Graduate Education Degree Concentrations

As educational careers and instructional certifications become more specialized, education graduate programs are reflecting this by encouraging students to declare a concentration within their education degree program. A concentration makes educators more attractive, often broadening their career prospects and better preparing them to meet the challenges of being an education professional.

While it’s typical for a student to declare a minor in a different field altogether-say, an international trade law major might choose a minor such as Chinese language if he or she intends to work within the Asian marketplace-a concentration is often closely linked with the major, more tailored to a specific job description. Someone looking to establish a career related to electronic teaching methods and new media in education, for instance, might pursue a masters degree in education with a concentration in distance learning, or instructional technology.

Credit hour requirements for concentrations vary greatly; programs typically require anywhere between 12 credit hours and 36 credit hours to complete degree requirements for a concentration within the primary degree program. This varies from one institution to the next, and of course, is dependent on the nature of the concentration itself.

Let’s take a look at a few education degree programs and concentrations to see what’s out there, and to help you better understand how selecting an education concentration might best serve your goals.

Educational Technology

Instructional or educational technology is a growing field that emphasizes the use of technology in education, both in the classroom and as a platform for distance learning programs. It encourages the design and implementation of a wide variety of tools to facilitate and advance students’ potential for learning. With modern curricula being built around the use of digital technology and new media, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in educational technology provides teachers with a valuable technological skill set and a solid working knowledge of e-learning methods. Those who understand and embrace these emerging learning methods are in high demand these days, whether it be in education or in private and corporate settings. Check out the International Society for Technology in Education’s Educator’s Resource page to learn more about this exciting, ever-changing field.

Curriculum and Instruction Strategies

A masters degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction strategies can help teachers improve and strengthen their classroom practices. Exploring such areas as student literacy, inclusion and educational leadership, this concentration helps prepare instructors to better implement practical solutions to problems encountered both inside and out of the classroom. There are plenty of related concentrations in education that are associated with curriculum and classroom methodologies that can also benefit administrators, curriculum developers and department heads, among others. In addition, various teacher certifications are contingent upon completing concentrations like curriculum and instruction strategies.

Inclusion

As a practical theory, inclusion is another name for (or synonymous with) what may have been formerly known as “special education”. New educational models emphasize the inclusion of special needs children in the traditional classroom-built around the premise that children who learn together, learn to live together. A concentration in inclusion is designed to provide K-12 classroom teachers and administrators with critical theory and practical knowledge related to special education inclusion-offering educators the opportunity to study and improve upon professional practices, and in some cases, receive special education teacher certification as well.

Language and Literacy

Concentrations emphasizing reading, writing and literacy allow students to focus their attention on the study of how people develop, communicate and process written and spoken languages. This field explores complex relationships between these developmental processes, and how they reflect and relate to institutions, communities and cultures. Naturally, this field appeals to teachers of language and writing, but also has crossover value to those involved in studying new communication methods, particularly as they relate to technological advancement and ever-changing modes of communication. A concentration in language and literacy can prepare students for a broad array of career options, and also puts the graduate student in touch with the most fundamental elements of education: language and communication. The International Reading Association offers an excellent online resource, full of journals, publications and helpful Web tools for literacy and language professionals worldwide.

Education – We’re Failing Our Children

There are reams of reading and stacks of studies purporting to assess various problems of the United States’ educational system. Each problem turns out to be rooted in our individual failure to place an extremely high value on a solid education. Our failure contrasts sharply with societal values of China, India or Japan where admission to universities is a high calling and competition for scarce slots is fierce.

This failure to assign a high value to education is all too easily laid at the feet of society rather than each of us. Unfortunately, that approach allows individuals to escape responsibility for doing something to reverse the “… rising tide of mediocrity”, so well documented a whole generation ago by the National Commission on Excellence in Education.1 If we truly cared we would be working, really hard, to reverse that tide.

