever they want it to do!
  4. Web Design
    Campers will learn how to set up a website and maintain it efficiently. They’ll learn how to code the bones of a site in HTML, and will also get some experience using both a plain text editor and various authoring tools to maintain a site and create content for viewers. This camp will spark what may become a lifetime of curiosity and creativity in digital design.
  5. LEGO Film and Stop Action
    Campers will make LEGOs come to life! They’ll bring their favorite action figures or LEGOs and create a short film with friends. Whether they want to recreate a scene from Star Wars or design a world of their own, this camp brings their dreams to the screen, and will teach them skills to keep making films after the week is over.

And that’s only the shortlist.

Check out the full list of iTech classes.

And see the FULL Activ8 summer catalog over more than 60 camp choices here.

Gloomy Weather Gives Way to Magical Meeting of the Minds

Posted on: May 18th, 2017
Serendipity in English

Gloomy Weather Gives Way to Magical Meeting of the Minds

The Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center is the heart of Continuing Education here at Columbus State University. Every day, this humble building gathers people of all types, ages, interests, and backgrounds together under one roof. But whatever their differences, they all share something timeless and magical — the desire to learn, to explore new things, to meet new people and develop new skills.. Everybody who enters this building has that desire. When you put all those remarkable people together, some amazing things are bound to happen.

Paige Burns, an English language instructor through our ELI (English Language Institute) program, had one such experience when a tornado warning prompted a class of much older learners to join her in her English classroom. Read her heartwarming story below.


“It was just another stormy spring day in Columbus when a tornado warning turned into a magical meeting of minds.

I teach a class of upper level international students who are enrolled in English classes at the ELI . We were in the midst of a lesson on prepositions when I saw movement in the hallway outside my room and a head poked in to inform me that we were under a tornado warning. Since my inner classroom is considered a “safe place” on our emergency plan, I began to resume my lesson when I realized the voices in the hall were of other misplaced learners in our building searching for shelter.

These newcomers were from a class with CALL (the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning) studying the origins of the English language, I couldn’t help but smile at the serendipity of the situation as I let them know that while they were studying the origins of English, my students were learning how to use English in the first place.

Although I briefly felt concern about how my shy young learners, aged 17-30, would feel as their safe learning environment was invaded, I opened the door and welcomed in a class of senior adult strangers.

My students remained in their seats while we pulled chairs around the exterior of the room to make room for approximately 20 more guests. I smiled, then took a deep breath from the front of the room and thought, “Now what?” as many pairs of eyes stared back.

After discovering these newcomers were from a class with CALL (the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning) studying the origins of the English language, I couldn’t help but smile at the serendipity of the situation as I let them know that while they were studying the origins of English, my students were learning how to use English in the first place. An immediate murmur of interest wafted around the room, and I invited my young learners to introduce themselves. What happened next could never have been scripted. Entire conversations were developed, questions were asked and answered, common places of interest were discussed, and laughter was shared.

The clock ticked away and the thankfully mild storm outside was forgotten. The encouragement that was poured into my students that day surpassed the rain that poured around our building, and the winds of affirmation that built their confidence that day far exceeded the destruction from the winds outside. It was a magical meeting of minds – young and old, native and international – but all students, all lifelong learners.”

This is the kind of wonderful story that happens all the time here at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center. Young and old, international and domestic, artist and engineer — all find a home here to build on their skills, and to meet and support one another in their journeys.


Credits:
Blog Post by Scott Berson
Original Story by Paige Burns

 

 

 

These Eight Fun Camps Will Teach Your Child #RealSkills This Summer

Posted on: May 4th, 2017

Eight Camps Teaching #RealSkills from #Activ8! 😀

There’s no reason to choose between fun and learning this summer—with Activ8, kids can choose from a huge collection of exciting summer camps that use crafts, games and other fun activities to teach valuable skills or life, school and the future. Here are the Top 8 camps that your child can enroll in today to learn #realskills this summer.

  1. Activ8 Academy
    Each session of the Activ8 Academy is a whirlwind of games, crafts, fun and learning to get your child curious about life. Learn about farming, the natural world, animals, bugs, history, other countries and cultures, and much more! You child will come home each day with dozens of stories to tell you about what they learned that day.
  2. After-School Munchies
    The bus is gone, the backpack’s off, and the long school day is finally over. Time for a quick snack! This camp will teach kids how to quickly and safely prepare wholesome after-school munchies using just a toaster and microwave oven. They’ll take a few steps towards independence, and give you a little bit of a break too!
  3. Wild for Wellness
    It’s never too early to start thinking about health and wellness, but talking about these things can be a drag. This camp will teach kids fun tips on nutrition, grocery shopping, exercise and more! A friendly trainer certified by the American Heart Association will even visit to give lessons on first aid, CPR and healthy living. Your child might come home asking for broccoli  instead of chicken fingers for dinner!
  4. 104 Keys to Success
    There’s no way around it—knowing how to type is absolutely essential to succeed in today’s world. This camp ditches books and drills and makes typing fun to learn with games and activities. Hunting and pecking for the right key will be no more—kids will learn how to use all ten fingers to to up their word count and type comfortably. That next school paper will be a breeze!
  5. Sew Organized
    Our sewing classes are some of our most popular camps, but this one is a two-for-one. Kids will learn sewing skills to create their very own art supply case to take home. At the end of the week, they’ll know how to put their sewing skills to use to create more crafts in the future, and they’ll have a great new home to store all their sketchpads, markers, paints and pencils too!
  6. Etiquette Camp
    Etiquette—we all know its important, but does it have to be so stuffy? Nope! Kids in our etiquette camp will learn how to be suave, savvy and confident in all social situations. Important dinner? Table manners down pat. Firm handshake? You bet. Plus they’ll learn about body language, writing thank you cards, making introductions, talking on the phone, and so much more.
  7. Animal Care and Training
    Having a pet is a crash course in responsibility. This camp will teach kids all the basics of caring for a furry friend, as well as the reasons why animal companions deserve our love and affection. Kids will learn all the needs of pets and how to meet them, proper animal safety, and even about jobs and volunteer opportunities to give them more hands-on experience with friendly animals in the community.
  8. Chess Basics and Advanced
    It isn’t called the “game of kings” for nothing. Chess teaching advanced, lateral thinking skills that will serve your child well in any endeavor. Plus, it’s fun—otherwise, why would we still be playing it 500 years later? Beginners will learn the basics of the pieces, movement and strategy. After, they’ll learn about pins, forks, skewers, tempi, sacrifices and zwischenzugs to outsmart their opponent and win the world’ most famous game.Didn’t see one that caught your fancy? No problem! There are dozens more camps available to fit any child’s needs and interests.Give our catalog a look through and call or register online today!

