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//Melinda Parrie

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So far Melinda Parrie has created 72 blog entries.

November Professional Development Schedule

– Online (via WebEx)

Multimedia in the Digital Classroom: Tuesday, November 10, 3:00 – 4:00
(National Distance Learning Week)
This workshop is going to explore the use of video and other media in your digital classroom. We will cover videos, file types, sharing, and even some copyright laws surrounding the media we are using to improve the way we share media with our students.

Digital Connections with your Students:  Wednesday, November 11, 1:30-2:30
(National Distance Learning Week)
Discover new and innovative ways to connect with your students in the online classroom. Mail options such as Outlook and Quickmail will be covered, but we will also introduce third party connections through Quizlet, Facebook, and Webex! Join us as we cover innovative ways to reach out to your students.

Moodle to the Max:  Thursday, November 12, 10:00-11:30
This workshop will demonstrate how to create quizzes using the new features within Moodle 2.5. Want to take your online class to the next level? Join us as we provide tips and tricks that will enhance your Moodle experience. Go beyond the basics of what you know about Moodle. From reporting to media enhancements to specific tools to manage your class efficiently, this course is all about the options that will make you a better online instructor.

Managing Your Gradebook in Moodle 2.5:  Tuesday, November 17, 2:00 – 3:30
This workshop will cover the tools and techniques to maintain your Gradebook in Moodle 2.5 effectively.

Debut & VIC: Video Workshop:  Wednesday, November 18, 2:00-3:00
This hour-long workshop will introduce you to Debut Capture software, a free program for recording lectures, introduction videos, and tutorials. We will then cover how to integrate your video content in your Moodle courses using VIC (Video Integrated Content). If you want to enrich your classes with exciting and engaging videos, this workshop is for you!

All available courses offered via WebEx are listed at nsula.webex.com. Click on the ‘Upcoming’ tab to view courses, then click ‘Register’ next to the one you would like to attend. After completing registration, you will receive an email confirmation from WebEx.

Northwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, pregnancy or parenting status, and veteran or retirement status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies (i.e., Title IX):

· Employees/Potential Employees – Veronica M. Biscoe, EEO Officer (318-357-6359)

· Students – Frances Conine, Dean of Students (318-357-5286)

For Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerns, contact the Disability Support and Tutoring Director, Catherine Faucheaux, at 318-357-4460.

Additionally, Northwestern complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy & Campus Crime Statistics Act. Information about NSU’s campus security and crime statistics can be found at http://universitypolice.nsula.edu/annual-security-report/.

Full disclosure statement: http://universityplanning.nsula.edu/notice-of-non-discrimination/

October Professional Development Schedule

– Online (via WebEx)

WebEx Basics & Scheduling: Wednesday, October 7, 3:00 – 4:30
This 1.5 hour workshop will cover the breadth of available options within WebEx Training Center and discuss the basic tools needed for attending and hosting a training session, as well as teach WebEx hosts how to schedule sessions and generate reports.

Moodle 2.5 Basics:  Thursday, October 8, 9:30-11:30
This workshop will cover the breadth of available options within the LMS and discuss the basic tools needed for implementing a Moodle course.

Debut & VIC: Video Workshop:  Thursday, October 8, 2:00-3:00
This hour-long workshop will introduce you to Debut Capture software, a free program for recording lectures, introduction videos, and tutorials. We will then cover how to integrate your video content in your Moodle courses using VIC (Video Integrated Content). If you want to enrich your classes with exciting and engaging videos, this workshop is for you!

Copyright in the Online Environment:  Tuesday, October 13, 3:00 – 4:00
In your teaching, you probably confront questions about how to share legitimately with your students articles, video, music, images, and other intellectual property created by others. This 1 hour workshop will cover copyright basics and how to apply the Fair Use Guidelines to materials you want to use in your courses.

Creating Quizzes in Moodle 2.5:  Thursday, October 15, 10:00-11:30
This workshop will demonstrate how to create quizzes using the new features within Moodle 2.5.

Moodle to the Max: Tuesday, October 20, 10:00-11:15
This workshop will demonstrate how to create quizzes using the new features within Moodle 2.5. Want to take your online class to the next level? Join us as we provide tips and tricks that will enhance your Moodle experience. Go beyond the basics of what you know about Moodle. From reporting to media enhancements to specific tools to manage your class efficiently, this course is all about the options that will make you a better online instructor.

