Student Services promotes PLATO

By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

Students in need of academic assistance have various services available to them on campus. Some are less well known than others.

While virtually all computer labs on campus offer the same programs and features, only two of those computers have a unique study package known as PLATO Learning.

PLATO is available for all students, but is designed to help those struggling with remedial, zero-level courses. It uses structured lesson plans to help students raise academic scores. While not associated with the Compass test, PLATO is available to help students increase their understanding of the material in order to improve their Compass test scores.

Secrets of success

Phillip Troutman, Student Services academic advisor, has directed many students to take advantage of PLATO. In one recent example, Jennifer Brock, a social sciences major, had taken the Compass test. She made a 35 on the English portion of the test and was placed in a remedial English class.

Prior to the start of the semester, Brock studied PLATO’s English courses for two weeks. “She spent a total of 11 hours on the program, then retook the Compass test,” Troutman said, “She raised her score from a 35 to an 89 and was able to go straight into English Comp 1.”

Something for everyone

“It’s a great program,” Brock said, “I saved myself two semesters worth of classes thanks to PLATO.”

In addition to English, PLATO offers courses for many different fields, including but not limited to, reading, writing, geography, biology, American history, and the most requested field, algebra.

“I was impressed by all the courses this program offers beyond reading, writing and algebra,” Troutman said, “PLATO is here to help prevent students from having to take zero-level courses. Those are the only courses we don’t want you to enroll in, because it’s like repeating what you learned in high school.”

Recently, prospective nursing students have been using PLATO to study pre-algebra. “The nursing program has a competitive enrollment process,” Troutman said, “They’re using PLATO to help improve their Compass test scores.”

Getting the word out

In spite of nursing students utilizing PLATO, the computers are unoccupied most of the time. “I want to see this change,” Troutman said, “I would like to see it be made available in the Learning Resources Lab.”

The time required for course completion varies by subject; it depends on how quickly the work is done. The lessons follow a sequential path with structured activities. Students are free to move at their own pace, and can revisit previously studied lessons. Completion certificates are available at the end of each course.

The PLATO Learning study package is free for student use and is located in the Student Success Center, Room 111. Two PLATO-enabled computers are available. Call Student Success at 733-7334 to reserve a study session.

Obama addresses trade enforcement, energy and education

The State of the Union is an annual address given by the President to Congress. It is an opportunity for the President to outline his agenda for the year, as well as give the condition of the country. The address is required of the President based upon Article II, Section 3 in the United States Constitution which states that “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The tradition of formally addressing the Congress was discontinued by Thomas Jefferson, who sent formal missives, but was reestablished by Woodrow Wilson.

President Obama delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, January 24. He made many points throughout the speech, some with applause and some with loud boos from the audience. Obama touched on many of the issues facing our country in the past years, and those we will be facing in the future.

Special guests who were invited to sit in the First Lady’s box at the address included Steve Jobs widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek. She was in attendance as a result of the tax debate and billionaire Buffet’s complaint that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. The guest list for the State of the Union has become a sort of ritual, with the list often reflecting the themes of the address.

One highlight of the speech came when Obama revealed that an EPA regulation from over 40 years ago, which regulated dairy farms at the same level as petroleum and forced dairy farmers to spend money to prove they were capable of containing a milk spill, that had been eliminated. “With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk,” Obama said.

Obama called for the implementation of the “Buffett rule,” where if a person makes over $1 million annually, they should be taxed at a rate no less than 30 percent. Sen. Tom Coburn was referenced in this part of the speech on the opinion that Washington needs to stop subsidizing millionaires and offering them tax deductions.

Jobs were a big topic for this address. The President called for the country to help train Americans in skills that will lead directly to jobs. Obama wants to give community colleges the resources they need to be community career centers to teach skills that are in high demand.

One major announcement that Obama made was the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit. The unit was formed to investigate unfair trade practices in countries around the world, with inspections of goods crossing the border in order for counterfeit and unsafe goods from entering the country.

Another unit was announced, this time being for the financial sector. The Financial Crimes Unit would serve to crack down on fraud, and implement penalties for a fraud count. This is to help protect people’s investments and the institutions following the laws.

A third unit in the works is for the protection of homeowners against abusive lending and packaging of mortgages. It would also help get assistance to homeowners, as well as a plan to help them save up to $3,000 a year on their mortgage.

In relation to schools around the country, Obama requested that the mandatory school age be upped to 18 or until graduation. He called for Congress to prevent the hike in student loan interest in July, when they are expected to double, as well as an extension of the tuition tax credit and an increase in the number of work-study jobs.

In the wake of the rejection of Keystone XL pipeline, Obama introduced the clean energy initiative announcing that the department of the Navy will make a large renewable energy purchase of one gigawatt and requesting the Department of the Interior to permit for 10 gigawatts of renewable projects by the end of the year, enough to power nearly three million homes.

