A guide to federal How to get started Build a career student loans

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, May 9, 2013
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A guide to federal
student loans
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Build a career
in architecture
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How to get started
in the movie business
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 2
Programs educate next generation of leaders
Cadets trained to serve their
country and start a career.
By Clare Morris
For EDU Atlanta
he last four years have been beyond
busy for Michael McColister. The
Fayetteville resident has been studying business at Valdosta State University,
working at a nearby airport and participating in his school’s Air Force Reserve
Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program. But with graduation looming, McColister says the hard work has paid off.
After tossing his cap in the air this
month, McColister will head off to a
career in the U.S. Air Force. His initial
commitment: 10 years.
“I always knew I wanted to pursue
a career in aviation and be an Air Force
officer,” McColister said. “So I had no
reservations making a commitment for
that long.”
As a cadet in Valdosta’s AFROTC
program, McColister is part of a competitive program with 85 men and women
who devote additional time to classes,
physical training and community service.
As a sophomore, he
was selected for an
AFROTC scholarship, which includes
tuition costs beyond
his HOPE scholarship
and a semester stipend
for books.
But the best aspects of the program
come after graduation, Michael McColister
said Lt. Col. Marsha
Aleem, commander of AFROTC Detachment 172 at Valdosta State.
“First, I stress the amazing opportunity to serve in the world’s finest Air Force,”
said Aleem, who has led the Valdosta
State program for three years. “They will
challenge themselves in ways they won’t
in a corporation, all while being able to
provide for their families. After college
in this economy, where will you be able
to walk into a job and have a rewarding
The majority of students come to the
program initially with a desire to serve
their country, Aleem said.
“Many of these students were in elementary school when 9/11 happened, and
for a good bit of their lives we have been in
Iraq or Afghanistan,” she said. “They want
to contribute where they feel they can. In
addition, many of our cadets have parents
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who are military members, so they understand what sacrifice means.”
Acceptance into the AFROTC ranks requires students to pass rigorous character
reviews, Aleem said.
“You don’t sign up and automatically
get in; our standards are actually higher
than the Air Force because we want to
ensure that we’re giving them quality
leaders,” she explained. “Our character
requirements include no drugs, no underage drinking, no issues at school and they
have to meet our weight standards. We vet
them very thoroughly.”
Once accepted, cadets are extremely
“The amount of time they put in is
like having a part-time job,” Aleem said.
“There are academic classes and something we call leadership laboratory that
includes physical fitness three times a
week. They’re up early in the morning
— before most students are even awake
— for that. They are also involved in the
community with activities.”
To fit everything in, McColister has
had to manage his time well.
“Along with my normal school work
— about 15 hours of courses — I have
three days a week of physical training and
aerospace studies classes,” he said. “In
addition, we have a leadership laboratory
class that meets every Thursday, so I’m
really taking more like 18 hours. I’ve tried
not to have a job while I’m doing all this,
but this last year, I’ve also worked at the
Valdosta Regional Airport.”
McColister got a taste of college ROTC
life when he was a student at Sandy Creek
High in Tyrone, where he participated in
the Air Force Junior ROTC program.
“When I got to Valdosta, I almost
didn’t pursue ROTC because I didn’t get
a scholarship. It was extremely competitive,” he said. “But during my first year
here, I was selected for a scholarship.”
The training prepared McColister for
the next step on his journey: pilot training
in Mississippi.
“I leave Sept. 30,” he said. “I can’t wait.
I may even wind up making a career of it.
That’s only 20 years, so at this point, it’s
definitely a consideration.”
ROTC programs are offered at many
Georgia universities, including Clayton
State, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern,
Georgia State, Southern Polytechnic,
Mercer, Kennesaw State and the University of Georgia.
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 4
The online learning revolution
education improving
and growing fast.
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
f you’ve decided to use your
computer to pursue a college
degree, you’re not alone. More
than 6.7 million people, roughly
a third of all postsecondary
students, took an online course
in 2011, according to the Babson
Survey Research Group’s annual
Survey of Online Learning.
Year-over-year online
learning enrollment has grown
steadily and sometimes explosively (23 percent in 2003, 36.5
percent in 2005 and 21.1 percent
in 2009) during the last decade.
