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Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Student Life | 1 comment

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

 

Hello Everyone!

It is that time of the year again when classes are over and it is cold everywhere but in Florida.

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I hope everyone spends this lovely time with your loved ones while taking a well-deserved break from classes. The holiday season is absolutely beautiful here in Washington, DC where all the houses are lit and everyone shares the seasons’ holiday cheer. This year I’m thankful for so many things.

I’m particularly thankful for all the readers and students who send in their questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed answering them and sharing  my experiences.

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Again, I wish everyone wonderful holidays filled with blessings and a fantastic new year!

 

P.S. The featured picture is of my grandfather and me in front of our family’s Christmas tree. The two pictures on the right are of my wonderful new friends Siuma and Allie respectively.

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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Academics | 2 comments

Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating and Plagiarism

Were you ever in a situation where you caught a student cheating on an assignment, whether plagiarism or on a test? What did you do?

Dear Lily,

I’m not a professor so I have never caught a student cheating. As a student I have never had to cheat for anything. I have never seen cheating or plagiarism of any kind really, not in my classes or from my peers.

I guess if I had a student cheat on an assignment or commit plagiarism I would ask him/her why they did it and try to understand their reasons. Nevertheless in academia plagiarism is the highest crime. Therefore, it must have a strong punishment. I know that in certain classes cheating is entirely unacceptable and if it is done then the student would fail the class. In other classes if a student cheats on an assignment then he/ she receives a zero on the particular assignment. SPC’s tolerance level against plagiarism is zero.

Honestly, there is no reason to cheat. Any student should follow an anti-cheating and anti-plagiarism rule. Especially with plagiarism because citing is the easiest skill to have, because it is a staple and if you need help attaining it then please visit the writing studio.

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Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Need to Know | 0 comments

Paying for College

Paying for College

 

Hi Maria, I had a couple of questions. Besides the Gates Millennium scholarship, what other scholarships financially helped you in college? How did you go about the scholarship process, what sites did you often use, what did you search for? Also, what others sources, besides scholarships, do you recommend students use to be financially stable with regard to paying for school? Thank you so much!

Dear Jasmin,

Besides Gates, I won the Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship by being part of the Bronze Team, and the All-Florida 1st Academic Team Scholarship. I was also a finalist for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities HACER Scholarship and the Buick Achievers Scholarship. These are $25,000 a year scholarships. Honestly, I applied to everything. I applied to more scholarships than I did to transfer schools. The key is to be aware of the scholarships, know the requirements and make sure you would qualify, and know the due date. My academic advisers were a lot of help. Mrs. Julie Gomez from the Clearwater campus helped me a lot in finding scholarships. She advised me to look at the school and look for specific scholarships for that school. More often than not, schools are the ones who give out the full-ride or full-tuition scholarships.

I believe I got to the Gates website by searching “Scholarships for students of Hispanic Heritage.” Searching for specific scholarship is a great way to start. For example if you are a female studying physics then search for “Scholarship for female scientists” or “Scholarships for females wishing to major in STEM related fields.” There is nothing bad about going specific. For websites I did not use any one in particular just search engines. For Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships I used the Fall Common Application and for updates and reviews I used Cappex. I know there are many websites but I never got too engaged in those. I found them really confusing. I preferred to go the scholarship or foundation website directly and read the Facts page.

Besides scholarships, there are grants and the dreaded loans. My advice of course would be to try to avoid loans if possible. There is work study and federal aid which are accessible by submitting the FAFSA. The FAFSA is any financially-savvy student’s best friend. It is not that hard to complete and if done correctly and early enough you can apply to scholarships sooner.

It is true; there are many scholarships out there. I think someone once made a study that if you apply to a large amount of scholarship, you will get at least one. There are also many scholarships that go unnoticed and no one applies because students either do not know about them or did not fill their application correctly.

Another tip would be to never stop looking. Like I said, the scholarships are out there just waiting for a qualified student’s application. If you are already in school then definitely look at what your school can offer you in regards to institution or foundation scholarships, but still look at outside sources such as local clubs or companies. Ultimately, for a college student any financial help can make a huge difference so do not discriminate against small scholarships. Rather treat them with the same consideration as the full-ride scholarship. I found this was the best way to submit the best quality application possible.

Follow Maria at #AskMaria

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Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Student Life | 0 comments

Bienvenido a SPC

Bienvenido a SPC

 

Hola Maria, me mude a FL hace un ao de Puerto Rico. Me encantaria volver a la universidad pero tengo un poco de miedo por mi ingles. Algun consejo que quieras darme por favor. Como es la vida universitaria en SPC? Como podria incribirme? Te agradecere si me contestas. Gracias!

Querido Henry,

¡Bienvenido! SPC es una gran universidad para usted. La comunidad es muy amable y que te hará sentir como en casa. Como alumna, puedo decirte que SPC tiene mucho que ofrecer a sus estudiantes. La vida universitaria es genial ya que siempre hay eventos en los cuales puedes participar y conocer a otros estudiantes. Siempre hay oportunidades para que te mejores académicamente y también profesionalmente.

Si te preocupa el lenguaje, SPC ofrece ESL clases. Estas clases son especializadas para que estudiantes aprendan el inglés como su segundo lenguaje. Como un estudiante de Puerto Rico, tal vez te gustaría conectarte con otros estudiantes que también están aprendiendo inglés y acostumbrándose a la vida universitaria en SPC. SPC tiene clubs de estudiantes internacionales y es muy divertido participar en las actividades de estos clubs que tienen por objeto unir a los estudiantes a la cultura norteamericana. Definitivamente te urjo que te hagas miembro.

Finalmente, es fácil inscribirte a SPC. Lo primero es aplicar y de ahí sigues los pasos necesarios, te inscribes a clases, y pronto podrás ser parte de esta increíble universidad!

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Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Need to Know | 0 comments

Credits for Bachelor’s Degree

Credits for Bachelor’s Degree

 

How many credits do I need for a bachelor’s degree?

Dear Harry,

Commonly, it is known that for a Bachelor’s degree, 120 credits are required. To attain an Associate’s degree the requirement is 60 credits, about two years. An Associate’s degree is regarded as a midway point on the way to attain a Bachelor’s so of course you need the extra 60 credits, about two more years for the Bachelor’s. This is why most Bachelor’s degrees take 4 years. This amount of years and credits, of course, varies on the major, prerequisites that must completed, a double major or a minor, etc. Most classes are 3-4 credits each so, do the math, a normal student would take about 35-40 college classes to attain a Bachelor’s degree. If we break this down further, if you want to take about 4 years to attain this degree, then you would need to take around 10 classes a year or 35-40 credits.

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