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How to Measure Personal Success | Career Trend

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Measuring personal success is not just a matter of examining how much money, fame or power you have. Personal success is marked by signs of emotional growth that manifests itself in various signs and signals. This means that there is not really a standard for how far you have come in life, but rather it is about recognizing how your own personal approach and attitude towards growth in life and work have made you successful.

Examine the amount of influence you have when helping others achieve their goals. Are you able to help others achieve their goals without fear of them becoming more successful then you?

Ask yourself the following questions: Do you look at life with a positive attitude and hope for the future? Are you able to stop blaming others for any downfalls you may have experienced over the years? Can you examine the past and garner what you have learned as experience for the future instead of blaming the past for your lot in life?

Evaluate your ability to take a risk and leap out into the unknown without fear of failing. Being able to understand that failure is actually a stepping stone to all success and then not caring what others think of you for attempting the feat go a long way in discovering yourself and your personal success.

Determine how much your friends, family and coworkers respect you by distinguishing between being respected because of money and fame and being respected because of the amount of trust and honor you have earned.

Record your goals in order to keep track of what you have accomplished over time. Being able to visualize what you have done and what you still need to do can be helpful in determining and evaluating your personal success.

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How to Measure Personal Success | Career Trend

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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The Difference between Personal and Professional Success

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The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore. ~Dale Carnegie ()

Early last year, I found myself sat on the balcony of an apartment in Malaysia. The view in front of me was amazing. There was a crystal clear ocean; palm trees dotted all over, a cold beer in my hand and my favorite music in the background. I took a sip of my beer, soaked it all in and realized something powerful I had made it professionally!

Six months earlier, I had set myself the target of running a location free business. I wanted to write and travel the world. Malaysia was the first stop for all of that. Which brings me full circle to this article. And how it can help you decide what you want both professionally and personally.Because that might sound like personal success to you; but its truly a professionalsuccessgoal that I set.

Let me explain

The two are not mutually exclusive which Ill come to a little later on but on a base level it breaks down like this

Think of them this way what you want to achieve at home andwhat you want to achieve at work.

Now your professional goals are always personal to you; which is where it can sometimes get confusing, and the waters get murky.

But your goals can only ever be personal to you. Because, well, theyre your goals.

Now I just said that the two are not mutually exclusive. And, theyre not. They have a direct impact on each other. The crossover is what professional success allows you to do in your personal life.

Let me use my Malaysia example as a reference point:

Personally, I always wanted to go to that part of the world. It was somewhere Id never been, and it was high on my bucket list of places.

Professionally, I never could. Getting time off work or having the money to do that sort of trip wasnt feasible at all.

So when my professional situation allowed me to go there, I was able to hit my personal goal of being there too.

You probably have things in your life right now where this crossover will occur:

You might be dying to get that promotion at work but its rarely for the money or the power its mostly for what it allows you to do in your own life.

I define myself by my own business. I built it from the ground up. But I built it for the lifestyle it allows me to lead.

Neither.

There are two things that come before you look towards personal or professional success:

That dictates which goal youre going to put the most emphasis on, for where you are in your life right now.

So, youve seen there is an overlap between Personal and Professional success and theyre quite often connected from the start.

But which one should get your focus?Well, that comes down to a few factors:

This isnt to say that youshouldntmulti-task and try to take on a couple of goals at a time. If you can manage that, thats fine. But if there is a big goal like, for example, going back to school and changing your career, or losing 50 lbs worth of weight, its going to be hard to manage them both.

So be careful which one you prioritize, and dont take on too much at once.

Like I said earlier, its all about what you what. And, well, whats going to make you happy.

And, both hinge on whether theyll make you happy.

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The Difference between Personal and Professional Success

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Personal loans can help in a crunch. But read this before you apply – CNN

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While the stimulus checks have started dropping into bank accounts and many creditors are offering relief on payments, those options may not be available to everyone or they may not be enough. That's why some people are turning to unsecured personal loans, often used for debt consolidation or home improvement projects, to cover emergency expenses.

While some lenders are offering low interest relief loans, others are tightening credit requirements for borrowers.

Here's what you need to know about taking out a personal loan during this crisis and whether or not one makes sense for you.

An unsecured personal loan is money borrowed from a bank, credit union or online lender that can be used for anything. The money is paid back in installments over time, usually with a fixed interest rate.

While many experts would caution against personal loans, which often come with high interest rates and fees, they could make sense in an emergency situation.

"Ideally, I'd hope people would use relief programs before taking on additional debt," said Justin Pritchard, a certified financial planner at Approach Financial, in Montrose, Colorado. "But if you absolutely need to borrow, a personal loan is not the worst way to go."

Since the loan is unsecured, you don't need to pledge collateral, which helps you avoid putting your home or other valuable assets at risk, Pritchard said. "Plus, you're not raiding your retirement savings and pulling money out of accounts like a 401(k)."

The fixed interest rate on most personal loans also allows you to know exactly how much you are paying each month and when you should pay off the debt, he said, so that is helpful when compared to credit cards, which often have variable rates.

But interest rates on personal loans can be very high as well, he warned.

"Some personal loan rates go above 30%, so you're not necessarily getting a great deal," he said. "Plus, there may be origination fees that add to your total borrowing cost, and you don't get a break on those if you pay off the loan early."

While various lenders will offer loans to those with credit scores ranging from bad to excellent, it is hard to find a lender that will issue a loan without a demonstrated ability to pay it back.

"Lenders look for the borrower's ability to repay that loan," said Elisabeth Kozack, managing director for lending at Marcus by Goldman Sachs. "Lenders want to verify the source of income you have. It could be employer income or it could be military income, retirement income, benefit income."

Your credit score and your past payment history will also factor into your loan offer.

When shopping for loans, she recommends determining the amount you need and what kind of monthly payments you want to make. And consider the interest rate together with overall benefits like lower fees or flexibility with payment dates.

"The interest rate generally will be higher for longer-term loans and lower for shorter-term loans," she said.

Think about a loan holistically, inclusive of fees and interest. An origination fee isn't necessarily a bad thing if you can get a lower rate and spend less on interest plus fees over the life of the loan.

"If you pay an origination fee, be sure to account for that in the amount you request," said Pritchard. "Lenders might reduce your loan proceeds to cover origination fees."

He recommends getting quotes from at least three different lenders. A diverse sample would include a local bank, a credit union and an online lender.

"Credit unions, with their community focus, might be most willing to work with you if your finances are less-than-ideal," he said.

If you have explored your options and are deciding between a personal loan or credit cards, check with your bank or credit union to see if they offer an economic relief loan, said Luis F. Rosa, certified financial planner at Build a Better Financial Future in Las Vegas.

"You have to take into consideration the fees and the interest rate once the 0% introductory APR ends," said Rosa, "but if it's a short-term fix, this might be a good option."

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Personal loans can help in a crunch. But read this before you apply - CNN

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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A brief social-belonging intervention in college improves adult outcomes for black Americans – Science Advances

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Abstract

Could mitigating persistent worries about belonging in the transition to college improve adult life for black Americans? To examine this question, we conducted a long-term follow-up of a randomized social-belonging intervention delivered in the first year of college. This 1-hour exercise represented social and academic adversity early in college as common and temporary. As previously reported in Science, the exercise improved black students grades and well-being in college. The present study assessed the adult outcomes of these same participants. Examining adult life at an average age of 27, black adults who had received the treatment (versus control) exercise 7 to 11 years earlier reported significantly greater career satisfaction and success, psychological well-being, and community involvement and leadership. Gains were statistically mediated by greater college mentorship. The results suggest that addressing persistent social-psychological concerns via psychological intervention can shape the life course, partly by changing peoples social realities.

For many people, a life well lived includes professional success, personal well-being, and engagement in ones community (1). What factors help people achieve these outcomes?

