Does Graduating With Honors Still Matter?

As GPA’s rise, there is an increasing number of college graduates graduating with honors such as cum laude. An employer might encounter 20 or so applicants that have achieved this distinction. This distinction is now becoming less meaningful and colleges and universities are being forced to revisit this honor system.
 
There are a number of possible explanations that should be explored.
 
1. Students getting more savvy about cheating so they won’t get caught.
2. Grade forgiveness. A common practice where students are allowed to repeat a course if they got a bad grade. The higher grade gets calculated in the GPA.
3. Treating students as customers. At the end of many college courses, students take a course evaluation that evaluates their professor’s performance. If a professor gets overwhelmingly negative evaluations, that professor is usually fired.
4. High school teachers and college professors are giving A’s to everyone in the class. A disturbing trend in some schools. We call this a participation trophy.
 
Should high schools and colleges transition over to a competency based learning model? A competency based learning model creates multiple pathways to graduation, make better use of technology, supports new staffing patterns for the 21st Continue reading

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How hiring people with disabilities boosts your bottom line

“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” – Michael Corleone, “The Godfather.”

It’s a line from the classic 1972 mob movie, and variations are often said in real-life high-stakes financial transactions. But as it turns out, hiring people with disabilities is both personal and business, and it’s beneficial from both angles.

There is no question that many business owners, executives, and hiring managers will tell you that they want to hire people that best represents the community from which they operate in.  Those very same people will also tell you they need to make a profit. After all that is the whole point of running a business in a capitalistic society. However, we are transitioning into a type of society called social capitalism. It is still capitalism, but it focuses the business on a social problem that needs to be solved. That problem is making sure that the best qualified people with disabilities have the ability to find meaningful work.

Social capitalism is a socially minded form of capitalism where the goal is making social improvements, rather than focusing exclusively on accumulating of capital in the classic capitalist sense. A business that follows the social capitalism philosophy still Continue reading

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More employers hiring adults with autism

Nathan Myers with his job coach Susan at Saint Lucie Battery & Tire.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 59 teens and young adults that have been diagnosed with autism will enter adulthood in the next decade. However, there are approximately 18.6 million people with disabilities aged 16-64 that are currently employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016, 17.9 percent of persons with a disability were employed with most of them  more concentrated in service occupations.

According to Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping find solutions for individuals with autism and provide support for their families, says it’s noticed a trend toward hiring more adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Given this trend, employU is here to provide more training and support for both local employers who want to hire adults with disabilities, and training and support for people with disabilities.

Nathan Myers is deaf and also has autism and ADHD. He graduated in 2017 with his Automotive Technician Certification and is now working full-time as a mechanic at Saint Lucie Battery & Tire.  He is learning tasks quickly and is able to communicate through Continue reading

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Private colleges give record discounts

BOULDER, CO – APRIL 24: Students walk along 17th street after class on the University of Colorado campus as a wet rain/snow mix falls in the area on April 24, 2018 in Boulder, Colorado. The wet weather made for a wintery day but temperatures are expected to warm with high 70’s into the 80’s are expected by the weekend. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Private universities gave record tuition discounts this year — but enrollment is still falling. The average discounted tuition rate reached an estimated 49.9% this academic year, up from 39.1% a decade ago, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. But The Wall Street Journal notes that such “aggressive” discounting hasn’t bolstered enrollment, which has dropped nationwide at private schools for the past three years. The decline means universities earn less tuition revenue, explains Inside Higher Ed, which could force them to cut costs elsewhere.
Especially for business schools, many colleges and universities whether private or public, have accreditation that are prestigious to the university. For business schools it is the AACSB accreditation. These types of prestigious accreditation command higher tuition, combine that with the fact that Continue reading

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Retail has a staffing problem

Noticing long checkout lines in stores? Many retailers are cutting staff almost twice as fast as they’re closing stores, reports The Wall Street Journal. Although the population around shops surveyed by the government has increased 12.5% in the past decade, the number of salespeople grew by just 1.5%. The smaller staffs can be traced to technology — like self-checkout lanes — switches to smaller stores and the hiring of full-time employees in the place of part-time workers. But the trend, seen at J.C. Penney, Kohls, Nordstrom, Walmart, Target and others, may have reached diminishing returns as sales get crimped too, say analysts.

One day, I went to Walgreens to buy a few things. When I got to the checkout line at the front of the store, the line was so long that I dropped my basket and walked out.  Brick and mortars want to complain so much about how the e-commerce retail business has destroyed their market share. Maybe they need to look closer at how they are addressing the needs of their customers, and whether their customer support structures are in line with what we value today.  We as consumers in this day and age of rapidly Continue reading

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Why We Should Hire People With Disabilities?

If you are a small business owner that is looking to grow, you need employees that will help keep you in business. Of course you want to hire people that have the requisite skills that you are in need of at the very moment you need them. Once you get key personnel in place, you want to also look at other untapped labor markets such as people with disabilities. People with disabilities represent a talented, untapped labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of working age people that are currently employed have a disability. This leaves many individuals with disabilities that are still on the lookout for a job. As you seek to fill open positions, consider hiring people with disabilities. When you hire a competent person with a disability, you’ll bring benefits to your company’s bottom line and benefits to your customers and community.

Better Work Quality

There are several research studies that have revealed employers believe employees with disabilities are more diligent and focused while at work, thus leading to better overall work quality, motivation, engagement, integration with co-workers, dependability, and attendance. Businesses of all sizes have proven to benefit from the hiring of employees Continue reading

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How to manage employees with disabilities?

People with disabilities may just have the skills and competencies you require within your organization yet they are often under-employed. It is important to consider how your organization can tap this potential source of employees. Here are some ideas on how to manage employees who have disabilities.

Build trust
Developing rapport with employees with disabilities requires patience and effort. “Play the long game,” says Burris. “You need to spend a good amount of time building trust.” Inquire about the person’s hobbies, family, and interests outside of work. Be supportive and upbeat. “Lay the groundwork to show you care about them, and you are on their side,” he says. Developing a positive dynamic within the team will benefit everyone.

Clarify expectations
According to Mary Shapiro, a professor at Simmons College School of Management and the author of HBR Guide to Leading Teams, one of the biggest challenges of overseeing an employee with disabilities is the impact on your ability to manage your team’s workload. “When someone doesn’t have the ability to be proactive or to take on what you’re asking them to take on, you can’t just delegate and move on,” she says.  Continue reading

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