Education for Everyone Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘MFA’

School is Back in Session!

Hello All-

Well it was a short Summer, wasn’t it?  Fall is here and many are returning back to school.  Have you considered getting that degree that you have always wanted; or are you concerned about the economy and your employment prospects?  One way to advance your career is to advance your education.
Have you considered getting an…

  • BBA (Bachelors of Business Administration)
  • MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
  • DBA (Doctors in Business Administration)

Or How about a…

  • Masters in International Education?
  • Masters in French?
  • Masters in Cross-Cultural Communication

Have you ever considered an

  • MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in Filmmaking
  • Masters in Martial Arts


So what is your excuse?  Too busy?  How about a flexible time-frame, built around your schedule!

Too expensive?  How about tuition rates among the lowest in world!
There are many reasons to consider a degree from Horizons University… take a look!


Grade Inflation? What do you think?

I read this interesting blog post from Dr. Mark J. Perry a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan. I am sharing it here in its entirety.   Please comment with your thoughts.

Today’s Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter Grade of A Now Most Common College Grade


In 1960, the average undergraduate grade awarded in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota was 2.27 on a four-point scale.  In other words, the average letter grade at the University of Minnesota in the early 1960s was about a C+, and that was consistent with average grades at other colleges and universities in that era.  In fact, that average grade of C+ (2.30-2.35 on a 4-point scale) had been pretty stable at America’s colleges going all the way back to the 1920s (see chart above from, a website maintained by Stuart Rojstaczer, a retired Duke University professor who has tirelessly crusaded for several decades against “grade inflation” at U.S. universities).

By 2006, the average GPA at public universities in the U.S. had risen to 3.01 and at private universities to 3.30.  That means that the average GPA at public universities in 2006 was equivalent to a letter grade of B, and at private universities a B+, and it’s likely that grades and GPAs have continued to inflate over the last six years.

Grade inflation is back in the news, with a Twin Cities Star Tribune article today “At U, concern grows that ‘A’ stands for average.”

“A University of Minnesota chemistry professor has thrust the U into a national debate about grade inflation and the rigor of college, pushing his colleagues to stop pretending that average students are excellent and start making clear to employers which students are earning their A’s.
“I would like to state my own alarm and dismay at the degree to which grade compression … has infected some of our colleges,” said Christopher Cramer, chairman of the Faculty Consultative Committee. “I think we are at serious risk, through the abandonment of our own commitment of rigorous academic standards, of having outside standards imposed upon us.”
National studies and surveys suggest that college students now get more A’s than any other grade even though they spend less time studying. Cramer’s solution — to tack onto every transcript the percentage of students that also got that grade — has split the faculty and highlighted how tricky it can be to define, much less combat, grade inflation.”

MP: As one University of Minnesota undergraduate student explained the rising GPA trend when evaluating a professor known as a rigorous grader, “We live in a grade-inflated world.”  That University of Minnesota anthropology professor Karen-Sue Taussig suspects that today’s “grade-inflated world” can be traced to the growing cost of a college degree, i.e. today’s “tuition-inflated world.” As Taussig told the Star Tribune, “They’re paying for it, and they worked really hard, and they put in time, and therefore they think they should get a good grade.”
Last year, Professor Rojstaczer and co-author Christopher Healy published a research article in the Teachers College Record titled “Where A Is Ordinary: The Evolution of American College and University Grading, 1940–2009.” The main conclusion of the paper appears below (emphasis added), and is illustrated by the chart below showing the rising share of A letter grades over time at American colleges, from 15% in 1940 to 43% by 2008. Starting in about 1998, the letter grade A became the most common college grade.