So, Activ8! Summer Camp 2017 begins May 30th and runs 10 weeks through Summer. Spark your child’s imagination by building your own schedule from 200 Camps. in  7 Categories for ages 4 to 18.

Ready to Register? ACTIV8ER.com
Or Call: 706.507.8328

See you soon,
The 2017 Activ8! Staff

These Sports and Dance Camps Will Activ8 Your Child’s Potential

Posted on: April 27th, 2017

 

Is your child getting off the couch and out into the yard enough? Are they putting down the tablet and picking up some athletic skills?

Sports & Dance

It’s time to Activ8 your child’s physical potential with our amazing athletic camps. Choosing a sport to play can be tough, which is why these camp provide an excellent opportunity for your child to try as many different ones as they like!

We have different camps, sports, games and activities every week to help your child unlock their talents.

Here are our Top 8 choices for athletic camps this summer.

  1. Cougar Swim Camp
    Come on in, the water’s fine! Kids will advance their swimming techniques beyond the ‘doggie paddle’ and learn how to stretch and warm-up so they don’t get cramps. They’ll enjoy team water sports, guided instruction, and freestyle fun time during this wet-n-wild week!
  2. Soccer Camps
    The CSU Soccer Camps will focus on making the game of soccer easy and fun. Learn the skills of dribbling, passing, kicking and making goals. The typical day includes fundamentals and match-related skills training, tactical awareness training, and competitive group and team play. Players of all skill levels will benefit from the program. Lunch included!
  3. Basketball Camps
    Campers will improve their basketball skills and focus on the fundamentals by participating in different contests and scrimmages. The Columbus State University Men’s and Women’s coaching staff will provide instruction.
  4. Pop Dance
    Grab your squad and join us for a week of FUNky dance! Your child will learn how to do the “Thriller”, Cha-Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and more. They’ll be the ultimate kings and queens of POP at the end of this camp! Rock that next sock hop.
  5. Rock Climbing
    Your child discover the basics of rock climbing by learning knots, belaying, rappelling, anchoring, and more. They’ll learn the limits of their own strength and use teamwork to climb their way to the top, cheering each other on and making friends along the way.
  6. CSU Dance Camp
    The CSU Dance Team is one of the South’s best Division II programs, and they’ll be the instructors for this incredible camp! The camp will feature all types of dances, and will include both team and individual work. The week will end with a grand finale on Friday for family and friends.
  7. Mad About Sports
    This camp will let your child take a test-drive through tons of different sports, and make some great friends while doing it. Campers will take turns playing flag football, soccer, kickball, ultimate frisbee, disc golf and more.
  8. 44th Annual Cheerleading Camp
    The CSU cheerleaders have won several Peach Belt titles, are nationally ranked and have won seven National Championships, and they’ll lending their expertise to teach this amazing camp! The 44th Annual Columbus State University Cheerleading Camp will feature cheers, chants, jumps, dances and a lot of fun. The week will end on Friday morning with a Pep Rally for family and friends. The CSU cheerleaders will offer guidance in all aspects of cheerleading.Don’t see anything that strikes you fancy? No problem! We have dozens more camps to fit any child’s interest. Give them a look and register today!

So, Activ8! Summer Camp 2017 begins May 26th and runs 10 weeks through Summer. Spark your child’s imagination by building your own schedule from 200 Camps. in  7 Categories for ages 4 to 18.

Ready to Register? ACTIV8ER.com
Or Call: 706.507.8328

See you soon,
The 2017 Activ8! Staff

The Top 8 Summer Camps for 2017

Posted on: April 26th, 2017

 

Our selection of amazing summer camps  can be a little intimidating when you’re trying to figure out which ones your child will like best.

We can help get you started with our Top 8 summer camps for this year. These camps are a nice sample of all we offer—sports, technology, art, science, drama and more. Want to see more? We have dozens more camps available for kids of any age and interest. Check it out now and register today!