The numerous findings of the Commission as to content, expectations, time and teaching2 are more compelling today than they were then. Little has been done to: extend the school year or extend daily hours in school. Those remain the same. (note 10 infra) A full core of language, math and science for all students is not required and only a third of students study the solid subjects.3 Teacher pay remains low in comparison to other professional opportunities for college graduates.4 Dropouts are 30% or higher.5 The disproportionate influence of the education lobby continues.6

The consequences of a failed system are severe. Our kids won’t have good jobs. Their quality of life will decline, sharply. Our culture will lose international influence. Commerce does not wait. CEOs can hire better educated workers offshore to sustain value. Why should the rest of us wait at home?

In 2005 the prestigious ACT noted: “… the number of post secondary school graduates will not be sufficient to fill the more than 14 million new jobs that will be added to the labor market by 2008. And, leaving high school without being prepared … will cost our nation over $16 billion each year in remediation, lost productivity, and increased demands on criminal justice and welfare systems.”7

In 1984 thirty seven states had minimum competency tests for high school graduation. By 1995 the number was seventeen. The minimums have tended to become maximums, thus lowering standards for all.8 Today rank and file teachers say with some irony that “No Child Left Behind” is coming to mean “All Children Left Behind.”9

The organized time that children spend learning in school has remained static at 180 days per year and about 6 hours per day for a generation. By contrast, educators in China, with one fortieth the per capita GDP of the United States, have 8 hour school days in its poorest, worst educated province.10 Talk about valuing education!

The Commission also noted that a “… 1981 survey of 45 States revealed shortages of mathematics teachers in 43 States, critical shortages of earth sciences teachers in 33
States, and of physics teachers everywhere. This shortage persists. The percent of college graduates going into the teaching profession has continued to decline.11

One specific thing we can do is vote! Votes can emphasize values. Votes get the attention of those who make policy. Even though federal and state education policies tend to dominate, a critical link in our system of education is the independent nature of local school boards. Where voters in local districts can lead, those politics can also help to elect state and federal officials with values that can help.

In short, we need to build a better value system for education. Ask prospective School Board members; ask state and federal candidates what they will do, specifically, to raise the priority of, and fund, high quality education for our children. Elect and retain those with pro-education answers, and actions. Don’t vote for those whose talk — and actions — fail to show that education is a topmost priority.

As parents, we must tell our children we value education highly — and back those words with deeds. Teachers alone cannot be expected to change the value system of our society. The preeminent value we place on education must be clear in all our social interactions, and in our families. Even through poverty, divorce, and single parenthood, education must be sustained as a most important activity of family life. No electronic toys, or ipods, or play time, until all of the homework is done. No cell phone privileges unless grades are up to snuff. And we all can think of additional ways to drive home the point that hardly anything is more important to our children and their posterity than acquiring a quality education. Learning well is simply essential to their future.12

Citations:

1 A Nation At Risk: National Commission on Excellence in Education; April 1983
2 ibid: Findings; also following Note 10 re teacher shortages
3 Courses Count: ACT 2005 (American College Testing, formerly)
4 USCA: New Teachers and Old Pay Structures; 2002
5 Manhattan Institute: High School Graduation Rates in the U.S.; 2001
6 American Behavioral Scientist: The Political Context of Higher Education; 2000
7 ACT: Courses Count; Preparing Students for Post Secondary Success; 2005
8 Synthesis Report 20; NCEO 1995
9 Desert Sands Unified School District: Author interviews; 2006-2007
10 The Education Sector; Washington D.C. and IUCN Asia Directorate; 2001 (Ghizou; Lowest urban GDP/worst education)
11 Opportunity in Education
12 Author David L. Smith is retired from a dual career in local government and in business. He has owned a company, served as Chairman and CEO of a ten-university consortium doing technology transfers, and as County Administrator for one of California’s largest counties. He is state certified as a guest teacher, grades K-12, for his local school district.