“Conclusion: Across a wide range of schools, As represent 43% of all letter grades, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. Ds and Fs total typically less than 10% of all letter grades. Private colleges and universities give, on average, significantly more As and Bs combined than public institutions with equal student selectivity. Southern schools grade more harshly than those in other regions, and science and engineering-focused schools grade more stringently than those emphasizing the liberal arts. It is likely that at many selective and highly selective schools, undergraduate GPAs are now so saturated at the high end that they have little use as a motivator of students and as an evaluation tool for graduate and professional schools and employers.”
MP: The connections among “grade inflation, “tuition inflation,” “college textbook inflation,” and exponentially rising student loan debt are important.  Perhaps students find it easier to accept rising tuition, higher textbook prices (many selling for $200-300 now), and $25,000 in average student loan debt if they at least graduate with mostly As and a GPA above 3.0?  Even if they can’t find a job, they can take pride in having “earned” an inflated GPA?  


It has been awhile since we have posted anything on the MFA program at Horizons University.  Please take a moment to see some updates on our MFA page.



Are You Affective?

Horizons University, one of the best and most affordable online universities available, has a powerful course in their MBA program.  In our programs, the idea is not just the assimilation of theory, but most importantly its application. For example one of the hot topics discussed in “Leadership in Contemporary Organizations” is productivity improvement. There are lots of discussions on this topic, but the essence of successful productivity improvement is found (not surprisingly) within the behaviors of the leaders.

For starters, what is productivity?

Productivity =Output/Input

Productivity consists of selecting the right output (i.e., doing the right thing) and turning the input needed into output in the best possible way (i.e., doing the thing right) and doing it all the time (i.e., with no down time).

Selecting the right output is called effectiveness, turning input into output in the best possible way is called efficiency, and doing it all the time is called occupancy.

Effectiveness is attained when all non-essential outputs and inputs are screened, the remaining outputs and inputs are produced by the ideal task performers (i.e., properly delegated), and this process is not just for the moment, but for the foreseeable future (i.e., properly planned).


More than one day of every week (23.4%) is spent waiting. In principle, all waiting time can be eliminated. The largest amount of waiting time is incurred by people who are waiting for approvals or decisions (753.3%), waiting for materials and supplies (617.6%) and waiting for information (490.0%). Since each 100% represents a person year, these 819 people (819 possible person years) spend 18.6 person years waiting for these three items.

So what do we do about this challenge?

The Cognitive Domain

The process used to arrive at our conclusions so far is completely cognitive. According to Hannah Arendt , the cognitive domain is defined by the three axes of thinking, judging, and willing. The cognitive domain is central to performance improvement, because it is through our thinking, judging, and willing processes that we arrive at the goals and objectives we desire, and the strategy to reach them. It is the domain that we all know, and virtually all our education is structured so as to make us master this domain.

But performance improvement requires change. And change, unfortunately, occurs mostly in another domain ⎯ the affective domain.

The Affective Domain

Think about the great leaders who have impacted your life… perhaps it was a family member, a teacher or a boss? Chances are what made them great was their mastery of the affective domain.

Through the work of pioneers like Albert Mehrabian and James Russell , we know the dimensions of this domain. These dimensions consist of one axis that measures satisfaction, one axis that measures stress, and one axis that measures control. Their work made it possible to plot human emotions using coordinates from -1 to +1 in this three-dimensional space.

Dividing the space into octants (Dahl, 1993), it became possible to isolate leadership domains from followership domains (by use of the dimension of control), and characterize these domains by the impact of stress and satisfaction. Much to our surprise, we have found that the eight octants formed by the three axes consistently and predictably divide into high performance and low performance domains.

The implications of this are profound. The cognitive domain is involved with thought preceding action. The affective domain is involved with the action, or the change itself. People change when they are involved, engaged, enthusiastic, and committed — all of these states are found in the affective domain. To know how to operate in this domain is to know how to make change easy, or to make it hard; to know how to create peak performance, or to stop change dead in its tracks.

In this innovative course (held online, in class and on Second Life) examines the affective domain closely, and stops long enough at each leadership and followership domain so that it becomes possible to understand how each domain functions, and how each domain is created. Our goal… to help you reach your potential as a great leader.

