1. Get to Know Your Professor Part 2

    Dr. Brian Lindshield, assistant professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, has been teaching online courses at Kansas State University since 2009. Lindshield, who teaches Human Nutrition (HN 400) says he took the course on campus when he was a student at K-State and developed the curriculum for his own class through his experience, one of the many ways he works to provide a quality education to distance students.

    Q: What do you like about teaching online?

    A: I like interacting with online students. My online students are often non-traditional, so they bring more personal experience to the course. Also, lots of times they have had another career and have decided that they have a passion for nutrition that they would like to pursue. As a result, I often get more general nutrition interest questions that bring life to the course.

    Q: What do you love about the subject you teach, and why did you decide to become a professor?

    A: There are multiple influences that combined to lead to my love of nutrition. I was overweight as a child, and it wasn’t until I changed how I ate that I lost weight and reached a more appropriate body weight. Cancer runs in my family and I thought about working on developing cancer drugs, but I don’t like taking pills myself so this didn’t seem like a good fit. In the newspaper there used to be stories about recent results of nutrition on different chronic diseases including cancer. So I thought I might be able to research how to prevent chronic diseases through nutrition rather than treat them with pharmaceuticals. My mom was a family and consumer sciences teacher who taught nutrition and food classes, so she influenced me as well. Teaching kind of ran in my family, so being a professor allowed me to combine teaching with my research interest.

    Q: What tips can you give students who are earning their degree online?

    A: Set a schedule that works for you to devote to your studies and stick to it. Engage with your instructor and classmates; you’ll get so much more from the course than you would otherwise. Be realistic about the number of courses you can take a semester along with your other responsibilities.

    Q: What are some strategies you use to cater to distance students through your teaching?

    A: I try to make the distance and campus versions of the course as similar as I possibly can. By this I mean I want it to be a similar experience whether you take the course on campus or at a distance. In both courses I try to provide multiple ways for students to learn the material (text, hear, watch, etc.). For online students, I post class videos that some have indicated they like because it feels like they’re in class. Others have indicated they don’t watch the videos. They prefer to use the flexbook that I created to go along with the course. That’s fine as long as they’re learning the material. I also give distance students ranges of time that they can take their exam in, so that they have more flexibility on when they take their exams. I use Google Docs to make a collaborative study guide that I review twice to provide feedback on how the content meets my expectations in both the campus and distance courses. That way students have a better idea on what I’m expecting them to know. I focus on asynchronous communication in distance courses, so that it doesn’t put students who are in a much different time zone at a disadvantage because they’re missing chats, office hours, etc.

    No comments | Posted In: Faculty

  2. Visit the Virtual Open House

    Can’t attend the All-University Open House on campus in Manhattan?

    Visit our Virtual Open House any time to learn about programs and services for distance students and explore the Kansas State University campus—no matter where you are.

    New features at the Virtual Open House include:

    • Scheduled video chats with student services staff
    • Distance student guessing game for a chance to win prizes
    • Giveaway website for free downloadable K-State distance items

    Virtual Open House Map Game

    You can also take a photo tour of the Manhattan campus, view videos of instructors who teach at a distance and more. Enjoy exploring K-State!

    No comments | Posted In: Events

  3. Get to Know Your Professor Part 1

    Dr. James Bloodgood, professor of management, teaches classes on campus as well as online through the Division of Continuing Education. Students who take Management Concepts (MANGT 420) or Business Strategy (GENBA 880) may know him as a professor, but this Q&A session with Bloodgood gives insight to his teaching strategies and life outside the classroom.

    Q:  Talk a little bit about yourself.

    A:  I grew up in Indiana and got married at 19. I have now been married for 31 years. I have two kids and three grandchildren. It is true that grandchildren are actually much more fun. I was an accountant for General Motors for eight years after college and worked for a distributor for a couple of years. I found both organizations to be run in very different ways. They made good moves, and some bad moves. I liked analyzing their effectiveness quite a bit and decided I would like to learn more about how companies should be run to perform better. So I decided to become a professor. My kids were very young at the time, so it was very challenging.

    Young children are my favorite thing in the world, so I spend most of my free time with them. Fortunately, I have three grandkids (aged 3, 4 and 5) that are a complete blast to be with. I try not to spoil them too much, but their smiles make me melt.