  1. Activ8! Academy (ages 4-7)
    Each session of the Activ8 Academy is a whirlwind of games, crafts, fun and learning to get your child curious about life. Learn about farming, the natural world, animals, bugs, history, other countries and cultures, and much more! You child will come home each day with dozens of stories to tell you about what they learned that day.
  2. iTech: Minecraft Designers
    If your child loves Minecraft,  this class is for them! They’ll learn how to create a custom map, the basics of creating 3D models using a new software to design objects, how to build with Redstone and Command blocks, and how to create custom textures to import at home or share with friends. To access their project at home students, must own a PC/MAC version of Minecraft.
  3. iTech: Robotics Programming
    Build and program a robot. Will your child make a robot dance or navigate an obstacle course? They will assemble robots using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics System (http://mindstorms.lego.com/) and then program it to do what they want it to do!
  4. CSU Cougar Swim Camp
    Come on in, the water’s fine! Kids will advance their swimming techniques beyond the ‘doggie paddle’ and learn how to stretch and warm-up so they don’t get cramps. They’ll enjoy team water sports, guided instruction, and freestyle fun time during this wet-n-wild week!

    Activ8! your child’s Summer with a flexible and refreshing camps in 7 categories. Register: ACTIV8ER.COM


  5. Create-A-Lot: Anime and Manga
    Kids will learn drawing techniques, character and story development, plus get some insight into the Japanese culture of mythology and martial arts in this fun and informative camp!
  6. Brain Training: Mathacadabra
    Throughout history, great minds have been fascinated with mathematical puzzles, paradoxes and wonderments for the sheer joy of it. In this course, your child will kindle that spark of curiosity and passion for math beyond the “drudgery” of formalized step-by-step curriculum.  They’ll also put the “magic” in the math, literally, as they learn, practice and perform math-based magic tricks.
  7. Scienceologies: Mad Science!
    Conduct crazy physics experiments and create fascinating chemical potions. Your child will become a mad scientist with safe household products as you learn to perform a variety of experiments.
  8. So, You Wanna Be a YouTube Star?
    Want to be a YouTube sensation? Your child will learn the basics of making YouTube videos all the way from filming to editing. They will also create a plan for a YouTube channel so that they can become the next YouTube sensation.

So, Activ8! Summer Camp 2017 begins May 26th and runs 10 weeks through Summer. Spark your child’s imagination by building your own schedule from 200 Camps. in  7 Categories for ages 4 to 18.

Ready to Register? ACTIV8ER.com
Or Call: 706.507.8328

See you soon,
The 2017 Activ8! Staff

Project Management: The Heartbeat of Business Innovation

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017

A business is like a machine. Normal, daily operations, like selling products and doing payroll, are like an oil that keeps the organization running along smoothly. They’re what make the business work. But no endeavor can survive for long by just going through the motions and keeping things at the status quo. Projects are special undertakings that businesses start when they want to innovate, begin something new, or take on an especially important task. Projects are things that businesses and organizations do to get something done, and to get it done as efficiently, quickly, and accurately as possible.

When businesses, nonprofits and other organizations want to get something done, they turn to project managers. Project managers use time-tested skills and strategies to lead people, usually a specialized team, to accomplish a certain goal. These goals could be anything. They could be to design a new company brand or to figure out how to optimize the manufacturing process of a product. It could be restructuring the company budget, or it could be creating a website or app. Project managers follow a timeline of initiating, planning, designing, executing, controlling, and finally closing a project. They must lead their team and adjust aspects of the project throughout this entire process.

Project managers work in virtually all job fields, though they are most often found in the construction, engineering, communication and computing industries. Most often, they work with a client. The client will tell the project manager what they want accomplished, in what time, and at what cost. The project manager will then work with a team to plan the most efficient way to accomplish that goal while ensuring the quality of the end result. In this way, project managers are experts at prioritizing work and managing a team. These skills are universal, and can be translated into any other type of work later on.

            Columbus State University’s Department of Continuing Education offers both individual classes and a full certificate in project management. In the ruthlessly competitive business environment, knowing how to effectively manage major projects for different organizations is an extraordinary advantage. Those who already have management experience can learn proven methods of refining project workflows and ensuring team cohesion, all while adding a valuable credential to their portfolio.

            The Project Management Certificate consists of six classes, including four required classes and two electives. You will learn the fundamentals of managing project scope, budget, and quality while ensuring clear and cogent communication between team members. After this, you can learn specialized skills through classes in managing portfolios, coordinating schedules, dealing with risk, and using different software applications. Upon completion of the certificate, you will be prepared to pursue the Project Management credentials from the Project Management Institute, or to fulfill your required professional development units.

What kind of learner are you?

Posted on: November 8th, 2016

What kind of learner are you?
How to choose between classroom and online learning

Going to school is a fantastic investment, whether it’s to get a degree, prepare for a test, pick up a new job skill, or just try out a new hobby. But now there’s more than one way to learn: you can pack your bag and head to the classroom or make some coffee and fire up your computer at home. Many classes at CSU’s Department of Continuing Education are offered either online or in-person at our Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center. But which one is best for you?

Online Courses Are Great For Those Who…

Love Convenience. Many online classes begin whenever you sign up, and finish whenever you’ve completed the coursework. No need to wait for an instructor to be available to teach the class- it’s always open and ready. If something comes up at work, or you need to take a vacation, you can just put the class on hold for a while and come back to it later.

Need to work around busy schedules. You’re a supervisor at work, always first-in and last-out. You’ve got three kids at home and four meetings across the city. Online classes are a great choice for when you have to fit your education somewhere in the frenzy of other responsibilities you’ve got in your daily life. No need to change your hours or find daycare for the kids- you can do your classwork on your laptop or phone whenever you can pin down a quiet moment or two during the day.

Are self-disciplined. Online courses are great because you can work them around your schedule, but the caveat is that you have to be the one to do that scheduling. Without a set meeting time (and a professor reminding you about due dates for assignments), grades can start to slip through your fingers. If you’re disciplined and enjoy going at your own steady pace (not a teacher’s), then online classes are best for you.

