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The Real Scoop: Career Colleges VS. Traditional Universities

2017-04-27 by Mark Harrington
Voted best career college

National Academy pf Health & Business. Voted best career college

Have you been asking yourself which college to attend?  Have you ever wondered about the real difference between a vocational (career) college and a traditional university? There are many points of reference available, but it really all comes down to one question.  WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Five differences between vocational schools/career colleges and traditional universities

In general, career colleges teach you skills that you can apply to a specific vocation. Universities teach you theory, critical thinking and analysis in addition to some hands-on information.

Career college programs are shorter–usually less than one and up to two years–than programs at universities, which are a minimum of two to four years.

On average, entry level earnings are a bit higher for those who hold at least a bachelor’s degree as opposed to those with diplomas from career colleges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 individuals with a bachelor’s degree had a median weekly income of $1,025, while those with an associate degree earned $761.

University tends to be more expensive than career colleges.

Graduates of career colleges usually are in an excellent position to land an entry-level position, while university graduates may have better access to higher-level jobs.

HOW TO DECIDE WHAT COLLEGE IS BEST

Career colleges are highly valuable, especially for those students who know exactly what profession they want to work in and don’t have the desire or time for theoretical academic work.

Career colleges are relatively short and offer employment opportunities in practical fields such as health care or technology. University is ideal for those students who want to immerse themselves in the academic life and whose goal is to enter the professional working life upon graduation.

The main issue to remember is that career colleges teach students a particular vocation or profession, while universities usually don’t.

For instance, having a university degree in business doesn’t make you a businessperson, while having a college diploma as a dental assistant DOES make you a dental assistant.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have a specific profession in mind?

If yes, does this profession require a university degree?

Are you interested in independent academic research, critical thinking and learning for its own sake?

Do you have the time and/or financial resources to attend a three or four year program?

Both universities and college diplomas offer solid educational opportunities and credentials that can prepare you for the job market.

The right choice depends on you and your career goals.

For more information on the programs available at National Academy, visit us today!  Be on your way to a successful career today!

www.NAHB.ca

Toronto Campus – 416 545 0404

Mississauga Campus – 416 273 6656

Hamilton Campus – 905 521 9991

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integrating Technology in Early Childhood Education

2014-08-06 by Mark Harrington

Integrating Technology in Early Childhood Education

Over the past several years, there has been a growing focus on integrating technology into classroom teaching. Curricula is designed around digital trends, and teachers are trained to be comfortable with a range of tools, and keep up with emerging techniques. A big part of the reason behind this push for technology, is its prominent place in students’ lives. Educators understand that to teach effectively, they must connect strategically with kids – using some of their interests as the basis for lesson plans and teaching techniques.

Now we see educators using technology-based teaching in kindergartens, pre-schools, and daycares. It’s an essential part of teaching and learning – but how should the early childhood assistant integrate technology into classes full of our youngest students?

Here are a few guiding principles and practical examples to get started with:

Technology Doesn’t Replace Good Teaching

It would be misguided to abandon the time honoured principles of early childhood development – like building social skills through simple play – in favour of having children sit passively in front of screens, or engage solely with digital devices, rather than each other.

Educators should strive to integrate technological tools where they complement and enhance an existing, carefully conceived lesson plan. These tools aren’t a substitute for thinking through learning goals, and making sure students understand key concepts. Nor does randomly adding a digital device to your classroom add up to effective technological integration – the tool must be built into your plan, have a clear purpose, and be accessible to all students.

Start Small

One teacher decided to use technology to build on a lesson plan where toddlers construct a copy of their own house using play blocks of different shapes. To enhance the lesson, the educator used Google Earth to bring up images of her students’ houses as references for their models. Students had fun manipulating the tool, and it actually helped them complete the task more effectively. A good early childhood college will ask teachers to reflect on how their tool of choice helps students learn better, and suggest small ways for adding technology to existing approaches.

Encourage Collaboration

Some of our most impressive tech tools are those that facilitate collaboration and sharing. Rather than engaging one-on-one with a device or program, whole classrooms can create projects online using a range of software. One teacher uses computers to create digital stories with his students. Each child contributes ideas and adds images to the text, or takes turns attaching audio files as narrators.  The final product belongs to everyone – and can be shared online with parents and administrators. This approach takes the early childhood training principle of fair play and effective teamwork to the next level, demonstrating to toddlers that by collaborating well they can create something lasting and quite impressive!

What’s the best idea you’ve heard for integrating technology into the early childhood classroom?

A Day in the Life of a Nursery School Teacher

2014-05-14 by Mark Harrington

Responsible for caring and educating children between the ages of 3 and 5, the nursery school teacher, also sometimes called a preschool teacher, plans and carries out activities that help young children learn and progress. He or she teaches primarily through play, games, storytelling and experiments. The nursery school teacher must use the resources at his or her disposal imaginatively, so that activities aren’t particularly costly, but foster creativity amongst children while encouraging the development of good social and communication skills.

In addition to creating a safe environment in which children can learn to function both as an individual and as part of a group, the nursery school teacher must also establish a relationship of trust with parents and guardians, so that they feel their young ones are in capable hands. Getting to know parents and guardians, including their occupations, can be useful, as knowing that a child’s caretaker works in a bank or teaches at dental assistant schools helps you understand the child better.