About 70 percent of public and
for-profit colleges offer full
academic programs online and
almost half of all private nonprofit colleges do, according to
the survey.
There are many reasons for
the online learning revolution,
said Chris Chavez, president of
DeVry University-Atlanta.
“We’ve been offering online
courses for over a decade and
the technology has continued
to improve, as has the delivery,”
he said.
DeVry, like many institutions,
trains and supports its faculty
to teach online. The school also
continues to improve the quality
of the content. In Atlanta, the
university launched a “writing
across the curriculum” initiative pilot program to improve its
students’ communication skills,
which are in high demand by
As the technology has advanced, so have the students.
“A lot of today’s population
has grown up using the Internet
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Alan Wells, manager of DeVry University-Atlanta’s Academic Success Center, helps student Donna L. Stewart, a computer information systems major. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
as a learning tool. In Decatur
schools, they are giving iPads to
fourth- and fifth-graders now.
Technology is an everyday part
of society,” Chavez said.
More students turn to online
learning because it’s interactive, personal, convenient and
flexible, but also because it helps
meet their goals.
“At the end of the day,
students earn a degree to find
a career or advance in their
career, so we measure graduate
employment and employer satisfaction through feedback from
our advisory boards. We find
that — regardless of the learn-
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ing modality — our students
are finding jobs and performing
well,” Chavez said.
DeVry’s Academic Annual
Report from 2011-12 found that
88 percent of its bachelor’s
degree graduates found jobs in
their fields within six months of
Once skeptical of online education, employers have grown to
value it. Seventy-seven percent of chief academic officers
in companies now rate online
learning outcomes the same or
superior to face-to-face courses,
Online continued on Page 12
“A lot of today’s population
has grown up using the
Internet as a learning tool.
In Decatur schools, they are
giving iPads to fourth- and
fifth-graders now. Technology
is an everyday part of
Chris Chavez, president, DeVry University-Atlanta
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 5
Guide to federal
Doing your homework
can mean less debt
after borrowing.
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
f you’re investing in your future to get a
college education, part of that funding
is likely to include student loans. Of the
20 million students who attend college
in the United States each year, nearly 60
percent borrow money to help cover the
cost, according to the Chronicle of Higher
While no one likes debt, there are
smart ways to borrow.
The first step is to fill out the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid.
Make sure to meet your college and state
deadlines. You may be eligible for grants,
which are free awards, or a work-study
job, which will allow you to pay for some
college bills as you go. The FAFSA is also
the ticket to federal student and parent
If you need to borrow money for
school, turn to federal student loans
first, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher
of www.finaid.org. Federal loans generally have lower interest rates than private
loans, and much lower terms than credit
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cards. You don’t have to start repaying
them until after you finish college, and
there are flexible repayment plans, such as
income-based repayment plans, cancellations (forgiveness) for certain types of
jobs or public service, and deferment options. You’ll only deal with one lender and
may be able to consolidate all your loans
for a better rate.
The U.S. Department of Education
(www.studentaid.ed.gov) offers two federal student loan programs, the Perkins
Loan and Direct Loan.
Perkins Loans are based on financial
need and the availability of funds at your
college. Unlike Direct Loans, the lender
will be your school. Undergraduates can
borrow up to $5,500 and graduate students up to $8,000 annually. The interest
rate is fixed at 5 percent.
Direct Subsidized Loans are for
students enrolled at least half time who
demonstrate financial need. Students
may borrow between $3,500 and $5,500 a
year. The U.S. Department of Education is
the lender and the borrower isn’t charged
interest while in school. Until June 30,
2013, the interest rate is 3.4 percent, but
that will double on July 1 unless Congress
extends the lower rate, which it did in
With Direct Unsubsidized Loans,
undergraduate and graduate students may
Federal loans continued on Page 14
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 6
A blend
of art and
Higher education is key to
building a career in the field.
By Laura Raines
For EDU Atlanta
ogan Brennan was the kind of kid who lived to play
with his giant tub of Legos and K’Nex building blocks.
“I was always putting something new together.
Then I took drafting in high school and learned AutoCAD
(computer-aided design and drafting). Becoming an architect just felt like the right path for me,” he said.
