News Article | April 17, 2017
Leading higher education information and resource provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org has announced its list of the Best Schools with Online License Practical Nursing (LPN) Degrees in the U.S. for 2017. The ranking cites the top 12 colleges and universities for online LPN students based on an in-depth cost and quality comparison. Highest scores were awarded to Arkansas State University, Hannibal-LaGrange University, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Arkansas For Smith and Arkansas Tech University. "Students who want to find an in-demand career with mobility opportunities often consider getting a degree in nursing,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. “The schools on our list not only provide quality and flexibility in their online LPN programs, but are also among the most affordable in the nation.” To qualify for a spot on AffordableCollegesOnline.org’s rankings, schools to meet several minimum requirements. Each college cited is institutionally accredited and holds public or private not-for-profit standing. To maintain affordability standards, AffordableCollegesOnline.org requires schools to offer in-state tuition rates below $20,000 per year. Each qualifying school is scored based on a comparison of more than a dozen qualitative and quantitative statistics, including financial aid offerings and graduation rates by school and the NCLEX-PN pass rate. For complete details on the data and methodology used to score each school and a full list of ranking colleges, visit: Top 12 Online Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Programs in the Nation for 2017: Arkansas State University-Main Campus Arkansas Tech University Florida Gateway College Hannibal-LaGrange University Indian River State College Pennsylvania College of Technology Pensacola State College SUNY College of Technology at Canton Trocaire College University of Arkansas at Monticello University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Utah State University ### AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.
News Article | May 1, 2017
MANHATTAN, KANSAS - Kansas State University researchers will continue to lead efforts to combat a deadly bacterial disease that's affected up to 80 percent of Florida's citrus trees and cost billions in lost revenue. A $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative supports the continuing efforts of researchers from 10 U.S. academic and national research labs, and the University of Grenada in Spain, who have joined forces to combat citrus greening, a disease that has all but decimated the citrus industry in Florida and is evident in Texas and California groves. Caused by the proliferation of a bacterial species Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) in citrus trees, the disease is spread by tiny sap-sucking insects called Asian citrus psyllids as they feed. Once introduced into the host trees via the psyllids, the bacteria move through the veins of trees. The disease starves the tree of nutrients and damages its roots. Fruit from the tree are small and misshapen. "Our goal is to establish a research pipeline to develop and deliver novel therapies designed to kill the insect when it tries to feed on citrus or block its ability to transmit the bacteria," said Susan Brown, university distinguished professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University and principal investigator on the project. "Either way, it can't spread the disease anymore." The new funding will allow researchers to build on work they began two years ago. Their approach requires detailed knowledge of the interactions between the insect and the bacteria and the effects of any treatment on citrus. Since it is difficult to access information on such diverse systems, an early goal of the project - and one that has been accomplished - was to develop a platform that allows researchers to access information about the genes, proteins and metabolites of the insect, bacterium and citrus to better understand how to combat the disease. Another major milestone accomplished was the analysis of the psyllid genome, which involved several undergraduate researchers at Kansas State University, Cornell University and Indian River State College. The students identified genes in the insect genome that can be targeted in new therapies. Jason Ellis, Kansas State University associate professor and interim head of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, is a co-principal investigator on the project and leads efforts to interact with industry, academic and consumer groups. "The continued funding will allow us to move our work from the laboratory to the green house and the grove for efficient deployment to the citrus growers," Ellis said. Sometimes referred to as simply "greening," the disease was first detected in Florida in 2005 and spread rapidly through the state's citrus groves. Fruit from infected trees is safe to eat, but production is reduced so much that citrus fruit may be less available and more expensive. More information can be found at the project website. A survey of citrus growers conducted in 2015 by the University of Florida indicated that as much as 90 percent of their acreage and 80 percent of their trees were infected by the deadly greening disease, which put a huge dent in the state's $10.7 billion citrus industry. The survey indicated Florida lost about $7.8 billion in revenue, 162,200 citrus acres and 7,513 jobs to citrus greening since 2007. Orange production alone dropped from 242 million boxes to 104 million boxes in 2014. More information about the survey is available at http://edis. and https:/ .