Certainly, resources and opportunities to develop important life skills (e.g., executive function) in childhood and adolescence contribute to adult success (24). However, access to resources does not automatically translate to better outcomes, partly because social-psychological concerns can impede peoples ability to use resources and pursue opportunities available to them (57). College, for instance, offers young people substantial opportunities for learning and the development of diverse skills and relationships (8). However, black and other racial minority students also enter college aware of the underrepresentation of their group in higher education and how the ways in which stereotypes and discrimination can shape the experiences of students from their group. Past research shows that this context reasonably evokes worries in students about whether they, or their group, can belong, a phenomenon known as belonging uncertainty (911). These worries can lead students to perceive common everyday challenges in college, such as exclusion from a social outing or receiving critical academic feedback, as confirming that they do not belong. This perception can become self-fulfilling. For instance, it may make students less likely to join student groups or to reach out to prospective mentors, undermining supports and achievement during college (9, 10, 12). Through this process, worries about belonging, rooted in a history of social disadvantage, can perpetuate racial inequality in higher education (see Fig. 1A for a conceptual model illustrating this process).

(A) For students from socially disadvantaged groups, awareness of negative stereotypes and a history and current reality of group-based disadvantage can give rise to worries about belonging. This belonging uncertainty may fester in the face of common everyday adversities in college and ultimately undermine important outcomes in college. (B) The social-belonging intervention offers students a nonthreatening lens through which to view daily adversities. It can thereby sustain engagement with school and improve the college experience, especially for students from disadvantaged groups who disproportionately bear the burden of belonging uncertainty. The present study examines whether the better trajectory fostered by the intervention can improve students outcomes after college (C) and whether gains in life outcomes are statistically mediated by postintervention grades and/or college mentorship.

Our understanding of this process derives largely from past field experimental research testing a targeted exercise called the social-belonging intervention. The intervention, described more fully below, is designed to mitigate worries about belonging in the transition to college. Although it is delivered early in college and lasts less than an hour, it has been shown to improve diverse outcomes in college, including academic performance, physical health, and well-being, for students from groups disadvantaged in higher education (13). Research on the social-belonging intervention draws on a tradition in psychology in which intervention field experiments serve both theoretical and applied functions (57, 14). First, they advance basic theory, in several ways. They assess the causal role of a specific psychological process within an ecologically valid context. In doing so, they can assess how this psychological process interacts with other processes in the world. For example, if an intervention that lessens belonging uncertainty improves outcomes by helping students access campus resources and relationships (10), then that suggests how psychological and structural processes interact to influence peoples lives. Furthermore, intervention field experiments can illuminate the contribution of psychological processes to social problems. If an intervention that lessens belonging uncertainty improves outcomes experienced by people from disadvantaged groups, then that means that belonging uncertainty contributes to those outcomes under status quo conditions as observed in the control group. Second, intervention field experiments offer valuable applied insights by evaluating the effectiveness of specific approaches to social problems.

If belonging uncertainty undermines the college outcomes of students from socially disadvantaged groups, then are these students less well-positioned to thrive after college? If so, could the belonging intervention enhance success not only during college, as shown in past research, but also subsequently? If adult benefits are observed, then what would explain how a 1-hour exercise early in college could alter the life course? To address these questions, we followed up with participants from the original randomized controlled trial of the intervention. At the time of the follow-up, it had been almost a decade since participants had taken part in the intervention and they were, on average, 27 years old. We examined their professional success, psychological well-being, physical health, and community engagement, with the prediction that black adults who had completed the intervention materials years earlier would show benefits on these outcomes relative to their counterparts who had completed the randomized control materials.

In an effort to interrupt the self-fulfilling nature of belonging uncertainty (11), the social-belonging intervention offers students a nonthreatening lens with which to make sense of common social and academic adversities in the transition to college (9, 13). To do so, it shares stories from diverse older students, who describe experiencing a range of everyday challenges to belonging in the transition to college and how their experiences improved with time. These stories thus represent challenges to belonging as normal in the transition to college, as temporary, and as due to the transition itselfnot as evidence of a permanent lack of belonging on the part of the self or ones group. The intervention is appropriate for school environments that, in fact, offer opportunities for belonging and the development of positive relationships for all students. It would not be expected to be helpful in contexts that are unmitigatedly hostile or that lack relevant resources.

The original randomized controlled trial of the social-belonging intervention included black and white students in their first year at a selective university. In a 1-hour immersive in-person experience, students read the intervention stories and reflected on their own experience in college in light of them [N = 92; (10)]. As previously reported, compared to multiple randomized control conditions and a nonrandomized campus-wide comparison group (N = 162 additional black students), this treatment raised black students grade point averages (GPAs) from sophomore to senior year, halving the racial achievement gap (10). Moreover, at the end of college, treated black students reported being more confident in their belonging, happier, and healthier than control peers. Subsequent studies have found academic benefits of the intervention in other populations and contexts (15, 16). These include multiple scaling studies with thousands of students, in which online versions of the intervention raised first-year completion rates and grades of students from socially disadvantaged groups (12).

How does the intervention help students succeed? Most hour-long experiences quickly recede from memory. Indeed, by the end of college, few students in the original experiment (8%) accurately recalled the treatment message (see the Supplementary Materials) (10). Likewise, few (14%) attributed any of their success in college to it. Thus, the gains do not hinge on the salience of an idea. The intervention also does not provide students objective resources or the kind of practice that is necessary for skill-building (4, 17). Rather, we propose another model for understanding life success, one that prioritizes how people make sense of and respond to their social context. From this perspective, a single targeted exercise that shifts how people make sense of their experiences at a key time may alter the recursive cycles that play out between an individual and their social context over time (5, 6). In the case of social belonging, awareness of disadvantage perpetuates inequality by seeding plausible but pejorative and self-fulfilling interpretations for everyday adversities. Yet, providing students a narrative for understanding adversities that saps them of their threatening meaning could sustain students engagement in the academic and social contexts of school. In turn, this engagement may help students build valuable relationships; reinforce confidence in their belonging; and provide cascading psychological, academic, health, and relational benefits during collegeresources that might support better life outcomes later (see Fig. 1B for an illustration of this process).

Consistent with this theorizing, daily diary measures administered in the first week after the intervention (i.e., in students first year of college) showed that the intervention lessened the degree to which black students suffered a drop in their feelings of belonging on days of higher adversity (10). They were less likely, it seems, to globalize the implications of adversities into the conclusion I dont belong here. This change in the interpretation of daily experiences appears to have had academic consequences. It statistically mediated the 3-year gain in black students GPA. Moreover, treated black students were more engaged on campus in the first week after intervention, for instance, emailing professors and attending office hours more (9). Subsequent studies have found that the intervention can lead students from socially disadvantaged groups to participate more in student groups, to develop more friendships on campus, and to be more likely to develop a mentor relationship in the first year of college (12, 16).

Could these improvements in college benefit their peoples adult lives after college? In our model, even as worries about belonging serve as a causal lever for change, they do not exist only in a persons head (5, 6, 18). First, they arise from the social context, particularly from awareness of societal disadvantage and the existence of negative stereotypes about ones group. In turn, they perpetuate disadvantage in students lived experience. Of particular importance, feelings of belonging uncertainty may lessen the likelihood that students form valuable relationships with mentors. Worried that they do not belong and with an interpretative lens that renders social adversities as global threats, students may avoid situations where these relationships could naturally form and not take the actions necessary to nurture them. While this could have consequences in students immediate circumstances, it could also affect outcomes over time. Mentors play a central role in fostering success and well-being for their mentees in and beyond school (19, 20), and may be especially meaningful for mentees from marginalized backgrounds whose ties to relevant social networks may be more tenuous to begin with (21). Testing this model, here, we examined whether remedying worries about belonging in the transition to college (via the social-belonging intervention) might help black students form mentor relationships that support their thriving long after college (see Fig. 1C).

