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A History of Graduation Regalia

by South University, Online Programs
March 27, 2014

Every graduating class comes together to celebrate and participate in the ritual of earning a diploma or degree, and a large part of that celebration is the traditional academic dress that goes along with the ceremony. The rituals involved in education help elevate academics, even above their practical value. The shared experience of walking across the stage in a cap and gown helps break down social barriers and brings graduates together. But, where did these customs come from?

Graduation ImageThe Beginnings of Graduation Regalia

As with many traditions, graduation regalia began due to practical considerations. In the 12th century, the first Universities were formed. As completely new ventures, these Universities did not have campuses or even a single centralized building. Instead, most classes were taught at nearby churches. Many prospective students were studying for a clerical position, so it made sense to use the churches as places of both worship and learning. The downside was the heating situation.

Old churches may look stunning and imposing, but many of them also possess drafts and poor insulation. The high ceilings, poorly sealed windows and lack of fireplaces made for pretty chilly classrooms. Graduation regalia as it is seen today is thought to stem from the adoption of robes to keep warm. Many students wore floor length gowns to help combat the cold.

Modernization and Reading Today's Regalia

Today, students still wear traditional academic garb in honor of their antecedents. Depending on where a university is located, there are different traditions surrounding a cap and gown. In the U.S. it is common for gowns to close in the front, allowing some institutions to relax their dress code for graduation ceremonies. In Europe, most universities leave the gowns open, and students must wear formal garb underneath their cap and gown.

In the U.S. the graduation regalia has specific codes, with different colors assigned to different areas and place of study. The degree color is found on the trim on the hood, while the university color is found on the hood lining. Some examples include:

• Copper for Economics
• Gold for Science
• Brown for Fine Arts
• Light Blue for Education
• and many more!

In Europe, there is no central body to regulate university colors, so the styles and modes of dress vary from school to school.

In addition to colors, modern cap and gown designs sometimes include different details depending on the level of the degree obtained. Students earning a master's degree may wear gowns with oblong shaped sleeves, while Doctoral students may wear gowns with bell sleeves. This differences show at a glance the levels of each student.


by South University, Online Programs
March 27, 2014
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What to Do When You Make a Mistake at Work

by South University, Online Programs
March 25, 2014

No one is perfect. Despite our best efforts, we all make mistakes in both our personal lives and our careers. Even a small mistake can become a huge issue if it is not dealt with properly. The following professional advice will help you not only to accept your mistake and forgive yourself, but to learn and grow as well.

Making MistakesOwn up to It

Our first instinct after making a mistake is to try to hide it before anyone notices. Don’t do that! Lying, hiding, or trying to cover up your mistake will only make matters worse. Furthermore, hiding your mistake will damage your reputation and perceived character once the error is brought to light.

We are all human, and are usually forgiving in the case of mistakes, but when lying is involved, trust and forgiveness are diminished. So do the right thing – when you make a mistake, immediately bring it to the attention of your boss or supervisor.

Don’t Blame Others

Trying to place the blame on someone else when you make a mistake shows a lack of accountability on your part – and that is not a great quality to possess. By accepting the full responsibility of your actions, you will show that you are mature and accountable for your mistakes. Attempting to blame others could also damage your reputation with your boss and coworkers, and even cause others to see you as sneaky or untrustworthy.

Correct Your Mistake

The easiest way to get past a mistake once you’ve taken responsibility for your actions is to fix the mistake. Even if it means working later, going out of your way, or enlisting the help of others, correcting your error will show that you truly care about getting the job done right and are committed to delivering results.


Mistakes are usually avoidable and happen due to careless oversights. Once you have taken responsibility for your mistake and corrected the error, take time to think about why you make the mistake. Were you rushing? Trying to cut corners? Not paying attention? Not asking for the necessary help? Make note of the cause of your mistake to avoid letting it cause more mistakes in the future.

Learning and Committing

There’s something to be said for the old adage “a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.” Instead of seeing your mistake as a failure, try to frame it in a positive light and look at it as a learning opportunity. If we take the time to learn from our mistakes we are less likely to make that same mistake again.

by South University, Online Programs
March 25, 2014
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The Women of the IT World

by South University, Online Programs
March 24, 2014

Traditionally, men have made up the majority of the workforce in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field. In fact, less than 12% of computer science and information technology degrees recipients were women in 2011, and women make up less than 20% of the total population of computer programmers in the United States. Even today, despite male and female teenagers having similar rates of Internet usage, girls are still five times less likely to pursue a career in the STEM field.