Traditional Classrooms Are Great For Those Who…

Like to have a network of people to learn with. It’s often helpful to be with a group of people who are all trying to learn the same material that you are. People are social- they like to do things together, and that includes learning and studying. Being in a physical classroom allows you to work with your classmates to solve problems and wrestle with harder material, and in the process you’ll develop a much stronger foundation than if you’d just sat down and memorized information. And who knows, you might make some new friends as a bonus.

Like getting immediate answers to questions. Online classes certainly have instructors who can respond to questions, but they can often only be reached through email, and your grip on the material may slacken by the time they get around to sending you a response. Being in a traditional classroom means that you can always raise your hand and ask a question from your teacher when you need help.

Prefer structure. Sometimes structure can be more helpful in learning than absolute freedom. Just like scheduling in a time for exercise every day makes you more likely to actually go out and do it, having a specific time every day for a class can help keep you focused and on track to get the grades and knowledge you want.

Each style of learning has its pros and cons. Find out which one will work best for you, and then take the next step by registering for a course or certificate program at csucontinuinged.com.

 

-Scott Berson, Student Assistant

Easy Tips for Cyber Security

Posted on: October 4th, 2016

Four Cybersecurity Tips You Can Take Advantage Of Right Now

 

The internet is central to most of our lives, whether we want it to be or not. Facebook has more users than most countries have citizens, and two out of every three people in the United States have a smartphone. Credit and debit cards are all routed through internet processing centers (like our own TSYS), and websites like Amazon or eBay store millions of profiles with customers’ names, addresses, phone, credit and even social security numbers. All of this has only happened over the last twenty years, and that pace is speeding up, not slowing down.

The extraordinary speed in which internet technology has inserted itself into every aspect of our lives brings with it a tremendous need to learn how to guard our information from thieves. The battle between hackers and security is a relentless one, and it will probably never end completely. But there are a few simple defenses that you can use right now to drastically lower your chances of being stuck high and dry from a cyber thief. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so we have created a short list of ways to bolster your defenses and keep your records safe.

 

  1. Use long passwords, if you can. The number-one strength of any password is its length. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. A short four or five-word sentence could take millions of years to crack, whereas a name and birth year would only take a few days. If a site does not let you use long passwords or demands that you use special characters and capitals, make sure you write your password down and keep it in a notebook. You can also use free password manager programs like LastPass or Dashlane, which will automatically generate strong passwords for you and save them in a locked database on your computer.

 

  1. Don’t open any links or attachments you do not immediately recognize. The easiest way for a virus to get on your computer is to download an infected file from a sketchy website or email. The best way to prevent this? Don’t download anything that you don’t expect. If an email from a friend asking you to open an attachment seems strange, send a reply asking for clarification. Do not download the file. Stay away from file-sharing websites that can be havens for viruses, and only download files from programs and websites that you know and trust. If you aren’t sure, you can call the University IT help desk at 706-507-8199 and they can advise you on whether or not the file or site is legitimate.

 

  1. Keep your programs and drivers updated. When developers release programs like Microsoft Office or iTunes, they will sometimes make mistakes and leave “holes” in the code that can allow criminals to swoop in and monitor what you are doing. They can track your keystrokes and watch you type your password, or they can lock your program and steal your files for ransom. Developers often catch these little holes very quickly, and they send updates to “patch” them. But you have to be the one to install those updates. Go through your programs and check to make sure all of them are airtight and up to code.

 

  1. Install a basic anti-virus software and scan every few weeks. As long as you follow the first three tips, the good news is that you really don’t need to go out and buy a brand-name antivirus software. At best, they will stop a few annoying toolbars from being installed. At worst, they will actually become the annoying toolbars. There are many free and lightweight antivirus programs that will provide the exact same scans as the expensive ones. Do some research and find one that seems best for your needs, and then run a scan every few weeks to make sure some spyware or adware hasn’t slipped through.

 

If you follow just these four steps, you will eliminate a huge amount of risk. This October, take a few minutes of time and make sure you are secure. You’ll be glad to rest easy.

 

-Scott Berson, Student Assistant

Beyond the Dance Floor: The Benefits of Classical Ballet

Posted on: September 6th, 2016

There are so many activities to choose from when you are considering enrolling your child in an after-school program. Looking over catalogs of camps and programs can become overwhelming, and it can be difficult to find the one that you know your child will benefit from the most (while also having fun and making friends).

Luckily, CSU’s Dance Conservatory offers convenient classical ballet classes year-round. Never considered ballet before? Here are a few facts about the exceptional benefits of ballet that could make your decision a lot easier.

  • Children learn to follow instructions. Ballet is an art of precision, grace and discipline, and your child will learn to follow the directions of their instructor to learn new positions. It takes work and practice to learn ballet, and our instructors work with children individually to help them gain the confidence and discipline needed to explore all the different forms and movements in classical ballet.
  • Ballet improves coordination, balance, flexibility and confidence. Your child will become more confident in how their body moves, and will have an edge on their peers if they decide to pursue a different activity or sport. They will also begin to become comfortable with performing in front of people, which can help lessen fears of public speaking or other types of performance as they progress through school. Throughout all of this, your child will be getting their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day each time they come to class.

When children are young, learning new things is easy for them. They can adapt to new things and learn quickly. When a child begins ballet at an early age, they are not only learn a wonderful art form but also prepare themselves to be successful in all aspects of life.

As a child continues to pursue ballet, you will see more benefits emerging, especially during their pre-teen and teenage years. They will develop lean and strong muscles, greater self-confidence, a body-positive image, and a profound appreciation of the discipline needed to get amazing results.

