The first annual Elite Learning Conference was held on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. We were honored to have Delegate Jeff Campbell speak to the students about the importance of online learning in the State of Virginia. He also shared his experiences as a parent of two children who participated in several online courses. Additionally, the opening session of the conference included a speech by Emma Buchanan, a student from Washington County VIrginia who has completed multiple online courses. Emma highlighted the techniques she's found critical to becoming a successful online student. The Safe Surfin' Foundation finished out the opening session with a presentation titled "Don't be a Care-Less Technology User!" This presentation made students aware of the ever-evolving changes in technology and threats that this poses.
Students and guidance counselors were given an opportunity to meet with Elite Learning instructors. These meetings gave the students a chance to meet their classmates as well as discuss class related topics. Instructors also provided interesting lectures/activities for the students. Some of the topics included Diversity in the Mountains, Personal Writing, Discovering the Real You, People's Inc. Business Basics Workshop, Banking Basics, and Conversational Communication. Community college representatives were on hand to meet with students as well. In addition to the local community colleges, admissions counselors from UVA's College at Wise, Emory & Henry College, Virginia Tech, Bluefield College, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Commonwealth University were on hand with information for the students.
Students enrolled in Introduction to Business and Personal Finance met at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and participated in the Business Basics Workshop. Students not able to make the trip to Abingdon participated in the workshop activities via Skype. Ms. Cindy Green from People, Inc. presented the workshop on April 17, 2014. Student responses are posted below.
The meeting that we had on Thursday was very informational and quite fun. The presentation at the beginning was very good. It was very interesting to hear all the things that we have learned as they apply to real world business and its everyday operation. It was very interesting to hear from someone who helps people set up small businesses every day. I especially liked how she went over advertising on via internet. I think that internet advertising is really taking off. Small business owners who utilize internet advertising will surely have an advantage over the competition. I also liked how she taught us how to do a cash flow sheet. I think that a lot of people who want to start a business don't think about all the paperwork and the simple balance sheets and math that they will have to do. I also like how she gave advice on what type of business is the safest to start and maintain. Getting to meet the other students in the class in person was also very cool. Usually in online classes you wish that you could meet the other people in the class but you never get the chance. I really felt like everyone warmed up to each other really fast. A big part of business is being able to make fast friends. It was really interesting to hear all of the other students give a pitch for their businesses. It is really encouraging to hear all of the young men and women who are my age give their ideas and show that they are getting ready to go out into the world and become the business leaders of tomorrow. If more kids would devote a little bit of their time in high school to take a introduction to business class they would be much better served when they enter the workforce.
The Basic Business Workshop provided a lot of useful information for starting a business. If you were to start a business there are a lot of things that you need to know. Some things you don’t even think about. You have to have enough money to operate your business. The cash flow sheet showed how much money you need to operate a business and it showed how much money you lost in one month. It also showed all of the different expenses there are and that it takes a very good amount of money to keep a business running and make a profit. Paying your bills are very important. If you don’t pay your bills it can affect you chances of getting a loan, buying a car, or buying a house. Starting a business is very hard and you need money to do that. There are ways to get money to start a business. One way is to use your own money to start a business. There are also many regulations that you have to follow. There are taxes that a business has to pay. There are certifications that businesses also need to operate. Marketing is another thing that we learned about. You have to know who your target market is. You also need something that will set your business apart from other businesses offering the same thing. Customer service is very important if a business wants to bring customers back to their business. The workshop was very useful. It told me a lot about what you have to do to start a business. It also helps you realize that it takes more than you think. It takes a lot of effort and money. I learned a lot from the Basic Business Workshop.
I actually really enjoyed the Skype conference with my classmates for this field trip. I learned many things about how to start, run, and maintain a business. We learned where to put the business, how to keep customers happy, how to price objects, how to run management, and much more. One thing that really helped me was the description and detail of how to have great customer service. We learned that without it, you cannot have a business at all. Without the help of the customers and their support, the business doesn’t even exist. I also enjoyed the interaction with the speaker and with some of my classmates. I liked that the speaker interacted with us and actually talked to us about our specific new business ideas that we have been working on in class. She basically touched on every single thing we have talked about in our class and cleared some of it up for me. She put the terms we learnedabout into real life situations which also helped me to understand their meaning. Doing the cash flow chart was really interesting to me as well. I didn’t realize that so much work went into the budgeting and planning in the money aspect. Although it was a little bit tough filling it out, it helped me to understand a lot. Money really is the basis for the business and without the means to start the business, it would be quite impossible to even be involved with it. If you are a good planner and one who knows what they’re doing, you will succeed in your business. I’m really glad I got to interact and speak with my classmates, the speaker, and yourself. It was really a learning experience and helped me to understand a lot of things I was confused about.