A Kennesaw resident, Brennan was surprised to learn
he could get the training he needed right in his own backyard. Southern Polytechnic State University offers a fiveyear bachelor’s degree program in architecture that leads
to licensure. To be licensed, architects must complete an
accredited professional program, perform a three-year
paid internship after graduation and pass the national
Architect Registration Exam.
Brennan will graduate this year and already has a job
offer from New South Construction in Atlanta, where he
has interned and done 3-D building information modeling work.
The five-year bachelor’s degree is one path into the
profession. Another is completing a National Architectural Accrediting Board professional master’s degree
program, which is offered at Georgia Tech and at Savannah College of Art and Design.
“I soon learned that architecture is a lot more involved
than I thought it was. It’s a challenging program and takes
a good deal of time, but if you love it you don’t mind putting in the time to develop the designs and deliverables
(projects),” Brennan said.
Prospective architecture students at SPSU are required
to complete a three-week workshop the summer before
their freshman year.
“It’s a good way to see what they are getting into and if
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Rich Cole (left), interim dean of Southern Polytechnic State University’s School of Architecture and Construction Management, and student
Logan Breman hold his senior thesis project that explores using folding membranes to make habitable volumes. LEITA COWART / SPECIAL
it’s really the program they want,” Brennan said.
“Architecture is a blend of art and science. Analysis
and critical thinking are at the core of this discipline,”
said Rich Cole, interim dean of SPSU’s School of Architecture and Construction Management.
Architects plan and design the built environment
where people live, work and play. They work collaboratively with civil engineers, contractors, urban planners
and others to create buildings that are functional and
aesthetically pleasing.
“Architects must learn how to communicate visually and verbally, to understand basic engineering and
construction skills, as well as social applications and
technology. Problem-solving abilities are what they will
need most of all,” Cole said. “It won’t hurt to come in
with some artistic ability, but the program will teach you
Architecture continued on Page 13
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“There’s a lot to learn in five
years, and architects get a very
comprehensive education. It’s so
rewarding to see something go
from a rough sketch on a napkin to
a building that people can enjoy.”
Rich Cole, interim dean, Southern Polytechnic State
University School of Architecture and Construction
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 8
Sold on real estate
Training helps budding
agents take advantage
of market rebound.
By Clare Morris
For EDU Atlanta
ne of the industries hit hardest by
the recession was metro Atlanta’s
housing market. But after years of
stagnation, experts say the business is
back on track.
Low interest rates and low prices have
spurred home sales, and builders are putting up new developments. That bodes
well for the area’s real estate agents and
brokers, as well as those who are looking
to the market as a viable career option.
“In the next 10 years, Atlanta will
probably be one of the fastest-growing
markets in the country,” said Bob Hart,
director of education for the MLS Training Institute, an arm of the Georgia Metro
Listing Service in Tucker. “The 2010
numbers indicate that Georgia’s population has increased as we’re getting more
people from Florida and the Northeast
moving here, and that’s also getting people interested in the real estate business.”
The institute’s main focus is training
new agents, who are required to complete
75 hours of classwork and pass a state licensing test before they can begin selling.
To enroll, students must be at least 18 and
hold a high school diploma or certificate
of equivalency.
Classes are flexible, meeting three
days a week, in the evenings or online.
The cost, including books and materials,
is $450 for classes or $250 for the online
People who want to become a real estate agent can get the education they need at the MLS Training
Institute, says Bob Hart, director of education. LEITA COWART / SPECIAL
course that includes an extensive weekend review before the state exam. Agents
also must pay a $170 fee to the Georgia
Real Estate Commission for a four-year
“We have night classes here in Tucker,
as well as Morrow and Duluth, that are
popular with students who are working
now but may be underemployed,” said Pat
Timm, the institute’s training administrator. “They’re thinking about another
way to add to their income, and this is an
option. And with a big investors’ marketing going on now, we get many investors
who come in to learn about the industry.”
After completing the course work and
obtaining a license, agents affiliate with a
real estate brokerage firm where they may
receive on-the-job training and coaching
on the finer points of selling.
“Usually, agents work for a company
like Prudential or Keller Williams under
the supervision of a broker,” Hart said.
“Finding that broker is up to them. We
give them a list of our members, but it’s
up to them to find a good fit. Then they
can go out and start getting listings.”
