UWA Online Blog

Where to Play Outside in Livingston

Lately the weather has been acting less like winter and more like mid-spring, so while we typically might be cooped up inside during the month of January, 2017 has proved to be playing by different rules so far.

If you’re bummed that winter isn’t giving you the opportunity to don your new jacket, scarf and matching gloves, think about what this does mean—you can go enjoy the Great Outdoors. And around Livingston, there are a selection of opportunities that allow you to do so.

Here are a few top spots where you can enjoy the outdoors in Livingston:

  • Jaycee Neighborhood Park is located on Hopkins Street in the northwest section of town. It includes baseball and softball fields, picnic areas, a swimming pool, tennis courts and playground equipment.
  • Lake LU is located on the University of West Alabama’s campus. Fishing and boating on Lake LU are open three days a week to the public. Around the lake, you’ll find nature trails for hiking, running, bird watching and more. Take a snack, as there are also covered areas for grilling and picnicking around the property.
  • Livingston Country Club is a private facility that is home to an 18-hole golf course.
  • Playground Street is often used for cookouts, picnics and other recreational events. It features a pavilion and water fountain, grill, picnic tables and benches.
  • Happy Hollow boasts a small park with a new playground, along with picnic tables and benches.
  • Johnson Street is a neighborhood park with a basketball court and picnic area.
  • UWA’s Campus is a great place to go for a walk, hang up a hammock or read a book surrounded by the university’s impressive architecture, historic buildings and beautiful foliage.

In addition, Sumter County and the surrounding area is home to thousands of acres of waterfowl, big and small game hunting in the David K. Nelson Wildlife Management Area. You can also camp and canoe along the banks of the Alabama, Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers.

Where will you plan your next outdoor adventure? Let us know in the comments below!

Interested in learning a new skill or earning a new certification? Consider pursuing lifelong learning through UWA Online’s Continuing Education programs! Visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/ to learn more!




Course Spotlight: Designing Successful Webinars 1169

Relying on what technology has to offer, we can now disseminate more information to more people at any given time. Such is the case when it comes to a webinar.

Webinars are a meeting format that can save money and have a broader reach than in-person meetings. They can be used for employee or customer education, presentations, training, entertainment and more.

In “Designing Successful Webinars 1169,” participants will learn how to compose a productive webinar for a business or organization. They will also obtain tips and technique for making a more creative and engaging production that is informative and enjoyable to viewers.

The four-week course will be divided into four units.

In the first unit, “Keys to Successful Webinars,” students will learn:

  • What your participants want in a webinar
  • How to choose the right format for your program
  • How to choose the right length for your webinar

In Unit 2, “Effective Slides and Presentation,” students will learn:

  • Techniques for webinars
  • The four keys to a successful webinar presentation
  • The five best webinar presentation techniques
  • Making slides powerful and visual
  • Timing your speaking, what to say when and for how long
  • Voice techniques to keep your listeners interested

In the third unit, “Involving Your Webinar Participants,” the course will focus on:

  • How to schedule and initiate questions
  • Selecting questions to read
  • How to respond to questions
  • Using polls

In the fourth unit, “’Preparing and Evaluating Webinar Presenters,” students will learn about:

  • Choosing presenters—who to pick and who not to pick
  • Ways to train presenters
  • How to prepare your presenters
  • Evaluating your webinar success

By the end of the course, you will not only be able to design a successful webinar, but you will also be able to train instructors on how to lead a webinar and provide expertise to those already using webinars.

Designing Successful Webinars is one of two courses you can take toward earning a Certificate in Designing Webinars! This course will be available March 6-31, May 1-26 and July 3-28.

For more information on this and other Continuing Education courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/

Report Reveals That Solar Energy is Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

In UWA Online’s Continuing Education program, you can take classes to set yourself up for a successful career in green and renewable energy careers. If you’ve been considering a career in green and renewable energy, take note that a report published this month showed that in many parts of the world, solar energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time ever.

According to an article published on EcoWatch.com, a handbook released this month by the World Economic Forum shows the WEF’s observations on how the price of renewable technologies, specifically solar has gone down by record numbers.