7 Ways to Ensure Success With an Online Education Degree

The ability to obtain an online education degree has opened the educational doors for many students who cannot afford to attend school on campus as a full-time student. Distance learning courses definitely provide some advantages over the traditional college education. But, because of the methods of delivering and receiving the material, students must consider the 7 things necessary in approaching an online education successfully.

1. Choosing the best education online institution – Make sure the institute for higher education chosen has adequate resources and accreditation recognized by the proper authorities. Unless authenticity can be verified, find another school. Sadly, unscrupulous degree mills offer degrees with short-term or no real education. Thus, the diplomas are bogus and absolutely worthless. Find a school that provides solid education, ample student support, and the facilities necessary to succeed in your distance learning.

2. Check the cost vs. benefit – Many students don’t check the cost-benefit factor before enrolling into an online education degree college. We are all aware that acquiring an education requires huge amounts of money. But a smart move is to first compare with what the future earning potential of your profession will be once you earn the degree. Once you figure this out, only then would you determine if it makes sense to acquire an online education degree.

3. Degree validation by employers – No wonder many employers are wary of online degrees. With bogus institutions literally selling degrees, employers have good reason to be doubtful and cautious. Therefore, immediately alleviate any potential misgivings by your prospective employer by offering verification of accreditation through an agency sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education and CHEA.

4. Discipline, determination, and time – First time distance learning students are often surprised by the amount of discipline necessary to stay on task and complete the online assignment. It takes unfaltering determination to achieve an online education. In addition, without regularly scheduled classes, it is essential to exercise good time management skills. To keep focused, without the physical presence of educator and peers, it is important to establish communication with other students to have another push toward success in your education degree online

5. Utilize all the facilities provided by your college – Many education degree online courses provide online lectures and email access to facilitate communication among students, lecturers and administration staff. It’s important to take full advantage of these services as they keep you “connected” with your accredited online college. It helps further your motivation in your studies when you make use of these facilities to stay in touch.

6. Make use of credit transfers – Many online education degree colleges allow students to transfer their credits from courses they took in previous colleges, whether online or traditional. By doing this, it means students don’t have to repeat courses they learnt before. For this to be effected, it’s important for a student who intends to pursue an education online to make sure they get transcripts and results from their previous universities or colleges and make them available to their accredited online college so they can be passed as transfer credits.

7. Take advantage of technology to complete your class work – Another factor for online education degree success is the opportunity to take advantage of all the conveniences that technology provides. Many accredited online colleges provide students with online digital libraries, databases and resources that a student can use to complete their course work and assignments. In most instances the cost of these facilities is already included in the tuition fees. Thus it makes good sense to make full use of these resources to your advantage.

Five Myth Busters of Changing Careers – Breaking Free to Reach Your Dreams

Aside from the statistics about the sheer number of careers across our lifetimes in 2009, there are a multitude of new perspectives on career planning, and career options. Was it an option to be a network engineer in a small office when you were a youngster? How about a nanotechnology researcher? Had you ever heard of international micro-loans? These are a few illustrations of newer trends in occupations and career path options.

Even if you are not changing careers this month or this year, you will still need to adapt to changing job demands and responsibilities. Moreover, you likely know someone who will be helped by this informative and freeing approach. Let’s break down the threats of the Changing Career Myths together. Read, consider strategies and options for your future, and share this timely information with your friends and family.

1. Career Bondage: You have to pick one career and stick with it. I did not realize anyone still believed this until I started polling high school seniors and college students. Sure enough, these young adults are convinced that their career choice is an irreversible decision. What pressure they experience in Career Bondage. When people look at the statistics and realize they will likely have several careers across their lifetime, it is a liberating experience. Suddenly they are free to step into the first opportunity. Phew! I have seen this excruciatingly long awaited step happen to 17 year olds and 55 year olds. They have similar issues despite being at very different life stages of course. The freedom to step into your future is always a good thing.