The business workshop I attended on Thursday was a truly great experience. I learned a lot more than I thought I would have learned in the trip. I did not ever think business could be all that interesting, but I was proven wrong by this business workshop. I always thought that business had to just be uptight people talking about things that are not all that important. I also thought it only had to do with number and figuring out how much money you have and what you need to do with it. But I realized that business is much more than that. I enjoyed finally meeting the people who have been in my class this semester. It makes a big difference to know who the people in your class are and to meet them face to face. I always enjoyed meeting my teacher. Another thingI really enjoyed was sharing my thoughts and ideas with other people and seeing how they view the topic. When you have different people’s opinions it can make you see something in a way you never thought possible and that is something I really liked. I also found it a lot easier to learn about something by having someone talk to you about rather than reading it out of a text book. I had a hard time understanding some of the concepts we went over in the workshop by just reading them out of the book. But when we went over them on the fieldtrip, it was a lot easier to understand. And of course I enjoyed eating pizza and getting to know some of my classmates more. As I said before it really is important to know who is in the class with you. You need to know if your will be able to joke around with them or if they are not that type of person.
On the field trip Friday my experience was great. At it I learned many new keys to a successful business. We learned that many businesses fail because of many different reasons. The key to your business is that you have to be prepared. In a business you must thoroughly think about your business. Businesses must map out, or plan their business before even starting it. Many people get great ideas for businesses and just jump right into it without even preparing themselves. When planning a business, there is many aspects to it, that some may realize they are not prepared for when they start their own business. Another thing that I learned was different techniques to managing a business. Cash flow charts and other simple techniques are easy and simple ways to help keep things organized when managing a business. In a business, many people think that they can just buy a building and open up their business. I learned that businesses require at least a business license, but some require other license. When opening and starting your business there is a lot more than you realize that has to happen before that is possible. Opening a business you have to be dedicated, you have to be fully committed to that business. I learned that there are different ways of owing a business and legal matters as such, business owners are able to count their personal owning’s and they business separate. For example; I have a business and my business is being sued by a customer for some particular reason. They can only sue my business itself and not what items I own such as my cars or my house. I learned that many people fail in their businesses because they do not look at all the options that are available for businesses.
Jerry Evan P.
I attended the workshop via Skype and my experience was really good with everyone. It was interesting to get to listen to someone speak about entrepreneurs they work with and give advice to. I enjoyed getting to meet my other classmates, albeit in a roundabout-way. It was good to actually hear them talk about their businesses, it really showed how they had thought them out. It was an overall enjoyable experience. I learned a few useful things aboutstarting businesses and observing credit reports. I was glad she had us do the cash flow sheet, it refreshed my memory on my accounting class I had a year ago. I had forgotten in knew how to do that kind of stuff. I wish I would have been able to actually attend the workshop in person but I could not have done it due to my school schedule and how far I am from Abingdon. I learned a few useful things during the workshop and was reminded of some things that I actually already knew how to do. After being reminded of how to do it, the cash flow chart was a breeze. It was not exactly what we learned in my accounting class but it was similar enough to where I could do it with ease. I was also not aware of the fact that every time a company or person pulls your credit report it deducted points from your credit score. I will make sure in the future to be careful about that, myself. I was glad she explained in detail a few parts of the executive summary and put it into more simplistic words. I learned that Facebook and Twitter would actually bea quite feasible mode of advertisement and it would be effective.
On Sunday, September 22nd, the Survey of Criminal Justice Class was able to attend the Barter Production of “Thicker than Water”. The play depicted the true story of Andrea Yates, portraying the various dates leading up to and following the drowning of her five children on June 20, 2001. The play used real words from the court transcripts, police interviews, and media coverage surrounding this tragic and horrific event. After having assignments on the insanity plea and this particular case, those attending were intrigued by the play, actors, and material presented.
It was a great opportunity for all who attended!
I really enjoyed the play! The way the actress portrayed Andrea Yates was very
real. It made me feel like I was at the actual interrogation room. The way she
said 'yes' was exactly how crazy people really sound! When Andrea was drowning
the children she did it so calmly, and with no remorse which also added to the
feelings she was having. The little boy seemed like he was so innocent while he
was eating the cereal. The play was awesome and I really enjoyed it!! -Caroline K.
I really enjoyed the play, I thought the acting was very professional. I am
glad that I got a chance to go see it with you and my fellow classmates. -Derrick B.
I thought that Thicker Than Water, although very sad, was very interesting and
provided good insight for a popular case. I have never saw a play or movie that
touched a subject like the case of Andrea Yates and I think the cast and
writers did an excellent job. The play made it possible to see all sides of the
story and left you wondering what really made Andrea kill her children and what
actions could have been taken to prevent it from happening. -Heather W.
Thicker Than Water was an amazing play that really caught the details and
emotion that were probably more than likely. The actors and actresses were
beyond outstanding with their performance! The amount of information that the
performers learned to preform the play was unbeleivable. They really were
dedicated to making this play the best it could be. -Christa R.
I enjoyed the play so much I have been trying to get my boyfriend to take me to
see Kiss Me Kate. The actors and actresses at Barter are amazing! The play was
a tear jerker the whole way through. I feel like the case was portrayed very
well and it was even more intriguing to learn that most of it was straight from
the interrogation room and actual quotes from the people going through it. -Taylor B.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Elite Learning students earned a total of 1524 college credits. Not only is this a tremendous time saver for students who are getting a head start on their college education, it is a financial savings to families in our community. There were 363 student enrollments in the previous school year. The good news is that enrollment continues to increase. As of October 4, 2013, there are over 600 student enrollments. It is great to see more and more students taking advantage of the Elite Learning services.