Even if they affiliate with a brokerage,
“I was looking
for a career
field that will
give me some
flexibility, and
this is a good fit.”
Thomas Blair Jr., recent graduate,
MLS Training Institute
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many agents are considered independent
contractors — an arrangement that appeals to Thomas Blair Jr. The 60-year-old
from Stone Mountain has spent 25 years
as an optician but is launching a second
career as an agent. He recently completed
his course work at the institute.
“The one thing I am most attracted
to is that you can be independent,” Blair
said. “I was looking for a career field that
will give me some flexibility, and this is a
good fit. I also liked that the training to get
into it wasn’t extensive; I didn’t want to
spend four years going back to college.”
Blair had not thought about selling real
estate until he and friends began chatting
about the positive changes in the market.
“I thought the upturn in the real estate
market was a good sign,” he said. “I’ve
been dealing with the public for years, so I
know how to interact with people. I don’t
consider the sales part too daunting, but
I do want to learn more about the formal
sales process.”
The fact that students can get the
training they need in about a month is a
plus, Hart said.
“And they can do it without taking
out a student loan,” he said. “They can
get into it quickly and start working on
a part-time basis, if they want. Most of
them like the idea of being an independent contractor in a viable field.”
More people are following Blair’s
lead, said Timm, who pointed out that
the institute’s enrollment has more than
doubled in the last year, both for day,
evening and online classes.
“There are good feelings out there
about the direction the industry is going,”
she said. “And when it really starts taking
off — and we know it will — people who
are licensed will be able to take advantage
of that spike.”
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9 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Thursday, May 9, 2013
EDU Atlanta
Georgia’s role as a movie mecca
attracts students to film programs.
By Martha J. Foster
For EDU Atlanta
eorgia has become a magnet for the movie industry
in recent years. Films made in Georgia resulted in an
economic impact of $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2012, up
29 percent from fiscal year 2011, according to the Georgia
Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, a division
of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Georgia is also one of the top five production destinations in the country, with 333 feature films made here in
2012, film officials said.
Celebrity sightings are commonplace now that major
films such as “The Blind Side” and “Flight” were filmed in
Georgia, not to mention “Identity Thief,” “Trouble with
the Curve,” “Parental Guidance” and a host of others. The
second installment of “Hunger Games” and “Anchorman
2” are being produced here.
The movie industry created more than 25,000 movie
production jobs in Georgia in 2012, not to mention employment for hair and makeup stylists, caterers, electricians, painters, construction workers, truck drivers and
others in support services.
So you want to work in the movies? One option is to
pursue a digital filmmaking and video production degree
at the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Joshua Gary, 23, who recently graduated from the Art
Institute of Atlanta, made valuable job connections while
he worked on his bachelor’s degree.
“After high school, I took a couple of years trying to
break into film on my own,” Gary said. “I produced shorts
for local film festivals to get noticed. It really wasn’t
working too well for me, so I ended up enrolling here.”
Things turned around quickly for Gary at the school.
A hallmark of the training program is solid, hands-on
experience with cameras, lighting and editing equipment.
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Bryan Krass, an adjunct professor in the digital filmmaking and video production program at the Art Institute of Atlanta, demonstrates the use
of lighting. Like many of the instructors in the program, Krass has experience working in the field. Photos by NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
Students learn about directing, producing, screenwriting,
sound and project management.
Many Art Institute of Atlanta faculty members have
careers in the film industry.
“Once they got to know me, professors actually helped
me get jobs, and I competed in Campus Moviefest, which
comes to campus every year,” Gary said. “We placed second in the nation last year.”
Gary also competed and won the opportunity to work
with director of photography David Cone on four short
films to launch a new Adobe software product.
Gary’s networking tips include attending film festivals,
joining professional groups, participating in informal
group discussions with visiting pros at festivals and
passing out business cards so potential employers can get
access to your website, portfolio and contact information.
Experienced instructors
Recent Art Institute of Atlanta graduate Joshua Gary assembles
a professional broadcast camcorder. “Once they got to know me,
professors actually helped me get jobs,” he said.
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Bryan Krass joined the faculty as an adjunct professor
at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2011. His titles and roles
on production sets have included electric, best boy, gaffer,
grip, dolly grip, best boy grip and key grip — essentially
all the heavy lifting jobs that actually make a movie, reality show or documentary happen.