To be successful in this line of work, you must be patient, have good communications skills and be genuinely compassionate, loving and caring towards children. Being well-organized can also be a valuable asset. With the right training, such as a program from an early childhood college, you can find employment in daycare centres, pre-schools, kindergartens, nursery schools or non-profit organizations, among others. Your early childhood assistant training will introduce you to concepts such as the role of the childcare worker, concepts of child development, program planning, health and safety, nutrition, CPR/First Aid and much more.

In the morning

Morning is often the most chaotic part of the day for a nursery school teacher. As children come in, the teacher must make sure they aren’t overly upset by their parent or guardian’s departure. Children can also be overexcited as they come in, so these scenes can create a lot of movement requiring fast-thinking and rapid interventions.

Parents often communicate important information about the child during this transition period, such as a bottle of cough syrup that should be given after lunch. If too much information comes in all at once, you may end up forgetting important tasks later on, so make sure to take notes if you don’t want to risk forgetting or misremembering.

Once parents are gone, the day is yours! Before getting an activity from your plan of the day underway, it can be helpful to start the day with a simple group exercise, such as having all the children form a circle and then sing a song as a group. Establishing a routine that structures each day in a similar way, such as starting the day with a circle, moving on to an activity, having snacks, moving to playtime and so on, can be beneficial for you as well as your pupils. Children respond well to routine and structure, as they learn to anticipate what is coming next and what is expected of them.

Some fresh air

During the day, make sure to save time for nap time, if necessary, as well as outdoor activity, if possible and if the weather permits it. Being locked up inside for too long is no fun for children, so they will appreciate some sunlight and fresh air.

At the end of the day, give yourself enough time to wrap-up the final activity before parents or guardians return. This period of the day can offer some really sweet and touching moments, as children are often overjoyed to see their caretakers again. Lastly, before the day is over, the nursery school teacher must make sure to relay important information about a child’s behaviour or activities during the day to his or her parent or guardian. These can be positive or negatives, as highlighting a child’s achievements is just as important as identifying bad behaviour.

National Academy Olympic Day: A Great Success. Check out the Photos and Video

2014-02-20 by Mark Harrington
On February 20, National Academy of Health & Business, an award winning career college with campuses in Mississauga and Hamilton, hosted National Academy Olympic Day at each of its campuses.
All students, faculty and administrative staff were treated to pizza, drinks and dessert.  The college is also giving a Roots Canada top to one lucky student and faculty and each campus.
Follow National Academy’s facebook page for updates on the winners and additional photos.

Several photos were taken as well as one video of National Academy’s students singing an interesting version of O Canada.  Check the pictures out here, and here:

And here are the videos:

Financing Your Early Childhood Assistant Diploma

2014-02-06 by Mark Harrington

It’s no secret that our children are the future; there’s nothing more important than ensuring the health and happiness of the next generation. That’s why becoming an early childhood assistant is such a rich and rewarding experience – you get to help shape the future leaders of tomorrow and make sure that they have the support, education and encouragement that they need to develop properly. However, sometimes your ability to give children all of the opportunities they need to succeed is hampered by your lack of opportunity and funding. Education can get pricey, but thankfully there are a few excellent ways that you can fund your diploma in early childcare assistance that don’t require accounting courses.

Institutions

Check with the director of the program at the institution you’re applying at. Chances are they will know of a financial assistance program that could help you, or at least have a list of sources to contact for the possibility of scholarships or grants. In some provinces, there are programs set up to encourage interested students to become skilled early childhood educators, and these often include subsidies, scholarships and grants. Be sure to check your province’s website for more information.

Past Students

Find someone who has done the same program that you’re considering and strike up a conversation with them about how they paid for their education. They might know some effective funding options such as grants or scholarships that helped them out, and they might have some great tips for how to handle the program as well. It never hurts to make friends!

Student Loans

Probably your best and simplest option, you can apply for funding for your educational pursuits through your federal and provincial governments. You can apply for either student loans or grants to help fund your education. The difference between a grant and a loan is that a loan you eventually have to pay back, while a grant is money bestowed upon you that you don’t have to pay back. Federal and provincial student loans are simple to apply for and you can do so by visiting the national student loans website to find out more information. You don’t have to start paying back your loans until six months after you graduate, giving you ample time to locate a job after finishing your diploma at an early childhood college.

Bank Loans

If you don’t qualify for a provincial or federal student loan, don’t fret, there’s always the possibility of taking out a loan with a chartered bank. Banks such as CIBC, TD and Scotiabank all offer loan programs specifically for students, usually with a low interest rate and an excellent payment plan. The downside is that you have to start paying interest on the loan right away, unlike a loan from the government.

Second Job

While it may seem like a hassle, getting a second job means you’ll be able to finance your education as an early childhood assistant without going into debt, which is much less stressful in the long run. Even an extra 10-12 hours a week at a part time job can be enough to help out.

Whichever funding source you choose, the sooner you get started planning how you’re going to fund your educational experience, the more prepared you’ll be and the less stressed you’re going to feel.

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