Argosy University Blog

Going Back to School as a Parent: Getting a Strong Start

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It’s hard enough to manage your kids’ homework. What happens when you have your own homework, too? 

For parents who choose to return to school—either to earn their first degree or for a Master’s or Doctorate, balancing school work and family can be difficult. Throw in a full time or part time job, and things can get downright chaotic. 


An online education allows parents to learn within their busy schedule

The workday ends at 5 pm. Kids have soccer at 6 pm and you’re going to take your class at—when? With online education, you can log in and see your classwork at anytime—day or night.

Jessica Iduarte works for the Department of Family Protective Services in Harris County, Texas, says that she chose to earn her psychology degree from Argosy University, Online Programs because of the flexible schedule. She could take classes on her own time and complete assignments between kids’ activities and family time. Earning a degree also allowed her to move into a higher paying job, which benefitted her entire family.

“[Having a degree] has helped me to earn a comfortable income to raise my children.” Jessica completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2015.

And while she admits that earning her online bachelor’s degree wasn’t easy, she recommends that parents stay focused on the end goal. “Just don't give up. Keep going no matter what life throws at you. It is worth it in the end and it will open up so many doors for a good future.”


Make sure your family is on board

Nothing’s more challenging than trying to manage kids and your own education without the support of family and friends. Before you start back to school, talk to your family, your spouse or partner, and your friends. Be sure that you have childcare set up on the days that you need to go into the classroom—or for times when you know you’re going to need to focus on your studies. It’s helpful to choose specific times for homework, too. This not only makes it a set part of your day, it keeps the schedule consistent for child caregivers.

Vannice Lawrence, who earned two degrees from Argosy University, Online Programs, says that having a supportive husband helped her to achieve her lifelong goal to earn not just one, but two degrees. In 2015, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and in 2016, she earned a Master of Science in Human Resources Management .

“I have faced working two or three jobs [at a time] and now I am working one job because [my earning power has increased],” she says. Today, she’s family service worker investigator for the Department of Human Services.


Find the right fit

While online degree programs are a great fit for some, a bricks-and-mortar education is still preferred by many non-traditional students. Some even chose a combination of both. Read about the program you’re interested in. Go into the school and talk to the instructors. Find out if the school is committed to helping you work within your busy schedule.

Vannice Lawrence says that she chose Argosy University, Online Programs because “the faculty and staff cared so deeply for the people [attending school there].”

The importance of building a relationship with the school is echoed by Licie Essenmacher, who in in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Argosy University, Online Programs. Licie is a United States military veteran who now manages a program for interns working at Space and Naval Warfare Systems.

The faculty and staff were always very supportive,” she states, mentioning that she requested the same advisor for all of her studies at Argosy University, Online Programs. “We have developed a good working relationship. From areas of study to researching skills, Argosy University, Online Programs has given me the tools I needed to succeed in my career field.”


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: Argosy University, 333 City Boulevard West, Suite 1810, Orange, CA 92868 © 2016 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu

See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Gearing College Grads Up for the Workforce

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Finding a job remains a tough challenge for new college graduates who are eager to begin their careers.

For those facing the challenge of finding employment today, advice for graduates gleaned from two collegiate professionals can help. “This is the time to think out of the box,” says Amanda Rajotte, director of career services at Brown Mackie College – Hopkinsville. “I encourage students to focus on employment skills and goals early in the program.”

The prepared candidate is a step ahead

“Good verbal communication skills, the ability to embrace change in the workplace, and being a team player can catch a prospective employer’s attention,” says Grace Klinefelter, of the Business & Organizational Leadership program chair at Argosy University, Washington DC. “Companies look for candidates with problem-solving and analytical skills, too.” Think about these questions: What can I bring to a company? Why should they choose me? Writing your own answers to these essential questions is a good way to prepare for a job search. The exercise can provide valuable insight that may help shape your responses to future interview questions.

Take a hands-on approach

Rajotte’s job as director of career services entails a constant search for employment opportunities to help graduates of many different academic programs. She honed her job-seeking skills when she moved to Kentucky, where she knew no one, and needed to find work herself. “I fully support a proactive, hands-on approach,” she says. “It is never too early to begin networking.” She encourages students to interact with professionals in the field as much as possible.

Maintain alumni relations

She counsels students to attend networking events with people who are a year ahead in the academic program. “Those students will have a position by the time the others graduate. It’s as important to build relationships with those about to enter your field as it is with people already working. Referrals can come from both sources,” Rajotte says. Word of mouth can be powerful. Even if the person you have stopped to chat with isn’t in a position to help, you never know if they have a friend who is looking to fill a spot.

Join professional associations

Much can be accomplished simply by knowing people. Klinefelter relates the true story of one Argosy University student who panicked at the thought of facing her search for employment. “She had already fulfilled the requirements for graduation, yet wanted to take more courses. I encouraged her to join a professional business association connected to her field,” she says. “Once she connected with her professional organization, she landed a job with the association. It’s about having the right attitude and looking forward instead of back,” says Klinefelter.

Visit the local chamber of commerce

“This is something I did when I moved here,” says Rajotte. “I reached out and got in contact with the different committees they run.” The meetings offered the opportunity to meet with executives from some of the larger corporations in the community, and let them know she was new in town, with specific qualifications. “This became a successful network that was useful. One community leader was willing to send a letter of introduction for me,” Rajotte says.

Attend community events

It isn’t necessary to wait for a local networking event to happen. Developing relationships means putting yourself out there and letting people know your professional intentions. “It’s a way for students and graduates to find out about local organizations they can join, as well as employment opportunities,” says Rajotte.

