Staying in School

written by Student 29 August 2011

By Guest Blogger

Katie Legg
Student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division

When I first toiled with the idea of going back to school I was frightened. I had been out of school for 5 years and was not sure if I would remember anything I had learned in high school or the brief period I spent studying business management after high school. After submitting my application and being accepted, the excitement of starting something new began to build. The structure of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online program is excellent. I had previously attended a college that was considered online and correspondence (mail). At this past college everything was done at the student’s own pace, there were no deadlines and no teachers to answer your questions if you needed help. When you lose the motivation to keep going, it made it easy to set your books down and give up. With the online program and structure at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh I have deadlines to meet and a pre-determined agenda for what needs to be read and submitted.

There are always going to be classes that students are bored in or feel like they just want to give up, I have already had two or three within the past year. The harder you push yourself, the more you are going to achieve.

With a good college comes a great benefit. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division offers a lot of optional short classes to help you learn programs and basic principles related to your field of study. There is also an area in the Campus Common to see many tutorials on common computer programs, etc. You are also allowed 12 hours of tutoring per semester and for me this was greatly useful during my math courses. Also offered are areas explaining networking and portfolios, internships, and freelancing. I say, if you’re going to do it, do it all! You have the best resources at your fingertips with this school and many adults will never get the opportunity to have the chances you have here. Take full advantage of everything offered to you and excel in your life.

Are you an Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division student interested in writing for this blog? Check the Welcome Center in the Campus Common to find out how!



How to Help Make College More Affordable

written by Georgia Schumacher 25 August 2011

In today’s economy, it can be taxing at times to try to figure out how to afford college—although it’s well worth it. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that earning a college degree can mean earning nearly $1 million more in your lifetime! Here are some tips on financing your education without racking up thousands in loans:

  • Look for employer assistance. A recent study found that 84.7 percent of companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees —some even for those who work part time.
  • Seek out scholarships. Do some research. Scholarships are available for a wide range of students.
  • Test out of entry-level courses. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and Advanced Placement (AP) exams can save you thousands on general requirement courses.
  • Pay your way. Many students balance taking college courses with full or part-time jobs. Calculate how much of your income you can devote to your education, and plan your college schedule accordingly.
  • Serve your country. The military offers great education benefits to help pay for veteran and active duty soldiers’ college courses.
  • Fill out a FAFSA. Even if you don’t plan to use student loans to finance your education, filling out the FAFSA could help you determine if you qualify for Pell Grants.
  • Be a part-time student. If you can’t afford to take a full load of courses, consider taking classes on a part-time basis. Many students feel that the slower schedule is well worth not going into debt.
  • Take school seriously. You don’t want to pay for a class that you failed (and may have to retake), so be sure to set aside time to study and be a successful student.
  • Be frugal. For many students, going to college without the help of student loans means making some sacrifices. You might choose to eat out less or skip a vacation this year. Make a budget, and stick with it.

Have questions? Contact a student finance counselor to learn more.

Getting to Know Academic Counselor Lindsay Schulte

written by Georgia Schumacher 22 August 2011

Many students at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division speak with their Academic Counselors on a daily basis. Academic Counselors provide academic support to students whenever they need it, but students might not often think much about who the person is who’s helping them every day and what their unique interests are.

Lindsay Schulte has been an Academic Counselor for Interior Design, Residential Planning, and Kitchen & Bath Design students at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division for almost two years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at The Pennsylvania State University in Mass Communications with a minor in Business.

When Lindsay was growing up, she wanted to be a dancer. She remarks, “I took dance lessons for 13 years. I eventually realized that sports were my true passion while watching the videotapes my parents made of my dance recitals.” Nowadays, she’s kept on her toes by her dog, Gadget. Though he’s 13 years old, he enjoys exploring the neighborhood on his own. Says Lindsay, “He apparently is not aware how old he is now and how time has affected his speed…I can typically catch him before he leaves the yard now with his slow motion walk.”

Lindsay’s desire to help others began in high school and college, when she volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. In college, she worked at a pizza shop, where she enjoyed interacting with the customers while preparing the pizzas. “That job taught me how to cook, and to this day pizza and pasta are two of the five things that I can actually make,” she says.

Of her current job as an Academic Counselor, Lindsay says, “I have met the most creative people through these programs. I am always impressed about the ideas and designs that students come up with. It’s great to talk to students and hear their excitement with every new class they take.” In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys watching any Pittsburgh sports team, playing softball, golfing, and reading.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division Invites Students to Have a "Super Summer"

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 August 2011

For students at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, while studies are undoubtedly important, they also have the opportunity to participate in fun activities like “Super Summer,” a contest recently held in Connections, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division’s exclusive social network. Each day, students were presented with a task, with a chance to win either an gift card or a gift card if their response to the task was chosen.

The five tasks were as follows:

  • Task One: Students were provided with a Photoshop template and instructed to turn themselves into a superhero either with the provided resources or by using their own design means.
  • Task Two: Go to the Featured Events page on the school website, choose your favorite event, and state why you chose it in Connections.
  • Task Three: Identify a movie, book, record, television show, or anything else that you saw, read, or listened to this summer that you loved and post your review in Connections.
  • Task Four: Identify your hero. It could be your kids, your parents, a good friend, a teacher, a leader, a role model, or anyone else who inspires you. Write a description of that person and what makes them heroic.
  • Task Five: Find a blog post or article that is related to your program of study. Write a brief description of this article and explain why it interests you.

The winners of “Super Summer” were announced shortly after the contest’s end. If you’re an Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division student who missed out on this contest, be sure to keep an eye on Connections in the Campus Common for the latest fun activities!

Top Misconceptions about Online Learning

written by Georgia Schumacher 15 August 2011

Not all students are 100 percent sure what to expect when they begin taking classes online. After speaking with several new students, we've found that many of them share some misconceptions about online learning:

  • Online courses are easier than traditional classroom courses. The truth is, online courses feature the same curriculum as campus-based courses. They require the same amount of time and effort as a traditional classroom course.
  • I won’t get individual attention from my professor. This could not be further from the truth. In online courses, your professor will participate in your classroom discussions and give feedback for each homework submission, just as she would in a traditional classroom.
  • I won’t get to know my classmates. Many students are surprised to find that they get to know their classmates quickly by interacting in discussions. Just as in a campus college, students that share the same major often progress through the same courses, building lasting friendships.

    Furthermore, many student groups allow you to network with students that share your interests. Visit the Campus Common to see what groups in which you might like to take part.

  • Online degrees don’t carry the respect of traditional college degrees. Because the online curriculum is the same that you would learn in the campus-based school and shares the same prestigious accreditation, the only difference is the delivery.

    In fact, online degrees are more accepted and respected than ever, and more and more students are choosing to pursue their degrees online due to the flexibility of the format.

  • I won’t have access to help when I need it. If you ever find yourself in need of help, there are many resources available to you, such as individual feedback from your professor, guidance from your academic counselor, online tutoring services and a whole host of other resources available to you in the Campus Common.