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Students Success @ AU http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com Albizu University Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:13:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Why You Should Enroll in an Online Course http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/08/24/why-you-should-enroll-in-an-online-course/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/08/24/why-you-should-enroll-in-an-online-course/#respond Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:11:08 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=271 Did you know that AU offers online courses?

Research suggests that online courses help bolster learning. Online courses provide a flexible and accessible option for learning that is perfect for students who want to engage but have multiple extracurricular responsibilities that can limit their time.  And unlike traditional classes, online courses can encourage more student idea exchange via participation in discussion boards, which helps students build better community (Guldberg, 2008).


If you are having a hard time balancing your commute to campus with other responsibilities or are just interested in increasing your network, consider enrolling in one of AU’s online courses. These courses provide a unique opportunity to connect with other students from multiple regions with differing perspectives.


Reach out to your academic department for a full list of online course offerings in your program!
Are you enrolled in online courses at AU? How do they help you balance your time more wisely?


Guldberg, K. (2008). Adult learners and professional development: peer‐to‐peer learning in a networked community. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 27(1), 35-49.



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Tips for Maximizing Success as an Adult Student http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/08/02/tips-for-maximizing-success-as-an-adult-student/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/08/02/tips-for-maximizing-success-as-an-adult-student/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:34:21 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=260 Did you know that research* suggests that adult students are less likely to engage in both classes and extracurricular activities on campus?

Adult students have different needs than “traditional” 18-year-old college students. At AU, adult students make up the majority of the population, and AU is committed to your success! In order to maximize your success as an adult student at AU, consider the following tips:

Do not shy away from class discussions. Increasing your engagement with both your professors and your fellow students can help bolster your success.

Get involved with extracurricular activities and attend events when they fit into your schedule. Because AU wants to serve its students, many events and meetings occur at times that cater to the adult student. Take advantage of all of the resources AU has to offer!

Check your Sunmail account and the event calendar on the Student Success Blog often.  AU offers easy on-the-go access to information and resources for busy professionals, parents, caretakers, or any of the other many hats our students wear. Log in often to stay abreast of all that is occurring in the AU community!

Are you an adult student at AU? What has helped contribute most to your success?


*Wyatt, L. G. (2011). Nontraditional Student Engagement: Increasing Adult Student Success and Retention. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 59(1), 10-20.

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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Sharrie Dean http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/27/faculty-spotlight-professor-sharrie-dean/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/27/faculty-spotlight-professor-sharrie-dean/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:13:50 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=245 The AU Faculty Spotlight is a series that recognizes faculty members who promote student success at AU.

Meet Dr. Sharrie R. Dean, AU’s new assistant professor in education. Learn more about her below.

Where are you from?
I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised here in Miami and in Nassau (Bahamas).

What are some of your hobbies?
I provide service for those who have challenges helping themselves and/or are underprivileged. As such, I work closely with my husband’s ministry; have founded a reading club for teenaged and unwed mothers; work as a member of Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow; and, in the last year, spoke to over 5,000 students about bullying, hazing, and negative peer pressure with my son, founder and CEO of Ben McNamee, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to ending this behavior. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and of Phi Delta Kappa. I was just inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society at AU and am looking to revitalize AU’s chapter. I also love singing and shopping!

Where did you go to school?
I received a B.A. in Professional Studies at Barry University, an M.S. from Nova Southeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Union Institute & University.

What brought you to AU?
While working at Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) as the Title I Administration Director, I had ongoing conversations with Mr. Ramon Sanchez (an AU adjunct), who was my staff member at the time. I thought AU was a well-kept secret! I believed that AU would be a sterling alignment for so many at M-DCPS and scheduled meetings with Dr. Ralph Martinez regarding AU recruitment and the education program. I appreciated what Dr. Martinez represented and loved his dedication to his vision for student success. My work at M-DCPS allowed me to serve as a conduit for AU’s recruitment efforts, enabling departments, staff, and parents in the school district to become acquainted with AU’s academic offerings and grant potential. I am so very thankful that Ramon introduced me to this phenomenal university!

Eventually, in 2011, I began working as an adjunct faculty member in education at AU. In 2013, I began working closely with the Ph.D. in Human Services program under Dr. Evangelina Alonso and became an adjunct in that program (now with Dr. Irene Bravo). And now I have come full circle, having been hired a few months ago as an assistant professor in the education, criminal justice, and undergraduate psychology programs.

What makes AU special?
From my first visit to AU, I noticed that people from the academic faculty to the maintenance professionals to the clerical staff were all pleasant and friendly. Everyone spoke and smiled with sincerity…no matter the language. I have since coined the phrase: At AU, you are more than a number. Everyone is more than a number. You are recognized for who you are, and that recognition speaks mounds for the university.

What advice do you have for students to maximize their success at AU?
Students should realize that AU’s professors and staff are approachable. We are here for you. When you succeed, it is wonderful! We welcome conversations that assist us in better meeting students’ needs. Through detail-oriented conversations, we can create a strengthened and successful relationship and design the best academic track for you, thus yielding a great education and beyond-great marketability in the work force…and for life!

