online magazine

pageturn link

      Home Editor's Notes On The Menu About Us Contact Us


 Bound for North Carolina



North Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased to 10% in June according to statistics released today by the state’s Employment Security Commission.  Gov. Perdue is particularly encouraged by strong growth in the private sector.  The 11,600 new private sector jobs, created last month, represent the largest monthly increase since March 2007.

“I’m encouraged that our focus on supporting home-grown industries and small businesses is paying off in our efforts to create new jobs for North Carolinians,” said Gov. Perdue. “While the pain isn’t over yet, this month’s employment figures make me optimistic that North Carolina is on a path to recovery – led by our private sector industries and small businesses.”

At 10%, this is the lowest unemployment rate for North Carolina in over a year and is an improvement of four-tenths of a percent from the May rate (10.4%).

Hundreds of thousands of American adults are returning to the classroom to learn new skills, or to polish up on old ones. Some are continuing their education for personal satisfaction, such as those who are finally committed to earning a bachelor's degree after many years. While others are finding it necessary to take new courses to remain viable in today's competitive work force. Whatever the reason, if you are one of the many adults finding yourself preparing for another round of education, here are some tips that will help you to make the transition (and hopefully the experience) a smooth and pleasant one.

First, know your reason for continuing your education. I place this above the common first step of goal-setting because the reasons for adults continuing their education are so diverse. Be able to answer the question: 'Why am I doing this?' In this way you will be properly motivated to reach your goals. By the way, it's never to early to decide what materials you may need for the journey. You will probably find that much has changed since you last stepped into the classroom. In fact, some of you may be considering on-line or correspondence courses. In that case, the classroom comes to you!

Second, set realistic goals for yourself. If you are returning to college to earn a bachelor's degree 20 years after graduating high school, you will need to give yourself a little time to re-acclimate yourself to the educational environment. On the other hand, if you are taking courses for personal enhancement (such as a cooking workshop or sports class) then just relax and enjoy the experience. Don't apply pressure to yourself to be the class valedictorian. This is also the time to determine how much is too much. Are you a working mom, an out-of-work machinist, or an overzealous entrepreneur? Be prepared to make wise use of your time.



Some courses may involve prerequisites (such as algebra being required before trigonometry) so be sure to ask a career counselor about them. Certain courses have additional lab fees or require students to purchase additional materials. This addition is usually included in the course description, but ask if you're not sure.

Third, use your advantage as an experienced adult. You have chosen (perhaps grudgingly) to use the avenue of education to better yourself. Don't be intimidated by those students who are half your age. You have definite reasons for attending your classes. Remain focused on them. You are not in school just to earn a grade, you are there to define a part of your life. In fact, don't be surprised if the instructor calls on you for real-life examples of classroom material. You have a distinct advantage over some other students because you can associate the education with real experience. You may be pleased at the number of younger students who want to know you better for what you know better.

Fourth, use all of the resources at your disposal. This includes getting to know your instructors and counselors and ASKING QUESTIONS. Teachers expect you to ask questions and often use your feedback to direct subsequent lectures and class exercises. Remember the old adage 'the only stupid question is an unasked question'? It still applies!

Fifth, finish what you start! I can't emphasize this principle enough. For many the reason why they are now attending school is because they were either unable or unwilling to stay the course earlier in life. Many people re-enter the world of education simply to provide a sense of closure by finishing an abandoned education from years past. However, if this is not the case for you, it is still important for you to complete the program, even if it means 'toughing it out'. Believe me, your satisfaction upon successful completion of your goals will be well worth the effort.

Sixth, plan to look ahead. That's right! Education for many adults is contagious. Once you see what you can accomplish with a little extra effort you will be more likely to continue your education. Who knows? Maybe you will earn that Ph.D. one day. Or perhaps you'll finally learn to hit that golf ball like a pro!

Seventh (and last of all!), enjoy what you have done! So you didn't get an 'A' this time. That's ok. Do you know more now than you did before? Take a little time to celebrate and reward yourself (and the family that has put up with you for the past 4 months). After the celebration make an assessment of where you stand as a result of your new education. Decide if more is better, or if you are content with your current status. By the way, you can't enjoy this step if you don't complete step #5!

Feel free to use the material in this article as a kind of checklist to help you get the most out of your educational experience. Best of luck!





Use o this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement. Please read our Privacy Policy. © 2003-2010 CafeSplendor Inc. All rights reserved. Contact us at material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of CafeSplendor Inc. is a trademark belonging to CafeSplendor Inc.