POWHATAN – The gulf that has grown between members of the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors was in stark relief last week as three members voted to raise the county administrator’s salary while the other two lobbied to have him resign.
Having students make hand gestures connected to what they’re learning can help them remember new information, including vocabulary. But there are some important caveats.
When I was researching a book on literacy instruction, I spent time at an elementary school that was using an innovative, content-rich curriculum. The school served many kids who were still learning English, and they had adopted certain techniques designed to help them. One was to have teachers introduce a new vocabulary word by matching it to a hand gesture and then have students repeat the word and the gesture.
An administrator at the school told me she’d observed something interesting. At the beginning of the school year, first-graders were learning about rock formation. When the word layer was introduced, their teacher coached them to make a corresponding gesture: both hands held out flat, with one hovering above the other. In the spring, during a unit on the rain forest, the word layer came up again. The administrator noticed that when the kids heard the word, they started making the hand gesture again, spontaneously. They’d remembered.
When I started following a second-grade class at the school, I noticed the teacher sometimes taught gestures even with abstract words—like enlightenment, which the class encountered in a unit on Buddhism. While saying the word and providing an age-appropriate definition (“a greater understanding of life”), the teacher held her hand at her forehead as though saluting and then swooped it upward and outward. The kids repeated the word and imitated the gesture.
Ever since then I’ve wondered if there was evidence to support that teaching technique, and whether it could help all learners absorb and retain new information—not just students learning a new language. It turns out there’s quite a bit, and it falls under the rubric of “embodied cognition.”
One example comes from the recent book The Extended Mind, by science writer Annie Murphy Paul. When Kerry Ann Dickson, a professor of anatomy in Australia, teaches about body parts and systems, she has her students mime corresponding gestures. For the lacrimal gland and tear production, they pretend to cry; for the cochlea and hearing, they place their hands behind their ears. Dickson says that since she started using this approach, her students’ anatomy test scores have been 42% higher.
Similar results have been found with younger students. In a 2008 study, third- and fourth-graders were divided into three groups that received different kinds of math instruction. The instructors for one group provided a verbal explanation while solving a problem and had students repeat it. For the second group, instructors provided both a verbal explanation and accompanying hand gestures, and had students repeat the gestures but not the words. The third group repeated both the words and the gestures. On a test given immediately after the lesson, with math problems similar to those they’d been taught to solve, all three groups improved their performance by about the same amount. But on a test given four weeks later, only the second and third groups—the ones that had used gestures—performed significantly better.
There are lots of other examples of the power of gesture and movement, although most studies have focused on immediate learning rather than longer-term retention. It’s been found, for example, that children understand a story better when they act it out with objects, or even just imagine doing that, than when they read the story twice. Middle school students who learned about planetary motion by pretending to be an asteroid had significantly higher performance, as did elementary school students who learned geometry by forming shapes with their bodies on a playground. Children learning names for animals in a foreign language did better when they performed activities and gestures relevant to the words.
Why would gesture have these effects? There are several theories. One has to do with working memory, the aspect of our consciousness that takes in and tries to make sense of new information. If we try to juggle too many new things in working memory at the same time, we get overwhelmed, and comprehension and retention suffer. Bodily movements like gesture, which come naturally, may relieve some of the cognitive load associated with learning. It's also been suggested that movement leaves a more lasting impression in long-term memory than words alone, and that it’s helpful to link mental representations of ideas to the external environment.
Whatever the reasons (and more than one could be valid), there’s enough evidence that gesture is effective to justify incorporating it into instruction. That doesn’t mean, however, that any gesture—or any bodily representation of information—will be helpful. Here are some caveats to keep in mind.
Be judicious. “Gesturing on tasks that do not lend themselves to gesture,” one team of researchers has warned, “is likely to disrupt performance.” Even on tasks that do lend themselves to gesture, like learning vocabulary, there’s a limit to how many words should be paired with a gesture—because there’s a limit to how many new words kids will be able to remember, even with gestures attached. It makes sense to save gestures for what are sometimes called “Tier 2” vocabulary: words that are not so common that their meaning is likely to be picked up naturally, but common enough that they show up frequently in written text. Within that Tier 2 category, it’s probably best to pair gestures with words that seem particularly important or are likely to appear in future units of the curriculum.
Don’t get carried away. It’s possible to focus so much on an elaborate bodily representation of information that the information itself gets lost. I once heard an educator describe how she used embodied cognition to help students connect sounds to the letters that represent them. To help a child grasp one of the sounds made by the letters ow, for example, she had him dress up as a clown. That might work. But it also might take 15 minutes or more to put on clown makeup, a wig, etc. And the child might focus so much on the fun of getting dressed as a clown that he remembers that experience more than the sound the letters ow can make.
