Online Mock Interview Program: InterviewStream

August 28th, 2015 by
One Way Stock, Flickr

One Way Stock, Flickr

Penn State Career Services offers you the opportunity to mock interview using InterviewStream, a web-based tool that helps you practice and improve your interview skills by using your computer or tablet device! InterviewStream is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and only requires web access and a webcam. You can review your practice interview or have others review it. There are thousands of pre-recorded questions as well as tutorials.

 

Follow these steps to complete an InterviewStream interview:

  1. Visit the InterviewStream website, using a computer, laptop, or tablet device that has a webcam.
  2. Register at the top of the InterviewStream homepage for an account.
  3. Select “conduct an interview” to begin.
  4. Choose an already-created interview or a customized interview option.
    1. A customized interview allows you to select from 7,000+ prerecorded questions.
    2. An already-created interview has preselected questions by field or topic.
  5. Select the interview style that interests you and preview questions to prepare for your recorded interview. Tutorials will help you work through preview questions.

OR

  1. Select “start interview” to begin recording. The interviewer will ask you a question and you’ll be given a set time limit to respond and record your answer.
  2. Click the mouse to stop recording.
  3. Review your responses by clicking “review.” After each question, you have the option to retry, skip, or choose OK to move on.
  4. Check your email for a link to view your responses. You can view your video and/or email it to a trusted mentor, professional, family member, or friend to provide feedback. Please note the Policies and Guidelines for use.
  5. Repeat! The more practice you get, the better your interviewing skills will become!

Use a self-reflection survey to help you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses during your interview. Some sample self-reflection questions are:

  • How would you assess the first impression that you gave?
  • List three things that made your interview a success.
  • List three things you would change about the interview.

Use the self-evaluation checklist to take you step-by-step through your InterviewStream interview so that you can evaluate your points of strength and weakness. Interview success indicators include verbal and nonverbal communication.

For general questions about InterviewStream, please contact Penn State Career Services at 814-865-2377 or AskCS@psu.edu.

If you are a World Campus student, please contact World Campus Career Services at careercounseling@outreach.psu.edu for assistance.

Paying Your Bill: Top Questions Answered

August 27th, 2015 by
Pay Bill

GotCredit, flickr

by World Campus Bursar Office staff

Paying your bill is a critical step that completes your registration as a student. Learn what you can expect and what you can do to take care of your bill-related needs with these common questions and answers from the World Campus Office of the Bursar.

Do I need to do anything else after I schedule courses for the semester?

Yes — after you schedule courses, you must pay your bill to complete your registration. Penn State has a two-step registration process. Step one is scheduling courses, and step two is paying your bill.

After you schedule your courses, you will receive your semester bill via your Penn State email account or in the mail (for students in certain programs), and then you can pay the bill or confirm that you’ll be using financial aid. Even if you have a zero balance on your bill, you still need to complete this step. Penn State World Campus will notify you if you schedule courses but do not pay your bill and complete your registration.

Your bill will indicate a due date, and you have until this due date to complete your registration for the fall 2015 semesterIf you do not pay your bill and complete your registration by your bill due date, you may be canceled from your courses.

When can I expect to receive my bill?

Bills are generated beginning in late July for the fall semester, mid-November for the spring semester, and mid-April for the summer semester. You may receive your bill around this time or later, depending on when you schedule courses.

Most students will be notified via email that a bill is available for them to view and pay in eLion, but students in certain programs will receive a bill in the mail after courses begin. Your bill will indicate a due date, after which a late fee may be applied. Find complete details about receiving and paying your bill, including payment options.

What if I have financial aid to cover all or a portion of my bill?

Even if your financial aid covers all of your bill, you must still take action to indicate your use of financial aid to complete your registration for the semester.

The amount of your bill will reflect any portion of your tuition and fees that are not covered by financial aid. After your registration is complete and courses begin, your financial aid will disburse into your student account, and you will be notified via email or mail.

When will I receive my financial aid refund?

If you are due a refund of excess financial aid, your refund will be processed after your aid disburses. Students often receive refunds within the first two weeks after courses begin. You should plan to pay for everything you need to begin your courses, including books and materials, without relying on your refund.

The quickest way to receive your refund is via Penn State’s Rapid Refund Program, which deposits the refund into your bank account. You can enroll in Rapid Refund in eLion. Learn more about refunds and enrolling in the Rapid Refund Program.

Will I be charged for courses that I drop?