Volunteer efforts offer mutual benefits

Volunteer work provides experience. “Our medical assistant students volunteer at a local free clinic. Help is always needed, and it gives them real-world experience beyond the externship in the career field,” says Rajotte. “It’s a great way to get professional references.” College campuses also provide volunteer opportunities. “Students can demonstrate capabilities by volunteering to work with faculty on special projects, as well as outside activities,” says Klinefelter. Even volunteer activities outside of your field of study can be beneficial. You never know who is painting or planting flowers beside you.


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all programs are available to residents of all U.S.

Argosy University, Washington DC 1550 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600 Arlington, VA 22209 ©2016 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu

See http://auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Argosy University, Washington DC, 1550 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22209 is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219, 1.804.225.2600).

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Preventing Identity Theft as a College Student

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According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, college students make easy targets. Statistics show nearly a quarter of all identity theft complaints are made by people aged 18 to 29 years old.

Welcome to the world of technology, where email scams, credit card skimmers, and telephone scams present new ways to fall prey to thieves.

Scammers have found plenty of opportunities to rob college students of their identities. Some may find a quick, sudden opportunity to commit identity theft, perhaps by snatching a credit card lying around in a dorm room or by finding personal information on a cell phone, computer or tablet that was left unguarded.

That presents a modern problem for parents sending their children to school: aside from the everyday essentials, students now must consider whether to buy a paper shredder or student software that might protect their computer from fraud, or if they should keep a dorm safe to store valuable information.

Experts say college students are easy targets for thieves because they don't keep track of their credit history. In fact, most know nothing about credit reporting agencies or that they can receive an annual free credit report.

Parents often warn students about identity theft or other rip-offs they could face, but studies show most students ignore what they are told or forget how to prevent identity theft.

"Identity thieves don't steal your money; they steal your name and reputation and use them for their own financial gain," says the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General. "They attempt to steal your future! Identity theft literally steals who you are, and it can seriously jeopardize your financial future."

Don't ignore the threat. When your identity is stolen, the damage that’s done will be left up to you to fix. Having a strong credit rating and a clean record is essential for your future self.

It's quite easy for college students to fall victim to a credit card scam or other form of identity theft, and once you do, it could take years to recover.


How does identity theft happen to college students?

• According to the U.S. Department of Education, half of all students have their grades posted by Social Security Number.

* Many cases of identity theft among college students occur because of communal living, which invites others to steal student data or information.

• Social media security – or a lack thereof – also provides thieves a chance to steal students' information.

• Dozens of data breaches targeting university or college institutions are reported each year and can lead to identity theft from college students.

• Although half of college students receive frequent offers of credit cards in the mail on a weekly basis, many toss the mail into a trash can without shredding the information.

• Using your computer for online banking or bill-paying, or to buy concert tickets, clothes, books or other merchandise can expose you to identity theft.

"Each of these routine actions places you at risk of being a victim of identity theft because each of these transaction requires you to share personal information such as your bank and credit card account numbers, your Social Security number, or your name, address, and phone number," according to the U.S. Department of Education. "This is the same personal information that identity thieves use to commit fraud."


Preventing identity theft takes quick action and continuing efforts.

Check out the most comprehensive prevention guide for college students, " 51 Simple Ways to Prevent Identity Theft While in College," for tips on keeping your credit in good standing and preventing thieves from taking your identity.

The guide is the ultimate source of information related to preventing identity theft in college, and includes tips on how to safely use public computers, when and where to use public Wi-Fi or unsecured Wi-Fi, how to avoid computer viruses by using the proper software, how to avoid spam, and how to stay away from telephone scams by signing up for the National Do Not Call List.


Some tips to prevent identity theft

· Stay safe by memorizing your Social Security Number and passwords, rather than writing them down or carrying them in a wallet, purse, phone, or anywhere else. The U.S. Department of Education also warns against using your birthdate as a password.

· Use a paper shredder to rip up those "pre-approved credit applications" or other financial documents you might have. Don't toss your personal information in the trash or leave it for someone else to find, even those you trust.

· "Don’t trust the dorm room," Consumer Reports recommends. "Your dorm room is your home away from home, so it’s natural to feel relaxed and let your guard down. However, dorm rooms are notoriously open to many people, some of whom have no qualms about rifling your papers for personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers."

· Learn how to get your credit report. Several credit reporting agencies are available to offer you this service, and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you one free look every year. You can get a credit report by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

· Use a firewall program on your computer and avoid email scams, viruses, Trojan Horses and other threats by deleting questionable emails and staying away from websites or links that could be dangerous.

· Don't fall for phone or email scams. If someone calls and asks for your Social Security Number, full name, birth date, a checking account number, or any other personal data, verify the source. Experts suggest never providing such information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the contact.

· If someone steals your credit card – or even if you misplace it – report it immediately. Contact your banking institution so they can monitor the transactions and stop thieves from unauthorized purchases, which could ruin your credit score.

· Use strong passwords for your computer, smartphone, tablet and other devices. It's also important to frequently change your password, and to never share it with anyone else.

· And when using social media, think before you act.


What to do if you’re identity is stolen

It's important to report the theft. You can start by speaking with campus security or a campus police department, if available. Otherwise, contact the nearest police department where your college is located.

File a police report. You'll want to tell officers if you know who might have taken your personal information; when and where it happened; and any other details that might be important.

Log on to www.identitytheft.gov to report your identity theft with the Federal Trade Commission, which can provide you with an important affidavit. The affidavit might be needed by credit reporting agencies or banks, who will need to help you straighten out any issues that arise in your finances.

College is great time for young adults to grow and find themselves. For most you, it will be the best time of your lives. Don’t let the excitement of college life fade at the hands of criminals.

It's your identity, please keep it that way.

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