Use a curriculum that is rich in content. The children at the school where I did research for my book didn’t remember the word layer just because of the hand gesture. The curriculum the school used, called Core Knowledge Language Arts, provided them with rich context for the meaning of that word. The kids spent two or three weeks learning about rock formation, encountering the word in different engaging contexts (I observed one of those lessons, and the children were rapt). The fact that the curriculum brought the word back months later in another engaging context, the rain forest, also helped.
Most elementary schools, unfortunately, aren’t using that kind of curriculum. Rather than spending two or more weeks diving deeply into a topic, they focus on supposed studying comprehension skills like “finding the main idea” and jump from one course to another, treating each of them superficially. If children don’t have rich context for a new vocabulary word—even one that is taught with a gesture—they might be able to parrot back a definition, but they’re unlikely to truly understand what it means.
If teachers use gesture judiciously, however, in conjunction with a content-rich, engaging curriculum, the technique can help students remember key vocabulary and concepts, laying the groundwork for further learning.
Principal turnover rates have been rising, with some surveys suggesting that as many as 4 in 10 principals expect to leave their profession in the next three years. But positive psychology techniques can help reduce principal burnout and potentially bring down turnover rates in the long run.
That’s according to Eleanor Su-Keene, a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University, and David DeMatthews, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Historically, psychology has been focused around the ailments and the problematic issues with human mental health,” Su-Keene said. “But positive psychology is kind of refocusing on some of the elements of being human that are really powerful, [by] enhancing well-being and positivity.”
Through their research, Su-Keene and DeMatthews wanted to not just study burnout in school principals, but also provide evidence-based practices that could Strengthen school leaders’ mental well-being.
“So [we’re] not just looking at how difficult and stressful the job could be, but what can we actually do to help principals,” said DeMatthews.
Their research provides individual and district-level recommendations to show how proven positive psychology strategies can be used to reduce job stress in school principals. Here are seven lessons drawn from their research article, which was published The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues, and Ideas:
1) ‘Savoring the moment’
Su-Keene and DeMatthews define savoring as “the psychological process of noticing and deepening the experience of positive emotions.”
Principals should recognize positive experiences like watching a school play set up by students or having a former student speak about the school’s positive impact, and try to be mindful of the positive feelings they experience during these moments.
By doing so, they can “deepen the experience by focusing and sharpening the physical sensations around that positive feeling,” such as smiling or laughing, according to the study.
2) Memory-building promotes positive feelings
When going through positive experiences, principals should slow the moment down in their mind and try to build a mental picture, the research suggests.
This way, they can savor the memory, both during the moment and over the long-term.
3) Savor moments in retrospect
One way principals can hold onto and enjoy memories in the long term is by journaling positive workplace experiences and reflecting on them.
DeMatthew’s prior research found that while principals do experience large amounts of stress at their job, they also experience moments of pride and joy in their work.
“We know in our work and in our research that principals are enjoying things about leadership on a daily basis,” Su-Keene said. “There are things happening inside classrooms, inside schools, with conversations with other teachers and students that are really meaningful.”
The research found that by recalling these memories, principals can further boost positive feelings they experience from their work.
4) “Cultivating sacred moments” can help
According to the article, “principals often find strength by turning inward toward their ‘why’ or purpose.”
By identifying certain moments in the school setting as sacred, in that they stand out as special and timeless, principals can find a sense of purpose in the work they do.
These moments can be incorporated as part of a routine (for example, focusing on the moment of welcoming students into school every morning), or symbolized with a sentimental keepsake like a gift or a drawing received from a student.
5) Districts can provide cognitive behavioral coaching
Cognitive behavioral coaches work with principals confidentially in a safe space and help them set small goals in working toward a healthy and positive sense of self.
“We encourage districts to have ... systems and people in place that can support principals on a coaching level,” Su-Keene said.
By providing this solutions-focused coaching, principals can “address stressors and feel confident in their strengths and efforts as they work towards their goals,” the research says.
6) Principal supervisors can be trained in positive psychology interventions
DeMatthews and Su-Keene’s research suggests that in districts that provide mental health resources to school staff, principal supervisors should be trained in positive psychology interventions or PPIs.
“We encourage the supervisors to be cognizant of the ailments and the problems and all of the really negative stuff that’s occurring for educators and principals right now,” Su-Keene said, so that they can provide school staff with much-needed mental health support.