News Article | February 16, 2017
The Community for Accredited Online Schools, a leading resource provider for higher education information, has ranked the best schools with online programs in the state of Florida for 2017. A total of 45 schools received honors for their online education offerings, with University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida State University, University of South Florida-Main Campus, Jacksonville University, Tallahassee Community College and Florida Keys Community College earning top spots overall. More than a dozen unique data points were evaluated to determine each school’s score. “The schools on our Best Online Schools list for Florida all meet high standards of excellence for students who want to succeed outside of a brick-and-mortar classroom,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. Colleges and universities on the Best Online Schools list must meet specific base requirements to be included. Qualifications include being institutionally accredited and holding public or private not-for-profit status. Each college was also scored based on additional criteria that includes the student/teacher ratio, graduation rate, employment services and financial aid availability. For more details on where each school falls in the rankings and the data and methodology used to determine the lists, visit: Florida’s Best Online Schools for 2017 include the following: Adventist University of Health Sciences Ave Maria University Barry University Bethune-Cookman University Broward College City College-Fort Lauderdale Daytona State College Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Everglades University Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Florida Atlantic University Florida Gulf Coast University Florida Institute of Technology Florida International University Florida Keys Community College Florida SouthWestern State College Florida State College at Jacksonville Florida State University Hobe Sound Bible College Hodges University Indian River State College Jacksonville University Johnson & Wales University-North Miami Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale Lynn University Nova Southeastern University Palm Beach Atlantic University Saint Leo University South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary Southeastern University St. Petersburg College St. Thomas University State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Stetson University Tallahassee Community College The Baptist College of Florida The University of West Florida Trinity College of Florida University of Central Florida University of Florida University of Miami University of North Florida University of South Florida-Main Campus Warner University Webber International University ### About Us: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable, quality education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: CENTRES FOR OCEAN SCI EDU EXCE | Award Amount: 968.03K | Year: 2010
Because the state of Florida has over 1,350 miles of salt-water coastline, the state represents a significant, untapped opportunity for the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) network to expand its geographic and programmatic reach. Our proposed center, COSEE Florida: Water as Habitat, will build statewide connections with Floridas ocean research community. This project will provide professional development opportunities for scientists to improve their ability to communicate the value and importance of their science to nonscientific audiences and achieve a better understanding of their role in supporting STEM education.
Founding partners for COSEE Florida are the Indian River State College, the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, and the Florida Institute of Technology. Our content theme Water as Habitat is engaging and appealing to students and the public and will allow us to place naturally charismatic marine organisms and ecosystems within a systems framework linking physical, chemical and geological ocean processes to biodiversity, marine ecology, climate change, threats to human health, and stewardship actions. COSEE Florida will advance ocean science literacy through the implementation of three strategic initiatives:
1. Professional Development Workshop Series for Scientists: Ocean scientists will participate in workshops to improve their effectiveness in communicating their research to non-scientific audiences. COSEE staff will also provide assistance to scientists who wish to develop quality outreach programs to broaden the impact of their research. Six workshops will be conducted around the state each year.
2. A new Ocean Science Concentration for Pre-Service Educators: Ocean science focused educational content will be added to the Bachelor of Science STEM Education degree for middle school science at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Students will participate in a suite of courses, research opportunities and high quality practicum situations. The program will be disseminated to additional State College campuses in year 5.
3. COSEE Florida Ocean Science Learning Network: This initiative is the linchpin that brings scientists, educators and the public together to communicate and collaborate. Water As Habitat events will feature ocean-based interactive presentations, educator workshops, and opportunities for continued participant engagement at regional nodes throughout the state. On-line communication tools will be developed to facilitate post-event collaborations and resource sharing. At least five regional Learning Community nodes will be established around the state.
