Non-traditional students are quickly outgrowing their name since their numbers are increasing all across the globe, making them anything but non-traditional. If you are a student, who is older than the average college student (i.e. 18-22 years old) or has intermittently continued your college education, you are generally considered a non-traditional student, and that means relatively that your life is atypical of a younger college student. You might have children, hold a fulltime job, take online or night classes, or all of the above. In any case, you will face challenges unique to your situation, most of which deal with balancing your work and class schedules and/or that of your family to boot.
Public and private educational institutions are making laudable progress is accommodating non-traditional students. That means more online classes, optional early morning and night classes, childcare, etc. Unfortunately the non-traditional student still must face frequent scenarios in which their schedule doesn't permit them to attend classes in the middle of the workday. They don't have a few hours to hang out on campus and wait for their next class. In the instance where they have questions for their professors, the night class might let out as late as 11 pm, in which case, that professor doesn't want to stick around longer than absolutely necessary, and when it comes to online classes, most students, traditional and non-traditional, can both attest to the difficulty it can be at times to get timely responses from their professors about questions. Both are common scenarios that leave non-traditional students at a disadvantage, especially if they need to catch up on missed material. Fortunately, the LP Learning Center helps adults as well as children.
Over the years, we have assisted non-traditional students develop their foreign language skills, prepare for the GRE, review the core subjects, and more. Our tutors are uncommonly flexible, mobile, and experienced. If your schedule is hectic, we can tutor in home, at our center, or online so you don't have to worry about rushing to another location. We are ideal for the non-traditional student, who is strapped for time and money but still needs to master their course material. Don't be confined to emails or brief and rushed moments with your professor directly before or after class. Until the educational institutions perfect their systems for non-traditional students, let us make up the difference for you.
Do private schools guarantee scholastic and professional success for their students? Many believe they do. What about charter schools or Montessori schools for that matter? You can immediately dismiss public schools as far as many people's opinions are concerned. However, most students will obtain their education from the America public school system. The opinions on American schools vary as much as there are people to give them, but one thing is for certain. There is an exception for every rule that an expert might make, and where there is an exception, there is always hope that our students have a chance at success.
This article will only skim the surface of the ocean of data, research, and studies that pertain to the American educational system, but hopefully, it will also whet your appetite for further research so that you broaden your perspective about the education situation in America.
Firstly, it is true that the American test scores in comparison to other developed countries are declining, and our students understanding of math and the sciences is no longer the best as it once was. There are many factors that play crucial roles in these findings. These include but are not limited to: home life, socio-economic association, parental involvement, classroom climate, teacher quality, the conflicting federal, state, and municipal school board regulations and standards, student motivation, and of course the type of school. Let's look at the last factor.
By the numbers, student performance by school type constantly changes, depending on the sample group and the duration measured. However, these findings were verified by the most trying standard of all: the dollar. Many tech companies have been forced to hire outside of America due to the lack of qualified American applicants. You can bet that for the pay these companies are offering, qualified Americans would fill these positions if there were enough. Here are a few cross sections that bespeak state of American education.
· On average, charter schools perform about the same or worse than public schools, according to a Stanford University study in 2009. To boot, only 1 in 5 charter schools outperform public schools.
· The Center on Education Policy found in 2007 that neither private school students nor public school students with similar backgrounds were more likely to attend college. In addition, low-income students attending public high schools performed just as well academically as low-income students attending private high schools.
· In 2006, the NAEP found that despite the "advantaged" populations that attend private and charter schools, public schools score exceptionally well and many times outscore private and charter schools. 
There are two documentaries that really bring the whole American school system into question. First is A Private Universe, in which filmmakers queried Harvard graduates how the seasons work. Surprisingly, they produced the same misconceived explanations that jr. highers gave. The second is more recent, Waiting for Superman. This documentary takes to task the teachers' unions like the AFT and holds them responsible for encumbering the current education system to the point of retardation. In any case, these are worth watching.
If you are the parent of a college-bound high school senior, then you might know something about the college application process and its accompanying anxieties, but it is not as if there were no reason for the concern. The perception that colleges are becoming increasingly selective is pervading this country and inciting a kind of mania among applicants and their parents, who are more than ever before shelling out the money for the non-refundable deposits, sometimes for up to 10 colleges. The good news is the circumstance is not so dire as it would seem.
Highly selective schools are experiencing a record-breaking number of applications, double digits even. By the numbers, Harvard has recently observed a 19% increase in applications from the previous year, some 27, 278 applications in total. The University of Chicago - an 18% increase and Northwestern University - 14%. This is enough to raise more than eyebrows. It is raising blood pressure so to speak, but the worry is superfluous.