Student Success Bonus Tip: If you are an education student looking to find professional development resources and build a lasting network of colleagues, consider joining Kappa Delta Pi. Reach out to Dr. Dean for more information at ext. 3105.

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Spotlight: AU’s Open House http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/17/spotlight-aus-open-house/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/17/spotlight-aus-open-house/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:00:29 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=237 Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?

AU will be hosting an Ice Cream Meet & Mingle Open House this Wednesday, July 19 from 4 PM – 8 PM. This event will be a great opportunity for both new and returning students to learn more about AU’s academic programs.

We’ll see you there!

Student Success Bonus Tip: Open houses are a great introduction to the campus and community climate fostered by a college or university. Use this opportunity to plug in, whether it is to introduce yourself to faculty or to familiarize yourself with student-designated resources and spaces. Now is the time to learn about all AU has to offer!

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Administrator Spotlight: Dean Julia De Llanos http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/10/administrator-spotlight-dean-julia-de-llanos/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/07/10/administrator-spotlight-dean-julia-de-llanos/#respond Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:24:43 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=230 The AU Administrator Spotlight is a series that recognizes administrators who promote student success at AU.

Meet Dean Julia De Llanos, AU’s new Dean of Student Affairs. Learn more about her below.

Where are you from?
I am from Haiti, a country located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. However, I was raised in South Florida.

What are some of your hobbies?
I must admit I have quite a few hobbies and pursuits. Traveling the world is my favorite pastime. I have travelled to several countries abroad. Thus far, my favorites are Florence, Italy, and a small coastal surfing community named San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua. I enjoy outdoor activities, such as camping, kayaking, hiking, and skydiving. However, I also enjoy indoor activities such as cycling or spinning. I enjoy reading the classics, nonfiction, and poetry. I absolutely love the arts. I enjoy dancing, perusing art galleries, painting landscapes, and attending live shows and concerts. I am currently looking forward to the U2 Joshua Tree North American tour. Finally, cooking allows time to be both reflective and creative.

Where did you go to school?
Much like the average AU student, I worked full-time while pursuing my education. While serving as a student services director in Florida’s higher education system, I completed my MBA at Liberty University. While completing my undergraduate coursework in sociology and mass communications at Florida International University, I worked in the Miami-Dade child dependency system, advocating for youth in foster care.

What brought you to AU, and what do you hope to accomplish while here?
I was particularly impressed by AU’s commitment to improving students’ clinical, professional, and social competencies. I was also impressed by AU’s commitment to preparing student leaders to use their education and training to impact their local communities and advance society as whole.

My aim is to promote student achievement by developing academic support programs and services tailored specifically to the needs of the student body, cultivating a vibrant student life, and serving as an advocate for important student issues. I am further committed to sustaining an equitable and accessible learning environment for each student wishing to pursue a degree at AU. In this effort, I am dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community that celebrates individuality and supports the free exchange of ideas.

What advice do you have for students to maximize their success at AU?
Make academic achievement a priority. As professionals, parents, caregivers, spouses, and contributing members of society, students often leave very little time to attain their personal goals. Students must allow themselves the time to make their academic aspirations a top priority in their lives. Furthermore, students are encouraged to use the services and programs available on campus. AU offers superior academic advising, tutoring, job placement assistance, peer support networks, and referral services. Use these resources to overcome obstacles. And most importantly, persevere and finish strong.

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Spotlight: AU’s Student Organizations http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/29/spotlight-aus-student-organizations/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/29/spotlight-aus-student-organizations/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:10:23 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=219 Did you know that researchers have found a positive link between extracurricular involvement and higher academic achievement among students? Webber, Krylow, and Zhang (2013) found that students who participate in both in-class and extracurricular academic and social activities reported both higher grades and a more satisfying experience at their institutions.

AU offers a wealth of student organizations, from the Catholic Club to the Sports & Fitness Club. Getting involved in one of the many student organizations or starting your own can be an excellent way to improve your experience. You can find the list of AU student organizations and their contact information below. Get involved today!

Student Success Bonus Tip: Want to make a difference while developing the skills needed to be a competent professional? Consider running for AU’s Student Council to make your voice heard!

For more information about starting your own student organization, joining an existing one, or applying for the Student Council, visit the Student Affairs office or call extension 3286.

Webber, K. L., Krylow, R. B., & Zhang, Q. (2013). Does Involvement Really Matter? Indicators of College Student Success and Satisfaction. Journal of College Student Development, 54(6), 591-611.

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We Heard You!: AU’s New Printers http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/20/we-heard-you-aus-new-printers/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/20/we-heard-you-aus-new-printers/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:57:28 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=215 We Heard You! is a series focusing on the exciting new developments occurring at Albizu University as a result of your feedback! AU takes students’ concerns and celebrations seriously, and your voice helps improve our environment!

