SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The City of San Diego Public Library system is at the forefront in California, if not the U.S., in providing information and resources about college admissions for underserved, first-generation, high school students. Eleven libraries in low-income areas now offer special collections that contain the most helpful college admissions books, and computers bookmarked with some of the "best," most frequently used college admissions links. In addition, the La Jolla branch has a separate College Admissions Room, stocked with books and other resources for students and parents.
Twice a year, the San Diego Library system offers Admit One programs at the Malcolm X (fall) and Barrio Logan (spring) branches, i.e., ten free, hands-on sessions that cover critical college admissions information. Topics include test preparation (by CAL-SOAP), practice SAT and ACT tests (by Princeton Review), applying for financial aid (by Lynn O'Shaughnessy), choosing colleges, identifying special extracurricular activities, completing applications (by me) and a mini-college fair (by local colleges).
"Google is my best friend."
To about 100 students and parents, I recently gave a talk at Admit One on "How to Get Started with the College Admissions Process." In addition, a panel of recent college applicants told audience members about their successful admissions experiences. One theme that emerged over and over was their extensive use of Google Search to locate information about extracurricular activities, scholarships, summer internships, college programs for minority students, special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs for girls and other opportunities. One student said, "When it comes to finding what I need in college admissions, Google is my best friend."
These wise words need to be taken very seriously. While many students and parents use the Internet and Google searches every day, many don't realize what a powerful college admissions tool Google can be. What's more, it is immediately available and free! Here are some ways of taking advantage of this amazing resource.
5 steps to making good use of Google Search
1. Make sure that you have access to a working computer with good Internet service. If you (or your family) don't have this, ask to use a relative's or friend's computer or see about using one at your school or local public library, where they are usually available at no cost, in good operating condition and with reliable, high speed Internet access.
2. Go to the Search Google space at the top of the computer. Type in search words/phrases or real questions about information you want about college admissions.
Here are examples of search words and questions:
Getting Ready for College Admissions
High school courses and grades ("How do I choose the right high school courses to get into college?")
Extracurricular activities ("What activities impress college admissions officers?" Note: I think you will be surprised by the answer, "Do what you love!") You can also get more specific by identifying your home town, e.g., "Volunteer opportunities for teens in Denver" -- or whatever your city or town is. Another is "Find summer or paid or science internships for high school students in San Diego" -- or whatever your city or town is.
College admissions tests ("Should I take the SAT or ACT?" "What is the best test prep for the SAT/ACT tests?" "How many Subject Tests do I need to take?")
Financial aid for college, FAFSA and PROFILE ("When should I start applying for financial aid? "What are merit scholarships?")
Finding Colleges You'll Love
College searches ("Where can I go to develop a college list?" "What is a college search?")
Visiting colleges ("Should I visit colleges? "How do I find out about 'fly-in' programs for low income students?")
Virtual tours of colleges? ("How can I find out about colleges if I can't actually visit them?")
Completing Your College Applications
Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED) ("Who should apply EA or ED?")
Completing college applications ("What should I say on my college applications?")
Writing college essays ("What should I write about in my college application essays" Sample college application essays.)
Letters of recommendation in college admissions ("Who should write my recommendation letters for college?")
College Admissions Interviews ("How important are admissions college interviews?")
3. After you have typed your words or questions onto the Google Search space, a list of links and descriptions will come up. Read the results and click on those that seem most relevant to you. Then scroll down to the end of the page, where Google offers a number of key words and phrases that may lead you to other links on the topic you're researching.
4. Keep trying out words and/or questions until you get the answers you need or want.
5. If you don't seem to be getting what you want, Google has a site that offers advanced search help.
Regardless of their background -- low-, middle- or high-income -- students need to identify admissions resources. Some schools have college admissions counselors, although because of budget cuts that service seems to be less and less available at many urban and rural public high schools. The Admit One panelists consistently cited teachers as among their best sources of information and advice, especially when the students took the time to get to know them and do their best in classes.
Other resources Admit One panelists identified were 1) parents, grandparents and other family members, 2) past students from their schools who were already in college, 3) various organizations that provide college counseling and advice such as Reality Changers, AVID, Barrio Logan College Institute and C5Youth programs, 4) independent educational consultants who offer pro-bono counseling, college admissions offices (if you ask to be put on their mailing lists, you will start receiving mailings), 5) college fairs and 6) special community programs such as the San Diego Library Admit One program.
