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Link Roundup: Spooky-Fast Solutions for Halloween on a Deadline

Did you forget about Halloween this year? Don’t punish yourself by skipping the festivities just because you’re failing Halloween Prep: 101! If you’re frantically searching for ways to display a little last-minute Halloween spirit, we’ve got you covered.

Speedy Costume Solutions

Invited to a costume party you totally forgot about? Never fear, there are thousands of last-minute costume ideas out there, no matter what you’ve got to work with in your closet. Check out the ideas below for almost any Halloween costume pickle!


Swift Decoration Ideas

If you’re going to participate at all, you might as well go all-in. Halloween decorations can be fun and easy, you’ll just have to use the suggestions below and get creative!

Scary Halloween Classics

Not in to decorations or costumes?  There’s nothing like a scary movie to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Trends in K-12 Education: Gamification of the Classroom

Over the last century, the K-12 classroom has evolved into something almost completely unrecognizable to previous generations. From blackboards to SMART boards, quill pens to laptops and tablets, and most recently paper-and-pencil homework assignments to game-based instruction, the classroom is now a whole new world. Teachers be advised – the days of the traditional lecture in the classroom are gone. In the eyes of the K-12 student, gamification is the new standard of excellence.

Take a look at the examples of gamification success below. You just might find yourself running to Toys “R” Us for the latest gaming craze!

The Classic Board Game

Just because you’re using games in the classroom, doesn’t mean they need to incorporate a new-fangled technology tool. Sometimes the most effective games are the classics – in this case, a board game reminiscent of Risk (without the world domination theme, of course!). Become inspired by this 4th grade classroom’s game “World Peace,” and start brainstorming ideas on how you can reuse everything in your game closet! If you get creative, almost any lesson plan can involve a new twist on a classic board game.


Gaming Systems with an Education Focus

These days, almost every child has some form of gaming system and teachers are learning to take advantage of the new generation’s skillset in the classroom. Whether it’s the brand new model of the XBOX 360, or the original Nintendo, the level of engagement these games provide cannot be ignored. Parents can even jump on the bandwagon by providing educational games for their kids to enjoy at home, such as these Edutainment games by Nintendo.

Check out this teacher’s innovative take on the use of the Nintendo DS gaming system in the classroom.


Positive Reinforcement in the Classroom

Not every game needs to be subject-focused. Complete with a personal avatar for each student, Dojo points for good behavior, and an easy-to-use reporting system for teachers, Class Dojo provides a virtual arena for rewarding behavioral improvement in the classroom.

Take a look at this Class Dojo trailer, or visit for more detailed information on how this can improve behavior in your classroom.

Tips for DIY Home Makeovers on a Budget

You’ve succumbed to a late night Bravo and HGTV binge. It’s 2:00 AM and you’re frantically searching the internet for the perfect addition to your home. Sure, it started as an innocent search for a new comforter, but it no longer matters what room it’s for. You just want something fabulous!

Before dropping 300 bucks on a new comforter set complete with throw pillows, take a moment, breathe, and browse these suggestions for a DIY home makeover on a budget. You’ll get through this!


Tired of staring at that spaghetti sauce stain behind the stove every time you cook? Or maybe you’re just over the olive green color you were obsessed with 5 years ago? Changing up the backsplash will give your kitchen the transformation you’re craving without going overboard, and it’s easier than you think.

Try giving your kitchen a face-lift with these budget backsplash projects!

Dining Room

If you’re hosting your family’s holiday festivities this year, get ready to wow them with a new look for your dining room by adding crown molding! Home and Garden Television (HGTV) provides a budget-conscious solution to this otherwise pricey upgrade here. If that’s not the look you’re going for, browse the site for other ideas. You’re sure to find something that fits your budget.

Living Room

Sometimes money isn’t the only thing you’re budgeting – time is of the essence for this one-day makeover! If you’re working with a 7 PM deadline for your hosting debut, check out this nine-hour living room makeover. A few decorative tweaks, a new accent color, and strategic placing of lamps and furniture and you’re set!


