MAP Grant Deadline Is This Wednesday (December 21st) for 2017-2018 Academic Year

mortar board and money

According to the JALC Student Financial Assistance Office, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission has set the suspension date for the MAP Grant.  You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA by Wednesday, December 21, 2016, to be eligible for the funds.  Any students who complete the FAFSA on or after December 22, 2016 will not be eligible for MAP Grant funds for the 2017-2018 Academic Year.

So, make sure you have completed the FAFSA for next academic year, or complete it by Wednesday, December 21st.

Here Is Some Humor As Your Write Your Term Papers

This is “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” called “Word Crimes“.  It is from his fourteenth studio album, Mandatory Fun (2014). The original 2013 single, featured T.I. and Pharrell Williams. The song is a great spoof of the misuse of proper English grammar and usage, reflecting Yankovic’s own lyrical rigor.

Apply Critical Thinking Skills During Final Exams

critical thnking image

As we enter the final exam season, it is important to remember as you study to apply critical thinking to study strategies for you upcoming exams.  Finals do not just test your ability to memorize facts, many of them will be assessing your ability to reason an apply the knowledge you have gained over the semester (an in previous classes).  So it is important to demonstrate that you have mastered the thought process, concepts, problem-solving, deductions, inferences, etc., that you have learned.

According to John Chaffee, “To do well on an exam, you need to define the problem (what areas will the exam cover, and what will be the format?), identify and evaluate various alternatives (what are possible study approaches?), and then pull all these factors together to reach a solution (what will be your study plan and schedule?)” (Chaffee, 106).

You should not be surprised on you exams because the material will come from things covered in lectures, discussed in class, or were in the assigned readings.  Using critical thinking skills during exams involves taking the content you learned in class, synthesizing it to the questions being asked on the exams, and then using critical thinking to evaluate the possible answers until you find the correct one.

Chaffee provides an example of the critical thinking process:

  • Define the terms used in this test and explain their meaning in this context.
  • Gather information from different sources, such as textbooks, lectures, professional writing, etc.
  • Analyze information from multiple perspectives and from different angles.
  • Be open minded about all possible answers.
  • Approach complex problems in an orderly manner and deconstruct problems into easier to manage elements.
  • Think through the process, interpreting and evaluating the information.
  • Consider two conflicting view points, and identify the strong and weak arguments of each side.
  • Elaborate on various answers, and list pros and cons.
  • Choose the most appropriate answer to the question.

So use your critical thinking skills to prepare guide your preparation for the exam and then while taking your exams.

Source: Chaffee, John.  Thinking Critically, 11th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015.


Apply Now: JALC Scholarship Application Deadlines

Image of the John A. Logan College Foundation Logo

This is from the JALC Foundation office:


SPRING 2017, Application Deadline: November 15, 2016

Fall 2017, Application Deadline: February 1, 2017

The John A. Logan College Foundation recently launched a new scholarship management system to help provide students with a streamlined tool to search and apply for scholarships. The software targets the 2017 general scholarship application process, which is open now.  The deadline for Spring 2017 scholarships is November 15th, 2016.  The deadline for Fall 2017 scholarships is February 1, 2017.

The general application, which matches students with available scholarships, is now shorter, taking less time to complete. The AcademicWorks system also is better able to match students with scholarships pertaining to their specific major or other scholarship-based criteria. Continue reading “Apply Now: JALC Scholarship Application Deadlines”

Important New Financial Aid Date: October 1, 2016

Picture of October 1st on a Calendar

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for next school year (2017-2018) will be available in less than a month, on October 1st.  Normally, the application would not be available until January 1, 2017.  It is important that anyone seeking financial aid for next school year fill out the FAFSA early, especially because the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant program uses the initial application date to determine student eligibility for MAP funding.  It is recommended you file in October or early November.  Read the full announcement from the JALC Financial Aid Office posted below. Continue reading “Important New Financial Aid Date: October 1, 2016”

Free Microsoft Office

Slide for Installing Microsoft Office 2016

John A. Logan Students can download and install Microsoft Office 2016 on their personal computers for free.  The download is available for both Windows and Mac computers.  It may be installed on up to 5 computers.

To install the software, you just need to login to your Volmail account and go to the app settings page.  See the video below for a demonstration.

The New MLA Style Manual Is Available

MLA logo

The Modern Language Association has released the 8th edition of its MLA Style Manual (there is a link to purchase the book below).  Their website has a breakdown of what is new in the eight edition.  Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) also has a page on what is new in the eighth edition.  (Their main MLA page is here.)  Chegg has updated its online guide to MLA to the eighth edition as well.

Here are some other posts on MLA citation.