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  • April/2011

Foods That Strengthen Learning Abilities

by South University
April 28, 2011

In the academic quest to maintain a high GPA, many do not realize that there are a few things that you can do in addition to studying that can assist you with your goals, such as making sure your nutritional needs are met. There are a few particular foods that people can consume, which science shows may actually help to strengthen your cognitive abilities.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Choline
Both Omega-3 fatty acids and choline are found in fish, so get yourself to a local fish-fry festival! Okay, maybe not, since frying fish completely defeats the nutritional benefit. But it appears as if fish is one of the best brain foods that you can eat, as fish have high levels of both substances, both of which are directly linked to brain functionality.

Omega-3’s help your body to produce chemicals that it naturally needs, in particular, chemicals your brain uses. When you have less of these chemicals, your ability to think and retain information may be lower. With Omega-3's, your body can produce more of these vital chemicals easier, thereby improving your cognitive abilities.

Choline is a B-vitamin which has a positive effect on the hippocampus, your brain’s memory center. In tests where pregnant women were given choline, their children tested higher on IQ tests than those mothers whom did not ingest choline while pregnant. Choline is not only found in fish; it can also be found in eggs, beef, cauliflower, navy beans, almonds, and peanut butter.

Fewer Carbohydrates Mean More Focus
Recent studies have demonstrated that to stay focused for longer periods of time, you need to cut down on your carbohydrate consumption. While carbohydrates give us energy, too many carbohydrates can leave you feeling distracted and sleepy, making it virtually impossible to focus on anything. Foods notorious for bringing on these feelings are dense breads and pastas, “heavy” foods with very high caloric content from carbohydrates. The best way to go would be to eat more fruits and vegetables, which actually provide carbohydrates, but aren’t as dense. This way, you can get the energy that you need with out the sleepy feeling afterward.

Eating some of the foods listed above can help you power through a tough study session or class assignment, providing you with energy and essential nutrition.

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Research Reveals Traits of Successful Online Students

by South University
April 25, 2011

According to Reuters, the University of Missouri Columbia School of Health Professions has been able to determine some traits that successful online students tend to have. Clinical assistant professor Shawna Strickland performed a study regarding the demographics as well as personalities of individuals in online programs.

The study, titled "Understanding Successful Characteristics of Adult Learners," revealed that those introverted, quiet individuals were more likely to be comfortable taking classes online. Whereas such individuals tend to be withdrawn in the traditional class setting, online provides a way for these folks to complete work on their own and do so anonymously.

Also cited are additional research findings from Southampton University, which demonstrates that of the two learning styles – active and passive – active learners are actually more successful because they retain more information, demonstrate better cognitive processes, have a longer attention span and will interact more with classmates and professors. Passive learners however, may struggle with joining class discussions.

Online Education serves to work to the benefit of both types of learners, because the anonymous collaboration makes it easier for passive learners to engage with their professors & classmates. Strickland is quoted, saying: "Correlations between learning styles and success in distance education have shown to be inconclusive. However, one common theme reappears: the successful traits of a distance learner are similar to the successful traits of an adult learner in traditional educational settings."

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Motivation: The Way to Achievement

by South University
April 21, 2011

“I really want this degree, but I just don’t feel motivated to do my work.” That’s a fairly common way that your fellow students at South University may feel at one time or another. It can be stifling; it can make you want to give up – after all, in order to absorb information and learn, you must be motivated. So now what?

“How do I become motivated?”
If you look at motivation like a puzzle, breaking it down into individual components, you can evaluate yourself and make changes where needed. “Motivation… a puzzle?” you ask. Yes, a puzzle with five pieces:

  • Choice: Something made you decide to enroll in your degree program at South University. Perhaps you decided to enroll because you have always had an interest in a certain profession, or perhaps it was because earning a degree could launch a new career for you – or help you to advance within your current career. Either way, there was a specific reason you made the choice to enroll in classes; in other words, a goal.
  • Effort: Instead of sitting around, waiting for your goal to magically happen (because it won’t), put in a little bit of effort and take action to make your goal attainable.
  • Persistence: Putting in a little bit of effort isn’t enough, so dig your heels is and be persistent. Keep working hard and stick with your tasks until you’re finished.
  • Engagement: Think, and think very hard, about what you are doing. In other words, engage your tasks. If you are writing a paper, engage the topic by becoming immersed in the topic. Be committed.
  • Achievement: You made a choice, you put in the effort, you were persistent and you engaged your work; therefore, you will have achieved an excellent final product and will be one step closer to your ultimate goal of earning your degree from South University.

“I tried and it didn’t work.”
Not everything will always go as planned – that’s life. But that doesn’t mean you just give up. One bad grade is not the end of the world. Stay motivated; remember the choice you made to enroll in classes at South University, put in the effort, engage your work and be persistent in all that you do. There will be some kind of achievement, and you will be that much closer to your goal – your degree!

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Featured Events at South University - Online Programs

by South University
April 18, 2011

If you've ever wondered what earning your degree online entails, your imagination probably focused on the classroom aspect, with questions about how to turn in assignments, the amount of interaction you'll have with fellow students and faculty, and the pace of moving through your courses online.

At South University - Online Programs, the online school experience isn't limited to the classroom. We hold a number of events throughout each session, including guest speakers, award ceremonies, and sessions to guide you through the online learning process with our Student Affairs department.

Even if you're not yet enrolled, we've provided you a window into what some of our events are like with the new Featured Events section. Check it out!

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Budgeting for Your Busy Life: Don't Overlook the Small Purchases

by South University
April 14, 2011

We live in a society where it’s easier than ever to spend money. We can order movies, music, and more with just a few clicks. The smaller purchases, in particular, can add up. An iPhone app for $0.99 here, $9.00 for an eBook there. We can even use a credit card to get that Snickers bar from the vending machine in the break room at work. With our busy schedules, it can be easy to dismiss these purchases as minimal, even to the point of ignoring them completely.

While many of us many fall into this trap, it may be more important than ever for online students to get a handle on money that’s coming in versus going out. It can be daunting to think about budgeting for every penny we spend, but there are less painful ways of easing into it.

Track Everything You Spend for a Month
In order to get a baseline for your spending, you should first keep a record of everything you spend for a one-month time period. In doing this, you’ll quickly get a sense of a few areas where you can easily cut costs, saving you money in the long run.

Factor in the Essentials
There are some areas where you may not be able to cut costs, including transportation, childcare, groceries, and monthly bills. Once you have those nailed down, you’ll be able to figure out how much you have leftover for non-essentials.

Think Twice About Instant Gratification Purchases
Do you really need the latest single from your favorite artist right now, or can you listen to it for free on your favorite radio station? Is it necessary to download the latest bestseller when you can check out the book at your local library for free? Mulling over non-essential purchases before diving in can make you a more conscientious shopper.

After you’ve analyzed your spending habits, you may find that you have extra money you didn’t realize. Whether you put it toward school needs or store it away in savings, you can feel less stressed about your money in general with a little forethought.

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