You just saw the perfect lamp on Million Dollar Listing: New York. A quick Google search reveals – shocker – it costs $2,000! If you don’t have extra cash lying around for your fabulous bedroom remodel, take a look at these tips on designer bedroom DIY projects. The extra effort you put in to creating your unique look will mean so much more, while costing much less.


Since it’s not technically part of the home, you have no problem justifying the massive clutter dump your garage has become. You’ve come to terms with parking your car in the driveway and never being able to find anything when you need it, so why change it?

If only to preserve your sanity the next time you’re searching for your long-lost tape measure, take advantage of these DIY Tips for Your Garage.

Getting the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

So, what is LinkedIn? It’s the professional network you’ve worked years to build, available at your fingertips. If you’re thinking that sounds like an invaluable professional resource, you’re right. LinkedIn could be tool you’ve been looking for to help take your career to the next level.

Whether you’ve been on LinkedIn for years or have yet to join, take a few minutes to browse the tips below to make sure you’re getting the most out of your profile.

Build Your Brand

Think of your profile as a platform for advertising your professional brand. Start by selecting a profile picture that has a professional feel, crafting the perfect summary, adding examples of your best work, and highlighting your volunteer efforts. As you gain valuable professional experience, be sure to update your profile to let others know. After all, the only person who can build your brand is you.

Review, Edit, Review, Review AGAIN!

Put your best foot forward (virtually), and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your profile. If you struggle with this, typing up each section in a Word document before you post it can help you avoid common mistakes.

Think you’re good to go because you ran the spelling and grammar check in Word? So did these people! Try reading through each section slowly as a second defense – you’re bound to find something that Word missed. Once you’ve perfected your section, just copy and paste!

Highlight Your Success, Not Your Experience

So you were the CEO of Awesomeness at your previous job, who cares? A fancy title means nothing if you don’t have a few success stories to go with it. To get your creative juices flowing, take a few minutes to make a list of projects you completed or lead your team to complete. Reflect upon each project and identify what you brought to the table to make that project successful – those are the highlights that should appear on your LinkedIn profile!

Stick to the Facts

Planning to enroll in an MBA program, but haven’t quite taken that leap? You’re not a current MBA student with an expected graduation date (yet!), so don’t include it. Were you all-but-offered your dream promotion in the final interview? You haven’t been offered the job (yet!), so don’t spill the beans! We all want to look important, successful, and over-qualified, but exaggeration of your truth will only get you so far.

If you’re still struggling to perfect your profile, check out these examples of a job well done.

Baseball: A Presidential Pastime

Fondly referred to as America’s pastime, baseball is forever-woven in to the seams of our country’s history. We all have our favorite baseball memories, and U.S. Presidents are no exception.

From former players to avid fans, almost every U.S. President has made a small mark in the book of baseball history. With Major League Baseball’s fight for the Fall Classic upon us, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at presidential baseball history.

Presidential First Pitches

President William Howard Taft started this now-storied baseball tradition on opening day of the Major League Baseball season in 1910. From his seat in the stands at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C., he threw out what is now known as the inaugural presidential first pitch.

In the years since, it’s become a tradition in which all but just one president has been a willing participant. Take a trip down memory lane and check out these historic presidential first pitches.

Presidential Baseball Players

Several presidents played baseball at one time or another in their lives, but arguably the most notable is President George H.W. Bush. Although he excelled at several sports as a child, baseball was his sport of choice as a student-athlete at Yale.  As the first baseman and captain, he led the team to a birth in the 1947 College World Series, which they eventually lost to the University of California.

Presidential Baseball Fanatics

There’s nothing quite like sitting back with a cold drink and a hot dog to watch your favorite team fight through nine innings for a win. Just ask your President! Over the years, we’ve seen our fearless leaders take in a game or two, and who can blame them? There’s really nothing more satisfying than a game-winning strikeout.

Interested in seeing how often your favorite President took in a game? Check out these presidential attendance records.