The factors are simple enough to understand. Many institutions have switched to online applications, enabling students to apply to more schools. The spectrum of students who hail from lower socio-economic backgrounds has expanded, as has their application numbers. What's more is the advent of the Common App, now an online general college application that is accepted by a few hundred colleges, including some of the selective ones. That being said, the natural response for students is to apply to more schools, but that is counterproductive and expensive.
Furthermore, the amount of high school seniors in America has peaked in 2011 and is now on the decline. Less seniors means less applicants. Many colleges are continuing to expand the freshman class in response to earlier inundations, which means the amount of accepted applicants is increasing for a decreasing amount of applicants. All things considered, it will be easier to get into a highly selective school than is has been in the past decade if the trends continue as forecast.
These days education is becoming competitive among students in an unprecedented way, and acronyms like AP, IB, and CP are being thrown around so often it's hard to keep straight all their meanings and implications. By way of reminder, AP stands for Advanced Placement; CP means College Preparatory; finally, IB is the acronym for International Baccalaureate.
To start, there are 93 schools in the state of Colorado that use the IB primary, middle, and high school programs, but what does IB entail? The International Baccalaureate program began in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it was intended to produce highly educated, cosmopolitan students from children, whose parents were involved in diplomacy, international and multi-national organizations. Needless to say, the course work is rigorous and accelerated in comparison to typical courses for the same age groups. The IB program has been described by advocates to be a holistic, inter-disciplinary approach to a student's education.
Alongside IB programs is the Advanced Placement program (AP), which has gained speed in America in the past decade. The College Board, a non-profit organization based in New York, started the AP program in 1955. The idea behind AP courses is to present college level concepts and course work to high school students and then test them at the end of their courses, using a 1-5 grading scale. American colleges will often grant course credit and placement for AP courses in which students scored 3 or higher.
Although some people refer to AP as CP courses, they are not always the same. College preparatory (CP) courses contain a larger than typical course load and prepare students for college caliber work. They do not, however, provide college course credit like AP courses might.
It is usually the ambitious and highly motivated parents and students, who seek these programs out, but of course these programs have their opponents, who either maintain that they are ineffectual or that they overwork students or both. Only you as the parent and student can decide which organization or program best suits you and your academic goals.
Tutor, teacher, or just an instructor? To whom do you turn when your student needs more help than you’re able to provide? In general, we expect public/private schoolteachers to be sufficient facilitators of their respective subjects of expertise for all their students, but that is entirely unrealistic. No one instructor could provide a sufficient amount of time and energy to each pupil’s satisfaction even if the instructor was willing, and so the more serious students must tax the teachers with their questions at the end of the day (providing the teachers even stay late after school hours). Some institutions graciously provide free after school homework help, but it is not individual tutoring. It is also not conducted by tutors that are handpicked for the students’ needs. It is general homework help, but your student needs specialized attention and help. That means the English teacher probably shouldn’t assist students with advanced calculus unless he or she has also studied the subject thoroughly. That’s generally not the case, and it is the general population that we are addressing here.
There is no doubt that students need help from time to time, but where do you get it? A typical Internet search will render countless tutoring agencies, companies, and independent freelance tutors, but you want quality not quantity. Is a group of 5 - 15 students with unrelated academic needs in one room really conducive for your student’s understanding? Most parents would say no, but what most don’t know is that this is the typical tutoring arrangement with the majority of the tutoring companies. You can hire a private tutor, but without a third party to verify the tutor’s identity and qualifications, you are taking a serious risk with your money and possibly safety.
The LP Learning Center screens and tests their tutors rigorously, so that whether they tutor your student at home or at our center, you can rest assured that your student is receiving one-on-one instruction, tailored to his or her needs. We also offer small group sessions in which the group does not exceed 2 students, and each group is focused on the same subject. We have flexible scheduling and can tutor all the major core subjects for all age groups. If you have ever considered tutoring for yourself or your student, look no further. We’ve taken care of the leg work for you so you don’t have to.
It cannot be stressed enough just how important communication skills are. They sit at the core of our relationships and create harmony when used effectively. Neglecting or ignoring them only harms others and us in turn. For this reason, practice and cultivation are essential. Below are just a couple of quotes on the subject.