2. Closed Doors: Many careers are closed doors for me because I don’t have the correct academic degree. You know I have to use the example of Thomas Edison here, correct? He did not have a college degree and look at the influence he had on our world! It is innovation, dedication and inspiration which make a significant difference in many situations. Today, USA culture expects not only a high school diploma, but also a college degree for professional careers. However, once you have tagged that base, you have a multitude of options available to you. Most careers have entry level positions; consider that as you gain more experience and work up further in the organization and industry it may become even better paid and more exciting.

3. FULL TILT, or not at all: If you are going to switch careers you have to go into it full tilt, or not at all. Indeed, a much more successful approach is to try out your new career as a part-time position while you maintain your current career. If you really enjoy it and find it profitable, determine the best strategy for additional training and career opportunities. Another strategy is that if you are thinking of starting your own business, use the same strategy and research the details, plan your ramp-up to test the waters while you continue your full-time work. This approach often works for consulting services, mail-order, web-based fulfillments, and other home based businesses which can fulfill the needs for products or services during nontraditional work hours. Just be sure your full-time work does not suffer at the feet of your new career exploration. The references and relationships you have now will allows follow you and it is much more advantageous if they are always positive.

4. The Lone Ranger Rides Again: Nobody can help you with your career; you have to go it alone. From the country of the ostensibly self-made person, this myth seems to have become a Golden Rule. Truth be told, it is a Golden Failure when followed.The most successful people realize that they cannot know or do everything themselves and instead surround themselves with sharp, supportive advisers, coaches, and assistants. Use recommendations from colleagues, friends or research people who can assist you. Whichever avenue, be sure to run, not walk, as you begin creating a crackerjack support team. Critical members for this network include a financial adviser, career coach/adviser, proofreader (for cover letters and correspondence), and a lawyer (to review employment contracts, agreements, etc).

5. It’s a Matter of Luck. Successful careers are a matter of luck, you have to wait for the right door to open. Upon closer examination,it seems that many people who espouse this myth are not very successful. Successful people have shed too much sweat in their efforts and know better. Early in my 2nd career, I thought I was experiencing a lot of luck; however, when I said this to my supervisor, he said, “You create your luck, Kathy. I watch you do it.” I am often reminded of this comment because I find it natural to scan the environment for trends, look for opportunities and seek ways to move ahead. Moreover, I take initiative: I love what I do; therefore, I keep wanting to learn more about it! To the outsider it might look like I am working really hard to create luck. I think it is much simpler. The key to creating successful career opportunities may be initiative.

Rational Career Planning – Understanding 6 Career Vs Job Differences

To undertake a rational career planning approach, we need ask ourselves and acknowledge the answer to the following two similar questions.

  • Are words career and job synonyms of each other?
  • Does looking for a job mean the same as charting your career path?

The answer to both the above questions is a big ‘No’. The terms career and job cannot be used interchangeably. Searching for a job and charting ones career does not mean the same thing. Let us try and appreciate the differences.

The Differences Between Career and Job

  1. Career and job are two different concepts. Career is an all encompassing, broader concept whereas job is a narrower approach.
  2. The search of a job begins when you complete your education or when you need one, whereas a career needs to be managed. It needs to be planned right from the stage of high school.
  3. It is not necessary that a job or for that matter a good job may be a stepping stone towards achieving your career goal. Extending it further, it is not necessary that the promotions in your job may take you closer to your career goal.
  4. Both career management and job search require a network. Practically, these days’ networking is very essential. In the case of a job the network is very superficial. Your interest in the network and the networks interest do not have a depth. On the other hand, in case of a career, your network comprises of strong relationships. In a career you and your network add value to each other.
  5. In the case of a career, you would time and again do a SWOT analysis (analysis with effort or determination) of skill set. You aspire to enhance your skill set and continuously work on yourself. Working on your skill set takes you closer to your career goal. On the other hand in the case of a job, you try to acquire skills which help you perform your job better, or help you to seek a promotion.
  6. In a job your success is governed by what other people think and perceive but in the case of a career, you measure your success in your own terms. You measure your success against the time line that you decided for yourself.