The AU Information Technology Services Department (ITS) is happy to announce that it has made improvements to its printers to better serve you! In last year’s Student Satisfaction Survey, 76% of the students surveyed were satisfied with the printers and scanners available in the campus computer labs. In an effort to reach 100%, ITS has been working diligently to make changes for your benefit.

ITS has just installed newer, faster, more reliable, and higher resolution printers in the library and computer labs. These new printers will reduce printing time through fewer paper jams, increased printing speed, and higher print quality. With this acquisition, ITS has increased the number of available working printers and supplies by 98%.


Student Success Bonus Tip: AU wants your feedback! Make your voice heard by completing the Student Satisfaction Survey in your inbox this month.


With contributions from Raymi Fernandez, ITS.

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Spotlight: The AU Office of Recruitment http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/13/spotlight-the-au-office-of-recruitment/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/13/spotlight-the-au-office-of-recruitment/#respond Tue, 13 Jun 2017 12:16:09 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=208  

This series is a collaboration between Title V and various student-serving departments at AU.

The AU Office of Recruitment not only helps incoming students by providing admissions and financial aid information, but it also serves current students by providing a smooth and well-informed transition for undergraduates who wish to matriculate into one of AU’s many graduate programs.

Q: What resources does Recruitment offer AU students?

A: The Recruitment Office provides a wealth of information regarding AU’s academic programs. Whether you are a current undergraduate student who is looking to obtain a master’s degree or a graduate student who is interested in further graduate study, Recruitment can help set you on a clear path toward achieving your career and academic goals.                                        

Q: How can I get involved?

A: Current students can become ambassadors for AU during recruitment programs for prospective students, such as open houses.

Q: I am graduating from AU soon. How do I learn more about AU’s other academic programs?

A: The upcoming event “A Sweet Ending to a New Beginning” is where current students can obtain information about AU’s graduate programs. “A Sweet Ending” will be held on Tuesday, July 11, from 3pm–6pm in the multipurpose room. The program will focus on assisting current students to explore different career paths so that their studies and professional goals can continue to evolve.

How do you think the Office of Recruitment can help you reach your career and academic goals?

Comment below!


With contributions from Gabriela Fontan, Office of Recruitment

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Student Spotlight: Kristen Nelson http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/06/student-spotlight-kristen-nelson/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/06/06/student-spotlight-kristen-nelson/#comments Tue, 06 Jun 2017 18:22:03 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=202 The AU Student Spotlight is a series that highlights and celebrates the achievements of dynamic AU students who contribute to student success in and beyond their communities.

Meet Kristen Nelson, an AU student who was recently named one of the 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County.

Where are you from?
I’m from Dublin, Ohio. I did my undergraduate work at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and I went to graduate school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

What are you studying at AU?
I am currently studying to complete the doctoral program in human services.

What motivated you to begin work with Broward County, and what do you do?
The award that I received resulted from a nomination for the work that I have done throughout the county as the current Clinical Program Director for Family Preservation and Intervention at Children’s Home Society. I have volunteered for agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection, Children’s Home Society, and SOS Children’s Village. I have a passion for advocating and supporting a population of individuals who may not be able to advocate for themselves.

How do you think your involvement leads to the academic and/or social success of the children with whom you work?
Research shows that the more support a child has, the more likely he/she is to be successful. I have seen firsthand how programs like these support and assist young adults to develop a strong sense of values and morals that will continue into adulthood.

Do you know of any outstanding AU students who should be featured in our series?
Comment below or complete the blog submission request on the right sidebar!

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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Mario Barros http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/05/31/faculty-spotlight-professor-mario-barros/ http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/2017/05/31/faculty-spotlight-professor-mario-barros/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 18:52:54 +0000 http://students-success-blog.albizumiami.com/?p=182 The AU Faculty Spotlight is a series that recognizes faculty members who promote student success in new and innovative ways.

Meet Professor Mario Barros, a faculty member in the ESOL Department who has helped his students learn through story writing. Learn more about him, and check out the class stories linked below.

Where are you from?
I was born in Cuba but lived in Boston, Massachusetts for 18 years before moving to Miami three years ago.

What are some of your hobbies?
I like to write humor. I have published a book of stories and a novel. I keep a humor website (SuiteHumor.com) and post daily sketches about living in Miami and other topics on Facebook. I am also a huge fan of Boston sports teams.

Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Havana in Cuba for my B.A. in English Teaching. I got my M.A. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

How long have you been a professor at AU? What made you decide to become a professor here?
I have taught at AU since 2014. I applied for a teaching position in the ESOL program in the summer of that year and was accepted. Ever since then I have taught ESOL and undergraduate courses at the university. I love teaching at AU. It is a great environment — my colleagues are wonderful, and the students are fantastic.

How has your story-writing assignment helped your students become successful at learning English?
The assignment was a challenge for my students. Most of them had never written fictional stories in English or their native languages, so they had to learn all the features of a short story first and then set out to write their own. In the end it was a very rewarding process for them. Needless to say, they learned a lot. And the stories are very good, too.

Professor Barros’ class stories can be found here!

Do you know of a faculty member who is contributing to student success? Comment below!

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