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Are You Ready for Online Learning?

Are You Ready for Online Learning?

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Online Learning

Saint Leo Librarian Dedicated To Online Students

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Aug 26, 2014 7:40:00 AM

Students in Saint Leo's online degree programs who need research assistance receive expert guidance when they turn to Sandy Hawes. They also find an empathetic ear.

Think back to your elementary school librarian.

If you were lucky, that librarian made you feel as if you were the only student in the world. Maybe he or she found you the perfect novel that sparked a lifelong love of reading or the ideal resource to help with a term paper.

In that regard, Saint Leo’s Sandy Hawes is an “old-fashioned” librarian in a high-tech world.

Hawes takes the university’s core values – particularly the value of respect – to heart. It’s what drives her to do whatever it takes to help each and every online student be successful.

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Topics: Academic Success

How To Be Successful In Your Online Class

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jul 8, 2014 9:44:00 AM

Ready to take an online course? Here are four things to keep in mind.

By Eric Hill

Online classes are wonderful, and I believe strongly in them. I’ve literally lost count of the number of online classes I’ve taken—and no, not the same one over and over! You can’t beat the variety or flexibility. But one should understand that to be successful in the online environment, one must possess at least four qualities.

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Topics: Academic Success

Earning A Saint Leo Degree Online In Nigeria

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 29, 2014 7:57:00 AM

The challenges that face adult online learners are universal. Whether living in Nigeria or the United States, juggling work and family with educational goals requires sacrifice and time management.

Originally from Imo State in southern Nigeria, Chukwudi Achonwa has lived and worked across the Niger River in neighboring Delta State for more than 20 years. His home is in a city called Warri, which is not far from the Gulf of Guinea.

His entire life, Achonwa had never travelled outside of Nigeria.

That was until this May when the Saint Leo University online student – and now alumnus – boarded a plane and travelled for nearly 24 hours to arrive in Florida to attend commencement at University Campus.

Despite jet lag, Achonwa couldn’t get to campus quickly enough. Arriving several days early, he was eager to meet faculty and staff, to walk the grounds, and to see first-hand the university he had come to love.

“While in Nigeria, I always imaged how the school would be,” he said. “When I arrived at the campus, what I saw was beyond my imagination. I was so thrilled.”

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Topics: Academic Success

Cybersecurity Reality Check: 6 No-Brainer Tips

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 27, 2014 8:19:00 AM

If you’re an online student, your computer is your lifeline to your coursework. So you must be vigilant to prevent it from being hacked.

If you’re enrolled in an online degree program edging closer each term to earning your college degree, then you might want to offer a nod of thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee.


For all of you trivia buffs, he’s the British computer scientist who created the World Wide Web, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of his invention. His brainchild made the Internet truly accessible and useful, changing the world, including how people teach and learn.

As a result, students such as you have the opportunity to earn your degree on your own time, from the comfort of your own home.

The Web is a powerful communications medium. But just as you snap on a seat belt in your car or on an airplane before taking a trip, you need to take precautions while traveling online to keep your computer protected.

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Topics: Academic Success

Mother And Daughter (Plus One) Share Graduation Stage

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 8, 2014 7:49:00 AM

Online degree experience at Saint Leo spans generations and underscores commitment to lifelong learning.

Lorene Mervis, 73, always knew she wanted to go to college. But there were things she had to take care of first – like raising 11 children, with 24 years between them, and setting them on a path toward higher education.

It’s no wonder Mervis didn’t take her first college class until she was well past the age most people retire. And while her age presented some unique challenges, it also brought an unexpected opportunity: the chance to earn a college degree at the same time her daughter, Danielle Bunin, was earning hers.

On May 2, Mervis and Bunin received their diplomas – Mervis, a bachelor’s in sociology, and Bunin, a bachelor’s in psychology – at Saint Leo University’s Center for Online Learning 2014 Commencement Exercise.

“I’m so proud of her; it’s not very often you get to graduate with your mom,” says Bunin, who at the graduation ceremony was just days away from becoming a mom herself. “It’s such an accomplishment; she had no preparation and managed to pull a 3.85.”