To examine postcollege benefits, we asked participants from the original randomized controlled trial to describe their lives along four broad dimensions: career satisfaction and success, general psychological well-being, physical health, and community involvement and leadership. These outcomes are of inherent importance; they also mirror outcomes improved by the intervention in college (e.g., academic achievement, happiness, health, and participation in extracurricular activities). Table 1 shows the measures used to assess these dimensions. Although self-reported measures are limited in some respects, they capture how people experience their lives (22) and can be particularly appropriate when people are in diverse contexts, each with different metrics of objective success, as was the case here (e.g., participants were pursuing different careers and were at different stages of doing so). To capture different aspects of these broad life dimensions, we assessed each with multiple measures. We report results for both the individual measures (Fig. 2, with illustrative examples in the main text) and the composites formed from them (Fig. 2 and main text), as each is of interest. Given the breadth of the individual measures assessed for each dimension, the reliabilities for the composites vary. Narrower measures of secondary interest (e.g., participants connection with their alma mater) are reported in the Supplementary Materials (see table S9).

See Measures section of Materials and Methods for greater detail on the individual measures, including citations for established scales.

Primary outcomes 7 to 11 years after intervention by race and condition for composites and the individual scales that comprise them (see Table 1). Error bars represent 1 SE. The y axis represents the full range of each scale or, for variables without a fixed scale, a range that captures nearly all of the variation in responses. P < 0.10, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001.

To test the hypothesis that the social-belonging intervention would improve each main outcome for black participants, we focus on the most direct test: the simple effect of condition among black participants. We also report, and illustrate in Fig. 2, the treatment effect among white participants, the main effect of treatment, and the race condition interaction for each outcome. In the Supplementary Materials, we additionally report the main effect of race. We also provide results for analyses of the individual measures that comprise each composite and results from extensive robustness tests in the form of specification curves (see table S4). Consistent with the theory that belonging uncertainty would not undermine the outcomes of white participants (and thus an intervention addressing it would not benefit them), the simple effect of treatment among white participants was not significant for any of the main outcomes. After examining the direct effects of treatment on life outcomes, we conduct mediation analyses to test whether the observed treatment effects might arise, in part, from a greater development of substantive mentor relationships in college among black students.

Participants from the original social-belonging intervention trial (10) sample were recontacted 3 to 5 years after college graduation and invited to complete an online survey. They were told only that the survey extended a previous study related to the transition to college, which they had completed in their first year of college. Re-recruitment was high (87%; N = 80); achieved through repeated efforts and a $50 incentive; and did not vary by participant race, condition, or their interaction (see the Supplementary Materials, fig. S1, and tables S2 and S3). On average, respondents completed the follow-up survey 8.50 years after intervention delivery (SD = 1.22 years; range: 7.20 to 10.77 years).

All respondents had graduated from college. They were approximately 27 years old (Mage = 27.42, SD = 1.31; range, 25.43 to 30.97). Most were full-time employed (49%), full-time students (38%), or both (3%). Median annual household income was $40,000 to $49,999 (range: <$1000 to >$200,000). Fifty-six percent were in long-term romantic relationships, and none had children. These factors did not differ by race, condition, or their interaction (see the Supplementary Materials).

First, we examined participants professional lives. Eight and a half years after the treatment, black adults reported greater satisfaction and success in their careers in the treatment condition than in the control condition, B = 0.74, SE = 0.23, t(75) = 3.23, P = 0.002, d = 1.19 (see Fig. 2). To illustrate, black adults rated their potential to succeed in the future relative to their classmates 16 percentile points higher in the treatment condition than in the control condition (69th percentile versus 53rd percentile), B = 16.34, SE = 5.79, t(75) = 2.82, P = 0.006, d = 1.05. Whites showed the same pattern on the composite measure but nonsignificantly, B = 0.28, SE = 0.25, t(75) = 1.14, P = 0.26, d = 0.35. Thus, the main effect of condition was significant, B = 0.51, SE = 0.17, t(75) = 3.02, P = 0.003, d = 0.73, and the race condition interaction was not, B = 0.46, SE = 0.34, t(75) = 1.34, P = 0.18.

In some cases, people achieve professional success at a cost to well-being and health (23), for instance, if success requires exceptional self-regulation. There was no such trade-off here. On indices of general psychological well-being, black adults reported better outcomes in the treatment than in the control condition, B = 0.72, SE = 0.25, t(75) = 2.94, P = 0.004, d = 0.96. To illustrate, black adults rated their life satisfaction just above the scale midpoint in the control condition (M = 4.44, SD = 1.06, on a 7-point scale) but nearly a full point higher in the treatment condition (M = 5.41, SD = 0.87), B = 0.97, SE = 0.31, t(75) = 3.15, P = 0.002, d = 1.01. Whites showed no effect of treatment on the composite measure, B = 0.06, SE = 0.27, t(75) = 0.21, P = 0.84, d = 0.07. Because the treatment effect was so strong for black participants, the main effect of condition was significant, B = 0.39, SE = 0.18, t(75) = 2.14, P = 0.04, d = 0.50, and the race condition interaction marginally so, B = 0.67, SE = 0.37, t(75) = 1.83, P = 0.07. Notably, there was a significant racial inequality in the control condition; black participants reported significantly less well-being than white participants, B = 0.51, SE = 0.23, t(75) = 2.16, P = 0.03, d = 0.63. Treatment eliminated (directionally reversed) this disparity, B = 0.16, SE = 0.28, t(75) = 0.58, P = 0.57, d = 0.22.

Next, we examined self-reported physical health. Consistent with research that feelings of social connectedness are one of the strongest predictors of physical health (24), treatment had improved this outcome among black students at the end of college (10). However, at this more distal point, black participants reported directionally better health with treatment, but the effect was not statistically significant, B = 0.36, SE = 0.25, t(75) = 1.48, P = 0.14, d = 0.41. The effect was also nonsignificant for whites, B = 0.14, SE = 0.27, t(75) = 0.52, P = 0.60, d = 0.23, and overall, B = 0.25, SE = 0.18, t(75) = 1.38, P = 0.17, d = 0.32, with a nonsignificant race condition interaction, B = 0.22, SE = 0.37, t(75) = 0.61, P = 0.54.

An important goal of college is to prepare people to join and lead new communities (25). At its heart, the belonging intervention addresses the opportunity to integrate into new communities, even when doing so is difficult at first. Therefore, we examined the extent to which participants reported substantial contributions to nonwork community groups (e.g., outreach/service, cultural/identity, and political organizations) after college. Black adults reported greater involvement and leadership with treatment, B = 1.15, SE = 0.51, t(75) = 2.27, P = 0.03, d = 0.66. For example, 68% of black adults in the treatment condition, but only 35% in the control condition, reported having held at least one leadership position outside of work, B = 1.40, SE = 0.66, z = 2.12, P = 0.03, Odds Ratio (OR) = 4.06. In particular, the treatment increased black adults contribution to outreach/service and cultural/identity organizations (see table S5). White participants also showed a trend toward greater community involvement and leadership, B = 0.80, SE = 0.55, t(75) = 1.44, P = 0.15, d = 0.57, so the main effect of treatment was significant, B = 0.98, SE = 0.38, t(75) = 2.60, P = 0.01, d = 0.64, and the race condition interaction was not, B = 0.35, SE = 0.75, t(75) = 0.47, P = 0.64.

How could a 1-hour exercise cause lasting gains in broad life outcomes? Undoubtedly, life outcomes unfold dynamically over years and are multiply mediated by an array of psychological, behavioral, structural, and relational processes (see Fig. 1). For the present study, we examined the potential role of two factors, postintervention college grades and college mentorship. Both represent important aspects of the better experience fostered by the social-belonging intervention in college. Furthermore, both may be understood as reflecting the cumulative effects of diverse processes in college (see Fig. 1).

First, although black students attained higher postintervention grades with treatment (10), grades only modestly predicted black adults career success (r = 0.38, P = 0.03), well-being (r = 0.23, P = 0.18), and community involvement (r = 0.35, P = 0.05) in bivariate correlations (see table S6A). Furthermore, results from mediation analyses indicated that postintervention grades did not explain intervention effects on any of the life outcomes examined. Zero was included in the confidence interval (CI) for the indirect effect in the bootstrapped mediation analysis for each outcome, although the mediation analysis approached significance for community involvement and leadership (see table S7).