Our work will engage a spectrum of people and organizations from across Florida. Ocean researchers, higher education faculty, informal education institutions, educators and the general public will participate in a wide range of activities. Through our initiatives we will (1) involve up to 90 Florida ocean scientists in effective outreach and education each year, (2) expand the skills and strengthen the ocean science content of at least 200 pre-service undergraduates, 100 in-service teachers and 100 informal educators over a 5 year period, (3) improve the ocean literacy of over 3000 Florida residents and tourists and (4) learn from and contribute to the work of other Centers in the National COSEE Network.
The ocean science content of our programs will draw on current research findings from Floridas leading ocean scientists (Intellectual Merit) and significantly expand public awareness of the significance of their work (Broader Impacts). Scientists will also develop a deeper understanding of the challenges facing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education today (Intellectual Merit) and contribute to improving the quality of teaching and learning in Florida through the integration of cutting edge research into K-16 education (Broader Impacts).
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2013
This project is establishing a regional laser and fiber optic (LFO) technology center to serve states in the southeastern United States: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina. It is working with a network of 10 colleges and more than 250 companies that are participating in this regional center. Goals are 1. Continue study of the specific technician needs of the laser and fiber optic industry in the southeast region and establish education programs and strategies, priorities and timelines to satisfy these needs. 2. Better define the specific area of focus for each partner college and create education programs with the college. 3. Expand the coalition of partner colleges with LFO education programs to meet industry needs. 4. Enlist faculty and industry representatives to provide advice and direction for the Centers activities. 5. Create an outreach education program for middle and high school science teachers, counselors and administrators that focuses on LFO topics in order to provide a pathway into the college LFO programs. 6. Recruit and assist returning veterans and minorities to enter LFO programs in the southeast U.S.
The college (IRSC) has been a partner of OP-TEC, the NSF/ATE National Center for Optics and Photonics Education and has a large program. During this collaboration with OP-TEC, IRSC authored educational modules in the areas of optical imaging and solar energy technology. IRSC is also closely collaborating with Corning Fiber Optical Systems for training on the latest fiber optic technologies. Employers prefer hiring local talent because of the high turnover rate they have experienced with technicians hired from out of state. This project is working to establish additional LFO education opportunities at other colleges in the region located close to employers.
Intellectual Merit: Lasers and fiber optics technologies are advanced technologies enabling complex, sophisticated, and very expensive instrumentation used in the biomedical field, life sciences, remote sensing, and information technology. The United States commands global leadership in these technologies, producing high-wage jobs in the U.S. There is an urgent need to increase the number of LFO technicians to satisfy the high demand, maintain our world leadership, and create more high-paying jobs. The principal partner colleges have a proven record of operating successful LFO programs. The PIs are experienced in the field in establishing programs, working with business and industry, and developing networks of industry and college contacts.
Broader Impact: The Center is collaborating with the National Center, OP-TEC, to coordinate and contribute to regional and national needs in LFO. LFO technicians starting salaries are well above the national average, thereby elevating the graduates economic status. The partnerships created by the educator and employer networks are having a beneficial and lasting effect not only to the local region but to the entire nation. In addition, the PI, as member of the advisory board of the Gender Equity Cooperative, is organizing events aimed at attracting more women and minorities into this program. Participating in the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program and enrolling cohorts of veterans in LFO and Photonics program can further assist returning veterans. These continuing initiatives are being duplicated at partner colleges.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2011
Indian River State College establishes a Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training (RC-NET). The Center ensures the demand for skilled nuclear technicians is met in a unified, systematic way in the Southeastern United States. Some of the goals of RC-NET are to create a comprehensive curriculum for technician tracks, develop or enhance training programs at the regional colleges, provide career paths to higher education and undergraduate research, and provide remote access to expensive and unique training components. This Regional Center serves the nuclear industry as a training resource, curriculum repository, and source of expertise, while improving communications and collaboration across the industry. RC-NET is supported by partnerships with colleges across the region. The partnerships include fifteen colleges, three universities and twenty seven industry partners. Collectively, this group represents a critical mass of training and industry experts.