These PPIs could include providing principals with training sessions on self care and managing job-related stress, as well as creating a broader mental health support network.
7) Provide spaces for principals to complain
Principals need to kvetch, too. One unusual suggestion the research puts forth is to create effective safe spaces for principals to voice their complaints.
“In the literature, complaining gets a really bad rep,” Su-Keene said. “But it has been shown to be an effective way of releasing some of that stress; being able to talk about complaints but not just in feeling negativity, but actually effectively addressing the base of those complaints.”
By hearing complaints, she said, districts can learn more about the problems principals face and figure out ways to address these issues.
POWHATAN – The gulf that has grown between members of the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors was in stark relief last week as three members voted to raise the county administrator’s salary while the other two lobbied to have him resign.
Following a relatively low-key regular agenda on Monday, July 25, the supervisors came back from an hour-plus closed session and took a number of unanimous votes addressing retroactive action on the salaries of constitutional officers without giving any context to the public.
But when those votes were followed with one to deliver a raise to county administrator Ned Smither and make changes to his contract that would be more favorable to him, two board members not only pushed back but went the opposite direction, submitting a substitute motion that would have the board ask for Smither’s resignation effective that night.
The salary increase would take Smither from his current salary of $173,250 to $190,000. The other two amendments were to eliminate the clause in Smither’s contract requiring him to relocate to the county and adjust the severance package amounts in the contract, depending on how many votes such an action would receive – five votes would see six months of severance; four votes, seven months, and three votes, eight months.
David Williams, who represents District 1, made the substitute motion asking for the resignation and was supported by Bill Cox, District 4. The motion failed in a 2-3 vote.
Chair Mike Byerly, District 3; Steve McClung, District 2, and Karin Carmack, District 5 then prevailed in the original vote, which passed 3-2, to authorize the reworking of Smither’s contract and the raise, although the revised contract has to be signed by the board members before the changes become official.
Though it was only touched on briefly in a lengthy speech Cox gave about why Smither should be asked to resign, two of the three votes the board took immediately after the closed session addressed actions taken in 2021.
At last week’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve 5% cost of living adjustments (COLA) for all five constitutional officers – commissioner of the revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, treasurer, clerk of the circuit court and sheriff – effective as of July 1, 2021.
According to Melissa Lowe, human resources manager, this brought the constitutional officers to the following salaries last year: commissioner of the revenue Jamie Timberlake, $99,206; commonwealth’s attorney Richard “Dickie” Cox, $147,130; treasurer Becky Nunnally, $84,093 (she assumed this salary when she became interim treasurer and kept it when she officially took office), and clerk of the circuit court Teresa Hash Dobbins, $133,625.
The board voted unanimously in a separate vote to deliver sheriff Brad Nunnally a 5% cost of living increase, but Lowe explained that his salary actually increased by more than that last year. After a salary study comparison to other localities with similar sheriff’s experience and size, Nunnally was increased from $100,811 to $110,862 effective July 1, 2021, but he also received the 5% COLA on top of that, making his final salary at the time $116,405.
The third unanimous vote the board took saw them setting the salary of Rob Cerullo, the interim commonwealth’s attorney taking office on Aug. 1 after Dickie Cox retires, to the current rate of the commonwealth’s attorney.
There is still uncertainty over this action, as some of the constitutional officers mentioned confusion over a now-expired memorandum of understanding they signed several years ago with a previous board of supervisors and how this impacted the authority to deliver them raises. This question, which hasn’t been discussed at a public meeting, has also stalled the constitutional officers’ 2022 raises.
A few of the constitutional officers said they received a letter from human resources stating they would receive a 5% effective July 1, 2022. Lowe confirmed that the constitutional officers did not have an authorized raise yet. However, a few of them said they had spoken with board of supervisors members who said they will be discussing the issue at an upcoming meeting, and there is always the possibility that the raises, if approved, could be made retroactive to July 1.
While Williams was the one to make the motion asking for Smither’s resignation in place of the raise, Bill Cox was the only one to outline his reasons for or against either action during the meeting.
None of the other board of supervisors spoke on the issues at the meeting, but the Powhatan Today reached out for comment afterward to make sure both sides of the issue were represented, and all four of the supervisors who didn’t speak responded.
A large part of what Cox talked about during the meeting revolved around the county’s salary and compensation system with a focus on how he said changes Smither made bypassed normal procedures, which meant the system does not live up to the mission of being “competitive and fair.”