The 2012 State of the Union was followed by The Republican Response, which was delivered by Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels.

Leadership Spotlight: Student Ambassadors

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

The Student Ambassadors serve as one of the many faces of Rose State College. As one of the six leadership scholarships offered on campus, the opportunities these scholarships provide are worth the effort. The Ambassador scholarship is open to all students, who, then must complete the requirements, such as club activity and enroll in a minimum number of credit hours, as well as attend the mandatory retreat for all leadership scholarship recipients. Ali Sexton and Erica Alvarez serve as the sponsors for the Student Ambassador program.

The Student Ambassador’s job is to be the liaison of the college to the community, in particular senior high school students getting ready to graduate. The members go out to high schools around the state and speak with students during lunch visits and parent nights, in order to present as much information about Rose State College as possible.

College fairs are hosted in order to get information out to the large groups that attend. This also provides a stage for the Ambassadors and spreads the word about the opportunities available to students on campus.  Campus tours are provided through the Welcome Center, and Ambassadors conduct these frequently for visitors to the school.

Each spring, the Ambassadors put on a Leadership Boot camp. High school students are invited based on their academic achievements and those who attend are given tips on college life and scholarships; information that can serve them in the future wherever they go. Last year, Rumble the Bison from the Oklahoma City Thunder came for a visit at the boot camp.

Scholarships are a good opportunity at any college. For those interested in a Leadership Scholarship like the Student Ambassadors, contact the Student Welcome Center at (405) 733-7372 or apply online at rose.edu. 

Underworld: Awakening the review

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

The release of “Underworld: Awakening” proves that the vampire obsession is still in high gear. The fourth film in a series with a well-established mythology and fan base, the Underworld saga follows Death Dealer Selene in a world where vampires and lycans (werewolves) are continuously at war.

“Underworld: Awakening” picks up 12 years after “Underworld: Evolution,” the second movie in the series, and takes place in a world where humans have discovered the existence of the two non-human species and in the attempt to cleanse the world of the infected groups.

Selene has been cryogenically frozen for 12 years and after waking up looks for her remaining vampire kin and the hybrid Michael, with who she has a daughter, Eve, as she finds out during the progression of the movie.

A human cop who sympathizes with the supernatural beings, suspects that there is a problem within the company that is searching for a cure for the “infected species.” The cop is enlisted by Selene to continue the fight between lycans and vampires.

The war has reached an even higher level and one group may have found the advantage for their side.  Kate Beckinsale reprises her role as Selene, where Scott Speedman’s Michael is only seen in glimpses, although a heavily implied sequel hints at his return as a full time player to the series.

Charles Dance has entered playing Thomas, taking over for Bill Nighy’s Viktor, as the vampire leader and Stephen Rea has assumed the role of villain from Michael Sheen’s Lucian. India Eisley plays Eve and Michael Ealy plays Detective Sebastian.

Two Swedish directors were brought in on this movie and added their touch to the series. The chrome look of the human world contrasts with the underground where the non- human species have been forced to survive in. The filmmakers keep the look of the movie the same, but up the blood a bit, with body parts being frequently ripped out, and explosions that provide an easy out in tight situations. The movie moves at a fast pace and keeps it short, with a running time of only an hour and twenty eight minutes, which is just enough time for a movie heavy on action and that serves as a continuation of a plot line which established itself ten years ago.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged Charles Dance, cryogenics, Kate Beckinsale, lycans, Michael Sheen, Selene, Swedish, Vampires, werewolves

End of the world

By: Chelsea Ratterman, assistant editor

Happy Last Year, everyone! If theories according to the Mayan Long Count calendar hold true, 2012 may be our last year on earth. This concept was the basis for a 2009 Roland Emmerich disaster film; the timely titled “2012.”

However, this is not the first time the world’s end has been predicted. Harold Camping has predicted the end of the world a few times now. Once in 1994 and twice in 2011, he predicted the end of days by a mathematical equation that interprets prophesies within the Bible.

Y2K was the shortened version of Year 2000, and the belief was that programs would not be able to accept the millennium change and crash; Resulting in a malfunction of early warning systems that would lead to a nuclear war, and that the world’s dairy supply would dry up because the equipment would malfunction. The reason behind this was that systems in the 20th century used two digit dates for the year, and anything beyond 30 would be interpreted as 1930 by the computer systems instead of 2030. 2000 divided by three is 666, the number of the Antichrist, and some believed this to be a sign of his arrival.

A current running apocalypse theory is associated with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The LHC has the ability to smash protons together at a high velocity rate, and is capable of simulating the conditions that existed directly after the big bang. A micro black hole opening up as a cause of the protons being smashed together at such a high velocity has been a fear of skeptics of the LHC. Physicists have attempted to put this fear to rest by stating evidence that the Earth is hit by cosmic rays that impact at a greater velocity than LHC is capable of creating.