WebEx Basics & Scheduling:   Tuesday, October 20, 3:00 – 4:30
This 1.5 hour workshop will cover the breadth of available options within WebEx Training Center and discuss the basic tools needed for attending and hosting a training session, as well as teach WebEx hosts how to schedule sessions and generate reports.

All available courses offered via WebEx are listed at nsula.webex.com. Click on the ‘Upcoming’ tab to view courses, then click ‘Register’ next to the one you would like to attend. After completing registration, you will receive an email confirmation from WebEx.

Northwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, pregnancy or parenting status, and veteran or retirement status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies (i.e., Title IX):

· Employees/Potential Employees – Veronica M. Biscoe, EEO Officer (318-357-6359)

· Students – Frances Conine, Dean of Students (318-357-5286)

For Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerns, contact the Disability Support and Tutoring Director, Catherine Faucheaux, at 318-357-4460.

Additionally, Northwestern complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy & Campus Crime Statistics Act. Information about NSU’s campus security and crime statistics can be found at http://universitypolice.nsula.edu/annual-security-report/.

Full disclosure statement: http://universityplanning.nsula.edu/notice-of-non-discrimination/

RN to BSN program ranked as best in the country

By David West
09/10/2015

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s online bachelor’s program in nursing has been rated as the top program in the country, according to Nonprofit Colleges Online.

The RN to BSN program is the fourth Northwestern State program to be named the program in the nation. Northwestern State online degrees in computer information systems, criminal justice and psychology were also ranked number one. The bachelor’s in accounting was ranked second and the master’s in education was seventh.

“Receiving this award is particularly gratifying because the RN to BSN faculty truly care about our students and work diligently to help each student succeed in the program and achieve a professional goal,” said Vicki Wissing, director of the RN to BSN program. “Presentation of this award helps the public know what NSU already knows is that this truly is a caring university that strives to help students while pursuing an academic program.”

Programs in the rankings are degree completion RN to BSN programs, meaning prospective students will need to already hold registered nurse licensure, and in most cases, a diploma or an associate degree in nursing.

“I like the convenience of being able to take courses online,” said graduating senior Angela Owens-Graham of Tyler, Texas. “The courses are well designed and give you everything you need. The faculty are always available and responsive.”

Graham earned an associate degree at Northwestern State and started in the RN to BSN program while living in Alaska and continued after moving to Texas. She has been a nurse for six years. Graham’s goal is to earn a master’s in nursing and teach.

“This is the next step for me,” said Graham. “A bachelor’s degree is almost imperative. Without it, succeeding in certain areas is very difficult. Someone with a bachelor’s degree is better prepared and informed. You can look at best practices and have more of a world view of the field.”

Graham said Northwestern State’s faculty works to stay current and brings the latest knowledge in the field to students.

“Northwestern has done a good job of designing the program so that it is addressing changes in the field,” said Graham. “The field of medicine is evolving and we are being prepared for that.”

The rankings at nonprofitcollegesonline.com were created to recognize online colleges and universities committed to putting the interest of students first.  Northwestern State was recognized for having the least expensive bachelor’s RN to BSN program among regionally accredited not-for-profit colleges and universities in the U.S. at an estimated cost of $9,868 for full-time, out-of-state tuition. Northwestern State was more than $2,200 less expensive than the second ranked school.

NSU does not charge out-of-state-tuition for online students. The university received a Students Before Profits Award, which was created to promote nonprofit colleges and universities offering online degree programs that put students before profits and education before the bottom line.

Northwestern State University offers an individualized plan for learning to assist registered nurses who are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This individualized plan of learning has been developed to offer flexibility to meet the registered nurse students’ needs. This plan offers the opportunity to complete upper division nursing courses after the completion of general academics. Students can earn credit without enrollment in 31 hours of nursing courses. Northwestern State has offered a RN to BSN program for 60 years. It was the first online program offered at the university beginning in 2003.

The program is fully online, but students can opt to take face to face courses in Alexandria. The university offers individualized advising and scheduling of courses and 8 or 12-week sessions. Clinical experiences can be completed in the students’ employment setting with student selected local mentors.