Beginning with the first day of courses, if you drop below full-time status or below the number of credits you were originally scheduled for, you may be charged a portion of the tuition for courses that you drop, according to Penn State’s Tuition Adjustment Policy.

Tuition adjustments will be determined based on the date when you drop the course. Even if you drop and then add back the same number of credits, you may still be assessed a tuition penalty. Your tuition adjustment will only amount to $0 if you drop and then add the same number of credits on the same day before midnight, Eastern Time.

Does being a part-time or full-time student affect my bill?

Your bill is calculated based on the number of credits you plan to schedule:

  • 12 credits or more is considered full-time and billed at a flat rate
  • Fewer than 12 credits is considered part-time and billed based on the number of credits scheduled

If the amount of your bill is not what you expected, this may be one reason. To find tuition rates for your program and number of credits, use our tuition estimator.

Feel free to contact us for additional information and assistance:

Links We Love: August 27, 2015

August 27th, 2015 by
Links We Love

Links We Love

Five things that shouldn’t be missed from this past week!

1. 35 habits that will make you irreplaceable at work

2. Must-have children’s books for back to school inspiration

3. Penn State World Campus summer 2015 Graduation Celebration photos

4. 11 animals who are ready to go back to school

5. Blue & White Society celebrates 20 years of student membership

Links We Love: August 20, 2015

August 20th, 2015 by
Links We Love

Links We Love

Five things that shouldn’t be missed from this past week!

  1. Penn State opens a classroom at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.
  2. 13 things to do before a big presentation
  3. The Penn State Alumni Association – San Diego Chapter holds a student send-off and awards scholarships to World Campus students.
  4. A baby loves the family cat.
  5. 4 job interview curveballs and how to handle them

How Do You Want to Drive Your Education? Increasing Student Engagement in Online Courses

August 20th, 2015 by

How do you want to drive your education — in the slow lane doing 20 mph or in a sports car cruising in the passing lane? This is essentially what Penn State President Barron said when he addressed the Board of Trustees for the first time last year, and one of his key points was that he wanted to push for the strengthening of student engagement. When I read this interview and thought about it, I quickly realized that I have a hard time driving at only 55 mph. So, when I was introduced to the World Campus Psychology Club (WCPC) through an online psychology class, I quickly joined. A few months later, a vacancy opened for an officer position as secretary. I ran and was voted into the position for the spring 2015 semester.

Then, I applied to the World Campus chapter of Psi Chi, (Psychology Honor Society), was accepted, ran for vice president, and was elected recently for the 2015–16 academic year. Psi Chi WC and the WCPC provide the vehicle that allows me to drive my education and get the one component that critics of online education always bring up — a lack of socialization. But in the Psychology Department at Penn State, thanks in a large part to Deborah Mynar’s forward thinking and Dr. Brian F. Redmond’s dedication and guidance, the WCPC and Psi Chi are now strong student entities enriching education for all psychology students. I am sharing my history and experience with the club to motivate you to join and become part of the Penn State family who can be found all around the globe.

The WCPC and Psi Chi chapter provides opportunities for students taking online psychology courses to interact on a personal and an academic level. Both have monthly general meetings, daily social media interaction opportunities, and occasional interactions on their blog. The WCPC also provides its members with a virtual meeting space where they can host events. For example, in July I held a roundtable on bullying and invited Penn State lecturers, staff, and WCPC members to discuss bullying from each guest’s psychological perspective. This gave members of WCPC and invited Psi Chi members the insight to better understand this form of aggression, including how to do deal with it in a work or school setting, ways to identify it, and ways to mitigate the behavior. This upcoming semester I have three more roundtables planned, with the topics being chosen from the WCPC members, and will be forming committees with WCPC members to bring these into reality. And Psi Chi is a unique sports car too. Under the leadership of Evonne Rivera, our current president, an upcoming workshop will help to assist students with the process of applying, correctly choosing, and getting accepted to graduate school. Another notable activity is the research opportunities provided by Dr. Redmond for members to work on faculty research projects.
This leads into my passion of the necessity for student engagement. It empowers emotional growth and helps break the stereotypes we form when our only introduction to those different from us is from the media. However, when we engage with each other in meaningful ways, we quickly learn that at our core we are all very similar. Plus, Psi Chi WC and WCPC help with building our professional social skills in the most popular space for socialization these days — virtual space. But we — at the World Campus psych clubs and organizations — already know this. This is why we joined the WCPC and Psi Chi — to interact with each other in practical class-orientated ways, to find professional opportunities, and to make friends. I really feel that I have made connections in the nine months I have been a member of WCPC that will last a lifetime, and I know one day we will meet in the brick and mortar world.