Second, black adults reported greater mentorship during and after college with treatment, B = 0.67, SE = 0.21, t(75) = 3.16, P = 0.002, d = 1.16 (see Fig. 3A). To illustrate, the percentage of black adults who reported having developed an academic mentor during college was nearly twice as high in the treatment condition (84%) than in the control condition (43%), B = 1.94, SE = 0.76, Z = 2.56, P = 0.01, OR = 6.93. The percentage who reported that this mentorship continued after college was also much higher with treatment (37%) than without (4%), B = 2.55, SE = 1.13, Z = 2.26, P = 0.02, OR = 12.83. Whites showed a trend in the same direction on the composite measure, B = 0.34, SE = 0.23, t(75) = 1.46, P = 0.15, d = 0.45, so the main effect of condition was significant, B = 0.50, SE = 0.16, t(75) = 3.21, P = 0.002, d = 0.76, and the race condition interaction was not, B = 0.33, SE = 0.31, t(75) = 1.06, P = 0.29.

(A) Self-reported college mentorship by race and condition. Error bars represent 1 SE. (B) For black participants, college mentorship mediated intervention effects on composite career satisfaction and success and on general psychological well-being. Mediation was observed ( = 0.05) if the bootstrapped 95% CI of the indirect effect did not include zero, which occurred in both cases. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001. ns, not significant.

For black participants, the composite mentorship measure robustly predicted career success (r = 0.54, P < 0.001), psychological well-being (r = 0.65, P < 0.001), and community involvement (r = 0.38, P = 0.01) in bivariate correlations (see table S6A). Of note, these correlations were of smaller magnitude and did not reach significance for white participants (0.08 rs 0.29) [see table S6B; see also (21)]. Furthermore, results from mediation analyses indicated that the composite mentorship measure statistically mediated the gains in career success and psychological well-being for black adults. Zero was not included in the CI for the indirect effect in the bootstrapped mediation analysis for either outcome (see Fig. 3B). For community involvement and leadership, the mediation analysis approached but did not reach significance (see table S7).

Although these results are correlational, they are consistent with our theorizing. Participants open-ended comments illustrate their experiences with mentors in college. One black participant (control condition) wrote, I wouldnt say I received any mentorship at [school] - not for lack of interested professors, but I didnt really seek it. Another (treatment condition) wrote, The first semester of my freshman year was very difficult for me. I was struggling academically, didnt feel like I fit inI began to spend more time speaking with my freshman counselor. We really bonded, and she helped me to realize that I did belong at [school]. Thanks to her, I was able to connect better with my peers and perform better academically. Weve kept in touch ever since. Table 2 provides the full text of these and other responses. They illustrate the importance of mentors to students development and the difference in black participants experiences by condition.

Illustrative examples of participants open-ended descriptions of their most meaningful mentor relationships during college.

The present study shows that a brief intervention to address worries about belonging in the transition to college improved major life outcomes for black Americans 7 to 11 years later. The outcomes improved by the interventioncareer satisfaction and success, psychological well-being, and community involvement and leadershiprepresent key aspects of a life well lived. The magnitude of the effects on well-being is particularly noteworthy, given the past findings that many kinds of interventions, including therapy (26), and major life events such as marriage, divorce, and unemployment (27), have quite modest effects on well-being. Moreover, we provide evidence for one way the intervention seems to have helped black adults thrive: by helping them connect to a valuable resource in their college environment, a mentor.

A major contribution of this study is to highlight a social-psychological barrier to the thriving of black Americans: belonging uncertainty. Without an intervention to address uncertainty about belonging in the transition to college, our results indicate that black students ended up with worse outcomes in adulthood than they, and their postsecondary context, had the potential to achieve. Opportunities to form consequential, lasting relationships with mentors went unrealized. Lower rates of professional success and personal well-being followed.

The results underscore the importance of mentors in college. Relationships with mentors, not grades, mediated the long-term gains. Yet, the intervention was not a mentorship program in which students were assigned a mentor by college administrators. Instead, the intervention lifted a psychological obstaclepersistent group-based worry about belonging, rooted in awareness of social disadvantageto allow students to develop, on their own, authentic relationships of significance that, in many cases, lasted well past college graduation (28). Such student-initiated relationships may be more meaningful and garner greater commitment from both students and mentors (29). The results suggest the value for institutions of assessing and addressing disparities in the organic development of social ties on campus, especially by examining the structures, opportunities, and psychological processes that foster or inhibit the development of student-initiated mentor relationships.

Although mentor relationships statistically mediated the lasting gains of the intervention in this context, the intermediary factor by which a belonging intervention improves distal outcomes may differ elsewhere (13). For instance, at colleges with lower persistence rates, graduation may be the most important predictor of later life success (although mentors may also facilitate this outcome), a milestone toward which the belonging intervention can facilitate progress (12). In middle school, interventions to reduce psychological threat can yield lasting gains (e.g., increasing college-going) because short-term academic gains fostered by the intervention can help students enter more advanced academic tracks (18). While the mechanism that gives rise to lasting gains may differ in each case, an important lesson is that the subjective can become objective. A new way of thinking afforded by a psychological intervention concatenates through self-reinforcing processes to improve the objective reality of peoples lives (57).

Why did the treatment fail to improve the health outcomes of black adults when it had done so years earlier in college (10)? Perhaps the initial health benefits faded with time. Alternately, perhaps the present study was underpowered to detect health benefits, a possibility made more likely by the heterogeneity in our participants lives after college. The end of college is a relatively homogeneous and uniformly stressful context (30), which may have increased our ability to detect effects at that point. After college, factors beyond the reach of the intervention may have a relatively larger impact on health, such as the availability of health care or the idiosyncratic timing of occupational stress. If power is the key issue, then more sensitive measures, such as measures that go beyond self-report assessments, or more distal measures when greater health issues have arisen may again reveal differences.

In its focus on the psychological determinants of life success, the present study invites comparison to classic research on major structural reforms that can improve life trajectories, such as increasing opportunities for early childhood education (31). Bringing these areas together, it is essential to ensure both that opportunities are available and that people make sense of these opportunities in ways that promote success. Structural investments are often necessary to support positive life trajectories (3, 31). Yet their full benefit will not be realized if psychological barriers such as doubt about belonging get in the way. Although our study focused on college students, the mutual dependence between individual psychology and social structure is broadly applicable. Where else do the reasonable ways people make sense of themselves and their situation impede them from taking full advantage of opportunities and resources available to them (5, 32)? Where are people confident and ready to learn, to connect, and to grow but necessary structures or opportunities are inadequate for them to thrive?

As the present study followed up on the only social-belonging intervention whose participants have reached their late 20s, our sample size was constrained by the original study. In addition, for many reasons, it is often difficult to achieve large samples at distal assessments. Despite this, we were able to retain 87% of the original sample.

Notably, the magnitude of the treatment effects reported here may represent an upper bound, as all participants attended a single, well-resourced college and the intervention was an intensive, in-person experience, albeit a brief one. An open question, and an important direction for future research, involves boundary conditions: In what kinds of school contexts are treatment benefits more or less likely (16, 33)? For instance, how might the belonging intervention function in less selective institutions with lower graduation rates, or in majority-minority institutions where belonging concerns, may differ (12)? In general, we expect the greatest benefits in settings where belonging uncertainty constitutes a barrier to successwhere there are resources to succeed, and genuine opportunities to belong, yet negative stereotypes and a history of group-based disadvantage lead students to question their belonging. Conversely, the intervention is likely to have limited benefits in contexts where genuine opportunities to belong are lacking and/or where resources are sorely lacking, as this could undermine the ability of students to act productively on the new way of thinking afforded by the intervention. For instance, if a context lacks opportunities to cultivate mentors, then outreach from students will not meet with success. And we would expect later life course benefits of the intervention when it helps students accrue benefits in collegesuch as an outlook on adversity, a credential, and/or relationshipsthat perpetuate positive outcomes in the next stage of their lives.

When people do not thrive, it can seem that they lack essential skills or that their context lacks of opportunity. However, black participants in our sample were academically prepared and attended a well-resourced university. Still, their thriving as both students and adults was impeded by a persistent uncertainty about their belonging in college. The results highlight the potential, already present in at least some individuals and some institutions, to achieve substantially better outcomes. This potential can be hidden yet realized if institutions anticipate and proactively address overriding social-psychological concerns that shape individuals lives (32, 34). In illuminating this dynamic, our findings highlight a psychological mechanism by which a history of sociocultural disadvantage can perpetuate inequality to new generations and how this process can be interrupted with targeted and timely intervention.