An epidemic wiping out the worlds population has been a fear for centuries. The Spanish flu killed more than 100 million people in a span of two years at the beginning of the 20th century. A more recent play on the epidemic theory has been the zombie apocalypse, where a super virus (or even radiation) has turned the population into the brain hungry creatures. The CDC even launched a campaign as a reaction to radiation fears after the Japan earthquake and tsunami, which directs families to have a kit ready in the case of a zombie apocalypse and how to implement their safety plan.

The zombie apocalypse has been a running theme for the duration of man’s existence on earth, and Hollywood continues to cash in on it with movies such as “Zombieland” and “28 Days Later” and TV shows that use it as a plot theme such as “Supernatural” and “The Walking Dead.”

We don’t know what lies in store for 2012. Whether it’s the zombie apocalypse, or any sort of natural or manmade disaster, the best precaution is to be prepared.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged 2012, apocalypse theoryapocalypse, earth, Mayan, year,

Career services helps student plan for the future

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Within the Professional Training and Education Center or Training Resources Center (TRC) students can find help in discovering which jobs apply to their chosen degree plan.
“Career Services is here to help guide and provide resources for students to narrow down career choices for their chosen degree field” Connie Myrick, Coordinator, Career Services said.
The help Myrick gives students, entails looking at what students are passionate about. The more passion a student has for what they are studying, the more enjoyable and fulfilling their career will be.
After discussing passions, Myrick talks with students about their interest to further gather information about what career choices would be best suited to their personality.
Internet resources also assist the Career Services staff in helping students, by using survey questions to determine a suitable list of careers a student might enjoy.

Internet Resources:

  • Career Type Focus 
    Click on New User Start Here!
    Enter Required Information
    Answer Questions
    When completed, it will give a personality type. Google the four letters.
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter
  • O*Net Skills Search 
  • Holland Type Interest Quiz 
  • Career Quiz 
  • Career Focus 2000
    The Career Type Focus uses the Myers/Briggs Personality Test to help determine what career best suits an individual.

The Careers Services staff helps an estimated 20 – 50 students a month narrow down their career choices. Myrick gives handouts to students with job listings for their degree program. 36 degree program handouts are available that list job titles, job areas, employers, suggested strategies for entrance into the field, salary information and websites.
There will be a Career Services Overview at 3 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Professional Training Center. For more information contact Career Services at 733-7488.

Apple Reinvents Education with iBooks 2 for iPad

Katie Johnston, Feature Editor

On January 19, Apple announced a new service, which aims to relieve back strain and budget strain for students, iBooks 2 for iPad. Apple plans to revolutionize learning with new, highly interactive digital iTextbooks.

Apple has teamed with three textbook companies, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson, to offer educational titles on the iBookstore. Most iTextbooks are priced at $14.99 or less.

In order to maintain these prices, Apple insists on owning the exclusive rights to all iTextbooks. That means all textbook authors who want to do business with Apple must make his or her digital textbooks exclusive to iBooks 2.

Terry McGraw, CEO of McGraw-Hill said in an interview with reporter Peter Kafka, “I wish Steve Jobs was here. I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together. He should be here. He probably is [gesturing up and around]. This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad.”

About the ibooks 2 app

According to the iBooks 2 Apple press release, “iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, full screen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don’t weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned…The new iBooks 2 app is now available as a free download from the App Store. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D projects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of a finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new ibooks 2 app lets students study and learn in a more efficient and effective ways than ever before.”

Cost and Where to get it

iPad 2 is available in Apple stores, the Apple website and sold in most electronic stores. The average base price for an iPad 2 is $499. The iBooks 2 app is available for free from the Apple store.

Discounts

While Apple is not currently offering a student discount on the iPad 2, there are ways to save on this product. Refurbished devices from the Apple Store are discounted due to returns. They’ve had the hardware, battery, screen, and software reconfigured back to factory quality and repackaged in a new box.

Beautifying the campus

By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

On Jan. 19, Dr. Terry Britton, president of Rose State College, gave a convocation address to faculty and staff in the Special Training and Education Center. His remarks began by welcoming everyone to a new year and a new semester. It was so well attended that only standing room was available for latecomers.

Britton talked about how the college began the year with a one percent increase in graduation rate.  Those statistics apply only to first-time full-time students who will graduate within three years. Britton wanted to focus, not only on first-time students, but all students as a whole.

Measure access as well as success

He emphasized the convenient “open door” policy on campus, enabling virtually anyone who wants a college education to pursue it. “How much do we value access?” Britton said, “Measure access as well as success.”

He asked what could be done to improve conditions on campus. “Do we need to build more buildings?” Britton said, “We are going to take a brand new look at the campus master plan. That involves everything from building to repairs.” A decline in recent enrollment numbers did not warrant the construction of new buildings.