For more information on the award, go to nonprofitcollegesonline.com/rankings/best-rn-to-bsn-online. You can learn about NSU’s program at nsula.edu/academics/nursing-allied-health/nursing.

Northwestern State has 37 online degree programs. The university offers flat rate pricing for exclusively online students and does not charge out of state tuition. For more information on online degree programs at NSU, go to nsula.edu/ensu.

September Professional Development Schedule

– Online (via WebEx)

WebEx Basics & Scheduling: Wednesday, September 2, 3:00 – 4:30
This 1.5 hour workshop will cover the breadth of available options within WebEx Training Center and discuss the basic tools needed for attending and hosting a training session, as well as teach WebEx hosts how to schedule sessions and generate reports.

Debut & VIC: Video Workshop:  Thursday, September 3, 9:00-10:00
This hour-long workshop will introduce you to Debut Capture software, a free program for recording lectures, introduction videos, and tutorials. We will then cover how to integrate your video content in your Moodle courses using VIC (Video Integrated Content). If you want to enrich your classes with exciting and engaging videos, this workshop is for you!

PIXLR:  Tuesday, September 8, 2:00 – 3:00
Tired of text-overload inside your Moodle Course? Attend this class and learn how to create banners and graphics for your online course using PIXLR, a simple and effective way to be a mini-graphic designer! Note: This class replaces GIMP.

Managing Your Gradebook in Moodle 2.5:  Wednesday, September 9, 2:00 – 3:30
This workshop will cover the tools and techniques to maintain your Gradebook in Moodle 2.5 effectively.

Quizlet:  Tuesday, September 15, 10:00 – 11:00
Quizlet is an interactive, online tool for building flashcards, tests, and study games that make learning fun and engaging for students. Learn to use Quizlet on your computer and on the go using the mobile apps.

Moodle to the Max: Thursday, September 17, 9:00-10:15
This workshop will demonstrate how to create quizzes using the new features within Moodle 2.5. Want to take your online class to the next level? Join us as we provide tips and tricks that will enhance your Moodle experience. Go beyond the basics of what you know about Moodle. From reporting to media enhancements to specific tools to manage your class efficiently, this course is all about the options that will make you a better online instructor.

WebEx Basics & Scheduling:   Thursday, September 17, 2:00 – 3:30
This 1.5 hour workshop will cover the breadth of available options within WebEx Training Center and discuss the basic tools needed for attending and hosting a training session, as well as teach WebEx hosts how to schedule sessions and generate reports.

Copyright in the Online Environment:  Tuesday, September 22, 9:00 – 10:30
In your teaching, you probably confront questions about how to share legitimately with your students articles, video, music, images, and other intellectual property created by others. This 1 hour workshop will cover copyright basics and how to apply the Fair Use Guidelines to materials you want to use in your courses.

Microsoft Excel: Level 1:  Tuesday, September 22, 2:00- 4:00
This workshop is an introduction to Excel components. Learn about creating and navigating worksheets, entering text, dates and numbers, selecting cells, entering formulas and much more.

Debut & VIC: Video Workshop:  Wednesday, September 23, 10:00-11:00
This hour-long workshop will introduce you to Debut Capture software, a free program for recording lectures, introduction videos, and tutorials. We will then cover how to integrate your video content in your Moodle courses using VIC (Video Integrated Content). If you want to enrich your classes with exciting and engaging videos, this workshop is for you!

All available courses offered via WebEx are listed at nsula.webex.com. Click on the ‘Upcoming’ tab to view courses, then click ‘Register’ next to the one you would like to attend. After completing registration, you will receive an email confirmation from WebEx.

College of Nursing & School of Allied Health

Cardiac Imaging

In 2006, the seed for Cardiac Imaging to become a routine clinical rotation for the CenLa campus sprouted from the personal connection and interest of one student. Upon completion of this extended rotation in cardiac imaging, this graduate chose to accept a position with a Shreveport Cardiology group. After a few years away, this graduate returned to RRCM and was immediately given a position in the cardiac department. Since this time, he has gone even further in his training to become the PACS Specialist for the Cardiac Department.

