Commencement Speaker Almost Wins Bet with Daughter

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For many years, Elizabeth City resident Patrick Keziah has dreamed of becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. Years ago, he earned an associate’s degree in the liberal arts but believed that real success would only come with a bachelor’s degree in a more technical field.

So, to inspire himself and motivate his daughter, he suggested they compete to see who could be first in the family to earn a bachelor’s degree. It was close, but she beat him by 23 days. This Saturday, he joins her as the second person in the Keziah family to earn a bachelor’s degree, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Healthcare Information Technology.

Getting to this point has not been easy. Patrick first endured a debilitating illness that ravaged his digestive system. After a 10-day stay in the hospital, he had to opt out of school for two terms. Then, just as he was getting back underway, his mother fell ill and he had to take time off to care for her and find her permanent residence in a nursing home.

Throughout it all, Patrick never took his eye off the prize. Tomorrow, he will represent the Virginia Beach study body at graduation, speaking about the power of perseverance. “It’s been quite a journey,” says Patrick. “I learned a lot about myself and I also learned that very few accomplishments occur without the help of others. I will always be grateful to the many people at ECPI University who stood by me and helped me catch up and get back on track.”

Business Magazine Features ECPI University Teaching Technology

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Business magazine Inside Business has just published an article about virtualization and simulation in the classroom and ECPI University’s commitment as early adopters of such technology. In particular, it features the  criminal justice program’s acquisition of the Milo Range Pro v4, an advanced, interactive augmented-reality training system designed to enhance use-of-force and firearms training. Click here to read the full article.

Thomas Cevora: A Portrait in Perseverance

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2014 Graduate with MS Serves as an Example to All

Thomas Cevora has always been a man of action. An Army veteran, he went to work on tug boats after leaving the service. From there, he moved to rail cars. Fourteen years ago, a clock started ticking and he knew at some point that a physically active life would no longer be his to enjoy. Thomas has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That fateful day he long feared arrived three years ago. “When I resigned from the railroad, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Thomas. “Everybody said I should go on disability but that just wasn’t for me. I have to be doing something.”

Using Vocational Rehabilitation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Thomas decided to go back to school. Despite being hospitalized on a couple of occasions, he persevered. Now, he’s preparing to graduate this Saturday, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Web Development. “I discovered a great deal about myself these past three years,” says Thomas. “First, I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Sure, I need a cane and, sometimes, a wheelchair, but I have developed mental strength. Second, I have an even stronger wife! She would never let me give up. We came close to losing everything. We barely held onto our house, but we always held on to each other.”

While Thomas is excited to move on, he admits he’s a bit nervous. In addition to graduating, he and his wife are planning to move to a cooler climate up north because heat aggravates his MS. “ECPI University has been like a second home to me. The faculty has been so great, especially Ms. Lanae Harris. She has been an inspiration. Whenever I needed a boost, she was always there with a ‘you can do it!’ And the best thing is: I did do it. I’ve applied for a graduate program with Microsoft. I’ve got my own web design business up and running which is a great source of pride. Each time I finish a website, I know that anyone in the world can type in that web address and see what I built.”

5 Rewarding Jobs that Only Require a Two-Year Degree

Many people are intimidated by the current state of the job market. In tough economic times, it’s hard to find jobs that pay well enough to live a comfortable life. Many jobs require an expensive four-year degree before you can even get your foot in the door. However, this is not always the case. Many jobs can be attained with only a two-year degree, and often pay more than several jobs requiring an expensive bachelor’s degree.

(All statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

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 Dental Assistant

The need for dental assistants is ever-present, with a projected job  growth rate of 25%. These valuable healthcare providers play a crucial  role in the day to day operations of a dental office including performing  x-rays, caring for patients, assisting dentists during procedures, and  performing dental cleanings. Practicing as a dental assistant requires  only a two-year associate’s degree, and license from the state you wish  to practice in. The median income for dental assistants in 2012 was over $34,500 a year, averaging out at around $16.50 per hour.

Check out ECPI’s Dental Assistant Program!

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 Registered Nurse

Just like dental assistants, the need for registered nurses is high and  growing all the time. Registered nurses are employed through the  healthcare industry in clinics, hospitals, out-patient care, and doctor’s  offices. Working as a registered nurse also provides a variety of duties  as well as locations. Registered nurses can be responsible for  performing tests, assisting physicians, and providing basic healthcare  to patients. Entry into this field requires only a two-year degree, with many employers offering assistance to provide further education after employment. In 2012, people working as registered nurses earned an  average income of $65,000.

Take a look at ECPI’s Nursing Program!

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How to Dramatically Increase Your Reading Speed

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Have you ever put off reading that assignment until the last minute and then tried to plough through what feels like a mountain of reading? Or started a class and looked at the reading list and wondered if it was possible to read all that material? The solution may be learning to read faster. The average person reads approximately 200 words per minute (WPM). But today’s technology can help you increase your speed to 1,000 WPM or more, depending on your comfort level.

Speed reading technology isn’t all that new. In 2005, Stanford researchers unveiled Rapid Serial Visual Presentation technology (RSVP) to the world. RSVP works by showing the viewer only one or two words at a time. With practice, readers can increase the speed of the words being shown. Tech company Spritz has taken that method to an even higher level with what they call Optical Recognition Point or ORP. This technology identifies a central letter in each word and makes it red. Spritz claims this helps with speed and comprehension.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), 44 percent of first-year students read more than 10 assigned books and course packs. Using speed reading technology to help increase your reading speed can help you get through that large task. There are several apps that offer tools for speed reading. [Read more...]