The present study examined effects of the social-belonging intervention, particularly for black participants, on major life outcomes after college. The design of the original study was a 2 (condition: control or social-belonging intervention) 2 (race: black or white) between-subjects experiment. The follow-up study preserved the same design, and no new manipulations were introduced. We obtained human subjects approval from the Stanford University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and followed ethical guidelines in conducting this research. The original study procedures, including the sampling procedure, random assignment to condition, and intervention and control materials, are described in detail in the Supplementary Materials for the report of college outcomes (10).

The original intervention study took place at a selective university in the United States. Its selectivity is illustrated by the high college entrance exam scores of the study participants. Overall, black participants had an average SAT-Math + Verbal score of 1399 on a 1600-point scale, and white participants had an average score of 1500. At the university, black students were a numeric minority, representing between 5 and 15% of the undergraduate student body at the time of the study.

Despite its selectivity, there were large racial disparities in achievement at the university. This was illustrated in the previously published study reporting college outcomes (10): Black students in the control condition had GPAs for the final 3 years of college that were almost a third of a letter grade lower than the GPAs of their white peers.

To recruit participants, we obtained contact information from the alumni directory at students alma mater and from social media (e.g., LinkedIn). We first sent all participants for whom we had a physical mailing address a letter inviting them to participate in the study. This letter was followed by subsequent phone, email and social media outreach. Final attempts to reach participants included a postcard to their home address from college. Recruitment took place over a 19-month period. The first participant responded on 29 June 2012. We closed the survey on 30 January 2014. Most participants (64%) took part within the first 5 months of study recruitment (between 29 June 2012 and 1 December 2012). Participants were offered a $50 Amazon gift card as compensation.

As noted, the study was described to participants as extending a previous study they had taken part in during their first year of college on the transition to college. No additional information on study hypotheses, methods, or results was provided.

Participants completed the study between 7 and 11 years after the initial study participation. At this time, most participants were 26 to 29 years old. All had earned their undergraduate degree from the selective private university, most within 4 years of initial matriculation, consistent with the high on-time graduation rate at the institution.

At follow-up, nearly all participants identified themselves as being full-time employed (49%), full-time students (38%), or both (3%). Common career fields were health care (23%), law (20%), technology/engineering (14%), and education (10%). Of the eight participants who did not identify themselves as full-time students or full-time employed, two reported being full-time homemakers, one was studying full-time for the bar exam, one had just left a full-time job to start a company, one was finishing a second bachelors degree (part-time) while looking for a job, and three did not provide more information about employment. The median annual salary was $40,000 to $49,999 (mode, less than $1000; range, less than $1000 to more than $200,000). The median household income was also $40,000 to $59,000 (mode, $30,000 to $39,999; range, less than $1000 to more than $200,000). Among those not attending school full-time, the median annual salary was $50,000 to $59,000.

To help characterize the sample, we also asked participants about their home life and civic engagement. Overall, half (56%) of participants reported being in a long-term romantic relationship, including marriage. None had children. Most (84%) had voted in the most recent U.S. Presidential Election, and very few (5%) had ever been convicted of a crime. See table S1 for demographic factors reported by race and treatment condition. As the table illustrates, none of these factors differed significantly by condition or the interaction between race and condition.

Below, we briefly describe each measure that contributed to the composites, describe how composites were constructed, and provide correlations between scales that formed composites. The one variable not assessed via the survey was postintervention grades, which we tested as a mediator. For this variable, we used the primary postintervention academic outcome from the end-of-college follow-up (10): sophomore-through-senior year GPA earned during normal academic terms (i.e., excluding summer courses), obtained from official university records during the previous wave of the study.

An annotated version of the Survey Instrument is available on Open Science Framework (osf.io/xz3hr). The survey instrument document provides the full text of primary and secondary measures and accurately represents the order in which measures were assessed. Below, we include the page number(s) on which particular measures can be found.

Given the nature of the study and the extensive efforts required to reach the sample, the survey instrument included a wide variety of questions. The present report focuses on participants reports along four major indices of adult thriving: career satisfaction and success, psychological well-being, physical health, and community involvement and leadership. It also examines college mentorship as a mediator of adult thriving. In the Supplementary Materials, we additionally report results for narrower outcomes of secondary interest (participants connection to their alma mater, clinical measures of mental health, social support and loneliness, perceived social status, and cognitive accessibility of stereotypes and self-doubt) and for variables related to racial attitudes and experience on which we did not expect intervention effects. Measures not included in the present report assessed participants experiences during or before college, other outcomes on which we did not expect intervention effects (e.g., grit and primary appraisal of stress), open-ended questions, and outcomes we may report elsewhere (e.g., current friendship networks).

The career satisfaction and success composite comprised four measures, which were standardized and then averaged to create the composite ( = 0.77) (see Table 1).

1) Job satisfaction. Job satisfaction was measured with eight items on or rescaled to be on a 1 to 6 scale ( = 0.89). Items were drawn or adapted from various career satisfaction or related scales (35, 36). We had originally intended to include a ninth item focused on job burnout (I feel emotionally drained from my work). However, the item reduced scale reliability and did not load on the same factor as the other items, so it was dropped (see pp. 5758 of the Survey Instrument).

2) Workplace belonging uncertainty. Workplace belonging uncertainty was measured with two items [adapted from (10)]. We included a third item (When something good happens, I feel that I really belong at my workplace) but, consistent with past practice (10), we dropped it because of its low correlation with the other items. Both items were assessed on a 1 to 6 scale (r = 0.52) (see p. 45 of the Survey Instrument).

3) Perceived success. Perceived success was measured with one item [adapted from (9)]. It asked participants to compare their success to date to the success of other students from their alma mater who graduated in the same year using a percentile ranking between 0 and 100 (see p. 45 of the Survey Instrument).

4) Perceived future potential. Perceived future potential was also measured with one item [adapted from (9)]. It asked participants to compare their potential to succeed in the future to the potential of other students from their alma mater who graduated in the same year to succeed in the future using a percentile ranking between 0 and 100 (see p. 44 of the Survey Instrument).

The psychological well-being composite comprised three measures, which were standardized and then averaged to create the composite ( = 0.76) (see Table 1).

1) Subjective happiness. Happiness was measured with the four-item Subjective Happiness Scale (37). All items were assessed on a 1 to 7 scale ( = 0.89) (see pp. 2526 of the Survey Instrument).

2) Life satisfaction. Life satisfaction was measured with five items. Four items were drawn from the Satisfaction With Life Scale [SWLS; (38)]. The fifth was based on a single-item life satisfaction measure widely used in national panel studies (39). The single-item measure was originally on a 10-point scale but was rescaled to 1 to 7 so as to be on the same scale as the SWLS and then averaged with the other four items ( = 0.80) (see pp. 2224 of the Survey Instrument).

3) Perceived stress. Following past research (16), we were primarily interested in how overwhelming people found stress they experienced (secondary appraisal) rather than how much stress people reported they experienced (primary appraisal). Therefore, we measured perceived stress with the short version of the Perceived Stress Scale (40). All items were assessed on a 1 to 5 scale ( = 0.85) (see pp. 2829 of the Survey Instrument).

The physical health composite comprised three measures, patterned on those used previously with this sample (10). The three measures were standardized and then averaged to create the composite ( = 0.71) (see Table 1).

1) Self-assessed general health. We assessed self-reported general health with the five-item general health component of the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (41). All items were assessed on a 1 to 5 scale ( = 0.80) (see p. 35 of the Survey Instrument).

2) Sick days in the past 3 months. Participants reported how many sick days they had taken from work or school in the past 3 months (open response) (see p. 36 of the Survey Instrument). There were a few outliers on this measure. In primary analyses, we used a nontransformed version of the variable. However, we also created a winsorized version of the variable. The specification curve results (discussed below) indicated that the results were substantively similar regardless of which variable was used.