With our first experience with the Cardiac department being such a great success, future students were given the opportunity to experience this type of advanced imaging as a routine clinical rotation. From this beginning, our program has had many students elect to spend their final semester in Cardiac Imaging and upon graduating, all have been offered the opportunity for employment. Since its inception as an approved clinical rotation, our program has had seven students chose cardiac imaging as their specialty. Of these seven students, five are currently employed in the Cardiac Catheterization Department at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The other students elected to accept cardiac imaging positions in other medical facilities that were more suitable to their current geographical locations.

With employment offers to all that have completed this specialty training, along with two others that did not specialize, but are currently working in this department, this is a huge accolade to the quality product (graduates) our program produces. Several of these graduates have been given advanced training by local interventional cardiologists and are now performing much more complex procedures. We are so proud to know that our program along with the cardiac department supervisor Mrs. Debra Allen at RRMC have assimilated such a great group of cardiac imaging specialists. We are proud to know that these alumni who work in a very high volume department still find time to give back to the program by offering support and teaching current students in our program. With student number nine currently in this specialty, our influence and presence in providing the cardiac imaging needs of the CenLa area will continue to flourish. We would like to acknowledge by name this team of cardiac imaging specialists who we as a program are in-credibly proud to call our alumni: Justin Tibbett (2006), Jacie Harris (2008), Kady Cart (2009 & 2012), Daniel Azua (2010), Alicia Cranston (2010), Lyssa Littleton (2012), Landa Johnson (2013), Brandon Hughes (2013) and Clinton Whitehead (2014-Graduating Senior).

Department of Engineering Technology

Field Experience Cooperative Program

The Field Experience Cooperative Program is for Engineering Technology students who are interested in broadening their education with real world experiences. The Department of Engineering Technology has maintained long lasting relationships with local industries and manufacturers, including but not limited to Beta Engineering, Boise, CP-TEL, Roy O Martin, and Weyerhaeuser.  Companies typically pay undergraduate interns $12-18 per hour, and are willing to work around student schedules when classes are in session. Students can also register for 1 university credit during the fall and spring semesters, and 2 university credits over the summer. Students in the biomedical engineering technology concentration are required to participate in a semester long internship as part of their degree requirements.

For more information, please visit Engineering Technology @ NSU.

Industry Advisory Committee

Several organizations in Central and North Louisiana work closely with the Engineering Technology department reviewing their Industrial and Electronics Engineering Technology curricula and recommending changes to better serve workforce needs in the region. The industry advisory committee meets on average three times during the academic year, and discuss topics such as:

  • Program Educational Objectives for Industrial and Electronic Engineering Technology
  • Addition of courses that prepare students for employment
  • Course content revisions that include discussion of topics, lab experiments, and field experiences.

Scholarship Program

The Central Louisiana Manufacturing Manager’s Council partnered with the Northwestern State University Foundation to establish a scholarship program to benefit students from 10 central Louisiana parishes who pursue degrees in engineering technology at Northwestern State. Manufacturers in the region are encouraging more high school students to pursue careers in engineering technology, where jobs are available as equipment technologists, quality control technologists, process control programmers and other applied engineering roles. Northwestern State offers one of the few four-year technical manufacturing curriculums in central Louisiana. A total of $20,000 (77% of the target of $26,000) was donated by companies to support the manufacturing scholarships, and was matched by the university.

For more information, please visit Industry and Community Relations @ Engineering Technology.

Industry partnerships

Northwestern State University signed a memorandum of understanding with Reliability Solutions in which the university will provide a facility for the company to conduct training in exchange for the opportunity for students and faculty to audit the training. Reliability Solutions is a Florida-based company focused on delivering hands-on skills training tailored to the needs of manufacturing companies. The training will utilize classrooms and amenities of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology. The initiative aligns with NSU’s efforts to match a trained workforce with high-paying jobs available in high tech manufacturing. The agreement was developed with support from the Central Louisiana Economic Development Association and the Central Louisiana and Northwest Louisiana Manufacturing Managers Councils. The agreement matches real world industry needs with people willing to train for the jobs that are available and creates awareness among students about lucrative in-state career opportunities.

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Manufacturing Workshops

Several manufacturing workshops are coordinated with local industry and take place at NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.