If you have never considered ballet as an after school activity for your child, now is the time! With so many benefits; phyisically, mentally and emotionally, there is no doubt that ballet can improve both you and your childs lives! For more information, click here.

5 Reasons You Must Network

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

It was the summer I moved to Columbus, and I was having lunch with my mom at Fountain City Coffee. I had yet to find a job, and was unfamiliar with my new city and its people. The only sure thing I had was a passion; so it wasn’t surprising that as I looked out the window across the downtown street, the Rankin Arts Photography Center caught my eye.

Being an introvert at heart means exploring new territory on my own just doesn’t come naturally. So I went home that day still curious, not realizing that just over a year later my own photography would be on display in the building’s gallery. Two exhibits, eight photographs, one award, and a family of photographers later, I feel more than at home in the Rankin Arts Photography Center. And it’s all because I took a photography class.

If you’re looking for a way to build your network professionally or personally, you have to creatively see knew groups of people you’ve never met before. Whether you want to expand your business network, build your clientele, or meet social contacts, professional and personal enrichment classes are the perfect unexpected venue for growing your network. Here’s why:

Meet Like-Minded People

Networking is all about making connections. When you take an adult education course, you can build and expand your network by connecting with the other people in the class. You’re likely to already have some common interest, which makes breaking the ice easy. Once you get the conversation going, talk about professional organizations. Meeting similar-minded people puts you in a better position to hear about potential work opportunities, trends and happenings in the industry. If you are the creative type, you may even find someone to collaborate with in the future.

Network before You Need to

Building a network of people who trust you and think you’re talented will be invaluable to your career, and especially during a job search. But before you build your network, you have to build relationships. Taking a class, any class, gives you the opportunity to talk to people. Go to lunch. Meet for coffee before class. Stay connected through social media.

The key here is to understand that networking is not about what other people can do for you. Networking is about listening and helping others. One of the best ways to build a relationship is to offer something without expecting anything in return. Consider what knowledge, skills, or insight you have that you can offer. Adopting a selfless approach could prove to have more value. This generosity is sure to be appreciated and more likely to be reciprocated should you need to ask for something later.

Meet professionals in your field

Continuing Education instructors are field experts and well connected in their respective industries. They also are likely to have numerous personal and professional contacts that they might connect qualified students with. Another advantage here is the small class sizes and direct one-on-one opportunities you have with the instructor and other participants. This lessens the intimidation factor associated with traditional networking events, because it eliminates the obligation to work the room. For those who are introverts, this is especially advantageous, but everyone truly benefits from the familiarity of a small group. It’s an opportunity to focus on the quality of the contact rather than the quantity.

Everyone is Important

Whether you’ve registered for a course in Pilates or project management, everyone around you has potential to influence your network. Your classmates might hold positions at varying levels of authority in an industry. Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Remember names and titles, exchange business cards. This could be your next reference.

The key is to find people who are experienced in the areas in which you want to be experienced; talk to them and learn from them. Seeking out people that are in a different field than yours can also be beneficial. It’s likely that you can offer them something they cannot do on their own, and this leads to an opportunity for collaboration.

Challenge yourself to Learn a New Skill

There is a saying that if you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Taking a course means that you are looking for new knowledge, and that means you are in the presence of someone who knows something you don’t know. Learn from this person. Ask him how he got into his current job, what resources he recommends, what books you should read. Consider also taking a personal enrichment class that challenges you creatively. You never know, maybe that new watercolor technique you learned is your next great icebreaker at a future networking event.

If you are interested in learning a new skill, be sure to check out the many class options offered by Continuing Education at Columbus State University.

By Amanda Lewis
Continuing Education Programming Manager

Get More Done with Less

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

Dreaming up new ideas that captivate an audience is never easy. It can be challenging to successfully market any organization. Creating a stream of new content that provides insight into your industry, business or profession is even more difficult.

One approach we’ve taken to overcoming these challenges is crowdsourcing (or enlisting the services of a number of people via the Internet). If you have never used a crowdsourcing site before, these services can provide a low-budget resource for getting the work done efficiently and effectively.

Continuing Education at Columbus State University discovered crowdsourcing years ago. We needed a way to generate some fresh ideas that would effectively reach our target audiences without breaking the bank. The solution we found to this dilemma was a crowdsourcing site called CrowdSPRING.

CrowdSPRING allowed us to tap into the collective intelligence of designers across the globe to generate catalog covers that brought a fresh quality to our literature.

Here are 5 popular sites that can help fill your professional service gaps at a low cost through crowdsourcing:

1) fiverr – From copywriting and advertising, to market research and business plans, fiverr offers more than 5,000 services. You’ll have to take a look for yourself to see everything this
site has to offer.

2) CrowdFlower –Give your data meaning with human intelligence. This is a crowdsourcing site that provides data support. How cool is that? Here’s what they do:

  • Data Collection & Enhancement
  • Data Categorization
  • Content Moderation
  • Search Relevance Tuning
  • Sentiment Analysis

3) freelancer – Turn big ideas into great products. Whether you need a website or a new robot for your space station, follow a simple 3-step process to get competitive quotes for any of the
following jobs you need done:

  • Design & Web Development
  • Graphic Design & Illustration
  • Logo Design
  • Mobile App Design
  • Software Development
  • WordPress Websites
  • Product Design
  • 3-D Renderings
  • SEO & Marketing

4) getacoder – Fast and simple job outsourcing. This freelance website was initially launched as a place where companies can hire computer coders. Now they feature freelance programmers, web designers and freelance writers.

