Less Than You Paid For

A colleague of mine often stated that higher education is the only business where the customers are willing to take less than they paid for, and actually ask to be short-changed. By that he was referring to the fact that students will almost always jump at a chance to get out of class early, or have their assignments shortened. I know this to be true, because I was once a student too, and that was part of my perspective.

I was talking with a young lady a few months ago about her educational goals. I asked where she planned to go to college. She indicated a school more than an hour away, even though there were schools locally that had the same program. When I inquired why she would drive that far for the same program, she said that the school she wanted to go to had a reputation for being easier.  She was enrolling in a nursing program . . . think about it.

Another student I talked to indicated she never read the assignments and was doing just fine. A different student in a more advanced class also wasn’t reading the assignments but was struggling to grasp the material.  I often hear the statement “we are having to teach ourselves,” and it occured to me that you might not understand the dynamics of Adult Degree Completion programs, which is what Belhaven University’s Adult Studies is based on, so I thought I’d explain it.

If you were a traditional undergraduate student you would be attending class two or three times a week over a 16 week semester for a total of 40 seat hours. The Adult Studies model has you in class for the same 3 credit hour course for only 20 hours condensed into 5 weeks. We can do this for two reasons:

  1. By having you read the material ahead of time and attempt the homework, you come to class better prepared to ask questions and with a better understanding of what you need to have clarified.  This is a crucial piece and what is often confused with “teaching yourself.” Of course, that means to get the fullest benefit from your course you need to read the assigned material, attempt the assignments to the best of your ability, and meet in class for the full time.  Your engagement in the class sessions makes a big difference in what you learn. This model effectively saves you 20 extra hours of sitting in a classroom setting!
  2. Because you are adults, your experiences increase your ability to take the material and integrate it into your life better than an 18-22 year old could.  You are better able to see connections between what you are learning and real-life applications; which makes it possible to shorten the learning process, again, saving you many additional hours in the classroom.

I hope this has helped put things into perspective for you. I want you to succeed, but it won’t happen accidentally. It will require real effort on your part and you will benefit most from a passion to get ALL you paid for by fully applying yourself.

Blessings,

Provocation and Response

Imagine your boss comes to you and is irate over something you have done or not done.  From your perspective the issue didn’t seem to be significant enough to warrant the boss’ tone of voice, or choice of words. Which takes me to my point: If the response seems out of proportion to the provocation, then you should strongly suspect there are other factors contributing to the response.  Check out the video below:

Righteousness: the New Business Ethic

Ethical practice seems to imply righteousness.  I know that isn’t the definition of ethical behavior but it is what most of us would understand when someone is said to be ethical.  When ethical practice actually does equate with righteousness, then things go well, the business prospers and God is honored.  But when your personal or business ethic deviates from righteousness, trouble is not far behind.  Check out  the video below:

 

Do It!

If your boss asks you to do something, unless it is unethical or immoral, DO IT!  Do whatever is asked with excellence and ahead of schedule.  You may not understand why you were asked to do that specific task, or you may feel that the task is beneath you; that’s not your call.  Your call is to be an exemplary employee or find a different job. Don’t turn a molehill into a mountain.  Check out the Proverb below for more:

Stress – don’t ignore it!

When I was in college I took some psychology courses. One of the things I remember from that experience was the professor stating: “Stress will ALWAYS find a way to express itself.” I’ve found that to be true. It might be loss of sleep, biting your nails, headaches, grinding your teeth at night, being exceptionally cranky, etc. Stress will always find a way to express itself. Our job is to recognize the symptoms of stress and then drill down to find healthy ways to manage that stress.  See the proverb below:

Everybody needs a mentor

Really everybody needs multiple mentors across their entire life.  So get as many as possible. I have had a few that deeply influenced my life.  Some of my mentors taught me important lessons about what to do and how to live.  From others I learned lessons about what not to do and practices to avoid.  I don’t think I was very successful at finding or connecting with as many mentors as I could have.  Check out the short video below:

 

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This is called the Golden Rule and those who practice this in every part of their life are worth their weight in Gold!  Let’s go one step farther; do unto others as you would like others to do unto your mother, daughter, or other loved one.  When we treat others as we would like to be treated not only do they love it, but there is an inner affirmation that we’ve done the right thing.  Check out the short video below:

 

Launch!

I am excited about coming to the Lefleur campus as the Dean. I’ve been involved in adult higher education for over 20 years, helping people just like you realize their dreams of a better life by earning a college degree.  I know what kind of effort and sacrifice it takes to push through to the goal of getting that diploma and I’m honored to be part of the team working with you. I want to do all I can to aid you in that process. In fact, our whole team of staff shares this same passion: your success in achieving your educational goals.

This blog is going to be part of our strategy in achieving that goal.  You will find posts on here that will give you helpful tips and ideas about how to work smarter and keep balance in your life. Some of the ideas you may use immediately, others may have a longer-term benefit. Regardless, I want you to know up front that we, all the staff at Belhaven University, are rooting for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us and we will do our best to answer your questions as quickly as possible.

If you find that the information in this blog isn’t quite what you need or hoped for, let me know and I’ll work to make it more relevant.  You will also have the option, on the notification emails you receive, to unsubscribe to this blog, but I hope you’ll wait to do that until you’ve given me a chance to serve you through this venue.

Blessings,

Dr. Upchurch
Dean Belhaven Jackson/Madison
Associate V.P. Regional Campuses
Belhaven University
rupchurch@belhaven.edu

Change is Cheesy

There is a great book about change and how change can create fear in our lives. It seems appropriate to revisit since change is constant and will always be with us on earth.  Who Moved my Cheese? An A-Mazing Way to Deal With Change in your Work and In Your Life, written by Spencer Johnson, M.D., is an allegory about two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two people named Hem and Haw. The characters in this book deal with a serious problem: the of lack cheese, which is a symbol of livelihood.  In this blog I would like to focus on the character Haw “who learns to adapt in times when he sees changing can lead to something better” (1998, p.11).

One of the truisms discovered by Haw is “when you stop being afraid, you feel good” (1998 p.55). Fear can be paralyzing and counterproductive in our lives. It comes in many forms that are both healthy and not healthy: fear of things which keep us from danger and overcoming fears which can lead to freedom and new beginnings.  President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous saying the only thing we have to fear is fear itself that fear in the face of change only makes things worse.

When Moses revisited the law in Deuteronomy to the people of Israel they were on the precipice of change that would lead them to into their promised city. Fear was very present and he spoke saying. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (31:6).

I want to challenge you that when change happens and actions are needed, assess your fear factors, prioritize, show respect to the fears that could lead to harm, and sacrifice the ones that keep you from moving forward in your quest for CHEESE!

 

Johnson, S. (1998). Who moved my cheese? Abbotsford, British Columbia: The Braille Superstore.