This is why the World Campus Psychology Club and Psi Chi are so important. They provide students around the globe with the opportunity to have that Penn State family feeling of camaraderie. And, we can measure the success and effectiveness of both of these organizations by looking at the collaboration, creativity, controllability, and competitiveness (Cameron and Quinn, 2006, as cited in Muchinsky, 2012, p. 249) that happen within their virtual education space. And above all, because we are Penn State WC’s Psychology Club and Psi Chi, we are proving President Barron to be absolutely correct when he said, “…engaged students are healthier, happier, get better grades, have strong résumés, and higher-quality career opportunities … and … committing to engagement will promote recruitment, retention, and graduation at Penn State.” Speaking for myself, both the psych club and Psi Chi are strong reasons for my continued attendance at the World Campus. Plus, I am genuinely proud to say … WE ARE …!

Cynthia Roebuck is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree with a Life Science option from Penn State World Campus. She is a member of Psi Chi,  Blue & White Society, the American Association of University Women, and the International Blind Tennis Association.

References
Muchinsky, P.M. (2012). Psychology applied to work: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. Summerfield, NC: Hypergraphic Press. ISBN # 978-0-578-07692-8.

Help for Online Students during Pregnancy Complications

August 19th, 2015 by
Alexandre Henry Alves, MorgueFile.com

Alexandre Henry Alves, MorgueFile.com

It’s been some time since we last checked in with Terry Watson, disability contact liaison for Penn State World Campus students. Recently, a new provision has been added to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that may impact World Campus students who are pregnant.

Half of our student population is female, and those women who are pregnant benefit from the convenience of finishing their degrees online while balancing work, studies, and a new family member. However, situations may arise during pregnancy that result in complications — and according to Terry, the newest ADA provision will allow reasonable accommodations for our pregnant students so they may continue their online studies if a complication arises.

But what exactly is considered a pregnancy complication? Pregnancy impairments include hypertension, gestational diabetes, severe nausea, and sciatica because they can substantially limit a major life activity. Below are just two examples that may help you to better understand how the ADA can impact your college career if you have a pregnancy complication.

  • Sarah was diagnosed with severe nausea in her first trimester of pregnancy by her primary care physician. Her doctor prescribed extra rest and specific actions to help aid in her care. Because Sarah was taking Penn State World Campus classes, she spoke with Terry, who helped her contact her instructors for course accommodations. Terry also offered assistance to Sarah in requesting the appropriate documentation from her physician. Sarah completed a verification form in conjunction with her primary care physician in order to explain and verify her pregnancy complication, which Terry then used to secure extra time for her class assignments.
  • Jennifer, in her second trimester, found out that she had gestational diabetes. Jennifer’s primary care physician prescribed insulin injections and a modified diet plan. Jennifer found herself struggling with the new medication and its side effects, while dealing with her home life, work, and studying for mid-term exams. She decided to contact Terry for some guidance. After helping her fill out her verification paperwork, Terry arranged for Jennifer’s instructors to provide her with an extension to complete her mid-term exams.

The scenarios presented in this blog post are examples of pregnancies with complications, but each situation will be a bit different. If you need information about how the ADA can help you finish your course work while dealing with pregnancy complications, please contact Terry.

Students with any disability can contact Terry to find available disability resources and inquire about disability support services.

Terrys Contact Information

Toll-Free: 800-252-3592

Email: TerryWatson@outreach.psu.edu

AOL IM: PSUWCTerry

Facebook: Profile Page

Skype: PSUWCTerry

Must-Have Children’s Books for Back to School

August 17th, 2015 by

The other day I was walking through Target when I came across a display that stopped me in my tracks. Stomach fluttering, heart racing, I saw the inevitable: the back-to-school section. Notebooks and binders and colored pencils and erasers and calculators (really, the list could fill a whole page) were bearing down on me, reminding me that the new school year will start in just a few short weeks. As a teacher by profession and also a Penn State World Campus student, my mind started creating checklists of all the things I need to do to prepare for teaching and taking classes. Naturally, my mind went to my bookshelf, remembering my go-to, back-to-school books for elementary students. Below are a few must-haves that will get the school year off to a great start, no matter what stage you are in preparing for a return to school!