“Film crews are populated by people who don’t want
to punch a clock,” Krass said. “Once you have been in film
Filmmaking continued on Page 15
Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 10
The language
of business
There are plenty
of opportunities
for accountants.
By Martha J. Foster
For EDU Atlanta
o you didn’t break out in
cold sweats during high
school calculus class and
you think it’s fun to prepare your
own income tax returns. Now is
your time to shine.
Accountants are always in
demand and the Georgia Department of Labor predicts that
accounting will continue to be
among the hottest jobs in the
state through 2020.
That’s great news for Thavon
Davis, a junior at Morehouse
College in Atlanta. He is working
toward a bachelor’s degree in
business administration, with a
concentration in accounting and
a minor in economics.
“Interestingly enough, when
I entered at Morehouse, I was a
biology and chemistry double
major,” Davis said. “I was on the
track to be the next great forensic pathologist, and no one was
going to tell me any differently. I
did really well, I was learning the
information, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it.”
Davis sought the advice of his
mentors at Morehouse — International Student Services
director Gwen Wade and accounting professor Emmanuel
Onifade — to find his passion for
“They told me that accounting gives you a number of possibilities,” Davis said. “Accounting
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is the language of business and
your understanding of accounting can guide you to be successful in any arena of business.”
Good parenting also helped.
“Both of my parents run
businesses back in the Bahamas,” Davis said. “My father is
a proprietor of a construction
company and my mom runs a
general merchandise store, like a
Walmart. They gave me a lot of
responsibility in their businesses, even in high school. Discussing the principles that guided
their businesses definitely gave
me something to think about.”
What does it take to get an
accounting degree?
“The person who does well
in accounting is disciplined and
intellectually curious, someone
who wonders about the ‘whys’
along with the ‘hows,’ ” Davis
said. “You have to be hardworking, versatile and adaptable. My best advice to someone
who is unsure about where to
go in business is to get a solid
foundation in accounting and
build on it.”
Cheryl L. Allen, a professor of
accounting and associate dean
of the Morehouse College Division of Business Administration
and Economics, also believes
that a good work ethic is essential in the field.
“In accounting, you can’t
let a problem stump you,” Allen
said. “A competitive nature has
to be there, you need to have
high integrity and you have to
understand math. We suggest
that accounting students have at
least precalculus, and (we) prefer
students with college-level
Accounting continued on Page 14
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When Thavon Davis enrolled at Morehouse College, he was majoring in biology and chemistry. After a change of heart, Davis
decided to work toward a degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
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Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 11
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Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 12
Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
EDU Atlanta
Continued from Page 4
according to the Babson survey.
“The nontraditional student is becoming the traditional student at many institutions, as more adults return to school
to sharpen skills or find and advance
careers,” Chavez said.
Working adults
One of them is Donna L. Stewart, who
is working toward a bachelor’s degree
in computer information systems with
a concentration in computer forensics.
She takes classes online and on the DeVry
University-Atlanta campus once a week.
“I was in the Navy for 13 years. When
I got out I decided to earn a degree in
the field I’d been working in the military
— computer analysis and network security,” Stewart said. “Computer forensics is
a hot field. With everyone using technology and becoming mobile, we need people
who can protect our data.”
Blended learning, which combines
online and face-to-face instruction, fits
Stewart’s busy life. She has three daughters and a part-time job.
“The online experience has been
awesome,” she said. “I did my research
and knew that this degree would give me
excellent value. I’ve had the opportunity
to be in class with some extraordinary
professors and learned different perspectives from students who live all over the
DeVry chose Stewart to participate
in a three-month internship and a cyber
security simulation event at Georgia Tech
that was sponsored by the Technology
Association of Georgia. She was one of
three students who worked with experts
to restore a technology system after it had
been hacked.
“Working with people who do this for
a living taught me a lot,” Stewart said.
“Now DeVry’s career services department
is helping me apply for an internship with
the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.”
She plans to graduate in October and is
excited to start her career.
Power of flexibility
Online learning gives nontraditional
students access to schools and programs
not in their geographical area while giving
them the flexibility to balance school, life
and work. But traditional college-age students are also discovering the benefits.