“Salary ranges and job grades are an addendum to the employee handbook and can be modified only with the consent of the board of supervisors. Likewise, budget amendments can only be modified with the consent of the board of supervisors,” Cox said, before going on to deliver several examples of where that did not happen.
Cox referenced 32 salary changes authorized by Smither and gave a few examples by job grade and salary, not giving the employees’ names. The changes he referenced included regrading, title changes, salary adjustments and promotions. The changes led to salary increases that ranged from 3% all the way up to 28%. After each example he shared, he pointed out there are “no provisions for a salary change of this order without board of supervisors approval.”
“I could go on, but hopefully you understand under Mr. Smither, we do not have a salary and compensation system which is competitive and fair,” Cox said. “New jobs without job descriptions, grades, fairness and equity are out the door. The concept of grades/salary ranges commensurate with responsibility, they are gone. Money for title changes, not changes in responsibility or new measure.”
Cox accused Byerly, McClung and Carmack of letting Smither operate with “no boundaries.” He pointed to several other reasons for him to call for Smither’s resignation: the “assessor’s office debacle” that saw it not functioning as promised; the earlier mentioned compensation issues; an incomplete comprehensive plan; staff competency issues; problems with the effective tax rate calculation, and continued issues with Keystone Information Systems.
But “the biggie,” as Cox described it was in Smither’s relationship with the board.
“I voted to fire the prior county administrator because he worked to divide the previous board as opposed to looking for ways to bring it together. Mr. Smither has done the same,” Cox said. “I voted to fire the prior county administrator because I did not trust him to work in the best interests of the citizens of Powhatan; it is the same with Mr. Smither.”
No other comments were made before the two votes were taking, first Williams’ failed motion to ask for Smither’s resignation and then Byerly’s motion for the raise and contract changes.
In a separate interview, Williams reiterated several of the comments Cox made, pointing out issues such as an incorrect tax rate initially; late billing; problems with Keystone; the drastic increase in expected personal property taxes because of an increase in vehicle valuations; the problems with recruitment and running of the assessor’s office, and, most recently, problems with irregularities in the compensation and salary increases in the last year.
“This has been the shared experience of the board, the staff, citizens in the county; they have all observed this over the last seven or eight months,” Williams said. “The question I get asked the most is why is he still here?”
In their separate statements, McClung, Byerly and Carmack all lambasted Cox’s speech during the meeting, saying the actions of Cox and Williams represent a “witch hunt” and a “consistent and targeted effort to destroy” Smither.
“I think if they would try to work with Mr. Smither instead of undermining everything he does, we could get a lot more done. Our county simply cannot afford to hire a new county administrator every two years. We really need some stability in that position,” McClung said.
All three said the numbers Cox gave regarding salary and compensation were inaccurate, adding they had been corrected with updated numbers on July 5 but Cox chose not to use those more accurate numbers.
“So, the info Mr. Cox put out was not the revised and accurate numbers as provided to us all by HR . He used the incorrect inflated numbers that were in the June 30th email which overstates raises during specified time limits. Why would any supervisor ..... or anyone present inaccurate info intentionally,” Byerly said.
Byerly added that for Cox to imply that Smither was the first and only county administrator to deliver raises and regrades is not true as not every raise and reclassification was approved by the supervisors with the previous two county administrators.
“Those in the minority, as in the past two terms and including this one, has consistently fallen out of grace with (county administrators) and worked diligently to have them all terminated or pushed out. I will not participate in dragging this one down however; let’s work to build a team that will rise above the fray and work together to omit errors and mistakes,” he said.
Regarding the changes they voted on, all three said they voted to deliver Smither the 5% raise given to county employees this year as well as an additional 4% meant to help Powhatan’s salaries stay competitive with surrounding counties. They said they decided not to make Smither leave a home he has lived in for more than 40 years and relocate to the county because, regardless of where he lives, he is still working hard to get his job done.
All three supervisors named numerous accomplishments achieved under Smither’s leadership: the implementation of a broadband strategy; an interactive 10-year CIP operating budget model; new radio 911 system install; reviewing and addressing compression issues; introducing a new permit center to address building delays; a bank loan refinance that saved the county $910,000; the work on Company 1 Fire Station design; successful handling of CARES and ARPA funding, and successfully converting social services from an administrative to an advisory board.
They also praised the way he has ultimately shouldered the blame for some mistakes that were made by staff.
“Personally, I find Ned to be a hard worker, engaged, collaborative and innovative in his perspective. He excels in overseeing the financial aspects of the county and is continually working to put together a unified team of employees. He has been an advocate for competitive pay and rewarding top performers,” Carmack said.