3) Doctor visits in the past 3 months. Participants reported how many times they had visited the doctor in the past 3 months (open response) (see p. 36 of the Survey Instrument). There were a few outliers on this measure. In primary analyses, we used a nontransformed version of the variable. However, we also created a winsorized version of the variable. The specification curve results (discussed below) indicated that the results were substantively similar regardless of which variable was used.

The community involvement and leadership composite comprised two measures (r = 0.24), which were summed to create the composite (see Table 1).

1) Number of domains very involved in. On a three-point scale (1 = not at all, 2 = some, and 3 = a lot), participants were asked about the extent of their involvement in activities related to eight nonwork domains since earning their undergraduate degree. The domains are listed in table S5. We counted the number of domains in which participants reported a lot of involvement [see (42)] (see p. 62 of the Survey Instrument).

2) Number of domains with leadership role. For each domain in which participants reported at least some involvement, they were asked whether they had held a leadership position in that domain since earning their undergraduate degree. We counted the number of domains in which participants reported having had a leadership position (up to eight) (see p. 63 of the Survey Instrument).

The college mentorship composite comprised four measures, which were standardized and then averaged to create the composite ( = 0.69) (see Table 1). As these measures are retrospective, it is possible that it assesses only how much mentorship participants recalled, not how much they experienced. However, the pattern of results accords with immediate postintervention daily diary measures of greater engagement with faculty from the same sample (9) and with greater contemporaneously reported mentor development in the first year of college in other trials (12).

1) Had a general mentor in college. Participants were asked whether they had someone to whom you could turn for support, advice, or encouragement when you faced a problem or difficulty in or out of school in college (binary yes or no) (see p. 17 of the Survey Instrument).

2) Had an academic mentor in college. Participants were asked whether they had someone who [took] a special interest in you and your academic development in college (binary yes or no) (see p. 18 of the Survey Instrument).

3) Whether academic mentorship continued after college. Participants were asked when they had received mentorship from the person(s) they identified as their academic mentor. Options included each semester of college and mentorship continued after graduation. Selecting yes to the postcollege time period was coded as 1 (otherwise 0) (see p. 20 of the Survey Instrument).

4) Importance of most important mentorship. After answering the other mentorship questions, participants were asked to write an open-ended prompt to the question, Describe the nature and quality of the most meaningful mentorship you received at [school]. Then, they were asked to rate the importance of this mentorship (1 = not very important and 5 = extremely important) (see p. 21 of the Survey Instrument).

Primary outcomes. Outcomes were analyzed using linear or logistic regression, as appropriate, with intervention condition (control or social-belonging treatment) and participant race (black or white) as contrast-coded between-subjects factors. To test the robustness of the results, we conducted a specification curve analysis (43) for each main outcome and the mentorship composite. As discussed in the Supplementary Materials (see table S8), analyses indicated that results were robust across various plausible model specifications and not likely due to chance. Thus, the main text reports results from the most parsimonious models without covariates.

Mediation analyses. To conduct the mediation analyses, we used the structural equation modeling R package lavaan (44). As predicted by theory and consistent with past findings (9, 10) treatment effects emerged only or especially for black participants. Thus, we only included black participants in the mediation analyses. Analyses of postintervention grades controlled for preintervention grades. We specified a 95% CI and 10,000 resamples. We considered mediation to be observed ( = 0.05) if the resulting 95% CI of the indirect effect did not include zero.

Data. All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data are available from authors upon request and, if needed, IRB approval.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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A brief social-belonging intervention in college improves adult outcomes for black Americans - Science Advances

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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10 free online classes that will help you gain new skills to succeed in your career – CNBC

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Many people now have extra time on their hands as they stay home and comply with social distancing measures. To pass the time, some of people are baking,while others are taking advantage of free virtual tours.

If you feel motivated to learn a new skill, you can use this time to try out the plethora of free courses currently available online. Universities like Harvard and Yale have given free access to some of their courses, and websites like edX, Future Learn and Courseraalso offer free online classes from various universities.

Whether you want to polish up your project planning skills, learn how to negotiate successfully or dip your toes into basic Mandarin, CNBC Make It rounded up 10 courses for those interested in improving their skills in business management, entrepreneurship, personal finance and more.

These classes are free, but you may have to pay in order to obtain a certificate proving your completion of the course. Prices vary depending on the class.

1.Collaborative Working in a Remote Team

Many businesses have had to shift to remote work in order to comply with social distancing measures. But for some business managers, this is their first time managing remote teams. This course will help you learn to navigate the ups and downs of remote work and how to effectively manage remote workers.

2. Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

This course teaches the basics of project planning to ensure your future projects run smoothly. Some of the topics the class covers include:

3.Becoming an Entrepreneur

If you have ever been curious about founding your own company, but do not know where to start or lack an idea, check out this course from MIT. The class, taught by Laurie Stach, founder and director of LaunchX, and Martin Culpepper,professor of mechanical engineering, lays out the basic elements of starting a new business, including market research, identifying business opportunities and pitching ideas.

Want to learn more about the basics of entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship 101 from MIT is also available on edX.

4.Financing Innovative Ventures

Raising funds for a new business can be a challenge of its own. This class from the University of Maryland guides aspiring entrepreneurs through how to develop investor pitches, figure out fundraising options and perform company valuations, as well as other aspects of financing your own company.

5.Personaland Family Financial Planning

It is never too late to organize your personal finances. This course can help you learn "prudent habits" to implement in your finances, including managing income taxes and how to build and maintain good credit.

6.Financial Planning for Young Adults

Aimed at young adults, this course introduces the basic concepts of financial planning, including how to assess your finances, budgeting, saving, setting financial goals and more. If you are interested in pursuing a career in financial planning, this course also includes video interviews with professionals working in the field.

7.Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

At some point in your career, negotiation skills will likely be necessary. You may want to negotiate a higher salary or a job offer. Through this course from the University of Michigan, you will learn the four basic steps for a successful negotiation.

8.Critical ThinkingandProblem Solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are two of the most sought after qualities in employees and business leaders. If you'd like to improve on those skills, this course may help to "demystify, discuss and provide application techniques for critical thinking and problem solving in a business context."

9.Public Speaking

Another attractive quality in a leader is confidence in public speaking. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has credited a public speaking course as a source of his success.

But for many people, public speaking is terrifying. This class from Rochester Institute of Technology can be a step to overcome the fear. It covers several tools and methods to overcoming public speaking anxiety once and for all.

10.Mandarin Chinese Level 1

Five years ago, Bill Gates admitted in a Reddit Q&A he felt "pretty stupid" for not being fluent in any foreign languages. In contrast, Mark Zuckerberg impressed Chinese university students by showing off his Mandarin skills at a Q&A panel.

Studies have shown the benefits of bilingualism, including the ability to outperform monolinguals in conflict resolution. Also, you can impress employers by knowing multiple languages. If you have excess free time right now, you may want to try learning a popular language such as Mandarin orSpanish.

Check out:The best credit cards of 2020 could earn you over $1,000 in 5 years

Don't miss:5 tips for effectively working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, when you have kids

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10 free online classes that will help you gain new skills to succeed in your career - CNBC

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Baylor, University of St. Thomas to reopen in the fall – Houston Chronicle

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The University of St. Thomas in Houston will reopen its campus in the fall and will resume in-person classes, officials said Wednesday.

In addition, the college is offering free tuition to students in three new online associate degree programs.

Our faculty, staff and students have risen to the challenge of online delivery through the summer, but now were looking forward to getting our community back together on campus, St. Thomas President Richard Ludwick said Wednesday.

The announcement comes after colleges and universities around the country closed campuses and resumed classes online in March due to efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Amid uncertainties during the pandemic, many colleges are continuing classes online through the summer while weighing options for the fall. The University of Texas at Austin announced earlier this month that it will make decision about the fall semester in late June and will continue to plan for all possibilities in the meantime.

Baylor University is already making plans to resume classes and residential life on campus this fall, but the plans are dependent on the continued decline in COVID-10 cases within the Waco area and guidance from government and public health officials, President Linda Livingstone wrote in a letter to the community Monday.