“We are seeing a huge number of college students take our eCore courses in
the summer time and during the school
year,” said Melanie Clay, dean of USG
Filename: 12-EDUCAT-XSST0509-XSST-S
Date/Time created: May 4 2013 7:42:26:000PM
Melanie Clay is dean of USG eCore and executive
director of extended learning at West Georgia
University. The eCore program allows students
at nine Georgia public colleges to complete their
first two years of college online. SPECIAL
eCore and executive director of extended
learning at West Georgia University.
“Students who take courses in class and
online find it easier to get the classes they
need to stay on track and are up to twice
as likely to graduate on time, which gives
them a considerable financial savings.”
A collaboration of nine University
System of Georgia schools, eCore (short
for electronic core curriculum) began
offering courses in 2000 with nontraditional students in mind. The schools
— Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College,
Coastal College of Georgia, Clayton State
University, Dalton College, Fort Valley
College, Middle Georgia College, Southern Polytechnic State University, West
Georgia University and Valdosta State
University — found it more cost-efficient
to collaborate on an online program rather
than launching individual versions.
“The program now offers 24 courses, making it possible for students to
complete the first two years of a college
education completely online,” Clay said.
“They must meet the requirements and
be accepted by one of the institutions, but
the tuition is only $189 per credit hour.
Once accepted, there is always a seat
available and the courses will generally
transfer to all USG (University System of
Georgia) institutions.”
Taught by USG faculty, eCore courses
are as rigorous as traditional college
classes, and are fully researched and assessed for learning outcomes.
“We design these courses to be a true
community and are proud that we have
completion rates above the 80 percent
range,” Clay said. “Georgians have so
many online options open to them now to
get a higher education. We just want them
to know about the quality and value they
can find right here in their own public
university system.”
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Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 13
13 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Thursday, May 9, 2013
EDU Atlanta
Continued from Page 6
how to draw manually and on a
SPSU’s 438 architecture
students come from across the
United States and many other
countries. They spend their first
two years in school taking core
courses and a design foundation program. At the end of that
period, they present a portfolio
of work to be accepted into the
three-year professional courses,
where they will complete a
number of projects.
Developing a ‘design DNA’
“SPSU offers a good balance
of theory and practice, and I’ve
designed and built models for
everything from a temporary
pavilion to a single-family home
to a midrise commercial building with 15 floors,” Brennan said.
“Those three years are where
you develop your own design
During the fifth year, students learn from practicing
architects in the school’s Focus
Studio program and develop
their own diploma project.
Brennan has utilized his interest
in origami to design new technology for creating space/frame
steel structures that are folded
instead of pieced together.
Requiring less space to store
and transport, these structures
would be more environmentally
sustainable and cost-efficient.
“There’s a lot to learn in five
years, and architects get a very
comprehensive education,” said
Cole, who has practiced in the
profession for 25 years. “It’s so
rewarding to see something go
from a rough sketch on a napkin
to a building that people can
enjoy. You learn skills for life and
meet more interesting people
than you’d ever hope to meet
along the way.”
With a highly trained and
multidisplinary faculty and
excellent resources, SPSU will
offer a postprofessional master’s
degree in architecture, starting
this fall.
“It will allow architects and
those working in related fields
to enhance their professional
Filename: 13-EDUCAT-XSST0509-XSST-S
Southern Polytechnic State University’s School of Architecture and Construction Management will launch a postprofessional master’s degree in architecture this fall. “It will
allow architects and those working in related fields to enhance their professional skills,” interim dean Rich Cole said. LEITA COWART / SPECIAL
skills,” Cole said.
The independent-study
model will allow students to
work with advisors and take
courses in the specialties that
interest them. They will acquire
advanced skills in architectural
design, urbanism and emerging
new and existing complementary building technologies and
Graduates will be prepared to
work in traditional architectural
jobs for government agencies,
construction companies, planning departments, and design
and development firms. SPSU
will accept 12 to 16 students in
the program’s first class.
“Employment in any con-
Date/Time created: May 4 2013 7:42:26:366PM
struction discipline has been
dampened by the recession, but
the market is getting better for
architects. We’re seeing a very
good placement record with our
graduates,” Cole said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts that job
demand for architects will grow
by 24 percent between 2010
and 2020. There were 16,000
job openings listed online in the
past 90 days, a 20 percent jump
from the same period last year,
according to WANTED Analytics.