Rational career planning goes hand in hand with understanding, but most of all acknowledging, these differences. People who have a job and are hired to accomplish a task set to accomplish someone else his goal. when the task is done, the job is done. People who have a career, work on it ever day. It is an ongoing process.

Building the Ideal Career

Building the ideal career begins with you identifying what it is you really want to do with your life in the long term. No matter what you want to do, there are steps you need to put in place first, to help you get to where you want to be.

To build the ideal career, you need to have a plan in place, and it is also important to really think about other aspects of your career choice, such as the following:

1. Your personal values

It is important when deciding on the ideal career for yourself, that you identify your personal values. The reason for this is because your personal values play an important part in your entire life, and if you were to decide on a career that is a direct contradiction to your personal values, then it is highly likely you would not see the results you are hoping for.

For example, if spending a lot time with your family is high on your list of personal values, then choosing a career that would take you away from your family for long periods of time would be in direct contradiction with those values. In fact, you would very quickly realize that having a career such as the one you have chosen, is probably not the right one for you.

So in other words, your career must fit in with your personal values and allow you to balance your work and family life based on these values.

2. Your current skills

Next, you may want to look at your current skills. Do you currently have the required skills for your chosen career? If not, are you prepared to get out there and learn these skills?
How much time will it take you to learn these skills, and are you prepared to put in this amount of time?

3. Your personality

Some personalities suit certain careers better than others. For example, if you are thinking about going into sales, then the ideal personality type would be one of an extrovert as opposed to an introvert who is not comfortable getting out there and selling.

4. Your interests

Obviously, if you pick a career that is in line with your interests, then it is likely you are going to enjoy doing what you do. For example, a person who loves animals may benefit from a career working with animals. On the other hand, you might be interested in working on projects, so would benefit by working as a project manager or business analyst or similar.

Regardless of what you do, especially if you require some additional training to get started, when building the ideal career you need to consider that you will be doing this for a very long time to come, so it is important you pick one that you truly believe you will enjoy.

Once you have decided on an ideal career, it is now time to plan how you are going to get there.

The following steps to building the ideal career will get you started:

1. Write down what it is you want to do (what is your career choice?)
2. Establish where you are now – write down your current skills, knowledge and other attributes that will contribute to your chosen career. Also write down the skills, knowledge and other attributes you require in order to excel in your career.
3. Decide on how you are going to get your skills and knowledge up to the level you require in order to excel in your chosen career.
4. Get out there and do it!

Building the ideal career starts with the decision about what you want to do. Most importantly however, is the action you take once you have made this decision. Before long, you will be well on your way to achieving your career goals.

Are You Ready to Change Career Paths?

If you are already established in a current career, changing to a new career path involves taking a large amount of risk. But as the saying goes “no guts, no glory”, and taking the risk can lead to great benefits. When looking into a new career path you should evaluate the amount of risk and the possible benefits. There are also some things you can do to start moving toward a new career without immediately giving up the stable career that you currently have.

The first thing you can do is offer to volunteer for something that applies to your desired career. You can gain experience that will boost your resume toward to your new career path and make the transition easier. You can also find out if this career change is right for you without immediately giving up your current career path. You can also take a part-time job in the field you are interested in. Like volunteering this gives you the chance to experience your desired career without losing your current one.

Going back to school is also a great way to boost your resume and gain experience with a new career. By taking classes at night at either a university or vocational school, you can move toward the new career without sacrificing your current stable career and paycheck. Schooling will often provide benefits even if you do not decide to change careers. It can help you move toward another area in your current career or just help you get the skills that will help you move forward in your current career. Going back to school is a decision that few people ever regret, so the risk with this plan is relatively small, though it does involve a monetary investment.