Carmack added it is difficult to put into words the discord and distress that is created by the “antics” of Cox and Williams. Powhatan’s citizens are the ones that ultimately suffer as hundreds of working hours are spent “reviewing past meetings, attempting to refute false accusations and purposeful slanted misinformation,” she said.
“We will never successfully recruit and retain a county administrator and, moreover, run a successful county until we shed light onto the cabal and deception that has plagued this county for many years,” she said.
Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.
Aug. 3—HARLINGEN — It's a blended thing and so beautiful to understand.
That's why Jessica Hruska's latest title with the Harlingen school district is "blended learning specialist", in which she is helping change the landscape of student instruction.
"Our focus is really around building relationship with students, being data driven, personalizing learning for our kids, and providing voice and choice in learning, all the while leveraging technology," said Hruska, 39, a 2001 graduate of Harlingen High School South.
Hruska has worn many hats during her 13 years working for the district: teacher, special projects and grants specialist and coordinator of technology and special projects.
Outside the district, she's also been an instructional coach and consultant for Educate Texas.
Curiously, Hruska started out wanting to be a veterinarian.
It was 2005, and she'd just graduated from Texas A&M University — College Station with a degree in animal science when someone suggested a different direction.
"Someone said, 'Have you thought about teaching?'" she recalled. "I said, 'You know, I haven't.' I tested it actually as a substitute for HCISD, and I just really enjoyed it. And so, my pathway changed from that point on."
So powerful is her passion for the field of education that in 2018 she earned her doctorate in curriculum and education from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She spoke enthusiastically now about her current position.
"What we are doing with blended learning, we are rolling out something this year called the Teaching and Learning Framework 2.0," said the married mother of two children.
One of the cornerstones to this framework — there are five — is data driven instruction.
"What that means is we sit there and asses the students and say like, 'What is it that they really know?' and kiddos being able to articulate what they know through things like student data trackers," she said. "So, we're looking at the data, we're determining from that data what that kiddo still needs to master, and then we go into the next cornerstone which is personalized learning."
That personalized learning extends into learning styles — auditory, visual, tactile, etc. — and endless avenues of learning in new and innovative ways.
And it's all building on past initiatives that seem to have served as building blocks, or foundations, on which to construct more structures of learning.
Perhaps these are the same rungs of an ever-increasing ladder in her own trajectory as an educator.
"I enjoy building relationships with our campuses and our teachers," she said. "I have many teachers that have been role models tome when I was a product of HCISD. One of the best parts of my job is I get to pay that forward and serve as a role model to others within the district and even within the community."
When she's not working, she and her family enjoy hunting and offshore fishing.
What makes one sneaker brand stand out in a sea of sneaker brands? How does a fast-food chain rise from underdog to top dog? How does a razor invented in 1904 keep its edge?
In today’s competitive marketplace, the answer is often marketing. From launching new products to reinvigorating old brands, marketing is a critical aspect of business. Marketing shows consumers a product or service, explains how it fulfills their needs and desires and gets them to take action.
Learn the fundamentals of marketing while preparing yourself for a variety of entry-level positions with SNHU’s Associate of Science in Marketing. You’ll develop critical-thinking skills that tap the left and right sides of your brain, enhancing your creativity and strategic thinking. You'll also gain a strong foundation in an essential aspect of business that can open doors to many opportunities. Our marketing associate degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and offers a broad perspective on the business landscape at large.
Want to start or advance your career in marketing but need a college education to get there? The associate degree in marketing is a perfect stepping-stone to our bachelor's in marketing degree online, since all credits can seamlessly move from one program to the next.
Already have some college experience? Since SNHU accepts up to 45 credits, transfer students could satisfy 3/4 of the program’s 60-credit requirements, saving time and money.
Learn how to:
Once you’ve completed your program, you can take the next step without the hassle or expense of applying to another school, since SNHU offers online bachelor's, master's and MBA in marketing.
Earning an associate degree could make a significant financial impact on your life.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, associate degree holders earn higher median weekly salaries than those with only partial college credit or less.1 In 2020, the BLS reported median weekly earnings of $781 for high school graduates. Associate degree holders made median weekly wages of $938 – a 20% jump in salary.1
Marketing is a dynamic career choice with plenty of potential. For entry-level job candidates with an associate degree in marketing, the field offers growing opportunity in several areas, including:
In the digital age, marketing runs the gamut from search engine marketing to social media marketing, TV commercials to YouTube videos, and personalized journeys to performance-driven marketing. Thanks to the information collected via digital channels, marketing is more data-driven than ever.