Eye for efficiency

A new plan that has been adopted involves building up the campus.  “We do not have adequate bathrooms,” Britton said.  When the campus was built, it was done with an eye for efficiency. Buildings were made to maximize classroom space.  This resulted in narrow hallways.

After touring other colleges, Britton shared his observations. One goal this year is to emulate the open lounge space available on other campuses. “Our students need naps,” Britton said, “They need a place to take breaks.”

Investing in art

One other avenue in which to beautify the campus is by investing in art. Britton wants to follow the example of OCCC, which purchases $1,000 worth of art annually.  This art is then kept in an ever-increasing collection. “We need to think about something like that,” Britton said.

This year, one of the main focuses will be to make the campus a more aesthetically pleasing learning environment. This will require the addition of inspirational art and more lounge space for study or relaxation.

Dr. Terry Britton, president of Rose State College, addresses faculty and staff with his plans for the new year. Emphasis was placed on the beautification of the campus. Photo by: Tracie Bullen

Dr. Terry Britton, president of Rose State College, addresses faculty and staff with his plans for the new year. Emphasis was placed on the beautification of the campus. Photo by: Tracie Bullen

Statistics:

  • 59 percent of jobs by the year 2020 will require a career certificate or college degree.
  •  30 percent of Oklahoma adults currently have an associate degree or higher.
  • 29 percent skills gap for the state.
    Data: completecollege.org
By 15th Street News Posted in News, Raider Life Tagged , campus master plan, construction, , efficiency, lounge space., OCCC, open door policy, Special Training and Education Center

New well creates flow of ideas

By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

A grant provided by Northrop Grumman Corp. allowed Rose State College to dig a well on campus during the winter break. The purpose of the well is to help educate environmental science students on issues regarding water resources.

The well is roughly 35 feet deep, with underground water deposits. Unlike surface water, the underground deposits are not susceptible to evaporation, making them a viable commodity during a drought.

Overdrawn at the water bank

new water well

A grant provided by Northrop Corp allowed RSC to dig a well on campus during winter break.

However, problems can occur with repeated years of drought. This puts a strain on underground deposits, which are used primarily for agricultural purposes. Without knowledge of how to monitor water levels and resource management, one could find themselves overdrawn at the water bank.

Students can use the well to learn how to calculate flow rates in order to use the well water, while still maintaining it, as opposed to just using it up.

The last straw

“Beneath the cap, there’s a tube that goes down the well’s full length,” Stephen Lynch, physics lab assistant said,  “It’s similar to a glass of water with a drinking straw. The water level inside the straw is equal to the outside water level.”

Lynch said that by measuring the water levels, we could determine how long it takes the well to replenish itself between uses.

When digging the well, a geological instrument gathered core soil samples. Three 10-foot-long segments were collected, and are currently stored in the physics lab. There are plans to construct a display case for the soil samples.

STEM research

The new well is one of many projects funded by the $15,000 Northrop Grumman Corp. grant provided to the campus. The grant goes to help develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

Other technology funded by the grant includes:

  • A Thermal Cycler, which assists in DNA research
  • Computational Chemistry Workstations, used in pharmaceutical and health science research
  • Bridge and load amplifier sets that stress-test load-bearing structures
  • Recertifying and maintaining a 3-D printer used in engineering model building.
By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged core soil samples, drought, Engineering and Math education, environmental science, Northrop Grumman Corp., , STEM, , underground water deposits

Online answers to campus questions

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Rose State’s website has many tools to give their students the chance to succeed and fulfill their educational dreams.

RSC combines the digital with the physical to give students an edge in learning

The LRC (Learning Resources Center) database utilizes a multitude of different search engines to help individualize a student’s search. If the LRC does not have a particular book, it can be borrowed through the college loan book program.

The faculty and staff directory gives students accessibility to the RSC faculty and staff community. In most cases all a student needs to do is type a faculty or staff members name into the search engine to find them.

Find a club that fits you

The Club page shows the RSC club list. This database  gives students the basic information about the clubs, and who to contact for further information. The Calendar of Events page shows the events that each of the clubs may be participating in.

When students look at the degree programs directory, they can find additional resources from places outside of the college to help them make a decision about their present or future educational needs.

Confused where to find student email or d2l login information? Click the Student login link.

There is also a student login link that takes you to a page that lists the available places a student can go to view their school email, current course schedule, or class assignments. The student email, D2L, and Oasis pages are available to give students full accessibility to their professors, advisors, and school email accounts.

Counselors help students find the right groove to accomplish their educational dreams

For those that need help with life difficulties or who have trouble with accomplishing their educational dreams, there is the campus counselors’ site. These professionals are here to listen, offer additional resources, and help students with their academic troubles.