  • Hire experts in the following areas:
  • Web Design & Development
  • Database Development
  • Writing
  • Computer Platforms
  • Engineering
  • Testing / Quality Assurance
  • Project Management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Training
  • Programming
  • Graphics / Multimedia
  • Marketing / Promotion
  • Gaming
  • Security
  • Administrative Support
  • Legal

5) upwork – Find freelancers to tackle any job, any size, any time. Get quality results from a talented professional or a team of skilled experts. Anything that can be done on a computer, can be done via upwork.

You will find:

  • Web Developers
  •  Mobile Developers
  • Designers & Creatives
  •  Writers
  •  Virtual Assistants
  •  Customer Service Agents
  •  Sales & Marketing Experts
  •  Accountants & Consultants

These sites are just a few of the crowdsourcing options available online. You can also find crowdsourcing sites for real estate investing, funding business projects (crowdfunding), video production and even daily tasks. Check out TaskRabbit.

Crowdsourcing can be a great way to generate new ideas, information, funding sources, or to get work done, but not all sites are created equal. Do the research to be sure you find the best resource for your specific need. Examine the site specifics such as payment terms, customer recommendations and rights/ownership of the final project before you invest in a crowdsourcing solution.

The Power of Body Language

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

Tonya Reiman is the author of The Power of Body Language. She is a media expert and featured body language expert, having shared her body language analysis and knowledge with various newspapers, radio and TV media such as Fox, Fast Money and others.

We grabbed a few pointers from Reiman’s book, How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter, to share with you on how to exhibit body language that will help you be most successful in
the workplace.

Here are a few facts:

  • Research has shown that as much of 93 percent of our interpersonal communication is
    nonverbal.
  • As much as 38% of all communication comes through vocal cues other than speech.
  • Paralanguage – the pitch, loudness, rate, fluency and all other vocal signals aside from speech – accounts for almost 40% of our delivered message.

Eye Contact

Looking into another’s eyes says that you are confident, trustworthy and know what you are talking about. It also demonstrates that you listen. Studies also show that employers view prospective hires who don’t make eye contact as unattractive, detached, passive, incompetent or lacking composure and social skills.

Tip: Be cautious about making too much eye contact, which can be an indication of lying.

Smiling

Several studies have found that people are smile are believed to be more warm, honest, polite, kind, sociable, happy and successful.

Tip: Practice your faces in the mirror! What may feel like a relaxed expression, may actually come across as a scowl. Likewise, if you smile too much, you may get stuck with a “perma-grin” expression, which can be less trustworthy.

Gestures

Gestures can communicate a variety of messages. For example: leaning forward, smiling and head nodding indicates positive feedback, while fold arms, constant eye movement or squinting
communicates negative feedback. Tip: Avoid nervous gestures such as clicking your pen, tapping your foot or fingers, pacing or swaying.

Handshakes

Even how you shake another person’s hand communicates something about your personality and leadership traits (or lack thereof). To correctly shake hands, approach the person, lean slightly forward, look them in the eyes, extend your right hand so that it is parallel to the ground and introduce yourself. Offer full palm and meet theirs entirely. Grip should feel easy and comfortable, exhibit confidence and enthusiasm. Shake 2-3 times, then release.

Tip: Do not give a limp handshake, attempt to show dominance, shake hands with cold or sweaty hands, or act overly affectionate.

With these basic tips, you will nail any job interview or networking encounter, showing that you are confident, but not arrogant; interested, but not creepy; sincere, but not fake.

To learn more about effective communication at Columbus State, Continuing Education.

IACET Accreditation Means High Quality for Yo

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

Columbus State University, Continuing Education is pleased to announce that it has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, CSU Continuing Education has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As an IACET Authorized Provider, Continuing Education offers CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

“We are pleased to welcome Columbus State as our newest Authorized Provider organization,” stated Michael Todd Shinholster, President of IACET and Founder and Principal Consultant of Culture Bridge and a Lecturer of International Business at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. Shinholster added, “Columbus State University, Continuing Education joins nearly 650 organizations around the globe that have had their programs vetted by third-party experts in continuing education to ensure the highest possible standards are met.”

In order to achieve Authorized Provider accreditation, Continuing Education completed a rigorous application process, including a review by an IACET site visitor, and successfully demonstrated adherence to the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard addressing the design, development, administration, and evaluation of its programs. The organization has pledged its continued compliance with the Standard, and is now authorized to use the IACET name and Authorized Provider logo on promotional course material. In addition, Continuing Education is now linked to the IACET web site and is recognized as offering the highest quality continuing education and training programs.

Learn more about the IACET accreditation process.

1. Can you tell me about the IACET?
IACET stands for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (CE/T). They are THE standard for CE/T in terms of quality assurance.

2.  What does this recent accreditation mean to CSU?
For Continuing Education (CE), earning Authorized Provider (AP) status means that we have implemented policies and procedures to ensure the highest quality for our students. It means that we take great care to hire qualified staff and instructors, that we focus on learning outcomes and create systems to support our students, and that we regularly assess the quality of not only our programs, but our operations. However, all IACET CEUs awarded at CSU MUST be developed & administrated by CE, per IACET standards, since our department is entity who applied for AP status.

3.    Does this mean any person who needs CEU’s for their profession can get them at CSU?
CE has been awarding Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as outlined by the Board of Regents since our inception in 1978. However, IACET CEU’s specifically can only be awarded on courses that follow the rigorous quality assurance policies and procedures. Depending on the profession, we may or may not have courses available to meet the ongoing credentialing requirements.

4.    Why did CSU apply for IACET accreditation?
CE made the decision to apply for AP status because we knew it would help us become a better organization providing better quality for our students just by going through the process. And certainly, being recognized by the leader in the CE/T field helps lend credibility to and confidence in our programs.