There is a huge amount of college admissions resources on the Internet and "out there" in the world. Your job is to find the right ones for you or to help them find you.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A student went on a building-to-building stabbing attack at a Texas community college Tuesday, wounding at least 14 people before being subdued and arrested, authorities said.
The attack at about 11:20 a.m. on the Lone Star Community College System campus sent at least 12 people to area hospitals, including four people taken by helicopter, according to volunteer fire department spokesman Robert Rasa. He said several people refused treatment at the scene and all the wounds were consistent with stabbing.
Sheriff Adrian Garcia said officers responded to the campus after receiving a call about a male "on the loose" stabbing people. He said it was not immediately clear what type of weapon was used.
"Some of the details in the call slip did indicate that students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual," Garcia said, describing the man as being about 21 years old and enrolled at the college. "So we're proud of those folks, but we're glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are."
Lone Star officials initially urged people on campus, about 40 kilometres northwest of downtown Houston, to take shelter and be on alert for a second suspect. But the sheriff's department said a short time later that authorities believed just one person was responsible.
"It was the same suspect going from building to building," department spokesman Thomas Gilliland said.
Garcia said buildings still were being searched Tuesday afternoon.
Student Michael Chalfan said he was walking to class when he saw a group of police officers running after the suspect. He said one of the officers used a stun gun to help subdue the man, who Chalfan said he recognized from a drama class last year.
Chalfan described the man as "eccentric," saying he often wore gloves and was known to carry stuffed animals. He said although the man was teased by fellow students, he remained friendly.
"I'm surprised because he didn't look like he was hateful to the world," Chalfan said.
Student Teaundrae Perryman said he was in class when he received a text message from a friend and went outside to see a young woman being loaded into an ambulance with what appeared to be stab wounds to either her neck or head. He said he didn't receive an email alert from the college until 11:56 a.m.
"I was concerned but I wasn't afraid because I was with a large group of people," the 21-year-old said, later adding, "The police got to the scene very quickly."
The four people taken by helicopter and two others with moderate injuries were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Of those six, two were in critical condition and four were in fair condition Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez said.
One student said she learned one of her classmates was stabbed after leaving the school's Health Science Center building.
"I called to check on another classmate who was still inside the building and she said the classroom was on lockdown and she said one of the classmates had been stabbed," Margo Shimfarr-Evans told KHOU-TV. "It happened in the hallway."
Courtland Sedlachek, 18, was in class when his phone started buzzing along with the phones of everyone else in class. The room was temporarily locked down, but students were let out and off campus a short time later, in what Sedlachek described as an orderly evacuation.
He described his reaction as a "little bit of nervousness."
The attack came three months after a different Lone Star campus was the site of a shooting in which two people were hurt. The suspected gunman in that incident is charged with aggravated assault. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Turbo-charged parents still running their university-aged children's schedules, laundry and vacations could be doing more harm than good with a study on Wednesday showing these students were more likely to be depressed and dissatisfied with life.
Researcher Holly Schiffrin from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia found so-called helicopter parenting negatively affected college students by undermining their need to feel autonomous and competent.
Her study found students with over-controlling parents were more likely to be depressed and less satisfied with their lives while the number of hyper-parents was increasing with economic fears fuelling concerns over youngsters' chances of success.
"You expect parents with younger kids to be very involved but the problem is that these children are old enough to look after themselves and their parents are not backing off," Schiffrin, an associate professor of psychology, told Reuters.
"To find parents so closely involved with their college lives, contacting their tutors and running their schedules, is something new and on the increase. It does not allow independence and the chance to learn from mistakes."
Schiffrin's study, published in Springer's Journal of Child and Family Studies, was based on an online survey of 297 U.S. undergraduate students in which students described their mothers' parenting behavior and their own autonomy and researchers assessed their happiness and satisfaction levels.
The study comes as debate rises over how much parents should run their children's lives to make them succeed.