Paul J. Meyer
With that said, we can now turn to practicing communication skills. Two means have proven to be effective tools throughout the centuries in communication: reading and writing. They are indispensible not only to students but rather to every group of people. The Greeks and Romans understood the necessity of these, and they practiced them in the forms of rhetoric and grammar among the 7 liberal arts. Today, it is almost unimaginable to dedicate an entire class to grammar or to rhetoric, whose closest equivalent would be speech class. Perhaps, we ought to reinstate grammar and rhetoric in our modern educational system, but seeing how this is not likely, we can focus on the present system’s equivalents.
Reading and writing go hand in hand and supplement each other, and through studying one of the two, students quickly realize their need for the other. Thus, a concurrent practice of both is necessary. If your child is struggling with these crucial areas of education, please allow our tutors to get them excited about reading and writing. We can equip your student with the power to wield the written word, so that he or she can use it to his or her benefit and no longer feel intimidated by reading or writing.
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“What is your learning style?” is a question that you or your child might have heard at one time in your lives, but is their any credence to this theory? More importantly, is there any practical advantage to understanding how one learns? If you have ever asked yourself that question, than you have already demonstrated the importance of learning styles.
There are many models for the styles in which people learn, almost as many models as there are researchers that study and develop them, which is a testament to the different ways that even scientists take in and synthesize information. Needless to say, however many styles and mixed styles really exist, the fact remains that an individual might learn a particular subject using any combination of preferred senses (i.e. sight, hearing, touch, etc.), and it is useful to know one’s strengths and weaknesses especially in the area of learning. Through the understanding of how you or your student best learns a particular subject, you will be able to master the said subject most effectively, and that is the crux of the whole issue.
However, there is another aspect that undoubtedly impacts learning on a whole, regardless of one’s learning styles, and that is motivation, or as Chris J. Jackson’s learning model suggests is Conscientious Achievement. An individual may be motivated for a host of reasons to learn and master a particular topic of interest. In this case, that person will employ all of their senses, augmenting whichever ones are expedient to grasp the topic at hand. That is not to say that the person does not find it difficult to utilize an underutilized medium. For example, the self-taught mechanic is forced to pour over books when the he or she is accustomed to figuring out a mechanical problem using his or her hands. Or in an opposite scenario, the book learned person must fix something mechanical without utilizing the textual resources he or she customarily uses. In both scenarios, each learner is motivated to learn how to fix a mechanical problem, and each is forced to use his or her senses to a different than he’s used to for the solution.
If you thoroughly study the topic, you will find researchers, who oppose a purely biologically driven sensory learning “style” and you will also find those, who oppose the notion that learning style is a purely constructed idea, meaning society and environment form one’s preference. These hypotheses oppose each other, and yet there is great evidence for both arguments. That can only mean that to varying degrees, they are both correct.
A person is both biologically influenced by his/her genes and externally influenced by his/her environment. That counts for a person’s learning process as well. For educators this means that they must pay attention to both a pupil’s learning styles and to this aspect of motivation. Like all human processes, whether physiological or psychological, they are interdependent, and so supporting one part of the learning process supports the other parts. An instructor must foster a motivating atmosphere and also recognize/support a pupil’s preferred mode of learning. The combination of the two is dynamic! Although this isn’t a sure-fire formula to impose on students, we have seen pleasing results among our students when our tutors use this balanced approach.
Would you like your student to experience dynamic learning in his/her academic area of need? Call the LP Learning Center and give your student a unique learning opportunity today.
It is the 21st century, and commerce, trade, diplomacy, and entertainment are largely conducted in English, the present lingua franca. Unfortunately, many native English speakers believe themselves exempt from learning a foreign language, which they justify on the grounds that they don’t need to. What most native English speakers simply don’t know is the benefits of speaking multiple languages afford a person. It is not a necessity, but it an upper hand in a professional market that is saturated with bachelor and master degree holders. How will you stand out from the myriad applicants for a job?
Businesses and firms understand the indispensible benefits they collect from multi-lingual employees, which is why they take such interest in bilingual and polyglot applicants. In an international negotiation or transaction, the simple knowledge of the language that the foreign party speaks could mean the difference between success and collapse because it means more than the simple exchange of information among companies. It is a unique compliment because the undertaking of a foreign language indicates an understanding of the culture and people from which the language comes. In this sense, the native and the foreign language learner find common ground on which they can identify with each other. This creates a comfortable atmosphere that makes the foreign party much more amenable to compromise and mutual agreement. As English speakers, we often expect non-native English speakers to interact with us in our language, and so we usually don’t understand this compliment. Just because we don’t understand it, does not mean that it cannot help you or your student in their careers.