The report shows that while the average LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) for coal and natural gas is approximately $100 megawatts per hour, the price for solar electricity has declined from $600 a decade ago to $300 five years later, and now close to or below $100. By comparison, the LCOE for wind is around $50.

The WEF predicts that two-thirds of the world will reach grid parity (when solar energy can generate power at an LCOE less than or equal to the purchasing power from the electricity grid) in the next few years. By 2020, it is predicted that this will be the case throughout the world.

What does this mean for those seeking green or renewable energy careers? Now that solar energy is becoming increasingly commercially viable, job opportunities in this field are flourishing. Read our previous blog “Going Green in Your Career: A Look at Renewable Energy Jobs,” to see what types of jobs are available in the renewable energy industry!

Whether you are seeking a career in green and renewable energy, or if you are simply curious about the subject, UWA Online’s Continuing Education program is offering online courses suited to your interests. Visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/ to learn about your options!

To read the entire article from EcoWatch.com, click here.

UWA Receives $1.25 Million Workforce Development Grant

The University of West Alabama’s emphasis on workforce development initiatives has received national attention in the form of a $1.25 million grant that will serve to enhance the job placement outcomes of the university’s graduates.

UWA was recently named one of only 24 colleges in the United States to receive grant money that will enhance workforce development and help connect students with meaningful employment opportunities upon graduation.

Funding is provided by the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant intends to help UWA align its curricula with local and national workforce needs in an effort to better outline positive career pathways for students as they transition from college to the workforce.

Specifically, the funding at UWA is being used to create a College to Career (C2C) program that encompasses a variety of career prep activities including a graduating senior career development boot camp, career development mentorship programs, standard career pathways panning courses, individual career staff assistance and new software and tracking programs to enhance graduate employment tracking.

To read the full press release, click here!

It is now easier than ever to be a part of the UWA community! With UWA Online, all you need is an internet connection. Visit us at https://uwa.augusoft.net/ to see exactly what we have to offer!

Course Spotlight: Conflict Management 1211

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, especially in the workplace. However, knowing how to successfully manage conflict is a skill that can prove invaluable to overcoming bumps in the road in an effort to stay on track toward your company’s end goal.

It has been proven that effective conflict management skills positively correlate to higher earnings and promotion. In “Conflict Management 1211,” students will discover a workable conflict management model, discuss case studies in conflict management and focus on successful conflict management strategies to apply in the workplace. This course is a requirement to earn a Certificate in Workplace Communication from UWA Online.

The one-month course is divided into four units. In Unit 1, “Understanding Conflict,” participants will learn:

  • The definition of conflict
  • The up side of conflict
  • To describe performance expectations related to conflict

In Unit 2, “Understanding the Conflict Management Model,” students will learn about:

  • Using the model
  • Dialog for conflict conversation
  • When to take action and address a conflict situation

In Unit 3, “Conflict Management Case Studies,” students will:

  • Review real world cases
  • Analyze and evaluate the cases

To wrap up the course, in Unit 4, “Strategies for Success,” class participants will:

  • Create a standard of performance
  • Create their own dialog
  • Apply the model

By the end of the course, students will be able to identify when to get involved in a conflict situation, know how to create accountability for job performance and will understand how to link employees’ behaviors to their job performance. In general, participants will acquire skills in becoming better communicators in terms of conflict resolution in order to establish more effective relationships with employees.

“Conflict Management 1211” is being offered Feb. 6-March 3; April 3-28 and June 5-30!

To enroll in this course, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #ConflictManagement #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama



Choosing a Continuing Education Program That is Right for You

Deciding to go back to school can be a life-changing choice that has the potential to benefit you in boundless ways. That being said, it is not a decision that you should take lightly if you want to ensure that you get what you want out of it.

Some people may already know exactly which program they want to pursue, but for others, the choice is not so cut and dry. Here are a few ways that you can go about selecting the continuing education program that will best help you achieve your personal and professional goals and set you up for future success.