In August 2014, fifteen employees of Weyerhaeuser and a member of Northwestern State University’s Engineering Technology Department participated in a precision maintenance training session presented by Reliability Solutions. The Weyerhaeuser employees represent five different plants from three company divisions in three different states.  Future workshops are scheduled for October 2014 and February 2015.

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Gallaspy College of Education & Human Development

The College of Education at Northwestern State University is a public resource providing teaching, research, and service to our community and our state through continuing education and professional development.

Professional Development Schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between professional education programs and P-12 schools. The mission involves preparation of candidates, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student learning. Northwestern has two active professional development schools in Natchitoches Parish.

The remainder of the Natchitoches Parish 16 public schools and additional public schools in a 14 parish region serve as a venue for field and clinical placements of initial and advanced candidates. In addition, the College of Education is partnered with public schools across the state and nation for the purpose of providing field and clinical experiences. All school partner sites provide opportunities for teachers and other professional school personnel to participate at three levels of field and clinical experiences, including classroom observations, individual and small group tutoring, and student teaching.

Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences

The faculty and students of the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences have opportunities to work with a number of different governmental agencies. The National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Division of Archaeology, and the Louisiana National Guard have funded recent projects. Graduate students in history may apply for internships with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to gain valuable first-hand experience in cultural resource management and in building and materials conservation and preservation. To learn more about these programs select one or more of the following:

Integrated Cultural Resources Management Program
Regional Archaeology Program
U.S. Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest has an ongoing intern and research program with the School of Social Sciences. Each year one or more students have an opportunity to work on archaeological cultural resource management projects within the National Forest.

School of Business

The School of Business maintains the following industry relations to support economic development efforts:

Coutee Tax Consultants
Patterson Insurance Company
Winnfield Life Insurance Co.
US Jesco International
Willis Knight Health
State Farm Insurance
Weaver Consulting
Constant Care, LLC
Praeses Corporation
Cyber Innovation Center
Roy O. Martin Lumber Company
Crest Corporation
People State Bank
Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce
Alliance Compressor
USAA
US Jesco International
Capital One
Waskom Brown & Associates
Magnolia Pulpwood Company
Whitehead Law Offices
Financial Sterling Sugar
Texas Tech University/Health Sciences Center
Real Vision Imaging

Department of Biological and Physical Sciences

Biological Field Experiences at Hodges Gardens State Park

Hodges Gardens State Park and NSU have established a partnership that will allow NSU to use the park’s natural resources for educational purposes in hopes of increasing interest in biological science.

“I envision this as one big classroom for Northwestern,” dean of the College of Science and Technology Austin Temple said.

A.J. Hodges State Park is “a wealth of fauna and geological structures” and provides a great opportunity for field studies, because some portions of the Gardens have been protected and therefore left completely as nature intended, Temple said.

The park will serve as a site for scientific field studies for not only NSU students and faculty. Students from nearby schools can also do studies to go along with their regular classroom studies. This education program will supply hands-on experiences for students from an early age.

“This partnership will hopefully get young people involved in science and get them enthused over biological science, so that when they come to college, they will choose to continue down that road,” director of biological field experiences at NSU John Byrd said. “The primary goal is to help bring students into the sciences and keep them here.”

In April 2007, Hodges Gardens was donated to the State and Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, according to the park’s official Web site, Toledo-Bend.com. “When the state took over the Gardens, they had not been kept up to the standard that the founder had intended,” Temple said. “They are having to do some work on them.”

NSU is planning to have greenhouses, an indoor lab and the natural outdoor environment for students to study on-site at Hodges Gardens. Students should be visiting the Gardens as early as next semester depending on how quickly the state park service completes its own repairs.

Once the park is ready, NSU will be able to coordinate trips for classes or just for special interest groups, such as bird watchers, on the weekends. “We should even be able to provide some transportation so that students will not have to pay out of pocket,” Temple said. The Gardens may also provide an internship program for biology, ecotourism and possibly recreational activity students, Temple estimated.

“This is an exciting opportunity, because while we read about DNA or people trying to cure cancer, that all starts with basic biology,” Byrd said. Hodges Gardens and NSU planned this partnership to impact students’ overall interest in the sciences and hold that attention throughout their academic career.