Schiffrin said the increase in technology had changed the involvement of parents in their children's college lives as the once-a-week phone call home was replaced with regular texting, emails and messaging.
The competitive marketplace and jostling for top college slots and the best jobs has also boosted the involvement of parents in college lives.
She said to counteract this, rising numbers of universities were starting to run parental orientation days parallel to events for students to help encourage parents to give their children more freedom.
Learn from mistakes
In the UK, a housemaster from top British public school, Eton College, is involved in a campaign to get parents to slow down a little, arguing that hyper-parenting may in fact demotivate a child and even cause psychological damage.
Mike Grenier said the increase in helicopter parenting in the past 10 years had accompanied a changing attitude towards childhood, with more anxiety and fear over youngsters now seen as being at risk and vulnerable if confronted with failure.
The greater focus on testing and success at exams has fuelled this and raised anxiety levels further.
"There is a very fine line between the helicopter parent and the committed and caring parent while at the other end of the spectrum is the negligent parent which can be more dangerous," Grenier told Reuters.
"But this time of austerity seems to be ratcheting up the tension with more competition for jobs."
Grenier said it was disconcerting to see parents putting children as young as 3 or 4 into tutoring to ensure they get into the best schools and remain in the best schools to get top university places.
"There is the fear that if they don't get the right school and don't get the right university then they won't get the opportunity to fight for the best jobs," he said. "The stakes are higher in people's minds."
Grenier is an advocate of a movement called "slow education", a concept adapted from the Italian culinary movement that has prompted a wider philosophical approach to travel, business, living and now schooling.
"The real danger of hyper-parenting is that it is intrusive and parents don't let their children make their own decisions, take risks and learn for themselves," he said.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: Fox News
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – At least three people, including one gunman, have been injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Texas, according to local media reports.
The incident occurred at a campus of Lone Star Community College, which is located in the Houston area, at about 12:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT) on Tuesday.
Jed Young, a spokesman for the college, said one of the shooters was injured and was in police custody and the other had fled.
He added that two students had been injured in crossfire.
"At first glance it appears to be (a dispute) between two people," Young said.
He went on to say that it was unclear whether the suspects were students.
On December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adult victims were fatally shot by a gunman -- who later killed himself -- at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown in the US state of Connecticut. Earlier in the day, the assailant killed his mother in another location.
There have been reports that the twenty-year-old killer, Adam Lanza, suffered from a personality disorder, was on the antidepressant Prozac, and was fond of first-person shooter games.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the United States.
The US averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control.
The year 2012 was a record setting year for gun sales in the US.
About 4.5 million firearms are sold annually in the United States at a cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- A student has been expelled from Montreal’s Dawson College after he discovered a flaw in the computer system used by most Quebec CEGEPs (General and Vocational Colleges), one which compromised the security of over 250,000 students’ personal information.
Ahmed Al-Khabaz, a 20-year-old computer science student at Dawson and a member of the school’s software development club, was working on a mobile app to allow students easier access to their college account when he and a colleague discovered what he describes as “sloppy coding” in the widely used Omnivox software which would allow “anyone with a basic knowledge of computers to gain access to the personal information of any student in the system, including social insurance number, home address and phone number, class schedule, basically all the information the college has on a student.”
“I saw a flaw which left the personal information of thousands of students, including myself, vulnerable,” said Mr. Al-Khabaz. “I felt I had a moral duty to bring it to the attention of the college and help to fix it, which I did. I could have easily hidden my identity behind a proxy. I chose not to because I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.”
After an initial meeting with Director of Information Services and Technology François Paradis on Oct. 24, where Mr. Paradis congratulated Mr. Al-Khabaz and colleague Ovidiu Mija for their work and promised that he and Skytech, the makers of Omnivox, would fix the problem immediately, things started to go downhill.
Two days later, Mr. Al-Khabaz decided to run a software program called Acunetix, designed to test for vulnerabilities in websites, to ensure that the issues he and Mija had identified had been corrected. A few minutes later, the phone rang in the home he shares with his parents.