You can also decide to give up your current career and dive headfirst in a new one. You can help to supplement the decrease in income by working part time jobs on the side. This can be through working a part time job with an employer, or through freelancing. If you stay within your desired career path you can increase your experience and boost your resume by working within your field. The extra work might take up all your free time, but in the end you will be able to work in a job that you truly enjoy, which is a benefit that could be worth the risk. Giving up your current career by choice is a very risky maneuver, so if possible is always best to try and get experience and knowledge of your desired switch before quitting your current job. If you do not have that choice, then freelancing may be your best option.

If you have achieved a lot of success in your current career, and don’t want to start over entirely, consider offering your services as a consultant or business coach. You can also choose to open your own business in a field that you love and have experience in. Whether your decision to start a new career is voluntary, or prompted by job loss, make the most of the opportunity, and take the time to find something that you love to do.

Definition of Universal Life Policies

One three main types of full coverage life insurance policies are universal life policies, variable life, and whole life. Like whole life insurance, universal life insurance is cash value based. Cash value in this case refers to the amount of money that you pay into the policy over and above your premiums and fees. This additional cash is put into a special account that accrues interest that you agree upon with your insurer prior to signing. Usually this savings account is attached to a mutual fund, bond, or financial index and is designed to grow your money in the long run.

Do you need universal life policies?

Term life insurance generally gives you a lesser value for your dollar than universal life insurance. With universal insurance you might spend a little more in premiums, but you get a cash value savings account included with the deal. You take care of your insurance and savings account in one.

What is variable universal life policies?

Each life insurance category has a sub-category or two and viable universal insurance is a sub-category of universal life. It will give you a permanent policy that has no expiration date, but they usually have the cash value portion tied almost exclusively to a mutual fund account instead of bonds and/or indexes. While mutual funds can be unpredictable and riskier, the stocks invested in are generally fairly stable and promise a much more lucrative balance in the end. If, however, you are uncomfortable with trusting in the unpredictable instability of a mutual fund, this may not be the best option to you.

How does universal coverage stack up against whole life coverage?

The fundamental differences between a universal policy and a whole life policy vary slightly. A universal life policy gives you variable sliding scales with mortality costs, expense projection rates, and cash value amounts. A universal policy carries the option of having no investment risk in the cash value and gives you the ability to adjust your premiums and death benefit values. You’ll also get, with a universal policy, the option of suspending your premiums for a set period of time if the need arises.

How can you use universal life policies?

There are a lot of ways you can use a universal insurance policy. The advantages lie in the amount of things you can do with the policy over and above the death benefits. The whole point in acquiring a universal life policy is for this very reason. You can even get policies that have something attached to them called “accelerated benefits”. These benefits will help pay for long term care for situations where the insured requires additional help and care due to illness or age. You can also use cash withdrawals from the accrued cash value account that is equal to that amount, if not greater than. Keep in mind, though, this should be used only on an emergency basis.

Why It’s Probably Not Worth Going to University Any More

I’ve been thinking recently, if I was a fresh-faced 18-year-old just out of college with my whole life ahead of me and pondering what to do next, would I go to university? The answer is probably not!

Before I explain, I must insert a disclaimer here that this does not mean that I don’t recommend anyone else to, neither does it rule out me sending my future kids to university. However, as a university graduate of 2004, the more I think about going to university today, the more I find myself wondering what exactly is the point?

My first issue with this age-old institution is the very modern practice of excessively high university fees.

A tax on knowledge?

As of next year, university tuition fees will be rising to a maximum of £9,000 which doesn’t include living expenses, cost of books, and all the other associated costs of student life – it is no wonder the latest UCAS figures show the biggest fall in university applications in more than 30 years!

How it is justifiable to fine, sorry charge, people whopping amounts to educate themselves is completely beyond me. Surely this is some kind of stealth tax on knowledge? From the parent perspective, I can imagine how massive a financial burden this must be, especially where there is more than one university-ready child in the household. These ludicrous fees may well see the UK go down the same route as China in future by adopting a one child policy to keep things affordable.

Forget uni, try YouTube instead!