Presidential Hosts to World Series Champions

Hosted by President Calvin Coolidge, the 1924 Washington Senators were the first World Series Champions to visit the White House. Since then, it’s become a time-honored tradition, photo-op and honor for MLB players. Most recently, President Barack Obama greeted the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

Interested in testing your presidential baseball knowledge?  Check out this U.S. Presidents and Baseball quiz!

For more interesting baseball facts, stories and trivia, visit the Baseball Almanac.

Accreditation 101: Regional vs. National

The U.S. Department of Education states that “the goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.” That sounds great, but how do you know which accreditation – regional or national – is best? Honestly, it’s not a question of which accreditation is best, but which accreditation best suits your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional ground campus experience or searching for the right online program to give you the flexibility you need for your busy schedule, understanding accreditation and how it can impact your future is a must. Take a few minutes to expand your knowledge and become well-prepared for the great college search.

What is accreditation?

Let’s start with the basics. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to accredit is “to recognize [an educational institution] as maintaining standards that qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions or for professional practice.” Applying for accreditation from any organization is completely voluntary, which means that by choosing an accredited school, you’re choosing a school whose curriculum has been evaluated by peers in academia to ensure a quality learning experience.

In the United States, there are two kinds of institutional accreditation – regional and national.

What is regional accreditation?

Regional accreditation is granted to each institution by one of six organizations that focus mainly on academia and research-related areas of study.  Each organization focuses on a specific region in the United States, hence the name regional accreditation.

What is national accreditation?

National accreditation is granted by independent organizations that focus largely on career-oriented areas of study. Each organization focuses on accrediting schools that align with their organizational goals, no matter where they may be, rather than focusing on a geographical location.

Which is best for me?

For those still struggling to make sure they’re taking the right path, take a moment to really evaluate your future goals. As you do so, keep the following advice in mind.

  • If you’re planning on transferring credits to another school or pursuing further education in the future, your best bet is to stick with a regionally accredited institution.
  • If you’re looking for a trade-specific skill set that will serve as your last degree or as an addition to a degree you’ve already completed, a nationally accredited institution might be right for you.

How to Procrastinate: Football-Style

The NCAA Football and NFL seasons are now in full swing, giving millions of students across the country yet another excuse to put off their final papers and head to the stadium, bar or couch for a few hours. No judgment here, Northcentral University team members are some of the most die-hard fans around!

We say if you’re going to procrastinate, why not do it right? Gather your family and friends to make some great food and get the most out of your few hours of freedom with these tailgating tips and menu recommendations from NCU’s super fans!

Molly Migliaccio – Creative Services and Production Manager & New York Giants Super Fan

“Make sure the food you have is set-it-and-forget-it style. You don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning! You’ll always miss the best play of the game and have to hear about it later!”

Jeff Wegela – Senior Re-Entry Specialist & Detroit Lions Super Fan

“Picture this – pizza, wings, cheesy bread and your favorite beverage on the table in front of you.  You’re kicked back in your favorite chair and watching your team win. Or in my case, watching your team get penalty after penalty! It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Kevin Lustig – Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development & Michigan Super Fan

“I eat garlic chicken wings with buffalo sauce and ranch. Yes, they play better when I do – it’s science!”

Krista Heist – Associate Director of Admissions & Arizona Cardinals Super Fan

“If you’re actually going to the game, like my family does every Sunday, bring a rug or something to put on the hot ground. I recommend ours, a replica of a football field. It’s great for keeping away the heat of the asphalt, while adding a touch of ambiance to your tailgate.”

Kegan Bellerby – Graduate School Advisor & Oregon Super Fan

“Watching the blazing speed and astounding pace of the Oregon Duck offense is something that can cause us fans to become dizzy and light-headed at times. I suggest a cold beverage to accompany some delectable Krispy Kreme donuts or a nice Caesar salad in order to center oneself. This should help bring one’s equilibrium back to normal viewing capabilities… shoot, I just missed another TD!!”


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