“It was Edouard Taza, the president of Skytech. He said that this was the second time they had seen me in their logs, and what I was doing was a cyber attack. I apologized, repeatedly, and explained that I was one of the people who discovered the vulnerability earlier that week and was just testing to make sure it was fixed. He told me that I could go to jail for six to twelve months for what I had just done and if I didn’t agree to meet with him and sign a non-disclosure agreement he was going to call the RCMP and have me arrested. So I signed the agreement.”
The agreement prevented Mr. Al-Kabaz from discussing confidential or proprietary information he found on Skytech servers, or any information relating to Skytech, their servers or how he accessed them. The agreement also prevented Mr. Al-Kabaz from discussing the existence of the non-disclosure pact itself, and specified that if his actions became public he would face legal consequences.
When reached for comment Mr. Taza acknowledged mentioning police and legal consequences, but denied having made any threats, and suggested that Mr. Al-Khabaz had misunderstood his comments.
“All software companies, even Google or Microsoft, have bugs in their software,” said Mr. Taza. “These two students discovered a very clever security flaw, which could be exploited. We acted immediately to fix the problem, and were able to do so before anyone could use it to access private information.”
Taza explained that he was quite pleased with the work the two students did identifying problems, but the testing software Mr. Al-Khabaz ran to verify the system was fixed crossed a line.
“This type of software should never be used without prior permission of the system administrator, because it can cause a system to crash. He [Al-Khabaz] should have known better than to use it without permission, but it is very clear to me that there was no malicious intent. He simply made a mistake.”
The administration of Dawson College clearly saw things differently, proceeding to expel Mr. Al-Khabaz for a “serious professional conduct issue.”
“I was called into a meeting with the co–ordinator of my program, Ken Fogel, and the dean, Dianne Gauvin,” says Mr. Al-Khabaz. “They asked a lot of questions, mostly about who knew about the problems and who I had told. I got the sense that their primary concern was covering up the problem.”
Following this meeting, the fifteen professors in the computer science department were asked to vote on whether to expel Mr. Al-Khabaz, and fourteen voted in favour. Mr. Al-Khabaz argues that the process was flawed because he was never given a chance to explain his side of the story to the faculty. He appealed his expulsion to the academic dean and even director-general Richard Filion. Both denied the appeal, leaving him in academic limbo.
“I was acing all of my classes, but now I have zeros across the board. I can’t get into any other college because of these grades, and my permanent record shows that I was expelled for unprofessional conduct. I really want this degree, and now I won’t be able to get it. My academic career is completely ruined. In the wrong hands, this breach could have caused a disaster. Students could have been stalked, had their identities stolen, their lockers opened and who knows what else. I found a serious problem, and tried to help fix it. For that I was expelled.”
Morgan Crockett, director of internal affairs and advocacy for the Dawson Student Union, agrees.
“Dawson has betrayed a brilliant student to protect Skytech management,” said Ms. Crockett. “It’s a travesty that Ahmad’s academic future has been compromised just so that Dawson and Skytech could save face. If they had any sense of decency, they would reinstate Ahmad into [the] computer science [program], refund the financial aid debt he has incurred as a result of his expulsion and offer him a full public apology “
Repeated calls to various members of the Dawson administration were not returned, with the college citing an inability to discuss an individual student’s case on legal and ethical grounds in a statement released by their communications department.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The ban was ordered at the Pilar College in the mixed Muslim-Christian port city of Zamboanga.
Head of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Mehol Sadain, along with local politician, have asked the college to reconsider its decision.
In an open letter to Pilar College Sadain wrote: “I am writing, not to argue, but to enlighten; and not to object, but to appeal for your kind reconsideration and compromise, in behalf of the hijab-wearing Muslimah enrolled in Pilar College.”
Sadain added that wearing hijab was a "sign of modesty and obedience to God" and posed no threat to the educational institution's teachings.
"Pilar College should realize that while educational institutions can formulate their own policies, the same should not run counter to existing laws and state policies,” the NCMF head said.
The college, run by the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary has defended its actions, saying that the core of its curriculum is based on Christianity.
The complaint has reached the local city council, which asked the school to provide answers.
The school is believed to be the first in the mainly Catholic but largely tolerant Philippines to enforce an outright ban on wearing the hijab.
More than 80 percent of the Philippines' nearly 100 million population are Catholic, while Muslims form a large minority in the south of the country.—www.shafaqna.com/english