    My first Assistant Professor position was at Mississippi State University. I got my Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina. The seven years I spent in the South were very interesting, but I was very glad to get back to the Midwest.

    Q: What do you like about teaching online?

    A:  I have students write short papers about management topics they have personally experienced, and this always provides me with interesting and unique perspectives from students. It is interesting learning about their lives and goals. There is a lot more variance in the types of students that take online courses than those that primarily take on-campus courses. I also enjoy making their lives a little more informed and a little easier.

    Q: What do you love about the subject you teach, and why did you decide to become a professor?

    A:  I decided to become a professor after I worked for General Motors as an accountant and for a medium-sized distributor of consumer goods. These were very different companies, and the distinctive way they were run fascinated me. I liked to see how various plans were created and carried out, and to see how effective they were. Watching management in action from a third-person perspective, as well as being directly involved in it, was fun and challenging. There are just so many different paradoxes facing managers that it makes it difficult to manage well. I wanted to share my experiences with others and to engage in research on management topics so I could learn more. Becoming a professor enabled me to do both. Getting a Ph.D. was extremely challenging professionally and personally, but well worth it for me. I absolutely love teaching.

    Q: What tips can you give students who are earning their degree online?

    A: Contact your instructor whenever something is unclear. We are here to help. Try to make the course material come alive in your own way so that you will understand it better and be able to apply it more effectively. I try to provide interesting stories to help with this, but it also helps for students to take an active role in doing this.

    Q: What are some strategies you use to cater to distance students through your teaching?

    A: I try to explain as much as possible up front so all students can have a better idea of what is expected of them and what they can expect of me. I also know what it is like to take distance classes, since I did during my undergraduate (Accounting) and graduate (Master’s in Manufacturing Management and Doctorate in Strategic Management) programs. I like to respond very quickly to students’ questions and grade assignments within one day so they can get quick feedback.

    No comments | Posted In: Faculty

  4. Scholarship Deadline Approaching

    If you’re a distance student who has been admitted to a distance degree program, you are eligible for scholarships offered through the Division of Continuing Education (DCE). The application deadline for Summer 2014 and Fall 2014 scholarships is April 1, 2014.

    New scholarships have been added for distance students enrolled in the College of Agriculture, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and the College of Technology and Aviation. In addition, a new scholarship is also available for students enrolled in Human Nutrition.

    Scholarships range in value from $600 to $1,500. Visit our Financial Assistance and Scholarships website to learn more about the scholarships that are available, eligibility, how to apply and additional financial assistance opportunities.

    No comments | Posted In: Student Services

  5. Distance Student Conducts Research in Financial Planning Field

    Where there’s money, there are often disagreements.

    Sarah Asebedo

    Sarah Asebedo

    Sarah Asebedo, Edina, Minn., a student in Kansas State University’s online personal financial planning Ph.D. program, wanted to examine the role of conflict resolution techniques in the financial planning field.

    As a financial planner with Accredited Investors, Inc. for nearly a decade, Asebedo advises clients through all aspects of their financial life, including career changes and retirement transitions. Major life transitions and money decisions typically cause disagreements between couples to surface throughout the financial planning process. Asebedo has found that she can utilize conflict resolution techniques as a third party to help couples see eye to eye and move forward.

    “Financial planning draws on elements of various disciplines and skills such as conflict resolution, communication, therapy, finance, psychology, economics, sociology and counseling,” Asebedo said. “The various disciplines need to be more fully integrated into practice, research and theory development to optimize financial planning recommendations and consumer decision making.”

    Asebedo’s doctoral program is the first of its kind in the nation to be offered primarily online. She says K-State faculty provide ongoing support and guidance to doctoral students throughout their research and publication process.

    “Conducting research while at a distance from Kansas State University is seamless with the technology and access to academic journals available through the university,” Asebedo said.

    In her latest research, Asebedo participated in a study with Jaime Blue and Dr. Sonya Britt. They found a preliminary link between an individual’s excessive work habits and reduced physical and mental well-being. The study, titled “Workaholism and Well-Being,” was published in Financial Planning Review.

    K-State also offers an online master’s degree and graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Learn more about personal financial planning programs.