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Topics: Academic Success

Enemy Fire, Connectivity Challenges Don’t Deter Grad

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on May 6, 2014 8:15:00 AM

Counter intelligence specialist Olan Tiangco completes online criminal justice degree while working in Afghanistan amid dangerous and harsh conditions.

Earning a degree is never easy. But for Saint Leo University commencement speaker Olan Tiangco, 45, the road to graduation was paved with formidable challenges.

Enemy gunfire. Spotty Internet connections. Brutal weather. 18-hour shifts.

Tiangco, a 24-year Army veteran, was just beginning the transition to civilian life and getting started with his online criminal justice degree program at Saint Leo University in 2013 when he accepted a position in Afghanistan as a counter intelligence screener with a national security and defense company. Determined not to let the challenges of his assignment get in the way of his education, Tiangco pressed on.

“None of it was easy. Not one moment,” says the criminal justice major who was selected to speak at the 2014 Center for Online Learning commencement ceremony at University Campus.

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Topics: Academic Success

Grads Share Secret To Success In Online Degree Programs

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 29, 2014 8:13:00 AM

For online students, earning a degree has meant balancing family and work responsibilities with educational goals -- and becoming time management experts.

Gromyko Scott is a stay-at-home mom who pushed herself to overcome the fear that she would not be a successful student so that she could model the importance of education for her three children. She is graduating with a degree in sociology and a near perfect 4.0 GPA.

As a software sales consultant, Rusty Halm spends a lot time on the road, and when he is at home, he is busy with his 10 children. He is graduating with a business-management degree and as a member of the National Honor Society.

A single mom, Jeannette Holmes postponed college for 20 years to take care of her family. She has now earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has been accepted into Saint Leo’s rigorous and highly competitive M.S.W. program.

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Topics: Academic Success

Vet Credits Online Degree Program With Saving His Life

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Apr 8, 2014 8:23:00 AM

John Sinclair is grateful to Saint Leo University faculty and advisors for providing strength, encouragement and warmth during a difficult time.

Teachers will tell you it isn’t unusual for a student to leave a lasting impression. But what about a student they’ve never met?

A student like John Sinclair.

Dr. Tammy Zacchilli, associate professor of psychology at Saint Leo University, first encountered Sinclair in 2011, when he enrolled as an online student in her social psychology course.

“He was a great student and worked very hard in the class,” she recalls. “His discussions each week were insightful. He found ways to get his work completed and rarely asked for extra time.”

Not exactly the evaluation you’d expect to describe a student living out of his car, struggling each day to pay for food, gas and the cell phone that allowed him to connect to his classes online.

But then again, John Sinclair isn’t your average student.

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Topics: Academic Success, Military

Turnitin Recognizes Saint Leo Professor

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Mar 25, 2014 7:54:00 AM

With more than one million instructors worldwide using the academic tool, Turnitin, Dr. Shannon Farris is recognized for promoting its use to improve student learning – which supports Saint Leo’s core values.

When it comes to helping Saint Leo students achieve academic success, Dr. Shannon Farris’ passion is equaled only by his endless energy and enthusiasm.

A veritable whirlwind of ideas, Dr. Farris is quick to dive into new approaches and initiatives that can provide critical academic support to online and on-ground – traditional and non-traditional – students alike.

That’s why more than seven years ago, the assistant professor of psychology became an advocate of the fledgling educational tool, Turnitin.

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Topics: Academic Success, Saint Leo News, Study Skills

10 New Year's Resolutions For Online Students

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jan 2, 2014 8:31:00 AM

Here are some tips on how to make resolutions you can keep and 10 suggested resolutions for online students.

Happy New Year!

Don’t you just love the launch of a new year? It’s a fresh start. The gift of a new beginning. The opportunity to commit to changes that can make our lives and the lives of others better.

Which begs the question, have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

Statistics show that 45 percent of Americans usually make resolutions, and those resolutions focus on four things: self-improvement and education, weight, money, and relationships.

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Topics: Academic Success

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