5.    What was the process like when applying?
We started by attending a workshop for those interested in applying for AP status last June. We worked on the application and submitted in March. There are 10 categories in the application, each one focusing on a different segment of policies or procedures designed to ensure the best product for our students. Any new policies/procedures were implemented for several months before submitting the application to make sure that they “worked” for us. After submitting the application, we received feedback via an initial review. We responded to, elaborated upon, or revised particular sections that we received feedback on. Once the response to the initial application review was approved, a site visit was scheduled. During the site visit, we had to show evidence and documentation of the policies and procedures implemented and described in our application. We also provided samples of certain tools (such as course planning guides and facilities checklists) that we utilize to prove that everything reported in the application was accurate.

6.    What were some of the obstacles?
There weren’t obstacles, per se, as many of the requirements of the application we already had in place; we just needed to document and update a lot of things. Training our current instructors on some of the changes and requirements in terms of syllabi writing learning outcomes was a little challenging because as you know, change is hard to adapt to sometimes. For new instructors hired after beginning this process, it became a lot easier as we knew what to require of them from the start.

7.    How long did it take to finally get accreditation?
A little over a year.

Work-Life Balance: Where Does Education Fit

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

This day in age, we are constantly running. From managing a household, to transitioning into a new career, work/life balance is a challenge for all of us. Northeastern University’s Innovation in Higher Education Survey recently asked, “How much of an obstacle is balancing college with family and work commitments?”

72 percent of those polled nationally said that work/life balance was their biggest obstacle.

Columbus State University Sr. Operations Manager for Continuing Education, Kristin Barker, explain show Continuing Education can be a good way to supplement your education in order to maintain time or family, school and work.

“If your everyday routine includes juggling full-time employment and nurturing a family, then you’re well aware that your two most valuable assets are time and money,” says Barker. “Continuing Education can help you save both time and money while working to achieve your educational goals. Students tell us that affordability is one of the key reasons they choose to learn with us.”

For career-minded professionals, certificate programs offer a fast-tracked way to increase skills and competencies without the hassle of taking several core degree requirements as prerequisite courses. Many courses are scheduled in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate those with a busy, full-time schedule. CSU Continuing Education’s certificate offerings include:

  • Project Management
  •  Graphic Design
  • Business Management
  •  Real Estate
  •  Medical Coding & Billing
  •  Pharmacy Technician
  •  Clinical Medical Assisting
  •  Personal Trainer
  •  Photography

Columbus State University, Continuing Education’s professional development offerings include a rangeof classes that will build your skill set and better equip you to work in the fields of:

  •  Business
  •  Accounting & Finance
  •  Health Care & Fitness
  •  Media & Design
  •  IT & Software Development

The quality of time, not necessarily the quantity, will play a large role in improving your work-life balance. Consider what steps you can take today that will impact your quality of time tomorrow. Barker encourages those who may be in a career transition, or those who are just looking for alternatives, to consider their options when planning their continuing education, “Don’t short-change your future.”

6 BEST Reasons to Start Kids in Ballet Early

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

Has your child seen a dancer on stage or television and he or she wants to dance like that? Is your 5 year old asking to take dance lessons? Maybe you wonder if formal lessons are worth the expense. If you question whether the benefits of dance classes outweigh the costs, keep reading.

Here are the 6 very BEST reasons to start your child in creative movement or ballet classes

1)EXPOSURE TO A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES Parents can be the greatest motivating factor in a decision to take dance. Parents know that exposure to many different activities increases the opportunities for positive experiences for their children. This may be a good enough reason to explore dance, but if it isn’t, read on.

3-Kids in Ballet22) EXERCISE.Dance is an excellent form of exercise. Even better, dancing is fun, and it encourages children to stay healthy and active in an enjoyable way.

3)  CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS.Is raising a heart-healthy child important to you? Dancing is known to build cardiovascular stamina, and ballet, in particular, is challenging, rewarding and in the long-term, offers excellent body discipline.

NOTE: The level of dance required for exercise and cardiovascular fitness is only desirable for kids over the age of 7. Keep reading to discover the most important benefits for a younger child.

4)  PHYSICAL COORDINATION & MENTAL ACUITY. This is one of the most important benefits of dance! Young children have some very important jobs to master including the development of physical coordination and mental sharpness. When children begin to connect movement and music, something beautiful happens. They also become aware of how their bodies are moving and how to best control these movements. Guided movement and other techniques utilized during dance lessons help even very young children learn and develop fine motor skills and begin to apply those skills to other daily activities.

5) FLEXIBILITY, BALANCE, STRENGTH & POSTURE. Additional benefits of dance include the development of flexibility, muscular strength, improved posture and grace. There is no doubt that dancers are graceful and VERY strong. These are benefits that will contribute to increased athleticism. All forms of dance develop these attributes in kids, and ballet training is particularly effective in establishing a solid foundation for future activities that require flexibility, balance and strength.

6) LEARNING & PROBLEM SOLVING Dancing involves all brain functions simultaneously, and research shows that movement plays a crucial role in the learning process. Practicing creative arts and dance allows young children to explore problems and solve them through movement leading them to innovative solutions. Many in the medical field see this creative thinking process as an important key to lifelong success.

If you are seriously considering enrolling a young child in dance classes, be sure to find classes that emphasize creative expression and learning rather than technique. Improvisation, imagination, creativity and musicality are key requirements that will help your young child foster and develop a love of movement to music. Why is this so important?