The median annual pay for
entry-level architects in metro
Atlanta is $42,395, according to
“I soon learned that
architecture is a lot more
involved than I thought it was.
It’s a challenging program and
takes a good deal of time, but
if you love it you don’t mind
putting in the time to develop the designs
and deliverables.”
Logan Brennan, architecture major, Southern Polytechnic
State University
Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
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EDU Atlanta
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 14
Federal loans
Continued from Page 10
Continued from Page 5
calculus. Accountants also have to be
good communicators, which surprises
a lot of people.”
Allen is optimistic about the future
of accounting.
“It’s an exciting time to get into the
field,” she said. “Accounting graduates can go into the area of computer
security; that’s a very big thing right
now. Others may choose international
financial reporting, which could give
them opportunities to work abroad in
U.S. companies that are doing business in other countries.”
Allen said forensic accounting
— such as investigating fraud or identity theft or collecting data to protect
a company’s financial assets — is
another important growth area.
“Business scandals like Enron and
WorldCom have shone a light on fraud
in business, and accountants can play
an important role in protecting businesses from fraud,” she said.
More traditional job opportunities for accountants can be found in
manufacturing firms, banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses
and public accounting firms. Allen
said demand also remains high in federal agencies like the Internal Revenue
Service, state government and large
nonprofits such as hospitals.
Entry-level, nondegree jobs in the
accounting field do exist, but earning
potential is significantly lower than
those who have accounting degrees
and CPA credentials. Someone with
a high school diploma or an associate degree from a community college
in accounting could start as low as
$15,000 to $18,000 annually (entry level, perhaps with on-the-job
training provided by the employer),
working as a payroll or accounts
payable clerk. A salary of $40,000
annually would be attainable for an
experienced, nondegree bookkeeper,
Allen said.
Fulltime employees with a degree
in accounting from a four-year college
or university can earn from $45,000
to $80,000 annually, depending on
experience, Allen said. Fulltime accountants who have passed the Certified Public Accountant exam may
start at $50,000 to $60,000 annually,
and CPAs with 10 or more years of
progressively responsible experience
can earn more than $200,000 annually, she added.
borrow $5,500 to $20,500 a year, minus any subsidized loan amount received for the same period. Students
are responsible for interest starting
from the loan’s origination date. The
rate is 6.8 percent.
Direct Plus Loans for Parents
allow them to borrow up to the cost
of college attendance, minus other
financial student aid awards, for their
dependent students. The interest rate
is 7.9 percent and parents are responsible for interest during all periods of
the loan. You can choose from several
repayment plans and switch plans
if needs change. To prevent getting in over their heads, parents are
cautioned to keep their income and
other debts in mind when borrowing.
With Direct Plus Loans for
Graduate or Professional Students,
the maximum amount that can be
borrowed is the cost of attendance,
minus other financial aid, such as
unsubsidized loans. Students must
have a good credit history and they
pay interest (7.9 percent) from the
start of the loan.
Never borrow more money than
you need, Kantrowitz said. “Every
dollar you borrow will cost you about
two dollars by the time you’ve repaid
your debt. Live like a student in college so you don’t have to live like one
later, and defer your dreams.”
Before you borrow, take into account your expected annual salary
after graduation. Ideally, you should
borrow less than half your expected
starting salary, Kantrowitz said.
One way to decrease debt is to pay
the interest on unsubsidized loans
while you are in school and during
grace periods. That way the loan isn’t
growing by compounded interest.
It’s also important to stay organized. Keep track of how much you
borrow and keep all loan documents
in one file.
College students who graduate this spring can take advantage
of two new tools on the U.S. Department of Education’s website
A loan counseling page and a repayment estimator to help students
compare monthly payments across
seven repayment plans are designed
to help students better understand
and manage their student loan obligations.