There are personal benefits to learning another language as well, and these are perhaps more obvious than the business ones. To start, undertaking a foreign language and achieving a versatile degree of fluency usually requires time abroad in the respective language’s country. This is a priceless opportunity that many people will not get to experience, especially an extended stay, whose purpose is expressly to engage and interact with the culture and its people through their language. Many people travel for vacations, but most do not intentionally adopt another worldview while they vacation.
Through fluency in a foreign language, you are instantly connected to an entire other population of people, the way they think, and the way they view the world, and to possess multiple worldviews is to possess a diversified critical thinking skill set that gives one an edge in life and in ones career.
Homeschooling is a wonderful form of education, and the LP Learning Center recognizes the needs of homeschooled students in addition to others. In tangent with the U.S. Department of Education’s National Household Educational Survey program, the amount of homeschooling students is increasing 15% per year, making it one of the fasting growing forms of education in America. It is a small wonder that in lieu of the increasingly declining test scores in math and the sciences for American public schools parents are seeking another form of education that competes with international standards of learning in business and industry. Although homeschooling is not for everyone, it is another educational form that merits equal respect alongside private and public schools.
However, homeschooling like any other system has its pros and cons that lend themselves toward a specific kind of tutoring approach, and there are stigmas and stereotypes about homeschooled students that must be dispelled before examining these. Firstly, any assumption that homeschooled children develop into social misfits does not line up with facts. A generation of homeschooled students has finally matured and entered the work force with ease. By the numbers, they are extremely socially versatile and involved in their communities:
• 95% of homeschoolers had an adequate comprehension of politics and government, compared to 65% of U.S. adults.
• 71% of homeschooled graduates participate in ongoing community service activities, including politics, compared to 37% of adults in similar ages.
• 81% of homeschooled graduates are members of organizations (e.g. community groups, churches, and professional organizations) compared to 50% of U.S. adults.
• 76% of homeschooled graduates voted in a national or state election within the past 5 years, compared to 29% of similar U.S. adults.
This bespeaks the homeschooled students’ abilities to get on socially with a variety of people and their competence. With that, we can put to rest any notion of inferiority when it comes to homeschooled students and look at some advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling. To read some more about advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling click here.
Homeschooling has unique advantages, but like all systems, it has areas in which students need extra support. Does your student learn better among peers or alone? Does he or she need more structure and guided learning than homeschooling creates? However, homeschooling like any other system has its pros and cons that lend themselves toward a specific kind of tutoring approach. We are more than equipped to handle these unique needs of homeschooled students.
See how the LP Learning Center accommodates the various forms of education.
Flat Rate Option
Two students and a tutor comprise our a Flat Rate session, and it has proven to make successful students, who needed a little more support to make that B into an A. The synergy of a small group that does not exceed 2 students generates more questions and answers than one student alone could form. This only enhances the tutoring experience and further benefits your student.
Single Student Option
The undivided attention between one student and one tutor is incomparable. Your child receives complete attention and guidance from a qualified instructor, who through consistent work with the student pinpoints weak areas and quickly strengthens them so that the student will be able to recognize them for himself in the future and teach himself, which is the goal of tutoring.
One-on-one tutoring is an advantage that a student who is struggling cannot afford to do without. It is the tutor’s undivided attention that ensures a student is not merely memorizing information but grasping the concepts that act like the building blocks for the rest of his or her future comprehension of the subject. If one stone in this foundation is missing, the structure could collapse. The one-tutor-one-student method naturally reveals any weaknesses and reinforces them through focused and consistent interaction, and any fundamental mistakes are transformed into a solid foundation on which students can continue to build the rest of their education.
Although there are many resources out there that assist students in their confusion over a subject (i.e. the internet, the library, teachers, etc.), they cannot always recognize and adapt to students’ learning styles and support them in the way they need. In addition, teachers are often divided unwillingly between many students, who ask for help and learn in different ways. Although teachers would like to personally help each and every one of their students, the reality is that more often than not they simply cannot. No one is at fault. Teachers were not intended to give every student undivided attention. However, that is the tutor’s function. It is this dynamic and holistic quality in one-on-one tutoring that makes it indispensable to a student’s understanding of any subject.
Given a choice, most people prefer to have a single individual teach them because they understand the effectiveness in “private lessons” like most one-on-one instruction is called. How much more would students benefit from individualized attention for topics that are absolutely foundational for a successful life and career? One-on-one tutoring is an ideal supplement for anyone’s education and the solution for a student’s problem subject.