Neurophysiologist, Carla Hannaford, explored the role of the human body and movement in the learning process when she wrote Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head. Hannaford stated in her book, “Movement, a natural process of life, is now understood to be essential to learning, creative thought, and high level formal reasoning. It is time to consciously bring integrative movement back into every aspect of our lives and realize, as I have, that something this simple and natural can be the source of miracles” (Hannaford 1995, 214).

Here are a few more tips from CSU Dance Conservatory Director, Lisa Carter to encourage your child’s interest in dance:

  • Start guided or creative movement classes between the ages of 3 and 4 to begin building a good foundation for future training.
  • Understand that it will take awhile to develop the skills needed to dance like a pro.
  • Be sure to start with a class that is creative and fun!
  • Beware the any dance school that puts children in pointe shoes under the age of 11. Many years of technique training in soft ballet slippers are required before allowing a child to begin dancing en pointe.

By Kristin Barker

Continuing Education Senior Operations Manager

REFERENCE:

Hannaford, C. 1995. Smart moves: Why learning is not all in your head. Arlington, VA: Great Ocean Publishers.

Forget the Stupid Resolutions. Change Your Life!

Posted on: June 1st, 2016

How well do you know your body? Being beautiful and healthy isn’t about being thin. It’s much more important to know your body and set goals that will benefit your personal health.
fitness

Dump the Excuses
You know the general excuses that pop into your mind when you even think of getting serious about exercise. Maybe you think, “I’m too old to start working out now. I might hurt myself,” or “I just don’t have enough time most days to spend an hour exercising.” Excuses are limiting, and we all have them. You aren’t alone. Just DON’T let the excuses stop you from making a positive change.

Make a Commitment and Stick with It
Throughout our lives, we are often inconsistent in regard to fitness. The most important gift you can give yourself is regular and consistent exercise. Just do something! Even if you begin by committing 10 minutes once or twice per day, make sure that you stick with it and develop a real exercise habit. Start where you are, and then, listen to your body. Before long, your body will begin to ask for more!

Don’t Worry About How You Look
It is time! Time for what you ask? Time to get comfortable with yourself and with your body. As we grow older, we tend to learn more about our bodies and what our bodies need to function at peak performance. The younger you are when you get a fitness routine going, the sooner you will understand the connection between your mind and body and your ability to benefit from this connection. Young or old, it is never too late to get started! It’s time to realize that you are perfect just the way you are. It doesn’t matter how other people look or how they may think you should look. You are exactly what you are meant to be. It’s time to optimize what you have been given!

Practice Portion Control
Eat the right foods and eat them in moderation. This is very important to support your consistent fitness routine. Unprocessed foods are best and easy to prepare. Think whole fruits, fresh vegetables, legumes and nuts. Google it!

Build Strength
Try some strength training a couple of times a week. You can start slow, and you will be glad when you do. Consistently building muscle mass will help you decrease body fat and burn more calories. Strength training can also help you build strong bones, develop better balance and decrease fatigue.

Change Your Life
Make a decision today to make fitness part of your everyday life! Find a few activities that you enjoy. Take a walk. Go for a bike ride. Dance around the house in your underwear. Rake leaves. Whatever works for you, works! You don’t have to go to the gym, but if you choose to open a gym membership, find one that works for you.

Take a Small Steps Approach.Start by taking some baby steps. Set short-term goals that are doable for you. Small steps that you take today will make a big difference in your future!

4 GREAT Reasons to Care!
1. Exercise can help you feel better and enjoy life more!
2. Regular exercise can prevent or delay some very nasty diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It can also brighten your mood and help to fight depression.
3. Maintaining an active lifestyle as you age can help you retain your independence longer.
4. Lack of physical activity and not eating the right foods, together, are the second greatest cause
of death in the United States.

Pilates, Yoga and Zumba offer great class alternatives for getting started with a fit lifestyle, and Continuing Education offers these as well as other fitness classes. If you want to learn about some great options that can help to ease you into a consistent routine, take a peek at our Health & Fitness classes. Classes are starting soon so make sure to register online or by calling 706.507.8070.

Business Advice from a Professional Photographer

Posted on: May 11th, 2016

Entering a new business venture can be intimidating, and that’s why it’s important to fully understand the nuances of a business before taking that big step. Photography instructor and business owner, Joe Dallas, offers some tips that can help set you on the path to staring your own successful photography business. Below are a few things you want to consider.

Be sure your skills match your price.
You may be ready to go into business once your photography skills (technically and artistically) have grown to the point that you are able to consistently produce good images. You also must be able to reproduce those images under less than ideal circumstances. When potential clients look at your portfolio, they are going to expect you to provide them with the same quality images they see in your portfolio. When you can do this, you may be ready to consider charging for your services.

Understand what it takes to run a business.
Entrepreneurs spend more time managing their business than they ever could have imagined. The time you as a photographer spend behind the camera will be very little compared to the time you will spend running your business.  Make sure that you hire a reliable accountant and a lawyer. You will also need a valid business license, insurance, and a well-developed business plan to get started.

Develop a customer base.
Marketing is something you must spend a great deal of time on when beginning a new business venture. Social media, blogs, and networking are primary ways to attract new clients today if you are a photographer. Social media cannot be about promoting your business only. It must be used to communicate content that has real meaning to your target audience. This applies to blog posts as well. Be sure you aren’t posting only your photos. You want the world to see your fabulous work, but you must also be sure that you are providing solid content. Networking with other photographers and participating in the local photography community is important to increase awareness of your business. If your main intent is to help others (this must be sincere), people will flock to help you market your business. This networking phenomenon is something that takes time to build.

If you are interested in photography classes, our photography program is one of the best. Call 706.507.8070 to register for classes.