A reopening, however, will not be a normal start, the president said. The university will be required to adapt its models for instruction, residential life, and on-campus activities and will apply a five-phase strategy to reopening campus, starting on June 1 with staff and faculty who are involved in critical infrastructure and research support and then continuing gradually throughout the summer.

COLLEGES RESPOND TO PANDEMIC: Texas colleges cut budgets in response to economic impact of COVID-19

Ludwick said St. Thomas has consulted with students, faculty and staff along with world-class experts, who have attended board meetings and spoken with university officials.

What weve decided from all of that is that we should get back to campus, and the fall seems to be the time to do that, said Ludwick, who noted that students will continue to face technology issues with online and remote learning and that reopening will help mitigate that digital divide.

Underscoring all of that is the need to operate safely for our people and to use the best guidance that comes from our civic, state and federal leaders, and certainly the CDC. Those kinds of policymakers will give us the rubric.

St. Thomas officials will use the time before the August reopening to determine exactly what returning to campus will look like, especially given that pandemic rules and guidelines can change daily, Ludwick said.

The private Catholic university will be preparing for every contingency, including accommodations for those who may not feel ready to return to classroom instruction, Ludwick said. Our community can rest-assured that when we return, we will be following strict expert advice on cleaning practices, social distancing and contact tracing.

So far, Ludwick said officials are considering having classes available online and in-person, but possibly reformatting the traditional classroom, opting instead for learning spaces that might resemble a gymnasium or considering tented outdoor locations that allow the community to learn while social distancing, Ludwick said.

COLLEGE IN THE FALL?: UT to decide fate of fall classes at the end of June

The university will also open its micro campus in Conroe in fall with two locations the planned nursing facility that will offer up an accelerated bachelors of science program and a campus in downtown Conroe, east of the courthouse, which is still under construction. The university also remains on course to add softball and mens and womens track and field to its 12 existing sports, presuming students are back on campus in the fall.

St. Thomas will also roll out a number of initiatives, including the three new tuition-free degrees, to help students and offset some of the effects of the pandemic, a university release said.

Online 60-hour associate degree programs in cybersecurity, networking technology and electronic technology fields in which officials say jobs are high in demand and offer higher salaries have been developed. The UST microcampus in Conroe will serve as a physical space for students in those programs to connect and meet.

This city has helped support St. Thomas for almost 75 years and at this moment while many are struggling, the university wants to accelerate the way it gives back, Ludwick said. This tuition-free semester is one way to help and provide many people in hard hit sectors a chance to reskill in industries that are thriving.

The school has hired an expert in online delivery to expand its digital offerings and has assigned a personal success coach for each undergraduate student.

brittany.britto@chron.com

Brittany Britto covers higher education at the Houston Chronicle.

Previously, she was a general assignment features blogger and reporter for The Baltimore Sun, where she wrote about arts, entertainment, local notables, and culture.

She has been recognized for her cultural coverage by the Society for Features Journalism. In 2018, she was named a Penny Bender Fuchs Diversity Fellow for the national features organization and won four awards a tie for the most won in one year in recent SFJ history -- for her diverse portfolio and noteworthy features on Baltimores distinct culture.

Brittany is a two-time graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a masters in multiplatform journalism and a bachelors in English.

Send your tips and stories to brittany.britto@chron.com, and follow her on Twitter to keep up with the latest.

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Baylor, University of St. Thomas to reopen in the fall - Houston Chronicle

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Samson: Why the virtual NFL Draft was a success – CBS Sports

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The 2020 NFL Draft was supposed to be hosted in Las Vegas, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to hold a virtual draft instead. Players, head coaches and general managers were forced to stay in their homes with cameras on the scene for the large majority of the first round on Thursday night.

On Friday's installment of "Nothing Personal with David Samson," David Samson weighed in on the 2020 NFL Draft and believed that -- despite the circumstances -- it was an overall success.

"What we've seen is that the NFL is an industry leader in connecting with fans," Samson said. "Now they've got the product to do it because everyone is so interested in the draft. It's always such a huge event to begin with. The NFL did it and I was proud of it."

The NFL Draft is always a product that fans are interested in and even attend as the league ushers in their next generation of stars. People want to know who their favorite teams are going to draft and it was more entertaining than ever.

In the wake of COVID-19, fans needed a distraction from the fact that the majority of the population is quarantined and there haven't been any sports. Samson believes the league held a heartfelt tribute for coronavirus victims at the start of the event and it was all a successful production for sports fans.

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Samson: Why the virtual NFL Draft was a success - CBS Sports

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert’s secret to success revealed It made the difference!’ – Express

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Martin Lewis spoke about his website's meteoric rise in a 2015 interview with the Financial Times, in which he revealed why he thinks Money Saving Expert became a go-to source for financial advice. The website has amassed millions of regular visitors, which Mr Lewis credits to the move to take finance journalism and focus it on everyday spending. The journalist has become well-known for advice on how to get good deals on specific products, from credit cards to mortgages and retail items. Another key aspect of the site, as explained in the FT interview, is that all of the research is done by him and his team of journalists.

He also realised that the only thing people want is answers, and that nobody wants to know about the issues".

He added: "They want to be told what to do, and I tell them. Thats the difference.

Another feature of the Money Saving Expert's success is the personalised advice, with Mr Lewis's face at the centre of its articles accompanied by his television appearances.

He said: Finance is a personal thing and you want to see the whites of someones eyes.

"Thankfully, our research shows there are a lot more people who like than dislike me its about an 85/15.

His research also shows that when his face comes off the site in March, people will still go on visiting, and the site will go on raking in the money.

The business model comprises of no advertising and no subscriptions, all revenue comes from paid-for links.

In the interview, Mr Lewis estimated that he has saved the British public billions thanks to his advice.

READ MORE:Martin Lewis explains 12 furlough need-to-knows for employees & firms

In the 12 years prior to 2015 he calculated that he had saved people tens of billions of pounds.

Mr Lewis added: You can argue theres over 20billion been paid out in PPI and we reckon were over 25 percent of that, so theres five billion to start with.

In another 2015 interview with the Telegraph, Mr Lewis said his website was the "cleverest thing he has ever done".

He said: "I spent 80 to set up a website in 2003. Its called moneysavingexpert.com. It was built by a chap in Uzbekistan, off-the-peg, with forums, and in only two weeks.

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"It was the cleverest thing I did, but I didnt know it was clever. My friend said it wouldnt work, he said I needed to have adverts on the website and that 'no one puts a face on a financial website'.

"I set it up because I thought the information should be out there, not to make money. It was only when the server costs became too expensive that I thought I should look at that.

"In the end, its turned 80 into more than nine figures, after tax. You also have to factor in the 90-hour weeks and the huge amounts of stress.

"Now people make the mistake of saying youre rich now that youve sold the website. But they dont realise I was lucky, Id already made a lot before that."

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Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert's secret to success revealed It made the difference!' - Express

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Comedies That Will Bring You Back to Office Life – Vanity Fair

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A couple of months ago, there might have been mornings when you didnt feel like getting out of bed, putting yourself together, and spending eight hours at work surrounded by coworkers...but maybe now it doesnt sound so bad? If its still going to be a little while before you return to your desk, maybe these office comedies can help you feel like youre back at your office, drinking the crappy free coffee and dreading the meeting that could have been an email.

Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is the host of a long-running late-night talk show that may be on its last legs creatively, and is steadily losing its audience. Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling, who also wrote the screenplay) is hired to the writing staff despite her lack of experience, helping to revitalize the show, though network pressure to replace Katherine with a hotter young male comedian (Ike Barinholtz) still looms.

Ex-30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield created this sitcom about Katie (Briga Heelan), a segment producer at middling newsmagazine show The Breakdown, whose work life is upended when her worshipful yet intrusive mother, Carol (Andrea Martin), is hired as an intern. Nicole Richie kills the little screen time she gets as Portia, The Breakdowns glossy cohost.