The second reason I’m somewhat anti-university for now is that thanks to the internet, the world of learning has opened up in so many different and exciting ways that you can pretty much teach yourself anything you want by simply watching YouTube or scouring the pages of Google.

Unlike the somewhat restricted curriculum of a university module, self-taught subjects can be as varied as you like and as long or short as you like, and the best part is most of these online resources are free or low cost so you can save your university fees for your mortgage down payment instead. Also this way, you get to teach yourself subjects that actually affect your day-to-day life such as how to plan and achieve goals, manage your finances, develop a “winning” mindset and so on…

Branson didn’t go uni… and look where it got him

Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted but the truth is that it’s becoming more and more of an attractive option for young people who can’t find a job in today’s climate. It makes sense – if some big boss somewhere won’t give you a job, simply create your own!

Richard Branson didn’t go to university and look where it got him; neither did Ingvar Kamprad – the guy who founded IKEA, Simon Cowell who needs no explanation, and countless other entrepreneurs who are today living their own version of “the dream” without first obtaining letters after their name.

And where did your degree get you…?

This is a question many graduates I know struggle to answer because what they do now is so far removed from what they studied at university that apart from the hefty debt they’re still paying back (myself included), there’s not much else to show for the certificate. Once upon a time going to university and getting a degree was mandatory for getting somewhere in life but today we have so much evidence to prove otherwise that it’s almost entirely old-fashioned to make such a statement.

There are of course benefits to going to university, such as the exposure to student life, better access to certain jobs in certain industries, practical skills of writing and submitting dissertations on time, and of course the reduced travel card fare and student discounts to theatres and films, but when you weigh that against the literal cost of going to university in these modern times, it’s only right to ask the question: would YOU go to university today?

Well-Informed Parents Give the World Educated Youth

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a great meeting at Miles College with three lovely ladies. One was Dean Knight. The meeting took place in her office and we discussed a great project that one of the students wants to see happen on college campuses across the country – starting at Miles College.

Meeting Dean Knight was such a pleasure. She is well informed, personable, and a very free spirit with whom we all shared several laughs during the meeting. I personally want to thank both her and all educators around this nation, for pouring into the lives of our future leaders. They give more than many of us realize.

At the conclusion of our meeting, we discussed some of the problems young people face on most college campuses, and one of those that surfaced was the habitual use of marijuana and other drugs. Dean Knight talked about how most kids do not realize the long-term effects of smoking marijuana and view using it as “no big deal”. I know, from my work with parents and youth, that she has a handle on the true depth of this problem.

As parents, we must become educated about drugs so we can tell our kids more than just the old, “don’t use drugs” jargon. Kids need to know the cause and effects of drug use and there is no better person to give this education to them than their own parents. A great resource for helping parents to educate themselves and, in turn, educate their youth is “The Ultimate Guide For Drug Free and Productive Youth”.

I believe that well-informed and educated parents give the world well informed and educated kids! Three weeks ago, while speaking for UMADAOP of Ohio, I was a panelist for the Marijuana Summit. I met some great people who have great resources for parents to better educate themselves. The information is based on numbers – and we know numbers never lie! Check out these 2

Sending educated, informed youth into the world leads to three game changers:

1. When youth are educated about drugs, they make better LIFE CHOICES and this allows them to be more productive in life. Our choices do only 2 things: They enhance our life or take away from our life. We want our youth to consider the consequences of every choice.

2. When kids are educated about the long-term effects of drug use, it has a way of eliminating the CURIOSITY FACTOR about drugs that lead so many youth into trying them in the first place. Too many youth who experiment with drugs – end up addicted. Let’s educate our kids, so their CURIOSITY FACTOR is not the foundation of their choices.

3. The main thing that educating our youths about drugs does is provide them with CLARITY. Being clear about the negative effect of drugs and knowing that they do NOT provide any value to life is an essential belief that allows youth to say a resounding, “No!” to drug use – and mean it. I challenge all parents to educate themselves in this area and then educate your kids and witness the decline in drug abuse