Aspire to greatness, then we would recommend:
1) Get that degree you have been putting off;
2) Start leading in the affective domain.

For more information please visit us  (click logo for affectiveness)Affordable education

[1] Arendt, Hannah, “The Life of the Mind,” Vol. I-II, New York and London:  Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, New York, 1978.

[1] “Evidence for a Three-Factor Theory of Emotions,” Russell, James A., and Mehrabian, Albert; Journal on Research in Personality, Vol. II, PP. 273-294, 1977.

What do you think… is the MFA the new MBA?

In earlier posts we looked at the MFA as the MBA… per author Daniel Pink. We are seeing a trend of companies such as GM value the imaginative and right-brained thinkers normally associated with the arts.  But can artists run a complex organization?  Where have the MBAs taken us?  Is it time to re-think the value of and MFA?  Or is the answer somewhere in between?

No questions the value of an MBA (particularly the financial return), but perhaps, there are a few lessons that can be learned from us artistic types.

Here are 4 lessons an MBA might learn from an MFA:

1. How to take criticism

If you are a visual artist, performing artist or even a writer, your talent has grown and developed from solid criticism.  You may have thought about it as constructive feedback, but all and all your skin got toughened by this push to greatness.  You also learned an important lesson—some feedback needs to be ignored… you can’t please everyone, so incorporate or act on what you believe is most effective.

2. What motivates people

Artistic right-brained folks learn what interests  or excites their audience—whether it is a riveting novel, or multi-themed oil painting. The creative learns early the criticality or pleasing an audience.  If the work is a commissioned piece, then the endeavor focuses on the patron (think customer or colleague).

3. How to engage your audience

A good writer knows how to involve their readers, a good film-maker knows how to draw in their viewer, etc.  In either case, an engaged audience will be anxiously be trying to guess what is going to happen next.  Or the visual artist may draw an audience through rich colors and tones, or a provocative theme.  Involving and engaging your customers creates a sense of loyalty—a lesson that some companies are just now starting to learn.  Also, playwrights rarely work alone and must sooner or later connect with a creative team.  Perhaps composers, lyricists, directors, producers, etc… they know that involving team members in the creative process is the key to success.

4. When to let go of good ideas

Sometimes creative minds may come up with ideas that don’t seem to go anywhere, and through feedback they come to the realization that it may be time to stop.  Too often in the corporate world organizations will grab on to an idea like a bulldog and never let go until forced.  MFAs learn through experience that feedback from trusted colleagues or team members leads to perhaps better ideas.

So what do you think the answer is… What else could we learn from MBAs and MFAs?

Here’s the good news… whatever your preference Horizons University can help you.   You can get an MBA or an MFA in Filmmaking.  Not ready for an MBA?  Maybe a BBA is the best choice for you at this stage.   At any rate, you can get your online degree easily, economically and at your own pace.  Check us out for more information.

To start your career click here…

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4L Trophy

True to its mission and vision, Horizons University sponsored the 4L Trophy contest that took place in February 2012. The idea behind the Trophy is to gather students in a car Raid that will take them all the way to Morocco via France and Spain, while bringing school and sports supplies to young students there, contributing to giving them better access to education and sports activities. The 2012 objective is to provide education for 20,000 students. Practically speaking, here are some examples of supplies that were distributed during the 2012 event:

  • Pens
  • Notebooks
  • Erasers
  • Calculators
  • Slates
  • Pencils
  • Compasses
  • Balls
  • T-shirts
  • Sports shoes
  • Frisbees…

The name of the adventurous and humanitarian “Raid” comes from the Renault 4L car, a symbol in French automotive industry (see the picture above).

By sponsoring the event, Horizons University shows once again its commitment to improving the lives of students around the world and promoting education, sports and solidarity!

List of 4L Trophy sponsors:

Are You a Polyglot?