 

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

This book is a first-day staple in the elementary classroom. The story begins with Mr. Hartwell trying to convince Sarah Jane Hartwell to get out of bed and go to her first day at a new school. Sarah complains, whines, and drags her feet — arguing that her day will be just awful and she’d rather stay home. Upon arriving at school, Sarah meets the principal, who helps calm her nerves. Both child and adult readers will be able to relate to Sarah’s uneasy feelings on the first day of school and find amusement in the book’s surprise ending.

 

 

 

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

 

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

My second-grade students adore this book. The story follows a young, reckless boy who does seemingly careless acts, such as throwing a can of pop out a car window or racing his shopping cart around a grocery store. After each incident, the boy is asked, “What if everybody did that?” followed by an illustration of the boy imagining how different the world would be if everybody did the same careless acts that he did. In the end, the boy imagines how amazing the world would be if people acted for the good — following rules and caring for each other.

Every year I read this book during the first week of school, and every year I have a few students who will remind their classmates of it as the months tick by. It is one that resonates with children and helps them figure out good versus poor decisions on their own.

 

 

More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby

More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby

 

More than Anything Else by Marie Bradby

This is a fictional story of Booker T. Washington’s childhood. In the story, Booker wants to read “more than anything else.” Although he does intense work shoveling salt with his brother and father during the daytime, he works even harder at night by practicing the alphabet and learning to read. The story is ideal for showing young children and adults the importance of working toward one’s dreams and persevering despite difficult circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

 

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Similar to More than Anything Else, Amazing Grace is a great book to use when talking about hopes and dreams with students at the beginning of a school year. In the book, Grace loves hearing stories and acting as different characters at home. When she learns her class will put on Peter Pan she is ecstatic — she wants to play the part of Peter! To her extreme disappointment, however, her classmates are not so enthusiastic, telling her things like, “You can’t be Peter — that’s a boy’s name!” After talking with her Ma and Nana, Grace finds the courage to try out for Peter Pan despite her classmates’ remarks. Read to find out if she got the part!

 

 

 

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

 

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

I use this book to help encourage creativity and playfulness during the first week of school. In the story, a rabbit shows the reader that a box can be anything you want it to be (a race car, a spaceship) by using one’s imagination. The kids pick up the pattern of the story after just a couple pages and enjoy saying it aloud with me, helping to develop a sense of community early in the year. After reading the story, I present students with a piece of paper with a squiggle on it, saying it is “not a squiggle.” They then go off on their own and create their own picture of what the squiggle really is. It’s a fun, short story that helps promote the importance of using one’s imagination.

 

 

Although primarily geared toward early elementary students, these picture books can be used across grade levels. Gathering to read a picture book — or two or four or ten — in the early weeks of school helps set the tone for the rest of the school year. It’s a time to think, process, converse, and learn together. What could be better than that?

Good luck and happy reading!

Emily Kilgore is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature from Penn State World Campus. She is an elementary school teacher in North St. Paul, Minnesota.

How I Became a Penn Stater through Student Engagement Opportunities

August 17th, 2015 by

Annah Jensen is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State World Campus. Annah takes one class per semester to help keep her workload more manageable. She lives in Bradenton, Florida, and works full-time as a receiving office supervisor for a privately owned environmental laboratory. Here’s Annah’s story of how she strengthened her Penn State ties through student engagement:

Annah Jensen

Annah Jensen

 

When I was first accepted to Penn State World Campus, I was curious about how I would possibly feel like a “Penn Stater,” a part of the college, and the University as whole. I wanted to make as many connections with my peers as possible during my time as a student. I posed this question to my advisers, who suggested I look into the World Campus Facebook page, the Blue & White Society, and the World Campus Psychology Club (WCPC) for student involvement ideas. My advisers’ ideas turned out to be a valuable resource for helping me feel like a Penn Stater, even though I was taking classes online.