  • Talk to others. If you have friends or acquaintances who have participated in certain programs, ask them for a review of their experiences. First-hand feedback can be extremely helpful when it comes to choosing the program that is right for you.
  • Know your end goal. Are you going back to school in order to change careers? Or are you retired and simply looking to sharpen your intellect? Make sure your interests and goals align with the program you are considering.
  • Determine industry desires. Put simply, this means figure out what it is that employers within your industry are looking for in a potential employee. If there is a certain type of certificate or degree that will allow you to move up to a specific position that you have your eye on, then this can help narrow down your choices when it comes to selecting a continuing education program.
  • Weigh the pros and cons. If one course of study takes longer to complete than another, this may affect your decision depending on what other factors you have going on in your life. Compare your options and make sure they fit in with your lifestyle.
  • Talk to an advisor. At UWA Online, we can help guide you in the right direction when it comes to selecting a continuing education program! Call us at 205-652-5110 or email [email protected]!

UWA Online’s continuing education programs cover business and technology, education, marketing, education and a range of other career fields! Find the right program for you today by visiting https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama


Happy New Year! 10 Random Fun Facts for You to Take Into 2017

Welcome to 2017! Whether you are embracing the New Year as an opportunity for change or whether you treat January 1st just like any other day, you can always stand to learn something new to kick off this new year of your life.

Use them as conversation starters, tell them to your friends or share them in a social media post—here are 10 random fun facts that will help you start the year off with some brand new knowledge!

  • An average NFL football game has only 11 minutes of live gameplay.
  • In Italy, “pepperoni” refers to bell peppers, not the spicy sausage.
  • The first therapy dog was a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky, who helped wounded soldiers during World War II. After the war, she performed on various TV shows.
  • Alligators can climb trees. Some have even been known to scale fences.
  • In Thailand, kite flying was once a competitive sport.
  • At Disneyland, all the plants in Tommorowland are edible.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a huge Star Trek fan.
  • Blue sharks bite each other to show romantic interest.
  • Hippos produce their own sunscreen. They secrete a sticky, reddish sweat that scatters light.
  • The first telephone book was published in 1878. It had 50 listings.

Feel enlightened yet? You know what they say—you learn something new every day! And at UWA Online, we want to help facilitate the learning process for our current and future students.

From graduate degrees to courses just for fun, our continuing education program appeals to a range of needs and interests. Learn more about what UWA Online has to offer today by visiting https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #FunFacts #NewYear #2017 #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama

Happy New Year!

Facts courtesy of Google Allo.

Course Spotlight: Keys to Customer Service 1199

Excellent customer service skills are ones that can not only positively impact your career, but that can extend their reach beyond work to help you in many areas of life.

In “Keys to Customer Service 1199,” a class required to earn a Certificate in Customer Service from UWA Online, students will learn about the link between customer service skills and career success. In addition to learning how to provide exceptional service, participants will also discover how to take good service to the next level by translating it into a workable plan to aid a business.

This one-month course is divided into four units. In Unit 1, class participants will cover the following sections:

  • Understanding Service Matters
  • Longevity and Loyalty
  • Cost of a Lost Customer
  • Engaging Your Customer

The second unit includes:

  • Listening to Your Customer
  • Active Listening
  • Avoiding Improper Listening
  • The Power of Feedback

In Unit 3, students will learn about:

  • Websites and Electronic Communication
  • Web-based Customer Service
  • Disadvantages of Web-Based Customer Service
  • Evaluating Your Web-Based Customer Service

The last unit of the course will focus on:

  • Customer Turnoffs
  • Exceeding Customer Expectations
  • Recognizing and Categorizing Customer Turnoffs
  • Dealing with Customer Expectations and Turnoffs

By the end of the course, students will be able to calculate the impact of lost customers on a business or organization, describe the distinction between hearing and listening, list the five successful e-service delivery requirements and discuss the importance of exceeding what customers expect.

If you want to perfect your customer service skills, consider taking Keys to Customer Service 1199 through UWA Online! This course will be offered Feb 6-March 3, 2017; April 3-28, 2017 and June 5-30, 2017.