ITHere are five females who have left their mark on the information technology landscape, proving that just because they are the minority, doesn’t mean they can’t make a big difference.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg spent four years as Facebook’s COO before being named to the social network’s board of directors. She is a Harvard graduate who served as chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department, and even spent time in upper management at Google. She also co-authored the best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

At just 25 years old, Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon in 1978. Since then, the biotech entrepreneur has guided the company to become India’s eleventh-largest pharmaceutical company. 

Marissa Mayer

Mayer broke into the IT world as the first female engineer at Google, where she worked on search technologies, books, maps, news, and more. She is now CEO of Yahoo and responsible for revitalizing the brand to once again be a powerful force online.

Susan Wojcicki

As the Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce at Google, Wojcicki was the mastermind behind Google AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, and DoubleClick, which account for more than 95% of Google’s annual revenue. She is currently Senior Vice President of YouTube.

Weili Dai

Dai co-founded Marvel Technology Group in 1995 and now rakes in revenues of more than $3 billion annually. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of semiconductors and provides its product to companies like Samsung, Apple, and Toshiba.

The Importance of Gender Diversity in the Workplace

With more and more competition from across the globe, it's important for the United States to encourage underrepresented groups, like women and minorities, to play a larger role in the IT field. Adding female workers to the IT workforce stimulates innovation and avoids homogeneous group thinking that can occur when groups of very similar people work together.

Studies have shown that gender diversity in the workforce encourages increased creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. Having a diverse workforce also helps companies form connections with their clients, who often do not match the same all-male demographic as most IT companies.

Although women still make up a small percentage of the overall IT workforce, many companies have created incentive programs to help women overcome the gender gap and have successful careers in the STEM field.

- Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends
- Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers
- If Girls Don't Get IT, IT Won't Get Girls

by South University, Online Programs
March 24, 2014
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Save The Date for the 2014 Commencement Weekend!

by South University, Online Programs
March 18, 2014

South University is excited to announce our annual Commencement weekend, which will take place June 27-28, 2014 in Savannah, Georgia. We’re looking forward to another year of honoring and recognizing the hard work and success of our graduates. We hope that many of our online students will be making the journey and celebrating with their family and friends who have helped them along the way.

Graduating students can expect more information and an RSVP request to arrive in their inboxes next month!

Ceremony Times & Location

Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Grad cap1 International Drive
Savannah, GA 31421
(912) 447-4000

The Hooding ceremonies for Master level programs as well as all Nursing programs will take place throughout the day on Friday June 27, 2014.

Graduation will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday June 28, 2014, and line-up for the ceremony will begin several hours prior.

Please check the Campus Common for more information or to order your cap and gown.

We hope to see you in Savannah!

by South University, Online Programs
March 18, 2014
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How to Stay Connected & Get the Most Out of Your Online Classes

by South University, Online Programs
March 15, 2014

Online courses are a great way to get an education without having to worry about physically being in class. Whether your decision to take online classes is based on distance, time constraints or simply convenience, online courses can help you increase your knowledge and prepare you to further your career.

Online LearningThe key to getting the most out of online learning is to get involved and become a part of your school’s online community. Online students often are more motivated when they feel connected to their fellow online learners. Forming positive connections with your peers will help you be more interested in interacting with other students and faculty, more determined to try your best, and more excited to show up for class each day.

Get to Know Your Fellow Online Student Peers

Just because you’re not sitting in rows of desks around each other doesn’t mean there aren’t the same opportunities for community building. Here are some tips to help you connect:

• Make a point to introduce yourself to other students in your online learning course.
• Get to know other online students on a personal level or even become friends.
• Actively participate in both required and optional class discussions.
• Ask if other online students live in your area and want to start an in-person study group.
• Interact with other students using social media--whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is up to you!

Have School Spirit

Online learning allows people all over the world to join together under the common interest of education. Having a diverse online student body makes online schools an exciting and unique learning experience, so take pride in where you learn!

• Familiarize yourself with your school’s website.
• Follow and interact with your school’s social media.
• Learn about your school’s history, values, and mission.
• Wear your school’s colors.
• Get involved in any activities or organizations associated with your school.

Spread the Word

As an online student, you are on an exciting educational journey. Share your story with friends and family to help them understand what you are gaining from online learning. Talking about your online education will also help you feel like an informed, active, and connected member of your online community.

By sharing your experience, you are reinforcing your connection with your online community and maybe even convincing your family and friends to join you in your journey!

by South University, Online Programs
March 15, 2014
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