    No comments | Posted In: Student Stories

  6. Two of K-State’s Online Programs Move Up the Rankings

    U.S. News & World Report recognizes Kansas State University as a great place to earn an online graduate degree in education and engineering, moving both programs up in its rankings released Jan. 8.

    Kansas State University ranks No. 72 for best online graduate education programs, up 57 places from No. 129 in last year’s survey. The university ranks No. 27 in best online graduate engineering programs, up 10 places from No. 37 in the previous survey.

    The university offers online engineering master’s degrees in software engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, nuclear engineering, engineering management, and operations research. Online education master’s degrees include academic advising, adult and continuing education, and curriculum and instruction.

    “We have experienced growth in our online programs because a high-quality education is in high demand,” said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. “People have many online degree choices today, but the integrity of our program is rooted in a faculty who is committed to their students and advancing scholarship.”

    Bluemont Bell

    The Bluemont Bell that resides outside of the College of Education building.

    “U.S. News & World Report consistently recognizes Kansas State University as a great institution for engineering education,” said Gary Clark, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “It is rewarding to see this recognition applied to our student experience whether studying in person or online.”

    College of Engineering Interior Rendering

    Rendering of the new College of Engineering building.

    Such online programs are administered through the university’s Division of Continuing Education.

    “Kansas State University works hard to extend our quality programs to adults who are not able to be part of our on-campus community,” said Sue Maes, dean of Continuing Education.

    No comments | Posted In: Program News

  7. Work-School-Life Balance Tips from K-State Distance Students

    We know that our students are often juggling many responsibilities, so we went to Facebook to ask them what tips and advice they would give to students who may be struggling on how to best balance work, school and life.

    Organized Schedule

    It seems that most people rely on a good calendaring system to stay balanced.

    • A good desk calendar to keep track of due dates!
    • Keep a detailed planner and have a binder for each class. This will keep you from wasting time looking up assignment due dates and looking for course materials.
    • It is all about time management and keeping a daily planner. And of course sticking to it!
    • Keep a schedule! My color-coded calendar saved me!
    • Make a schedule of tasks.
    • I use a calendar too, but I also use lists. There’s nothing as satisfying as crossing things off a list!
    • I use the calendar on my iPad to keep due dates straight. Then I plan my week according to my due dates.
    • I use a Google calendar to plan out assignments. It also helps to make sure you schedule quiet time to get the reading done. Otherwise, you may never have the time to sit down and get it done!
    • Calendar, lists, notes and setting a schedule for each day and each task!
    • Everything is on a calendar.

    Time Management

    Many students also say that prioritizing your time is crucial.

    • Try to get things done early so you are not rushing to get them done at the last minute.
    • Plan ahead as much as possible.
    • Doing lectures/homework while the kids are at school or after they are in bed.
    • Don’t get behind. Set time aside to study daily.
    • I also try to focus on one task at a time. I end up working more efficiently in the end, and have extra time to spare!
    • Balance means being able to organize your time and plan for success. Know what needs to be done when so you will not miss a deadline or anything important.
    • Prioritize!
    • I barely balance work and life but I give it a try by taking one thing at a time.
    • I plan evenings to do homework…the same evenings that my husband goes to class. That way I know I have those days set aside for homework just like if I had to go to class.

    Personal Care

    One aspect of time management that some students say you can’t forget is taking care of yourself.

    • Good nutrition and adequate sleep.
    • And a trip to Varsity Donuts helps too!
    • Prioritize your assignments and still leave time for your family and self-care. If you don’t you get upside down fast.
    • Don’t forget to take time for yourself!
    • Take ME time!
    • Don’t forget to block out time for yourself!
    • I’m one of those people who can work for hours, so it’s important for me to “schedule” down time or I will just keep working.

    Strong Support System

    Others find that a good family support system is essential.

    • A very loving and supportive wife who is there to pick up the slack. Dedication and commitment to do well are the other things that helped me get through finals.
    • Constant communication with family. Having a supportive spouse is critical.

    Which of these strategies work for you? What additional tips do you have for balancing work, school and home? Leave a comment and let us know!

    No comments | Posted In: Student Stories

  8. Division of Continuing Education Scholarships Provide Financial Support to Distance Students

    Kansas State University’s Division of Continuing Education has awarded $26,400 in scholarships to distance education students across the country for the spring 2014 term. This is the largest amount of scholarship funding the division has awarded for a single semester.