That shift has created new opportunities in the marketing field. In recent years, the job market has expanded for entry-level positions in market research and analytics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% growth for marketing management jobs through 2030.1 Driven by the increasing use of data, jobs in this field are growing on pace with the average for all occupations. Graduates with an associate degree in marketing who choose this particular career path can expect to start out as assistants or coordinators.
An associate degree also takes you one step further in your educational journey. It not only shows employers a higher level of accomplishment, but it also gets you closer to earning a bachelor's degree and pursuing management-level positions.
Dr. Jessica Rogers, senior associate dean of marketing, sees similar benefits in SNHU’s associate degree in marketing.
“It offers students the opportunity to create a portfolio, which showcases what you’ve learned to prospective employers,” said Rogers. “It also provides the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials that employers value.”
In addition, many of the skills learned in the program will be ones you'll want to take with you throughout your career – no matter what direction you go in.
"Students who choose to study marketing develop many skills that can be utilized across an organization and in a variety of industries and economies," Rogers said. "Students develop skills such as communication, planning and promoting, research, writing for a variety of audiences, teamwork and strong visual conceptualizing."
Marketing, Rogers says, is “the driving force in business” because of its integral role in so many key areas, including:
“I tell students that marketing is a great career as there is the opportunity for both the strategic mind and creative mind to be successful,” said Rogers. “The role of marketing transcends all borders of an organization to include everything from front-line employees representing the brand to digital marketing campaigns.”
As more consumers shop online, digital marketing continues to play a vital role in many organizations’ overall marketing strategy. Whether online or mobile, digital marketing gives businesses a cost-effective way to reach consumers via search engines, social media, email, websites and so much more.
With the widespread use of digital marketing, there's been an increasing need to fill roles such as:
Bridget Gallagher '21 knew she wanted to upskill when the pandemic hit.
"I worked in the Broadway [theater] industry doing digital marketing for a year before COVID-19 shut down the entire industry," she said. "I wanted to build on my current knowledge and use it toward a future career in the same industry."
There’s another good reason to earn your associate degree in marketing – mobility. Because of its use of digital and online communication, marketing can be done from anywhere. As Steve Geibel, an adjunct instructor at SNHU, said, “So much of marketing tasks can be done remotely and digitally.”
The associate degree in marketing is designed to provide a solid foundation in business principles and practices. (It's also built to perfectly transition into a bachelor's degree; with 60 credits coming in from your associate degree, you've finished exactly half of your next program before starting – should you choose to continue with your education.)
In addition to marketing, core courses cover Topics like business law and international business. As you move along through the program, you’ll learn how companies integrate marketing with manufacturing, sales and other departments.
Compared to many competitive programs, SNHU’s online marketing associate degree program includes experiential learning. It’s career-focused by design, blending theory with practical application. You’ll learn meaningful skills as you complete real-world projects, some with a team-based approach and others independently.
“Our marketing programs are different in that they were designed with a very strategic approach,” said Dr. Jessica Rogers, senior associate dean of marketing. “We have connected and aligned our programs to industry.”
Marketing courses cover Topics like communications, promotion, social media and branding. The curriculum also includes 2 free electives, giving you the option to go a little deeper in your areas of interest. That’s a plus if you’re interested, for example, in deepening your understanding of data analysis, psychology or another marketing-related area.
Core courses in the marketing associate degree may include:
Philip Hudnall '20 said that the integrated marketing communications course stood out most to him.
"I was enthralled with the material, and I had taken so many supporting classes prior that it was a really good class to tie everything together," he said. "I finished that class in the top three, and it was the only time an instructor has ever reached out to congratulate me. What a great feeling!"
Instructors throughout your courses have relevant marketing experience, and they're able to pass that knowledge on to you.
"I found that the instructors brought their personal experiences and stories to the class, which I found very helpful and relatable," said Laura Swedberg '19. "I enjoyed how interactive the instructors were with their classes."
Bridget Gallagher '21 agreed that the staff at SNHU were there for her when she needed them.
"Each instructor I worked with felt like they wanted to be there and really wanted to share their knowledge with students," she said. When she was sick and had a death in the family in the same week, "naturally school fell to the back burner," she said. "I reached out to my advisor and professors, and they were understanding, accommodating and kind during that challenging time."
In addition to earning your associate degree in marketing, you’ll find another way to build your resume at SNHU – certifications. Professional certifications from industry leaders like HubSpot are the gold standard in digital marketing and in high demand by employers.