To register or to learn more, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #CustomerService #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama

7 Qualities of a Successful Online Student

The flexibility allowed with online learning is one of its greatest assets compared to attending an on-campus class; however, with the freedom to complete tasks according to your own schedule in an online course comes the responsibility to make sure you stick to it.

Another big difference between on-campus courses and online courses is the face-to-face interaction versus a web-based interaction. Some people may thrive on the more independent nature of an online class, while others crave the in-person interaction.

Knowing certain qualities about yourself is critical to deciding whether or not an online course is right for you. Here, we have outlined a few qualities that would be ideal to have in order to achieve success as an online student.

  • You feel comfortable learning independently. While you will interact with your professors and other students taking the course online, these interactions are not as immediate as they are with on-campus classes. You should be OK with the fact that you cannot just raise your hand and ask a question; rather, you may have to wait for an emailed reply.
  • You are self-disciplined and goal oriented. To be successful in an online course, you need not be a procrastinator. Online courses move quickly, and often professors will not let students make up assignments or discussions in these courses.
  • You can stick to a schedule. Part of being successful in an online course is being organized. In order to make sure that you achieve your goals, you need to allot a specified time each day to working on your online assignments, and stick to the schedule you set.
  • You possess basic computer skills. The computer and internet are your most important tools when taking an online course because they make it all possible. Basic skills include sending and receiving emails with attachments, cutting and pasting from Microsoft Word and communicating with your classmates via discussion threads.
  • You are a capable reader. Most online classes weigh heavily on reading-based assignments. Students are expected to learn information from tests and online materials and apply assigned work to what they read.
  • You are able to meet deadlines. Meeting deadlines is part of any class, but online courses are typically shorter, with more assignments due in a smaller time frame. If you can’t meet deadlines for classroom discussions, group activities and assignments, you will not be successful.
  • You are patient. Online courses rely on technology, and we all know that sometimes technology can pose problems that feel out of our control. If your computer crashes, you need to be able to stay calm and find an alternative solution, such as using a friend’s computer or going to the library to complete an assignment.

The virtual classroom environment can be an efficient and enriching place to be if you embrace what it has to offer and do not expect it to be the same as learning in a brick and mortar location. As long as you keep your end goals in mind, you should be quick to find success in the world of online learning!

At UWA Online, it is our goal to help you be successful. Take a look at our course offerings by visiting https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #Success #OnlineLearning #ContinuingEducation #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama


Course Spotlight: Business Writing 1230

Having a solid writing foundation can be a key element to a successful career no matter what field you are working in.

In “Business Writing 1230,” participants will learn basic business writing skills that will poise them to be able to effectively and successfully communicate via the written word. This one-month course, required to earn a Certificate in Business Writing, shares the best practices for creating professional business documents, shows you how to hone your grammar skills and teaches business writing principles that will be able to help you far into the future.

The course is divided into four units. In the first unit, Writing as a Process, students will cover:

  • Audience, purpose and medium
  • Outlining for successful writing
  • Organization models
  • Principles of business communication

In Unit 2, Written Communication in the Workplace, students will learn

  • How to write reports (formal and informal)
  • Drafting and revision
  • How to write the first draft
  • How to construct effective openings and closings

Unit 3, Writing a Proposal, will include:

  • Writing for your readers
  • Writing effective content
  • Safeguarding users
  • Ethical considerations

And in the fourth unit, Collaborative Writing and Research, participants will cover:

  • Research and team writing
  • Collaborating across departments
  • Working through conflict

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to recognize and avoid grammatical errors, apply effective editing techniques to business documents, improve their overall writing, craft successful business documents and more.

Business Writing 1230 is available Feb. 6-March 3, 2017; April 3-28, 2017 and June 5-30, 2017!

To learn more, including how to register, call 205-652-5110, or visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/! #Writing #BusinessWriting #WritingForBusiness #ContinuingEducation #OnlineLearning #UWAOnline #UniversityOfWestAlabama