Filename: 14-EDUCAT-XSST0509-XSST-S
Fourth-year accounting student Nathaniel Goulbourne (left) stops for a chat with Thavon Davis on the Morehouse
College campus in Atlanta. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
“Accounting graduates
can go into the area
of computer security;
that’s a very big thing
right now. Others may
choose international
financial reporting,
which could give
them opportunities
to work abroad in U.S.
companies that are
doing business in other
Gwen Wade, director of International Student Services at Morehouse
College, helped advise Thavon Davis when he was considering
changing his major to business administration with a concentration
in accounting. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
Date/Time created: May 4 2013 7:42:27:580PM
Cheryl L. Allen, associate
dean, Division of Business
Administration and Economics,
Morehouse College
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Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 15
15 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Thursday, May 9, 2013
EDU Atlanta
Continued from Page 9
for 10 years, you are ruined for anything
else. You can make a good living but
you have to put in the hours, and it’s not
glamorous work.”
Krass has no doubt that metro Atlanta’s film industry is here to stay.
“People I went to school with have
moved here,” Krass said. “One of the key
things producers look for is availability
of a good crew. It’s expensive to bring in a
crew, so hiring local talent is sustainable.”
Fran Burst-Terranella is an Emmywinning, independent filmmaker who
teaches directing, fiction and nonfiction
scriptwriting, producing and portfolio
classes at the Art Institute of Atlanta.
“Most of our students are creative and
focused on storytelling,” she said. “But
you have to have technical skills as well, to
make it in the field today, and my job is to
give them experience.”
Burst-Terranella, who is now completing her first feature film, “The 12 Lives
of Sissy Carlyle,” said filmmaking is a
people-based business.
“It’s simple. If you trust people, you
hire them. Our students have so many
different skill areas, and they are so
technologically savvy that they can fit
themselves in to a lot of different areas as
they build their careers.”
Continued from Page 11
In fact, he built one that walked across
the stage and accepted his high school
diploma at graduation.
“The principal said that I had to come
up personally and shake his hand, but he
handed the diploma to the robot,” he said.
Besides his mechanical engineering
major, Taylor is working toward a certificate in finance, which he believes will
prove useful for future entrepreneurial
ventures. While robots have proven invaluable in manufacturing and medicine,
Taylor thinks the field is wide open for
personal, day-to-day applications, such
as dog toys.
Having built robots for other competitions, Taylor enrolled in Georgia Tech’s
student-led Startup Semester program
in fall 2012. The program is a startup
accelerator program for students who
have entrepreneurial aspirations. It was
then that he built his first prototypes for
Filename: 15-EDUCAT-XSST0509-XSST-S
Summer Morgan (left), a fourth-year student at the Art Institute of Atlanta, shows a video she is making to instructor Fran Burst-Terranella, an Emmy-winning,
independent filmmaker. “Most of our students are creative and focused on storytelling,” Burst-Terranella said. NICK ARROYO / SPECIAL
“It’s been a wild ride. I told people that
sleep, robots and school were consuming all my time, and something had to go.
Turns out, it was sleep,” he said. “I don’t
know how many hours I have (invested) in
ChewBots. I’d do my homework and then
stay up late working on them.”
As Taylor explained to the InVenture
judges, the dog toy industry in the United
States generates about $50 billion in sales
every year and dog ownership is at an
all-time high. Yet, there has been little
innovation in the market. The toys are
either designed for chewing or they make
squeaking noises.
Taylor adapted existing toys to design
a snowman and a pig that vibrate, and a
duck on wheels that moves and changes
direction at will. He tested his models on
friends’ canines at the Piedmont Dog Park
near his apartment.
“I underestimated a dog’s ability to
chew through anything, so I’m using more
resilient materials now, but the reaction
from the dogs has been very positive.
They love chasing them,” he said.
Date/Time created: May 4 2013 7:42:29:990PM
“It’s been a wild ride. I
told people that sleep,
robots and school were
consuming all my time,
and something had to go.
Turns out, it was sleep.
I don’t know how many
hours I have (invested)
in ChewBots. I’d do my
homework and then stay
up late working on them.”
Some dog owners have asked Taylor to
sell them ChewBots, so Taylor is keeping a list of prospective clients and has
Chris Taylor, mechanical engineering
major, Georgia Tech
launched a website (www.chewbots.co).
He plans to market the toys in the $15 to
$25 range.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution •
Cyan Magenta Yellow Black
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Date/Time created: May 4 2013 7:42:35:503PM
Thursday, May 09, 2013 EDUCATION 16