By coordinating and supporting a network of dynamic training facilities capable of scaling up to meet the energy industrys needs, the Center reduces the risk associated with serious shortages in trained technicians. Traditionally, minority and female populations in the nuclear industry have been low; however, enrollment in IRSCs programs are above the national average. Highly qualified minority and female students are targeted to continue their education through scholarships, summer bridge programs, 2/3 articulation, and undergraduate research opportunities.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 40.00K | Year: 2012
This award is being used to convene a two-and-a-half-day planning workshop to establish the foundations of a new partnership between the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence located in Florida (COSEE Florida) and the Upward Bound program. COSEE Florida is designed to engage Floridas ocean scientists in education and outreach through professional development activities, while Upward Bounds goals are to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from post-secondary institutions. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop and implement effective strategies and programs for connecting role models from the ocean sciences community with >1000 college-bound students involved with Upward Bound each year. By working with the Upward Bound program, there is an opportunity to support students from underserved communities as they make the critical transition from secondary to post-secondary education. For the planning effort, a steering committee of 6 professionals from the scientific and education communities will select 20 representatives from the ocean sciences academic community, Upward Bound program, minority undergraduate and graduate student populations, and higher education administration officials focused on diversity efforts, to participate in the workshop and help to develop a path forward. This project serves the NSF and GEO Directorate goals of broadening participation in STEM fields, in general, and in the geosciences, specifically.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 69.99K | Year: 2011
Electro-optics, lasers, and fiber optics are the technologies encompassed by the broad field of Photonics. This planning project has assembled a coalition of four colleges from Florida and North and South Carolina with existing photonics programs and strong industrial advisory councils, and the Florida Photonics Cluster (representing 150 companies) to develop the infrastructure for the Southeast Regional Center for Optics and Photonics Education. A full regional center would serve the states of FL, GA, AL, MS, SC, NC, and customize the photonics education to each individual states industrial needs. The main goals of the planning project are: 1) Survey the photonics technician needs of the industry in the six states of the region; 2) Identify and enlist colleges local to employers to provide the needed education; 3) Assist identified colleges in establishing photonics education programs; 4) Identify the specific specialty area of focus for each principal partner college; 5) Create a plan for strengthening and increasing the photonics technician output of the principal partners and; 6) Complete and submit a comprehensive proposal for a Regional Center.
Intellectual Merit: The management team of the coalition colleges has experience developing successful photonics programs. The lead college has been a partner of OP-TEC, the NSF/ATE National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, and the PI chairs the OPTEC Photonics College Network (OPCN), which consists of 35 colleges from across the country. OP-TEC collaborates with many other colleges across the nation. The Florida Photonics Cluster, with its large membership and its affiliation with the Center for Research in Electro-optics and Lasers (CREOL) of the University of Central Florida, is a catalyst for the successful engagement and collaboration of the photonics industry. The Regional Centers broad participation of colleges from the southeast can transform photonics education at the college and high school levels.