 

Student Engagement Opportunities

 

The Blue & White Society, part of the Penn State Alumni Association, is a great way to network and socialize with other students and alumni. I signed up right after being accepted, and found my local alumni chapter. Last year, the association hosted a reception with President Barron that I attended. I will say that, at first, I was a bit nervous — I wasn’t an alumnus just yet, I was a brand new student! I was the youngest person there and the only current student, but everyone was really helpful and welcoming. I networked with alumni about their experiences at Penn State and what they’ve done since graduation. A few individuals even offered to stay in touch, in case I needed anything or had any questions about my Penn State experience. It was amazing to form connections like this with people whom had just met! After the presentation, President Barron mingled with our group, and I got the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

 

The World Campus Psychology Club, formed in 2009, was the first officially recognized student organization through World Campus. The club’s mission includes building community and identity by encouraging members to share ideas and experiences, as well as offer support to one another in pursuit of educational goals. The club also helps foster developing interests in the various fields of psychology by sponsoring faculty and guest speakers and sharing psychological news to facilitate discussions. They have a very active Facebook page that includes current and former members, which really helps facilitate those goals. I am so glad I joined them as quickly as I did, and it has become such an integral part of my Penn State life. Through the group, I’ve made some wonderful friends and meaningful connections with professors. I have the opportunity to talk to them daily if I want, and it’s a great support network of students going through the same struggles as I am. Soon after joining the club and making new connections, I started thinking of new ways we could reach people. After some gentle prodding from one of the officers, and schedule planning on my part, I decided to run for an officer position — and won! How cool is that? Going into my second semester, I’m the secretary for the WCPC!

 

The WCPC isn’t the only World Campus club anymore. In 2014, Ray Vasquez founded the World Campus Technology Club as a networking platform for students with interests relating to the IST and SRA programs offered through World Campus. They had their first membership meeting in February this year and held a webinar in April featuring IST Professor Don Shemanski, who spoke about career opportunities in the SRA field. Their Facebook page is also quite active, so if you’re more of a technology fan than psychology fan, you should check them out!

 

I’d encourage you to take that first step and get involved with these World Campus student engagement activities. You can learn more by visiting the Student Organizations page on the World Campus Student Portal.

Penn State Alumni Association: Participation Opportunities

August 14th, 2015 by

With more than 645,000 Penn State alumni, chances are that you’ll run into someone from this network of thousands, whether you’re traveling down the block or around the globe! You can join this network as a World Campus student or as a graduate, and reap many benefits at the different stages of your educational experience with Penn State. Here’s how:

Student Participation in the Penn State Alumni Association: The Blue & White Society

You may be thinking right now, “I haven’t graduated yet, so why I am even considering joining the Penn State Alumni Association?” As a student of Penn State World Campus, you have an opportunity to join the association while you are taking classes online. The Penn State Alumni Association has its own student membership group, The Blue & White Society, which allows you to get a jump-start on many of the activities of the association. The fee to join is only $15 a year, and you can begin reaping the benefits, including:

  • networking opportunities – Become part of a very powerful network to help you secure internships, potential careers, and meaningful career advice.
  • exclusive perks/merchandise – Receive complimentary items, such as the limited edition Blue & White Society t-shirt.
  • member discounts – Get 10% off at all Penn State Bookstore locations on your essential school supplies.

Graduate Participation in the Penn State Alumni Association

No matter which Penn State campus you are a part of, the Penn State Alumni Association provides amazing benefits, including:

The Penn State World Campus Alumni Society

Each campus has its own student membership group of the Penn State Alumni Association, and the World Campus is no different. The World Campus Alumni Society has recently been chartered to connect World Campus graduates to each other and expand career and social opportunities. When you sign up for the Penn State Alumni Association, you are automatically a member of the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society by virtue of graduating from the World Campus. You receive all the benefits of the Penn State Alumni Association plus some exclusive benefits, such as online networking events where you can interact with other World Campus graduates. You can also become a part of the Alumni Ambassadors, to connect and interact with potential students who may have questions about the World Campus. You also get the opportunity to have a voice in supporting and growing the World Campus by choosing to be a part of a committee.

Since graduating in 2013, I have been an active voice for Penn State World Campus. As an Alumni Ambassador, I have been able to meet and share with many potential students (online) my own experiences with the World Campus. As an active member of the Penn State Alumni Association, I was recently selected to be on the Board of Directors for the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society. I am also the chair of the Alumni Outreach and Engagement Committee.

I urge you to get a jump-start on joining the Penn State Alumni Association by joining the Blue & White Society as a student so you can reap the benefits. Become involved with the various events held in your area, and create that network, both personally and professionally.

Links We Love: August 13, 2015

August 13th, 2015 by
Links We Love

Links We Love

Five things that shouldn’t be missed from this past week!

1. 15 rules that you should know regarding LinkedIn etiquette.

2. World Campus student and helicopter pilot trainer chosen as student marshal for the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

3. Nine year old donates her allowance to Arboretum at Penn State.

4. Cutest buddies ever!

5. World Campus student, Luke Pile, balances work, school and newborn twins.