    Dave Stewart, associate dean of continuing education, said the division fundraising team worked to increase the amount and availability of scholarship funding.

    “We were able to provide increased support directly from our own budget, as well as provide links to other scholarship sources for distance students,” Stewart said. “In the future we will be exploring other opportunities to increase and expand our support to establish an endowed scholarship fund.”

    The Division of Continuing Education’s DCE Scholarship for Distance Students offers $900 to undergraduate students and $1,200 to graduate students, and the Maurine Allison O’Bannon Memorial Scholarship provides $1,000 awards. Both scholarships are available to Kansas State University students pursuing a degree program through distance education.

    “Scholarship support is very important to distance and nontraditional students who have many other financial obligations in their lives,” said Stewart. “This support often makes the difference in being able to continue with their education or having to drop out.”

    The division’s spring 2014 scholarship recipients include:

    Ashley MacKinnon, senior in dietetics, Fort Riley, DCE Scholarship; Alex Arnold, junior in animal sciences and industry, Fort Scott, DCE Scholarship; Ariel Dowdle, senior in interdisciplinary social science, Lawrence, O’Bannon Scholarship.

    From Manhattan: Michelle Graham, junior in general business, O’Bannon Scholarship; Winnie Knapp, master’s student in personal financial planning, DCE Scholarship; and Angela Lara, junior in general business, O’Bannon Scholarship.

    Erin Mosiman, senior in general business, Newton, DCE Scholarship; Rebecca Sombatchareun, senior in family studies and human services, Pleasanton, O’Bannon Scholarship; Kyle Bures, master’s student in academic advising, Princeton, DCE Scholarship; and Derek Judd, senior in general human ecology, Wichita, O’Bannon Scholarship.

    From out of state:

    Patrick Lowery, master’s student in merchandising, Orlando, Fla., DCE Scholarship; Anne Combs, master’s student in adult and continuing education, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., DCE Scholarship; Robin Durain, senior in dietetics, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, O’Bannon Scholarship; Erin Schultz, senior in dietetics, Dearborn, Mich., DCE Scholarship; Kathleen O’Leary, master’s student in academic advising, Hamilton, Mont., DCE Scholarship; Karyn Raney, master’s student in academic advising, Schenectady, N.Y., DCE Scholarship; Diana Lovendino, master’s student in academic advising, Midwest City, Okla., DCE Scholarship; Johnny Hedgepath, master’s student in academic advising, Bluff City, Tenn., DCE Scholarship; Cornell Sneed, master’s student in academic advising, Johnson City, Tenn., DCE Scholarship; Spenser Simpson, master’s student in academic advising, Provo, Utah, DCE Scholarship; Abderrahmane Elandaloussi, master’s student in electrical engineering, Pullman, Wash., DCE Scholarship; and Ryan Kernan, master’s student in academic advising, Tacoma, Wash., DCE Scholarship.

    The deadline to apply for summer and fall scholarships is April 1, 2014. Application guidelines and further information on these scholarships and others can be found on the Financial Aid and Scholarships webpage.

    No comments | Posted In: Student Services

  9. Continuing Education Staff Contribute to Distance Student Scholarship Funds

    Staff and guests of the K-State Division of Continuing Education raised $500 in donations through a dessert silent auction on Nov. 13 in the College Court building. Desserts were prepared by continuing education staff, with proceeds going toward the division’s distance education student scholarship funds through the All-University Campaign.

    “The division is always looking for more scholarship opportunities for distance education students,” said Lynda Spire, assistant dean of continuing education. “This was our way of making a difference together to help support the university and the students we serve.”

    The division’s participation in the All-University Campaign is currently at 91 percent, the highest to date.

    No comments | Posted In: Events

  10. Happy Holidays

    The Division of Continuing Education would like to wish you happy holidays and a safe and enjoyable winter break. Congratulations to all of our Fall 2013 graduates—we’re so happy you’ll be joining our family of Wildcat alumni!

    Our blog will be quiet over winter break, but we’ll be returning the week of January 13, just in time for the Spring 2014 semester.

    No comments | Posted In: Uncategorized