Broader Impact: An eventual regional center will help maintain the world lead in the field of photonics for the US, which is vital to our security and defense industries. Photonics technicians receive starting salaries above the national average, thereby elevating the graduates socioeconomic status. A broad photonics education infrastructure will become available to the southeast US that will enhance and promote the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The partnerships that will be created by the educator network and the employer council will have a beneficial and lasting effect not only on the local region but the entire nation. The regional center will intensify its recruiting efforts to increase diversity in enrollment. The PI, as member of the advisory board of the Gender Equity Cooperative, will organize events aimed at attracting more women and minorities into this program. Member colleges are also involved with Hispanic and African American organizations to increase the number of students from these ethnic groups. Through the centers outreach to local high schools a center will expand student awareness of STEM, and increase the number of students who choose STEM-related disciplines and careers.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016
The Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training (RCNET) provides programs in nuclear energy, nuclear environmental management, and nuclear life and plant science. RCNET brings a history of curriculum solutions and professional development to a growing nuclear community; offering best practices in areas including cross-training, nuclear culture immersion, soft skills development, and the embedding of emerging technologies (including nuclear processes in manufacturing) into the college classroom. Through this award, college nuclear programs will have increased industry involvement and more sustainable programs, which will result in better placement and graduation rates. RCNET addresses critical workforce, environmental, political, and economic concerns. Nuclear technology is embedded into multiple disciplines and is crucial to the present and future of the United States technical fields. Nuclear energy powers over 19% of the United States, is an integral part of the Navy, and is a critical element in space exploration. Nuclear isotopes are used to diagnose and treat a spectrum of medical conditions, including cancer. One-third of all environmental management sites have a nuclear component. Nuclear technologies are even used in a wide variety of manufacturing applications. These nuclear industries account for more than 2.6 million jobs and $120 billion toward the United States Gross Domestic Product. With an aging population, natural attrition, and expected job growth, there will be over 65,000 high-paying nuclear career opportunities by 2030. By coordinating and supporting a broad network of nuclear training facilities, capable of meeting the United States industrys needs, RCNET eliminates the risk of a serious shortage in highly trained nuclear technicians. RCNET will accelerate the implementation of new nuclear technologies and facilities (ultimately facilitating the United States quest for energy independence); assist with the development of a domestic supply of medical radioisotopes; provide for a cleaner, safer nation; and strengthen our nations manufacturing initiatives.
The Regional Center for Nuclear Education & Training (RCNET) is focused on the development and sustainability of a highly technical workforce pipeline for the nuclear fields of power generation, environmental management, and life and plant sciences. The six key goals are: 1) Expand and maintain a learning repository with comprehensive standardized curriculum for power generation, environmental management, and life and plant sciences; 2) Increase academic and career pathways for students and technicians across nuclear STEM fields; 3) Develop, promote, and broaden partnerships between industry and academic institutions to increase articulation, college completion and career placement; 4) Develop and provide access to best practices in hands-on training, affective domain instruction, and emerging technologies through professional development; 5) Create and disseminate educational material to increase awareness of nuclear academic programs and careers; and 6) Promote and increase the number of under-represented populations in nuclear STEM fields.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MODULATION | Award Amount: 91.85K | Year: 2013
Despite decades of research, major questions remain about how environmental cues control the vertebrate reproductive system. The list of key biochemical ?gatekeepers? for activation of the reproductive system from fishes to humans includes two important protein hormones, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone and kisspeptin, that function in the brain. This project would investigate how social cues affect these hormones in the brain of an animal model system that is particularly powerful for revealing connections between the social environment and the reproductive system. This animal model is the bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum), a fish species that has been the subject of many foundational studies of environmental influences on reproductive function. This project will use molecular neurobiology methods to map the gonadotropin-releasing hormone and kisspeptin signaling systems in the brain of the bluehead wrasse, in order to compare the expression of these hormones across different reproductive phases, and to test the effects of manipulating these hormones on reproductive function. A key element of the project is to provide undergraduates from North Carolina State University and Indian River State College in Florida with experience in behavioral field studies and molecular biological laboratory studies. A second benefit will be an increased understanding of the control of reproduction in fishes because the bluehead wrasse is a particularly useful animal for understanding the specific mechanisms of this control. This knowledge is valuable to the aquaculture industry because the control of reproduction represents a key barrier to the propagation of fishes in captivity. Finally, this project will lead to the development of educational materials focused on Florida marine environments in collaboration with the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence. Gene sequences will be archived in Genbank and cDNAs will be provided to interested parties on a cost-of-transport basis.