Before changing comedy on I Think You Should Leave, Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin cocreated this sitcom (with Joe Kelly and Sam Richardson). After inheriting a successful local Detroit ad agency from his father, Tim (Robinson) partners with his best friend Sam (Richardson) to continue making commercials, though the two are frequently hampered by bad ideas, overconfidence, and drunkenness.

Richard (Thomas Middleditch) has a good job as a programmer at Hooli, a gigantic Bay Area tech company. On the side hes developed a data-compression algorithm, which he successfully pitches to a venture capitalist so that he can start his own company. Richard and his friends then spend the next several years learning how the tech world really workswhen hes not accidentally causing scandals or making himself sick from the stress.

Veridian Dynamics is a large global conglomerate that employs scientists, generally to research and develop technologies Veridian will be able to sell to the military for billions of dollars. Divorced single dad Ted (Jay Harrington) liaises between the researchers and the suits, trying to curb the worst impulses of his soulless boss, Veronica (Portia de Rossi), while also flirting with his colleague Linda (Andrea Anders).

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), harried creator and head writer of The Girlie Show on NBC, is aghast when Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) comes over from GE to run programming, and orders her to add a new performer to her cast: the famously unstable and unpredictable Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan).

Before cocreating Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Aline Brosh McKenna adapted the best-selling novel of the same name into this beloved film. New grad Andy (Anne Hathaway), despite a disdain for style, ends up as second assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance), the powerful and terrifying editor of a legendary fashion magazine.

Though Armando Iannucci is best known in the U.S. for creating Veep, one of his most treasured series in his native U.K. is The Thick of It. A savage satire of British government, the star of the series is Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), a spectacularly profane fixer whose ruthlessness in preserving his partys power knows no limits.

Dan (Dennis Quaid), the middle-aged head of ad sales for a successful sports magazine, has his career stalled when a corporation called Globecom acquires his publication and installs Tyler (Topher Grace), an MBA half Dans age, as his boss. Dan does his best to maintain friendly relations with Tyler, including inviting him over for dinner, where Tyler takes a liking to Dans daughter, college freshman Alex (Scarlett Johansson).

In this dark romantic comedy, Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) recovers from in-patient treatment for self-harm and takes a job as the assistant to attorney Edward (James Spader). Edward is an extremely strict taskmaster, punishing Lee for every typo, and she eventually figures out that he is drawn to her submissiveness and enthusiastically enters into BDSM play with him.

This British mockumentary, set in the Slough office of a paper company, revolves around David Brent (Ricky Gervais, who cocreated the series with Stephen Merchant), the regional manager whose oblivious idiocy is an exhausting trial for his employees. Against all odds, a flirtation endures between office pals Dawn (Lucy Davis) and Tim (Martin Freeman), despite Dawns long-term fianc, who works in the warehouse. The format spawned remakes in several countries, including...

this U.S. adaptation, set in Scranton. This time the cloddish regional manager is Michael Scott (Steve Carell), abetted by sycophantic assistant to the regional manager Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson); flirty receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer) and salesman Jim (John Krasinski) fill out the main cast.

Peter (Ron Livingston) toils as a programmer at a company called Initech, harassed by friendly check-ins from his many managers. When his girlfriend takes him to a hypnotherapist to try to get him to change his antipathy toward his job, the hypnotherapist dies mid-session, and Peter never snaps back into his old mindset, returning to work with a new laissez-faire attitude that makes him look like a confident, relaxed go-getter and sets him on a path to successgreat news until he learns that layoffs are coming and his best friends wont be spared.

At news station WNYX, news director Dave Nelson (Dave Foley) has to manage the big personalities of his on-air talent (Phil Hartman and Khandi Alexander), the stations eccentric owner (Stephen Root), and Lisa (Maura Tierney), a producer whos both Daves girlfriend and pretty sure she could do his job better than he can.

Joel and Ethan Coens take on a 40s screwball comedy! Hudsucker Industries president Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning) throws himself through a window during a meeting and dies. Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman), knowing this means the companys stock shares will be available to the public, hatches a scheme to tank the stock price by hiring Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), a boob from the mailroom, as Hudsuckers replacement. Journalist Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh), smelling a story, gets herself hired as Norvilles secretary, but ends up developing tender feelings for him in the process.

While Larry (Garry Shandling) is the star of the successful network talk show The Larry Sanders Show, making the show requires countless hardworking staffers in the office: talent booker Paula (Janeane Garofalo); Larrys personal assistant, Beverly (Penny Johnson); and especially executive producer Artie (Rip Torn), who has to keep stress from touching Larry, or at least try to, which generally means running interference between Larry and his annoying sidekick, Hank (Jeffrey Tambor).

Jane (Holly Hunter) is a producer on a national nightly news broadcast; correspondent Aaron (Albert Brooks) has a crush on her that only rarely makes things awkward in their friendship. When Tom (William Hurt) is hired on from sports to be groomed as a new anchor despite his lack of knowledge or curiosity, Aaron is hurt that Jane would waste any time trying to coach him just because shes attracted to him.

Newly single Judy (Jane Fonda) starts work as a secretary at a large, busy office headed by Franklin Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman). Though office supervisor Violet (Lily Tomlin) reflexively warns Judy away from Harts secretary, Doralee (Dolly Parton), on the basis of her fooling around with Hart, when the three actually talk, it turns out Hart invented the affair, and has also routinely taken credit for Violets good ideas. Together they decide to imprison Hart in his home, send his executive assistant on a long trip, and start remaking the office so that it becomes a better place for women to work.

Following a broken engagement, Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) starts over in Minneapolis, taking a job as a producer on the nightly news. Marys work life with mensch newswriter Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), blowhard anchor Ted Baxter (Ted Knight), and grouchy boss Lou Grant (Ed Asner) is balanced by her cozy hangouts with her neighbor and best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper).

Adapted from the Broadway musical, the film follows J. Pierrepont Finch (Robert Morse) as he acts on the steps in the self-help book How to Succeed in Business and works his way up from window cleaner to vice president in charge of advertising at the World Wide Wicket Company, generally by scumbagging everyone who crosses his path.

All products featured on Vanity Fair are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Comedies That Will Bring You Back to Office Life - Vanity Fair

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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Florida will start to reopen May 4, but for now Miami-Dade and two other counties won’t be included – CNN

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"We will get Florida back on its feet by using an approach that is safe, smart, and step by step," DeSantis said on Wednesday.

DeSantis said restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Restaurants can offer outdoor seating if tables are 6 feet apart.

"Outdoor transmission, as far as we've seen, has been more difficult than the indoor climate controlled transition," the governor said, adding that medical officials recommended the outdoor seating change.

Movie theaters can't reopen yet. The governor said it wouldn't be prudent, and it would be difficult to maintain social distancing. Bars, fitness centers and places that offer personal services, likes hair styling, also will open later.

People can schedule non-urgent surgeries again, he said, though it depends on a hospital's ability to handle surges in cases and availability of protective equipment.

The governor on Tuesday lauded the state's success in tackling the outbreak. He slammed the media for its prediction -- which he said was "wrong" -- that Florida's hospital system would be overwhelmed with almost a half million or more Covid-19 hospitalizations.

"Everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy, and that has not happened," he said. "We had a tailored and measured approach that not only helped our numbers be way below what anybody predicted, but also did less damage to our state going forward."

DeSantis largely credits Florida's reportedly low infection numbers to his own office's swift action, which included issuing a safer-at-home order that went into effect April 3.

Critics hammered DeSantis for his alleged inaction before the order was issued. The governor has said he decided to take action April 1 after noticing Trump's change of demeanor during a news conference the previous day. Trump urged Americans to prepare "for the hard days that lie ahead" during that appearance.

The governor's office provided CNN with graphs and charts that it said show how Florida fared better than several states in metrics such as hospitalization, intensive care admissions and per capita deaths. CNN has not independently confirmed the data.

Some local actions included:

DeSantis also took credit for protecting the state's older population, pointing to Florida suspending visitation and mandating staff screenings at long-term care facilities, as well as the mobile response team deployed to conduct testing at the facilities.

CNN's Erica Henry contributed to this report.

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Florida will start to reopen May 4, but for now Miami-Dade and two other counties won't be included - CNN

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April 29th, 2020 at 9:41 pm

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