One of the required courses within the AS Marketing program focuses on strategic social media marketing tactics that help students prepare for the HubSpot Social Media Certification exam. The course will teach you how to develop a social media strategy that helps businesses engage consumers and grow their bottom line.
Kim Coffey, an SNHU internship administrator, believes strongly in the value of the course. Credentials, she said, deliver students in an associate degree in marketing program more hands-on experience – and an edge over other job candidates.
Whatever your goals, SNHU’s online marketing associate degree can set you on a career path to achieve them.Curriculum Requirements & Resources
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.
In the coming days, the U.S. Senate will likely consider the Inflation Reduction Act, a historic deal struck between Senator Manchin (D-WV) and Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY). This legislation furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of supporting Americans and small businesses from the ground up by lowering healthcare costs for millions, reducing the deficit, investing in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and addressing longstanding tax disparities that benefit the wealthiest corporations.
Given that these initiatives address many of the long-standing problems that eat into their bottom line, it is no surprise that small business owners across the country find the Inflation Reduction Act appealing.
Speaking in support of the bill, Dr. Erika Gonzalez, CEO, President, & Co-Founder of South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Professionals (STAAMP) and STAAMP Clinical Research in San Antonio said, the legislation will, “help the bottom line of businesses and allow them to be more competitive in the labor market. I am glad to see the Inflation Reduction Act include lowering the cost of prescription drugs, which is a main driver of healthcare costs and continues to be the No. 1 policy issue for small businesses.”
As Dr. Gonzalez noted, one of the crucial measures included in the Inflation Reduction Act addresses rising health care costs. A recent Small Business for America’s Future survey found that 83% of small business owners said rising health insurance costs have negatively impacted their business, forcing them to raise prices and holding back their growth. The Inflation Reduction Act helps address rising health care costs in several ways. The first is by extending Affordable Care Act subsidies for three more years and the second is through allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
In addition, the legislation caps out-of-pocket costs for Medicare and makes sure that companies don’t arbitrarily raise prices faster than inflation. A recent Kaiser study found that prices outpaced inflation for half of all drugs covered by Medicare in 2020.
“Because we are committed to attracting and retaining a talented workforce, we offer comprehensive health insurance. But the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing and is in turn limiting our growth as a company. It’s true that small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy, but we shouldn’t bend over backwards to just stay in business,” said Carling McManus, owner of CEO 84 Agency in Charleston, WV, when speaking about why she supports the healthcare provisions of the legislation.
Small business owners generally never ask for a handout, but they do ask for a level playing field – especially when it comes to taxes. This legislation does that by closing critical loopholes, setting a 15% minimum corporate tax rate, and providing $124 billion to the Internal Revenue Service for tax enforcement. This minimum corporate tax rate will not impact small businesses. In fact, it will only raise taxes on nearly 200 corporations earning more than $1 billion in profits and who pay less than 15% in federal taxes. Major American industries are behind this commonsense move to level the playing field in corporate taxation. In an article in The Hill, Michael Hanson, Senior Executive Vice President for Public Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said, “The agreement struck accomplishes all the objectives retailers have set out to achieve throughout the debate on corporate taxes: permanent lower rates, fairness to ensure all are contributing, and better enforcement to collect what is legally owed.”
And small business owners agree. "Loopholes and tax breaks for large companies create a huge deficit in our country’s budget which is being filled by small business and the middle class. We need changes that ensure large companies pay their fair share. The Inflation Reduction Act does just that,” said Christine Chin Ryan, owner of Synergy Consulting, Inc., in Portland, OR.
The Inflation Reduction Act also invests approximately $300 billion in deficit reduction. This will, in turn, help reduce the inflationary pressures that are driving up prices for both businesses and their customers.
Small business owners aren’t the only ones who think that this legislation is good economic policy. Economists share their opinion. On Tuesday, 126 of the country’s top economists, including seven Nobel laureates and two former U.S. Department of Treasury Secretaries, sent a letter to Congressional leaders supporting the Inflation Reduction Act. They wrote, “This proposal addresses some of the country’s biggest challenges at a significant scale. And because it is deficit-reducing, it does so while putting downward pressure on inflation. We strongly recommend Congress act decisively to build a stronger economy by passing the Inflation Reduction Act as soon as possible.”
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers agrees that this legislation is headed in the right direction. Last week, he Tweeted, “Less demand, more supply & direct better bargaining for lower prices—those are the things involved in reducing inflation. The bill reduces the deficit & the level of demand in the economy, reduces prescription drugs prices & increases supply by stimulating energy production.”
It’s no secret that rising inflation generally is impacting small business owners, working families, and other vulnerable populations. While America is doing quite well compared to other developed nations, we must tackle these issues with legislation that takes strong steps to address inflation and tackle core issues: healthcare costs, energy costs, and a more equitable tax system. While some who represent select corporate interests in Washington don’t completely agree, many American industry and business leaders, small business owners, and economists think there is a lot in this legislation that will move our country forward.
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Google is rolling out ChromeOS Flex as an enterprise option to replace operating systems on old Macs and PCs, letting users turn their aging hardware into Chromebooks.
As computers age, a lot of problems can arise that affect performance and stability. This usually leads to businesses replacing a computer entirely rather than dealing with poor performance.
With ChromeOS Flex, Google hopes to help businesses keep older computers around for longer. The lightweight operating system is designed to work well on older hardware to extend the life of a product, which can lead to reduced e-waste.
The OS can be quickly deployed via a USB stick or over a network connection. Systems running ChromeOS Flex can be managed via a Chrome Enterprise Upgrade using the Google Admin Console.
Google has approved 295 devices so far for ChromeOS Flex. However, it can be installed on other hardware, but non-certified hardware may run into performance issues.
The officially supported Macs include:
|Model Name||Current Status||End of Support|
|21.5-inch iMac (2010)||Certified||2024|
|21.5-inch iMac (2011)||Minor issues expected||2024|
|Mac mini (2014)||Certified||2026|
|MacBook (2010)||Minor issues expected||2023|
|MacBook Air (2012)||Certified||2025|
|MacBook Air (2014)||Certified||2026|
|MacBook Air (2015/2017)||Certified||2027|
|13-inch MacBook Pro (2012/2013)||Certified||2025|
|15-inch MacBook Pro (2013/2014)||Certified||2025|
Google notes that the webcam is not functional for the MacBook Air (2014) or MacBook Air (2015/2017) models.
Users can install ChromeOS Flex and replace the original operating system, although it is also possible to partition the hard drive and install it as a separate OS. This is a system intended for deployment on aging enterprise hardware and is only available by signing up for early access, for now.
There were hundreds of reader comments on Education Week’s Facebook page this week about Cara Jackson’s previous guest post, What Does It Mean to ‘Overspend’ on Teacher Salaries?
Here, she responds to some of them....
Cara Jackson is a senior associate at Abt Associates, where she works on systematic reviews of research evidence and conducts program evaluations.
In the last post, I discussed research that higher teacher salaries are related to higher teacher retention, better teacher qualifications, and student achievement. We might see this relationship for a couple of reasons. First, more-experienced teachers tend to earn higher salaries and are on average more effective than less-experienced teachers. Second, higher teacher salaries could attract a larger and more highly qualified pool of applicants.
On Facebook, some people suggested that these findings could simply be a case of correlation, not causation. That is, students from families with higher socioeconomic status tend to do better on standardized tests, and teachers who work in wealthier school districts might earn more.
If the researchers had not considered factors such as student socioeconomic status, we might be concerned that teacher salaries are only related to better educational outcomes because of the wealth of the students and their families. But each of the studies cited did account for socioeconomic status.
For example, the author of the study using Schools and Staffing Survey data controlled for the median household income in the community, in addition to other factors that might affect a school district’s ability to hire teachers. Median household income helps capture differences in parental education, enrichment activities, community resources, student motivation, and student challenges. In addition, median household income helps account for potential teacher sorting. That is, teachers from more selective colleges might marry a college classmate, settle in a more affluent area, and then teach in their (wealthy) neighborhood school district.
The Michigan study and one of the North Carolina studies also used median income. In addition, those studies included median education in the analyses. The Washington state study took a similar approach, using the poverty level of the district and county unemployment rate.
Two of the studies used samples of similar schools or teachers. One of the North Carolina studies selected schools using free and reduced-price lunch rates. In the Tennessee study, the demo consists entirely of a subset of low-performing schools.
The more recent study using national representative data included a number of factors in the analysis: percent of students enrolled in free or reduced-price lunch programs, percent of children in poverty, percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree and above, percent unemployed, and median household income.
Every study cited considered the possibility that socioeconomic status might explain why higher teacher salaries are related to outcomes. Every study took steps to address this concern.
Other commenters chimed in to point out that extra duties might influence teacher and student outcomes as well. I agree and would add that we know that teachers’ working conditions matter for educational outcomes. Teachers working in supportive professional environments improve more over time than teachers working in less supportive contexts. Teacher salaries are just one of many ways we can Strengthen educational outcomes.
Thanks again, Cara!